By Paige Nesbitt
A couple of months ago, while on vacation, I used the time to slow down my mind and reflect on a few factors in life -- health, job and relationships. All of my reflections were quite pleasant until I arrived at relationships – and there is the quandary.
I love being single. However, when certain men pique my interest, why is it those men are emotionally unavailable and/or geographically undesirable, or flat-out impractical? Those are the three categories.
Gavin is a dear friend. He and I have been close for two years, more or less. When I first met him, at our friend Rebecca’s “family dinner,” he intrigued me.
A few weeks later, we agreed to meet the next morning to go running in our neighborhood. We live only a few miles apart.
We met for the run and had a great time. We continued meeting for our runs and within a month, it became a weekly date.
After a few weeks of discussing everything from world events to women he dated and men I dated, he asked me out. Not for running, but for a “date-date.”
This alarmed me at first, considering how I had plopped him resolutely in the “friend” category, but the plans seemed perfect and natural; we would go to a museum to see an art exhibit, then to a relaxed dinner somewhere arty and fashionable. “What could one date hurt?” I asked myself.
Half-way through the exhibit, I was pretty sure I was not interested. At dinner, I think he said something in the first-person plural possessive and I shifted gears to being blatant I-AM-NOT-INTERESTED.
I remember when he dropped me off, as we approached my front door, I am pretty sure I resorted to a quick yawn and a hug good-night with thanks. Done.
I was relieved. “We’re just friends, “I thought. “My fortress remains intact.”
Ten months into our friendship, Gavin started dating Stephanie, and I had a boyfriend -- Mike. Both of our significant others seemed to be great matches for us.
A couple of months later, it dawned on me that Mike is not too adept at relating to people -- or to me. And Gavin is. Furthermore, it occurred to me from things Gavin said that Stephanie may not be so perfect for Gavin. And I…I’m not sure. And around then I heard he may imminently propose to her. How’s that for timing?
Why is it that just when he got involved with another woman was when I began to realize how terrific he is? All of my explanations are as weak as were my hesitations. And it’s probably a waste of time to continue thinking about it.
That would place Gavin in the “emotionally unavailable” category.
Then, there are the untouchable, perhaps geographically undesirable/aloof fantasy men. The distance between us is somewhere between 400 miles and many layers of pride, ego, scar tissue and flat-out relationship ineptitude.
These men have all been handsome, educated, flirty, fun, traditional in some ways and progressive in others. We have spectacular chemistry. Each one brought out in me a very unique woman. Sadly, the fact is none of them wanted to date me for very long.
In all three cases, I was essentially the dumper, but that was because it had become self-evident that none of them wanted to be with me, whichever one of me they had dated. So why was I still fantasizing about them? Why do any of us do that?
In the third and final category are the lifeguards. Really, they are lifeguards/bartenders/waiters. Their job is to look after you, cater to you, and if it helps their cause and makes their job more fun, flirt with you. On the other hand, that is the precise reason they may not make great exclusive boyfriends.
Those three man categories considered, the big issue is this – when I fall for a man, why is it I cannot fall for one who is charming, intelligent, reliable, handsome, a good guy – and who is both into me and available? Or why is it I don’t trust they are any of the above until they are deeply vested in another relationship?
Why do any of us ax viable relationships with men we could truly love, who could truly love us, only to leave ourselves open to relationships that will not work?
The sensible segue from all of those questions is – Will I/any woman in the same position ever find a guy who is everything we want, more or less, or totally different from the formula we think we want, but is perfect for us?
I don’t know how to answer those questions. But I’m curious.
Paige Nesbitt is a Los Angeles native, an author and a blogger. Her blog www.martinirescuesquad.com is based on her manuscript, Martini Rescue Squad, A Peer Expert's Guide to Being a Single Woman in Her Twenties or Thirties and Loving It. Nesbitt has a Bachelor’s in Theater and French from Vanderbilt University and an MBA in Finance from Pepperdine University.
Read Paige Nesbitt's earlier post: When Your Life Feels Like a Layover