Every “serious” relationship I find myself in with a woman seems to fizzle out and die, or explode violently, in less than six month’s time. That’s right, I’ve never even celebrated a real anniversary with that special someone. Why is that?

Pete’s at Mid Noon
As I am sitting here writing this, I am drinking Pete’s Strawberry Blonde Ale. My ex-girlfriend, that is to say that the girl I recently broke up with, would be mortified if she were to witness this. And let’s look at that word – mortified. Mort, which is French for dead, and then the latter part which we can use a little creativity to make into”if I’d.”

Mortified, as in dead if I’d have done it in front of her. Well, not the traditional death that we might be accustomed to from watching movies and attending funerals – rather, the kind of death where a person gets very angry with you, pretends not to be angry with you, and then of course yells if you should even think of asking if anything is wrong. That death, I think, beats the traditional one by leaps and bounds. At least when you die, you don’t have to think of ways to make yourself look like less of a jerk, even though (to you) you did nothing wrong.

You Broke Up With Someone Over Beer?
No, I’m not quite that shallow, although if it came down to it and the foot was put down, and I was forced to either never drink beer again or never see a person I was dating again, I think I would go for the drink just on principle. It’s not the drinking at all that is why I would make that decision – it’s the idea that someone could theoretically bend you to feel the way they think about things just because they want you to feel that way. Let’s face it, if you changed at that instance, where would it end? The hypothetical person would then know that they could form you into any sort of person that they wanted, and thus you would be less of your own individual and more of a clay figure. Aren’t there enough clay figures available just by watching Davy and Goliath, or better yet, Wallace and Grommit?

There was really a point to this paragraph. The relationship I was in did not end over beer. The relationship I was in ended because it was just getting awkward, and it really didn’t feel right anymore. It made me pause and reflect on the first serious relationship I had, which was really only four years ago or so. It seemed fairly serious at the time, in any case. I’ll get to that one after I discuss the second serious relationship, and why that failed. Then I can mention the first, and how badly that failed. And then perhaps we can figure out where I have been going wrong? Or can we?

Cheating Is Never Justifiable
When we are dating people, we imagine that we have certain principles, certain rules which we would never break. If this happens, I will react in this way. If that should occur, this is what I will do. All of this goes out the window when things actually happen and we realize that we are more attached and committed to people than we might have thought we were. Take the second serious relationship I had.

Oh, how all seemed to be going well and then one day, I get a phone call. It is my girlfriend. She tells me that she is not sure if she loves me. I am baffled. Not twenty-four hours prior to the phone call, she was telling me how she couldn’t imagine being with anyone else, and she loves me more than anyone else in the universe, that sort of thing. You’ve heard this sort of talk, no? I imagine people talk like that in romance novels. I don’t particularly like reading romance novels, and thus I can not say this for certain. It does seem like one of those things, doesn’t it? And so it was then revealed that I had been cheated on. Instead of reacting how I always thought that I would react, that is to say ending the relationship immediately, I clung on.

I desperately tried to repair the relationship. In doing so, I was doing more harm to myself than good towards the relationship. In the end, she cheated on me a second time and then left me for the person she cheated on me with. I’d say that’s a fairly violent way to end a relationship. Not a very pleasant way, either.

I thought that I would immediately break off any relationship with anyone who was cheating on me, but I didn’t. I was caught in a trap, if you will. I had deceived myself to believe that the relationship was more wonderful than it actually was.

The Beginning – and Reflection
How did my first serious relationship end? My then girlfriend told me it just didn’t feel right anymore, and that it wasn’t comfortable to be in the relationship. At the time I was horrified, shocked – what did this mean, why was this happening to me? Why was she breaking up with me, I was perfectly happy in the relationship. I now look back on that and think about how wonderfully it really ended.

This brings me to the conclusion – how do I always end up in these relationships in which I find myself unsatisfied (realizing it or not) and end up splitting apart from the person? I think part of the reason stems from the fact that I have the self esteem of a snail which has been stepped on, and then had a pinch of Mrs. Dash tossed on for good measure. I think so lowly of myself that anytime a person of the female persuasion gives me the time of day and isn’t the Bride of Frankenstein’s monster, I start to wonder if there is any interest there, where it might go, what she is thinking, that kind of thing.

I imagine myself talking to them and being friendly and then, in a very Groucho Marx sort of way saying, “Are you busy tonight? Are you involved in a relationship? Answer the second one first.”

I am also reminded of a scene from the 1998 film Celebrity, in which the producer of a television series approaches the Judy Davis character and says something along the lines of, “Are you married? And if not, are you busy tonight?” That sort of thing.

The question is, what about what would really suit me? What about dating someone who, above having a few things in common with me, really shared some kind of bond of some sort? What if it were someone I could relate to, who I wasn’t just dating because they accepted me first? Who knows? I certainly don’t.

The inside of the birthday card I got from my best friend Kara informs me that I deserve all the best. If only my definition of what was the best didn’t change every other week…