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Changing my relationship status on Facebook gave me goosebumps. April 30, 2012

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I continue to be unable to force this. It has to happen organically, free of pressure. But, for the first time in four years, I am officially spoken for, and I want to try to write about what that feels like.

I have never done this before. It would be silly and inaccurate for me to sit here and write as if I have all of the answers, because I don’t. I have not been in a relationship before in which you are not able to see your significant other every day, if you wish. Or hug them every day, or kiss them every day. This is uncharted terrain. An alien landscape.

Thinking about this, and about her, is so amazing to me. You really never do know what direction life’s winds will move you in. Hither, thither and yon, indeed. Just a few months ago, I could have in no way visualized this or seen it coming.

Usually, however, the simple, beautiful truth is that we just don’t get to tell our heart who or what it wants. And I’m pretty sure that I’m glad of that. I’m glad that the feelings are bigger than that, bigger than our whims.

I am glad that we somehow managed to find one another again, after so many years. I am glad that I get the opportunity to do everything I can to make her happy, and I am bound and determined to not screw it up.

This is active, not passive.
This is not clairvoyance.
This is the weathering of storms together.
This is reverence.
This is not insignificant.
This is the unholy alliance of ecstasy and torture.
This is worth it. She is worth it. All of the pain brought on by separation and distance. Because, my dear, we are bigger than that. I’m in this with you, all the way, as long as you’ll have me.

An outcry. March 7, 2011

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Dear Soulmate,

Please, come save me. Just come take me away. You are everything wonderful and pure and warm and beautiful, and I want to be with you and you alone.

Love without limits,
Jordan

Hi. I’ve missed you. July 17, 2010

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It’s been a while. If you’re reading this and that matters to you, I apologize. I can only say that I can’t force this. I’ve never been able to, and that has never been what this blog is about for me. What it was started as, over two years ago now (whoa) – and what it remains, today – is a safe haven for my head and for my heart. A place that my thoughts can go to and feel unafraid.

Right now, I’m in my room. Sitting on the edge of the bed, door cracked, light off. The only light is coming from my phone’s screen, which I am typing this out on.

At this point, I think I’ve decided that there are three different parts of attraction that draw us to one another. The first part is the least discriminatory. It is that instinctual, primal, sexual desire we all possess to be touched, held, caressed, kissed, and wanted. It’s been bred into us for hundreds of generations, and it’s always there, in varying degrees. The second part is pure physical attraction. To be in lust, not in love. To see someone and to not have your first thought be “I wonder if he/she is having a pleasant day?”, or “I would love to take him/her out to dinner sometime!”, but “MMMMM – I wanna be all OVER that.” It’s, in some respects, quite similar to part one, just more focused, more defined, more acute, and aimed at a specific person. Now, part three. Part three is the only part out of the three that love can germinate out of. It is real, foundational emotional attraction – the sort that keeps you up at night, just wanting to be with him/her, or hear what’s on their mind, or make sure they’re ok.

Here’s what I think I have discovered. Actually, wait … discovered is a bad word. Confirmed is better. I’ve been fairly sure of the essential nature of Part Three to me in order for me to be able to let myself be involved with someone, but, recently, that has been … yeah, confirmed. If the three parts were each a different scent of cologne, then there is a massive, bottomless bottle of Eau De Part Three in my heart that scents out into me with every heartbeat. I am permeated with it, and with my desire and hope for it, and I don’t think there’s any changing that. I’m bound to this, forever and ever. I’m in lockstep with it.

Don’t get me wrong – it SUCKS, sometimes. It can be horrid. I mean – what I’m sort of doing is telling my millennia-old physical instincts “NO”. How could that *not* mess with my head, you know? It wrecks me, sometimes – trying to reconcile everything. And, at this point, I figure that I have to be cognizant of the possibility that all of this – all of me – is just as likely to hold potential partners away as it is to draw them in. It might be years before I can be in another relationship. How could THAT not mess with my head? The idea that my hope is so strong that it might actually be prohibitive? It’s terrifying, but it’s possible.

I don’t know what the curtain call is anymore. I don’t know what my endgame is. All I know to say is the following paragraph – it’s also on my Facebook page.

Those that I most identify with and those that do my soul the most good are the romantics, the dreamers, the freethinkers, the tender, the hope-bringers, the care givers, the peace-spreaders, the fire-hearted, and those who keep warm in a cold world by inhaling hate and exhaling love. You all are the single biggest reason that my feet stay on the ground, my eyes keep opening, and my heart keeps beating. I stand in unshakeable solidarity with you, directly in the face of the outside world, always and forever.

I miss you. So much. December 17, 2009

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Dear Soulmate,

I miss you.

