Alex's thoughts

What does it mean to be a man and a man in a relationship.  I make a point of them being two different things.  I think what it means to be a man can best be described by Rudyard Kipling's poem "If".

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run --
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!

This has been engrained into me years and years ago, and I continually fall short of this. When you think about it, no one could truly be like this, but that doesn't make it any easier. Some people just accept this, I don't. I think it is a lonely path and requires more discipline, which not many have. There is no room for most things and people in that life. I strugle every day because of this but I don't think I would have it any other way.

Men who are not in relationships can truly be masters of their own universe. They can do what they want, when they want. They don't have to answer to anybody.  This may lead to their own demise, but it is up to them and no one else. They give their own meaning to life. They are free. But freedom is not free and it come with a price. Freedom does not let you escape cause and effect, or responsibilty for your actions. It just means that others do not have to suffer for what you do. There are many things that single men don't have as well, but everyone was or is single at one point so I think we all know what that's like.

At no point in time do I really belive that having a relationship is better or worse than not having a relationship: its just different. And whatever works for you, works for you. It is up to each person to decide for themselves and be responsible for their own future.

Maybe next time I will talk about men in relationships and what I think they gain and give up. After that I will talk about intimacy, trust, and personal demons.


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