Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fears vs. Limitations

It was suggested I use my limitations to hide behind to avoid confronting my fears.

Perhaps it's true.

First, let me define what I think a limitation is, and then identify the limitations I believe I have, as well as the fears I know I have.

To me, a limitation is a somewhat physical constraint. I say 'somewhat physical' in that I see time as a constraint on my schedule for socializing. Time exists, but is it 'physical?' We can't see, touch or taste it. But time does have a way of touching us. I've blogged about how much time teaching takes, both within and outside the classroom.

Money is also one of my limitations at this time. Money is indeed physical, as we can see and touch it. I'm not sure I'd want to taste it, who knows where it's been! I've also written about my financial recovery after my divorce. Yes, this limitation has indeed played a big part in my post-divorce not-wanting-to-date life. After all, a few allegedly well-meaning friends did tell me that if I kept saying I couldn't afford to go, potential dates would just quit asking. And while this would indeed weed out the superficial men, the ones who feel money is an all-important part of a relationship, and leave those who solely want to spend time with me, the lack of money still plays on my self-esteem. Which, of course, it shouldn't, but it does. And it has. Heavily.

My car has also been a limitation. It's a 2006 American model with approaching 120,000 miles. I grew up in an era where American made cars had a reputation for falling apart at 100,000 miles. It was drummed into my head. Friends and mechanics have warned me of potential upcoming costly repairs based on their own experiences with similar makes and models. Yet, none of those dire predictions has come true. Yet, they still weigh heavily on me; therefore, my car's aging has led me to drive less. That is, I have become a homebody. I rationalize it that I'm saving money on gas, and avoiding wear and tear on my car in the long run because I don't have the money for any repairs. And driving less means less emissions which in turn is better for the planet; therefore, I'm somewhat green.

As for my fears, I think they're pretty standard. Throughout this blog, I've identified fears of:
  • rejection
  • being used
  • being hurt
  • falling for the wrong man
  • settling for someone less than what I deserve
And then there's the other factor I've mentioned here in a post, I don't know how to date; to be selective, to make the right choices. I never had the opportunity to learn as a young gay man. Few gay men of my generation have had that opportunity. I settled for the two partners I have lived with because they wanted me.

Friends tell me I shouldn't let my limitations get in my way of living a life. That's true. I shouldn't. But, how does one make time when there's so little of it left after working, commuting and sleeping? Those elements I can't change; I have to commute to work, and then sleep to be refreshed for the next day. Out of 168 hours in a week, I figure I have 68 left after the work/commute/sleep triumvirate has taken its toll. In those remaining hours I need to write, take care of my house and take care of me, which I do so little of anyway, and that leaves little time left over for dating.

I can't print any more money, the government frowns on that. Therefore, I must live within my means, and just when I think I'm making ends meet, something comes along to move one of them, sometimes kicking it further down the road way out of sight. And all that leaves no money left over for socializing.

True, I can rearrange my chores, and yes, there are free or low-cost adventures for socializing.

As far as my car goes, what's going to happen, will happen. I can't control that. I just hope it doesn't happen on the freeway, again.

But, there's also one thing I haven't mentioned.

Do I have the mental/emotional/physical/spiritual energy right now to meet someone new and get to know him while I am still getting to know myself?
That is a whole new post.


  1. Hi Jeff,
    I totally relate to this. I have not dated in 8 years because the last breakup along with other tribulations caused me a nervous breakdown. I was useless for 3 to 4....maybe 5 years after that. Then I decided it was time to get back to me so I began to slowly put everything back together. I decided that since I wasn't working that I should go back to school (I dropped out when I was young and never got a degree). I do well and will have my associates by the end of summer. This has definitely been an ego boost and I now feel I'm ready to date.
    This is hard because of limitations that you mention plus I have gotten hurt enough times that I have intimacy issues that I needed to address which I am. anyway you are right, it's hard to get back to you but keep trying, it gives me hope.


    1. Hi Scott,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your story. I greatly appreciate it. I would also like to congratulate you on going back to school, it is never too late. I, too, have other issues, intimacy and trust among them, that also keep me from wanting to jump back in the dating pool feet first. But, all in good time! Everything happens for a reason and at the time it is supposed to. I'm also learning to trust in the process that everything will unfold at the right moment along with the lessons I'm learning about myself. Keep up your own process and never give up hope.


    2. It's surely not always easy or even, perhaps, possible to always trust that "everything happens for a reason and at the time it is supposed to." But, I love that you are learning to "trust in the process" of your life and are open to learning whatever may come to you in that process.


    3. Evie, thank you, as always, for your comment! I appreciate the time you take to read and comment.