Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Loved & Lost Guy

This is the latest installment in our Sunday series of guest bloggers.  I’ve really been enjoying these (and not just because it means I have one less post to write each week).  You can take a look back at the whole series by clicking on the big blue “A Guy’s Story” right above the title.

This is Mr. G’s story:

I had many years to think about what I wanted in a relationship. Having had several soap opera-ish relationships, tons of hook-ups, and an instance of unrequited love, I thought myself ready for something more. That’s where M came in. We first connected through an internet dating site (I figured that that would be the most objective way of meeting a good match… after all, their matching methods are clinically validated, right?). Statistically speaking, she met all of my criteria: well-educated, attractive, similar religion/family values, etc. So I figured, “why not?”

When I first saw her, I was taken aback. She had the kind of eyes that you could stare into for hours. Her skin was silky soft. Let’s not talk about her curves (VERY NICE). I guess what I’m trying to say is, “she was packing heat”. That first date was the usual fair: small talk, clever comments, not over-stepping my boundaries, not making myself look too desperate, etc. And like so many love stories, one date became two, and two dates became several months. Before we knew it, “love” entered our vocabulary… but something wasn’t quite right.

M and I became quite the pair. Weekends were spent with each other. Every night, we spoke about the day’s happenings, engaged in small talk, and made plans for the upcoming weekend. Things were pretty much “ok”… not “great”, but “ok”. “Ok” was fine for me. On paper, we were a great couple.

I recognized that her type wasn’t the type that you come across on a regular basis. She was sweet, smart, and so very feminine; but something in me wasn’t quite clicking. It was almost like I was holding back with her. Other times in my life when I fell head-over-heels over someone (who was typically “bad” for me) I was an open book. Yet with this woman, I was a bag of mysteries; and she seemed to love it. I soon became the Sun to her Earth. Like every young 21st-century couple, our picture was up on every social network (placed there by her). However I hesitated to broadcast my love for her like I did for so many “wrong-for-me” women before her. In short, she was crazy over me.

As time went on, my doubts became too much to overlook. I soon found myself entertaining thoughts I NEVER thought of entertaining. That VERY attractive-but-attached coworker with the questionable values who seemed to look my way every time she walked by my office? I flirted with her. That HOT old flame who “felt the need to apologize” after so many years? I wanted to call her. All the while, M pined for my attention.

As the years went by, M and I had our ups and downs. We took “a break” for a few months (during which she slept with a friend because she felt “vulnerable” while I took some time to myself to clear my head). Nonetheless, we ended up in each others’ arms again. Like the other time that we were together, she was madly in love with me; but I couldn’t say the same.

Self-doubt plagued me. “If you weren’t so sure before, why the hell did you start up with her again? This kind of doubt is unfair to her. You should come clean and let her find the one that can keep a smile on her face. You both deserve to be happy… even if it’s with someone else.” These questions swirled around my mind for months while we lived out lives and continued to spend even more time together.

This weekend she started to ask me if I envision a “serious” relationship with her. I know her so “serious” means “life-long”. I gave her my usual matter-of-fact dance about “taking it one-day-at-a-time” but I think she knew something was different. She pressed the matter and I began to point out issues that I have with what she brings to the relationship (i.e. emotional neediness, constant need for reassurance, etc.). Before I knew it, I had deflected her into an argument about her constant need for emotional validation. I have to admit, I’ve done this many times before but this time it felt like I was fighting for my life. After several hours, she relented and recognized that I love her.

I once heard someone say that “love is the only thing you really need to make a relationship work”… THEY LIED. I love M. She is an incredible person. Nonetheless, I can’t help but to think about what’s out there for me. I’m a young, attractive, professional man who wants a real emotional connection with someone… I think you ladies know that I have my pick of the relationship-minded litter. Yet I still find myself looking for a window of opportunity AND the nerve to let M go… How is it that you can love someone so “right” yet yearn for more? I guess we never really know what we want.

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11 to “Loved & Lost Guy”

  1. browolf says:

    once you get to love, conscious objectivity is out of the window but your subconscious mind unaffected by emotions is still processing reality and it believes it knows what’s right for you better than your conscious mind does. thus begins an internal battle of wills..

    when you broke up for a while it doesnt seem like you really sorted your mind out at all. Perhaps you convinced yourself that this was the right thing but it doesnt sound like you did anything to feed your subconscious some new information on the matter. It’s still stuck with the same old information going round and round and round. What you have is what pickup artists call oneitis. The cure being to go date/sleep with 10 other people. After that if you still feel the same about M. both aspects of you will know despite her issues there’s really nothing “better” out there. That’s effectively what she did and why she started talking about seriousness but you’re still stuck on the previous page….

  2. aGirlNamedMe says:

    I have an idea. Sit down with her and talk about how you’re feeling. She’ll probably cry (we do annoying), but keep talking. Maybe it can’t be resolved and you’ll decide together to move on.

    This line…I’m not sure I get…

    I think you ladies know that I have my pick of the relationship-minded litter.

    …it sounds so arrogant, so ego-filled, so…gross. If you’re meaning to say that you’re so appealing to every woman you meet that we can hardly resist, you need to have a close look in the mirror. Most women I know can resist a man who thinks this highly of himself.


