Wow, I find myself bordering on becoming cynical in my way of looking at things and how members of the opposite sex relate to me…Almost…. I’m finding that I’m wondering about the simplest statements being made to me and whether they are true or not. This is a trait that is not like me, I generally trust what people tell me when I ask them, my logic is “I’m being honest, they should be too; if I’m hiding nothing, why should they?” I don’t really believe this to be naivety, but more or less keeping hope that there are still honest people out there.
Prince Charming should be forthright in his quest and intentions, he should not be able to change his colours to best suit his environment, not even if it’s for his own protection! Love makes us vulnerable, be vulnerable!
What saddens me is that I’m not sure that some of the men that I’ve encountered in my dating life were chameleons on purpose or out of dishonest intention. Some chameleons are just that because they may not know what to be, or who the real version of them is. There are other chameleons out there though, that just wish to be the most appealing to you to get what they want (whether short term relationship status, sexual relationship, etc.)—though in my experience, they are easier to spot as they use manipulation and are less consistent in their camouflage.
What is a chameleon you ask? A chameleon is a cute little lizard, that alot of people keep as pets, and they can change colours to suit their environment. They can colour change based on moods, willingness to attract a mate (no really, I read up on this on Wikipedia), and for camouflage (defence) purposes. My definition of chameleon (for this blog’s purpose) that I’ve encountered can almost be defined as the same, less the lizard/pet classifications and we will exchange colour change for changing of characteristics/wants/needs.
My most recent chameleon came to me as exactly what I needed and when I needed him; he just unfortunately wasn’t my Prince Charming and didn’t end up staying. But I don’t think it was done maliciously (or at least I’m hoping not). This year was one of the hardest years of my life, I lost a parent to terminal illness. Now, I don’t know how many of you have had to endure this yet, but it has to date been the worst thing I’ve ever been through in my life. I am very much what some would label a “Daddy’s Girl”, I was super close with my father and had him wrapped around my proverbial little figure as the expression goes. Around the same time the doctors told us those dreaded words, “I’m sorry but there’s nothing else we can do”; enter my chameleon: a young man I had just met with playful blue eyes, and a fun attitude that always wanted to make me laugh. I had warned him off of me though, I told him what was going on with my family and that it wasn’t a great time to get to know me, times were going to get tough. He wanted to stick around, and pretty much made it a point to integrate himself into my life. This kind hearted young man promised me he’d always be by my side and I’d never have to do anything difficult alone again. Such big promises and kind words, if a man wasn’t serious about someone why would they endure such a challenging time and help that person endure their personal hell? My chameleon was my rock; hospital visits, a shoulder to cry on, and when the time came: end of life arrangements, life celebrations, pretty much anything I needed he was by my side and promised to stay there. Growing a relationship through such a difficult time endeared me to this man, all the while he told me everything that he thought he should.
After my father passed, the relationship could focus more on the individuals in it, and not base around an illness and coping with a hard time. My chameleon still dealt with me during my mourning, but he also spoke with me at great length about cultivating a long term relationship; discussing wants, dream, plans, futures, and desire for a family. He seemed perfect, almost everything by way of desire for a family and wants were in line with mine; or so I was told. I have been through my share of long term relationships that didn’t pan out because of different lives wanted by the participating parties, I was careful to discuss with this lad exactly what he wanted and exactly what I wanted. We moved in together, and we able to cohabit with ease. Bliss, such a solid relationship was forming, so much so that we were going to throw caution to the wind! We realized that life is so very short and we had just endured a loss in my life….We decided to have a baby! He knew how strong my desire for a family was, and the silly lad wanted to give whatever he could to me….. Enter Mr. “It’s not you, it’s me” (see previous blog entry). As mentioned above, I truly believe this chameleon of mine was such without realizing what he was doing, he was adapting to make me happy and please me without really knowing himself. My chameleon was definitely not my Prince Charming, and in the same year I endured another loss.
My heart was in bits, mourning a death and a relationship so close to one and other…This relationship made me really sad, because this was a chameleon that didn’t mean to be (I don’t think, or at least I didn’t see that dishonest trait in him). But because everything was so seemingly honest and discussed openly, it makes me second guess other positive interactions with men that are potential Prince Charming in my life. When someone tells me that they want the same things, I’m wondering if they’re just telling me what they think I want to hear or if they are sincere and truly know themselves.
Honesty, willingness to invest, be vulnerable, and work at it; I was sure I did things properly that time. It’s hard to be vulnerable again and open myself to finding Prince Charming when there are those chameleons (malicious or not) out there.
I guess I just keep coming back to this C.S. Lewis quote: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
No way around getting hurt, is there? You just hope that someday someone won’t. But there’s always risk…