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Mickey Roark and Kim Basinger showed us that you can really jam a lot into 9½ Weeks. I recently learned firsthand how possible it is to fit quite a bit into that time frame, however I can safely say that Mickey (as John) and Kim (as Elizabeth) had a much better time.
It’s always a good thing to have a summer boyfriend, and Gregory entered my picture in late April- precisely the right time to make that goal happen. He was unlike anyone I’ve ever dated… the stereotype of the jaded New Yorker. A little on the quiet side, a lot on the grumpy side, but when he smiled he lit up the room. I really enjoyed spending time with Gregory because under the hard exterior was a soft creamy center that was wanting to see the light of day.
About two weeks into dating, Gregory suggested we be exclusive. I was totally down with that, seeing that I know my shortcomings and juggling isn’t one of my strong suits. With two weeks down and exclusivity on the table, I figured I accomplished the impossible… I scored a summer boyfriend!
With time comes knowledge, and as the days turned into weeks, I learned a lot about Gregory. Some great things, and some not so great things about this funny grumpster came to light.
When it comes to learning about the not so great things about your date, how do you handle it when the bad outweighs the good?
As three weeks turned into seven, Gregory started to be a little more grumpy and a lot less funny. He became more of a homebody and less interested in exploring the fun offerings of a New York summer. As seven weeks turned into nine, he was barely interested in doing anything, and conversational topics were always with a negative slant. Be it the news or his career, nothing seemed to make Gregory smile that winning smile that one me over weeks before.
Let’s be honest, in nine weeks Gregory learned things about me he didn’t like either. He hated my work schedule, and the fact I was a dedicated workaholic that enjoys being busy. He didn’t like my perkiness in the morning, and that my perkiness tended to increase with each cup of Starbucks I enjoyed during the day. He really disliked my desire to enjoy a cigarette or ten, even though I never smoked in front of him.
And let’s be honest about one more thing… I knew it was time to pull the trigger and part ways with Gregory. The “how” was the tedious part.
Thankfully Gregory pulled the trigger first. Over a beer in a bar, he said that we shouldn’t see each other. Granted, I was rather surprised he pulled the trigger first because taking initiative wasn’t one of his strong suits since week two of our relationship. I wished him the best of luck and bolted.
As I walked away I knew he wasn’t like John in 9½ Weeks in many ways, but specifically in wanting me to turn around in 50 seconds. The only person that wanted me to keep walking more than Gregory was actually me.
I was definitely not Elizabeth. Not a tear was shed as I walked on that lively Manhattan street. I smiled to myself, knowing that I had what it takes to invest in a new relationship, but also had the smarts not to settle for a someone that’s the wrong one.
Kenny Rogers said it best… “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away, and know when to run.”
As we begin a relationship journey with a prospective “forever partner”, the learning process is one that’s longer than just ten dates. It may even be longer than ten months. The process of discovering the intricacies and building a bond with someone is an important one that shouldn’t be shortchanged. It’s not like test driving a car or trying on a shirt. This process is one that you’re entering into with lifetime intentions.
As we learn more and more about a prospective life mate, it’s without question that we’ll discover aspects that don’t thrill us. We will see them grumpy, sad and even sometimes under the weather- things typically not experienced on the first few dates. We will see how they handle stress, celebrate joy, and if they leave the toothpaste cap open or closed. We will learn how they interact with their friends and family, and we’ll get to hear how they interact with strangers as they meet your friends and family.
Here’s the challenge… how many of those “not so great aspects” does it take to create a “not so great partner”?
This is where I have no concrete answer for you because it’s an answer that only you can determine. There will always be things about our partners that irritate us, but at the end of the day, their body of work supersedes the handful of things we don’t like. But if those not so great things outweigh the positives, then you have no choice to make like the Gambler and walk away.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking that walking away is a defeat.
You gave it your all, and if you didn’t invest the time in the person you would never know if they were or were not the one. I don’t look at my 9½-week investment in Gregory as time poorly spent or a colossal mistake. It was a necessary thing to see if he was someone with which I could build a future. He wasn’t, and pulling the trigger is the ticket to finding a new someone that will make my heart go “bang”!