I have gotten a few nudges from my long lost LJ friends recently (thank you!) and figured I should check in. To alleviate any suspense, the Looker and I still together on pretty much the same terms we agreed on when he became my boyfriend last year, which is that I go to his place during the week and he comes to my place on the weekend. When I am not obsessing over the fact that we are not married yet and OH MY GOD WHY ARE WE NOT MARRIED YET, things are very good. It is hard for me not to obsess on this. On a completely related note, I turn 36 next month.
I stopped writing for several reasons, so I will probably still be posting very, very sporadically! First, as mentioned, an actual relationship (assuming it is not a bad and/or middle school relationship) is not interesting for the reader. "We went to dinner. The End." "He rolled me over in my sleep because I was snoring. The End." "We walked through the blazing heat to a Peruvian chicken place where I watched him eat 1/4 of a chicken, and then we walked through more blazing heat to El Charrito Caminante where he watched me eat two pupusas, and then we had a big discussion about our relationship. In the blazing heat. The end." Well, I guess the last one could be interesting to read about. None of those things are euphemisms, by the way.
The second reason is more the real reason. I don't want to get myself into the habit of compiling a dossier of All The Things He Has Done Wrong--yet I don't have enough self control not to if I'm writing about our relationship! Also, you may have noticed that I am a *wee* bit crazy and insane, and also have had a really hard time making decisions about this relationship. While writing is a very enjoyable activity for me and can sometimes be therapeutic, it doesn't always help me crystallize my thoughts and can instead foster my tendency to let anxious thoughts circulate on an endless tape loop. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, if you were all like, "Thank god that girl stopped writing her long-ass boring entries"), in this relationship it tended toward the latter.
The Cycle of Our Relationship
Like many things, such as the phases of the moon and the length of hemlines, our relationship goes through cycles. When I am feeling pessimistic, I describe the cycle as such: We have a discussion about our relationship wherein he makes a grand pronouncement regarding his lack of intentions to marry me. I am really sad and consider breaking up with him. But it is always an inconvenient time to break up (his birthday, he has already bought a plane ticket to Texas to visit my family, etc.) so I don't get around to it. Then slowly I forget how devastated I was and start to feel confident and happy, because we are a good match and really enjoy each other's company and are important in each others' lives. Then I get so confident that we discuss our relationship. He makes a grand pronouncement regarding his lack of intentions to marry me. Repeat.
The Good Things I Hold Onto, Sometimes for Dear Life
(1) He contacted me on OKCupid in the first place.
(2) He asked to get back together after we broke up.
(3) For Christmas, he made me a photo album of our trip to Spain with little handwritten captions in his horrifying, serial killer handwriting. Most of the notations are in black, except for two in red. One for "scary scary fish" for me (I am really creeped out by fish. and birds.) and one for "scary scary height" for him for a ledge-like balcony that terrified him.
(4) For Christmas I made him a pair of boxer shorts (and got him a cassette iPod adapter for his car), and then another pair for his birthday. When he does laundry he always makes sure they are on top of the clean pile so I know he wears them.
(5) When I am reaching the breaking point of needing to talk about The Relationship he always picks up on my passive-aggressiveness (I am horrible!) and proactively asks me what is going on. He does his best to participate in the conversation, even if he does end it like a belligerent toddler backed into a corner flailing his arms and making Grand Pronouncements about how he is never getting married dear god that is the worst thing that could possibly ever happen to a person.
(6) He really wants to be with me. Even if it is only for right now this very second and not even one second into the future, he wants to be with me.
(7) Although I initiate pretty much all of the rest of our physical contact, when we are going to sleep he is the one who kisses me goodnight.
Momentous Events That Have Occurred
(1) He went with me to a friend's wedding. I guess it wasn't really that momentous, except that he was forced to admit that marriage exists. He wore a suit and even danced. Sort of. Or else that was a seizure.
(2) I met the rest of his family. His youngest sister (daughter of his dad and stepmom) and her high school orchestra were playing at Carnegie Hall so the whole gang converged upon New York. I met his dad, stepmom, youngest sister, and older sister (same parents as him), along with a dozen other assorted relatives. They were nice. His stepmom and youngest sister came through town twice this summer and so I got to spend more time with them. We went to South Carolina Memorial Day weekend.
(3) He came to Texas with me. I offered to use credit card points on his ticket, but he paid for it himself. I won't say he's cheap, but he is economical (as am I), so it was kind of a big deal, I thought. I had been terrorizing him with tales of my parents since we met, so he was kind of a little let down when they turned out to be nice, normal people. We met my middle brother and his wife and four kids in a mall that has an oil derrick in the parking lot. We ate Tex Mex twice. My parents didn't say boo about us staying at a hotel. It was extremely successful.
Where We Are On the Cycle
Our last discussion where he made his Grand Pronouncement re: no intentions to marry me was around March. It was bad timing in general because my Gyn had sent me to an oncological gynecologist for recurring bad pap smears. I went and saw him, he said it looked fine and to come back in four months. Then he called and left me a message saying come back in one month. Then he called and left me a message saying to come back as soon as possible. This was somewhere in between "as soon as possible" and getting the results of the biopsy (negative, thank goodness). So I was really focused on my fertility or lack thereof. So it was about time for our quarterly existential crisis.
