I’m one of those women who’s immensely possessive, even though I rarely show it. I make mental effigies of girls that flirt with him in my presence. I get jealous rages that shake me to my core, and I pity the b***h that calls him at 3.00 a.m, even if she happens to be his sister.

Of course, the guy never really knows what I’m thinking, because I hide it with a smile and a dash of nonchalance. The only hint he gets that I may be a tad … unstable … is when I text him 5 times a day and get upset that he’s tweeting without replying. I don’t know what it is that makes me so crazy jealous. Some people say it’s a normal part of being in love. Others say it’s petty insecurity.

One of my exes once said he wished I didn’t love him quite so much, because people who care that deeply could end up stabbing someone. He said his greatest fear was me walking into a room with a knife when he was in bed with someone else. Of course when it finally happened, I didn’t hurt anyone. I just yelled a lot, cried a lot more, and told him I forgave him. A few weeks later, once I realized that he wasn’t going to change, I gathered myself and simply walked away.

Loving any man scares me. It wakes the murderous jealous rage that’s lurking just beneath the surface. Yesterday, I had a chance to question this emotion. It started with an innocent retweet on my TL.

The full-size image is available here: http://bit.ly/TsDHRv courtesy of @smusyoka.

I spent several … minutes … drooling at this picture. I even blew it up and daydreamed as it covered up my screen. I don’t know what it is about broad shoulders and washboard abs that does it for me. After all, in real life, I’d probably never be with a guy like that. I’d be way too self-conscious to really enjoy myself, and I imagine a man with such a perfect body would expect me to work equally hard on mine. Diet and exercise is not my idea of fun.

Once I was done drooling, I asked myself a painful, basic question. Why is it okay for me, but not okay for him? Why do I feel no guilt, no shame, no inkling of wrongdoing for lusting after not one, but 11 guys, yet when the man I’m dating so much as glances at a girl, it’s claws and daggers out?

Why is it okay for me to salivate on live social media, yet when he so much as mentions Halle Berry I’m ready to kill them both? Why is it fine for me to twitpic Jason Momoa or Naveen Andrews, yet when he drools at someone’s avi I’m yelling twiticide? Why is it believable when I say that I’m just looking, but ridiculous when he says the same thing?

Please note that I don’t have an actual answer for any of those questions. Double standards I guess. We have to benefit from it some time. All I know is when I like  guy, all reason goes out the window. I was dating a gorgeous guy once, and we were watching The Losers. He mentioned that he likes Zoe Saldana, and for the rest of the movie, even though I didn’t say anything out loud, I was obsessively wondering whether he thought I was fat.

I think I’ll keep that photo of the 7s team by the poolside. Maybe it’ll help me. Maybe it’ll keep my big green monster in balls and chains. Maybe it’ll help me cut some slack to the boy that I like. And maybe the next time I’m in a relationship, it’ll remind me that it’s perfectly normal to look, as long as you don’t touch.

On a slightly related note, there are two things that melt my heart. One is watching a loving, dedicated dad, with his little girl perched on his shoulders. It’s innocent, and beautiful and absolutely adorable. The other is hearing a man talk about his wife with pride and affection. This happens a lot less than it should. I guess it’s a cultural thing. Maybe our men are afraid to look weak in front of their boys. Or maybe they’re worried that praise will go to a woman’s head.

Of course the girls have reason to be scared too. When a woman hears a man talk like that about another girl, she typically responds in one of two ways. The good women feel fuzzy, sad, and just a little envious, daydreaming of a man that would love them that much. The less scrupulous ones want him for themselves. After all, if he can talk that way about her, he can talk that way about me , yes?

I suppose you could argue that if the man is yours, then nobody’s going to steal him. Just like you could argue that if he did get stolen, then he was never yours to begin with. Some people say that men are naturally polygamous, and that a man is only as faithful as his options. They say people cheat because they’re looking for something that they’re not getting, and that cheating is inevitable, because everyone has at least one thing that you don’t.

He could cheat because he wants someone taller, shorter, fatter, thinner, smarter, dumber, broker, richer. In that game, you really can’t win because there will always be someone who is more or less than what you are, so there will always be options. But just imagine, for a second, you walked by a table and saw a large ice cream/cake/beet/car/*insert temptation of choice*. What would you do?

Some people would look around to see if anyone was watching, then take the free merchandise. Some people would look around to see who it belongs to, so they can return it. Some people would admire it, then go out and get their own. Some people would stop and trash the stuff because they can’t have it and don’t want anyone else to have it either. Some people would take the object of their desire, simply because it’s there, while others would pretend it wasn’t there at all.

To me, cheating not about options. It’s about choice, will power, character. And there are really only two options. You either do it, or you don’t, and once you’ve decided, you rationalize, explain, or find reasons to justify your choice. You could choose to be faithful because you love her, or you’re scared of getting caught, or you don’t want to risk AIDS, or you don’t want to spoil your budget, or any number of reasons. You could also choose to cheat because she’s a gold digger, or you never really loved her, or you like the secret thrill, or you want to prove a point, or it’s just a bit of fun.

I guess that’s why I don’t believe in fighting for someone’s love. I give myself to you, wholly, truly, deeply, and if you feel you’d rather have someone else, I let you go. Simple. I hope one day I’ll find my special someone, a man who will love me and be proud of me and take care of me. A man who will respect me and be faithful to me. A man who will love me and my little girl, accept me as I am, and not be overly fond of diapers, colic, blowjobs … or other women. Also, this girl has totally made my day. Bless you, child.


♫ Guitar song ♫ Texas

12 thoughts on “You can look … but you can’t touch

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