Disputed Territory

Some time in the past, I once managed to put myself in a position where I was required to interact with several people at once on a daily basis, and I had a bit of a crisis about it. It was very difficult for me to distinguish shades between friend and not-friend. This time it’s about the same, except there are only two people involved, and the things possibly shared are rather more personal. I despise playing games with people and have a tendency to bare nothing or everything. The latter is against all the rules of amorous relationships, and I can see how that can be scary for the other person too.

It’s a novel experience to not stand in the world all by myself. I like it, a lot. It’s very nice to feel that someone thinks I’m worth spending time with, and it’s nice to be able to give something back. Having said that, I’ve spent a long, long time being alone and independent, so it’s equally difficult to get used to sharing my time with another person. Even without talk of commitment, I feel that in such a personal relationship, both have to accept some responsibility of the other – to give some of your selfish independence toward shared time and experiences and to learn and reveal each others’ vulnerabilities so that you may avoid hurting them.

Despite what I wrote above about everything or nothing, I can’t yet even fathom concepts such as… future plans, or the M-word, or, you know. Stuff. The L-word, or, gods forbid, the B-word. Ugh. It’s difficult enough to enjoy the moment with a long row of doubts and what-ifs queuing to present themselves – never mind trying to imagine life a year or two or five years ahead. How do people navigate through all this without getting scarred for life? It’s a mystery.

Commitment is just a word that means ”put together”. The Finnish equivalent (sitoutuminen) is much worse, with connotations of voluntarily tying yourself to something. No wonder it’s a scary thought.

“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” (Katharine Hepburn)


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April 2011
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