(Black Couch Tales)
Mike was completely stressed when he walked into my office last week. Taking a long drink of water, he slumped onto my black leather couch and sighed.
“Coach,” he said. “I need to get out of my relationship.”
Mike is 38 years old and a successful screenwriter. Mike was also perpetually single with a long history of failed relationships. His situation is typical: he wasn’t necessary afraid of something long-term, he just could never find “the One”. Mike could never stay in a romantic situation for long before moving to something new. Today’s session was no different. Once again he found himself feeling stuck with someone he didn’t want to be with. He told me his story.
“I met Lexy about a year ago. I was at a bar and there she was. She looked awesome and had a great smile. I was attracted and I just had to get to know her.”
For Mike it always started with physical attraction. He continued, “We really hit it off. The next thing you know, we are heavily involved. Things were great at least…the first six months were a blast…really fun. I think I gained ten pounds though. My buddy calls it Love Diet. You stop going to gym, order in, and stay in bed day and night.”
Mike’s enthusiasm began to fade as he said, “After first six months things slowly started to change. We started to get to know each other outside of bedroom. The more we talked, more I realized that I had nothing in common with her. And to be honest…this is sort of rough to admit…I wasn’t interested in a thing she had to say.”
“Our relationship became tense at worst and polite at best. Little things started to bug me. The way she chewed her food drove me insane. The way she laughed…it was this high-pitched squeal that I think only dogs could hear…it made me nuts.”
He sighed. “I’m getting on her nerves too. Last week Lexy nearly shoved me out of bed because she said I was snoring too loud.”
Mike straightened up and locked eyes with me. “We need to break up and it’s been a long time coming anyhow. I’m okay with that. But what I really need to figure out is: what heck is going on in my relationships? It’s always same. Is it me? Am I meeting right women? I’m 38 and I still haven’t figured it out.”
Dating often starts as a chance meeting where physical attraction leads us to relationships we “end up in” rather than a choice we stop and think about. We get caught up in excitement of meeting someone new. We give in to rush! But eventually “chemical reaction” of attraction begins to sputter. The excitement fades and we often find ourselves with a person we don’t know that well. In Mike’s case, he realized he was with someone he couldn’t stand to be around.