Dating a jerk
Outwardly, I told myself I was having fun and it was just a matter of time before someone wanted to settle down; inside, I started to worry that I wasn't lovable or exciting enough. Sometime after the Brazilian, a buddy observed, " need to be the Brazilian in your relationship." By that, she meant I needed a solid guy I could rely on. She had a point, but the kind of guy she described sounded so boring I figured I'd be better off getting a dog. I passed over his profile, which depicted an earnest guy with bright blue-gray eyes wearing an old Guatemalan sweater. There were no witty phrases in his e-mails, no sense that he was teetering on that razor's edge between genius and madness.
Unconvinced of his romantic potential, I invited him over for soup, less a date than a get-together with an old friend.
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At the same time, it made me incredibly anxious: I loved hearing Peter's offbeat observations about music and architecture, watching him rewire the lighting in my apartment, listen- ing to his boyish laugh—but where was that manic streak of irresponsibility I craved? I didn't have to try to pin down an artistic, wandering soul to persuade him to love me, or clamor for his attention.
Whether or not they'd ever call was just part of the thrill, always keeping me on edge. He'd recently emerged from a divorce and onto a dating site where I'd been lurking.One evening, after one too many drinks, some demon took over my brain and I con- fessed that I thought he was too boring for me.I gave him a long list of all the ways he wasn't interesting enough: He was always even-tempered. I hadn't planned on it—inexperienced as I was with intimacy, I thought I was just airing my feelings. I didn't know what I would do without his hugs and gap-toothed smile.From the moment he walked in, I felt like he'd been sitting in my living room forever.I didn't feel compelled to impress him; he seemed to genuinely like my apartment, my books, my soup..me.