The Question of Possibility

Men say the damndest things.

You know, those things that crawl under our skin and we wallow over for hours (or possibly weeks), those things that we attempt to read in between the lines, searching for a hidden clue or unspoken something we so desperately want to give meaning to. And so, as we listen to what men say, without actually hearing them – we start to ask questions.

Now, as a journalist – this not-so-redeeming quality has played havoc on my relationships or even my dating life. While I’ll always suggest utter honesty over anything else when seeking romantic-anything with someone new, there’s also a thin line between hoping a man means something and realizing that most of the time, guys say exactly what they feel, when they feel it. Actually, it probably comes out less eloquently but with more impact than the way women would structure the same sentiment.

Nevertheless, sometimes questions seem to be quite ineluctable.

Recently, Mr. Possibility and I walked throughout the Upper East and West Sides, running errands, eating more sugar than both of our recommended nutritional intakes call for, and visiting an exhibit at one of my favorite museums. As we walked, bundling up in the unexpected, yet expected snow, and catching up on the months we missed while he was traveling, I kept noticing question marks. When we waited for the downtown train, I started noticing red question marks cleverly disguised in the amphibian artwork scrolled across the wall. Then at Barney’s as I pretended I could afford shoes that cost more than three months’ rent, the advertising scheme featured a question mark in cascading colors. Lastly and maybe the most obvious- outside of his apartment complex, there was a black sign with a silver question mark graffitied without explanation.

Climbing the steps to his third-floor condo, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What’s up with all these questions?” Noticing my confused stance, he gave me an inquisitive glance, and in return I smiled, imagining the same question marks I noticed throughout the city flashing above his annoyingly adorable head. With this image circulating, I realized the state of whatever it is we are or are not doing is best defined as questionable. Full of opportunity, deep in contradictions and complications, and most importantly, ripe with possibility that’s yet to be determined.

In my path to self-love as it intersects with Mr. Possibility, I’ve received some heat. Not just from my friends and my family, but from my readers, too. Some of the comments shared on this space haven’t been positive and there have been more than enough reasons for me to tuck my Tigar tail and sprint into a new safari of available men. I’ve questioned his feelings toward me, the seriousness of what could be growing, and if by staying put, I was avoiding standing up for myself. There have been moments in our ever-short history that I’ve felt the sting of heartbreak, where I doubted my decision to give him another chance, wondering and nearly convinced I was setting myself up to play the part of a fool. In his words, which have always been rather blunt and honest, even when that’s not always what I wanted to hear, I’ve hoped certain statements meant more than what they did. I’ve admittedly been jealous of other women and perhaps women I’ve never met but somehow characteristically resemble, and I’ve found myself sinking in a pool of unsettling feelings.

The only difference now, with my newfound confidence and level-head on the whole game of love, is that instead of diving head-first into his endless sea of could-be’s, I’ve made a conscious decision and effort to wade knee deep. And though my heart is still uncertain since his return, there are some baggage that needs to be discarded, and wounds that need some healing – I haven’t decided the troubling waters are so rough that I need to sail back into the safe harbor.

And by being more relaxed, but still saying what I need (for his swimmers not to swim into other lady’s lakes), I’ve learned that while questions are unavoiable, sometimes, they are merely just part of the gray areas of mystery that surprisingly leave us happier than dwelling in the black and white. The lovely color of gray also allows other shades to mingle into the mix and it encourages me to listen to what Mr. Possibility says as he says it, while not aiming to discover a hidden intention.

It also gives him the chance to ask some questions instead of me interviewing our relationship, looking for a new angle in his speech (which, by being from Queens, is quite difficult to decipher from time-to-time). A few nights ago, as a way to apologize and thank me, he treated me to an evening of quintessential New York spots. Unaware of where we were going, what we would be doing, or how long I would be gone, I was obviously full of long-winded questions. Not one who is very good at surprises, but loves them anyways, he simply told me to be ready on Sunday evening at 8 p.m. and wait for his instructions.

Though the thought of a man telling me what to do enticed me to spit out a sassy comeback, I decided in the name of romance and making-up-for-measly-mistakes, I’d click my heels together and beg not to turn into a questioning pumpkin at midnight. When the clock struck one-past-eight, my phone lit up to Mr. Possibility’s name, and without greeting me, he asked, “Do you trust me?

