Posts Tagged 'Relationships'

Right now I would love…

She has blonde hair. For some reason I’ve always preferred blond hair on my own head as well. In my traumatic relationship history the blondes treated me better than the brunettes did. She would never admit so to me but even though I’ve forgiven the past she would have strong words for those who wounded her man so deeply and thus made our first six months together more troublesome than they should have been. She has blonde hair, and in the little fantasies that I create for myself she shares my three bedroomed house with me. The house that is only a few hundred yards from the home I grew up in. Another family live there now creating their lives and I have my own home in the town I love.

In this particular flight of fancy I’m doing the wash-up wearing my customary pink rubber gloves. I enjoy the confusion and consternation it causes among people who can’t deny how utterly masculine I am yet wear bright pink to wash the dirty dishes. The chime of the doorbell fills the house and I ask her to please get it for me. She puts down the book she’s reading. She’ll discuss it with me later when we lie on the bed gazing at each other as she takes issue with a point the author’s making. I’ll get lost in her eyes briefly and have to ask her to repeat what she said. The mild annoyance on her face will make way to a smile and a feeling of security that comes from knowing I hold her to be the most beautiful woman in the world and could never think of any other but her. Her bare feet embrace first the soft, warm threads of the milky rug I insisted on getting before touching the polished wooden timbers of the floor. She opens the door fully and stands to one side, cocking her head to examine the unexpected visitor, which enables said visitor to see me at the sink.

The view is from behind the caller. He’s a guy from the soccer club dropping over something for me that relates to my role as Secretary. He does a double take as this stunningly beautiful woman answers the door when he was expecting to see the man everyone in the soccer club calls by the shortened version of his name. That’s alright of course by me because I consider them friends and they’re allowed to do that. She’s wearing a loose, flowing beige dress with a floral purple design that contains embedded sparkles at the end of her left leg and a loose white tank top that just shows off a little of her belly and occasionally will bare one or other of her shoulders. Her dark blonde hair covers her shoulder as she flashes the man a smile and says hello to him.

The man is at a loss momentarily as are most men when they first meet her. “Who is it?” I shout. One of the habits that the house located a few hundred yards away is very familiar with. “I’m Mick” he stutters. “It’s Mick from the soccer club” she shouts back at me. She oozes elegance but for some reason she liked the fact I would shout to her from one side of the house to the other and so adopted it as her own. Certainly her mother wouldn’t approve but her mother thinks the sun, moon and stars shine out from under me so would forgive me for the bad habit her daughter has acquired from this relationship. The envelope in the man’s hand and the crest of the Football Association of Ireland was enough for her to deduce he was from the soccer club. She notices the small things and details in life – another reason why I love her.

At this point I have to turn around to deduce which ‘Mick from the soccer club’ it is given there are half a dozen or so who could answer to that description. I walk towards him and she links arms with me when I reach the door. “Alright Mick, how you doing?” “Alright Steve” he replies the purpose of his visit slowly oozing back into his head. “This arrived for you in the post. I was the old contact for them so I still get their stuff.” This is the normal state of affairs with organisations – especially amateur organisations. Seeing the logo on the front of it I immediately put it on the ‘worry about later’ part of my head. “Ah, cool. Thanks for that. How are things?” I ask. “This is my girlfriend by the way”. She extends a hand softly and he shakes it with the haste that one must when completing a social convention that wasn’t expected. “Nice to meet you Mick” she says sweetly. Her repetition of his name is a memory tool for her. She’s much better with names than I am. “How are the kids doing?” I do however know the names of each of his kids and the fact their exams are coming up. He relaxes visibly as he can revert to a form conversation he’s had with dozens of other people be they distant family members, work colleagues or other members of the soccer club. “Aw grand you know. Exams coming up so trying to get them to study. The little fella isn’t fond of Maths at all and is getting grinds but they’ll be over soon.” “So they will and they’re not the end of the world anyway” I reply with a smile.

A few more pleasantries and he takes his leave of the man wearing the pink rubber gloves. He reminds himself that with a girlfriend that beautiful there can be no doubts about a man’s sexuality even with brightly colour latex and the distant drone of the car engine fading into the distance confirms his departure. She returns to her book in the front room that catches the sunlight. I finish the washing up and come into to give her a kiss on the head before turning to leave her to her reading. She understands that’s one of the main ways I express my affection and knows that if it isn’t happening something’s up.

