What is it about love and relationships that keeps us going in? That keeps us trying? In a conversation recently, a friend dropped a number on me that I had never previously considered:
Every currently single person (who can admit to having at least one ex) has a 100% fail rate.
At first, hearing this made my heart sink. I felt the pain and heartache of every one of my failures as they streamed across my mind. I quickly tucked all the emotion of that moment into the title of this post and continued the conversation. But here I am now, days later and feeling the urge to dig deeper. As with most things, I have a choice. I could either A) Wallow in the quagmire of the emotional failures or B) I could use this as inspiration to think about how I understand and process failure.
The way I see it, I’ve worked hard for every single one of those percentage points and each one was an experience that left me...well, changed. I see each failure as a point of reference for the pieces that make me who I am today. Whether brief or long-term, I cherish each woman and the time we shared in our relationship. Each of them is unique and worthy of reflection. In doing so, I acknowledge that there are issues on which I surely could have compromised. There are thousands of better decisions I should have made. And while I won’t take all the blame, (hey, it takes two to tango, right?), I won’t sit here and act like I did all I could have done to turn any of these failures into wins. That would just be foolish of me, not to mention emotionally masochistic.
I had partners in these failed relationships, but the reality is I can only labor over what I could have done differently. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, of course I can see what could have/should have/would have been different. It is clear to me now what it would have taken to make things work. But as a result, I was able to learn what I needed to learn about myself in order to become the me that you experience today.
A person who is able to look at a failed relationship objectively possesses a gentle strength that is not present in many (most) others. They are not without emotion, but able to separate their emotions long enough to assess. They ask themselves the difficult ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ about a failed relationship and they learn to answer without the fogginess of their own ego or personal feelings.
Why dwell on the negativity of perceived failure? Consider what you have learned from that relationship. How has it shaped you? What will you do differently as you move toward love?
I mentioned earlier in this post that I had two choices when considering my own fail rate. Well, I am choosing to walk upright through door "B", hence the addition of the "And Still We Try" part of the title. But why? What is it about human beings that drives us to constantly seek the very thing that hurts us and that we suck at the most? Why, no matter the dismal fail rate, do we continue to pursue love and companionship?
Here’s my take: We are creatures of love. It is the energy that fuels us in a way that nothing else can. We thrive in it when it is present and fall apart when we lose it. It has the power to build us up infinitely and to break us into millions of sad, little pieces. We will abandon all reason and risk the world for it.
Love is like an addiction that most all of us have. Some of us have it under better control than others (I certainly do not). I’m so hooked, in fact, that one of my patterns is that I am never alone for any extended period of time. There is always a companion of some kind or another close by. You could interpret this in a few different ways. I'll let you do that on your own. But I know this much:
I love me. I love companionship. I love exchange. I love life. I love experience. I love sex. I love communication. I love love.
That said, I will continue to seek love and I certainly want you to do the same. Focus less on the first part of this title (100% Fail Rate) and more on the second part (And Still We Try). Then, and only then, can you continue in your pursuit to...
Love them as they are, have great sex and communicate with intention.