About relationships…

15 02 2007

*Whingey post/rant warning*

I’m sitting at my computer listening to “The Last 5 Years” by Jason Robert Brown.  It’s a beautiful musical, and if any of you ever feel the need to feel awful about the future of all relationships, or if you just want to be sad for a while, I would whole heartedly recommend it. 🙂 All kidding aside, it’s beautiful, and since the album has all the songs and there’s no dialogue in the play, you can get the whole story just from the music.  Go listen to it now, and then come back)  Done?  Ok*  

 Quick summary for those of you who didn’t go listen to it:  It’s the story of a relationship between two people who meet, fall in love, marry, and then eventually divorce.  The cool thing about it that sets it apart from other love stories is that it’s told in two directions.  Cathy tells her side from the end forward, starting just after Jamie leaves her, and going back until just after their first date.   Jamie tells his story from the beginning to the end, from asking her out to the letter he writes her letting her know he’s leaving.  The whole story is told through solo songs, with one duet.  The only time the two actors even interact on stage is where the two timelines meet, at their wedding. 

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that I’ve realized that I’m just like Cathy in a lot of ways.  Given the tragic ending of this musical, that’s a bit upsetting. She dives into relationships completely from the very beginning, which is good in some ways, and bad in a lot of others.  I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’ve realized that I can’t date casually.  It took me two awful relationships and one that would have been good if only the guy hadn’t ended up being a total putz.  Ok, so we’ll call that three bad relationships, two of which I should have left far before they ended (I didn’t end either of them, see, because I’m incapable of walking away from any friendships, no matter how bad they are for me) and one where the fact that the guy was a jerk came completely out of the blue (to both me and all our mutual friends.  Not that I’m still bitter or anything.)

  I think it’s a combination of a lot of things.  I have this awkward combination of being both quite pretty (which is something it’s taken me 21 years to admit)  and rather unpopular.  The pretty means that I have a long history of being hit on by creepy people in public, and the unpopular means I was 17 before I had my first boyfriend.  Those things together mean that on some level, I believe that guys who like me for my looks are all I will ever get, and so I should just accept that and be grateful that anyone is interested.  Anyway, to complicate things even more, I’m the sort of person who dives into relationships head first.  Within days, I’m imagining the wedding.  This is really bad, given that I’m incapable of walking away from relationships, even bad ones.  So I have come to the very mature conclusion that I am not going to date anyone until I’ve converted for sure, and am looking to get married.  It’s just not fair to ask someone to trust that I will convert until I actually have.

As mature as I feel for deciding this, it’s extremely frustrating, since I want to have that sort of emotional relationship in my life.  The guy who could have been good was wonderful, and I loved having someone to talk to about anything, who would listen and be supportive when I was in hysterics over the latest bigoted thing that someone had said.  I miss having that in my life, having someone have me as their top priority.  I have enough friends who are there for me, but in the end they all have other things that come first, and it’s really hard to decide that I won’t have that again for who knows how long. 

And there are plenty of really good practical reasons for me to decide this.  Because I’m so bad about leaving relationships that need to be ended, I know that I can’t deal with dating someone who’s not Jewish, since I’m not willing to marry them.   If I were to start dating a Jew at this point, it would throw all sorts of doubt over my conversion, and I don’t want to deal with that complication right now.  But it still frustrating, especially since over winter break, I discovered that my cousin (weeks older than I am) and my good friend (a few months older than I am) are both engaged. (not to each other, but to their respective boyfriends, or fiances I suppose)  I, on the other hand, don’t even know any guys I would consider dating, and won’t be finding any for a while.  Uplifting, isn’t it?  I’m looking for somewhere to buy cats in bulk, if you know of any, please recommend.  (One of my friends recommended turtles rather than cats, saying it would be cooler. I did point out that the reason for being a cat lady isn’t really to be  cool.  That and reptiles are icky salmonella incubators.)

* If you didn’t really go listen to it, that’s fine, since the post is pretty clear on it’s own, but Jason Robert Brown is the successor to Sondheim in my opinion, so you should still listen to all his stuff.  And Adam Guettel (Light in the Piazza) is the next Hammerstein, so go listen to him too. 

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3 responses

16 02 2007
Passionate Life

That is probably one of the most difficult aspects of single life, living without emotional intimacy and connection. Its so great to have someone in your life that cares about the minor details of your day or things that are important to you that no one else really cares about.

I am also in that zone of not quite ready to move ahead (About 2 month ago my wedding was called off) yet missing that connection with another person that is unlike friendship with friends.

I really feel for your situation because I have had friends who have gone through it and it really feels like being in limbo. Do you have some type of timeline for the conversion? Or is it in the early stages?

It really is tough being disconnected emotionally. We were designed to have close connections and when our path is closed to that, even temporarily, it can take a heavy toll.

Stay strong and I wish you much success on your journey!

P-Life 😉

16 02 2007
Ezzie

Great, honest, post – I can’t imagine such a difficult combination of issues to deal with…!

Those things together mean that on some level, I believe that guys who like me for my looks are all I will ever get, and so I should just accept that and be grateful that anyone is interested.

That’s ridiculous! Don’t fall for that. To some extent, perhaps you threw yourself into relationships because you’d felt you were unpopular and it was your ‘only chance’ – this type of thinking would only exacerbate the problem. If anything, the concern that some guys are only into the relationship for your looks is a good way to force yourself to slow down – make sure they’re really in it for you, not your looks.

16 02 2007
Emily

P-LIfe – Currently there’s no set timeline for me converting, that’s something I need to talk to my Rabbi about when I talk to him. He has assured me that things will start to move quickly sometime soon, but I get the feeling that still means around a year. Best luck to you too!

Ezzie- That’s actually a really good point, and one that I hadn’t really thought about. Thanks for pointing that out.

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