~Friday, April 30, 2010

Fantasy versus Reality

RUBY: How many girls get to date their fantasy?
FELICITY: Yeah, but the fantasy is beautiful and
shallow. The actual relationship is a whole
different thing.
~Felicity

I'm confused.

What do you do when you get everything you thought you wanted, and yet it's not what you want?

Christopher was my dream guy. When we dated in 2006, I obsessed over every detail. I admired him. I adored him. He was incredibly handsome, magical in bed, intelligent, fit and lived in this amazing apartment in Midtown. He had it together. I thought if he would just commit, if he would just say that I was the person he wanted, then I would just be the happiest and luckiest girl alive.

And then he found me. When I was so low from my relationship with S that I didn't even feel human anymore, much less a woman, he found me and he saw all the things in me that I thought S had destroyed. That maybe even I had destroyed. He gave me back myself.

It was beautiful and shallow.

But now the little things are starting to add up and feel like big things to me. Like he's never, ever, in the history of the world, driven me on a date. I drive 100% of the time. Oh, he has a driver's license and a car, but he refuses to drive so if we ever go out, it's up to me. This is compounded by my relationship with S, who had neither a license nor a car, so it's been a minimum of three years since I have been driven on a date. I really wanted to put "Be driven on a date" on my 30 things list, but M-Joy told me I needed to raise my standards and then I got embarrassed of my need to be driven around town, so I let it go.

Also on that list, I've paid. I've paid more than I should have paid. He was unemployed and I wanted to do things, so it only seemed right that I paid. And I'm not really bitching about that. I'm bitching that now he is employed, he has bought me two meals, one of which was my birthday dinner, and he went out for drinks afterwards with my friends, and my friends paid for my birthday drinks. He had placed three calls me to me, questioning the price of the bill at all three places. "Why was the bill this much? what did we order? How much did I tip? Is that amount correct?" It feels like such a guilt trip. He called me at work about the birthday drinks. He told me my friends lied and didn't pay for my drink, and I flat-out told him he was wrong. I saw his bill; he only paid for himself. Yet I'm getting another call and guilt trip over money he spent on himself. He didn't realize that because the party was of 10 people, an 18% gratuity was added, and then because he was drunk, he added an additional 20% tip. He asked if he could call the restaurant and get that money back.

He wanted me to drive on my birthday. I refused. So he said he would rent a cab because he was planning on drinking as much as I was drinking on my birthday. Then he asked to split the cab. I said it was his decision to drink and if he couldn't get me to my birthday gathering, then I would call M-Joy, who would gladly pick me up, and I would go with her. He called me back and said we could take the bus. So we did.

And when we go out, it feels like we only go to the places he wants to go. I don't know how fair that statement is, and I know a lot of couples feel that way, but I feel like adding it to the list right now.

He hasn't met my parents. He hasn't told me he loves me. He is against marriage. Six weeks shy of our one-year anniversary, I feel alone. I feel single if I were being truly honest. We only see each other one night a week. If I were having a bad day, he isn't the kind of person to come over and hang with me and bring a pizza because he refuses to drive.

I switched my thyroid meds in the beginning of April and I've been having a really difficult time with it. I feel noticeably off. I sleep all the time and I'm weepy. I took a day off of work this week to go to the doctor and have a blood test to see if I'm hypo like I feel that I am. I told Christopher this. He responded, "My mother and brother have hypothyroidism, so I should get that checked. I probably have it too." I held the phone away from my face and thought, Did we just really make this all about you?

So that's it. That's my entire list of complaints about him. We don't fight; we actually get along very well. He doesn't call me names or throws things. He doesn't do drugs. He is a good person. I just don't feel like my emotional needs are being met. I feel single, but unable to date.

Which makes me think of 5k guy. He was the guy I was trying to impress when I drunkenly declared I was going to run a 5k with 5 weeks notice. He sent me an e-mail the next morning saying he would see me there. I blew him off. I went to the 5k, but still felt messed up from the thyroid meds and extremely unmotivated, so I purposely didn't meet up with him and walked half the race before quitting and going to get a smoothie. That's right, I am a quitter. (And then I watched The Biggest Loser this week where a 400-lb man with a SONY WALKMAN did a 5k in 50-something minutes and I felt shame.THE SHAME.)

