Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Lobster Hunt: Benchmarks & Not Settling

First of all, let's all take a moment to appreciate the pure genius that is Friends! ....Awwhhh <3

We all know the Lobster Theory. Soon the English Dictionary will have to include "soul-mate" in its definition for the romantic crustacean. It is a little reminder that monogamy does exist within the animal kingdom and that, although mammals are largely sluts for evolutionary advantage, there is some hope to the idea of The One*.

Phoebe's theory also provides its own test: say one day I find my perfect man and I tell him, "You're my lobster" but he doesn't get the reference? My true Lobster, thank you very much, would get the reference. However thanks to Comedy Central's never-ending repeats it's unlikely any male over the age of twenty won't know what I'm on about.

If you and your partner want to be hipsters about it, other animals that mate for life include gibbons, swans and termites (full list here, so you can choose your own adorable/sickening pet names).

ANYWAY the whole point of this blog post was to update you on who finally won between my head and my heart. It was messy.

I knew Lips was not really an option, just the human dildo I'd grown accustomed to, but that did not mean I was meant to be with Gellar either. When the latter came to see me three weeks ago I allowed myself to feel happy and banished any doubts from my mind. I said yes, let's do this, and at the time I meant it. In a carefree rush we bought a scratchcard and promised to quit our jobs and fly to Thailand for a month if we won (we didn't).

But the moment he left I felt uncomfortable with the decision. Just a couple of days into this relationship and I was already unhappy. What was going on?

My soul-searching began and I found these reasons:

I didn't want a boyfriend. As weird as it sounds, I was proud of being single for over 3 months and even though work and home situations sucked I was determined to remain independent. I feel like this shit-mire I'm wading through is making me stronger and I want to see how I come out the other side. This is the kind of character-defining stuff I've been reading about all my life - fuck, that is life.

I didn't want to do long distance. I didn't have the space in my diary for regular visits and missing the person you love can become a kind of physical pain. If I was going to do it again, it would have to be for a guy I was certain could be Lobster-potential.

I didn't want to half-ass it. Gellar deserved someone who wanted it as much as he did. I can't do things by half-measures; I fall in love hard and give away a big portion of myself to that person. Right now I need every atom concentrating on myself. Until I have the emotional space for another person, it's not fair to accept their affection and commitment.

Still my brain was terrified that in six months/a year, my heart broken by another asshole and my faith in the opposite sex destroyed, I would miss Gellar and regret letting him go. He was the closest to perfect any guy had come.

But one thing I'm learning now is that you can't live in the future: you have to live day-to-day and not stress about things out of your control. And if today I didn't want to somersault into this relationship there was no point in trying.

So I ended it and he cut ties. I threw myself into an urgent need to create and made a short film that weekend, took Lips up on an offer of distracting sex, and concentrated on finding a new job.

A week later I lay in bed and my mind drifted back to my last weekend with Gellar, playing pool at the pub. My phone lit up in the darkness - he was calling me.

"I found your blog," he said.

Crap. My secret, anonymous online diary that only a handful of people from RL know I write. I panicked, going over in my mind what I had written about him. Shitshitshit.

"And it made me realise," he continued, "just how well we would work. We are so fucking compatible. Just be mine. Please?"

Our phone call lasted four hours. Hearing his voice calmed me and I so wanted to fall head over heels in love with him. But I couldn't. My reasons had not changed and the feelings would not come.

Of course, being Gellar, he was understanding and rational even whilst being disappointed and sad that I couldn't be his. But eventually he was able to see that it wasn't right.

The feeling I have come away with is gratitude; I am so grateful to have got to know this guy, privileged to have been let in, because I know how scary it is to drop your guard to someone. He made me feel valued, told me my opinions mattered and made plans for us. He knew my favourite restaurant without me telling him. He said my happiness mattered to him and his actions confirmed his words. I realise now that that is how a relationship should be, but it was such a discovery.

"Promise me you won't settle," he said.

"You've set the benchmark pretty high," I replied.

I won't settle.

Gellar isn't my lobster. Maybe one day in the future he will be, or maybe our paths will never cross again. But he has shown me what relationships can be like and he has added many qualities to the "template" I've developed in my brain, that my perfect partner will one day (hopefully) fit into. That is when I'll know I've found my mate.

So I'm still single... A year ago I would have laughed at the thought but now I am comfortable in it. Just. Maybe by December 2015 I'll be a lesbian - because really, who the fuck knows!

*Although, as I've said before, I refuse to believe in The One. Mathematically it is ridiculous and in my opinion just another example of the human race's inflated sense of self-worth (in space and time we are insignificant, k?). Certainly, there are people we are more compatible with but some scientists believe we're not meant to mate for life (and I wonder if I'm beginning to agree, but that's a post for another time...).