February 20, 2016

I Cheated On Him With My Imagination.


A relationship is the beginning of a journey, and as with anything new, we must be prepared. Prepared to not only give, but to receive everything that comes along with it—disagreements and challenges—and to work through them as a team. A romantic relationship is not a solution, or a fairy tale, and it is certainly not an escape.

When we select a mate, we chose someone who shares our common traits, but sometimes not our strongest traits. I was a serial dater of men with their head in the clouds. They were the dreamers, the wistful, the eternal optimists and the uniques. And I am perpetually the classic Holly Go Lightly played, by Audrey Hepburn, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

For as long as I can remember I have used art and writing as a vehicle to escape reality. Since I wasn’t using drugs or alcohol to avoid life, I never thought it a problem until I realized that my love for fantasy was influencing romantic relationships. Bottom line, I did not want a relationship. I was perfectly content with the relationship I had with myself.

I must confess, I was cheating all along. On a given night, I am happy to be the life of the party and attract all of the attention. But when it is over, I go home to my life as a creative. I am prepared to give 100% to being a creative professional, but when it comes to a romantic relationship, I am not quite there yet.

It’s not that I didn’t have feelings for the men I dated. I care for them. They are my friends, my companions and my inspirations. They are talented at finding mountain tops under stars, cozy coffee shops and candlelit bars. Wherever it is, they make me feel like the world is ours. But after escaping for a few hours, I am completely content to go back to my life as a creative.

Because these men could create an environment that has the same intoxicating feeling I experience when I am writing or drawing, I would think I was in love. But I was mistaken. I became frustrated each time a relationship didn’t work out. But my frustration was nothing more than my refusal to accept that I am perfectly content to be a dreamer, single, unattached and free.

The problem with the mates I was chasing is that they were content to be single dreamers too.

Those moments of escape provide a sense of freedom. Yet after the freedom wears off, the relationship remains. And if it is not something we are ready to invest in, it will fade away just as quickly as the fantasy. And with that I see that I realized I was not ready to give. I could give to me, but I could not create the home for someone else when I was busy creating a life for me.

As a child, I did not have many of those moments of freedom. I was responsible, not by choice but by necessity. My father had a need for order. The house had to be in order, his meals had to be cooked, the bills paid, my homework had to be complete and all of this had to be done before he came home from work. If anything was astray, he went into an absolute rage.

So as an adult, I made it a priority to provide a sense freedom, fun and fantasy. This creativity sets me free, but it also grounds me. And with that independence came a comfort, a comfort knowing that I was responsible for my own destiny. And that is the relationship that I am prepared to commit to, for now. I enjoy an adventure every now and then for those who want to share it with me. But as for a romantic relationship, I am not prepared and that is okay with me.




Author: Jane CoCo Cowles

Editor:  Travis May

Image: Deviant Art

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