This post could ruffle some feathers but it's my blog and it's how I feel:
Recently, my buddy Nick got engaged. I've met his fiancee twice before and she is a great woman and I strongly approve of the relationship. Of course, I am happy for Nick but I can't help but feel some twinges of sadness knowing that it will never be the same for me again. Nick and I have been best friends for over a decade starting at business school at Clemson. We've done countless road trips and races together including fly away trips to Denver and Phoenix as well as long drives to Miami and Charleston. I'm sure that we will always be friends but we've already drifted apart a bit over the last year or so and it will only continue especially if they have children.
At 35, I am getting to the age where I am judged for being single and several people have made assumptions that are either unfair or flat out untrue. A former friend once said to me that I will "NEVER meet the one" because I am "too negative and can't love myself." If you read this blog, you ought to know that the reason I am sometimes depressed is all about chemical imbalances. Even the greatest attitude in the world won't save you if key chemicals that regulate mood and energy are too far out of whack. Improvements in my external environment such as a better job and a pay raise won't make much difference either.
A few people have said things such as "You've run all those fast times, how bad could it be?" Even when I was running full marathons faster than the average person could dream of running, I never would have finished if my pills had been just a little off. My worst fears were realized last year when I could not find any sustained success for a long period of time but I may have new hope with the B-12+molybdenum plan.
When healthy, I have an entirely different personality in which I do exhibit confidence and yes, I believe that I can and will be able to attract women. In order to even enter the dating scene, I feel that I need to be stable for at least 4 months with no severe problems on my medical report. On the positive side, one member of the running community has praised me for having the "wisdom and maturity" not to pursue something that is likely to end badly.
What is my definition of stable?
-Minor tweaks are allowed as are 1-2 day blips but the "must take" pill or pills must remain constant.
-No mineral or ratio may be in the severe or critical zone.
-Unless I am sick or injured, I should be capable of respectable workouts nearly every day.
I wrote this post just over a year ago before embarking on the genetic side and still stand by it today:
Here is a bit more about what I am looking for:
The 3 non-negotiable issues still stand but "Must Support My Cause" ranks second behind "Committed Christian." I still believe that my mission in this life is to change not only the way that chronic fatigue and depression are treated but also how they are perceived by society. Call me arrogant if you want but I believe that is a high calling worthy of much respect. If you don't buy into it or offer only lukewarm support, it may hurt but it's not the right fit. Several female friends stand out as being very supportive over the years. Unfortunately, all are either too old and/or already taken. I will set the bar at my strongest supporter who has no romantic interest. If she falls below that, she's not the one. Of course, this is a 2 way street. If she embraces a noble but unrelated cause, I will be her number 1 fan as well.
I tend to relate better to people who are a few years older rather than younger but am comfortable with a 5 year age difference on either side. Maybe I can stretch it to 7 if there is a strong connection but no more than that. Age does become less important as you get older. A 26 year old and a 19 year old are at entirely different stages of life. 46 and 39? Not at all.
Divorced with kids?
I wrestled with this one because it's contrary to how I was raised but given the scope of my situation, it just might be for the best. Now that I know that there is a genetic basis for my illness, it would break my heart to see my own child go through the same stuff knowing that it was my defects that caused it. Women over 30 that have never been married are hard to come by in Alabama anyway and I know that I would be a darn good mentor/stepfather to teenage boy. I've been through the bullying, rejection and disappointments and I know what to do and what not to do. My preference would be to date a woman with a son who is at least 6 but no older than 14. If she has a daughter, sure I'd still consider it but I just don't think I could relate to her problems as well as with a son.
Still, I take the Word seriously and believe that if you obtain a divorce for the purpose of marrying someone else, it is the same as adultery. I would remain awfully leery about a woman who initiated a divorce for no good reason (abuse, neglect, adultery, drug use, etc) especially if it was recent but would have no reservations if she was the one who got dumped especially if it was for medical issues. Indeed I have spoken to several people over the years who went through that very thing. What about the vows of sickness or health, for better or worse?
What character qualities are most important to me?
Common interests, loyalty, encouragement and supportive. Of course this is a 2 way street. Of the 5 love languages, my #1 is quality time and yes, I would do a "date night" every week but would also value time spent together at home rather than watching 2 TV shows in separate rooms.
Build consensus and meet in the middle. Getting the problem resolved is more important than getting your own way. Words must be chosen carefully and an apology means you value the relationship more than your ego. Never threaten divorce or other punishment to get what you want. In fact, I don't like it when couples even joke about divorce because it can become serious later on. I will make it a point to never use that word in a marriage.
Negative qualities that are the biggest turnoff:
Overly critical/ too controlling. Pretty much the opposite of the above,
Unrealistic expectations are a major culprit in failed relationships. I've got my flaws and I'll be the first to admit that I'm not perfect but NOBODY is. If a person is sharply critical of others but very thin-skinned themselves, that's a double whammy to me. I heard about one divorce that occurred because the husband left the dishes in the sink too often. Seriously? You could do a lot worse than that.
If there is something that I really want to do and you object to it, I am willing to make some concessions to resolve the conflict and/or do something extra special in return but don't tell me NO point blank unless I am doing something very wrong. A common source of conflict with runners is group runs with men and women. I will socialize with other women but will not flirt or make any physical contact beyond a casual side hug.