She finds me upstairs lying on the bed looking at the ceiling painted a lighter hue than the pale orange of the walls. She judges from the way my form is arranged on the bed and the expression on my face that I’m thinking about stuff. That’s the phrase I use. Stuff can mean anything and everything but she knows when it’s better to pry to help me to figure it out or when it’s better to leave me be to muse on my own. She also knows that now is a moment where interruption of the kind she’s planning is welcome. She jumps and pins me down. “Hello you” eagerly escapes her lips. I immediately flip her over and have her pinned. She laughs at how easily I can keep her where I want her to be and her eyes trail the shape of my arms. How she loves those arms; everything a man’s arms should be… bulging ever so slightly now as powerful yet soft skinned hands hold her by the wrists. Not many men can look as good as her man in jeans and a white t-shirt…

Gazing into each other’s eyes, faces move closer and closer until tender lips kiss and fingers embrace as the sunlight shines through the window and warms the skin that clothing covered only moments ago…


Is your word your bond?

I judge people. Christians aren’t meant to judge people according to the popular understanding. Of course what this means is you’re not meant to come to a negative judgment. If you come to a positive judgment it’s all good. Some Christians don’t even believe you’re meant to judge other people despite the fact that we may well end up judging angels and the rest of the world to boot. What is at issue isn’t whether or not we judge but the manner in which we do so.

I’m obviously interchanging different definitions of the word judgment here. And were this a blog whose purpose was to fill the world with my ill-informed, half-baked, lacking a clear purpose of thought on theological musings I would flesh it out more. But the purpose of this blog is behind the couch somewhere and when I find it I’ll let you know. For the purposes of this post it is sufficient to acknowledge that people make judgments – for various reasons and I merely hope that my reasons aren’t as bad as the rest of you beard-wearing, stone throwers gathered around.

Psychological testing has taught me that I am very much an all in type of person. When committed I can often stay much longer than is necessary and often to the detriment of my mental health and sanity. As often as I can I make sure I mean what I say. This is an odd temperament for an individual in my profession but it’s the way I am. So despite my best efforts when a person says something like: “I’ll call you”, “I’ll email you” or “I’ll pray for you” I know that most of the time they won’t. I know this and it still wounds me not to receive said email or phone call – much more than it should.

I’m all about reaching out. I like to connect to people and I know that I come across in a rather intense fashion. I recently undertook a little experiment. I stopped saying hi to people on Gmail or making an effort to chat to them on their terms online. People know where I am and how to find me. Net result is that people don’t chat to me a lot. There’s intellectual knowledge of an issue and then there’s the reality which brings home intellectual truths in a way you’re not always comfortable with.

I knew I was lonely. I didn’t need a psychologist to tell me something I’d known for the past four or five years. The whole non-initiation of internet chat has just brought that home. What bugged me was how there was always this part of me that had this illusion of hope: “Well, they said they’d email so it’s alright to expect it any day now.” The days pass and that little ray of hope which can brighten your entire day often merely heralds the coming despondent storm. Jesus put it simply Let your yes be yes and your no be no. That’s how I try to do it.

Wear it for me…

I was never one for jewellery. I took the view that a man should really only wear a high quality watch and a wedding band. One of those hallmarks of masculinity for me. A stylish watch; an elegant suit but he polishes his own shoes. These should all come naturally to my ideal of masculinity. There are other aspects but that encompasses one facet of the type of man I try to be. I’ve had that ring little over a year but only started wearing it every now and then over the past few months. It has a story of course. All jewellery should.

“Would you wear a ring for me?” It was an unusual question for a relationship that was less than a week old. “Darling are you asking to marry me?” I’m nothing if not a tease. “No, it’d just be nice. It’d let other women know that you’re taken but only if you have no problem wearing one.” I laughed. I like to make my friends happy and I like to bring joy to other people’s lives. For me this was a no brainer. “Shouldn’t you be down on one knee or something?” But it didn’t mean I couldn’t still have some fun. “If it’s a problem it’s fine.” I took her by the hand “No, it isn’t a problem but I can’t wait to make my friends and family back home freak out by saying I’m going ring shopping on Facebook.” When I lose the imp in me you might as well make preparations for the wake.

All my relationships have been long distance. This one was no different. We’d met through blogging and I’d flown across the ocean to meet her. I’m kind of stupidly romantic that way but for me we’d done everything right. We’d had a good long friendship before hand. I was familiar with some of the people from her church and when I arrived I got on with everyone. The only thing that sucked was the whole long distance aspect.