In a car he sent for me, heading toward an unknown destination, as the driver drove so fast the light posts created lines that matched the linear avenues, I answered his question in my head: No, I don’t quite trust Mr. Possibility. I have more questions that need answering than matters of fact. I can’t and don’t desire to be with him every second of every day, and the decisions he makes away from me are still ones I’m not completely convinced have my best interest at heart. But do I trust him enough to listen to him? To hear what he says? To take things slow? To put my own feelings in check and demanding it not be all about him? Do I trust him to an extent where I’ll get into a black sedan promising to deliver me to Mr. Possibility’s embrace? Yes.

Once the car stopped, he opened the door and extended an arm out to lead me toward the center of a quiet and magically lit-Lincoln Center. There, in my vintage Michael Kohr’s, he looked into my eyes and said, “You once said you couldn’t wait to be kissed here, at night. I don’t know if it was a blog or in our conversation, but it’s time for it not be a wish anymore.” I’m sure you can guess what happened next.

There are always questions in relationships or courtships that could eventually turn into something profound. And perhaps not having all of the answers actually does us more good than it does us bad, if we’re brave enough to accept the opportunity for destruction matches the chance of delight. But maybe, there is one simple question we should ask ourselves when deciding to move forward or to walk away – which happens to be the next question Mr. Possibility proposed as we headed to meet our dinner reservation:

Are you happy?

And if the happiness outweighs the negativity, the uncertainty is less unsettling than absence, if there is more joy than there is pain – then perhaps, whatever it is or isn’t, whatever questions you can’t answer or commitments you can’t make, are worth the experience.

Worth the possibility.

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38 thoughts on “The Question of Possibility

  1. Pingback: The Question of Possibility (via Confessions of a Love Addict) « Shay Rae's Diary

  2. I have to say that I think you’re making a huge mistake giving this guy a second chance.

    I’m going to be honest here, I’m not quite sure your aim is to become a person freed from the confines of always chasing relationships anymore. I mean this with all due respect, but it seems you’re always talking about a guy you’re seeing. Which is completely fine, but it’s kind of impossibly hard to achieve this goal you have and keep running after these guys, especially ones that clearly are okay with treating you like he did. To me, it appears that while you may say you want to be this free, single and strong woman, you’re heart keeps chasing some kind of NYC romance fantasy where you wind up with the stereotypical movie version of a Northeastern guy who travles on business and has his “ducks in a row”. That or you feel some need to prove to him that you can make him settle down. I say that again with all due respect. I call them like I see them.

    • Thank you for your comment, Moose. For the record – the point of the blog is to be happy single or not and learning to depend on self-love over any other sort of love. Apart from Mr. Possibility, however, every other guy is a story from the past.

      • Hey you’re good. Do what you must. :) I just saw what seemed to be a shift in the tone of the blog, whihc is fine too. It’s your life. I wouldn’t pay much attention to the commenters who are being real jerks.

  3. Yeah, I have to admit… “…I can’t and don’t desire to be with him every second of every day, and the decisions he makes away from me are still ones I’m not completely convinced have my best interest at heart.”

    I don’t believe the first part of that statement, but I do believe the second part.

    If the entire point is to be happy by yourself, I don’t understand why so much focus is going toward someone who makes you question things all the time.

    I know we’re far from the same person, but when I was going through this phase, I ruled out all possibilities until I knew for sure I was ready. I’m not saying ‘go do what I did,’ (which was to cut men out of my life romantically altogether for nearly two years)- but I DO think that if your goal is to be happy on your own, and you are an admitted ‘addict,’…wouldn’t the right first step to take be setting aside the substance you admittedly abuse?

  4. don’t let anyone but those closest to your heart tell you that you are or are not making a mistake with regards to anything you do – pursuit of a man or anything else in your life. the truth is, we are where we are supposed to be. if it does end up being a “mistake” (a word i don’t truly believe in because we learn from every experience), then it’s one you’re meant to have made and you’ll learn lessons from. but no one knows that but you – and the only people who should think they are wise enough to offer insight are your closest friends and family.

    i disagree that he’s getting a second chance. he did not break any rules…so what is he getting a second chance for?

    if nothing else, he seems like an adventure. i wish you happiness and excitement wherever that may lead.

