(This post was written in September, but after looking it over, it still applies – or at least the main point of it does.)
Last night at Sweet Life, A and I got to talking about relationships. Lately it seems like that’s all we talk about: our guy problems.
Here’s A’s situation: she and her current boyfriend, B, have been together for six years (!) but just recently, the first love of her life contacted her, claiming he’d been searching for her for four years. They met up (unbeknownst to B) and now all of these feelings are coming back to A. First Love is making lovey-dovey comments to her, trying to get into her head, and causing her to second guess if she’s really happy in her current relationship. A told me there are certain things she misses about being with First Love, but that she’s really happy with B and doesn’t want to risk losing that just because she’s feeling nostalgic. There’s safety and security with B, but with First Love, there is excitement and the butterflies she doesn’t really feel with B anymore. It’s temptation and it made me wonder: are we sacrificing something if we choose the “safe” guy? Is it possible to keep from losing the excitement in a relationship?
I’ve been dating someone the past month or two who, like all the other guys I’ve dated, is in the Army. He’s used to being put in the friend zone, though, and knowing that is preventing me from even considering him as something more; it’s as if it’s a turn-off. However, he opens doors for me, doesn’t laugh at the fact that sometimes I suck with driving directions, he’s patient and never rushes me with anything, and he’s always telling me how great I’m doing with my schooling/career. He’s a total gentleman. Oh yeah, he’s also single – a big step up for me. Great qualities, right? The only problem is there aren’t any butterflies going on.
I guess you could say I’m in the same situation as A. Great guy right in front of you, but there’s something missing and you’re not sure you could be truly happy with them when that one tiny, yet important quality isn’t there. For a lot of people, physical attraction is a pretty important part of having a relationship, so why am I feeling guilty? Am I asking for too much? Am I being shallow? I could actually almost be seen as doing this guy a favor by not being with him simply because he should be the kind of guy I go for. Looking good on paper isn’t the only reason you should date someone. No one wants to be used like that.
What I’m really wondering lately is how couples keep from losing the spark; that yearning for each other you first feel at the beginning of the relationship. When I’m out with a friend eating lunch at a restaurant, I’ll see older couples together and think, “Oh, that’s so sweet…” But usually right after that, I notice one thing: they’re not talking to each other. They’re eating in silence. I mean, I guess that works for some people, but if there’s anything I don’t want in my relationship, it’s for there to ever be a quiet moment. I want us to be comfortable sharing the silence, but I don’t ever want to run out of things to say. It’s ironic I should think that because, as many things as there are going on in the world and as many things as there are to talk about, I worry when I find my “other,” as Jewel says, “what would I say if I had you all my life?” It’s a pretty good question.
I just don’t want to be sacrificing anything when I am finally in a relationship. If it’s the right relationship, I feel like things should come easy. That said, I realize relationships take work. It’s a complicated question with many sides: how do you keep the mystery and the butterflies even after you’ve been together for some time? Are there certain things you have to give up in every relationship or is it possible to compromise?