That, in and of itself, is nothing new, but lately? I seem to miss you more and more each day. I’m not even sure how that works, exactly – after all, how can you miss someone that you’ve yet to know? I don’t know, but that is how I feel. There are some days when, for lack of a better way to explain it, I just feel like I’m fading. Like everything is slowly, inexorably moving away. The only thing that can bring it all back – the only recourse I really have – is thinking of you.

You keep me breathing, laughing, loving, hoping, wishing, dreaming, thinking, feeling, crying, singing, listening, and living.

I have so much to give, share, and express – so much passion, intensity, feeling, and, most of all, love. Honestly, it scares me. It terrifies me, possessing all of that and not yet being able to share it with you.

I have written to you before that I will wait for you as long as I have to, and I mean that every bit as much now as I always have and always will.

I can’t imagine what we will be like together, and I can not wait to see what it is that we will create. I want us to create something – to refer to it merely as a “relationship” is so superlatively understated as to be absurd – so strong, pure, powerful, dark, light, sexy, beautiful, unwavering, and all-encompassing  that it defies further description. I just want YOU! I require nothing else! I do not WANT anything else! How could I? How could I ever look past you? How could I ever – for even one second – not have you in the very center of my thoughts, wishes, and dreams? Even considering that is repugnant to me! I would rather not live at all than live like that!

It’s now nearly five a.m. It’s taken me hours to even write this. My angel, I would give everything I have – in a heartbeat, without a second thought – if that meant being able to go to sleep tonight by your side, holding you against me, my fingers in your hair, my palm on your cheek, and my heart yours.

Missing and awaiting you tonight more than ever,

Jordan

So, Fromm and I were discussing love recently… November 30, 2009

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I was reading Erich Fromm’s “The Art Of Loving” the other day, and there was a particular point he hit upon that really made sense to me and got me thinking. Basically, what he said went like this. Whenever people start thinking about love, or about relationships and why they might not be involved in one, a mistake that a lot of them make is think that the problem lies not within themselves, but with who they know. In other words, a lot of people, in an effort to make themselves feel better – and because we all carry some amount of self-bias – convince themselves that they’re not really where the problem lies. The problem is that they just haven’t found the right person to love, they tell themselves. While this can hold some situational merit, a lot of the time it’s not entirely true. Fromm made what I thought was a brilliant comparison – he said that a person thinking that way would be like a novice painter wrestling with why he isn’t a master of his craft yet, and then convincing himself that the problem lies not with his own lack of skill, but with the dilemma of his simply not having found the right object to paint yet! If he could only find the right object, or muse, or inspiration – why, he wouldn’t need to work on improving himself! He would just know! That, Fromm says, is what people essentially do with respect to love. They tell themselves that they just need to find that right person, and then everything else will fall into place without extra effort. On the contrary, though, Fromm argued that love is an art form that can (and needs to be) worked on for the sake of improvement, just as any other form of art can be. Sure, your situation and environment can play a part, but the biggest thing is YOU.

That has really stuck with me. I can be BETTER, and I try, continually, as sincerely as I can, to be better. We all can, and we all need to. I mean, just look around – the world needs us. Our culture isn’t about lifting each other up anymore. It’s about tearing each other down. We should all be investing as much as possible into being part of the solution to that problem, not the perpetuation of it.

Love.

A train of thought. Want to jump on? November 24, 2009

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Here’s a train of thought that I’ve kind of been mentally kicking around a lot recently. My housemates (a husband and wife who I’m extremely close with – we’ve all known each other for years) and I were talking about relationships (of the romantic variety, of course – as if you’re surprised), and about the reasons people remain involved in one as opposed to ending it. I think that the apathy often exhibited – whether or not it’s done intentionally – towards the whole thing is frightening. Here, then, is the main idea, the main thought, that really resonates with me and that I wish was more widely understood:

People need to judge their relationships based on the presence of what is great, not the absence of what isn’t great.

Let me attempt to explain. It’s far too easy – and far too common, unfortunately – to just set your relationship standard really, really low. Doing that makes it all too easy to lull yourself into a false sense of satisfaction, because, hey, your relationship is pretty much guaranteed to be a success! Going by that messed-up evaluation, anyway. It’s going far beyond the lowest common denominator – what I’m talking about is when people measure themselves against nearly the lowest POSSIBLE denominator. It’s such a cop-out – “Well, we haven’t yelled at each other today, no one threw any pancakes out of anger at breakfast this morning, and we don’t really MIND each other – yeah, we’re all good! Why not, right? I like the company, we have some fun … what’s so bad about it?” Just … no. NO. That’s the COMPLETELY wrong lens to look through. I mean, if you set the proverbial bar unnaturally and unrealistically low, then of COURSE it will be easy to jump over it. Duh. It’s apathy manifesting itself in the worst of ways. When someone is asked about their relationship,  the response that should come naturally should be the rattling off examples of how/why theirs is great, not how/why theirs doesn’t suck. Understand the difference?