  5. You are the most pathetic girl (not woman) I’ve heard or read about. You are so desperate to make something happen between you and this guy that you are falling for his bull shit. Not only that but you had written a blog about him in which you say that he’s going through some turmoil and that you want to be the one to help him get through it, you want to be the woman who walks into his life and makes it all better. Isn’t this man older than you? what in the hell would make you think that you can make a positive change in anyone’s life when you’re so screwed up yourself ? really how insightful do you think you are ? Listen honey, you’re like what 20 ? you’re still in training diapers. Listen to your friends and family because they will never steer you wrong, this guy will and he has proven to you that not only can he do it, but that he also doesn’t think that there’s anything wrong with his behavior. Talk to another woman (a real woman) even a stranger about this guy and she will tell you to run the other way. You say that you’re an investigative reporter, so why don’t you try to reach out to his ex and I guarantee you that you will be shocked by what you uncover. If you keep forcing a relationship with this guy I don’t care if you’re taking it slow or not, you are setting yourself up for massive heartache and the next time you blog about him you’ll be trashing him and I will comment saying I told you so. This man is only in it half heartily and you are getting more entangled. You will fall flat in your face right out of your little country girl shoes and let me tell you that New York City concrete is hard and cold. Get ready for a rude awakening. Just keep’nreal.

    • do you have any idea of the backstory? you’ve got a mighty loud voice behind an anonymous internet moniker and a whole lot to say without knowing a tenth of the situation. reaching out to a potential lover/boyfriend/whatever’s ex is an absolutely insane thing to do. i’m glad you get your jollies telling people i told you so – news flash, that doesn’t make you older and wiser, that makes you an asshole. once again, real easy to talk so loud behind that anonymity. there’s keeping it real and there’s being a douche. you definitely don’t know where that line is.

  6. Regardless, I think it says a lot to be honest and open like this. I don’t think you’ve been quite honest with yourself or your blog in the past, but this shows that you’ve now come to a place as a person to be able to say: “Look, this may not be the best idea, but right now its what’s best for me.” I liked what you said about it being full of contradictions. But the fact that you admit that speaks volumes about you.

  7. Ok – here’s the thing. I’m not quite sure why people are putting her on blast. First off – if you feel like you’re preaching in the ways of the world and you have a thing or two to teach her – WHY are you reading her blog? WHY do you keep reading it? It’s HER blog – not yours. She can write anything/everything/nothing that she wants and guess what…she will. So I have to wonder why you keep clicking the link to come back?

  8. Bearded Mike writes: “I’m not quite sure your aim is to become a person freed from the confines of always chasing relationships anymore. I mean this with all due respect, but it seems you’re always talking about a guy you’re seeing. Which is completely fine, but it’s kind of impossibly hard to achieve this goal you have and keep running after these guys, especially ones that clearly are okay with treating you like he did. To me, it appears that while you may say you want to be this free, single and strong woman, you’re heart keeps chasing some kind of NYC romance fantasy…”

    I’m with Mike- he is 100% correct – and for those who say you have no right to comment if you do so anonymously – bullshit. Some of us have no desire for our name and face to be out there in public while talking about such nonsense. Why do we read at all? It’s entertaining! That’s why!

    Kind of like Howard Stern – only unintentionally funny.

    The thing is this: This girl writes EVERY freaking day how she’s over being a LOVE ADDICT and now she’s cool with being single and she loves herself blah blah blah. She’s got half a dozen or so commenters who enable her – to use the words of the recovery movement. They’re her Amen Chorus…”You go Lindsay” “You’re so HONEST, Lindsay” “I feel the same way, Lindsay”… they encourage her to keep writing this crap.

