I'm in a strange situation. I've been interested in someone for the past month or so. The catch is that he won't be staying in the area after the next 6 months or so.
As y'all know, I've been on dates with a lot of guys. I make some decisions that others might view as rude, because I don't like to waste my time (and if I gave some to every clueless creeper who wanted it, I would have probably have wasted YEARS). I won't date just any old person even though I very much want to be in a relationship. So I've had a conundrum thinking about the situation with this guy, because it seems to be a waste of time in the long run, but in many ways he's several steps above most men in the general population.
I've spent much time in the past three years of my life coming to terms with what it will mean for me to be a scientist. In part I've thought a great deal about my real and potential romantic relationships, and how I might (or might not) be able to dovetail them with my career. One very important conclusion I've come to is that no matter what may occur, I will have to go where I need to (and want to) for my job. I don't know how this will affect my relationships- I've often hoped that I will find a man who likes to travel and whose job isn't rooted to one place. But that's quite a gamble and when entering into most relationships I know I might have to face the consequences of putting my career before my partner's wishes.
The thing is, I'm willing to live this way. First of all, my dedication to my career hasn't been the end of any of my relationships thus far; I'd characterize most if these endings as the result of incompatibility (not to mention immaturity!) (sorry-my sass is showing). Second, due in part to my time at Fairfield University, I periodically step back to take stock of my life. Overall, I'm very happy with where I am. But I've also come to the conclusion that for me, work is not enough in itself to satisfy all of the aspects of myself. I enjoy being in a healthy relationship and know that there are parts of me that can only be satisfied by that. This is why I don't regret the majority of the relationships I've had. I recognize their value even if they ended negatively. I recognize that 90% of the guys out there are not even remotely what I'm looking for, and recognize the rarity of finding one that's compatible.
It follows that even as I enter a relationship, I accept the fact that I might end up getting hurt. It's risk management. I protect my investments (time, energy and emotions) by being choosy about who I spend my time with, but I recognize that there is no guarantee. In my mind putting myself in a position where I might get hurt is balanced by the beauty of time spent with someone I care about and who cares about me. Some may think I'm crazy. My therapist congratulates me for getting back on the horse. But having spent time recently trying to accept that the implications of my career-driven goals and my abnormal level of maturity for my 26 years might add up to quite a few more years waiting for a mate who fits with me, I have to ask: Should I spend all of that time alone? From my experiences thus far, I say no. It's worth the risk.
The only problem is that the other person might not see it this way.