5k guy sends me another e-mail after the race and told me he missed me. I sent a lame response, but gave just enough detail to indicate I was actually there. That was that, I thought.

Then I post my 30 before 30 list on my Facebook page at the request from my friends at birthday gathering. M-Joy read the list out loud and my friends cheered and clapped with every item like it was pure gold. When M-Joy hollered "Take a dance class" over the table, Harvey shouted, "We should do a belly-dancing class! No! NO! A POLE-DANCING CLASS!" It was momentous. Everyone in my life has met my list with an overwhelmingly response (My step-mother wants to shoot a gun with me, and we planned the swimming with the dolphins trip in August.) Everyone at my birthday wanted to go to the mountains for the rip-line adventure (Thanks for the tip!). They are pumped about rafting the Oconee river. Christopher, in hindsight, was silent.

So I post my 30 before 30 on my Facebook and 5k guy sees it. He leaves a comment with all the items he can help me with. Like change a tire, and doing the 5k thing right. He wants in on the rafting. I've met this guy once then blew him off, and yet he wants to help me meet my goals. Christopher did not even mention it.

5k guy isn't the messiah. He isn't the answer to my boy problems. But I bet he would drive me on a date. But I don't know anything about this guy: he could be a pot smoker who likes to refer to women as bitches. He could be against marriage too. Judging by his Facebook, he's way more active than I am. I don't really care for his dog's breed (wiry-coat dogs are just not fun to pet like my lovely, fluffy husky).

I've always felt more like a Charlotte (Pride and Prejudice reference, not Sex and the City). I always felt comfort in being safe. As evidenced from my list, I'm not much of a risk taker.

I don't know. I'm just thinking. Actual relationships are whole different things.

21 comments:

Me said...

Ouch....you mention one year anniversary and he hasn't said "I love you"....I so firmly believe you can aim hire. If he's not sure after 1 year....or hell, several months...come on....the not driving, only going to his places...seems a bit lazy on his end or controlling...pick and choose. I don't know either one of you. :)
Not paying is painful after what you went through. I understand he was unemployed a longer time and needs to watch his money, but my expectation would have been for him to say "I got my paycheck, I am taking you out! All paid by me" :)

I think your gut has already told you something for a while now. Maybe he was the be all and end all in 2006, but you are not the same person, by far, that you were in 2006. Aim high :) It's worth it.

Jessica said...

Just because C isn't an abusive addict it doesn't mean that he is a good partner for you.

To me, it seems that he is selfish and emotionally unavailable. He doesn't seem to be interested in what YOU want and what YOU need. And, although he probably racked up some debt during his period of unemployment the least he could do is pamper you for your birthday. It doesn't sound like you wanted Tiffany's boxes & caviar. Just to be taken out by those you care about without being complained to about price or forced to ride the bus.

I think this post, and a few previous posts, on this subject are really telling. He does not give you what you need and you deserve better. You deserve someone who not only doesn't abuse you but who also treats you with the love, respect and attention that a woman of your caliber deserves.

Like Me posted, he might have been Mr. Perfect in 2006 but you aren't that same girl. You're in a much different place now and know yourself so much better than you did then. You know what you need and deep down, you seem to know that he is not meeting all of those needs. If it were me, I'd be giving 5K guy a shot.

Curvy Jones said...

Sometimes people ask me about my list. 'Where's your list, your list of the kind of man you want???' They then look at me like I have two heads when I tell them I don't have one. Because when I get everything on my list, I realize I don't want that. Because the kind of man I think I want changes everyday, it seems. Every year. With every rung I pull myself up.

Maybe your list is old. Maybe your tastes have changed. Maybe you've grown and are in a different place. Have you had this discussion with him?

I suspect yes. And if he's acted as if he doesn't care that these are your feelings and that they're both undesirable and not representative of a happy relationship, I think you have an answer and another item on your list.

Amy said...