    Finally a few readers are calling bullshit. The first few were ATTACKED by her amen chorus – called hags and worse. But after their dissent others began to speak up- like Bearded Mike and Tall Brunette-saying “Wait a minute” ALL YOU DO IS OBSESS ABOUT MEN EVERY FREAKING DAY! Love addict is right but you aren’t one day clean and sober!
    And the men aren’t all in the past either. I could go back and count half a dozen blogs recently about recent encounters with men. You LIVE for them.

    Some commenter in Love Addict Lindsay’s defense said “if it’s true we’re mirrors…” well to that I say IF pigs could fly they’d have wings. A lot of IFS here.

    But we check in every so often from the office when we’re bored. The men here at work use this blog as a warning of what to watch out for. The women always say “I hope I don’t sound like that!”

    Sex in the City is made up, Lindsay. Mike is right. You write about all these “magical moments” because you’re still drinking and drugging. You’re not fooling anyone that you’re over being addicted.

    • i’ll take this opportunity to say – i’m not part of the amen chorus – i see your point about still “drinking and drugging”. i am often skeptical of the claims of newfound self love – but who am i to really say? i don’t know this girl, i know what she puts on the internet, which is limited. i just think it’s flat out nasty to hide behind a shield of anonymity and then call people pathetic and screwed up. it’s not about not having the right to be an anonymous commenter – it’s about being an asshole. internet trolls will exist forever. they’re usually 40, fat, balding, and sitting in their mother’s basement. or maybe it’s the unabomber. whatever the case…it’s just unnecessary to be as much of a prick as the previous anon commenter was.

      • But Dominique – you’re anonymous as well. It’s not that clever, really, to state that anyone who is critical must be a troll. It’s a very common and overused on-line ploy.

        I’m not a troll because I think this young lady is making light of a serious issue – addiction and recovery – when the truth is she just wants to prattle on endlessly about her obsession with men. Her co-workers are probably tired of listening so – under the guise of writing about the effort to love oneself – she’s really just writing in the modern day equivalent of that little diary we all had with the tiny little key attached.

        This emotional navel gazing benefits no one. It reinforces those predisposed to getting all hung up on every man they meet to continue to do so under the “everything happens for a reason” shibboleth.

        A couple of things: 1) Are only “you go girls” allowed, otherwise I’m a prick? 2) Is there something wrong with being 40? We’ll all be 40 some day.

        Finally, in truth the entire recovery movement demands anonymity. Nothing is gained by knowing anyone’s identity. Anonymity doesn’t make one unattractive anymore than it make’s ones point of view less valid.
        Why don’t you re-read what I wrote? I think if you’re honest you’ll admit it’s not written from someone’s mother’s basement. Rather it’s written from the point of view of reality rather than school girl silliness.

    • I guess the way to look at it though is, the blog is called “Confessions of a Love Addict.” Not, “Confessions of a former Love Addict.”

      Usually when people have addictions, it’s still a part of them forever– no matter what the addiction is.

      I’ve never viewed this blog as a guide to living life single. I’ve always viewed it as a snapshot on one woman’s journey to finding herself.

      If she already found herself, would most of us be reading? Probably not.

      I don’t agree with a lot of her decisions in the blog, but it’s her life. And if I didn’t want to read about her life, I wouldn’t come back.

      Now, if she started saying she had all the answers and I should live my life exactly like her blog, I’d probably head for the hills and agree with you. But seeing as that’s not the case, I just view this blog as good read and realize that I’m not one to pass judgment on any other person’s life either.

      • perhaps i wasn’t clear – i think the person throwing around “pathetic” and “screwed up” is a troll, not you – i can’t tell if you both are the same person but i’m guessing not. i’m completely open to the idea of dissent. i have no problem with what you said and agree with quite a few of your points.

        i’ve commented infrequently here, but all the times i have, i’ve never been a “you go girl”. even on my original comment today, i only advised her not to take too much to heart the random advice of people from the internet, and i stand by that. there’s nothing wrong with being 40, i would just find it slightly strange if someone of that age were truly invested enough in a random stranger’s blog to leave a comment full of such vitriol. that’s a bit sad, to me.

        i’m about as un-anonymous as i can be on the internet – clicking on my link takes you to my own blog, you can follow me on twitter, email me, interact with me, etc. as much as you may think the term “troll” is overused, in ten years of regular “internetting”, i’ve found it an extremely common creature – someone who just likes to throw around pure, unadulterated, and frankly undeserved nastiness. which i feel “keepn’real” did. i think some of what you said was a bit harsh but hey, that’s the real world, it happens, no big – but certainly not troll level.