A Love Letter May 9, 2009

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Dear Soulmate,

I want to love.

I want to give so much love that it disorients the people who receive it. I want to love so much that it makes people question my sincerity, only to pleasantly surprise those same people when they realize that I mean it.

Most of all, I want to shock someone with love, and I want that someone to be you. I want to love you to such an extreme that it becomes life-consuming. I want to love you so much that you end up being spoiled completely and totally rotten. And I don’t mean “spoil” as in “mess up” or “deface” – I mean “spoil” as in “absolutely redefine what it means to treat someone like an angel and seek, every day, to lay waste to their previous definition of happiness and force them to try to generate another one”. And, honestly, I don’t even want you to be successful at that – I want to love you to the point of rendering you speechless.

I’ll wait as long as I have to for you, sweetheart. Just, please know that I’m here, and that I won’t ever give up on you. I can’t, because even though I might not even know you yet, I love you. I love you more than anyone else has ever loved anyone, and you have absolutely no idea how excited I am to, one day, be able to show you. I want to fall into you so deeply that the outside world completely loses relevance for me, because you are my world. You are all that I am, and all that I will ever be.

Love beyond all boundaries,

Jordan

Last night was amazing. It was only the beginning, I hope. April 30, 2009

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Last night. Wednesday, April 29. Hopefully, the start of something beautiful, uplifting, and pure. I think it was. I really hope so. Here’s what happened.

I was sitting around the house, craving emotion and connection, but I wasn’t sure what I could do, or what I should be doing. I am frustrated nearly every day by my inability, for whatever reason, to do more connecting with people and to serve some sort of purpose in that regard. I’ve realized more and more that I seek that out, and that I need emotion, and I need depth. Last night, I particularly wanted to talk to girls, and just interact, and talk, and laugh, and cry, and hug, and just be there for them.

Anyway, perhaps unsurprisingly, I ended up on the computer, scanning websites and blogs, looking for something. Anything. Some kind of sign. I found my way to PostSecret, which, for the uninformed, is a wonderful place. I started reading stories that users had posted in the forum, about leaving secrets of their own in PostSecret books in bookstores, and even just leaving secrets randomly around their city. I was fascinated by all of it, and ended up taking some inspiration from what I read. I then found myself in my room, furiously writing on small pieces of notebook paper. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write when I started, but by the time I was done, I knew. I ended up with a couple of handwritten copies of four brief messages, cut so that each of the four messages was on its own strip of paper. They were as follows.

 

If you’re a guy, please give this to a girl you know.

If you’re a girl, I want you to know something. You’re beautiful, and you matter. Please don’t let yourself think that you don’t. I care about you.

 

If you’re a guy, you should tell a girl you know that she’s beautiful. She doesn’t hear it often enough.

If you’re a girl, please try not to be discouraged too much by the guys who seem to be better at tearing you down than at lifting you up. A guy should think of spending time with you as an amazing privilege. If you don’t know one like that just yet, don’t worry – I can’t wait to meet you.

 

If you’re a guy, please give this to a girl you know.

If you’re a girl, I want you to know that you are beautiful. Please don’t ever think that you are alone, or that there isn’t a guy out there that cares about you. Because I do.

 

If you’re a guy, you should tell a girl you know that she’s beautiful. She doesn’t hear it often enough.

If you’re a girl, please just know that there are guys out there that care. There are those of us out there who, even though we might not even know you yet, are already thinking of ways to make you happy.

 

I signed each of the messages as “Spread Hope Like Fire”.

I got each of the strips of paper folded and then set off in my car, still not entirely sure on where I was going. It was nearly midnight by this point, and I considered where there would still be some cars, and where there would perhaps be some young people. I decided to go to a movie theater that’s fairly close to my house, and scope out the parking lot there. Sure enough, there were still some cars. Not a lot, but there were enough, from people that were there catching the late showing of a movie. I parked at one end of the lot, grabbed the folded-up strips of paper with the messages on them, and started walking. Whenever I passed a car that I caught some kind of vibe from, I placed one of the messages under the driver’s side windshield wiper. After I had distributed all of them, I walked back across the lot to my car, and, before driving away, I looked back to the group of cars. Among others, I could see three cars, all parked next to each other, that each had a message under the windshield wiper. It felt AMAZING. I can’t even describe the energy I had. It felt so good and so right, and even on the brief drive back home, I was already excited at the thought of those people walking out to their cars and seeing the messages waiting for them, with no other explanation. If even one person was able to connect with their message, or gain something from it, no matter how big or small? That would be wonderful.

