I was thinking about the various characters I’ve met over the years. I once dated a man who was a great boyfriend on paper. He checked so many boxes, let’s say. He was athletic and creative, responsible and a great cook, domestic, smart, he was loving and affectionate. Yet, after just a few months together, I felt that I was receiving the leftovers and by that I mean, his work wore him out, his family was a source of stress, and his kids took most of his energy, so when the day was done, I got what was left and often it wasn’t much.
But when I saw him with his friends, it seemed he had bounds of energy and joy and spirit. He flattered his friends to no end, yet he rarely offered compliments to me. He loved hosting and entertaining with elaborate meals and set ups, but with me it was always chill-mode. When we were alone together, his smile faded and his enthusiasm for life dulled. I grew resentful – why does everyone get the best parts of you except for me??
I started to wonder if I brought this out in him or it was what he felt like he could offer to me or perhaps what he thought I would accept.
Regardless, when you stop trying with the person that you’re supposed to be trying the hardest with, you know you’re in trouble. That was a painful lesson to learn, but a good one just the same.