I know enough about you to know you deserve to be loved (vocally!!) and driven on a date, and to not have to worry about the bill at your birthday party. I know a whole lot more things, like how Christopher got you through a VERY rough time, helped you to help yourself during a time when you'd all but given up on your capabilities. But now, you've outgrown that old you, and maybe him too - and that's ok. Whether it's 5k guy or not, it's clear you finally recognize your worth and are ready to get it back. I'll be cheering for you on the sidelines as you complete the list. I believe in you -- even if Christopher might be too wrapped up in his own crap to be able to do the same. HUGS!

dont eat the token said...

I'm glad you're taking the time to sort these feelings out. There's no real way we can advise on Christopher since we're not you - but some of these things sound like stuff you should be getting in any relationship.

My best friend died in 2006 and Jukebox was my boyfriend of only 5 months. We hadn't exchanged I love yous yet. But he took off work and was here for me, he didn't even know my friend. He took care of me. How would Christopher handle you in such diress?

The bus thing on your birthday bothers me. It reminds me of my last serious b.f. before Jukebox. He often didn't take the extra steps that make you feel special. And I tell Jukebox this story: dude took me out on a $100 dinner. I have a small appetite so I boxed half my dinner. An hour later I wanted to get some Fritos to munch on and he flipped out on me! Like, who cares how I feed myself and if I didn't finish my dinner!

I'm proud of you coming this far, taking care of yourself. If you feel strong and single right now, I think you'll survive a breakup with Christopher (your once-upon-a-time fantasy) and ultimately find the right 5k guy.

{{hugs}}

dont eat the token said...

P.S. it's time someone took care of you, instead of you having to take care of him.

Bathwater said...

That is some serious venting, I think if you had aired those things at the time that you two were "on a break" most people would have said get rid of him-- most people still would.

Sarah said...

These are some wonderful comments that have given me a perspective that I couldn't see. Thank you.

I always thought that if I gave him more time, he would emotionally grow. But it's almost been a year. How long do you wait? (Rhetorical)

SuvvyGirl said...

How do you feel when you really kiss Christopher?

DianaL said...

I'm slowly learning that when you're dating a guy for close to a year and he hasn't said I Love You- it means something. It's him and not you. It becomes emotionally exhausting to keep a relationship going with one person. Try talking to him, you'll feel better!!

MWGirl said...

I have a Christopher story, too, with a guy that was ironically also named Christopher. When we went through round two of dating, it was much like what you described here. Fast forward...I moved to a city about an hour and a half away from Chris and he begged me to make it work, I reluctantly agreed. The very next night, I met the guy I've now been with for five beautiful, amazing, indescribable years. In fact, on the night after I met my current guy I called my mom to say, "I met the guy I'm going to marry last night."

What I'm trying to say is this: They say when you know, you know. And I believe that part. But I also believe when you know it's not the right thing, or the right person, you know that too.

You're a strong girl. You've grown so much. I don't know that I've ever commented here but I've read your blog for years. Good luck in whatever you choose, but I think you know the answer.

Erin said...

Here's my personal philosophy: As soon as you realize that someone isn't the one for you any time you spend with them after that point is wasted.

I've never regretted anyone I've dated, but I have regretted the amount of time I spent with them after realizing that the relationship wasn't meeting my needs.

I think you know what you want, you just have to go for it.

J said...

Just because Christopher is a huge step up from S doesn't mean that he is the right one for you. I find it interesting that a relative stranger, in this case 5k guy, can make you realize what you are missing.

Aritza, Goddess of .. said...

It's been a year already ? Wow. I didn't see it go by.. but I guess a LOT has happened in a year !

You've been through a lot and yes, it was wonderful that Christopher helped you to see all the great things about yourself.. and you did the same for him with his unemployment situation / depression.

My first advice would be to talk to him about all of this. I'm sure you're giving this a lot of thought and consideration .. I hope you figure out what you want to do about it. Maybe a risk isn't bad .. maybe being alone / single is better than worrying / being unhappy about all the things C isn't doing for you.

Trust yourself .. would be my second advice. :)

P.S. I'm sorry about the "I love you"s .. he should've said it by now and it really sucks that he hasn't because you deserve someone who will say it (and maybe scream it on a few rooftops).

nuttycow said...

