The tricky landmine of logic and lust

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Well, I have an opportunity to date someone.

It’s this guy I know through a friend. He saw some comment on FB I posted on the mutual friend’s wall and he got in touch with me. He turned out to be really cool. Intelligent, witty and sarcastic, and he likes a lot of the same things I do. He gave me his HBOgo password so I could watch Game of Thrones. We emailed back and forth for a couple of months, but never talked on the phone or met in person until late August when he invited me to go see a stand-up comedian downtown.

I was nervous and almost bailed. I’m confused. On one hand, how fun it could be to have a boyfriend again, right? Especially one who is a lot like me and is easy to get along with? But on the other hand, I am planning to move to NJ. If I start something serious here, now of all times, it could really suck when the time comes to leave. (PS: I haven’t told him about NJ yet.) And finally, I’m still not sold on the idea of a relationship. As nice as romance and sex could be, it does bring certain expectations regarding time and responsibilities to remember important dates and to contact your partner on a regular basis (probably every day, right?). I’m feeling a time-crunch every day as it is. So many things I want to accomplish and spend time doing. Not sure I want to give up any of that time right now.

So, we met in person at last. All signs pointed to, “YAY!” He was really fun to hang out with. We laughed and talked easily like we were old friends. He’s like me with going off on tangents and taking weird humor a little too far; we had a great time together.

I think it will be great to hang out with him some more. We did it again on Friday night when we went to see Tom Green (who was hilarious, by the way). I remember laughing really hard in the parking lot as we walked up to the club because we were trying to do different accents and both of us suck so much at it. “Everything winds up going back to East Indian,” was the conclusion we made about our terrible abilities. During the show, we sat next to one another and shared a plate of pretzels and he brushed against my arm many times.

After we hang out, he sends me nice messages that say “I had a wonderful time with you” and “your eyes are so beautiful. I tried not to stare since I know you’re weird about eye contact and all of that, and I didn’t want to creep you out. But I really like looking at you… ok, now I do sound creepy. I can’t win.” 🙂  It makes me feel nice, and it’s flattering that he enjoys spending time with me and clearly has something of a crush on me, too. I can tell he feels that way when we are together, because of the way he looks at me, the little gestures that are kind of “we are on a date” in that he won’t allow me to pay for anything, and he’s a total gentleman.

HERE’S THE PROBLEM.

I am not physically attracted to him. 😦

And I feel awful for not being attracted to him. I feel so superficial and stupid, because I know it shouldn’t be all about looks and all of that. I do know that.

My secret thought is that, if I do decide to have a boyfriend again, I want to have the whole package. Someone who is fun and caring, but also gets my heart racing in that way.

In the vast majority of my past relationships, I have ‘settled’ for good enough, or what appears to be good enough at the onset. I know I am bad at picking good boyfriends and (gasp) husbands. I also know that I usually always concede the ‘sexual attraction’ thing.

Awful confession: In my last two serious relationships (including my marriage), I tolerated sex. Or, I would start off wanting it and then it would fade away fast. In the first case, Writer Ex didn’t enjoy sex with me after about 6 months or so, anyway. He even told me something inside me hurt him. Later, I found out I have severe endometriosis and my organs were all meshed together by scar tissue, pulling things in the wrong direction, so that could have been what was bothering him (and me! Ouch!) but the psychological effect of someone saying they didn’t want to be full-out intimate, yet they still wanted to cuddle and stuff, messed with me in a big way. I felt repulsive and sadly, not very feminine or confident. Plus, the longer I was with him I was turned off by HIM. He wasn’t a good-looking guy at all (some say he was my all-time homeliest boyfriend) but back when I met him, I was all attracted to his personality and sense of humor and the fact that we both loved writing so much. He became attractive– for awhile, anyway. It all faded. We mutually agreed to end our engagement in an almost-painless conversation that was laced with relief. Weird.

And then X came along. I know now that he was mostly a rebound from Writer Ex. He was not attractive at all to me. In fact, I was flat-out turned off by his shaved head and blue eyes. He reminded me of a skinhead or something. But he was very nice and caring back then. He was so attentive, and so different in his affections and level of attention than Writer Ex ever was. He did amazing things to impress me back then; these romantic gestures and surprises that had me in awe because no one had ever been that nice to me. We had a few shared interests and we did laugh and stuff. He had a decent job, a house, and was very responsible and adult.

