How do I know I’m in trouble? I can’t eat. I’m hungry (at least my stomach grumbles), but I have no appetite. My sleep is restless and abbreviated. Trouble. So much trouble. But, good, fun and completely non-trouble trouble. I’m not entirely distracted at work, which is refreshing. I might actually be a little more focused than over the last couple of weeks. This is one of the things I cautiously classify as a “good sign.” Heather also confirmed that nothing that she had seen or heard raised any “red flags.” So we like him. I like him. He likes me. See what I mean? Trouble.
This is an amusing observation I shared with Heather on email the other day: that of all the boyfriends I’ve had over the past five or six years, all of them had obvious glaring problems that were evident either upon first meeting or within the first week of dating. (We have to except all of the guys I only had one, two or three dates with—many of whom had no obvious problems, and some of whom were weeded out because of them.)
Here’s the rundown:
Last bf before moving to DC: Nice guy, very funny, but at least 100 pounds overweight. It was an issue for me, but he seemed worth the trouble. Unfortunately, his weight was highly symbolic of all of his unresolved issues, at the core of which was self-loathing. We parted in mutual relief after a nightmare weekend in Miami. (Three months.)
First DC bf: Very attractive and had “bad” written all over him. He was, by his own description “downwardly mobile,” which actually recommended him to me. He was also an alcoholic, which should have been obvious on day one, but it took me a while to figure it out. After he stood me up for the second time, I broke up with him, but it was very hard on me. (Three months.)
Second DC bf: All around nice guy, good looking, funny, steadily employed. Just over a month since he’d broken off an engagement. A heavy drinker and also depressed. He did quit drinking at my request and that helped for a while. I tried very hard to make it work, but I was unhappy for about two-thirds of the relationship. He finally broke up with me in frustration and was with a new girlfriend in less than a month. I was angry when he broke up with me, but within months I didn’t know why I’d stayed with him as long as I did. (Nine months.)
Third DC bf: Sweet as pie, but ten years younger than me. Actually reasonably mature, but my interest just slowly seeped away. Some regret later that perhaps I didn’t sufficiently appreciate him. (Three months.)
Fourth DC “bf”: this guy wasn’t even divorced yet! Separated for six months and not over the anger he felt at his wife. That anger was not compatible with a new, happy relationship. When he figured that out, he broke up with me. I was sad, but I understood. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride with him and always would have been. (One month.)
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