Setting the bar

Setting the bar

This is an unexpected sequel to my previous post Communication.  I meant to finish and “publish” other posts I had previously planned, but due to special blog-followers and their willingness to offer much good feedback, insight, and indirectly challenge me with their questions and comments, and in particular one special blog-follower, I resigned myself from those other planned posts and decided this post was not just a natural follow-up, but more importantly required.

* * * * * * * * * *

As a lifetime passionate soccer player and former professional soccer player now fan, I had to learn very quickly what was required for victory, exceeding expectations, and pushing your self further to do better and be better.  As is often the case in professional sports, and I think also in life, it isn’t realistic to always expect victory, or becoming better if you set the standard or goal the same as it was before, or the same as it always has been.  To do so would set you and your teammates up for status quo or worse, an upset loss because your opponent is always seeking an advantage to defeat you.  It is a matter of perspective.  It is a mentality of What Is versus What Could Be.  If a pro athlete doesn’t have and keep the mentality of What Could Be, he will find himself in retirement soon, probably too soon.

Is it fair to carry on-field perspectives in pro sports over into daily life, off-field life…into personal interrelationships?

To go where few have gone before

To go where few have gone before

One of the worst ultimatums to tell or place onto a pro athlete is the explicit and implicit phrase Off Limits or It Can’t Be Done.  I think too this holds true for some of history’s great explorers or today’s astronauts, cosmonauts, and all their support-staff pushing the limits of human existence beyond the limits of Earth.  Yet, there always seems to be those who will never stop claiming It Can’t Be Done.  They say those “forbidden” places will only perpetuate suffering, death, so they are Off Limits.  After hearing such claims all through my less-than wealthy childhood and adolescence, from less-than an opulent neighborhood on equally less-than upper-status soccer teams from a less-than publicized youth league in the less-than wealthy part of south Dallas…I finally said ENOUGH!  I begged my parents to drive me three-times a week to the best competitive league with the best teams in Texas to north Dallas.  I finally won a spot on the roster of one of the top teams in the NDCC Classic League.

But my fight to be a better goalkeeper on a better team in a better league was not over for the next two seasons.  The coach kept me as a backup on the bench, a second stringer because I had no experience on the “big stage.”  On my high school soccer team (from the poor-part of Dallas), I was the Captain and star of the team.  My two varsity years saw our team make it to the City of Dallas championship back-to-back.  I was voted MVP in one of those tournaments.  I was also traveling over 40-miles to and from north Dallas all season to be trained by a former Czech Republic national team goalkeeper my parents were helping me pay for.  But none of that meant squat in the NDCC Classic League or to my new coach.

I will spare you the long tale, challenge, and hard work of my rise into professional soccer both in West Africa and then in Brazil, but I want to make this point.  If I had simply accepted my imposed prejudgments of my capabilities, had not been challenged by my collegiate soccer coach – himself a former pro soccer goalkeeper and having a little higher expectations on me while he trained me, coached me, pushed me, and inspired me for four incredible years to be better than expected — I might not have become as successful a pro player; maybe not even successful or pro at all.  If those special people in my post high school life had not believed in me and had higher expectations of me than I did on myself, could I have made it to the pro level?

Is it good to have a little higher expectation upon yourself?  How about upon others, like your teammate(s), life-mate, or Soul MateS?

I am happy my good blogging friend brought up this very relevant point in my previous post.  It applies specifically to expected communication by a Soul Mate, Lover, and Close Dear Friend.  If you do not yet see the connection based on what I’ve just stated/written, I will elaborate.

My challenge and dilemma from my previous post (Communication) is this:  Is it possible (on a spiritual-metaphysical level?) to become Soul MateS at one time, and then become something between an Acquaintance and Friend a later time?

My next challenge and dilemma from this post:  Is it fair of me to expect proactive communication from a previous(?) Close Dear Friend, Lover, and Soul Mate?

goldfishI ask because I think I’ve discovered that I still have some subtle traditional expectations of communication inside a non-traditional lifestyle, particularly with people who were once in the same lifestyle, but apparently (“apparently” because there is no communication now) are no longer in the lifestyle, that is the Lifestyle of Proactive Communication, which is the open/polyamorous lifestyle.

And to make things more complicated, why in the hell do I keep distinguishing between traditional monogamous communications versus open proactive communications?  Should they not just coexist to the point of being indistinguishable?  Why do traditional monogamous couples forbid the discussion or proactive discussion of attraction that does not include infidelity?  Or would it include some level of infidelity if there is a “past” in each other’s lives that includes fulfilled attractions, i.e. the lessons and experience of determining what one’s attractions are and why, and may or does include its continuation?  What is the essence, the nature of infidelity anyway?

And then the coup de grâce question(s):

Does no one evolve through the experiences of attraction, love, romance, companionship; all those aspects of intimacy people crave, I crave, when everything in existence around us evolves, is always changing, growing, becoming different – if only slightly – every day, week, month, or year including within the “laws” of attraction, love, romance, companionship?  With so much fluidity does there not need to be some flexibility, some tweaking, some growing, some adapting, some improving, some What Could Be questioning communication, ala The Unexamined Life by Socrates…when circumstances change and demand new expectations?  Dr. Gerzon makes a poignant statement:  “…much of our life is unconscious repetition” if it goes unexamined.

