bad romance

The beau just described our relationship as “friends with benefits, plus commitment,” and I was like yeah, that’s pretty spot-on.

It got me thinking, though. I occasionally wonder sometimes if we’re missing something. That thing where people can’t get enough of each other; go crazy over each other. I know that happens in real life. It does. I’ve seen it. It’s never happened to me, though. The most I’ve ever experienced is a mild crush. Is that because I simply never met the “right” person for me?

[Scene: The beau is reading this right now with a furrowed brow. Excuse me, madam?]

Who’s right for me? How can I ever really know? Why did I choose the person I chose?

I always thought I was going to marry a hipster artist intellectual, so. That didn’t really pan out. And maybe it’s good it didn’t, since I probably would have fought with that person a lot more.

Maybe it’s okay that we missed out on the romance boat. In my casual opinion, highly passionate relationships burn out quicker. It’s like the genius syndrome — you’re so busy being transcendent at one thing that everything else falls to pieces.

[Of course I’m an authority on these matters, having been married an entire two years as of today.]

I have a pet theory that people whose marriages are based on friendship last longer than those whose marriages are based on romance. Biased much? Yeah, I am. As someone who never felt like I was drowning in the pools of my lover’s eyes, I totally am.

Your thoughts? Your experiences? Care to prove me wrong?

22 Responses to “bad romance”

  1. Hmm. I thought I’d end up with a different type entirely (someone more like ME to be honest, HA) and thank the stars I didn’t.

    I will say that it seems like, independent of romance, there are some couples who are buddies and some who aren’t. My BIL and SIL aren’t, they kind of…respectfully coexist? It seems to work out for different couples either way, but I’d be lonely as hell knowing I couldn’t make fart jokes with my “roommate” for the next…however many years.

    ….I wouldn’t know how to categorize my own relationship though. We are best pals. We alternate annoying the shit out of each other. We are obsessed with each other. He often embarrasses me, I often exasperate him. If it sounds unstable, it’s really not, we are able to shelve all of it in an instant and explain a news item from NPR to the other with perfect civility. I occasionally envy people who seem to blush with wonder when their partner enters a room….but I have been that person, have felt that raw mania, and it has a component of unhinged sadness, too. Can something like that go on, mutually, indefinitely? (In my case it was never mutual, and ceased to go on.)

    • See, your comment is making me realize that I didn’t mean to paint “friend” marriages as some kind of fun, whimsical, relaxed ride around life’s carousel. We’ve argued, we’ve embarrassed each other, we’ve irritated each other. As you do when you’re camped out with the same person 4lyf, I guess.

      I’m utterly fascinated that you’ve experienced the raw mania aspect. It’s gotta seem like the best and worst feeling ever, like being lit on fire and doused with water at the same time, no? How far am I off base here?

      • Can’t believe I was that person sometimes!

        Though I did some bonkers shit the one time Nick dumped me, so who knows! Still got it in me somewhere probably!

  2. Happy Anniversary!

    My relationship sound pretty much exactly how you describe yours so I can’t offer a counter argument, so instead I’m just here to re-enforce your existing beliefs: I also think that friendship based marriages might have a better shot at it because friendship is easier to maintain in the face of difficulties. Romance seems so much more reliant on circumstance (eg. not being covered in baby puke) and good health (eg. not grimacing in pain) and myriad other specifics that once those change, will the romance disappear? (Or would having that kind of passionate connection be enough to survive that shit anyway?)

    All I know is that John and I can usually ridicule, annoy, poke and laugh our way through a hell of a lot of crap that no amount of googly eyes would soothe. But maybe that’s just me – googly eyes have never done much for me. Sarcastic googly eyes maybe.

    • I’m going to mail you a set of sarcastic googly eyes as soon as I can get my hands on some.

      Ah, I like your point about circumstance — romance doesn’t always seem rosy in the cold light of day?

  3. I agree with you. Done.

  4. Our relationship also started in friendship, so yeah, I agree with you.

    But I also know myself, and I never expected that I would go all weak kneed when my special person came around. That’s just not how I roll, and I’m happy this way.

    I love the pants off of my husband (uh, sometimes literally?), but there’s no need to get all schmoopy about it, unless we’re at someone else’s wedding, and then yes, there is a need for that.

