I am really putting myself out here by writing about this, so please forgive me if I wander or lose coherency. But I think it needs to be addressed (and doing it “publicly” on here scares the hell out of me). So let’s do it.
I have some girlfriends who firmly believe that holding on to a failing relationship until the next one is in place to begin is totally acceptable. And likewise, I have girlfriends, and guyfriends, who never really commit but tend to date around. But I think what I am trying to talk about is different than this. While both examples could be construed as “irons in the fire” situations (or even kettles on the stove), it’s not quite the same as what I am thinking.
Mine differs this way: the irons on the fire are firmly there… no one kettle is on “simmer” while another is on 8. Both irons are equally in the heat. At least on my end.
So, while neither iron has made a definitive statement of commitment (both speculate about “the future“), at what point do I pull one iron out of the coals and lay it in the ashes? Or can two irons exist equally in the fire right now (so long as none declare to stand alone)?
I ask this because these 2 irons are very different and I am attracted to them for very different reasons. So is it wrong of me to let both sit equally? Neither has asked (or demanded) my full and undivided attention. And both know about the other.
But this is certainly an interesting position for me. I mean, I have definitely thought of the irons in the fire quandry before (ie: college) where it was like “the more, the merrier!” and everyone’s kept on the edge of the coals (rather than planted firmly in the heat). But now that the stakes are a bit different (higher?), this takes on a different perspective.
How long do I keep this going at this level? I certainly am not playing these two irons. They know about the other, and neither has committed. So… do I owe either anything? I don’t think so.
I do know this… I am running a very high risk of losing one, and more likely both. This is a very fine line I am on. And to be honest, it’s not all that great. I can’t change life, but if I could, I would have met these two irons at non-concurrent times in my life. Because for so many very different reasons, each is wonderful and deserves to sit in the middle of the coals by himself.