We all have a vision of what we want our lives to look like. We imagine how we’ll make a living, where we will live, and the type of family we’ll have. We imagine a way of life that enables us to keep on truckin’ every day towards those goals. I have a vision of my life somewhat ironed out but what today’s post is going to focus on is men….of course. I would never say that I have an actual checklist of requirements but it’s only natural that a boyfriend, a husband, or simply someone I’m hanging out with possesses certain characteristics based on appearance, personality, and morality that would allow us to spend time with each other. However, what happens when the items on the checklist are all checked off but something still doesn’t feel right? It’s like when people say, “well, it all looks good on paper” but this is real life and people are not meant to be characterized by a checklist.
Is she kidding me? Anyway, this weekend was amazing. Seriously amazing from start to finish. I had a blast with Tanya and Butthead Friend on Friday night at Sona and had the absolute time of life down the shore with Full BBC, Roller Coaster, and (here’s a new name) “Tree” at Bar A on Saturday. As we know by now, Roller Coaster looks good on paper but it took me YEARS to figure out that the checklist isn’t enough to make it work with him. He is physically my type considering he could throw me across the room, he’s from New Jersey, he went to good schools, he has a good job, he likes sports, he’s a family man, and as screwed up as it is, he still makes me laugh and we can have a genuinely good time together. Sounds fabulous, right? Sure it does but like I said, despite the fact that on paper it all works out, we (meaning me and you, my readers) know now that he and I are never meant to be together.
On the drive home from the beach on Sunday, Lauren and I were reflecting on the night before. There were moments when I was spending time with Roller Coaster while she was spending time with Tree and then we’d all come together with Gabarooni. Laur kept saying, “that was so fun, I wish things would just work out like that.” What could work out like what? Since when do you encourage Roller Coaster?! “No, no that we end up with guys who are friends so that we can do that all the time!”
We recognized that the idea of a foursome, or a sixsome (Gabs included +1, lol) is amazing but that the reality of it being with Roller Coaster and Tree is not. The idea of that picture, what it looks and seems like on paper are perfect but that it’s not perfect with those actual guys. And let’s not forget that all of that is true for the guys as well. To Roller Coaster, I am pretty perfect on paper. For all the same reasons as he is for me, and possibly some other reasons that only he knows, I am the type of girl he likes but clearly, I’m not the girl he likes. It’s okay, I’m over it, I don’t want anyone to think I’m walking down a dead end street again but I’m just making a point that it’s a mutual recognition. At first glance, there is no reason why we shouldn’t work out but we are human and therefore way more complex than a checklist.
We have to be able to separate the checklist from the reality. We have to be able to tell the difference between the idea of a person or a situation versus who the real human being is or what the actual situation consists of. Do you want him? Do you actually like him? Or do you just like the idea of him?
Remember Bob from last weekend? Well, I think it’s the same thing with him. He and I have a laundry list of connections, common interests, and compatible characteristics that make it seem like we are perfect for each other. There is a physical attraction, we were similarly raised, we went to the same types of schools, like the same sports, listen to the same music, watch the same television shows, and we share a similar mentality on life and on what we want in the future. This list always brings us back together, rightfully so, and makes us think that we could be together.
I’ve sensed that based on our last interaction and based on emotions expressed via social media, that he is angry with me. [DISCLAIMER: I have not asked him or heard why specifically he is angry with me, I am giving him space…] but I know that he was not happy with the post I wrote about last weekend. I’d like to clarify one of the points I was trying to make when I wrote, “let’s not pretend to be something we’re not.” It’s more like what I’m saying now, let’s not confuse the idea of us versus who we actually are.
It’s interesting because I’m sensing that he’s angry with me, meanwhile, I think he’s forgetting that he was the one who chose not to be with me this time around. Meaning, it must not just be that I confuse who he is on paper but that he does it about me as well. He knows that we both love to drive around for hours with the windows down at night, that we can both go from fist pumping to cowboy beats in the same minute, that we have an absurd obsession with Derek Jeter, and that we love California but he still chose not to be with me. If the checklist were enough, we’d be together right now. He’s upset with me partly because in the past I’ve let this checklist get the best of me and it made me want to give us another shot but my point is that I think the checklist gets to him too. On paper, I am the type of girl he wants (or wanted), he likes the idea of me but I’m clearly not his girl because if he really wanted to be with me then he would’ve made it happen by now.
So ask yourself: Is this person really who I want, who I love, and who I can’t live without or is it the idea of this person that I love and want? If the first part is true then sweet Jesus, tell him or her and be together in loving bliss! If the latter part is true then it’s time to move on. I’m not saying throw away the checklist because being able to belt out the same song or snuggle up on the couch watching your favorite movies are essential but they are not the only factors to consider. Equally important, be aware that the other person might be processing the same concept. Is she the person I really love and want or is it the idea of her that I love and want?
In my case, I was blinded by the Roller Coaster’s checklist for years and I never understood how it all seemed so perfect but never worked out. I wasn’t willing to accept that the reality of the situation was that he just never felt that way about me (despite the checklist of reasons why he should have). In terms of Bob, I think we’ve been doing this to each other for years as well. We’ve based our emotions and our decisions about each other on the checklist but the reality seems to be that one of us always pulls away when we get close, and this time it was him.
Sassarella Says…healthy relationships are based on mutual recognition of love, happiness, and fulfillment, so it must be about balancing his (or her) dating resume with that feeling that you get. That being said, I think the same is true about people who choose not to be together. My guess is that whoever makes that initial decision already knows that there is a disconnect between the checklist and reality. My other guess is that the other person will figure it out eventually. You always know when something is right or wrong, you get that gut feeling, but it’s just usually a matter of how long it takes you to realize, recognize, and admit it to yourself and the other person.