I’m getting bored with the dialogue in my head.

I’m on a many hour plane ride home. After watching two movies on a small screen, I started “A Little Chaos” (love Kate Winslet) and re-read some old posts. That Kate is pretty distracting but even still, I read the same themes over and over in my writing.

I detest my ability to summarize six months of a relationship with Tony in just a few thoughts: We got along amazingly, I fell in love with him, he intended to love me back, he couldn’t, I struggled to let him go.

Yet I wrote tens of thousands of words exploring that basic truth. Thanks for sticking with me.

And now to Fox? I feel the same thing is happening again. 

No, not the same story: a news reel in my head, over and over. Does this sound familiar:

I met a caring, mature, communicative man, who accepts me as the multifaceted woman I am. He wants to please me and grow with me. Time with him is lovely, he has many good qualities, yet he lacks the intellectual and quick-witted nature I have always said I need. I love him, but not passionately.

I am really struggling with this.

My work is all about making change happen, so I’m well-versed in the psychology of change. Change is uncomfortable. I’m trying to change my relationship patterns; be with someone who is truly good for me. I have found someone who fits this bill, yet instead of being in blissful relationship fuzziness, I am in an endless loop of questioning.

I have told myself to relax into this relationship. Many of you have said the same. And it’s truly lovely.

Then why do I keep questioning? I’m not trying to find something wrong; there are real things I don’t like. Do they matter to me? Obviously.

Does it make it worse that the last man I loved had the qualities that I’m missing with Fox, and had at least one of them in larger quantities than anyone that’s come before?

Yeah, I know that doesn’t help.

Last night my friend Katharine helped me break it all down for me: from 1-10 where is Fox on sex, taking care of me, and the like. She established there are only a couple of things missing, and even though I’ve been consistent in needing them in a partner, she suggested, not unkindly, that I suck it up.

I’m not sure how to get out of this loop.

And I need to talk to my Mom.

27 thoughts on “I’m getting bored with the dialogue in my head.

    • You’re quite right; it matters and I can’t / shouldn’t shut it down. But I am challenged with figuring out how much if it is because it’s different versus not right for me.

    • I’ve been trying to do just that, but it’s getting harder for me to ignore the voice telling me it’s not right for me.

      People have commented on how different my writing has been from Tony to Fox – and I think that’s an insight I shouldn’t ignore.

  1. This seems like a bigger issue – the passion and intellectual challenges. Have YOU challenged HIM? If you have, and he hasn’t challenged you back then buggers. But if you haven’t, then what are you waiting for?

    One thing I do know, is being with someone who is good enough while you wait for “the one” isn’t as non-obstructive to finding your real joy as it may seem. You’re not currently available for your “the one”. Or at least not as fully available as you may think.

    What’s the rush anyways? It’s not like you’ve got a deadline to hook someone…

    p.s. I totally ended it with the guy I thought I loved, he had way too many “ickyness” factors and loads of red lights. I’m glad I listened to my inner voice. What’s your inner voice saying? Doubts are important. Way important.

    • Marie, you are quite right. It’s a big issue for me…it’s been hard for me to admit it in the face of someone treating me so well.

      The intellectual thing is just how he is – he can talk passionately about a couple of things he really likes, but from the first date we simply didn’t have the back-and-forth verbal banter that I enjoy. I am reluctant to say I’m smarter because intelligence takes lots of different forms – but it’s a spark that he doesn’t have.

      I’m not in a rush at all, and I can tell you that with each passing hour I feel less confident he’s someone I should stay with. I think this is more than me just trying to be comfortable with something that’s new. And we’ve now had a few things happen that make me think this just isn’t going to work – posts to come.

      I’m sorry you ended it but with that description, it sounds like the right thing.

      xo

  2. Maybe you’re just one of those people who like the thrill of something not working, so you can fix it. You know in your heart it will never work, and that’s what is so appealing. This guy is probably a great guy, but maybe not necessarily for what YOU need. Therapy?

    • I am definitely a fixer and problem solver; it’s what I do for work. So I think there is something to what you say – I do like the tension of a problem. That’s not what keeps me in this relationship, though.

      The things about Fox cannot be fixed (and nor would I really try; you can’t really change something core about someone). I’m not finding this situation appealing at all.

  3. I think that women (including me) who have left long-term unhappy marriages often struggle to figure out what’s enough in a relationship vs what is settling. Many of us have experienced amazing sex, etc post-divorce and we don’t want to compromise again. But I think it comes down to figuring out our deal breakers. There are compromises in every relationship. It’s just important to accept them without resentment and to feel confident that we are getting our major needs met.

    • I agree with you, Holly. Especially when we feel better after getting out of a marriage that wasn’t good for us, I think the fear of repeating past mistakes takes on real importance.