So we went ring shopping. Two of her friends went with us as we’d met them for coffee on the way. “What type of ring should I get?” “I don’t mind. You’re the one who will have to wear it. You pick it out.” “Aren’t girls meant to have the idea of a ring in their head already?” “Those are our rings silly. Not guys’ rings.” I didn’t have a clue what type of ring to get. We were in an Irish shop. It could have been worse with all the stereotypical Irish junk but I managed to finally settle on one. With her in college she couldn’t afford to pay for it. It wasn’t a big deal. I was just happy that she wanted me to wear a ring. It was proof in a way that she was committed to what was going to be a tough relationship.

It took a while to get used to the ring on my finger. I couldn’t wash my hands while wearing it. I realised immediately that putting it on the kitchen sink was a bad habit to start so my habit was to put it in my back pocket. Half the time after washing my hands I would forget to put it back on. Eventually though it became familiar. The weight on my hand. I came to feel it was a part of me. I liked having it on my hand and on my finger. Yes, this was a new step; a new direction but one that had me on a path that I wanted to embark on. A woman who shared my version of Christianity; who blogged; who danced who put up with my flaws and failings. A woman I wanted to build a life together with. A life built for a Hollywood love story.

There’s a reason we go to the movies. Escapism. We want to forget about our lives for two hours and imagine how they could be. Were you to draft a script about the heroine in this instance there would be a happy ending. She gets the guy she loves in the end. It just wasn’t this guy. For Hollywood it isn’t cheating on the guy who was merely there to make the heroine realise which of the men in her life she truly loved. That guy only wanted the best for her and wanted her to be happy. For Hollywood that’s enough to brush him out of the picture.

So this ring which was meant to be a symbol of love across the oceans crossed an ocean never to return to whence it came. In the movies it’s alright to forget about the guy who bought a symbol of fidelity expecting it to mean that faithfulness would abound – or if not that, at least friendship. The symbol he didn’t wear on his finger for fear of questions when the relationship was in its death throes so he put it on a chain and wore it close to his heart, believing that love between friends would mean that at least friendship would remain. The symbol that eventually became a thunderbolt of pain that clapped throughout his entire being with every beat of his heart before the burnings sensation of it on his skin meant he could no longer bear the sight of it such was the furnace of emotions it unleashed through him. The symbol that eventually became as cold, inert and lifeless as the metal from which it was forged.

I don’t believe in hiding or getting rid of things unless they no longer serve any purpose. This ring still serves a purpose for me but right now I can’t tell you what it is.


I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. This has got to be the longest a lonely phase has went on for me in my entire life. It started around Christmas and seems intent on bugging me all the way into 2012. I don’t know what to do about it. It’s frustrating. How one side of me can be so wailing like a baby, “I’m so lonely!” and the other side looks on it with contempt as this distracts me from getting work done. It sucks though. It’s an ache like no other. I’m not sure how I’ll handle it if it continues.

The idea of coming home and talking to my girl about my day. Hearing about her day. Maybe giving her a massage or something if she’s had a bad one. Me just laying my head down on her lap and chatting as she plays with my hair. Or helping her with her projects. Supporting her. Getting excited for her. There’s nothing wrong with these feelings. I don’t think the fact I feel them is particularly unique. Maybe the fact I articulate them but that’s for another blog post.

This seems to be worse than the usual run of the mill loneliness. The 5% I talk about when I say that 95% of the time as a single guy I’m fine. That 5% is generally just a “I’d like a cuddle” loneliness. This one seems much more structural in nature. I know I’m designed to connect with people. That’s part of my problem. I can come on very strong. I stay in touch. I email people I met for a few days years ago because I got on with them so well. I actually get hurt when someone says they’ll email me or text me or phone me and fail to do so. I know when that’s said it’s not really going to happen. That it’s said in order for the person to end a conversation or as a throw away to soothe their own conscience. And 95% of the time I just smile to myself when I hear it. But 5% of the time I get really sad when I don’t get that email or phone call.

I worry about loneliness though. I don’t ever want to have a girlfriend who just fills the gap. I don’t feel it’s fair to the woman involved – human female with a pulse? You’ll do! I guess my number one problem is not having had a real relationship. All my relationships have been long distance. I have no real life experience of a girl who lives a short drive away. My main fear is coming on too strong in whatever ends up as my first relationship.

