A friend called me in the middle of the night to say she was going to leave her husband. I, who had seen this coming for months, told her to come see me the next day so we could talk. She said she would come see me but that she had already made her mind up. I asked her was this about the guy, she said no. Knowing it was, I told her to make sure she saw me before she told her husband, hearing my serious tone she agreed. After picking a place to meet for breakfast, I immediately called the cause of this great upheaval… the guy. He was not surprised to hear from me (if you know me, you know sleep is something suggested but not required) but he was surprised at what I had to say, so surprised in fact he asked could we meet on the porch in fifteen minutes, he could not wait for morning. Before I could get dressed and put the dogs out the back the guy was on my porch with a coke and a look of panic. He left chastened, enlightened, repentant and ready to pay for breakfast. The next morning my neighbor asked who the guy was on my porch the night before, I told her he was my friends “Guy”. She nodded in understanding saying she hoped everything would turn out okay. We both shook our heads and walked away happy the problem was somebody else’s and not ours.
Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us have a “Guy” in our lives. Who is the “Guy” you ask? For a girl in a committed relationship he is the male who is not their steady they spend allot of time with him anyway. Why would someone do this, because sooner or later we all get bored.
Whether you are a saint or a sinner; we all get to a point in our relationships where we feel neglected, underappreciated and just plain bored with the other person. You know all their stories, what they are going to say next in any given situation, and the bedroom becomes routine. It’s painfully true but eventually we get so secure in our relationships that we suddenly don’t feel the need to pull out the same repertoire of tricks that got us the full time gig to begin with. Their jokes are stupid, their family sucks, they don’t notice little things anymore like haircuts, weight loss and new clothes. The things that were cute dating are now grating to the point of violence and you start to wonder why you got together to begin with, was your clock really ticking that loud? Were your eggs actually becoming stale? Didn’t you read somewhere that Jane Seymour had twins when she was over 40? He never wants to go shopping, hang out without your friends, won’t gossip and watches way too many sports shows when he should be paying attention to you. You lay in bed wearing the fifty-dollar night gown from Victoria’s Secret that is a size smaller than the last one you bought that he barely noticed and you wonder when Mr. Right became Mr. Right now. This is the time when the “Guy” will magically appear on the horizon.
Like a cool breeze off the ocean he blows in asking all the questions steady guy never asks anymore, or not enough. He is casual at first, complimenting your clothes, hair, work ethic or style. He asks you how your day is and what you’ve done lately, which is okay because you are talking to him about the same stuff you talk to your girlfriends and coworkers about. The movie you saw last week, an interesting article you read in the Times, your new gym. He joins you and your friends for lunch, which is okay because you are thinking of setting him up with one of them as soon as “you” decide which one deserves him most. But then one day sure as the sun rises steady guy makes you mad and the guy asks why and it all comes pouring out, the night gown, the diet, the 7 minute miracle that has become your sex life. You can’t complain enough and he couldn’t be more attentive. Before you know it, you are meeting for lunch without your friends who you never set him up with because no one seemed right for him, not like you are. You are meeting for a quick drink, racquetball or Tapas and you talk, text or email him like a million times a day because you have so much to say.
What about steady guy you ask? Well, you couldn’t pay me to be him because right then he can’t do anything right. You suddenly feel the need to take him somewhere in public where you can compare him to the “Guy” but in your mind he is doomed to fail. You are now getting a visual confirmation of what you already knew. He is either too attentive or not attentive enough, and he embarrasses you. He talks too much about all the wrong things or not at all and appears conceited. Or worse you finally see the telltale signs of low self-esteem, bad manners, or jerkishness that you have always known existed but pushed aside because you were going to change him. Into what, someone smart asked in the back, I’ll tell you what, the “GUY”! You want him to be the guy and now you’ve thought it or said it, there is no turning back. Lucky for you the “Guy” agrees. He cannot believe what a jerk, loser, Neanderthal your steady guy is. He finally comes out and says what he has been holding back for so long, that you can do better. Any guy would be lucky to have you, a notion you’ve been harboring secretly in the deepest part of your heart of hearts but could never say out loud. Now the truth is out you are ready to sing it on the rooftops, and to your unsuspecting mate.
