Part of the reason I write here is because I figured out how little I knew. Relationships, women, how to be close…I had no clue. How to accommodate, how to resolve conflict, why conflict arose, the work required to maintain a relationship were all vast oceans of zero understanding.
The list goes on. Why couldn’t I find the right person? What is dating for? From whom should I seek advice? Is this level of frustration normal? Am I doing the right thing? Should I be doing something else? Talk about being scattered.
And then when I found girlfriends, the uncertainty continued. Friends say I should do this. I don’t think so. Why did she say that? Why did she do that? Why doesn’t she see it my way? Why is she upset? Why am I upset?
Basically I created a database of every circumstance in human relationships that might go wrong, feel bad, turn out bad and reduce everyone involved to tears.
But it didn’t start out that way. Like (I suspect) most people, I thought I had some innate ability to navigate the abstract world of bringing others close. Well, I don’t. And neither do you, most probably. But I know for certain that we can stop being clueless and get a few clues. They’re out there.
The photograph is of Melba Roy Mouton, Assistant Chief of Research Programs at NASA’s Trajectory and Geodynamics Division in the 1960s.