I have this way of categorizing those individuals of the opposite gender who have any kind of placing in my life. Whether it be friend, acquaintance, colleague, etc. they all fall into one of these categories.
It came to me one day when I was having a particularly difficult struggle with the above mentioned gender.
Don't worry. There will be no man-bashing, slandering, or otherwise negative jabs at the male sex.
This is a purely scientific categorization.
Category 1: The Untouchables
These are they who are nowhere near the realm of my achievement. I would put George Clooney under this heading if I knew him in any way. Others who are in this category include those who are (as society would put it) "out of my league". Whether this be physically, educationally, or spiritually they are, simply put, untouchable. Most likely unintentionally so, but there it is. We all know the type. And while we can dream, that's closest we will ever get. This is the simplest and generally smallest category.
Category 2: The Safety Men
They are exactly as the category labels them. SAFE. They are either taken, pre or mid-mission, interested in members of the same sex, or just simply "not my type". They are guys its easy to spend time with because the obnoxious "interest" receptors in the brain are turned off. These guys aren't even on the radar. There is no danger befriending them or even confiding in them because they, like the untouchables, are off the table. A number of great guys in my life fall into this category. I'm glad to know them. They pose no threat.
Category 3: The Danger Zoners
Here is where we have our problem. These guys are available, looking, and of interest. Not only are they on the radar, but they are in great danger of gumming up the relay due to the 19-year-old that sometimes occupies my brain. There are times when she can't focus on anything else. We all know the symptoms of unrequited love. The prognosis is bleak and it is quite contagious. ESPECIALLY around The Danger Zoners. They are carriers for the disease in the worst way. Because they are carriers, they have NO IDEA that they are inflicting any kind of harm. These are they who easily become dangerous and "flawless" illusions (*nod to Sabrina*). They are easy to befriend (and indeed there are some who are really GOOD friends), which often only makes things worse. Being "just friends" with someone who you are infuriatingly infatuated with is truly tragic. But those of us who allow it take what we can get, right? It's better than not being with them at all. They, like the Safety Men can be confided in because they have all the appearance of being trustworthy-this comes from the fact that they obviously have no idea of the effect they have on the girl who can't seem to convince herself that they JUST AREN'T INTERESTED. I'm sure this is because often they see the girl as their own safety individual. They often do things that unknowingly encourage the affections of said girl, making it nearly impossible to TRULY let go. Oh, she (the 19-year-old in my brain) might release for a day or two, having been talked down by the rational adult that sometimes inhabits my brain. But then something happens that causes a flare up and we're right back where we started.
The Danger Zoners are (for the most part) totally innocent in their status. Though the truth is there are guys in the world who look everywhere but right in front of them for perfection that they aren't going to find. Not that they have to settle. Not that ANY of us have to settle.
Let me tell you a little more about the 19-year-old located in my brain who I am constantly doing battle with.
She is a persistent little bugger. And she can't help but be drawn to the positive attention she gets when she sends time with these guys. She clings hopelessly to the way The Danger Zoners make her laugh, share her interests, willing put themselves in her company, etc.
And the hardest part is that there ARE good qualities about these problematic gentlemen. If there weren't they wouldn't be Danger Zoners. What happens is the rational adult in me sees those qualities and admires them. But what the 19-year-old does with that admiration is twist it into a raging emotion that is barely controlled. The rational adult, losing control of the situation, allows things to rise to dangerous levels before stepping in again. For a time I can ignore those Danger Zoners who pose a dilemma. But it's a never ending cycle and the lull doesn't last long.
I know deep down that the time spent thinking over and over this is time wasted.
I have to constantly remind myself that I've been back in Missouri for over a year. If something were going to happen with anyone I already know, surely it would have happened by now, right?
Anyway, there you have it. The three categories.
I keep a constant eye on The Danger Zoners. I try to reign in the 19-year-old. I check myself often to be sure I'm not making too huge a fool of myself.
And life goes on.
This is part of learning and growing.
It's patience, understanding, frustration, and a touch of heartache.
It's knowing that as long as I am doing all I can to keep my covenants and live the best I am able, I can't go wrong. And as I am proceeding forward, as long as I am not shutting myself away from the world, I'll find someone who will quote Star Wars with me, go on hikes, not scoff at my crunchy moderate "hippie" ways, and share my love of music. All the while truly thinking that I am worth it.
In the meantime, I'll continue to scientifically mark and categorize the men in my life into these three groups. Because there is only one who will eventually fall into the forth category.
Category 4: The Best Friend and Companion.