Let me interject here and say that while this first serious onslaught of anger may seem sudden, it has really been coming for some time. No one does passive aggression like a woman unsatisfied and or partially satisfied by someone else. Steady guy, you know I am telling the truth. She has been picking fights for weeks, she has been complaining about everything from your friends to your family and nothing you try to do is good enough. You had been hoping it was some type of PMS, but when she came home from happy hour in new heels and a haircut that cost a car payment you knew there was something dark and evil at work. A smart steady guy investigates, getting to the root of this sudden re-emergence of the girl he fell in love with. He knows it is not about him because as soon as she comes riding up one her broomstick dressed to kill, she immediately changes into sweats and her huge elastic waist cotton panties. As far as she is concerned, you no longer deserve the La Perla lingerie or spike heeled Jimmy Choo shoes. In severe cases, there is also an increase of movies on the DVR that are all Lifetime originals. You hoped this was a passing phase but an influx of lingerie catalogs and the need for girl’s nights out is saying otherwise. Having had the “guy” and been the “Girl” I feel for you I really do, I have seen it from both sides and there is no sure fire solution for a quick and painless recovery. I will give you advice on how to handle this but first let me get back to my sisters stuck in a dark but delicious bond.
Ladies... that the truth is out you have a choice, you can fix things with steady guy, leave steady guy and go for the “Guy”, or just leave and try to figure some things out. But buyer beware, before you leave steady guy for new guy there are few things you need to know.
One, the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it is just grass. Eventually new great guy is going to get familiar and he will become the steady guy and what will you do then? Relationships take work, you can work now or work later you choose.
Two, how sure are you this guy is actually different? How much do you really know about him? Let’s be honest you met him sneaking around behind your steady guys back. He has been instrumental, if not instagative of your relationships demise so how do you know he will be faithful to you? You really don’t, for all you know he could be a total loser who sees what your guys is getting and wants that quality service for himself. After a few months he may have his feet up on your coffee table eating wings ignoring you on Monday night hoping for a quickie before he passes out. All you know about him is what he has told you and what you have gleaned from your sexy clandestine moments alone, but that is hardly the whole picture.
Third, what is to say they really want to be with you? Nothing is worse than finding out that the “Guy” sees you as a game in a season rather than a player on the home team. Sometimes he is using you to repair an ego blow, or like you is in a rut and is using his time with you to make up for the monotony of someone else. Worst scenario being he just wanted you part time. There are reasons why people have affairs and stay in them, because they only get the best of the other person. They see them only when they want to and they can still play the field. He may be married or in a long term relationship and using you for when she isn’t giving him what he wants. What I am trying to impart to you is a sacred truth that has been handed down through 100 of years and will always be true; it is not always about you.
Fourth and most important, was there really something wrong with steady guy? There had to have been something that drew him to you in the beginning and it is probably still there if you look. Odds are if he has gotten lazy so have you. Have you two even talked about your problems and have you considered that it might actually be boredom? Did he ask you to lose weight, did you tell him you were on a diet, did he ask you to go get the new nightgown? Was he an ESPN junkie when you met him, did he like to shop and hang out with your girlfriends or gossip? Ask yourself these questions and be honest. Most of the things we claim to do for other people we really do for ourselves, but we don’t want to seem selfish so we put a spin on it. Another thing, that change in size could be a result of lost water weight or you could a yoyo dieter, or a fair weather exerciser so maybe this was not the radical change you thought it was. As for the sports, friends and shopping; his sports is your shopping, friends and gossip. You don’t want to give up yours so don’t ask him to give up his. Whoever you did these things with before him probably misses you, call them before the game.
To give credit where credit is due if the nightgown was a shot at trying to rekindle the fire and he was wearing asbestos pajamas then sit down when there are no games on and tell him how you feel. If you are really giving and he plans to do nothing but receive maybe it is time to go. Not everyone was meant to be together forever and if this is the case then be like Jay-z and go on to the next one. But if you decide to move on take this one bit of advice with you;
GET THE GUY YOU WANT, DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT GET THE NEXT BEST THING AND TRY TO CHANGE HIM INTO WHAT YOU WANT. IT DOES NOT WORK!
