October 07, 2002

The Disclaimer Part 2

Back in June I wrote a post regarding the infamous dating disclaimer. My stand was that people should not commence every relationship with "I'm not looking for anything serious" just so that after 3 months of acting like a couple, they can bail and say that you were forewarned. Just admit that you've realized you're not compatible, and bow out. If it were that easy. Bringing egos into the mix reduces everything to a battle of self protection and rejection control. The post was written from a twinge of anger because a good friend was hurting. Now I have even more thoughts on the subject. I still think that the people who use this line to make getting out of the relationship easier are cowards, but I have realized that there are very valid reasons for being upfront with people and setting a boundary. Sometimes we have just gotten out of a relationship and are not whole yet to begin again. Perhaps one is working on internal issues, to make themselves a better person for a relationship. One might be in the progress of moving out of the country. BUT, just because the boundary has been set, doesn't mean you can set a boundary on your heart.
So a friend of mine has just fallen for a girl who is moving to Brazil in four months. What's a boy to do? I don't know! He is the biggest kid at heart I know, in the best possible way. He's thirty-four, ridiculously creative and funny, much integrity, and he wants someone special in his life. Does he continue to follow his heart, and enjoy her company for as long as he can, creating happy memories that he can look back on fondly? Nothing lasts forever anyway, right? These two really, really get along. She makes him laugh, she's a very caring woman, and there's certainly chemistry. How can he get to know her for the next four months, and not have his heart hope that she will change her mind and not go, or perhaps invite him on her journey. And who's to say that couldn't happen? How can he take it day by day, and try to keep her leaving in the back of his mind, when each day she's sharing trip planing details. Should he explain that her departure would create too much heartbreak and end it now? Should he invest his time and heart one someone he knows will not be around for very long, keeping him from meeting someone who could potentially be a keeper? Or does he take a risk?
I've tried putting myself in his shoes to give him fair advice. I would more than likely take the risk. If I like this person as much as I've liked a few men in the past, I'd go for it. Of course the idealist in me would go off on daydreams of him asking me to run away with him, but the realist in me would warn my friends of a potential break-down, and keep in mind that we grow and learn from pain.
Any thoughts?

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