Finally, after 9 years and almost 130,000 miles, I really dumped my bike. While I didn’t hit anything, I couldn’t keep the bike upright during a serious emergency stop. The upcoming intersection had red light cameras recently installed and so drivers are now too quick to slam on brakes to avoid tripping the flash. The driver in front of me had slammed on his brakes as did all in the line of traffic up to the recent yellow light. One does not slam the brakes on a motorcycle. I was forced to.
I was hurled to the pavement quite violently in the middle of a busy 3 lane (each way) boulevard during rush hour. As traffic was going relatively slowly, the driver behind me didn’t run me over. Knowing how to handle such situations, I didn’t leap up immediately because I had to assess my injuries, even while lying in the road. Sure, I was blocking serious traffic during rush hour but delaying some commuters (who were no doubt shocked to see my screw-up and subsequent violent trip groundward) was not my first concern. I then sat up. Several folks drove slowly past to check on me and I gave the thumbs up because no bones were broken nor blood immediately visible.
A very nice fellow had completely stopped and gotten out of his car to see to my safety and offered to help lift my motorcycle. A young woman at the bus stop walked into the street to also assist. After a few minutes of sitting in the middle of the road to gather my post-accident wits, I got to my feet. I was shaken up but seemingly relatively uninjured. With help from the stopped driver and the young woman, we lifted the bike and pushed it into a very close parking area. The EMTs, police, and fire truck all arrived in short order.
I’m not exactly fine but my injuries – while painful – are not permanent. Motorcycling is a risk, but some of those risks can be mitigated. I was quite well protected by armored boots, gloves, and jacket. As well, my helmet did smack the ground which meant my unprotected head didn’t smack the ground. My enthusiasm is a calculated risk and I won’t give it up. The damage to the motorcycle was mostly cosmetic and I rode home after the incident.
Dating is a risk, too. One person might get too attached too quickly and that attachment is not mutual. A heart is broken. Sex happens too quickly under the same scenario and again, a heart is broken. In the PUA community, “oneitis” (where a guy obsesses too much about one girl) is considered a curse to be avoided. Actually, that’s a form of risk mitigation much like a motorcycle helmet.
There are other forms of risk mitigation in dating. As we are social creatures, being social can help us avoid obsessing about one person. When in the company of multiple human beings, it’s more likely that our focus will fade enough from an unrequited love to make life more bearable. Women tend to be better at this socializing. Men, unfortunately, tend to isolate themselves socially when a heart is broken. They don’t mitigate dating risk nearly as much. A man’s heart can harden when in the confines of his own psyche.
Some dating advisers recommend dating multiple people concurrently in order to meet ultimate relationship goals. This seems to work better for men than women. This is where women aren’t mitigating their dating risks. While it might feel unnatural for a woman to date multiple men, it’s an effective tactic. There’s an important note here: after a certain age, dating does not have to always mean sex. There can be other forms of physical intimacy as well as closeness and comfort. Shut up, you younger guys only looking for nookie. I’m the wise, old uncle and I know of what I speak.
So while I own motorcyling gear (protection from crashing) it’s important that you have dating gear (protection from broken hearts). Sadly, there’s no store to buy dating gear, there’s only emotional strength, willingness to socialize, and the willingness to date multiple people simultaneously. Let’s be careful out there.