Matthew Lickona 1:30 p.m., March 12
- Community Blog
- Live and Let Live
Unimagined Unimaginative Love
Okay, the love my boyfriend and I share is basically an oxymoron. Never did I imagine “unimaginative love,” (as in: conventional, predictable ) could be better than what I could concievably imagine. Really, not kiddin', guys.
My idea of love was lots of heart-flutters, shivers up the spine, kinetic energy, passion, lust, spontaneity, undying honor, worship, an I’d-die-for-you mindset, obsession, infatuation, and hopefully, co-dependency. Now that was romantic to me. I thought: I’ll never be one of those girls that chooses the nice guy…Because, well, uh, yeah, nice, is uh, well you know, nice is boring.
How in the you-know-what did I let this ubiquitous albeit non-sequitar: "nice is boring" become one of my core definitions of love? Where did I learn this? From Hollywood movies? The tawdry romance novels I ate up as a young impressionable girl?
After having about ten of these insidiously destructive relationships in a row, I finally called it quits. For awhile.
I recall being in my shrinks office and telling her about my last flame…how he was “so awful, so moody, so hard to get along with, so selfish.” But that he was also, “so dark, but oh so sexy, so enigmatic, so exciting, so titillating, so charismatic…” I wrapped it up by saying: “Gosh, I know we aren’t good for each other, but damnit, I love him. It’s hard to describe, this love thing. It so defies logic. It’s ephemeral…”
You got that right. As if “defying logic” was a really great thing, and anything logical was of course, boring.
I’ll never forget the way my shrink nodded sagely, and answered: “Your relationship is lamentably common…You have no idea how so alone you’re not. Many, many people share your sentiment on what love is. It seems to be a Universal Problem. Even amongst the most well-adjusted of people. People simply do not know what is bad for them and what is good…”
Too bad, at the time I could not understand the full gravitas of her statement. I remained convinced that being with someone “nice but boring” was wholly unacceptable. That I might even die of boredom. It was tantamount to Paul Theroux’s famous quote: “Most men live their lives in quiet desperation.”
Then I met my man. We worked together at Jaguar Automotive selling cars. He took an immediate interest in me. This I did not want. What I wanted was his knowledge of all things cars. Seeing he was stubbornly not giving up, I became the ultimate liar . I told him: “Gosh, I didn’t want to tell you this, but I’m a lesbian.”
This was the beginning of a feeling slightly resembling love. We were on the car lot when I told him, and I swear to God, he cried. This I found excuriatingly touching. I was used to a guy responding like this: “Really? No problem, when can we all hook up?”
We agreed to just be friends. Our relationship, stripped of all romantic pretension suddenly became relaxed and pleasant...I even began wanting to see him. He had a calming and sometimes invigorating influence on me. His voice was so soothing and his manner so easy going. Especially when I ruminated about the job: he’d always find a way to make light of my grumbles. He also liked to take me for long country walks just to get me some fresh air. He worried I holed up in my apartment too much and it wasn’t doing my mood any good. And as an extremely wonderful bonus: He was funny! I no longer relied on my fake, obligatory laugh--real belly laughter had replaced it.
Slowly, sexual attraction took root. When I first met him, I thought he was “too old” ‘cause I was into younger guys. I shoulda just said I was into “shallow guys not looking for anything serious with an old bag like me.” But when we finally made love, I thought: Wow what have I been missing all these years! Way misjudged this book cover!
We’ve been together for seven years. It’s almost like everyday is a gift: seeing him in the morning perched comfortably in his designated spot on the couch, sipping coffee from his favorite cup. And once again, seeing him in the same spot at night, sipping coffee from his favorite cup. His stability and predictability is what I awesomely needed; I’m already chaotic as it is…why I wanted more of that…But just like my shrink said: “We don’t know what is good for us.”
He always treats me with respect. He’s not moody. He’s not selfish. He’s funny smart kind strong and sexy. I even like him, and most def, can trust him. So my previous belief was categorically wrong: Nice guys are not boring! They’re greaaaat!