  5. If you WERE the sort of person to fall head over heels for someone maybe I would be worried. But you’re not, so it’s OK.

    You write a post like this about once a year, and I think you come to the same conclusion every time, which is also good, it means you still feel the same.

    It’s different for everyone. And frankly, going by the exchanges you share with us from your life, I think you guys are a great fit.

    I said it last week and I will say it again – happy anniversary. Hope there’s no fighting this year! xx

  6. Even though I wrote a whole blog post about how I didn’t “marry my best friend,” friendship is still a huge part of our relationship. And it’s good.

    But I feel you on sometimes wondering “what it is like to feel the way people do in romantic fiction? Where are my tear-stained letters and supernatural hybrid babies?” I really don’t know. No eye-pool staring here, either. But having already seen how much our relatively non-complicated and non-dramatic love can mess with my life (I LIVE IN AFRICA), I don’t think I’m missing much. We have the “spanning years and continents” part of epic love as described by Logan Echolls, and I for sure don’t need the “lives ruined and blood shed” part.

  7. my marriage is a result of a secret f*ck-buddy situation with my brother’s best friend that ultimately went public. and commitment-y. so far, so good! (I think the point is, Disney LIED to us)

    Happy Anniversary!!

  8. So I don’t know what this says about me, but who I dated was mostly dictated by that raw, intense gut feeling. I either felt it or I didn’t. Mostly, I didn’t. I was lucky if I found 1 person every couple of years I felt that way about, and then, of course, I had to hope the other person felt the same way. And if the person did feel the same, I had to hope the feeling would last past the getting to know you phase. As you can imagine, I was single a lot. My friends would encourage me to give other people a chance, people I maybe didn’t feel that instant magic with. I actually dated one of those guys for nearly 5 years. I really tried. But (and this is going to sound horrible) I would always catch myself wondering about other people and when he started talking about marriage I would get this cold, dead lump in my gut like my life was ending.

    I had a crush on M for a couple of months before I worked up the courage (*ahem* drank enough vodka) to approach him. I was a goner the first time I saw him. The day after the night we met I told anyone who would listen that I had met the guy I was going to marry. He told me, later, he knew that night too. Romantic right? It took us 2 years to commit. It was messy. It was sometimes the hardest thing. I think we decided to stop seeing each other at least 3 times in those 2 years but we never could stay away from each other for very long.

    It’ll be 9 (!!) years in December, 2 of those married. What the years have taught me is the raw mania is great but we wouldn’t be here right now if we weren’t also great friends. I think how you fall in love is maybe less important than why you stay in love.

    Also, for me, raw mania is not the same thing as romance. M is probably the least romantic guy around. If he had showered me with romance, in the beginning, I probably would have kicked him to the curb. And then snarked about it to my friends.

  9. Yup. Mm hm.
    We had a phase of OH MY GOD, NEVER LEAVE ME, YOU BEAUTIFUL MAN, I WILL WRITE POEMS ABOUT YOUR EYEBROWS but we started as friends and are friends still. And he’s still pretty hot and junk, but what pulls us through the times when he’s an ass (and okay, I guess when I’m an ass) isn’t our mad love or intense passion, but being friends.

  10. I’ve had the “oh my god……you just left and now I can’t live” love, it gets old and exhausting. As someone who married a friend with benefits and commitment type I think this way is better. You burn too hot and you burn out faster. I firmly believe I would literally be insane had I married the eye pool dreamer.

  11. I love Beau’s description!

  12. The Candyman is my BFF and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s the first and last person I want to talk to every goddamn day. While passion isn’t in our top five things that define us, we have our moments and work at achieving those. You have to sometimes.
    I’ve had the oh-my-god-I-can’t-live-without-you guys in my life and guess what, I CAN live! Amazing! With those guys there were always trust issues, questions, the unknown, fucked up family members….things I just couldn’t handle. Me and The Candyman? We have issues, but they are the kind I don’t mind living with. No two relationships are the same and it’s impossible to define them based on….anything.
    Someone above said that Disney fucked up our ideas of romance. I beg to differ. It was John Hughs!

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