I just got engaged to an amazing guy. He's funny, smart, interesting, stable, settled in his career, and is going places...basically, a "10" by any and every objective measure. The problem is that ever since we've gotten engaged, I keep thinking of the first and only guy I've ever felt was "the one" I was destined to be with, and the problem has only exacerbated since my fiancé wants to drop his life for a year in California to be closer to me as I finish up college. Snowflake details inside.
posted by lotusmish to human relations (102 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Three years ago, at age 18, I met B on an editing site, where he was helping me with my college applications. Though we never met in real life, the process of writing about my dreams and why I'd be a good fit for XYZ school, and him editing everything into beautiful prose endeared me to him greatly. I love how he taught me so much about the English language, about life, and
and quickly felt as though I fell in love with him. I was an ugly duckling in high school and he was the first guy who cared enough to help me actualize a lot of my dreams--it sounds silly, but he was nice to me before I "transformed" into a model and landed contracts. He was literally my only saving grace when I felt like my world was crashing around me and he just made me feel so safe and cared for. It sounds weird, you know, to admire someone so much, but I can't really stop respecting or admiring him. He just really, really, really understood me. I had tears in my eyes when he finished my last essay and answered my last question. It hurt like hell to have to say goodbye that December (2010). We ended up running into each other a few times after that--well, more like, he ended up running into me--but we never said anything. In fact, two times, I saw him and got so nervous that I ran away/was super awkward. And, the one time I managed to smile at him when I was riding my bike, I got so nervous at the prospect of riding up to him and actually having a conversation with him that I changed my route--and I have never changed my route before. Even though B is shorter than me, barely 4.5 years older, and not the richest/most established guy I've ever dated, I can't get him out of my head. Nobody has compared to him, now or since.
In terms of dating experience, I went on dozens of first dates with guys from school and outside of school, had numerous bad experiences with online dating, and then had a number of ill-fated penpal relationships. Fed up with my lack of serious prospects, around four months ago, I procured an elite matchmaker to find me a husband. She set me up with my now-fiancé, P, and we went directly from friends to engaged quickly. Everything in the relationship was easy, I made sure we hit all the RESPECT compatibility matrix points that were important to me, we have matching blood types and birth orders, our MBTIs are compatible, and he's the most dedicated, wonderful guy anyone could ask for. He's just so perfect on paper! The problem is that I've been trying to convince myself to fall in love with P and it's just not working. I can't stop thinking about B and this isn't cold feet.
P lives in a major California city and I currently live in the Midwest. About an hour ago, he called me saying that he thinks it'd be best for our relationship if he moved temporarily to my college town so the distance wouldn't be a major issue for us as we navigate our first few months of engagement-dom. My school schedule makes it hard for me to travel to go see him, so he basically flies to see me every other weekend; as a financier, he has the ability to work remotely and still do his job well. The idea of him being near me and for this turning into something non-abstract really scares me. I'm afraid that if B sees me with P, he'll be heartbroken; I also fear that I only said yes to P's proposal because my leg hurt like hell and I wanted a new ice pack. P's romantic and everything, but I just don't know if it's such a good idea to marry the first guy who expresses a serious, prolonged interest in me. I'm an abstinent virgin and I'd always assumed I'd comfortable giving myself to my husband when married, the idea of engaging in anything other than hand-holding with P makes me sick. I want my first and last to be B, not P.
I told P about B and about my unrequited crushes in high school, fantasy crushes in novels, romantic comedies, and my pen pals, and he seems to think that they were childish things I engaged in to prevent myself from experiencing true love. He continually reminds me that if B wanted to be with me, he'd have made it happen by now, that if I was truly meant to be the wife of Cary Grant, I wouldn't have been born in the 21st century. I know that he's right, but I can't help but think that if I just wait until after I finish college and B finishes law school, B and I will end up together. I mean, I have a feeling that B likes me back, and I don't want to marry someone else to make him jealous and drive him crazy just because we both love The Graduate.
Sometimes I feel like it's just better for me to marry someone who loves me more than I think I could ever really love him, because the prospect of being heartbroken by the perfection that is B makes me think I'd legitimately die if anything were to happen. The dreamer in me likes to imagine that B and I are soulmates, that B shares my feelings, that I belong with him; the pragmatist in me ruminates over the fact that B and I have never had an in-person conversation, that B and I may have run into each other due to coincidence, that B has done nothing apart from editing papers and teaching me new things to make him life partner material. B knew me when I was 18 and a stupid, irrational, highly confused soon-to-be-college-freshman and P knows me as I am now. P was there for me when I tore my ACL, he was at the finish line of my first Ironman, he was on the phone with me when I found out I qualified for the national team, and he's always been there; B was there for me because I paid him to edit my essays.
I worry that if I break things off with P, I may never find any guy who will love me as much and never truly be emotionally intimate. I wonder if I'm more attracted to the idea of being a married couple than I am to the idea of being Mrs. P.
Do I break up a good thing because of a stupid fantasy that is never going to go anywhere, or do I grow up and accept that "the one" is a choice you make? Should I break off my engagement and tell P that I'm just not ready?