I recently had pop into my head, in the middle of a daydream about a relationship with a certain someone, a question -- would I have made as much an effort to be there with someone I were not dating for life events/competitions/etc.. I'm thinking in particular of the same kinds of events that a dutiful parent would attend as much as possible for their children. In every proper relationship I've ever had, there have been a number of things I've gone to primarily because of that kind of felt duty. Sometimes these things have been actually enjoyable, sometimes not, but that never was the point with any of them -- I was there because my notion of the role of boyfriend (and family) meant that I should've been there. This has taken many forms, from attending exhibitions/poetry readings/musical gatherings, attending classes and staying overnight helping my partner with her work (although this ties into an area of something I did that in retrospect was at least moderately against my principles and which I don't think I'd repeat), and endless races. I asked myself, would I have done that for a close friend or an acquaintence. Although I am generally very generous with my resources (being a good communist), I'm a bit more picky with my time -- I would probably not give that much time to even a good friend unless whim led me that way -- sans obligation/role, I occasionally would say no. Do I regret having given of myself for past relationships where things didn't work out? I don't think that saying I would not do it again sans hope for an enduring relationship precludes me from saying no -- there's room between retrospectively not doing it and regretting it. I value these traits in myself and others, and think they're one of the most important things I have to give as a significant other (and eventually as a father, if I ever become one).
Dear random person in Squirrel Hill:If you are waiting for a bus in a place that's not a bus stop, and a bus does not look like it's going to stop, please don't jump in front of it. If you have the sanity to get out of the way when the driver honks at you, please do not scream and attack the bus with your fists, breaking a window, as it continues by. The bus will stop, true, but everyone will have to get off while the bus waits for police (and insurance?) to show up, and you won't accomplish anything useful. All you will manage is to force a number of people to walk the rest of the way to the centre of SqHill. At least you had the good sense to run away after this.