He has gone to Germany twice this year for work. The first time he was stuck there by the volcano and OMG he was so unhappy. It was kind of pitiful. It did convince him to get a computer with a webcam so we could skype in the future, though. The second time he went to Germany his car was completely destroyed by a drunk driver (along with nine other cars, not counting the drunk driver's car) while parked on the street. He is not into the whole Deutschland situation.
Anyway, he went through his insurance company and got a very reasonable settlement for his totaled car, but of course it is never replacement value. I floated the idea of "buying into" his new car. I have not had regular access to a car since January and am going a bit crazy about it. I don't want a whole car but would LOVE a share of a car. I said that he would have the option to buy me out any time if he felt it wasn't working.
His response: "Even if we were 60 years old and still together I would never share a car with you." Upon further probing, he said that if we were 60 years old and still together at that point he would agree to drive me to the fabric store once a month.
Oooookay. I took that as a no.
We had previously discussed money. It went similarly poorly. His older sister does not make good life choices and I mentioned something about us supporting her in the future. He agreed, but said I wouldn't have to be involved in it. I was like, "Well, at some point it would 'our' money." Lord. Out trots the Grand Pronouncement about how there will NEVER be an our money ever ever ever. That even if we get married one person will just have to write a check to the other person at the end of the month and not one dime of our funds shall ever commingle, not even as change on the bedside table.
So after the car discussion I realized that even if we did, by some miracle, get married (I'm not religious, so I don't believe in miracles), it would not be the partnership that I have envisioned for myself. We wouldn't be allowed to share money or a car. We would just be freaking roommates, for god's sake. We'd probably have to have separate groceries!
Thus precipitated the discussion in the blazing hot sun. After that epiphany I was to the point where I was inventorying his house to try to figure out what all I needed to gather up and take with me after breaking up with him. As per usual, to his credit, he realized that something was gnawing me. So I told him that there were three issues. First, it is time for our annual review (he became my boyfriend around the 4th of July last year). Second, we will never get married. And Third, even if we did by some miracle get married we would just be roommates (as explained above).
We discussed point number three and it turns out that we are not as far apart as it first appeared. As to money, he said it would be fine to have a shared account for expenses. Now, I suspect that we differ vastly in what percentage of income we think should be contributed to a common fund and how much to personal accounts, but I don't think any couple would automatically have the same idea. As to car, he said the main thing is that he wants to be able to choose the car all by himself without anyone else having any input, but that I could drive it if I needed to.
I felt much better after our talk. He walked me to the metro and I said, "There are still several points unaddressed, but thank you for talking to me and I feel much better."
He said, "I am working on the other things."
I tried not to get my hopes up.
He didn't keep me in suspense too long, as this weekend he made very clear that he still does not intend to marry me. This time he actually initiated the conversation, and said he was feeling that our relationship was stagnant and he didn't know where we were going.
I said that, obviously, I was very interested to know where we were going. I wasn't sure what he meant by "stagnant," but in further conversation I think he meant more routine and humdrum. I go to his house on Wednesday nights and we hang out, and then on Saturday nights we go to dinner and the farmer's market on Sunday morning. Sometimes we see friends, but we rarely do anything else. I was a little frustrated by this because (1) well, life *is* routine, and (2) I often suggest that we do things, like go to Teddy Roosevelt Island or the zoo or a museum and he rarely agrees. It is, admittedly, too hot to do anything outside this summer, but he doesn't like movies or plays. I don't know what it is that he wants to do.
At any rate, the conversation was not good. He wishes we had 10 years to date. We don't. Or at least I don't. Even putting aside the issue of children (a big issue), I am not willing to wait until I am 45 or 46 to live together. This conversation could have been the beginning of the end.
Why Are You Even With That Guy, Anyway?
I know. It does not seem clear why I would be with someone who refuses to spoon me no matter how much I beg, who is emotionally prickly and hasn't said that he loves me, and who will not live with or marry me. He is not everything I am looking for, but of course nobody is. But the thing is, we are really good company. He cracks me up. He is smart and he reads and we have interesting stuff to talk about. We can discuss our career and job issues because we're both lawyers. I am really comfortable with him and either can't or don't need to hide things about myself from him. I just like him as a person. (Plus, he's hot.) If I were just looking for a boyfriend I would look for someone easier to be with, who likes going to nicer restaurants and movies and who will cuddle me. But for the long term, the company part is the most important one to me. And he's it.
I have never been that girl. I've never had a hard time walking away from someone who is not right for me. It is possible that sometimes it's been too easy for me. But now I am that girl, who is always talking about her relationship and agonizing over whether it's right and whether I should leave and never making any decisions so that inertia makes them for me. It's annoying to be that girl and I am sure my friends are sick of it. But I still don't know what to do!