The Price of LongingCategory: General   Jan 18th 2016  10:18AM   0

I don't have much of a personal romantic life. And by "much" I mean any. It's something I've learned to live with, although it's not something I will (or should) ever get used to. It is what it is. It's also one of the main reasons for my not-too-distant future retirement.

I lack romantic intimacy because I don't pursue it. I don't pursue it is because I can't if I'm to keep my sanity as a companion. 

For someone like me, who's been single and alone for 20 of the past 21 years (and 80% of my adult life) it's fair to say I'm not unfamiliar with frustration, loneliness, and unfulfilled longing. My sex drive for 25 years was as high as an 18 year old hormone crazed man-boy. Being also highly discerning (picky), it went mostly unfulfilled, resulting in long-term, agonizing, daily frustration, particularly through my 30s. That decade was the loneliest of my life. Nothing short of crippled by the weight of my longing, it was a god-awful nightmare at times. Thankfully, things improved around age 40. I am still single, just smarter about managing it. 

In my work I provide a genuine, if structured/controlled form of intimacy. I'm extremely emotionally generous with my clients, who (like me) are no strangers to frustration, loneliness, and longing. It brings me great joy to ease those burdens for them. In exchange I'm provided ease and relief through financial compensation for my time and energy. I do not, however, get my longings alleviated through my work. If my clients were able to satisfy my truest deepest romantic passion, they'd be boyfriends, not clients. They know this. That's how it works. Less an exchange of energy, than energy for security. It's beautiful in its way, but not everything I need to be complete.

So, what do I do about my longing? Well, I'm a grownup, so I manage my emotions and urges. I tuck my longings away in a secure inner box that resides deep within my gut (I imagine it's near my solar plexus, but who knows ... I'm not a chakra expert, just an emotional compartmentalization expert.) When the time is right, meaning when I meet a compatible romantic partner, it'll come off that shelf and get opened up. The reason I don't date is because dating entails providing access to that precious box. When men come along, lift the lid, and start stirring things up in there, well ... it rarely works out well for me. What happens is that my longing is no longer safely tucked away on hold or lockdown. It's escapes and envelopes me, residing on the surface of my skin, crackling, alive, hungry, and distracting as hell. In time it can make me resentful. 

To be able to give my clients what they need, as generously as I do and with the kind of joy I've had till now, I cannot be weighed down by resentment and distraction for this one vital thing missing in my life. My income has made the sacrifice worth it to me for 5-6 years now. But my needs are changing and shifting as we speak. I'm not yet diving into the traditional dating scene, and won't fully open up to it until I meet someone I think might stick around. Someone prepared to do more than simply stir up my longing and then bail. 

The problem is, that box in my gut is damn near full. It's bursting at the seams and I'm not sure how long it can be contained. I expect to retire this year or next, and would like to go out with a bang (so to speak). I suspect I might, I just hope it's the right kind and with the right man. Meanwhile, I met a potential benefactor-patron recently, then life got in the way, a minor tragedy struck and we're in limbo, at best. I'm terribly disappointed, as our rapport and compatibility in this vein was off the charts. I might've given up most or all my other patrons for him, but what can I do? That's the nature of this business.

Come to think of it, it's not much different than the nature of dating. Risk, uncertainty and disproportionate fulfillment are everywhere. They're rampant, methinks. It's a jungle out there and in here. Not exactly encouraging, but it keeps things interesting, eh?


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