      I will confess, I’m a little bored. And while perhaps, sure, some of that might be I’m used to relationship anxiety and this calm is new, but if I’m being brutally honest it’s also that he doesn’t particularly excite me on any level. Sigh.

  4. Definitely trust yourself! If he’s not right, then he’s not right. If no one’s right at the moment then you just need time to figure out what you want, not force yourself to want things that you’re not sure about! (Ok btw never take advice from me because in general I give terrible advice, and also I pretty much do the opposite of this advice… so… )

    • Hey, I know what it’s like to give advice I struggle myself with taking. Sometimes it’s way easier to see the path clearly for others.

      I do trust myself – but I’ve been thinking perhaps my discomfort comes from this feeling different. As in, my last relationship was filled with anxiety, this one isn’t, therefore perhaps I feel odd.

      But…that’s only one piece of it. Unfortunately I suspect the other (bigger) piece is I really like what he does for me and how he makes me feel, but he’s not quite the right person for me.

  5. Wow…interesting…I just had this exact same conversation with my friend the other night (about her guy) and we broke it all down and talked about love languages etc.

    We came to the place that even when you are missing (let’s say) one of your top 10 requirements, the fact is that it’s still in your top ten. And we all have a really hard time moving off those top ten. Even worse if it’s in your top 5 and it’s he missing ingredient. In her case she has it all, except sex….and he doesn’t seem to be willing to do enough about making this particular change….or maybe he can’t, but either way, she’s missing one ingredient.
    And ultimately, as we talked through it, you can’t bake a cake without An important ingredient like baking powder or sugar. So if you are missing a key ingredient, can you still bake the cake? Or will it taste the same? We got stuck on how much compromise you can accept when one tape reel plays over and over in your head and she ultimately felt that unless she ended getting what she needed, she couldn’t stay.
    I realize her case if different – she may be able to get what she needs if he is willing to make a change or see a doctor – where your case is less tactile but the conversation was quite similar.
    If it was me I would be questioning the same things over and over and wonder if eventually that would lead me to talking myself right out of a good relationship?

    • It’s a good analogy, for sure. Sometimes we think we need raisins in the cookies but they work without. In the case of Fox, I’m becoming more convinced that the things missing are actually fundamental ingredients. Sigh.

      You can talk yourself out of a good relationship, or talk yourself in a bad relationship (couldn’t resist!!)

      But I do know that because of the things I feel I’m missing, I’m also less inclined to let other things slide. Petty annoyances become full blown. And that for sure is not good for me, or for him.

  6. One of my friends sat down at made a list of 100 things she wants in a partner. She felt she settled, that she pushed relationships away that were good. Years later she found the list. Her current boyfriend (now husband) went through them and believed he met most of them.

    I loved this concept. I haven’t tried it (100 things, really?) but the fact that you can look at a list that you made impartially and see your partner meets the majority of them (he thought he made more than she did, but still, she was impressed) puts it in the proper perspective that no one can be everything but it’s awesome if they can meet the majority of needs.

    • 100 things!! Wow. It’s funny because it seems to run contrary to the things I’ve been saying to myself – find the few core things and focus on them. But I like the perspective because of course there are many things we’d like. Some are perhaps non-negotiable, but many aren’t.

      I’ve written some posts on how I want to be treated, and perhaps that’s where I’m getting caught. Fox absolutely treats me better than anyone I’ve ever dated – ever. It’s really wonderful.

      I suppose, just as the chemistry and connection with Tony couldn’t sustain our relationship when other stuff is missing, this is the same. Despite how well he’s treating me and all the lovely things about him, those things won’t sustain the relationship when there are some core things missing. Or at least, I won’t be happy in it.

  7. I met my husband thirty-five years ago. He assumed we were in an exclusive relationship. After four months of dating, during which I was seeing other men, he said, “OK, fine, I’m going to date other women.” Instantly I knew that I could not live the rest of my life without him in it. He’s since told me that he thinks we were together in other lives.

    Trust your gut. You know the answer.

  8. You are in a pickle. If you stay with Fox, and feeling the lack of spark with him, you may end up having an affair wit someone whow provides that spark yet is unaval able otherwise. Depending on your moral compass this may be an untenable situation and thus cause you a tremendous amount of stress and guilt or it may be a way of acquiring want you need but distributed amongst two men.

    • Thanks John. You are absolutely right about that. It is an untenable situation because I don’t want to have an affair. It’s also why I think maybe sometimes playing with others can be a good idea. But you have to be pretty secure in the relationship to make that work.

      Fox ended up making the decision for me, as you now know. But it still is unpleasant.

  9. Those few things that may be missing may be the most important ones, weighing the criteria (which it sounds like you know). Wish you the best in continuing to figure this out and not just settling.

    • Thank you. I’ve (obviously) found it difficult to sort out which are the right set of critical things for me. I do know we probably can’t have it all. But I suppose it doesn’t stop us from wanting it.

What do you think?