I thought I had found The One… and the fact that I didn’t find him sexually attractive was something I decided to overlook. Make the best of it and DON’T BE A SUPERFICIAL JERK. Some things outweigh looks.

And we all know how that mess turned out in the long run. How his super-attentive and responsible side took over and crushed everything in my life. How he was insanely possessive and bossed me around like I was a little kid who didn’t know anything about the world. How he put dozens of restrictions on me, including who I could spend time with and how much time I could “reasonably” spend with those people. It was the ugliest, most nasty relationship I have ever had. It got so close to destroying me. He found my vulnerable psychological spots and he pummeled the shit out of them. Even when I made my case, pleaded and downright begged, in tears, for him to ease up on me, he wouldn’t do it. Leaving him was the most wonderful decision I have ever made.

After those two consecutive debacles, it’s easy to see why I enjoyed living on my own, not dating or even caring one shit about men, for the next 5 years.

Sure, I wonder sometimes what’s wrong with me, why I don’t feel the urge to get out there and try harder to attract male attention. Part of me wants to be in a relationship, of course. I’m only human and I do have some hormones at work. YET, I routinely find myself saying “I can’t be bothered” with “all of that” and I always mean it. I try reaching out and giving the dating/attraction thing a go of it every now and then, but in the end I appreciate the moment of, “Oh, the hell with this, I’m gonna go write” too much to keep trying.

And so, that brings me to my current dilemma.

I feel like I should feel ashamed on my gut reaction, which is to wait for the whole package this time.

At this point in my life, I feel strongly that I deserve the very best match for me that’s possible. I’ve had it with guys who treat me like shit. Yes. But it’s interesting, because at the same time I am also done with guys I am not actually attracted to. Guys who I say are “good enough” and, in the process of trying to Be Adult About All of This and realize that Looks Don’t Matter in the End, I decide to give them a shot.

I’m tired of not feeling magic when I kiss someone. OK, I am a LOT out of practice, at the moment, but I still know all too well that feeling of “well, this is OK” when I kissed past boyfriends/husbands. And I also remember how it felt to kiss the good ones and go, “Holy shit, this is HOT!” Right now I want a spark, damn it. A real, honest to God, two-way attraction. I was lucky enough to get it once or twice in my younger life, and now I want it again.

At the moment, the way I feel about Funny Guy is… I feel like he is excellent guy-friend material.

Ugh.

I’ve had guy friends like this before, and I love them. But the thing with these particular guys is they just don’t seem like potential boyfriends. They seem like buddies. Someone to be crude and stupid with in my joking around. The sex-spark is never once ignited. At least not for me. In fact, it’s almost impossible to see them in “that way.”

So, now I am caught in a tough place. Today, Funny Guy pretty much asked me on a date. He said we should go to the movies together sometime, and in the last email he said, “Let’s make it a date! Yes, I said the d-word.”

And I am like, “OHHHH NOOOO.” Cue sad-face.

I have to reply to him somehow, but all day I have been agonizing over what to say or not say. Three main options here: 1) I thought about just acting like he never said “the d-word” and keep going with my natural reaction, which is to not let it go there. 2) I could try to find a way to word it so he knows where I stand, and do it without hurting his feelings. 3) Or, I could go with it, go on the damn date, and see how it feels. Give him a chance.

Damned if I don’t even want to try the third option. I know. I suck.

Here’s a perfectly good guy on all initial accounts. He and I have a great rapport. He doesn’t date around (he’s also been single for a really long time). He has a decent job, and takes care of his elderly mother. He is humble and kind. All of this is important shit.

And here I am all cringing at the idea of possibly kissing him.

He’s not repulsive. People who see his picture have said, “Oh, he’s cute” or “Oh, he’s not bad.” OK. That’s something.

