a Barak & Sheba Article

It's Like Using a RoadMap...
Tuesday May 20, 2014

Well, that's what I said. The look I got for that comment was curious, perhaps a little confused... But we were the same age, so I assumed she had used one before. I decided to clarify. I asked, "How does one get to St. Louis?" You could see the glimmer in her eyes, and the apparent thought that was plain on her face said, "This question is easy." She smiled, as though revealing the meaning of life and said simply, "go west."

I grinned that mischievous grin and sat back in the bench. Her knowing look now waivered. She hesitated. Then she regained her composure and said, "St. Louis is west of here." My grin widened. I spoke slowly and directly. "Yes, St. Louis is mostly west of Columbus, Ohio. But I didn't say How do we get to St. Louis... I said, How does one get there. One, in this case, being a variable."

She thought about this for a moment, then threw her hands up in the air. She sharply cried out, loud enough for the other restaurant patrons to stop and look over at us, "Well then MR SMARTYPANTS! Where is one?" Again my Cheshire grin... "Now we are getting somewhere."

Before she bit my head off, I continued. In order to find out how to get somewhere, like in this instance - St. Louis - We have to know where we are now. After all, if we are in Columbus or all points directly east, St. Louis is west. However, if we are in say... Florida? West would bring us to the middle of the Gulf of Mexico - or perhaps somewhere in southern Texas. Now, if we were in LA, one would hopefully do the opposite of your instructions... and go east.

She struck her hands on the table, and said, "You are impossible!" Once again attracting a small amount of unwanted attention. My response probably exasperated her more, but it needed to be said. "No. Actually, I am highly improbable... but since I am here... obviously not impossible. But that is the subject for an entirely different and somewhat esoteric conversation. Anyway. let's get back to the topic at hand. Relationships."

Let's look at the first step - where we are. There is a basic idea that Sheba and I always talk about. Your first relationship, prior to reaching out for another person, is your relationship with yourself. It's tremendously important. Many people think they are looking for the "other piece to their puzzle." But the truth is, we are our own independent and self sustaining puzzle. When we realize this, and continue our journey of self-actualization, we can "bring the totality of ourselves" to a relationship... as opposed to needing (completion) from a relationship.

And... there is nothing wrong with stopping here. There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. I lived for over a decade as a single joyous individual. I learned an incredible amount about myself in that time. Developing that relationship with myself was one of the most valuable things I have done.

But if we choose to try and link up with a compatible "puzzle," in another.... When we find that someone or someone(s) whose individual puzzle creates an entirely new and also complete picture when fit with ours, it can be a beautiful thing. It is the exemplification of that adage, one plus one equals three - or the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

How do we do that? Let's look once again at the roadmap analogy. If you are interested in finding someone - or someone(s) - to create a relationship with, you might want to know where you are going. Let's look at some of the questions that will help illuminate our path: What is it that you need? What is it that you want? Finally, what are your desires? Without those things, we are just looking around and hoping for some level of compatibility.

Let me 'splain - no.. Let me sum up. Since we are talking about needs, let's adapt Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs into an easily understood concept for a relationship base. Let's agree that for the sake of this discussion - a need is something in a relationship that is a basic tenet. Meaning, a relationship need is something that if you don't have, the relationship will not exist or survive long. For instance, If I don't have trust? I can't be in a relationship with that person. Get it?

A want is a bit of a different story. It's something that will cause emotional pain if you don't have. That emotional pain can build and cause anger, resentment, and/or damage, up to and including the eventual erosion of the relationship. For instance, I want intimate time. Not always sex, but intimacy... you know - that "Into Me See..." where we are sharing the emotional closeness our inner most thoughts and feelings. If I don't get that? I will feel a longing, like something is missing. And it will slowly grow, until it creates a rift, or relationship damage.

Finally, there are desires! A desire is something like a bonus. It's something that adds to the relationship in a positive way. However, if you don't have it? It won't cause problems, it just won't be the extra. For instance, it is a desire to share a good meal with the people I love. If that doesn't happen? Oh Well... McDonalds or Kraft Mac N Cheese it is. Here's another example - I really like my testicles gently coddled when I receive fellatio. But... if I get the blowjob without the ball coddling? No biggie. All that make sense?

She admitted it did, then remarked - Once I get have a good list of my needs, wants, and desires... what then? I thought for a moment, and replied - "That's easy. Conduct interviews." She shook her head slowly, "I am not a job. These aren't applicants." I continued, "No? They're not? You told me you wanted someone for an intimate relationship. Isn't that a role in your life? You have written out the qualifications. What can't it be just like a job? After all, what is dating? It's a slower interview process to determine compatibility for a longer term position."

She was thinking... Then declared, "But relationships have emotion. What you're describing takes all the emotion out of it. I want to love, and be loved. I want passion. I want hot steamy freaky monkey sex!" The visualizing of that took me a moment... Aside from the bananas, the flinging poo, and the tails... it sounded pretty hot.

Why does emotion have to be left out of the interview? We make emotional choices about our jobs daily. Before we accept a job offer, don't we check our gut? Don't we listen to our heart? Don't we look through the papers and see what calls to us? Look. I am not suggesting that taking a job - or getting involved in a relationship - are emotionless. Not hardly.

Both sides of the interview process are still people. People who are going to be taking into consideration all kinds of factors about the persons they are interviewing, or being interviewed by. I once walked out of a job interview because the interviewer didn't look me in the eye, not once. How could I work for a company who had delegated that important a function to someone who couldn't connect with another human?

Which brings us to the entire point. We all are looking for people who we connect with. Sometimes that connection is momentary, other times it lasts for months or years... and everyone once in a while... that connection is so strong and compatible, it lasts a lifetime. That all depends on our mutual needs, wants and desires.

Anyway, why wouldn't it be like a job interview... or ... ordering at a Taco Bell for that matter? We have an understanding of we are interested in, so why not ask for exactly what it is? If we didn't narrow down the criteria, and didn't use our voices to speak our needs, wants and desires - in any or all circumstances, then we would get what we were given... not necessarily what fits, what feels good, what is compatible. And... we would sell ourselves short.

The thing is that each of us are worth it. We are all worthy of love, of happiness, and of care. We are all beautiful humans being - in all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, and incarnations. It is so important to allow our shining to come through. Discovering, uncovering and sharing who we are with ourselves, life and others takes a bit of work. But... when we see ourselves as attractive people... others do too.

So whether we choose one partner, many partners, or choose only ourselves... engage with a zest, bring your lustiness not just to sex... but to everything we do... 'Cause when we are traveling that roadmap of life... It's really not the destination that defines each of us... It's the journey.

Good luck in yours.

Barak & Sheba

©2014 Barak & Brat Sheba

(return to main library page)