Observant little ...

I don't understand the answer, but I may have some ideas on the question...

Toasting Eros

I've just finished reading this book, Toasting Eros by Louise Kean. It's basically about an English couple (Eve and Henry) breaking up on holiday in Las Vegas. Although the circumstances were different, a lot of it rang true for my breakup with The Ex. I guess a lot of it rings true for any big-time breakup.

In the following paragraphs, Eve is talking about the breakup with Henry and why this one is causing so much pain. I've had a similar discussion with The Fairy before (and had it again yesterday) - she's said a few times that she was amazed that that breakup (in my late-twenties) was the first time I'd had my heart broken. It's not really that I hadn't been in love before, just not to that extent. Not with someone that I could see myself having kids with, getting old with, being together forever with. You don't recognise that it's different until you've been there yourself, and I'm not really sure that The Fairy has loved any of her boyfriends like that, or at least, hasn't at the time of the breakup. Anyway, maybe this excerpt will explain it better than I can:

"I've had my fair share of boyfriends, mini relationships, one-night encounters, friends who have become lovers, and vise versa. But nothing where I have ever even entertained the notion of permanence. I have liked some men more than others, and some romantic interludes have lasted that bit longer. I haven't deliberately run away from intimacy, but I haven't forced it either. I have spent my time with the people who meant most at that time, and whose company I enjoyed for a sometimes brief period. But I have just always known that things haven't worked out, or won't work out, or that I would like to spend my time with someone else now thank you very much.

I haven't always been the executioner in my relationships. I have been told it's him and not me a few times as well, but I have always somehow agreed. I have never held on too long, and maybe I have let go too easily.

This is certainly unchartered water for me, you see. The prospect of losing somebody I don't want to lose. Of having the rug pulled from beneath my feet, when I was actually quite comfortable, and had a future mapped out. This is not an instance when I could ever look back and smile. I think this is why it doesn't seem entirely real to me. I don't think Henry and I will actually call it quits, because I don't feel I am ready to. My mind's eye sees quite clearly that we would still like to spend quite a bit more time together, so why should it end?"

Which explains why I was in shock when he moved out, and why him getting together with "the one after me" a month later was a bigger shock than the breakup. I think in some way, I still believed that he loved me even when he moved out. And finding out that he didn't, that he found it so easy to move on, was incredibly upsetting.

I've had relationships since, but nothing serious. I don't fall in love easily - I must have been with The Ex for more than 6 months before I was in love with him. For me, being in love is a total commitment. It's about really knowing a person and loving not just who they are, but also who they could be, who they are growing into being. I would do anything for that person, except lose myself, my own identity. I would give up my career, my home and probably even my family (though it would have to be for a very good reason). I fall in lust easily, I fall in like easily, but love? That's a different matter. I fall hard, but I don't fall easily.

The following passage I also thought was rather insightful. Eve is talking about the differences between men and women and how they think differently. In particular, (to paraphrase), how women multi-task, while men are more single-minded. Which leads to mens' "complete inability to understand women when they argue". I think it's fairly self-explanatory, and certainly is my experience, both in my personal and professional arguments.

"When woman argue they will invariably bring up the past, the future, and many different perceptions of the present. Men just argue the point that they are making. For instance, you could be rationally discussing with your boyfriend that you would prefer it if he did not stare at the barmaid's breasts at your local pub. As a valid point in this argument you can bring up the time that he stared at that girl on the train in the cropped top. It is the same thing. But you see, to him, it is not the same thing, because he is only thinking about the barmaid, and it is too much for him to jump back to the girl on the train, even though he has probably thought about her since then. You will then identify his looking at other women as a consistent problem, whereas he will insist that we are only talking about the barmaid in the pub, and that does not a consistent problem make. At this point he will call you irrational for bringing up something that has nothing to do with the point in hand. You will retaliate with the absolute relevance of the train girl to this discussion. He will get frustrated by your inability to discuss the matter in hand and call you a "typical woman" like it was some kind of insult."

While I don't get jealous about my boys looking at other girls (never really seen the point as long as they (a) don't compare me to them, and (b) look, but don't touch), I've definitely faced exactly this problem in an argument. Where I see a instance as being part of a larger problem and he's getting annoyed that I'm making such a big deal over something insignificant. I'm thinking that maybe this book should be required reading for any guy that wants to date me. That, and The Idiot's Guide to Body Language. Those of you who only know me through this blog will probably find this hard to believe, but I mostly communicate through my eyes, facial expressions and body language, not through words. So if you're only hearing my words, you're only getting half the message.

Listening to: (and watching) Crossing Jordan


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