Home > Life or something like it > The Dear John to Jack (AKA Take it or Leave it)

The Dear John to Jack (AKA Take it or Leave it)

05/12/2007
Following is the e-mail that I sent earlier this morning… 



Jack —

    It’s been a week since the last time I had chatted with you online… The last time we chatted you had basically told me you "wanted me", and you even laid out an ultimatum to me that basically said that I had to take or leave your offer for what I called "…stolen moment between your work, my work, your family obligations, and my own…" Towards the end of the conversation, I had given you something to think about and was hoping to hear back from you within that time… But apparently family obligations and long hours of work have prevented you from being able to write and/or answer that question I had posed to you.    
    In that time however, I have thought carefully through this ultimatum of yours, followed closely with instead of allowing it to stew and simmer, renouncing it and basically pulling the routine prideful response of (and I paraphrase here), "…let’s agree to disagree…" and to "…just be friends…" There were several things that you had said during the course of that conversation that certainly left me thinking about some of the motives that were going on with you — not surprising given your economy of words both in type, and from my limited experience in chatting with you in real time and on the phone.

    In all the years that I’ve been trying to understand the dynamics of relationships… I’ve come to learn that flexibility is the "name of the game" when it comes to the building relationships with other human beings. It’s not about the rules you set that make a relationship succeed or fail, but rather the comfort levels you have when you work out the agreements and disagreements of the relationship between you and that other person you’re choosing to interact with. What this means is that you and that person — be it friend or significant other — have to discuss not only your needs by also theirs and try to hammer out some sort of compromise between the two. What this doesn’t mean is to act prideful when things don’t appear to be working out in your favor, and retracting everything because that other person isn’t agreeing with you immediately and without question.
    I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying, "relationships are a two-way street". This is correct after a fashion given that in order for cooperation to be obtained, the two people need to communicate their needs, and then sometimes compromise in order to make it work between the two of them.

    I recall clearly in a couple of conversations we’ve had where you have gone into detail on what you want — not only physically, but also now in how you want to approach an intimate relationship with me — you have never once asked me what it was that I wanted, and like you’ve accused me of doing on more than one occasion — assumed it was a mutual want. I’m sure you were quite surprised last weekend when I explained to you that what I wanted wasn’t something casual in the least, and went into detail as to some of the things that I would like — including such things as e-mail conversations, and ultimately something more than just "stolen moments here and there…" right down to the house, the white picket fence, the dog and cat, perhaps a discussion of children and ultimately a wedding ring of my own.

    As I’ve said to you — I’m not a casual person. I never could understand what it was to be "casual" when it comes to any form of relationship: acquaintanceships, friendships, or more intimate relationships. It has been my estimation and experience with men that say they want a "casual" relationship have either demonstrated serious issues with commitment or intimacy (at best) or use it as excuse to have as much anonymous sex as they can (at worst). In the former — I think that seeing a good psychologist will help sort that out. In the latter — thanks, but serial monogamy is enough for the likes of me and again nothing a good psychologist couldn’t remedy. Casual might be a good approach to start with — but something that shouldn’t be maintained for long periods of time. Particularly when one is proclaiming "want" of someone else, but does nothing to reinforce that "want".
    I’ve done quite a lot of introspection in the last week since you threw out that "…take it or leave it…" Particularly when it comes to passions and wants. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t feel any sort of passion or want from you or with you. My impression of you is that you lack the inherent qualities necessary in order for a long-term relationship to happen successfully with me: self-esteem, confidence, (emotional and mental) strength, drive/determination, want and desire.

    Normally it I would be my hope that we’d still remain friends after this, but the fact of the matter is conversing with you both online and real time (on the phone or vis-à-vis) is a considerable effort of patience and the near constant feeling of walking on eggshells that makes such conversations difficult, stilted or disappointing for the both of us. So instead, I would like to submit that it would be in both of our best interests that we head in the directions we are meant to head instead of hanging on to the illusion of "friendship" that really doesn’t seem to exist between the two of us.

Peace & Long Life,
Michael Andrew "Merrick" Baldelli

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