At several points in my life, I’ve been presented with a choice:
1. Good, faithful, mentally stable, responsible, non-dramatic, steady-job guy
2. Brooding, mysterious, always-pursuing-his-art, passionate, prone-to-cheating, wherever-the-wind-takes-me guy
And after many years of psycho-analyzing my girlfriends, I know that I am not alone in my repeated choosing of option #2. I’ve spent a great deal of time lately trying to figure out why it is we get ourselves into these tumultuous relationships with unstable people. There’s always the old “women like a project,” but I’m not convinced that is always the case. I, for one, don’t like projects – they exhaust me – although you’d never know it from the vast amount of fixer-uppers I’ve been with. So, maybe it’s just the feeling of excitement that comes along with a risky guy because you never quite feel like you have that person entirely. Know what I mean? It’s like they’re always an arm’s length away.
We can’t say that we find ourselves in these risky relationships because we didn’t know better. We’re not fooling anyone with that excuse. Yes, people can be deceiving, but I think we always have a hunch deep down. They warn us, we just don’t listen. Once, I actually had a guy tell me, “He’s the nice guy – the guy you should be with. I’m not, I’m a huge risk. Dating me is like playing the stock market.” Well you know how that story ends.
I played, and I lost my @ss.
For years, I repeated this cycle of dating unstable men: the British heroin addict, the tortured musician, the comedian who needed more counseling than the world could provide, the passionate poet. So what keeps bringing us back?
Like I said, perhaps it’s the excitement. That desire to be the one person who can cure them. That passionate connection that seems to only happen when you’re with someone who you know it will never work out with. Or that you can’t ever really have.
I haven’t quite figured out the science, but I think it might be a combination of them all.
But, here’s what I have figured out: it’s not worth it, though it may seem like it. And I don’t expect anyone to go through life without some mistakes, bad relationships and crazy, passionate moments with all the wrong people. I did. And you will.
However, I’ll give you the spoiler alert. In the end, most of us want someone we can make a life with. You’ll want someone you aren’t constantly paranoid about every time he doesn’t text you or walks in the door late. You’ll want someone stable, who will be a good father to your kids. And you won’t want the financial stress of someone who can’t ever commit to a career or direction. Because although the unknown and the excitement and the risk may pique our interest for awhile, it fights against everything that we truly want: the concrete things in life that matter.
You know, the picket fence and all that crap.
Take my word on this one,
“It’s always tempting to lose ourselves with someone, but, eventually we all want reality.” - The Mom, My So-Called Life
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