Let put this in the most basic terms so that there is no misunderstanding; when you choose someone to commit to and say that you are going to change them later you are treating them like a second hand car or an old house. You are saying they are a fixer upper that needs your individual touch and that is a sad commentary on you and them. The first being that you believe that you are such a superior being that you hold the key to someone else’s happiness if only they will bend to your will and personal coaching.
Second that someone was settled for, either you for them or them for you and wow isn’t that a dreary thought. That means either one or both of you was so hell bent on not being alone that you took the first person willing to put out and commit so you grabbed on before it was too late. Relationships like life have their highs and lows, if you set the bar low and start on the sidewalk all that is left in hard times is the gutter. Aim high, love hard and hold on tight the sky is the limit. What is the worst that could happen, a break up? You may get burned on re-entry but at least you saw the galaxy, Kapeesh? An aside, what’s to say they don’t think they have settled for you?
Now before you cry and say I am all about the guys let me say that for every “guy” there is a “girl” that does the exact same thing. No matter what planet the genders are from they still have a some basic needs in common and similar approaches to get them. As a girl with guy friends and God bless them I love them, they call when they need a meal, platonic female company, or someone to tell them they are all that and a pack of Oreos. If they are asking for a fluff and fold, I cook a meal, stroke their ego and go home. If they are calling for the truth I give them that too, but it is hardly a reciprocal relationship. However that doesn’t stop them from telling their female counterparts (who are usually thinner and really cute I mean I would date them) that they should bake, cook and be more gracious like I am. When if we were both single they would no sooner date me, then me them, we know each other too well and I am anything but gracious and thin in the light of day.
If you are looking for equality in this be prepared for a shock because a “girl” on the make is a much bigger threat then the “guy”. Why? Because women don’t fight fair or as Chris Rock so eloquently put it;
“A guy sees his friend’s girl and says I want to get someone just like her. Women look at their friend’s man and say I want him.”
You know it’s true, if it wasn’t you wouldn’t be saying you wasted your time reading this trash right now.
Another thing (by the way there is always another thing, if there wasn’t I would have nothing to talk about) there is a place in universe for the guy and the girl that is not completely destructive to personal relationships. I for one always have a guy around, sometimes two. I am not ashamed to admit that I love to have my ego stroked and the older I get the more I want it. But then again I am a bird of a different feather all together. I am not svelte, incredibly young, or a trophy of some kind. I am a good old fashioned cookie baking, casserole carrying, sneakers and jeans gal. I do not always want my husband to hang out with my friends or do everything with me because that is when I bitch about him and I need that me time. Another thing (see there it is) I hate shopping unless it is for books or at Hobby Lobby and I don’t want him their either, he ruins the high by bringing reality into the mix (do you really need that?). I did not settle for him, in fact my son picked him and while we are far from perfect, we are not dead in the water either. Having said that I will repeat that I love it when a guy who doesn’t share my credit rating laughs at my jokes, wolfs down my cooking, and when steady is being a jackass or the scale goes up rather than down I need the ego boost just like everyone else.
Back to my friend who was ready to jump ship and start a new romantic life with her soul mate, the guy. During a long breakfast with me as mediator the guy calmly explained to her that he was not trying to be in a committed relationship and swore he could not think of anything he might have said that would lead her to believe that. Yes, he thought she was wonderful and underappreciated. Yes, he would be lucky to have someone as great as her but he was not ready to be the great partner she needed in return. If they got together they would inevitably end up where she is now, so maybe she needed to think things through before she left the guy she was with. He then grabbed the check and ran. After listening to her whine and complain she had been lead on, I reminded her that she had been had been equally complicit in this tale of woe. She had been sneaking around behind her husband’s back telling lies with the best of them, so any burn she felt was a direct result of dancing too close to the fire. I suggested she sit down and have a long talk with her steady and say what she wanted out of the relationship without the unfair comparisons. I also reminded her that if she wanted to leave, she needed to leave because it was the right thing to do. Not to go to another person. Then she needed to be alone for a while and figure out what she really wanted, or she would end up right back here, crying over a short stack at IHOP. Plus if you go from one person to another you never really get closure and before you know it you are asking one person to carry another one’s baggage and who wants that. I am thrilled to report that she, her husband and her La Perla lingerie had a cruise to the Bahamas and they are very happy.