If you're not happy, it's time to go.

I think, deep down, you probably know this already.

A tough decision to make but as your other readers have said, it's time to aim higher.

And no, 5k might not be right for you but you don't have to find "The One" every time. Go out, have some fun, enjoy being on your own for a while.

x

unfetteredsultana said...

Ah, :) i like that Pride and Prejudice reference. As for relationships, at the beginning it's all about knowing someone, then as time goes by and you know more about them, there will be stuff you don't like. there is nothing wrong with that. there is also nothing wrong with changing your needs/preferences. i would say have a word with him.

Zoe said...

I've never really commented, but I just want to say I admire how far you have come from your relationship with S. I think now you realize what you're worth and what you deserve. That isn't to say the Christopher is a horrible person. He isn't, it's just that maybe he's not the right guy for you. Even if it doesn't work out with 5k guy, I think you should give him a shot. I don't think you have anything to lose.

CoatMan said...

If

"We don't fight; we actually get along very well. He doesn't call me names or throws things. He doesn't do drugs. He is a good person."

is the best thing that you can say about your relationship, really, that's not a good start. Not at all.

freckledk said...

You probably aren't going to like what I have to say, but I'm hoping that you won't be offended by it.

I think you need to be single, even if just for awhile. You need to start taking care of you, to such an extent that the next man who comes along isn't necessarily needed in your life, but who enhances it.

Christopher came in and lifted you up when you were at your lowest point. He was necessary, because you seemingly couldn't do it on your own. Maybe, however, if you had gotten through it all by yourself, you would have felt such a sense of personal accomplishment and self-worth that when Christopher (or any guy, for that matter) came along, you wouldn't tolerate being treated as anything less than the total package - a true catch.

So, again, I think you should embrace your independence, get to know yourself, get to truly love yourself, get to the point where you fully believe that you deserve to be loved. And, when you do believe it, you'll get it. It may take awhile. You may not have a boyfriend for your birthday, for the holidays, etc. But it'll happen, and it will be well worth the journey when it does.

Julie said...

I have a list. I am turning 31. I have accomplished many things on my list [and your list for that matter]. Still have a lot of traveling to do though and other adventures.

I think you answered your own problem and I'm sure others here have chimed in.

But I think you need to live life for you. Not for C or anyone else. Stop waiting for him to drive you, to be supportive to be whatever. i get the frugal thing, but there's a line. He's crossing it. He's putting his anxiety on you. You do realize that not everyone who is in your life is meant to stick around for eternity no matter how much you care for them or how nice of a person they are. It's about whether they are right for you. Maybe C isn't right for you.

You don't need our approval of your list, or encouragement of others. Be rogue, go out on a limb do things by yourself! you'll meet new people and live life to the fullest!

You are beautiful and fabulous and I think you should be single and live for you entirely!

although 5k guy sounds intriguing and could be fun. I think you deserve A LOT of FUN!

Do your thing, if C catches up great, if not...you've got better things to do with your time!

Annie said...

He sounds cheap to me. And your standards are way too low. 5K guy is standing right in front of you. Oh, and you're kinda too picky and analyzing everything to death. Just live already! But C is all wrong for you. I have thought that from day one. And get your ass to the dr. and get off any synthetic hypothyroid meds. They are a disaster. Synthroid and Levothyroxine and the like. Your hormones all over the page. You maybe need a natural brand called in the US: Armour or Naturethroid or in Canada it is just called THYROID, yes, that is the name of it. You need to research it. I spent years getting that stuff regulated and it started to go haywire in my mid-20's. I also encourage you to read up on Mary Shomon. She is a thyroid patient advocate and her blog is on about.com, she is also on Facebook. She is considered a non-medical expert that is NOT affiliated with any drug co's or trying to sell you something. She had it herself and all her writing is born of her experience. She is excellent. Listen to your heart. It always speaks. Also, not sure is you believe in eastern medicine but the throat chakra is where the thyroid gland is located and the eastern mystics believe the thyroid goes out of whack when our voice is not being heard. Wonder if that's why it affects so many women? Anyway, just some thoughts. Good luck. A

 

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