It seems strange to me that it has been 11 or 12 years since the email that started this whole nickname of mine, which became part of the name for this blog, was written. Me, being the expert on dating and relationships, who had at that time had a whole two dates and one pseudo-girlfriend ever by his junior year in college, would end up trying to help out a new high school girl how to deal better with her boyfriend of a couple years. Yeah, ironic is the word that came to my mind the entire time I penned that missive.
But one small email blossomed into what I would call my relationship guide to dealing not just with the other half of our species, but in a lesser way, people in general. It set out a list of items that have, in some way, influences my life ever sense. It was a moment where I solidified the little bit I had learned in my 20 years of life.
Yes, it was sparse. Yes, it was naive. Yes, was grossly wrong in some places. Yet, it served me well for many years.
The name itself, Eternal Bachelor, was a subtle jab at my own belief I had anything really to say on how relationships should work. If you know me, you know that outside of friendships, and even including those at times, I’m pretty bad at relationships. I don’t necessarily feel so bad about that given that most everyone else is equally as bad at them. My life has been one long, drawn out, drag down, emotional train wreck. If I could pick someone bad for me, I generally have done so. Even the ones that are really good for me, I find some way to push them away and destroy the relationship in such a way that it is irreparable.
Given that, the majority of that email was about lessons I had learned which I wished no one else, especially myself, to ever repeat. I spent most of those lines rehashing spectacular failures which, unknown to me at the time, I would repeat time and again. Sometimes, no matter what we know, we just seem completely unable to actually follow through on our own advice.
And so the Eternal Bachelor faltered on, failing time and again, up unto this point. I’ve now been in a relationship for 27 months, a record in my life. The crazy woman has now even agreed to marry me. She knows my history, knows how prone to mistakes I am, yet has decided to hang around. Unbelievable. To quote a coworker of mine upon seeing our engagement pics, “Huh, she doesn’t look stupid.”
Droll. Very droll.
Besides comments like those, and the many who responded to the news with the words, “About Damn Time!!!”, I had one really intriguing question… what will I do about my long-held nickname?
Now there’s a question… and one I really don’t have an answer to as of yet. Does it make sense to continue to call myself the ‘Eternal Bachelor’ when my left hand will be adorned with the
first link in the chain… er, a shiny wedding ring? It would seem to be a bit of a lie to call myself by that name when I am married.
The other side of the argument is a bit less straight forward… ponder if you will why I started using the name, to poke subtle fun at myself for being a relationship retard. Yes, some of that has changed, but ask my fiance and you’re realize that most of it really hasn’t. In many ways, I’ll always be a bachelor when it comes to relationships. Again, I think most of us will be.
A bachelor is one who, despite being surrounded by people, many of whom deeply care about his welfare, still feels disenfranchised, set apart from those who really want the best for him. He looks around and sees all these people who are seemingly so very happy, and then looks at his own solo existence and wonders, “why can’t I have that?”
I really don’t think marriage will really change that for me. Yes, I will have an amazingly wonderful woman by my side. Yes, I will have someone to wake up to on most mornings that will, on most mornings, have a smile to return the one that will, on most mornings, be on my face. Yes, I will have a partner for the rest of my life.
Yet, there will be strains in our relationship. We will argue. We will be petty. We will annoy the ever-living snot out of one another. We will both, in our own ways, be 'bachelors’. Marriage doesn’t remove obstacles in life, only changes where the obstacles are placed. Instead of beer cans strewn about the floor of the house, waiting to trip unwary feet in need of a little late night relief, it will be high-heeled shoes. Instead of an empty refrigerator being the initiation for a trip to the store, it will be the pregnancy cravings of a hormone deranged woman living under the same roof (figuratively of course as this will NOT be wedding out of necessity).
And so, even though the eternal bachelor may be changing his situation, he is in most ways still the same person. Marriage will not change him as much as will the simple fact that life does move on at a rapid pace, never slowing for those who cannot seem to keep up.
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