On Relationships – and why I refuse to start one.

I just came across a piece of commentary on Facebook that was so incredibly well-put as to why people are and remain single that I have to 1. share it, and 2. sound off on it.

Michael Baisden Commentary: Relationships: Do We Really Know What We’re Getting Into?

Recently, I shared with my listeners that I am single. In that Facebook post I stated, “I’m not at a point in my life where I am ready to share my hectic life and ever changing schedule with another person. To have a successful relationship you must be willing to make that special person a priority. Right now my career is my priority.”

The response was a reflection of how difficult it can be for people to accept honesty. Some women accused me of being afraid of commitment and making excuses for not settling down. Others said I was being selfish because I was not sharing my success. And the most humorous of all was that I’m gay. Excuse me for a second while I slap myself on the forehead…. unbelievable!!!!

So, let me get this right, if a man or woman chooses not to be in a committed relationship or get married they are either irresponsible, selfish, or gay…really? I’m going to say this loud and clear and don’t ever forget it, a relationship is a HUGE responsibility! It’s an investment of time, money, energy, emotions, and you must be accountable for your comings and goings. And that’s just the beginning.

You must also be willing to compromise and put someone else’s needs before your own. You must be willing to accept everything about them from their children to their financial situation, their habits, issues with their health, and put up with their friends and family.

But here’s the most important reality about relationships, you will be impacted by every issue your partner has experienced from birth until the day they met you, whether it’s abandonment issues, baggage from previous relationships, abuse, diseases, and bad credit.

You don’t get to pick and choose which parts of the person to love…it’s all or nothing! Relationship by definition means to connect to another human being. That means connecting to your partner’s dreams and aspirations but also to their unresolved issues.

As you mature you learn what you want, but most importantly, what you don’t want! Right now I don’t want that responsibility, not because of selfishness or fear…but because I’ve learned to take the RESPONSE-ABILITY of being in a relationship more seriously. And at this point in my life, I’m not ABLE to RESPOND to another person’s needs! Some of you can related because of your focus on your education, your children, your career, sick parents, etc.

Relationships require a lot of time and energy, especially as people become more attached, and they will…it’s only natural. No matter what people tell you about being cool with you having your space or seeing other people, once sex is added into the equation all bets are off. Next thing you know the expectations and possessiveness begins and the understanding you thought you had goes right out the window. That goes for men as well as women.

My reason for writing this article is in the hopes that you will think twice before crossing the line from friendship to intimacy and intimacy to marriage. Relationships are more than having sex, going out to dinner, and holding hands strolling down the street, you’re merging lives…not just kickin’ it!

But if you’re mature and “RESPONSE-ABLE” enough to go down that road, I wish you the best. The right relationship can be fulfilling and take your life to a higher level. Just be honest with yourself about whether or not you’re ready! This is not a game; you’re messing with another person’s life! Many of us had to learn this lesson the hard way… hopefully you won’t have to.

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This is a perfect explanation of why some people remain single. Myself included.

I’ve not been in a relationship for years. My divorce has little to do with it at this point in time, and my life has everything to do with it. In case you’ve not noticed, I am extremely busy in my day-to-day life. I work 9-10 hours a day at my day job. I’m attending class, albeit online. I write books. I photograph, and travel for it. I design. And, as time is going on, I’m also taking over the responsibilities for caring for my apartment, and taking care of my mom more and more too. I barely see my friends. I have no idea how anyone expects me to carve out time for dating.

I’ve been told already that oh, you’ll meet your Prince Charming, and blah blah blah. Really? You still believe in fairy tales? Nice. I haven’t believed in fairy tales since I was a child. And being an adult, I have a hell of a lot of responsibility that doesn’t leave time for the Prince Charmings, or anyone who thinks they’re one. I don’t have money that would allow me to relax, breathe, and get a little more comfortable, and maybe consider bringing someone into my life. I have to take care of myself, my mom, and my home. That occupies everything I do at the present point. And can I really, reasonably bring someone into this kind of a life? If I ever get it into my head that I can handle a relationship, I want something to offer that person. Something that’s more than me being behind a computer trying to hustle out an extra couple of hundreds to keep my phone bill paid up, or running off to another city to photograph something or other.

I refuse to start a half-assed relationship where I can contribute neither time nor patience nor effort to the other person. It’s just dishonest to them. They will never be a priority in my life if I’m focusing that hard on other priorities. No man is ever going to be okay with taking second place, and I am not okay with having my own life take second place to a relationship. Been there, done that, and found out the hard way that it’s just not worth it.

Does that make me selfish? Possibly, and if it does, then I’ll own the label with pride. I’m selfish. I actually want to take care of myself and make sure I have a decent life before I consider bringing someone else in it. I actually want to get what I want before I have someone else sharing it. Know what else it makes me? A very harsh realist. Remember, there’s no shortage of casual sex if all you want is to get your rocks off, but if you are thinking about actually bringing another person into your life on a more regular basis and investing in them emotionally, then think before you go there. Think very, very carefully about whether or not you can, realistically, take on the responsibilities of being in a relationship with another person, and taking care of your own needs and theirs at the same time.

I’ve done that analysis, more than once, and each time has been a no. And while it’s a no, I’ll continue to take care of myself and mine.

K.G.

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