  9. LOL @ dittoforme. I’d say Lindsay must be a pretty good writer to get under your skin like that…wow.

    On another note, it AMAZES me that everyone has turned Mr. Possibility into a villain. Here he is thinking he’s got the sweetest deal ever, that he can date this girl casually (with benefits) AND sleep with other girls. And why? Because Lindsay said she was cool with that! They weren’t exclusive, but CASUAL. So then he sleeps with other people and Lindsay finds out because she ASKS (which they had agreed not to do), and now the commenters say he’s a scumbag.

    Cracks me up.

    • Not really – I’m just bored at work. : )

      BTW I agree with you. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. She offered no strings attached – what does she expect? I think she needs to keep her clothes on but that’s just me.

    • that was def. part of my “don’t take it too much to heart” advice – he didn’t do anything wrong! he’s not actually an asshole…he didn’t break any rules…so wtf?

      • @dominique: Exactly. That’s why I thought it was funny that everyone was getting up in Lindsay’s business about dating this guy. She has been very forthcoming about her own actions, and hasn’t villainized him in her posts.

        To Lindsay: Thanks for sparking all this conversation. And regarding some of the nastier comments: I think it’s a pretty good general rule that making people mad is a byproduct of talking about interesting topics in an interesting and engaging way. Hope you keep it up.

  10. OK – my real name. I apologize Dominique. I thought you were making reference to me.
    I’ve seen too many women waste too much energy on men. They’re not blogging about us this way. Carmelo Anthony maybe, but not us.:)
    You are right. I was a little harsh. I guess it’s just when you’re making it public you have more of an obligation to admit you might influence people. This is not a positive influence on young women in my opinion. It purports to be about self love but its all about men.
    Again, I apologize. I will visit your blog but right now I really have to get back to my paid employment.

  11. Holy shit. And thus, let February 22nd 2011 now be referred to the day “Everyone took a shit on Lindsay.”

    God. Her Tuesday must feel like a big pink Easter Egg with a cat turd inside of it.

  12. Bewordy says “That’s why I thought it was funny that everyone was getting up in Lindsay’s business about dating this guy.”

    Wait a minute, Be. I never said she “villainized” him. I’m saying the whole premise of “I don’t need or desire a relationship because I love myself – I used to be needy/obsessed/clingy – but now I’m not” is intellectually dishonest because her every word says otherwise!

    The lady doth protest too much! She lives and breathes for male attention. He’s just going along with it. He probably reads this blog and knows he’s got an easy ride here. She gives him a road map and says “use me, please!”

    I hope this makes sense. My dog is chewing on my sock as I’m writing. : )

    • Sorry, Aggie B., I’m not sure which comments you wrote.

      Anyway, I wasn’t saying you or anyone said that. I was directing my comment to people who’ve given Lindsay flack for dating Mr. Possibility (as she mentions in her post), though she herself is fair and doesn’t condemn him for doing what they mutually agreed was ok.

  13. Pingback: I’m Female, I’m Single, I’m Human « Confessions of a Love Addict

  14. Wow what comments this post elicited.

    Lindsay, I’m sure you know it already, but you should go with your own intuition. And if that means trying the possibilities with Mr. possibility then do it. If its not meant to be then it will be another experience.

    As for your “addiction”, I don’t believe that you need to stop dating to get over it. Your goal was not to give up on men, it was to learn to love yourself. And in my eyes every day takes you further, just from living, and expereincing; with a man or without one. As you so clearly wrote yourself “Confessions of a Love Addict is a blog about the journey of learning to love yourself -even when you’re totally single. It’s about keeping hope, gaining confidence, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. It chronicles the life and lessons of a NYC 20-something who is learning to love herself for who she is, single or not, and aims to help other women believe in the beauty of depending on yourself for security and love. It aims to show women that it’s okay to be upset, to be disappointed, to date and have relationships that don’t turn out how we think they should.”

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