But as I think of it, it’s almost a subconscious thing that’s guiding me, here. Something deep inside that says “nope” and tells me to keep this one on a friend level. It could be a basic chemical reaction, like you read about with pheromones and compatibility on a genetic level– a sixth sense, in a way. Or it could just be me being afraid of having a boyfriend again, period. Or I just don’t like him in that way, and that’s the end of it. Either way, I feel something telling me it’s OK if I don’t want to kiss this guy, or spend too much time with him.

I’m not sure what to think. Trust my gut, or let my brain step in and be logical about this and give the guy a chance for all the right reasons.

I hate this crap!

 

 

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5 responses »

  1. I say gut, always go with the gut. Over the past year especially, I’ve been soooooo into listening to what my intuition is telling me, and if there isn’t chemistry, there just isn’t chemistry. And that doesn’t mean that there’s anything fundamentally wrong with you, not at all; this just isn’t your person!

    I would say to write back to him and say that you think he’s awesome and you’d love to hang out, but you’re just not feeling that connection–and that it’s really important to you not to lead someone one. Sure, you may hurt his feelings and his pride, but this way you’re not wasting his time–you’re giving him the opportunity to find that person who is going to treasure him. And you’re doing it in a way that is straightforward and true to yourself.

    I think if you were really meant to stay in AZ, then this guy would have swept you off your feet and you wouldn’t have even thought twice about what that mean for your NJ plans. But if your heart belongs in NJ, that’s where your heart is going to lead you.

  2. Option 2! (Yes, I *do* know this is your real life and not an episode of Love Connection.) I think letting him down easy (but being honest) is the best thing for you AND him. Yeah, he sounds perfect on paper, but it is what it is. Best case scenario, you end up with a new awesome friend. It’s totally okay if you don’t want to be with this guy, or any guy right now, or hell, any guy EVER. Society puts all this ridiculous pressure on people (especially women) to follow a script, but if you’re happy, there’s nothing wrong with wanting what you want, whatever that might be at the moment.

  3. I dunno… I dated a really great guy for a very brief period of time… I ended it because I just wasn’t feeling it (oh, there was chemistry… was there ever!). I was still a little young, still getting over not one, but two breakups (still not over a very serious-to-me high school relationship, then reeling from a relationship involving a guy whom I was not interested in to begin with and never wanted to date but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. And then after 3 months I fell for him and, coincidentally, he ditched me, because dating me had been nothing more than part of a bet he made with his buddies…) I really liked this guy, but he’d said a couple of things on occasion that really weirded me out (nothing major). I felt like I was leading him on, so I ended it. Had I know that, in a few short months, I’d be turning 21 and suddenly more interested in the live music/dancing scene he frequented, able to drink and, thus, feel like I was more relatable, I’d have stuck it out. Because I STILL wish I hadn’t let him go. I was young and naive. I was a virgin. He wasn’t. He liked going out to bars and listening to music. I wasn’t “old enough” (though now I know that with a hand stamp they would have let me in and I didn’t have to drink). He was really, really sweet and I still have the teddy bear he brought me on our first date. Maybe I should have looked past him kicking off his shoes and putting his feet on my parents’ coffee table… maybe I should have been flattered that he looked at the catalogs on said coffee table and picked out dresses he thought I’d look good in. I never even considered wearing dark brown until he suggested it. Maybe if I’d gotten over myself (and those other two assholes), I’d be married to a wakeboarding real estate mogul, living on the lake, enjoying all the water sports I want… instead of missing the summer activities of my youth and being too busy, regretting that I never learned those flips and tricks… If nothing else, he was a better kisser than my husband and much more interested in such things. Life would certainly be much different.

  4. My point is, I was scared and I wasn’t ready. And then when I was, there was no chance, because he was already dating someone else (someone who had a kid, and I think they eventually got married…). Plus he had already said once that he was a “no going back, no second chances” kind of guy. We stayed friends for a while, hung out a time or two- in a group consisting of other people. But that’s one relationship I will always wonder “what if?” about.

  5. Just be honest with him and tell him you aren’t ready to be with anyone yet. Which, from what I read, is true, you really aren’t. Because you want that whole package. He sounds like he would be a great guy friend and it would be cool to have someone new to hang out with maybe? And who knows? Maybe with all the dating pressure off the table things may evolve down the line. It’s happened more than once!

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