Several years ago, amidst the debate of evolution and creationism, proponents of creationism proposed a theory that came to be known as “irreducible complexity.” Simply, this theory proposed that some complex mechanisms, such as the flagellum, were too complex for the parts to have evolved individually and then be assembled, and that this particular mechanism was too complex to have evolved naturally. Since then, this theory has been largely debunked, and evolution is still the popular theory.
Entering my first long-term relationship at 16, I was a proud atheist of love, citing biology and science as reasons for why love wasn’t real. Love is just the side-effect of certain hormones and chemicals in the brain. Biology shows us how monogamy, and thus relationships are actually unnatural, with men having the urge to spread their seed and have the most offspring, thus ensuring their genetic material is passed forth unto the next generation. Love was genetics. Love was biology. Love was chemistry. But most of all, love was not real.
Through the repeated heartbreak that was that almost-five-year relationship, I changed my mind. My opinion evolved to the point where I applied this idea of “irreducible complexity” to relationships. Each relationship was independent from the others, each was its own mechanism, and the wheels and gears of one had no bearing on the next. As I entered my second, third, fourth, and fifth long-term relationships, I noticed the impact that the first relationship had on the next several.
The reasons I had been hurt from one meant I was wary of the same thing happening in the next one. When Thimblina cheated on me for nearly the entire 58 months, it made me distrusting of Bright-light, overbearing and disbelieving everything, wild accusations rearing ugly heads in my head, which lead me to single-handedly dismantle that relationship. When Dragonite stopped talking to me for months at a time, only to pop up out of nowhere with I love you’s and I miss you’s and I’m across the world from you when are you coming back to see me?s, I developed a warped sense of what a relationship was and could be and should be. Maybe it wasn’t cheating if there were enough miles between us. Distance didn’t conduct information after all. And while we were in and out of a relationship, it somehow grew to be this disgusting codependence, where it was enough of a relationship that if we fucked, it wasn’t cheating on whichever boyfriend we had at the moment, but it wasn’t enough of a relationship to be loyal to each other. And with that, I became a bulldozer, a train wreck that plowed through Boston, arguably the relationship that had the most potential, and then through Britney, crumpling all of our lives, mangling all of our structures, our ideas imploding in on themselves and burying our chances in the rubble.
But this isn’t the kind of life I wanted to live. I made a conscious decision before entering my sixth relationship with Voldemort, I took a deep breath and pushed the toxins and habits from the previous men out. I forgave myself and my exes of our sins, and I stepped forth with the hope that just one more time and I’d get it right. This is really spoken like an addict. A gambler believes one more lottery ticket will be the one, one more scratch ticket will make him rich, one more roll at the table will make the story he’ll convey to his grandchildren in his mansion. A drug addict thinks just one more hit will be enough, one more puff will fulfill him, one more line and he’ll quit. And I believed that one more time would prove to be the one that stuck, the one that would last, the one that was meant to be.
Now that Voldemort has left, I’ve approached a fork in the road. Do I acknowledge the way I’ve treated relationships in the past, not giving myself enough time to breathe between them, and avoid jumping onto the next train that passes? Or do I keep up with the addictive tendencies and let myself fall into the arms of the next opportunity? I’d like to think I’m smarter than that, but when it comes to matters of the heart, all signs of intelligence disappear, the air in a vacuum disappearing instantly. Recently I’ve met some interesting, funny, friendly, attractive, and stable prospects, but for now, I’m focusing on my breathing. In, out. In, out. It may seem cliche, but with the consecutive nature of all the relationships I’ve had, the way I jumped from one to the next with only a minute in between, I haven’t learned who I am. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know where I want to be, I only know where I’ve been.
So even though I feel the flutters of something, I feel the pangs of something, even though I feel the maybe possibly hopefully, I’m waiting and taking my time. I need to get it together, I need to get it right, and that’s what I will do. I need to be me before I am his or anyone’s. That’s the best gift I can give myself at this point, and it’s the best chance both for me and for him at happiness, which is all anyone really wants and needs.