Friday, September 19, 2008

On Love

One of the most difficult things that I have had to face since I started this journey has been the realization that, at least for the foreseeable future, I cannot be in love. I just can’t. I'm in a place in my life where being in love would be selfish, impractical, and, dare I say, decidedly confusing.

You see, my dear reader, I, like you, long for the security of comfortable silences. I yearn to feel the familiar warmth of someone's body next to my pillow. Most of all, I crave a certain indescribable connection of body, mind and spirit with someone who instinctively understands me. Ultimately, I want to be able to tell myself: "Jack, this woman was made for you. And you were made for her. Now live your life together simply, justly, and happily."

As much as I may want love I have no choice but to push it aside. There are just too many things in the way.


The hard truth is that I've been so independent for so long that I just don't think I even remember how to be a good partner. There have been way too many late nights at bars, too many parties, too many women to count. Temptation, of all stripes, has been my friend for so long that, at times, it feels as if it is the only thing I know.

Only recently have I started to work my way out of this maze. And there is the rub. I just don’t know how long it will take me to get out. About the only thing I know is that I will occasionally stumble along the way. And that is not a good foundation for love.


The reality is that I just don’t know where I will end up next year. I have a couple of ideas floating around in my head, biding their time until the practicalities of the Plan are resolved. But I just don’t see how I can get close to anyone when I don’t even know where this journey will be taking me.


Embracing simplicity can fundamentally rearrange the contours of the dating world. At least for me. I can just picture my profile:

“Hi, my name is Jack. I’m an ivy-league educated lawyer working at a big time law firm here in DC. I earn a great salary and live in a fantastic townhouse. I enjoy traveling, wine, and gourmet food. In fact, I’ve been to most of the best restaurants in DC and NYC. And let’s not forget that I’ve traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa, North and South America. Believe me, if you take me home to meet your parents they are going to LOVE me. They are going to take one look at me and they will see a multimillion dollar house in the suburbs, 2.3 grandkids, a couple of Mercedes, several trust funds, etc…

But just so you know, over the next year or so I plan on (1) getting rid of my possessions; (2) getting rid of my townhouse; (3) quitting my very lucrative job; and (4) embracing a simple life. I hope to hear from you soon.”

My journey thus far has been an exhilarating, at times painful, mostly joyful experience. In the end, I just hope that this process can add meaning to my life and that it brings me the clarity and the certainty to love someone simply and completely. We shall see.

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