Someone once asked me if I ever planned on getting married? The standard response at that time was no. She really didn’t have an interest in my answer, because while I pondered, she pulled out her cell phone to share pictures of her husband and three kids with me. She went on a tangent about how fabulous her life is and some other white noise while I lived in my head for a few minutes. But I did manage to hear that I would probably be a lonely old man because I was incapable of loving anyone else besides myself (I’ve heard that a lot). I was more stunned than anything that she took me for some sort of robot or apathetic person who feels nothing for anyone else. Yet, her statements hit home a bit and forced me to think, have I ever really loved anyone?

I know I’ve loved a few women, thought I’ve been in love two or three times, told a few more I loved them because it seemed like the right thing to say, but have I ever truly been in love? Has there ever been a time when I was willing to commit to change, submit myself to a relationship and give all that I had to a woman? That real love, the kind of love Luther sang about? Or the kind of love that sits on a man’s heart when the woman he loves is marrying another man? Is he supposed to be happy that she found that forever type of love? Where does that type of love come from? I once read that love was the absolute act of selflessness, I wonder, can my selfish ass be that selfless?

Yes! There’s one person whom I developed a great friendship with in a short period of time and eventfully fell in love with; she seemed to come straight out of my dreams. She knows me inside and out, we share laughs over things that people will never understand (the bad Black movie list), she can tell me about myself without any argument, and she’s the person I turn to when the weight of all of the madness I deal with on a day-to-day basis is too much to carry. She’s the yin to my yang. She’s my best friend and I love her to death.

She’s my confidant, my diary, but back then she was an impossible dream that disappeared from my life and walked back in just when I needed her most. I think she reaches out to me during those same periods too. Then that feeling appears, that miserable feeling in the pit of my stomach that you get when you really love someone, that feeling when love says goodbye. It’s that feeling that doesn’t allow me to get too close to women, it’s that feeling that keeps a foot in the streets, and it’s that feeling that makes me seem so callous.

Two years later, she’s married and I’m face-to-face with the demons of the decisions I’ve made as a man. But that’s the beauty of our friendship, she’s right here with me as I piece together the puzzled madness of my life in an attempt to move forward and learn to love myself and others better. It’s because of her I know that I am capable of what a couple dozen women will tell you that I can’t do, love. Her weekly pep talks help me through what has been a difficult transition and keeps me hopeful that my future will outlive my past. If someone asks me today if I’ll ever get married I’ll still pause, but the answer may shock folks who know me best, because I’ve learned to dream again…

About the writer

Al-Lateef Farmer

“The Bachelor’s Archive” is Plainfield, NJ native Al-Lateef Farmer’s online diary that examines his previous romantic interactions as he attempts to close one chapter of his life and begins to write the next with happier endings in mind. Through these weekly looks in the mirror, he attempts to be as transparent as ever and answer the question he asks himself most, “Do I want to be a bachelor forever?”

Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find The World According to Teef, social commentary rooted in independent thought that tackles everything from politics to pop culture, Reality Television to relationships, and is unfiltered, uncensored, unforgiving, but never unreal! Take a trip at http://worldaccording2teef.blogspot.com/