Thursday, May 18, 2006
Mae and I were talking last night and we crossd over the subject of crushes. Got me thinking about where I was with this issue this January at the conclusion of R and I's ill suited fling.
I know my self well enough to know that once I think ‘Wow, he could be the one’, I have just totally killed the start of something great. It is the beginning of the end. Just having this thought marks the moment I begin to project my relationship fantasies upon some poor unsuspecting guy. I daydream about him, I wonder about our future, I replay moments in our past over and over again in my head, I give into an obsession that I mistake for love. I spend all my time reliving our past or imagining our future and none of it in the moment. It is also when I stop really getting to know him.
In my mind I already know everything I need to know and have filled in all the spaces with fantasy. Dangerous fantasy. I have mentally overlaid the blueprint for my expectation. And expectations always lead to disappointment. Because eventually, he will vary from my script.
“I have it right here in the script that you eat eggs for breakfast. In the nude.”
“Well, I don’t. I eat cereal. And I eat it while I read the funnies. In my underwear. So kindly hand them back to me please.”
And just like that, he’s varied. And instead of embracing his morning routine and rejoicing in this new fact I’ve learned about my boyfriend, I’m pissed. He’s varied. Everything is all wrong. He’s fucking up the reel in my head. So like all normal, healthy women, I just pretend it’s not true. And I continue to make him eggs every Saturday morning.
You see, I’m a thrill seeker in my relationships. I want the romance and the entanglement and the drama within five days of meeting someone. I want to believe we are in love instantly, before I’ve even had a chance to find out if he speaks English. I want the fireworks, the torment of unrequited love, the heart palpating crush.
It’s romantic. It works out in all the movies. And an entire genre of books have been built around the concept.
But instant love has never really turned into anything meaningful for me. Three months into it, I start to get to know the guy. And he’s not what I thought. Sure he is crazy about me, but now he is kind of annoying and clingy.
Occasionally, I come across a healthy man that has balance in his life and doesn’t fall instantly in love with some girl he’s only known a few weeks. These men refuse to play into my games. They take a few days to return phone calls. They golf on Sundays with friends. They haven’t had a night off in weeks and kind of want to spend some time at their apartment alone. “There is no rush,” they say. “This is so great. But let’s get to know each other. Let’s take it slow.”
How fucking boring is that?
This type really pisses me off. Like any spoiled child, when I don’t get what I want I throw a temper tantrum. I get impatient, and angry. I punish them by dating other men.
Because to me, balance is managing to date six guys at once. If one guy isn’t giving me enough attention, I simply start dating another that will. And as long as one is quiet, one loud, one smart, one great in bed, and one funny, then I'm balanced – right?
“He just doesn’t want me bad enough. If he’s not willing to quit his job, move into my apartment and introduce me to his parents in the first week then he simply doesn’t like me enough. And I’m worth more than that.” I don’t have time for these men. I discard. And my friends support me in my role as the underappreciated victim in a relationship with a selfish man.
But what if all along these men have liked me? But their way of liking me was suitable to the amount of time we had known one another? What if they were just healthy human beings with balanced lives? What if I’m just a sprinter and they were pacing themselves for a marathon?
What if I’ve been missing the point all along? What if these men with balance in their life are the healthy relationships I’ve been craving? It is my old behavior to dump the marathon runner. “Too slow for my taste.” But in the end, don’t you want the guy whose trained for the long haul?
What would happen if I slowed down and actually got to know someone? What would happen if I became the change I seek and led a more balanced life? Or if I had other exciting extracurriculars besides men? What would that look like?
A woman. With interests of her own. The kind of woman that wouldn’t cancel girls night out because ‘he’ called at the last minute. A woman with passions of her own. If left alone on a Saturday night she wouldn’t call a man to come over and keep her company, she would relish the opportunity to indulge in one of her many satisfying habits. She would plan dates for herself that she wouldn’t share with anyone. She would take herself to the bookstore. She would catch that museum exhibit that she’s curious about. The one with the dead bodies. Or go to the costume exhibit at the MOMA. She would take writing classes. Go to writing seminars. Read magazines about writing and literature. And she wouldn’t cancel that all day writing workshop for all the coffees with Colin Farrel in New York City. She would be the type of friend that remembered birthdays, that listened when you talked, that sent you text messages after you left to see if you got home safe. She wouldn’t have time to date ten men at once. She wouldn’t date to seek adventure. She would have her own adventures. And she wouldn’t heap piles of expectations on other people. Her friends would say, “She’s so accepting and non-judgmental.” A woman with balance. A woman. With interests of her own.
I am happy to say that in the past few years I have become that woman.
And I will try to remember this the next time i have the urge to throw myself into a new fling, thinking 'But he could be the one.'
posted by Pop Culture Casualty @ 5/18/2006 11:34:00 PM |