Hi, I'm Ben

In California, I had somehow earned myself a reputation amongst my closest friends for being like this.

"Hi, I'm Ben. Wanna be my girlfriend?"

You see, since 1993 -- when I was 19 -- I have been officially single for 8 months. Total. And I've been through 4 relationships in those 12 years. I guess I can safely say that for nearly all my adult life, I've been in "boyfriend mode".

Once I found someone I got along with and found romantic attraction for (and who reciprocated), I just always jumped right into the relationship. To me, I didn't see the point of dating someone unless I could see a future for more with them, and if I could, I didn't see the point of wasting time about it. This got me into a fair bit of trouble too, because I had a tough time controlling the speed and intensity with which the comfort in the relationship progressed. Most notably, a lot of my girlfriends suffered when I started realizing that I actually needed more space than I had let myself get closed into; it meant I had to pull back and retreat from the relationship I had already committed into. It meant hurting them, and hurting me a lot.

But not this time.

This time I've vowed to keep myself at a distance, and keep everything rather casual and relaxed, until I'm sure I'm ready to be more serious about the relationship. This is a very mental effort, fighting against my natural instincts and against the comfort in being with someone. And it hurts like the dickens to hurt someone else this way when I pull back, but (in my view) it's necessary.

I have to do this for me. I need to spend a little time taking it easy, finding myself, clearing this all up, be living for myself for a while. And then I can start to devote myself fully into a relationship with someone and treat her the way she deserves. I've at least learned that much from all my past failed experiences.

12 comments:

head dump said...

Ben, I feel the exact same way too. And now I think I've got commitment phobia.

Rich and Angel said...

Wow. I didn't realize you were like one of those sorority girls who were never without a boyfriend for more than two weeks. You're almost a man-whore but not quite that bad.

For a guy, being single for only eight months of the past twelve years is quite impressive. That means effectively, you've only been single an average of 1.333 hours per day.

Going back to the original mandate of your blog, I must assume that these 1.333 hours per day were spent taking a crap. If it makes you feel any better, I can't imagine any woman who would want to be in your space during these 1.333 hours.

Enjoy the single life.

Ben said...

Uh ... except sorority girls with those kinds of track records are simply hopping from meaningless relationship to meaningless relationship. All of my relationships have been genuine, and have been fairly long (ie. 6 months and up, not including the rebound).

Anyway, I notice the destructive pattern in myself, and I have to promise myself to change it. Already, going against my natural habits is posing challenges and creating hurt. Perhaps I should be a monk.

Ce said...

Hmm... good advice. I will take it to heart.

Rich and Angel said...

But you're still a serial-dater. I think that's a more appropriate comment. =)

A serial dater who craps 1.333 hours per day when no girl is looking.

Ben said...

I see where you got your 1.33 hours a day on average of being single. I guess that's about the same as saying "on average", every person in the world has roughly one testicle and one breast. Correct, but kind of ... well, kind of useless data. Bah, I guess it's not that bad; I know people with worse records (in either direction/extreme).

Serial dater?? Can't say I agree with that, because I haven't really dated in my life, and in fact it's the main point of my blog: it's that I don't date that's gotten me into this trouble.

"But not this time."

So in fact, I'm actually saying that I need to date more and resist the urge to agree to getting into a relationship as quickly as I have in the past. Know what I mean?

Rich and Angel said...

Serial boyfriend?

So what you're saying is that by not dating, you're inherently making poor decisions as to what kind of girl to go out with because you don't see the full spectrum of what's fully out there?

Rich and Angel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ben said...

Hahaha ... jeez, a lot of time on your hands, huh? Shouldn't you be busy doing other things?

And only a "man's man" does that kind of stuff, as in a man that other men look up to and no women do. Plus, I don't have quite the guilt-free personality to do such things. But thanks for playing.

Ce said...

Reg, your logic is messed up. Why must you take things to extreme? No need to criticize his honest revelations so harshly.

Rich and Angel said...

I'm having some light fun. I'm not being serious.

Anonymous said...

dang ben,
why didnt you listen to me when i told you to slow your ro?????