In this ever-changing world and its changing people, does everything in the world of personal interrelationships, particularly simple proactive communication, need to change?  I ask laughing at the paradox, are my communication expectations unrealistically rigid?

(paragraph break)

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7 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. Oh, my friend. So much said in so few words. I think this style of discussion is the side of your blogging universe I enjoy reading best. The one who combines the emotional, logical and intellectual in an attempt to make sense of life/situations/change.

    Here are my thoughts as they popped forth while reading your post. Yes, of course it’s possible for someone once thought to be a soul mate to find themselves relegated to casual friend/acquaintance. More often than not, hindsight being what it is, you can even see where choices caused the paths to split. More often than not, the divergence came in how the people involved chose to communicate (or not) with each other. Often it’s a conscious choice. In my life, looking back on a time or two when this occurred it was usually fear (in the inability to accept one’s self wholly or of taking the next step or even what others will think) was the root cause.

    There was a guy I dated for years prior to my husband. He was my best friend. We were so sure we’d get married that we had our childrens’ names picked out, knew the cars we’d drive, the careers we’d have…but in the end, the combination of distance (we lived several hours apart) and his discomfort with my utter comfort in my own sexuality (he loved being with the girl that his friends wanted, but couldn’t handle the reality in a day to day setting without feeling jealous…unfounded, though it was). In the end, the break up was abrupt and somewhat hurtful. But it was a clean break. He recently friended me on FB and I talked to hubby before accepting it. Now we’re definitely just acquaintances. Reminds me of song lyrics, actually.

    “Like a friend, Like a fool,
    Like some guy you knew in school.
    Didn’t we love? Didn’t we share?
    Or don’t you even care.
    I know you said we were through,
    But I never knew
    How quickly I would go from someone you loved
    To someone you used to know.”

    As for the spousal thing… Okay, so my relationship isn’t 100% traditional in that hubby and I can talk about anything. Heck, we have a celebrity clause in our relationship and I could probably name off the top 5 celebs on his “to do” list. Still. Everyone fantasizes. It doesn’t mean you have to make it a reality. So why hide it? What’s the big deal? Can either person say they’ve never even looked? If you want to grow together as a couple or soul mates (which, incidentally, I don’t believe has to be a sexual thing) honest, fearless communication has to be there. When you start censoring yourself or holding back, the road begins to diverge.

    P.S. I may not have been an athlete, but I’ve always believed in pushing and challenging myself to be better than my last effort, too.


    • Thank you Kitt for your kind words and support for attempts to breakdown and understand “life, situations, and change.” I honestly love it despite its sometimes frustrating process!

      Regarding your previous ‘Soul Mate’ guy and its end and now its current status, I find it sad, including my own ‘dead’ or semi-dead past relationships. I now struggle with those conditions because I see now they could have been avoided had better efforts been applied, AND better expectations met for all concerned.

      Which makes me curious as to what you think/feel Kitt about Expectations on others, particularly Significant Others. Whether we get or not what we seek from others, is it reasonable to EXPECT the type of open, authentic, proactive communication…and as you pointed out, expecting that level communication whether there were sexual experiences or not? Is the real issue sexual experiences!?


      • I think it’s reasonable. Often, the thing that hampers honesty is fear of not being accepted. To that end, I say…if they can’t love and accept you as you are (and vice versa), then the relationship was probably never strong enough or real enough to withstand the challenges life tends to throw…and the relationship was a bit of a mirage, anyway.

        I have a female best friend with whom I’ve been best friends/soul mates for 25 years. There has never been anything sexual about our relationship. There isn’t much we don’t know about each other. We can say anything to each other. In fact, she’s the one I mentioned that was bold enough to call me out regarding communication in your last post.

        As for sex and its role in all this? I think it’s usually more a symptom, shield or buffer than it is the root cause. Usually it traces back to fear. Fear of judgement (what will others think?), fear of the intensity of their own desires or feelings, fear that they might not be “normal”, fear of rejection, fear that it’s “too good to last”. I’m sure you could add a few more fears that people hide behind or find ways to make excuses rather than face head on.


        • I think you are spot on Kitt. “Fear stifles, courage fulfills.” And fears, as you adequately listed, hamper SO MUCH authenticity and becoming more whole, because failures, hurt, despair are just as EQUALLY important (needed?) as successes, joy, love, and hope! And to top all that, both sides of that spectrum are extremely fluid anyway; both compliment each other VERY well…so embrace both. 🙂

          After all this, after your comments on both posts, I say to myself more now — and say aloud to anyone with ears — “fear or no fear, it is almost always bigger than yourself.” And I think I’d wager that it is actually ALWAYS bigger than yourself.

          Which makes me ask the next question: What is really to fear if we are all not alone? The answer is certainly NOT silence!


  2. Pingback: That’s Not My Kink | theinnerwildkat

  3. Pingback: Not Who You Thought? | Professor Taboo

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