I Am a Collector of Unattainable Men

I’ve curated a bizarro world friend zone.

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I have several men in my life. Not in a very exciting or interesting way, really. They’re just there.

There is a commonality with them.

They are all unavailable. Some on an emotional level. Some on a physical level. In one way or another, they are just not present.

In a word, they are unattainable. They will never be mine. Now, to be clear, none of these men belong to other women. I was the side chick once. Of course, I had no idea that was what I was… Never doing that again.

One just simply does not have the space for me. One lives in another state. Another has literally been traveling for the last year and is therefore, essentially, homeless. Another is a good friend who does not live in the same city. You see where I’m going here.

I seem to collect men like this. Oh, you’re moving in three weeks? Yes, I would absolutely love to go on a date with you.

Unattainable is safe. It means I don’t have to actually put forth any kind of effort to make something work or to even really care that much. It’s total bullshit. It’s like coming to a road that has a big sign on it that says “Dead End” and making a conscious decision to walk it anyway.

All of these men live in a bizarro world version of the friend zone. The land of “I would totally date you if…”

I don’t feel bad about keeping them there. They have limited resources to give me and they don’t really ask anything of me. We talk. Perhaps we see other from time to time.

What I fear in this is that it may be driven by my own fear of letting people get too close. I struggle with relationship vulnerability, a defense mechanism created after the end of an actual relationship with one of them.

I am afraid of someone getting too close. I don’t run the risk with these men. They can’t hurt me.

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I also realize that a surface relationship with a man is acceptable. I have been a serial monogamist in the past, moving from one heavy relationship to the next. If it was not moving in the direction of a long term commitment, I would cut a man loose. I don’t need that commitment to happen anymore. Been there, done that. There may come a time when that is a part of my life but it’s just not now.

They stay an arm’s length away. An agreement never spoken but still understood.

One of these men, the traveler, I have never actually met. I don’t think we ever will. But, there is a companionship there. We text. That’s it. It’s nice to hear from him and to see what adventures he’s on. He’s interesting and super pretty. We trade music and podcasts. We just exist together in the bizarro world friend zone. Oddly, we met on a dating site. Figure that one out.

I enjoy their existence. They are interesting, kind, funny, clever, smart, talented men. They do bring something into my life that makes their presence, no matter how distant, warranted and deserved. There are no ill intentions on my end. I enjoy the companionship of these men without being overly attached to them. I am grateful for the small amounts they give and for the small amounts they take. It’s enough.

Written by

Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, I won’t stop taking pictures of my drinks. vanessaltorre@gmail.com IG: vanessaltorre

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