If you were wearing a parachute and you were told that there is a 95% chance that it would open, would you jump from a 100% secure airplane? That's the question I'm asking myself after a recent conversation with the "boyfriend". We (well, I) had pretty much decided to end the relationship, but he insisted he needed to see me over the Valentine's Day weekend. I agreed and made a date to spend the day with him on Saturday. We did the usual 'date' with the grandkids. After all, I don't give that up for anyone. After we dropped them off, we did some shopping at Costco and the mall, and then came back to my place to talk.
He gave me a V-Day gift of Russian nesting dolls, saying they were symbolic of the depth and layers of our relationship. He told me that he's 95% committed to a relationship with me. Huh? He said he had given himself fully to his previous marriage, but now he holds a small part of himself back because he doesn't want to be hurt again. When told this information, I hadn't yet considered the parachute analogy used above, but I'm not sure how I feel about that dangling 5%. How do you hold a part of yourself back from a commitment if you are truly committed? Is that the 5% that would come back to haunt me if he found someone he could commit to 100%?
Does that 5% represent an open window to accommodate the occasional need to sneak around with someone else? After all, our relationship hums along quite nicely, right up until he feels the need to occasionally sing a different song. The number of times he's been forgiven is becoming embarrassing to admit. No, he's not out and out "cheating". He just feels the need to maintain internet/phone-based "friendships" with other women. He's always willing to give them up and say he's sorry - if I catch him, that is. After the last incident, I gave up being his cyber-sitter and broke off the relationship. Keeping track of his internet activity is just too exhausting.
So now the question is out there. Can I forgive him one more time? Especially if he is now willing to commit a "full" 95%? He claims that he was previously at 75%, but the fact that I walked away brought him perspective. What about the fact that he's been saying "I love you" for 4 months? Can you truly love someone that you're 75% committed to? Does "I love you" mean more now that the number is 95%?
Who said love gets easier as you get older? I think it just gets more complicated. Few choices. The choices are damaged (myself included). Maybe it's me. Maybe I should accept his 95%, but promise only 90% in return. Now I'm just being facetious. I think.