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California Lovers or 'We Just Don't Want to Get Close if There is Any Way to Avoid It!'

Jan 13, 2008
Jasmine is a friend of ours we have known for many years. When we first met her in San Francisco she seemed to go through boyfriends at the rate of at least several a year. Sometimes she would even recycle the old ones back around.

We kept hoping that someday she would meet Mr. Right and the musical chair boyfriend game she was playing would stop. She would find her 'true love' and settle down so to speak. Maybe have a kid. As the years went by the boyfriend exchange rate slowed down and she eventually settled on one guy that would come over once a week. That's it.

In time I came to realize that Jasmine really didn't want to find true love and settle down. Maybe she was just too in love with herself to share with others. Since she flitted from guy to guy she never really had a family or 'settled down'. In hindsight it looks as though she really didn't want to.

James is a rather typical male. He was married once and even had a child. A good looking guy, he has no trouble getting a new girlfriend every month. Sometimes two a month. He used to brag about how I was missing out. But it wasn't me. Turns out it wasn't him either. He got even more messed up by trying to constantly put on a game face. But the truth, he admitted, was that he just couldn't stomach the commitment and responsibility anymore. Been there, done that. He would rather be alone than responsible.

In California folks like Jasmine and James are everywhere. These types of single adults find being by themselves more rewarding than being with someone they don't like and even in some cases with someone they do like. One thing they all have in common: at one point in their lives they lived with someone they just did not like.

If one's expectations are too high, then disappointment is sure to follow. If you think the right person will cure all your ills and solve all your problems, then think again. It just doesn't happen like that.

What happens, on perhaps increasingly fewer occasions, is that two people fall in love and don't have unrealistic expectations of each other. It sounds paradoxical but if you expect less somehow it seems like more. Sure a mate is a form of responsibility. Mates generally tend to look out for and care for each other. Real mates are concerned about their mates first.

But there seems to be some sort of delicate balance between expectation and reality and sometimes the two sides can drift very far apart. A good example is the notion that the right mate will solve everything.

What to do? For many it's a date and scheduled sex at a prearranged hour each week. Do the obligatory meal and love making and kiss each other goodbye until next week. There is no shared financial responsibility, no kids and no commitment. No responsibility. No problems.

Almost. One problem is folks like Jasmine and James find themselves less desirable as they age. For this reason Jasmine is taking some kind of hormone youth therapy and James dyes his hair a really obvious, sickly coal black.

Go figure. The idea that a real person could love you and age with you and not panic when you get older is called true love. I'm not sure what is best to call the new 'no responsibilities love' but it's definitely not true and my suspicion, while trying to be halfway non-judgmental, is that it is not love either.

True is taking care of someone when they are sick. True is standing by your mate when they make a mistake. True is putting the children first because they are your children. Together.

And so on. I don't know how they do it. How they maintain some sort of romantic relationship seeing their sweetheart once a week or so. And having a prearranged agenda that is discussed and agreed upon. Everything is planned down to the lackluster good night kiss. Or maybe it's exciting...what do I know? Well, you can have it.

Jasmine and James are right in one sense though; why bother. I would rather sit by myself than pretend I have a girlfriend when I can only see her once a week because we are afraid we will get on each other's nerves. Or something like that.

May as well get a dog...better company. And definitely makes more sense...
About the Author
Jack D. Deal has a full time wife and no dog. He is the owner of Deal Business Consulting and can be contacted at jddeal@jddeal.com. Related articles may be found at http://www.jddeal.com and http://www.freeandinquiringmind.typepad.com
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