His name was *Ben. He was the roommate of one of my good college friends and from the moment I met him, I was smitten.
The witty banter was perfect and it took about 10 hours (and a few drinks) before we were making out. After that near perfect weekend we walked to my car, kissed like we invented it and he said he was crazy about me.
It was a definite moment in time. He was everything I was looking for. He was ridiculously smart, cute, had a smile that made my toes curl and did I mention completely emotionally unavailable?
For the next few months or so Ben and I did this little dance where we would have incredible moments and then I wouldn’t hear from him. I would get vague emails breaking our plans and even when I visited him four hours away sometimes he gushed and sometimes he was cold. I thought, “how could this be happening? Did I do something wrong? Connections this incredible rarely come along and have to mean something. Right?”
“Excuse me, conductor, are there any seats left on the crazy train? Ticket for one please.”
Over the years I have dated numerous Bens of all ages and nationalities. After a good conversation with a friend one day she laughed out loud (I think wine actually came out of her nose) when I exclaimed I didn’t have a type. She very quickly and easily pointed out the similarities in about five different guys that I had dated. Although they looked very different on the outside, the patterns were definitely there. Quick chemistry, witty banter, good drinkers, underachievers, passionate, a little lost and always keeping me in a place where it was enough to stay, but never enough to feel good.
All of a sudden it hit me. I had a definite type and my type sucked.
We can psychoanalyze for years why I was attracted to these guys (trust me, I did) but at the end of the day one thing is perfectly clear: No matter why, they were never going to be able to give me what I need in a good relationship. The chemistry was always there but I realized that it, as well as love, are only parts to a good relationship.
Could they communicate their needs? Nope. Listen when I needed an ear? Not a chance. Give me the support after a bad day? Hell no, we were too busy talking about their f-ed up life from their continual bad decisions. These were not bad guys, they just were not in a place to give to a relationship. So I always felt frustrated, a little crazy and alone.
I was on a roller coaster and although I loved the thrill after awhile it makes you want to puke. I was ready to get off.
The good news is that once I learned what I was attracted to and how it was not helping me get the relationship I wanted, I was able to step back and recognize the chemistry drug and “just say no.” I figured out that I was never envious of the crazy up and down relationships; I loved the ones where there was an incredible amount of love, respect and appreciation. Nothing is sexier than a man who can only say incredible things about his girlfriend/wife. I wanted that!
So I started by looking at my relationship role models (everyone should have them) to see what made their relationships work. I then looked at my friendships to see what made me feel good, strong and happy and realized that those qualities were a must for my future couplings. The final step was to stop dismissing fantastic guys who didn’t always have that immediate spark but had the qualities to actually create something great with me. To get me to the much more exciting place of consistent support, love and happiness.
Your adventure: I ask you to step back and look at the chemistry and journal on these questions.
*Who are you attracted to?
*Are these the qualities for a good relationship?
*Who are your relationship role models?
*What great guys have you been dismissing?
*Does your type suck?
*What patterns can you create awareness around to stop yourself from doing them?
*Name changed so that people don’t feel bad, because after all I did title this piece “Does your type suck?”