Sunday, December 04, 2011

What's love got to do with it?

I almost broke up with J last week. He took me to Napa where I kid you not, he spent over a grand on me. I was concerned and asked him if he could really afford all of it. He laughed. Apparently money is not an issue. But that is not why I almost broke up with the guy.

The thing is I have never been in this sort of a situation. He's good to me. Really, really good to me. He tells me I am beautiful. He carries stuff for me. He opens the door for me. He goes shopping with me. He even hooks me up with really influential people and takes me to nice places. And he makes good money. My last boyfriend? Well, if you've read this blog or have known me for the last five years you know he was pretty much the boyfriend from hell. And this is what blows my mind. I was in that relationship, obsessed with making that relationship work for four years! Yet I've done nothing but put up objections to this current relationship.

The fear is that I'm perpetuating this horrible stereotype men have about women liking jerks...So do I really just want a controlling jerk? I had to think about that. Really examine myself here. I concluded a couple things:

a) I know I jumped in way too fast and am afraid of getting totally absorbed into a relationship and losing my sense of independence like I did in my last relationship. I've expressed this part to J. He gets that and swears he's not pushing me into anything (although he kinda did a lot of convincing before we were official)

b) (and this is the hard part to admit to J) I'm not crazy about him. I'm not crazy-in-love.

I'm missing what I think should be there - that passionate butterfly connected think about you all the time feeling. I like him but I'm not crazy about him. And shouldn't I be with someone I'm crazy about?

I called my mom about this the other day. I called her up and asked her whether I should break up with him (she has already Facebook stalked J and decided he's got kind eyes and therefore must be wonderful). She tells me the butterfly crazy thing is a trick of nature and doesn't last and I should go for the good, steady bet. She married my dad on that. He is the good, steady bet. A man who would never cheat or lie or steal and they have a great marriage. But as she tells me this I sigh and wonder if she just settled.

what you need to know here, and it's a little shocking when I tell it, she wasn't actually in love with my dad when she married him. She married him because, and she readily tells me this, he could provide for a family and she could trust him. Isn't that lacking? Where's the passion, the thrill in that? And yet there they are with this rock of a marriage. And she tells me she grew to love him by sharing a life with him. She grew to be in love with him.

I don't know if this advice is good. If this is how it is for generations and generations. If it's better to choose the good and wait for the passion or to continue seeking until you hit what may be a mythical perfect fit.

There seems to me to be so much of life set up that way. You only get one life to live and learn from and it's tough to make those calls when you don't really know what you are doing or if anybody else really does either.


erinannie said...

For what it is worth, here's my test-
Is your life better with him in it? If yes, keep him in it. If you aren't sure, wait till you are- one way or another.
It is true that our mother's and the women before them frequently got married because "he was a good catch." But those of us with 30 in the rear-view who know how to take care and provide for ourselves are not looking for a man who can provide. We're looking for a man who makes our lives better for being in it. And who lights our fires.
If you know he's good, and he's crazy for you, give it a little more time until you know he does or doesn't make life better.

mj said...

SJ, give it some TIME! If you are relatively happy with him and he is good to you, then let it play out for a while. I kept wondering if I was "in love" with Chris for the first four months or so. Mainly I was having fun and I knew he was a great person so I just went with it.

Today I could not imagine loving anyone more than I love him.

Steve said...

I have to second both Erin and MJ here. Take your time and keep good people in your life.

First of all, you think you jumped into this too quickly, YET you are thinking of jumping out just as quickly. One mistake isn't fixed by another. If in a month you feel the same way, then re-evaluate.

Secondly, please, please, please don't be one of those girls that runs from every nice guy you meet. I'm going to be frank here, you are getting to a stage in your life where less and less guys with little to no baggage exist, let alone find you. Once you hit 35, you are only going to find divorcees with kids or crazies, more or less. Keep that in mind.

Thirdly, love isn't like it is in the movies. Well, if it is, it is more like Love and Other Drugs (minus the melodrama disease subplot usually) and less like The Princess Diaries or even Pretty Woman. Passion is all well and good, but it is a very short well and leaves as quickly as it comes. Yeah, it's an awesome high, but it isn't what a long-term relationship requires all the time.

SJ said...

Honestly, my life is better with him in it...but I do go back to wondering about fit (he likes Slayer I prefer Iron and Wine...). We had a talk about all this yesterday and he was hurt. I felt bad about it.

Steve, you have a point. And this is something I've done before. I had what was basically a two day relationship once all because I jumped in too quick, freaked out and jumped back out.

I don't know why I do this (caught up in the moment?). It's a flaw. One of many...and I'm kinda surprised J is still hanging around to be honest. But he is, even after I hurt his feelings.

He did say maybe he needs to be meaner to me. But that is not the point. The point is I somehow had this crazy connection to my ex boyfriend that kept me going back even when it was bad...and then there's everyone else. And J, it appears, is really good to me.

I do have fears even around that. Round and round I go in my head telling myself it's all an act, he'll get comfortable, he'll call me a bitch, he'll tell me I'm fat, just when I let myself fall in love with him he'll break up with me or be sick of me's crazy, I know. I know it is but I still do it.

Karen said...

I agree with the others, give it time! My J sounds alot like your fella, but it doesn't always mean things have been smooth and loving all the time! Nearly 12 years of marriage have taught me that a core of friendship and respect are LOVE! You don't have to have that first and o so fleeting stage for it to be real and worth it. If you both are better people because of each other, then give it time. Learning to trust is all part of the process and can leave you feeling completely vulnerable! Real love and passion develops by allowing yourself to trust, be vulnerable and grow. You'll figure it out.:) You deserve someone like him afterall!

George Marie said...

Your post presents two perspectives that diametrically oppose one another. You almost broke up with him, but at the same time, the m-word came up: marriage...shudders. My last relationship was almost a year. During that time, there were often frequent times where I wanted to end it, while at other times, there were instances where I was thinking about wanting to put a ring on her finger.

It sounds like you and the guy talk about things that concern you regarding your relationship. Guys do this thing in a relationship when we feel that the bond is loosening, we squeeze a little bit harder.

By all means take all the time that you need to continue to get to know this person, because you really haven't been dating all that long. The puppy love, butterflies feeling is not always going to be there every day. That's when the two of you need to give one another space and do your own thing.