Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

I don't know if I really believe in this holiday, it is kind of a marketing scam, but I do think it's nice to appreciate the people you are with and do something nice together - like go to dinner or see a movie.

Anyway, this day always gets me thinking about relationships and why we make the choices we do. I once almost married the wrong guy because I thought it was the right thing to do. I'm so glad I didn't make that mistake. So for me, valentine's day reminds me of the mistake I didn't make.

In high school and college I always dated guys who were really good looking and athletic (fine... the jocks), but usually when they opened their mouth's to speak, I wished they had just kept it shut. Somehow I was wishing the brain would have have kept up with the looks. I didn't purposely date intellectually inferior guys, but that is what happens when you choose looks over substance. I finally figured that out and vowed to date guys that were maybe not quite as athletic, but actually had something to say.

Then I met the guy I almost married. He seemed pretty nice. He was ok looking, not totally my type, but I was trying to change that. He was the kind of guy that never played sports because he chose academics instead. He asked me out and I accepted. I told my best friend 'he's nice, seems pretty smart, is cute enough and hey it's not like I'm going to marry this guy, why not go on a date with him'? He took me to a fancy restaurant, ordered nice wine, talked impressively about subjects I didn't know anything about. Impressed that he was worldly and smart I accepted another date. And so it began. A friend of mine who met him said 'watch out he's a bullshitter'. I thought they just hated everyone I dated. Besides I thought he's fine. I'm not head over heels, but he's good enough for now. We are just having fun. A second time I said it's not like I will marry this guy. And deep down I knew that was true.

So a few dates turned into a few months and so on. I thought he was fine, I wasn't head over heels, but there was nothing horribly wrong with him to dump him either. Unless of course you count the time he brought me skiing for the weekend and left me at the bottom of the mountain because I didn't really know how to ski, and he couldn't be bothered to help me. He went off and skied black diamonds for about 9 hours, while I basically repeatedly fell down the mountain attempting the bunny slope. That night I was upset and he said I will not ski with you until you can use the lift and ski a black diamond. Gee thanks so glad you brought me skiing. Or the time he repeated something I told him in confidence (about a friend of mine) in front of a bunch of our friends at dinner. We both looked bad and my friend was pissed at me for telling him. I had told him FLAT OUT that it was not something to be repeated, but that since he was my boyfriend I trusted him. big mistake. I said why did you say that I asked you not to? And he got up and stormed out of the restaurant and walked the streets of Boston for the whole night. This was really embarrassing for several reasons: 1 he made a scene, 2 I had no ride home at this point because he had driven, 3 I didn't have enough money to pay for our half of the meal, 4 my friends now hated this guy. He didn't show back up until 11 am - his roommate promptly punched him for being an idiot. Why these two things didn't make me dump him I will never know. I should have looking back.

We decided to move in together instead and that is when the problems really started to happened. I started to realize he really was a bullshitter. He acted and spoke like an expert about any and all subjects, regardless if he knew anything about them. I started to realize this when he talked about subjects that I actually knew quite a bit about, like music. Don't try to bullshit me about music, because most likely - I will see through it. And I did. Things I hadn't noticed when we were dating casually were becoming more and more evident: like the fact that he played video games 17 hours a day (which seriously is an addiction), or that he had insane explosive anger I didn't know about and witnessed when he threw a chair across the room and broke it (over being asked to pick up the mail). Because THAT is an acceptable response to that question. I started to realize more and more everyday that I really didn't even like this guy.

But I thought we live together, we've been together for a long time - I think the right thing to do is try to work this out. Plus I hate to fail and I felt like if I walked away, wasn't that admitting failure now? So we got engaged. When he asked I thought about saying no, but said yes because I thought it was the right thing to do, not because I really wanted to. I wondered if other people that were engaged/married had such little feeling for the people they were with? I wondered if something was wrong with me? Were other people just pretending to be happy and really just as miserable as we were? Because I was realizing more and more I didn't even like this guy. I didn't want to be around him, we couldn't go one day without arguing about something. Finally after 5.5 years we realized (he felt the same way I did) it was never going to work and ended it - 9 months before our wedding date. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I don't know why it took me so long to finally just accept it and move on. Because if I am being honest with myself I had known that for the last 2.5 years - but it took that long to get the courage to actually do something about it. I was annoyed I wasted so many years with a person I knew from our first date I had no intention of marrying - but that I kept trying to convince myself that I should.

Now I'm still not married and don't have kids - which sorts of sucks when all my friends have husbands and litters of children, but I hope to one day get there. And this time it will be the right person. All this makes me wonder... how many people just settle because they thought it was the right thing to do? How many Newland Archers of the world are actually out there with their May Wellands wishing they had run off with Madame Olenska?

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