|Subject:||If Dating Were Like Football ...|
...I'd be in the penalty box.
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Do you see what I mean? I know so little about football that I'm confusing it with hockey. Thank goodness my complete ineptitude in the sporting arena is surpassed by my absolute ignorance in the dating arena.
Several years ago I had my first long-term relationship. I was in college at the time. I'd never had a real boyfriend, though strangely enough I had slept with several guys. Actually, that's not the strange part. The strange part is that I kept believing that sooner or later, one of them was going to call me the next day. In all other respects (except batting averages) I'm really quite intelligent, I promise.
Thank goodness for the law of averages, or I might still be on my back with my legs open. Eventually one of them /had/ to be interested in something besides what he could get in bed, and my relationship with Chandler* began.
Looking back, I'm surprised that the relationship lasted as long as it did (almost three years). We did everything wrong. We were friends for about a month, and he was dating someone else, long-distance. One thing led to another, and we slept together. I was naive enough to think that meant I was in love with him - I'd actually known him for a /month/ before we fucked! I don't know what his excuse was - but the sex was good, and maybe he did think he was in love with me. We both said it that first night, so the blame lies on both of us.
Our next mistake was moving in together - which we did, two weeks later. Sure, it helped us save on rent, and as poor college students this was no small thing. But we barely knew each other. He had been married before, for eight months - I had never even had a steady boyfriend. We came from two different places but we were both equal in how much we didn't know about what we were doing.
The middle of the relationship isn't as important, I guess, as the end. We had a lot of good times. Things were great, in fact, for almost two full years. But for various and sundry reasons we wound up working at the same place, living together, and having all of the same friends ... eventually, I'd come home and log onto the computer, while he goofed off with the PlayStation. We rarely talked. We hardly ever made love. We grew bored, very quickly. Instead of trying to communicate, we looked for solutions outside of our relationship - as if adding another person to our torrid little coupling would do anything but fan the flames of angst and confusion.
I hated Monica* from the beginning. I knew he was looking at her as the possible third wheel on our tricycle, and I honestly can't tell you if I hated her for that reason, or because she just happened to be a human being with no redeeming qualities. But just after we met her, I reconnected with my first love, Joey* ... well, I saw him again, at least. I wanted to /really/ reconnect, like, reconnect in bed, but that's cheating ... unless you have permission.
As it turned out, I was the one who couldn't handle the swapping. I got jealous. He didn't. I made him choose, and he chose her. It only hurt for a week. Maybe two. I definitely missed having /someone/ around much more than I missed him specifically. But it was almost four more years before I had an opportunity to do things differently. The problem is I'm not sure if going the opposite route, and making the opposite choices from the ones I made before, is going to be the right way to go.
Which brings me to this journal. I have another one, somewhere else, but it's restrictive because too many people know me. Here I plan to put down what I really think about everything - with no worry that the people to whom I'm referring might stumble across it. Maybe I'll come to a few answers ... maybe someone out there will give me some good advice. At the very least, I'll have a written record of where I go right or wrong this time, and I won't have to rely on my imperfect memory.
(*all names have been changed to protect the guilty; any resemblance to any popular movie, book, or TV show is entirely intentional and a product of my very limited imagination)