It’s connected to other things in my life no doubt. 2010 is the year of change for me and there may yet be a whole load more change than I thought there would be from the start of the year. Change and solitude. People leaving my life. I don’t know if they’ll ever come back. Some of it is intentional then. Withdrawing from other aspects of life. I’m not sure what I want from life. That’s the first problem. To a certain extent I’m not even sure who I am any more. Loneliness comes quite easily when you don’t recognize yourself.

You’ll do for now…

I often like groups or pages on Facebook that my friends join to indicate my approval rather than joining them myself. One such page can be found here.

When I hit college age the gender balance in my friendships swung. Previously I’d been a guy who made friends with guys. After all a lot more teenage boys play soccer than teenage girls and what more are you interested in as a teenage boy apart from playing ball and balls playing? At third level in Ireland for every guy that attends university there are two women. The odds are in your favour. It was no surprise that I ended up with a lot of female friends. Some of it was the product of the clubs and societies I ended up in but another aspect was that, at that time, I felt I related to women better than I did men.

Over the past couple of years I’ve had a lot more online friendships and relationships than real life ones. I use the term real life to distinguish between relationships that occur more in the physical world compared to the virtual world. It’s funny but online relationships can become a lot more intense. There’s no chance to observe what’s going on with that person. That’s a big part of friendships in the real world. Virtually all you have to go on a lot of the time is the text that’s appearing in front of you. You can learn a lot in an online friendships but you can still know very little about the person you’re chatting with.

That doesn’t change the reality of these relationships though. You do make friends. You do have private jokes. You do share a lot and despite all the drawbacks you do have genuine friendships. Some of the greatest hurt I’ve ever known came as a result of a genuine, online friendship. Actually, a lot of the hurt I’ve known has come from online friendships. Maybe that should tell me something…

How much should a person’s other friendships change when they enter a relationship? It’s happened to me a few times now where I would chat regularly with a female friend and then they find a guy. It’s as if you never existed. You no longer figure in their life to any meaningful degree. They got their man and nothing else seems to matter. I don’t think this is a healthy state of affairs. It happens both ways. The general label where I’m from is that a man is whipped. I’m not sure what the female equivalent is.

If you find yourself cut out of a person’s life when they enter a relationship what does that say about your friendship? Obviously there are different seasons to life but how come so many of us seem to enter a cold, dark winter the moment someone else enjoys a warm, hot summer? It just seems wrong.

I want…

Originally posted June 2008. Damn but I’m feeling very lonely of late. Interesting to see what has and hasn’t changed from this more recent post

I want someone to pray with. A passionate woman whose love for God far surpasses any love she will ever have for me. I want a woman who challenges my faith and causes me to grow. She will force me to defend why I think what I think and make me a better man because of that. She will love people because God has loved her first. She will have a servant heart and will share her faith willingly even though it won’t need to be shared because it will radiate from her. She will see the Body of Christ reunited living for His Kingdom and His Glory. She will accept nothing less from me than a devotion to God as strong as her own. I want her living for His Glory.

I want someone to dance with. I want a woman who would rather dance than talk with me. I want to move in time to music that is only in our heads on a beach at midnight, beneath still silver moonlight as waves lap gently on the shore. I want to have my hand around her back cusping the side of her breast, as her head nuzzles my chest while our legs flick left and right before slow sliding ochos on the floor in an intricate dance that leads to more. I want someone who dances in worship not caring that people look but happy to be dancing for a smile from up above. I want someone who swings in and out as we lift and shout hey to an audience that looks on with billowing dresses and tilted hats surrounding and clapping as we take our turn to own the floor. I want to spy on her as she dances only for herself in front of a mirror when no-one else is watching. When she moves because she wants to move.

I want someone to run with. I want to see her hair and dress trailing in the wind as I see her footprints flash by in the mud. Her gleeful screams filling the air like a joyful melody. Through woods and fields. Laughing in the Sun. Walking through shoulder high grass and rolling around with kisses and whispers galore. She takes out pencil and paper and begins to draw her bare feet and mine. I recite her favourite poem. The one I know from memory. Her favourite that isn’t written by me. We lie down next to one another and the only sound is content beating hearts as we watch wisps of cloud flit by in an altogether beautiful sky.

I want someone to celebrate with. When I come off the pitch she is there to hug me soaking wet and muddy though I may be. I can be happy for her because I was there from beginning to end. I want to smile when she succeeds. I want to lift her up and spin her around while kissing her when I do well. I want to win and be happy and have someone to jump around with. I want to cry tears of joy with her and wipe them away as I whisper “I knew you could do it.”

