What is that makes us worthy of love?
or rather, ehem
what are the proper conditions for building something real? ...finding love, building something, sustaining it?
A friend and I were discussing this today in association with his decision to put something on hold until he felt he was in a better place to be with "involved".
And sure, I applaud this decision and this post is in no way meant to imply otherwise. Let's here it for maturity.
But it made me think: What level of functionality should we expect others to come to us in? At what point are we just not ready, capable or even deserving of the romantic love and affection of another?
Sure, there are certain criteria we come to expect from our potentials, certain credentials that seem to be fairly universally accepted as necessary.
Available.You expect your possible boyfriend or girlfriend to be single, or at least in a circumstance that allows them to date (separated, polyamorous). But even this is not so simple: it is commonly believed that they should not just be technically available, but they should be emotionally available...you know, over there last lover, or not rebounding, or capable of focusing on you and the thought of you for a moment or two.
Then there is their mental status: we tend to hope and expect that someone will not court you who is currently insane. Or at least interned or massively clinically depressed to the point in which they can not function in a relationship. But how far do we take this one? Can you be in therapy? At what point in therapy? Should you be expected to have every neurosis under control before you place that almighty personal ad or go on the THIRD DATE?
And then there is the legal and fiscal world. Most people probably have the right to be warned if you are being hunted by the IRS, on the lam or zillions of dollars in debt. But even that has shades of grey.
So I found myself wondering: where does the fine line of romantic responsibility lie? At what point do you need to draw the line and say "not ready to date."?
I mean, I am all for responsibility and taking things slow when you are in a freaky grey zone can hardly be faulted. But jesus, we aren't used cars, here. Should we really appear shiny and new to in order to make it to the lot?
And what does this say? That only at our best are we worthy of the love and affection of others? That for better or for worse only holds after the vows?
I mean, I have heard people use some remarkable excuses to extricate themselves from the field...that they were poor, overweight, out of shape, thinking of changing careers. A friend of mine refused to date a girl once because he was not employed. All I could think was "well jesus, why not hang out with her when you've got all this spare time, right? What cheaper than a shared soda or making out?"
And yes, I think it's important to be in a place in which you like yourself enough to be liked by others, and in general it's a good idea to be in a situation that is not apt to punish another for wanting to get to know you.
But I don't want to have to be in competition shape simply to play a game of pick up soccer, you know?
In the same vein, I don't like the notion that I should be, or should expect anyone to be perfect, to be worthy of time and consideration.
In fact, part of the beauty of love is often that affection and respect and hormones blind us poor saps to the object of our affections problems until it's too late.
At some point it just seems that we are punishing ourselves, creating insecurities, and outright making it too much work.
So I pose this question: outside of just personal quirks and unique needs and desires: what standards do we generally have a right to hold ourselves and others to when wading into the sea of love?