RED FLAGS! RED FLAGS! RED FLAGS!
When red flags are thrown, play stops.
If a player continues because he hasnít seen the red flag, then thatís understandable, but itís also still wrong.
I see red flags. Theyíre all around me.
Youíve been throwing red flags onto the field for six months. And, instead of stopping play, Iíve been acting like a bull and making a fresh charge every time a red flag flew.
I tried to convince myself it was a dance: you waved a red flag and backed up, and I charged. It wasnít a dance, it was an attack. An assault.
You told me from the very start of our friendship that you werenít ready to be put in the game. Yet I cajoled you into it.
You told me you werenít ready for a committed relationship (red flag on the field), that I was asking for more than you were able to give (red flag), that youíre slower than I am (red flag), and that I overwhelmed you (red flag). You said youíve never been with anyone (why? red flag), you made sure your body was unprepared for anything closer than friendship(red flag), youíre glad weíll have to wait (through dinner and conversation: red flag). You kept saying, ďwhatever happens this weekendĒ, and, ďdonít Öget your hopes upĒ (red flags that could be seen from space), and that youíve chosen to be celibate (the field is so covered with red flags that it looks like itís bleeding.)
What have I been doing? I have been looking the other way.
Iíve been seeing what I wanted to see, ignoring the red flags, and heading toward the goal that I had in my mind.
If I win that way, itís not a victory, itís a cheat. Itís playing against an opponent who has been beaten down, or who has willingly forfeited the game.
I have been telling you that having sex is the ultimate way to join our souls. To be one. To unite. That itís what Ďcouplesí are supposed to do. What theyíre supposed to WANT to do.
I really believe that what couples are are supposed to want, is each otherís happiness above their own.
I almost scored, by faking out the goaltender. By cheating. By taking the unfair advantage. I wore you down. I weakened you so much that you were willing to surrender.
I would have lost my honor, and the joy of being able to show you true love.
I almost got what I wanted, at the expense of what you wanted. Thatís not fair.
My wants are no more, or less, important than yours. Yet by sheer force of nature, my wants overpowered you. They pushed you into a corner until you had no escape.
Even more, I was smart enough to convince you (and you loved me enough to try to see it that way) that you were not trapped. I made you believe it was just destiny for you to see only one path before you.
Thatís not destiny. Thatís simply having no way out .
My, but that was a close one. My integrity has had a near-death experience. My true goodness almost died at the hands of my selfishness.
And you; you went down with only the slightest of struggles; tossing those red flags as you fell.
You havenít been in competition for so many years that you didnít even recognize my strategy.
We canít have sex right now. Itís not right. Itís not time.
Itís been all ME, from the beginning, wanting it, and you, from the beginning, not wanting it.
You want to love me. You want me to love you. I do.
Iíve made you afraid that youíll lose that if we donít take the Ďnext stepí, so you were willing to make the sacrifice of sex.
Well, you donít have to. You donít get to. You are not going to take one for the team.
You donít have to fill my physical needs for me to love you. Thatís not giving and loving, itís fear.
I was about to have sex with you, not out of giving and loving, but out of fear.
Fear that someone with the same mental connection might not come along again. Fear that youíre my last chance. Fear of being alone again.
If we leave each other because we donít have sex; if we donít love each other anymore because we donít have sex, then we arenít Ďthe onesí, and shouldnít have had sex, anyway.
You donít have to be ďallĒ for me. Youíre not my husband. Iím not your wife.
Weíre not really Ďtogetherí, physically.
You and I are in each otherís lives through words.
We need to continue to do everything that we can, and all that we want to do, through words. Through our letters and phone calls, we can do whatever we want, wholeheartedly, and with abandon.
Remember the phrase that I told you once, ďYou get what you areĒ?
I still think thatís true. Iím afraid we both got selfish.
Iím selfish because I wanted you to fulfill all my needs.
Everything in one neat package.
Youíre selfish because you didnít want anyone else to fulfill my needs but you.
Youíd rather have sex with me than think of someone else doing it.
Weíre both selfish, so we get each other. We get what we deserve.
So now, what?
How about we learn from it, and we grow a little more?
We donít have to stay selfish.
We can make our relationship a safe, sacred place where we nurture each other, give to each other, and love each other, more than we love ourselves.
I know that you love me more than yourself.
Thatís why you were willing to pick back up the red flags: so I could (or would) keep playing.
Now itís my turn to do that.
I refuse to play any longer the game I had been playing.
I donít like it, I didnít play it well, I didnít play it honestly, I didnít play it kindly and with love.
I do love you more than myself.
I almost didnít.
I almost loved me so much that I would have taken sex from you, ignoring the red flags.
But my eyes opened, just in time: before I ran over you and scored.
I realize now that really loving you means I cannot have sex with you.
I must abstain in this relationship.
You have said that I am the best part of your life, and that I am utterly perfect for you. Thank you.
But for that to actually be true, I must be the kind of person who WOULD do whatís best for you, even if it means I donít get what I originally wanted.
SoÖ THIS I do with love:
I see your red flags, and Iím honoring them.
I withdraw my attempts to score with you. If the prize is sex, I do not want to win.
I choose to be celibate in this relationship.
I love you more than I have ever loved anyone in my life. Believe me, if I did not, there would be no way I could deny my body the pleasures of having yours.
I hope that youíll understand my intentions.
I hope that youíll realize that I really am perfect for you, because I am finally getting it, and playing the way that someone who truly loves you would.