Suzy Snapper
Friday, November 24, 2006
When to Take A Risk
I have a hard time with trust. Trusting people, especially men takes a conscious effort and is a very difficult process for me. It makes the thought of a relationship very disconcerting and nerve-wracking.

In my non-blogging life, I like to make friends, and enjoy meeting new people. However, most remain on a very top level of my life and it is rare for someone to get any closer than that.

Part of this comes from past relationship foibles. An ex who told me shortly before our planned wedding (after we'd been together for 10 years, I might add) that he was unfaithful. It turned out to be more than that. The girl had been referring to herself as his girlfriend for 6 months previous.

I spend the next four years with a semi-pro baseball jock. He was serially unfaithful, and never claimed to be anything else. For him, it was liberating to be in an open relationship. For me, it was the evil you know versus the evil you don't. If I knew what he was doing, it wasn't cheating, now was it? What I didn't realize at the time was that it chipped away at my psyche and did even more damage. The relationship ended when I found him with a coworker of mine at a company Christmas party. The funny thing there though is that he is now my best male friend. We have been through so much together, and I will always have strong feelings for him, but I will never respect him.

I then started my spiral into long distance relationships. If they were in a different physical location, I could control things. I could decide when I wanted to talk and when I didn't. When I wanted to see them and still keep my life safe. The man from South Africa with the overbearing mother. The Brummie Austin Powers-meets-Harry Potter guy from England. And of course, NavyBoy, through both his tours of Iraq.

I decided to remain single after that, and did so until about a year ago, when someone reawakened the desire in me to have that male companionship. I'm not talking the physical here, but the emotional closeness that having a partner offers.

In the early summer, I decided to try a few of the dating online services. The response was laughable. While I try not to be judgmental, if by the age of 40, you still have a paper route, there may be some larger issues to deal with. When your Top 3 things you can't live without are 'Sex, my good looks and money', your 'deep as a teasonpoon' philosphy may need a little work.

So when a couple weeks ago, I got an email from a fellow that seemed genuine, it caught my eye. I wrote, intrigued and he wrote back regularly. While I found myself more and more interested, I also found those old familiar feelings of distrust bubbling below the surface. I cautioned him that I was working through this issue, and that for that to help, I needed his openness. He agreed.

This week, suddenly things changed. It went from 1 email a day to 6-8. He started phoning up to 10 times a night. I found out that his 17-year marriage had only recently failed and he was still working through custody issues (with children he had yet to have even mentioned). I was disconcerted to say the least.

I realize everyone has life issues, and I know I certainly have my own, but how do you know when it's right to take a risk? How do you learn to put things aside and trust again?

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer trapped in a corporate buyer's body. Steel shopping by day, and freeflowing prose by night. One day I hope to have the nights become my days, but am intimidated by the sheer amount of people who share my dream. So I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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