Sunday, June 5, 2011

What choice have?


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Who would purposely decide to live his or her life alone without someone special to share it with? Well, sometimes due to the choices that we have made as we travel through this thing called life, you might feel as if it is your best option. But is it?

If you believe the story of how God made Adam and then Eve. It talks about how God didn't believe for man to be alone so God made Eve from a rib out of Adam. This way she would be a piece of him. Making a bond that held them together.

Jennifer Lopez's new CD is entitled "Love?" When she was asked why, one of the things that she said was love is the one thing we all need and can't live without. She also said "Love is the answer but it's also a question."

This reminded me of a conversation I had with a man a while ago and for this story I will call him Samuel. Samuel is in his mid 40s. Due to a choice that he made in a past relationship, he is now faced with the choice of living his life alone.

Let's back up a little. You see when Samuel was in his early twenties the thought of getting married was never in his life a plan. Don't get him wrong, he loves and in his own way, respected women. So much so that he could never make up his mind on just one. When I asked him what characteristics he found so beautiful about women he replied that he could find beauty in all women. Whether on the inside or outside, but hopefully both. Oh, now, he had a vision of how his ideal woman would look like but never believed their paths would ever cross.

Samuel is a nice looking man so meeting women was not one of his problems. But he was different than what you might think. You see, Samuel only has had a physical relationship with women he really connected with. Women he thought were his Eve. One-night stands or friends with benefits are not his thing. He said he could count on one hand how many women he has slept with, with the number barely getting into double digits.

Well, the reason why Samuel called was because he had just found out that he contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD) from his last girlfriend. That relationship ended about 11 months ago. He has been talking with his new interest for about four months now. Because of both of their busy schedules, they have not been physical. Plus they really wanted to get to know each other better. When he thought about it, he was sure glad that they hadn't. But now he must tell her about it and was very worried on how she would take it. In his mind he already knew that this would put an end to their relationship moving forward or to another level. Sure enough, once he told her she dropped him like a hot potato.

Samuel wonder if this what would happen each time he told someone he was interested in about his condition. He really didn't what to go through that again. He spent a lot of his time thinking about living the rest of his life alone. Skip the embarrassment, the humiliation, and the trouble and just go it alone. Samuel said "that's it, I'm not going to put myself out there like that again". He was convince being by himself was the way to go. "It can't be that hard". "Women do it all the time".

The bomb really hit while attending a black tie function a little over a week later of being dumped. In walks the woman he has had a vision of his whole life. She had the hair that he dreamed she would have, the skin tone, the beautiful face, breast size, waist size, butt size and legs. She was even in the height range that he wanted. A very exotic looking woman. From her outside appearance, she was as perfect as he ever hope for.

Thinking that he had no chance of building a lasting relationship with her, he tried to just not pay any attention to her the whole evening. But he even caught her checking him out a few times. As the event was coming to an end, he felt compelled to at least meet her. So he went over to introduce himself. He figured he was just going over to give his name and tell her just how beautiful he thought she was and then leave. Well, that didn't work out the way he saw it. After the introductions, he was about to leave but she asked him to set and join her and her girlfriend at their table. To protect her identity we will call her Isabella.

As they begin to talk he found Isabella to be even just as beautiful on the inside. He came to find out that she wanted to get into the field that he was in. In short, she has a passion for helping others as much as he did.

They talked for almost an hour. As he was about to leave without asking for her number, Isabella asks him if he had a business card. Samuel gave her his card but trying to keep it on a business level, he also gave it to her girlfriend. She mentioned that she would really like to continue to talk with him and get advice from him on how to best get started.

Samuel was happy to meet the woman of his dreams but it was truly bitter sweet. Yes, he found her attractive, both on the outside and inside, but he had no desire to tell this woman that he had an STD. A disease that is manageable but not curable and he doesn't what to give it to anyone else. Especially to the woman he has hoped to meet all his adult life but never thought it would ever happen.

Since Samuel had already decided to live out the rest of his life without the love that Jennifer Lopez and many others believe we all need. The companionship that he so desire. The Eve for him if you will. He wondered if he had made that decision too hastily? But does he really want to take a chance and tell her about his condition and have her leave him anyway? This is not something you just come out and say. This is not something you add into your introduction. It is not something that you would want everyone to know. If he tells Isabella, he has to worry about who she will tell.

So he asks me, when do I tell a person that I'm interested in about my condition? Do I wait a day, a week, a month or more? Do I wait until we start to get or talk about being intimate? When is the right time? If he waits too long, he fears she will be upset because she has wasted so much of her time. She could possibly be thinking that this is a man she can build her future with.

Heknows he has to make a choice but is not sure what that choice will be. He understands that the one choice he does not have is deciding for her to exposing her to the disease. He knows telling her is the ethical and morale thing to do.

One of the suggestions I gave him was to first see what direction their conversations went. She might have just been really interested in knowing how to get into her desired field. She might not be interested in him the way that he thinks and yes, hopes. She just might want to keep it strictly a friendship. Once that has been determined the rest will reveal itself. If their conversations sound like they both would like more than a friendship, he could get on the subject of STD's and see how she feels about it.

So what choices does Samuel have? Here are some suggestion I gave him.

Before telling her about the STD you need to learn as much as you can about it. This way you can answer most of the questions she may have. Know how it can be transmitted and the ways that it can't.
As scary as it may sound, he needs to set up a time to have a face-to-face conversation with her. Try to do it when there are no interruption and or distractions.
Go over just how you are going to tell her. Stay calm will help her to be calm. Since the two of you have not had a physical relationship being calm should not be a problem.
Do not expect an answer about the relationship going forward right off. Be prepared to give her time to digest the news, time to figure out just how she feels about the two of you moving forward and time to get answers to any unanswered questions she may have.
And finally, be prepared for it not going the way that you would like for it to.

I also told Samuel that even though it feels like it right now, this is not the end of the world. James Baldwin might have put it best when he said, "Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced." His situation does not mean that he has to his life alone. He just needs to wait on the right one. His Eve.

Helen Keller once said, "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."

Have you ever found yourself or someone you know in a situation similar to Samuel? If it was you, how do you think you would handle it? Would you constipate living your life alone? Would you feel comfortable telling someone that you had an STD? Just how would you handle it?

I caught up with Samuel about a couple of weeks ago. He was smiling from ear to ear. He was so happy because him and Isabella where dating now. He told her about his condition and they have taken the necessary precautions and had conversations with her doctor about it. After informing her of his condition, she told him that when she saw him for the first time, she knew that this was going to be the man that she spends the rest of her life with. It did take her back a minute but she was real thankful that he was brave enough, cared enough about her, and trusted her enough to tell her. He said that he must have been out of his mind to think that living his life alone was his best and only option.

I told him about that old saying; there is someone for everyone. Whatever situation you may be in your Eve or Adam is out there. When the time is right, you will find him/her.

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