I posted a rant yesterday about some questionable ‘expert’ relationship advice floating around the Internet and posed the question, “Is chemistry addictive.” My own opinion is an unequivocal “yes!” I can’t help but wonder what agenda the author I referred to in yesterday’s post had in mind as he penned his dating criteria, but it sparked my interest enough to do some research on my own. While there was certainly no lack of opinions, one in particular struck me. The author writes Glamour Magazine’s male dating column, Ask Jake and, though having read his last post I would probably not agree with his approach, he writes beautifully and I admire him for his candid honesty identifying his own toxic patterns––so much so that I’ve decided to take two days to not only share his post but also add my own two cents and hopefully yours as well.
This video discusses commitment-phobs, male and female, and some views about the issue. While it’s interesting, I have a unique spin on the topic. Today I’ll share Jake’s article and I’d love to hear your comments as well. Tomorrow I’ll post my views and hopefully add a few of yours as well. Here’s Jake’s dilemma:
Glamour’s male dating columnist resolves to bust his breakup pattern. Can he do it? The journey starts here.
Why Can’t He Commit?
She left my house at 11:30 A.M. I had some work to do. She had to meet friends. Clean her apartment. Errands. It really didn’t matter. J. and I had developed a routine over the past few months: dinner, drinks, fun, sex, sleep. She knew exactly how to touch my back. I knew how hard to bite her lip when we kissed. She knew her way around the apartment. And she knew how to exit.
As she walked down the hall, I held the door open just a crack so my dog, Piano, couldn’t run after her and called to her: “Let’s hang out this week. If you want.” Normally I would hear “Sure, call me!” But this time she stopped, turned around and smirked.”It’s not really about what I want,” she said. “It’s always about what you want. And admit it, you have no idea what that is.” Then she spun around and was gone.
Ouch. Over the next few weeks, J.’s words tugged at me like a pulled hamstring. Every romantic step I tried to take was met with the vague ache of her critique. Worst part? I’d been here before, many times. Loath as I am to admit it, this is my M.O.: I meet a woman and I crush hard; I pursue her with dinners and all-night parties that start and end at my apartment (for the record, Piano is the best wingman ever). We hang out with each other’s friends, spend weekends away, meet family members. Right around then I find cracks in the facade of “us,” and I leave. Why? Let me break it down:
I’ve got need-for-newness issues.
My name is Jake and I’m a date-oholic — I love the new. The most exciting moment for me in a relationship is the first time I see a woman in her underwear. Magic. If you think I’m a jerk, believe me, I do too. I know very well that committed love is better than an uncommitted romp, but I can’t seem to put that into action. Instead, I half try to meet The One, but the sex gets routine, and tiny sacrifices start to feel like big messages from the universe that this woman is not right for me. Who wants to learn to be OK with a partner’s failings when it means missing out on Someone Else, who has everything the person across the table does but is 35 percent funnier, knows magic tricks and likes pesto as much as I do? Because I love pesto. Sometimes I eat it for breakfast. Secretly, I’m holding out for the woman who does too, and I’m always sure the next one might be her.
I’ve got a few dad issues.
Then there’s the fear of not measuring up. My father was a giant: By the time he was my age, he was married, had two kids, had set up his law practice, had bought a home. Could I support a family, financially and emotionally? Am I a good-enough guy to be a — gulp — role model?
The thing is, deep down inside, I know I am. I have the genes, for starters. I could step up to the plate and knock it home for the right person, for my right person. Besides, I’m not loving watching my friends get it right and wind up happier than I’ve ever seen them. And I don’t want to be the third wheel at dinners in perpetuity, the person hearing incredulity in the hostess’s voice as she says, “There are three of you?” Yes, ma’am, and my friends will be leaving before dessert to go home to relieve the babysitter, and kiss their two gorgeous, adoring children good night, so I’ll thank you to adjust your tone. Also, what are you doing later?
So this is my vow to you, readers: I want to find my true partner in crime. I can see my pattern, and I know that in order to find The One, I’ve got to break it. No more J.s (who realized before I did that she was better off without me). I will fight the urge to duck away when I find something good, something real. It will be a process, and I hope there’s a woman out there who can tolerate my learning curve. Because — please take note — behind all my baggage is a good guy who desperately wants the real thing with the right girl. Now I just have to find her.
Okay gang, so what do you think? I’ve already got my reply ready to post tomorrow, but I can’t wait for your comments!