Standards

As you know, if you’ve been reading Looktouchblog for any length of time, I’ve been going through an interpersonal relationship crisis for a couple of years now. I can mark it out as beginning in November 2005, when I first broke up with Martin, and becoming that-much-worse since October 2006.

Martin was the last boyfriend I had who fit me reasonably well. In the last two years, I’ve had a couple of boys who fit me– emotionally or sexually, but not both– and a few that really didn’t. I’ve been Love’s outcast, her castaway, casting about for something that fit. And in casting about I’ve sacrificed one thing after another, asking myself– well how important is sexual prowess really? Physical attraction, intelligence, looks? Poetic preferences, muse potential, political allegiance, psychological and physical health? … Feeling I would not find these things again in one person, or that I was setting my standards too high, I sacrificed one thing after another that had been important to me. Paul placed a bit of a stopper in this downward-spiralling vortex, this drain of my standards, this drain on my energy, by being intelligent and self-sufficient and pretty and sexy and having similar political aims. But this weekend’s visit from my friend set the bar much higher. I don’t want to have sex that isn’t as good as the sex we once had. I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t inspire me like he inspires me. I don’t want to be politically lazy, I don’t want to look into eyes that approximate his, I don’t want to have arguments about poetry that start at different levels of knowledge or different aesthetic positions. I cannot have him, but I don’t want anyone less than him. Being around him always hurts a little, but it serves to remind me, too, that so many other relationships and emotions are sham, are ultimately not going to do it for me. I think I’m going back into “I’m not looking” mode.

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About Jessica Smith

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