The conversations flowed so effortlessly the summer evening we spent together when we first met. You were novel; my sexual desire allowed me to focus on you and I let it lead me. The journey to unraveling you was exhilarating. You felt connected and began to open your heart. You gave me sex hoping you’d eventually get love in return. I was relieved you never articulated this, because my agenda was different and I knew we wouldn’t last. After a few nights with you, I began feeling increasingly distant.
Until one morning, I woke up next to you feeling lethargic and detached. The novelty of having sex with you had finally worn off. The clarity of desire had subsided and I felt absolutely empty inside. You seemed concerned and did your best to engage me. However, I lacked the courage to share the truth, fearing you’d feel deceived. So I left without giving you an explanation. I never returned your calls and only responded to your texts with short superficial answers, until you finally gave up. You were right if you felt wronged and disempowered. For years, this had been my pattern of physical indulgence and subsequent emotional disconnection.
A nomad in a desert devoid of love, I wandered from woman to woman chasing fleeting carnal desires. Lust drove me; while it lasted it muted all those voices in my head of insufficiency and self-doubt. It brought me into the moment, it excited me, yet it was inauthentic, it was not me.
What you experienced was a persona, one that I had developed and perfected over time. It was witty, charismatic and projected confidence, it said things women wanted to hear, it excited them, it knew how to fake emotional connections. This was the only way I knew how to gain a woman’s acceptance.
All the while I locked my true self in a dark basement, long enough that darkness began to feel safe. I feared the light; afraid it would expose me to judgment and rejection.
I lacked the courage to show you who I really was: the antithesis of the flamboyant, self-assured persona I played in our mating game. Instead I really was this un-intriguing guy with insecurities, flaws and a silly sense of humor he was too ashamed to share. I couldn’t accept my true self and thought you wouldn’t either. There was someone I showed my true self to, but that feels like it was in another life.
I had once fallen for a woman, whose soul I believed was pure, whose love I thought would be unconditional. She left my heart shattered in a million pieces, which I didn’t know how to mend, so I suppressed my pain. I resented her and blamed myself for being this weak and vulnerable guy.
I felt I had to redeem myself. I eventually wanted to find love, but couldn’t bear seeing my heart broken again. I told myself I had to be stronger, so I stopped trusting my heart’s resilience and built these walls around it. I deeply despised feeling rejected, so every time I unsuccessfully pursued a woman, I pondered what could I have done differently to intrigue her. Being accepted became more important than being myself. I discovered the majority of women I pursued, responded to flattery and mystery and the thrill of initial courtship. So I adopted this persona. I felt more secure in it, because I knew my heart wouldn’t be broken, but all it could create were disconnected physical relationships
The more I chased the initial high of validation through casual sex, the emptier and lonelier I felt after it was gone. I judged the women who fell for this persona and at the same time I began to despise myself for playing it. I felt it chipping away at my self-esteem. My life felt gloomy without a happy ending in sight. I hopelessly waited for the woman of my dreams to come rescue me from my bleak destiny, but I never really knew what she looked like. And somewhere along this journey, you made a brief cameo.
Our relationship was like a shooting star destined to vanish. I know somewhere in a parallel universe, that streak of light still exists or burned a little longer. Even if it didn’t last there, it’s an authentic connection we both grow from and leaves each of us better than we found each other.
In this alternate reality, you’re not intrigued by the persona of the Court Jester, his witty flattery or his façade of confidence and mystery. You’re attracted to authenticity of the Humble King, the strength of his compassionate heart, and the genuineness of his soul. You clearly express to him what you want. You hold him accountable and are unafraid to let him go if he can’t give that to you, because you are the worthy Queen.
In the present universe, as a man, I strive for authentic connections and vow to always communicate my true feelings to a woman, ask for her intentions and share mine. I am braking the barriers that suppress my heart, open to possibilities and find joy in walking consciously towards the woman who seeks the same. I may end up getting my heart broken or even let another’s expectations down, yet the spirit that will always guide me is My Authentic Self.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”—Rumi