When the Goin’ Gets Tough

Recently, an ex of mine from Hong Kong popped into my head so I searched my gmail for old messages in order to find his email address. For giggles, I reread our exchanges; I’d completely forgotten how smitten I’d been with him. Even though he’d done so in a very gentlemanly way, he had rebuked my advances toward a relationship. Wasn’t it fun to be casual? And, yes, of course, we had fun, but I wanted to be in a relationship. I stuck it out for nearly six months with this guy who had clearly stated he did not want to be in a relationship, though he did enjoy my company. 

This same “city guy, just wanna have fun” syndrome has afflicted many guys I’ve met in a city, Chicago and Hong Kong alike. 

I was recently in a relationship, and I stuck it out even when it was awful. There’s this vivid memory I keep coming back to: we’d gone out dancing and when we returned he accused me of staring at other guys. I hadn’t been, clearly, but he was adamant. He yelled and sulked, I sobbed. If I’d ever imagined this situation before meeting this guy, I’d have walked out. Been done. Never stayed with someone who made me feel so bad. That was March, we broke up in July. I persisted, as I’d done with the guy in Hong Kong. Why? 

If you’ve never heard of or read 40 Days of Dating, you’re about to become addicted. While reading the blog, I wrote down a few lines that stuck out and this one describes my problem quite accurately:

“Truthfully, when I find something I like, I want it all the time. I know I can have a slightly obsessive personality. This can apply to a song, a restaurant, a piece of clothing, a type of makeup, or a kind of food. I can be the same with relationships. If I am really into a guy, I am totally cool to hang out as much possible. Weekend trips, family events, work parties, bring it on!”

Here, here! Besides the slightly obsessive personality trait that I, too, possess, I can qualify my behavior a bit more: I’d really like to be out of the dating stage and into the “I love you, let’s get married” stage, yet I clearly have difficulty articulating between what’s “I love you” and what’s “you’re fun, but…” This deserves a bit more practice, so in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, I vow to look out for me and my best interest. I won’t get too addicted and I won’t make a fool of myself. Cheers to that!

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