The Trials of the Hopelessly Pessimistic Romantic

11 10 2010

Sometimes I think my romantic ideals are what make me such a pessimist when it comes to relationships.

Let me explain – before you go immediately thinking I’m crazy. Typically, you have the people who are either hopelessly romantic or hopelessly pessimistic. They either have crazy knight-in-shining armor fantasies or they believe that love is a physiological fallacy caused by some DNA wiring or whatever. (Not sure if that actually makes sense to all the science people out there, but that’s how it reads to me when I see pessimists attempt to dispense their wisdom on wax.)

For me, though, strangely I don’t have either and yet I also kind of fall into both. What I think happens is that I’ve listened to so many guy friends and male family members who love to talk about the logicality of men (pretty sure I totally made that word up). You know the things they say? There’s no such thing as being too busy; if a man is really interested in you – he’ll make it work. Let a man show you whether he likes you through his actions: has it been a week since you heard from him? Pretty much means you’re not a priority and should move on. Guys know early on what category you’ll probably end up in: friend, ms. Right now, or ms. Maybe she could be something. Exceptions happen, but don’t assume you’re the exception.

And somewhere along the line, I’ve heard these things so many times, I believe them. Seriously. I believe them wholeheartedly…

Until I meet a guy who captures my entire attention. Entire is the key point here because for me that’s a rare occasion. There are guys I tend to be attracted to and then once I get to know them, eh – not so much anymore. Then there are guys who are cool enough, but don’t make me think about them when I’m not around them. And of course you have the ones who don’t get your attention at all. So once it does happen, when a guy gets my full attention, even though I know those other things, I find myself falling right into the traps of stereotypical girldom. And I mean really stereotypical girldom – things like seeing if his last name matches my first name and getting all giggly when I see his name pop up on my phone, in my email, Facebook, whatever. Hey – don’t judge.

And what happens is that my writer and reader and lover of romantic comedies brain starts taking the great conversation me and the guy had and making it more than it probably ever meant. I revert right back to those hopeless romantic ideals of laughing and having more great conversations with him and soon enough, I’ve created a situation in my head that the guy’s actual actions can never live up to. And when they don’t (because reality can never live up to fantasy), the pessimist comes out and I’m instantly disappointed.

What should happen before the disappointment is a nice firm reality check, sometimes provided by those same male friends and family members of before or (gasp) maybe even by the woman (me). “So what that you felt like you knew him forever on that date. If he hasn’t made concrete plans with you for a second one and its been 2 weeks – you should know that that situation isn’t going anywhere.” <— Yes, that kind of reality check.

What I actually do at this point, instead of what I should do, is say the logical thing in my head, but all the while secretly hope that I’m wrong in my heart.

What kind of fuckery is that?

Am I the only one who does this craziness?

More importantly, what’s the best way to not end up in that situation. I’ve tried what I thought was the alternative (not getting too excited out about anything prematurely) and found that it made me cold and turned me into a woman who didn’t enjoy the exciting things that come with possibility. Where’s the fun in that? I mean – who doesn’t like getting a smile on their face because the guy they like wants to see them? And what’s a greater simple dating joy than realizing the person you wanted to call is the one that actually did?

What say you, readers? Any advice for a hopelessly pessimistic romantic – or am I destined to continue the cycle of excitement and disappointment which eventually leads to the feeling of eh? Maybe I’ll go back to my wait and see approach – falling from cloud 2.5 is a lot easier than falling from cloud 250.

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12 responses

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