The Waiting Game: The Better Way to Play

If you’ve never seen it, there’s a brilliantly inventive, noire-ish hospital dramedy found on Sunday nights on ABC. Grey’s Anatomyinspired me to order cable again, and last night I saw it for the first time this season.

Coincidentally, earlier in the day, I had been writing about the difference between suspense and anticipation when it comes to romance relationships. When I watched the show, guess what the sub-plot was? Hmm?

One of the last lines of Sunday’s episode came after the protagonist, Meredith Grey, finally finds out where she stands in the battlefield of love with Dr. McDreamy, as he’s known, who’s portrayed by Patrick Dempsey. In a voiceover, she comments, “Whoever said “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” was a complete and utter moron, because for many of us, not knowing is the worst feeling in the world.”

Recent events have reminded me that I’m one of those people. Oh, I try to play it cool, but not knowing where I stand, whether it’s movie plans with a friend or my place in the Cosmos, fills me with dread and apprehension. It’s unavoidable. Give me “suspense” and you’ll make a mess of me.

I said in my last posting that things were “confusing.” That’s just because I didn’t know when I was next hooking up with the nifty new guy I know. Face it. We’re all adults, and our lives get complicated. Some of our lives are more complicated than others can understand. Sometimes that’s by choice, sometimes destiny just takes a hand. It is what it is.

However, yesterday we cemented some plans for next week. This was what got me thinking about suspense versus anticipation. You see, I hung the phone up, furrowed my brow and thought, “Another week?” And then I realized, “Pfft, it’s only a week.” I grinned and went off and made my breakfast and had a terrific day.

I had been thinking that my uncertainty had been because I was insecure or uneasy with myself, and this was why I was so damned frustrated at all the unknowingness. Then I realized that it really was something altogether different.

I was in the room, too. I know we had some pretty wicked good times. I know what I offer. I know the expressions I saw on his face, and vice versa. I know it was pretty damned awesome. That logic, though, goes right the fuck out the window when I’ve got nothing empirical to back it up.

Figures, baby. Numbers, dates, times, whatever. Lay it on me. If I know we’ve got plans, I’m cool. Seems to me that guys are often hesitant to make plans because they want to have control of some kind. Now, I don’t get that sense from this guy, so that’s groovy, but it’s often been the case in the past. “If I can hold that card, I hold ’em all,” seems to be the line of thought sometimes. (This goes for members of both sexes, unfortunately.)

With an intelligent, strong, independent chick like me, that’s not going to be the case, though. You want to hold that card, then I hope you’re playing Solitaire, because that game just ain’t one I aim to play. I don’t have the patience or the strength. I really just don’t. Headgames are for people who don’t have control over their lives and who want to exert it over others to compensate. That ain’t me, man.

Fortunately, I don’t think I have to worry about that in my present scenario. And now I get to have those little fun thoughts in the back of my mind as to all the things I want to do with my playmate in a few days. Which brings us to another fabulous point in regards to the anticipation versus suspense argument.

If you’re sitting around in suspense, you just never know when, where,or if the games are gonna get back on track. In that case, it can be pretty hard to fill in the possible blanks, so to speak. When you do know that the games are on schedule for the future, then you get to turn your imagination on. You can scheme, you can plot, you can devise.

If you have a creative lover, one that likes to keep things interesting, then the best gift you can give yourself is to give them the gift of anticipation.

But we’re all so self-involved these days that it’s easy to forget what anticipation can do for us.

Really, it’s incredible how much damage we do to our relationships by not doing the simple things. Just committing to a date later in the week or making a quick email or a call to say “hey, you were in my thoughts. I can’t talk, but wanted to hear your voice,” can make all the different in cutting the tensions that eat away at our passion.

We all know modern life’s demands. We know we’re all spread pretty thin. Too often, we overfocus on ourselves. We frequently fail to think about lives from our partners’ point of views. We fail to understand the true stresses and challenges they face, despite the fact that we’ve got front-row seats. We’d like to think it’s all sunshine and roses because we’re in their lives now, but that’s pretty egomaniacal.

Like Grandma Death says in Donnie Darko, “In the end, every living creature dies alone.” We all have our lives, with their myriad complexities, to get through on our own. Most of us choose to share parts of those lives with our loved ones, but when the lights go out at night, we’re right back inside our self-contained universes.

Every now and then, we have to remember that our lives are filled with enough suspense. From the day we’re born to that day we die alone, suspense is all we get. What does your future hold? Do you really know?

When it comes to love and sex, isn’t it time we got a little something we don’t get enough of? The thrill of anticipation and eagerness?

For me, it makes me hotter. It makes me confident, secure, and inspires me to want to make the wait all that much more worthwhile. One of my readers said that a secure man is a horny man. This is true. But a secure lover is a better lover, regardless of gender.

And it’s so easy to build that added security in. Anticipation is more than just looking forwards to future events. It’s the knowing that there’s something to look forwards to. Think about it.