In a few minutes, I’m going to write perhaps a few more copies of those messages, and try to look inside and find some more that need to be wrote and need to be put out into the world. Then, later tonight, I’m going to head out again, find some more parking lots, and try to get the messages to people that need them.

Personality Types, according to Helen Fisher (I’m a Negotiator) March 25, 2009

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I checked out Helen Fisher’s latest book a few days ago, titled Why Him? Why Her?, and I found it really interesting. In it, she goes over some of the biological reasons behind why we fall in love with some people, but not with others. She also touches on the “nature vs. nurture” debate, and how, for quite some time, the “nurture” side (how we are raised, our parents, the environment we grow up in, etc.) was thought to play a pretty significant role in determining our relationship preferences. Ms. Fisher doesn’t seek to dismiss that school of thought entirely, as that stuff obviously affects us to a certain extent, but she discusses at length some of the new research that’s been done on body chemistry, and how it’s become more and more obvious that a large part of who we are, as far as personality and temperament goes, is determined by the “nature” side. (Wow, that last sentence had FIVE commas. Nice.)

Through the research she’s done, there are four main personality types that she’s defined. Almost everyone has traits from all four types, on some level, but there are one or two that are usually at the forefront, and she has designed a personality test that can measure how strongly you exhibit tendencies of each of the four. There are fourteen statements for each of the four types, and you’re measured on how strongly you agree or disagree with each of them.

There’s the Explorer, who usually tends to rely on his/her impulses. Explorers are the closest personality type to what people usually call “adrenaline junkies” or “thrill seekers”. While the Builder, another of her personality types, generally finds comfort and relaxation from routine, Explorers are just the opposite – they thrive off of spontaneity, and they feel stagnated by nearly any sort of predictable, repetitive activity or routine. They are enthusiastic, optimistic, sexual, open-minded, and eager. They love trying new things, and are always up for an adventure.

There’s the Builder, who usually tends to rely on his/her values. Builders have a clear idea of what they do and do not agree with, and they conduct themselves based on that. Their values are the most “traditional” of the four personality types, and they view most long-held customs or traditions as good indicators that should be followed. Family is almost always a big priority. Ms. Fisher designated this type as the “Builder” for pretty obvious reasons – they are the primary “building blocks” of society, and Builders treasure and seek out stable environments for themselves and their loved ones.

There’s the Director, who usually tends to rely on his/her logic. Directors shoot for the stars, and, when they know what they want, they go after it with everything they have. They value getting to the point and speaking directly, and they normally don’t have much patience for procrastinating or for doing things that aren’t directly related to what they’re trying to take care of. They understand complex machines fairly easily, and are interested in seeing how things work, or in seeing rules and procedures that govern systems. Directors look at the world from a fairly scientific perspective, and, as such, are open to new ideas, just not new ideas that lack support, evidence, or justification.

Last, there’s the Negotiator, who usually tends to rely on his/her intuition. If the Director looks at the world like a scientist, the Negotiator looks at the world like a philosopher. Every topic or thought, no matter how big or small, can be dissected and looked at from multiple angles. Negotiators are emotional, passionate, empathetic, romantic, and nurturing. They also have the most idealistic view of love and romance – they would rather live alone than be in an unfulfilling relationship, and they are enchanted by the idea of true love, and of a soulmate. Being connected to and invested in others is part of what makes life worth living for Negotiators, and they find it hard to maintain interest in a relationship (romantic or otherwise) that doesn’t allow them to find common emotional ground.

So, I took the test, because I had become quite curious about what kind of results I would get, and because I had gotten a rough idea about where I would fall, and I wanted to see if I was right. (I was.) You’re scored on each of the fourteen statements on a scale of zero, one, two, or three, based on how strongly you identify with the statement. This is repeated four times, so that at the end of the test, you have four numbers between zero and forty-two, each of them corresponding to how much you agreed with the overall set of statements for each personality type.

For the Explorer set of statements, I scored in the mid-twenties – twenty-four or twenty-five.

For the Builder set, I scored lower – about twenty or twenty-one.

For the Director set, I scored almost identically to how I scored on the Builder set – about twenty.

For the Negotiator set? My score was almost the maximum score possible, which is forty-two. I think I was at thirty-eight or thirty-nine. I immediately had a strong positive reaction to almost every one of the statements – stuff like “I enjoy it when an author takes a sidetrack to say something beautiful or meaningful”, “After watching a particularly emotional film, I often still feel moved by it several hours later”, and “I like to get to know my friends’ deepest needs and feelings”. Moreover, when I read the chapter specifically about Negotiators, I caught myself agreeing with just about everything, and thinking, “That totally sounds like me!”