Danger: Relationship Rehab Ahead
Are you a fixer-upper?
By: Kara Posner
At one point a friend of mine and I were discussing the logistics of how we would probably live as singletons into old age. At about 75 we would pick out some kick-butt rocking chairs, a house large enough for all of our cats, with a great front porch to rock-out the rest of our days together. Did I miss any stereotypes? Oh, and complaining about the damn noisy kids down the street.
My friend and I frequently talked about all kinds of dating dynamics and we both agreed that it sucks to be a fixer. We compared stories of being the last girlfriend to date many good guys who came to be great guys shortly after leaving us.
I stepped into the role of a fixer with a guy I dated in undergrad. He kept me at arm’s length for months but insisted he wanted to keep dating and didn’t want to see other people. He was nice but was annoyed when I stopped by his dorm room unplanned. He hated pet names and said he didn’t see the point of talking about our pasts. After a couple of months of otherwise enjoying his company I realized that the relationship wasn’t going anywhere. In the cry-fest of breaking up with him he apologized for his inability to get over his last girlfriend. Wow. I began bouncing off the walls, shouting, “Thanks for telling me this, now?!” -on the inside. The good guy he was he came by the next day to see how I was doing; no ulterior motives. A year or so later we were hanging out and he actually thanked me for helping him to break-up the emotional deep freeze he had been in. He said that the experience had shaken him into realizing that he couldn’t live at arm’s length from people. And he was now in a great relationship with a great girl. Good for him.
My girlfriend and I laughed about how we were waiting for someone like us to be the recent ex of our next boyfriends. Then we went back to the rocking chair catalogs.
What big changes have you noticed in people you once dated? What big changes have you noticed in yourself after the end of a relationship?