The Dangers of Making It Work

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Life in the Third Degree.

I’ve spent the past hour talking to a man who interests me. Though I think he interests my friends more.

Working Through Grief

He’s everything they seem to want for me. The proverbial tall, dark, and handsome. Extremely intelligent. Very successful in his career field. Stylish and enough grace to indicate that he probably has more subtle moves that are worthwhile when alone. And stable. This man is stable. He’s the kind of guy who seems like he would take good care of a woman, especially one whose work he respects. And no matter what may come in life, he’d be stable. That’s important to my friends—a man who’s stable and can provide a comfortable, smooth relationship that won’t put me through the wringer. So stable he’s downright sedentary, even though what I really want is passion and intensity and innovation.

On the surface, this man certainly seems perfect, and I recognize in him the pattern of things I’m attracted to in a man. He has a scientific mind, yet an artistic side—whole-brained—and he’s mentally stimulating and verbally intelligent. He’s easy on the gaze, but in a slightly quirky way, his nose being a little too big for his face, the angles of his jaw being a little too sharp, but with beautiful eyes. He questions the routine and struggles against the mundane. He bears an intensity that isn’t easily named. By all societal standards, he is successful in his career and community.

And yet, there’s something wrong, even after spending an hour of pleasant conversation with him. Not the first we’ve spent time together either, but the connection between us has deepened somewhat and we’re more at ease with each other now.

Still, something’s askew, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. There’s a hint of a pattern that bothers me. Something that reminds me of my ex. Something in the expectations in this man’s eyes. In his it’s-not-valid-unless-you-have-physical-evidence tone of voice. It’s subtle, so subtle. And if I wanted to get laid tonight, I could ignore it and concentrate on his boyish grin. If I wanted a romance with him, or more, I could wear that facet of myself that I am at my day job, business-like in my professional attire and conservative in my opinions. Stable.

Yes, I could make it work.

I could see having a relationship with this man, provided I’m wearing my business suit and I’ve left my Goddess jewelry at home. I could see him visiting my home, moments after I’ve hidden the shamanic skull staff and the Ouija board. I could see myself riding to dinner with him in my car, Rasputina no longer playing on the CD player.

I just can’t see me being myself with him.