I want someone to debate with. I want to see her obstinate face refusing to budge just when I thought I clinched the argument. I want to talk about politics, democracy, theology and philosophy. I want someone who has read books I haven’t and disagrees with me because she has considered her views thoroughly. I want to chat with her and then realise I hadn’t thought of an issue in that light before. I want her mind to be like mine. Open, inquisitive and eager to learn. Never dismissing without reasoned debate. I want a mind that is strong. That has as many useless facts as I do in it.

I want someone to love life with. I want to stand behind her and see the wheels in her head turning as she gazes on a painting. I want to try new food with her. I want to close my eyes as she plays music. I want to be her inspiration as she paints. I want her to take surreptitious photos of me when I’m not looking. I want her to tease me for being a prohibitionist as I tease her for being an alcoholic. I want someone who leans forward when watching a piece of dance she’s interested in.

I want someone to hold me. With her gentle hands, lips and fresh smelling hair. To tell me it’s alright. To know when she should hold me and when she shouldn’t. I want to cradle her in my arms and wipe away her tears. I want to be there for her and save her day. I want to spend a lazy day on the couch with her in my arms as the rain gently hits the window. I want to lie my head on her lap and have silence fill the room because we are both content.

I want someone to tell me to cop myself on. To kick me up the backside when I need it and especially when I don’t want it. To care enough for me that she is cruel to be kind. To tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself and get off my ass and do something about it. To get me to stop thinking and to start doing. To be strong enough for our marriage when I can’t be even if we have to take turns at it.

I want someone beautiful. I want to get lost in her eyes. I want to be talking and trail off because she turned, was caught in sunlight and I was lost for words. I want her eyes to sparkle and twinkle. I want her to give me a smile that no-one else sees. I want my soccer team to ask if she has any sisters. I want to look at her sleeping with a satisfied little smile on her face and wonder why did God give me such a beautiful woman as my wife.

I want someone to make love to. To have her shut the door and make her way towards me. To embrace passionately. To spend an entire day on a seduction that starts the moment she leaves the house. To taste her, to kiss her and to know that the wait was worth it. To wake in the morning with her and call in sick for her. To have only darkness, beating hearts and heavy breathing. To walk through the front door and have her leap onto me as she wraps her legs around my waist and kisses my open mouth with arms clutching my back. To stay in bed an extra five minutes because her scent lingers in the sheets.

I want someone to grow old with. To make fun of young kids at church with. To look after nieces and nephews. To take to my family and make it feel her own with. To have a family with her. To have my Nana tell her the story of how my GranDad seduced her. To argue and fight with and still realise we love each other. To tease her as she goes grey and be teased as I go bald.

I want to give her up to God.

I want to say your plans are enough

And Your love is enough for me but most of all

I will make sure I am good enough for her.

I want to deserve that someone.

Inner Shrink

Forgiveness doesn’t mean what she did to you was alright. It doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to hurt every now and then because of what happened. Travelling across an ocean for love only to discover that she was cheating you before, during and after the trip is bound to leave scars. You’re only human.

Are you over the break-up? Yes, you got over that remarkably quickly but that was because you were honest about what the relationship involved. For you staying friends even if it didn’t work out was still a positive result. In fact the friendship is what you treasured more than anything and that’s what you grieve. That’s what you miss. It’s the way you’re wired. When you truly commit to a friendship you’re all in regardless of what happens. You’re grieving the loss of a friendship like you still grieve the loss of others. Time doesn’t heal wounds. Grieving does. When the grief is done, then you can heal. You don’t give up on people. That’s your problem. You don’t know when to cut loose and you’re a glutton for punishment. Too trusting, too giving, too caring, too open and too honest. Even when it was obviously the right thing to do it still bugs you to have to do it.

Someone who was content to lie to you about matters of fundamental importance such as fidelity in relationships is probably not going to have any major qualms about lying to you concerning the future of the friendship when all has been laid bare. Of all the emotions you felt as a part of this anger made up probably 1% at most if even that. Disappointment, hurt, pain and a throbbing numbness were the cold, blank four walls of the room where you tried to piece back together your heart. It was alright to feel angry if you couldn’t even do it yourself at the time.

Life’s a bitch sometimes. Get used to it. Learn the lessons. You still haven’t. You don’t want to either. You’re afraid to because the risk of getting burnt when you play with fire is better than no warmth at all. There’s a reason adults tell children not to play with fire. Remember that.

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