When A Black Man Loves - a romantic journey

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fear of the Familiar


The other night, I was a chef participant in “Philly Men Are Cooking” and I can tell you that my eyes, heart and spirit were moved many times when viewing all of the beautiful women who were in attendance.  But while I was immediately falling in love at first sight, there was also the flip side of the equation, and that was the fear of the familiar.

To open oneself up to love is to try something new despite your past experiences.  It’s like taking days, if not weeks, to finally get past that level on Candy Crush Soda.  You can either walk away from the game, cheat by purchasing all sorts of power-ups, or just keep trying and trying until you finally get it right.  It’s funny, because there are times when I have to fail a board the first time to understand the proper way to play it and win, and love is like that sometimes.  Whether or not the people in your past better prepare you for your future romance, or the first time you are with someone you’re not going to get it right, only to understand what to do in the future.

I can say that in my life I have had a wealth of experiences and a fair amount of romantic engagements, whether brief or extended.  I have been fortunate to share the intimacy of a number of women who had beauty in form, mind, spirit, face or more than just one of those things.  Of course there were moments [people] that I should not have engaged at all, but life is full of ups and downs, plusses and minuses.

And like everyone else, I have the things I like, the things I can tolerate, and the things that I can’t accept.  My list of these is determined by not only what I want in life and my personality, but also knowing what I don’t want in my life, whether in my heart, my house, or my environs.  There are some things that most men will agree with me on [in that list] and then there are certain things that many men won’t make sticking points of.  For some, it’s based on their experiences and their view of what is fine for them, and for others sometimes it’s just a matter of what situation they are currently experiencing in their lives.  Many of us wind up in certain places because we didn’t know when to walk away from certain things [or use protection].  And on the reverse, you also have women who have accepted certain types of men because maybe their lives are not in a place where they really have the potential for snaring the man that they really want.

When I look at a woman, I just don’t have a one-track view of things.  My experiences and my personality make me think of so many things that it would baffle most people.  I am thinking about not only the immediate reptilian response of sexual attraction, but also her past and her future. I am wondering how she thinks and sees not only the world, but herself.  I am pondering whether or not she has children and/or a man.  I am analyzing what it would be like to be in her arms and her to be in mine. I am extrapolating her future self, from the point of what she will look like down the line.  I am wondering if the merging of our two bodies together will fit perfectly like an enzyme and a protein.  I am asking myself if she could make me happy and I could make her happy as well.  I am examining her soul.

Oh, and I do all of this in like five seconds.

What I have discovered in life is that we are more common than different, and that there are only so many faces, and so many complexions, and so many body shapes, and only so tall or short that we can be.  Pretty much, the human race is kind of like a Mister Potato Head.

As a man who stands a couple hairs under 5’9”, I have to wonder about my compatibility with a woman who is taller than me.  Will she be ready to jump ship at the first brother over six feet with a nice voice and great physique?  Will she ever see me as a great match for her?

For the woman who makes more money than me and has multiple degrees, will she ever see who and what I truly am as well as bring to the table?

Will the woman who is lighter than me be attracted to my sepia looks, or really just fall for the next café au lait that crosses her path?

And while this is really some of the most superficial things [which are more common than you can realize], the fear of familiarity is the phobia of not wanting to repeat the bad experiences that I have had in the past with other women; women who share some similarity to those that I have dated in the past. 

Honestly, I have been through some shit and seen some shit that will baffle the hell out of you.  And like Spider Man, my spidey sense tingles when I know something is about to go down.  And if you were to know about many of the fucked up things that I have had to experience, you’d buy me a nice stiff drink and put an arm around me and tell me that something better is coming along; I basically had that same thing happen when one woman read my first book. 

Now, this is not an indictment of women, but things happen and sometimes people only see in retrospect that their actions and views were actually incorrect.  I have dealt with women with disrespectful children, women with infidelity/insecurity issues, women with weight issues, women with religious issues, women with financial issues, and women with health issues.  I have dated women who fall into the most self-centered of professions ; models, actresses and singers.  One ex, who is still a good friend, will crack up when we rehash over some of the crap that she put me through, when in fact I was trying to help her get to the next level.

And as someone whose eyes [and brain] see so many things, I am equally in fear as well as bold/brave/stupid enough to possibly throw my hat into the ring.

If I just look at Facebook, there are at least four women who immediately come to mind who make me wonder about the possibility of an “us.”  One is two inches taller, another an actress, another a singer, and the last trying to enter the world of fashion.  I myself am on the path of transition to what I want next, and maybe this point is not the best to approach someone, and maybe because of that, it is the perfect time as well.  But love doesn’t work like that, as we don’t always see in the other person what we need to when it is presented.  Today’s destitute person is tomorrow’s millionaire.

What I fear is wasting time and money on the same old pursuits with people who might deliver the same old arguments and/or scenarios.  Been there, done that, and not trying to do it again.  I can look at someone, and seeing the same beauty in them that I have seen in someone else, remember the most hurtful times and experiences, and Lord knows that I don’t want to repeat any of them.  Sometimes, when I see a woman, I think of all of the potential bad things that are going to happen, because I immediately think of their similarity with [certain/some] women who might not be the best candidates for love.  I think of the statements that have been said in the past, and how quick some women are to hop in that same bandwagon and emulate the wrongs that others have done.

I look into the eyes and beauty of a woman, and I look at the permutations five steps ahead, worrying about how far it will be down the branched tree before something that will forever ruin our relationship happen. 

And in that, I will possibly miss out on some great catches.

You know me, just being honest.

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