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31 January 2000 - 11:43pm
I've been asked by someone tonight on ICQ to go through the relationships with women that I've had in the past, and state what I learnt from each of them. An interesting challenge, and one that I thought would be an interesting learning experience as well. So I agreed.

My first relationship really goes back to high school. It was actually two relationships. Both of them were an absolute waste of energy at the time, because I never did anything. Whenever they confronted me about my feelings for them, I denied everything. I was stupid, nave and self-conscious. I couldn't admit to liking them, because then I risked humiliation, and that was something I just wasn't prepared to handle. So these two girls - Cheryl-Anne and Cindy - captured my heart. I was the one who ripped my heart to shreds over it all. What did I learn? I learnt a number of things. Don't let opportunity pass me by. Don't let the risk of humiliation prevent me from showing and admitting my feelings for another. I wonder what could have happened had I had the courage to be honest back then.

The next relationship as such was with Samantha; I was aged about 24 at the time. That was basically an infatuation. I wanted what I couldn't have. What made it all the more enticing for me was that she knew I wanted her and she kept on hanging around. This was good for her, because she used my infatuation to get what she wanted, but gave me nothing in return - except her company. However, the very fact she stayed with me was enough for me to think that maybe she really liked me… I ended up running away because she wouldn't leave. I got nothing from that emotional leech, not even sex. But I learnt not to take that shit from anyone again.

The next relationship I had was with some woman whose name I can't remember. I was a virgin up until this point. A friend of mine and I went out to a nightclub and we came back with two women who were friends of his. He slept with one and I slept with the other. I was a little drunk, very nervous and hung up on Samantha.  This one-night stand was a disaster for me, and I learnt that I don't like one-night

Along came Debbie shortly after this. I was STILL hung up on Samantha, and Debbie helped me get through that. She was 18, sexy and into leather. Strange girl… She was patient, but not patient enough. Our relationship lasted about 3 weeks before she gave up. I don't blame her. She thought my 'problems' with sex with her was because of her. I couldn't tell her that I could only think of Samantha and Debbie wasn't Samantha… well, you can see where that went… What did I learn from this? Honesty is a good thing. If I had've told her about Samantha and me trying to get over her, I'm sure it would have been easier for Debbie, and thus for both of us. Debbie might have chosen to be more patient and understanding, or she might have chosen to leave anyway. At least she wouldn't have left feeling guilty about herself.

Who was next? Kate. I moved from Adelaide to Canberra to be with Kate. Her family was here and she wanted to come here, so I came with her. We split up a month after I got here. What did I learn from that? Nothing. I'd do that all over again. There are different lessons here… Basically, the reason she left me was because I was apathetic. I'd been working 13-hour days, 7 days a week, for 2 years straight. I left that job and moved here with her straight away, and after getting here I was on the dole ('welfare' for you people who don't live in Australia).  I wasn't looking for work. Instead, I was just enjoying the relaxation of not having to work. I did a lot of creative stuff for my personal enjoyment. I created entire worlds and religions and histories for a role-playing game I was working on. This was fantastic as far as I was concerned, and was THE most creative part of my entire life (so far). But for Kate, all that she knew was that she was out working while I was lounging around at home 'doing nothing'. So she got fed up with it all.  From that relationship I learnt that you can't be lazy around women. While they might understand the desire for relaxation, they also feel the desire for their partner to be enthusiastic, a hard worker and ambitious. That seems to be a basic need women have for qualities in men, which has been shown to me since then, to be correct. So I learnt that I can't relax around girlfriends. <smile>

After Kate came Estera. I learnt that ex-girlfriends really COULD be friends after a relationship has ended, and her and I have been that way for the past 5+ years now. I don't think it'll end. I learnt that for women to be friends with their ex-boyfriends, they have to believe that they don't HAVE to end. They can change instead.

The next relationship was with Petra, a girl from Taiwan. I learnt that women can have huge emotional problems and no matter how understanding you are and how you try to love and accept them, you can't fight their own attitudes about themselves. If they aren't prepared to accept themselves and their problems and deal with them, then there's no way you can help them.

After that was a Chinese girl called Helen. She was almost as emotionally screwed up as Petra, and I learnt that maybe all Asian women are like that…  (Just kidding!) 

Then along came 'Missy'. With her, I had the most meaningful relationship I've ever had in my entire life, and yet we were together for only a short time. I don't really know what I've learnt from Missy… it's too close to me. Time hasn't healed the wound and allowed me to see it relatively objectively yet. Oh yeh… there's one thing I learnt from it. Long-distance relationships are incredibly hard. I learnt I don't want to go through that again. If I'm to develop a relationship with a woman, it's got to be in the same city. Got to be. That's the only way you can develop a healthy relationship and maintain it. There has to be the relaxed and easy attitude towards going out, and the spontaneity of making a phone call and just going out somewhere. So I learnt to look for my soul mate a little closer to home.

And that, my friends, is that. The relationships I've had, and what I've learnt from them. 

Now, I wonder what I learnt from this exercise? I'm not really sure. I think that I haven't learnt anything at all. But it's been an interesting distraction for a couple of hours to write about it, and I'm sure I'll review this at a later stage. Maybe my learning from it is yet to come to me. Or maybe it'll be significant only to the person who asked me to write about it. I don't know. We'll just have to wait and

No quote today. I'm continuing my time of mourning




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2001 Alan Howard