If you’re a man like me, you’ve known this woman. You’ve bought her drinks at the bar, she’s sat across the table from you on dates, and she’s laid next to you in bed. She’s been a lover, a significant other, a friend with benefits. She’s perfect, possessed with everything you might ever desire in a long term partner and potential wife. If you’re a man like me, at some point in your life you’ve been with a woman who you could have married but did not. As men, sometimes we need to sit back and reflect on the women we’ve known and why these relationships with seemingly perfect people didn’t work out.
We fell apart, the bond was broken, should’ve kept our thoughts between ourselves. And though they say they cared, they didn’t help. Makes me wonder, should we blame ourselves?
One of the most unpredictable aspects of love is chemistry. We love to think that when two perfect people get together, the perfect relationship is inevitable. Unfortunately, love often has other ideas. No amount of individual perfection can overshadow bad chemistry; sometimes two souls can’t help but repel each other. On paper it made sense, to all of your friends it made sense, but when faced with the prospect of spending forever with this seemingly perfect woman, you knew it wouldn’t work. No matter how hard you tried you were never going to be able to develop an emotional attachment strong enough to pass the test of time.
What makes these situations difficult is that as men, we often attach a greater value to chemistry than do women. For us, chemistry is near the top of the list of things we expect out of long term mates. No matter how ambitious and intelligent she is, no matter how loving she is, no matter how beautiful she is, if we don’t click, we won’t consider spending forever with her. We may loiter in her life for a while, but when it comes down to it, we know we’ll never commit long term. Women, it seems, are different. For a great many women, bad chemistry doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. It’s something that can be worked around if everything else is securely in place.
Lyric: Jason, I am trying to love you, but I don’t want my heart broken. But that’s exactly what you’re gonna do if you keep trying to save a brother that don’t want to be saved!
In order for any situation to work there must be an alignment of two people at the right time and the right place. The right place does not necessarily mean physically, but more often than not, it means mentally. Women are likely to drop everything they are doing and make the relationship work. They may have dreams of greatness but they set aside their goals for their men when they are under the impression that they’ve found a lifetime companion.
For men, life’s responsibilities almost always supersede relationships. We sometimes prioritize things differently than women, and are rarely thrown off. As men, we have plans and we plan on seeing them through. And isn’t that what’s attractive about the choice picks of our gender, the ability to both conceptualize and execute? It’s never crossed my mind that perhaps I’m letting my present situation affect my future happiness. I’m always convinced that when I’m ready, I’ll be able to find the right woman. I do not know if most women think this way. From my perspective, it seems like the ladies are way more willing to set aside personal goals and personal ambition if they’ve found a man they deem worthy of such sacrifice.
“Know when to leave when the heat is coming, I learned that. This is where DeNiro would be if he ain’t turn back.”
In Michael Mann’s classic caper flick Heat, Robert DeNiro’s character is a pursued bank robber with but two more steps to take to reach freedom. Instead of waking away, he decides to turn back to go after his love. It doesn’t end well, hence the above referenced Jay-Z lyric. As strange as it might sound, the willingness to walkaway from a bad situation, no matter the consequences, is not only applicable to career criminals, but also to two individuals in love. I have friends who’ve had on again off again relationships with women they’ve known since college. In their minds, when they finally decide to settle down, she’ll be the one they settle down with. The problem is while we may have ideas around the how of when we’ll settle down with these women, we rarely consider their plans. We just expect our women to understand and to go along with us as if there’s some tacit agreement. We figure we’ll be ready to settle sometime between 30 and 35. Never mind the fact that she’d always dreamed of being married by 25.
This is where the willingness to walk away becomes paramount. If we’ve both communicated our plans, and neither of us are willing to compromise or budge, we both need to be willing to walk away – no matter how perfect for each other we might be and no matter how much love might exist between the two of us. You never know, sometimes one individual showing they have the will to step back from a situation that isn’t to their long term benefit can inspire the other to meet halfway and make the relationship work.
Most, if not, all of my relationships are birthed out of the thought that something substantial could come of them. It may not have been marriage, because not every relationship must end in marriage. But no matter how perfect the relationship could have been and no matter how difficult the break up, there’s always something to be learned. As men, we reserve the right to not marry a woman, or give her the relationship she desires, if we know it’s not sustainable. That’s the hardest part about being a decent man and it’s also the hardest thing to accept for women who have everything to offer. They did everything right and ended up with nothing. Sometimes, that’s the way love goes.
Have you ever had the perfect relationship fail because of chemistry, bad timing or your unwillingness to walk away? What happened when perfection failed?