  3. Jan @ Struck by Serendipity says:

    Re: browolf’s idea of sleeping with 10 diff women & then determining how you feel – That’s disgusting! Don’t get more people involved in your indecisiveness than you already have.

    It’s not fair for you to drag M along while you search for something better. Cut ties & hopefully you can be friends in the future. This is a good song that sort of reminded me about your situation:

    A couple comments you made alluded to the fact that you’re very narcissistic. That may be completely off-base, but it’s a common personality disorder for highly successful people that have issues getting close in relationships. It’s something to at least look into as you try to learn more about what you want & why you have these conflicting feelings.

    Good luck!

  4. queenieNYC says:

    I’m with Jan and GirlNamedMe on this one – there’s a deep whiff of narcissism to G’s story.

    Either he’s not fully in love with M and should cut her loose, or is too self-obsessed to appreciate a damn good thing when he sees it and admit that he could be happy with someone he’s already picked from that “relationship-minded litter.” (Love the way this choice of words suggests complete and utter passivity on the women’s part. Good lord.)

    Either way, I mostly feel terrible for M, not G.

  5. Shannia says:

    Same here, how can you keep someone around for this long if you’re not in love with them? M deserves a man that loves her too. I am sure ending the relationship now would hurt her but how can you keep going when you can’t give back the love she gives you,.

  6. SINgleGIRL says:

    I’m going to keep to my practice of not replying to any specific comment made about the guest blogger’s post. I don’t know Mr. G or how he feels, deep down. My initial sense, when I first read this, was that he wasn’t in love with her. Plain and simple. He wanted to be, because she was technically right for him. She met all the qualifications. But that he wasn’t actually in love with her. And that maybe that fact wasn’t something he’d admitted to himself yet.

  7. Mr. G. says:

    First off, I want to thank everyone for their feedback. There really is nothing quite like getting outsiders’ perspectives on the situation (or myself, for that matter).

    Browolf: I have to disagree with your “prescription”. Sampling other “items” on the menu seldom changes one’s opinion about what they originally ate (not that I’m comparing M to a plate of food; I’m just speaking in metaphorical terms). I came to want someone like M after already having sampled everything else so hooking up with other women will unlikely help….. The unconscious mind doesn’t necessarily know what is best… it just lies a little closer to our own desires (both healthy & harmful) than our conscious mind will ever be.

    Me, Jan, & Queenie: after rereading my comment I have to agree; it wreaks of arrogance (not narcissism). True narcissism (from a clinical perspective) would’ve ignored the “is it fair to M?” question. Even though that comment should’ve read, “all of the relationship-minded women I’ve gone out with have pushed to get serious with me”, the fact that it came out in such a self-absorbed way is something to be looked at. Thanks for calling me out.

    Shannia: I agree… but not liking the way a diamond ring looks doesn’t change the fact that you still have a precious gem on your hand… feelings vs. function is the battle I’m fighting here

    SINgleGIRL: I’m more inclined to agree with your observation (and not just because it’s your blog). The truth is that I’m very aware of the very “logical” approach to love I took here. I love her but haven’t really experienced the “binding love” that gets people close. My debate is to either break things off and hope for the best or to decided to stop being such an emotional miser and to finally open up and invest my heart into her (I suspect my ‘miserliness’ is partially rooted in my “grass is always greener elsewhere” mentality). As for her & I as a couple, we pretty much function well in MOST areas.

    Again, I want to thank all of you for your feedback. It’s seriously appreciated. If there is any change in the near future, I’ll be sure to let Simone know about it.

    Mr. G

  8. Jan @ Struck by Serendipity says:

    Mr G – all good points on the follow-up!

  9. Veka says:

    “The truth is that I’m very aware of the very “logical” approach to love I took here. I love her but haven’t really experienced the “binding love” that gets people close.”

    This makes me wonder if Mr. G is just afraid of investing 100% because he’s never felt that way about anyone before and he’s scared of what it could lead to? I could be way off here, just an idea.

  10. BetterNow says:

    I enjoyed this blog.

    Mr. G – If you feel that there is something missing, whether it be sparks, flames, chemistry, lust or love, there is. On that same note I am going to have to assume that M realized something isn’t adding up as well. For her to bring up the conversation about where is is going….well then she didn’t know herself. At this point in the game you would’ve known already if you wanted ‘forever’ with M. That being said, M should realize your not looking too far into the future with her in sight and she could’ve walked away on her own. I also am a firm believer in not believing in ‘taking breaks’. Chances are that you took a break for a reason, so if and when you go ‘back on’, the problems are still there. I think you should continue the soul-mate search.

  11. SheilaH says:

    Sorry but I think “emotionally needy” women should be single for a long time and learn to love themselves before they can ask a man to love them. I think what Mr. G. is experiencing is perfectly normal. I run away from clingy men and I have no problem when a man runs from clingy women. She might be a “gem” on paper, but it sounds like she needs to learn how to function on her own without “constant emotional validation” before she’ll be ready for a real and promising relationship with anyone.