Sunday, March 30, 2014

PROLOGUE FOR A BACHELOR'S HANDBOOK




CULTIVATING A HEALTHY RESPECT FOR THE BEAUTY OF BACHELORHOOD…


Every time I meet someone new I go through a process of elimination to determine if they are really serious about dating.  The pattern of elimination looks like this:

1.       They do not have any time to devote to either dating or building a relationship.
2.       They do not understand that texting and talking over the phone are not substitutes for dating or building a relationship especially in the early stages of getting to know each other.
3.       They are not motivated to suggest and implement creative interpersonal encounters.
4.       They do not live close enough to accomplish items 1 and 3.
5.       They live prohibitively far away making item 2 the only option for communication.
6.       They naively do not have any practical comprehension of why items 4 and5 would be red flags for purposes of developing a new relationship.

Being single at 52 might sound an alarm for many men warning that their hunting and shopping time was nearing an end.  It might scare some men into making rash purchases because the selection of available men was now so terribly picked-over.  It could even cause some men to compromise the high but perfectly reasonable standards they have upheld in order to ensure their relationship needs are met.  it has caused me to redouble my convictions, after all, I love being a bachelor, I enjoy its freedom and if I am going to even think about giving up one iota of it at this juncture in my existence, having sacrificed so long for what I know that I need in a man, then by Jove!  I am certainly not going to throw all caution to the wind at a time in my life when investing in a relationship with the possibility of catastrophic failure eating up another two or more years of my happy life hangs in the balance!



I cannot speak for other bachelors at 52 or above but I am truly a happy man.  I guess it really comes down to making that critical assessment about self, not as an exercise in self-absorption but as a practical tool for understanding just where you really are in your life.  It may be that if you are not happy with yourself then meeting someone and trying to develop a happy coexistence with them will prove difficult if not impossible but that theory has never sufficiently been proven.  People reiterate that line without really ever having given it much thought.  So it is your choice to rely on the potential shallowness of others or to set out to determine a thing for yourself!  But I implore you not to experiment on the time and emotions of anyone else if you are not really certain about your ability to love yourself in such a manner that you can properly, functionally love another.  As a mature man it is your responsibility, especially if you find yourself pining away for love, to know your level of preparedness for one of the most potentially absorbing and demanding jobs you will ever take on; building a meaningful and functional relationship with another human being.  In other words know who you are and what your weaknesses and strengths are so that you can be realistic about how truly ready you are to build a meaningful and successful relationship. 



The clear pitfall to being clear in the understanding of self is that you can never be certain what the other guy is really bringing to the table.  That is where your wisdom and intuition, your life-knowledge skills kick in.  I cannot emphasize how essential it is to actually have these critical life skills sets at your  immediate disposal because woe to any man who in his fifties or sixties or better is not equipped with these mandatory survival skills. This brings us to yet another bend in the road.  There is a genre of bachelor who I call, “The Sitting Duck”.  The Sitting Duck is a mature man in his fifties plus years who through some turn of fate has not had much experience dating and forming intimate relationships.  To that man I will say only this:



“There is a vast difference between the capacity of a young man to manage emotional upheaval and the capacity of a mature man over fifty to manage that same level of emotional stress.  The young man has many long, careless years with which to make a recovery but the mature man having already lived half his life must be equipped to absorb the shock and make a quick recovery or risk spending the remainder of his life mourning over the fallout of a relationship that never really deserved any serious level of intensity in the first place.  Recovering from the pain of love is much harder when you are older and the stressful recovery time could ultimately take your life.  A young man can easily bounce back from the pain of breakup; he has easy options many of which he does not have to work for at his disposal.  A mature man whose diminishing social circles have been cut off or held up further in order to focus on a relationship rebounds to loneliness.  His options may not be so broad and his bounce-back may not be so quick.  Besides a mature man is more serious about life and would not need to experiment with sex binges and such to clear his mind from the ruins of love.  Think about it mature gentlemen… because when it is upon you it will already be too late to recover the time and emotional energy that has been lost!  As men we are reluctant to deal with the fact that in spite of our strong fa├žade we too can be hurt emotionally.  Not being able to manage that possibility is the foundation of a deadly cocktail of stress and denial".



On the lighter side as mature bachelors we have so much going in our favor.  We are established in our careers, we are financially and emotionally stable, we have all the qualities that make for a good life either single or partnered and we have absolutely no responsibility to answer to or to be accountable to anyone with our personal time, money and emotional energy.  One might say we’ve got it made in the shade, so why go and ruin a good thing?  Gentlemen, I implore you to enjoy, cherish and hold on to your blissful bachelorhood for as long as you can.  Let it go only for a clearly time tested and proven better option.  Take your time dating and mating and relinquishing the one true freedom and peace of mind you have in this life; your bachelorhood!  Know how to cultivate a healthy respect for a beautiful bachelorhood!



CHEERS!



WRITTEN BY BIGDADDY BLUES


Sunday, March 2, 2014

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMPANY AND COMPANIONSHIP…



When you have a company, a visitor, a someone who comes over to spend a few hours with you breaking your rhythm for the brevity of their stay and henceforth you resume your cadence as naturally as if they had never entered your door, that is the definition of company.  If you noticed I did not make mention of sex nor imply there might have been any sexual intimacy characteristic to the sojourn of that “someone” at all.  I’ve decided to leave that dimension up to mystery as it is a gentleman’s prerogative and duty to maintain his amorous endeavors as private memoir between his beau and him.  More esteemed in the pecking order of social collisions is that which is occupied by one whom enjoys the distinct favor of being called “companion” not to be confused with husband, wife or any other nuptial entitlement but not to be discounted as a distinct possibility within that realm.  A companion is definitively a non-transient accommodation he or she is or would be an integral component of our life such that no plans might be made that did not take them into careful consideration.   A companion would not come into and go from our lives without remark, their breaths and ours would be paired as would our minds and souls.



When a companion leaves our presence they take a part of us with them and likewise they leave a part of themselves behind with us; and there is an invisible link that makes two people who have been fortunate enough to aspire to the rare status of companionship operate as one engine fueled by one another’s love. 



When company leaves our presence they simply are gone.  They and we quickly go back to lives that patently have nothing to do with one another save for the fleeting moments that arouse random memories but do not command continuous consciousness.  Our company and we share naught but the moment, we operate as separate engines fueled by reservoirs of unlike motive.



It is the nature of all human relationships that given the proper variables company may evolve into companionship and likewise a companion might degrade to the status of mere company.  One of the blessings and curses of twenty-first century culture is its freedom combined with its openness to transparency.  Freedom can easily migrate toward isolationism but in our time, perhaps as a reaction to a long history of restraint we interpret freedom as a condition that affords us the power to be completely open about ourselves as if to ad credibility to our nature.  So yes, we are free to do this and to do that but we will not allow what we do and whom we do it with to fall into mystery and speculation, we take ownership of freedom and publish ourselves as its living testament.



And how many years of human lives has it taken mankind to reach this level of freedom?  Nigh on 100,000 long arduous years of socio-political and sexual evolution it has taken mankind to realize his yearnings for freedom under the name of democracy and to craft a civilization that would protect freedom against the social backsliding of tyranny.  Well to mention tyranny and company and companionship in the sane paragraph is alarming enough so I will leave that discussion for another time.  Let me refocus on the profound difference between what we call company and what we call companionship saying only that we live in an unprecedented time of social freedom that allows us to explore both with whomever we desire and that we should not only understand the difference but appreciate the human effort entailed to get from one extreme to the other…

FIN



Bigdaddy Blues