I have this tendency to be a terrific "buddy," or "pal," or sidekick (see The Buddy Comes Out to Play entry)...whatever you want to call it. I do it well. I admit that a lot of this is my own making. I've always found it much less taxing to be the smart-ass sidekick whose job is to chime in with something witty every once in a while. It's much easier than having to actually carry the movie if you know what I mean. Hell, I even got a trophy for "Best Girl Friend" in 8th grade because I was so good at playing the part.
In college, when I had the self confidence of a flea, I elevated this to an art form and managed to completely hide myself behind my leading-lady best friend. Of course, years after college it all came out that she was hiding behind her own self deceptions.
Today, after some therapy and just living life, I get it. I'm good enough to be the lead in my own movie. But I think when it comes to relationships I sometimes slip back into this supporting part. Especially when I get scared.
When I first started dating Wine Guy I was the absolute box office star of my own romantic comedy. I loved the attention, relished the compliments, and thrived off of the romance that I finally knew I deserved. This was a big change for me and it felt great.
But things calmed down a bit and the drama subsided, and I've been noticing lately that my leading lady is starting to get overshadowed by that old sidekick role of mine. I've been generally confused as to why this is happening, but today I think I came up with some sort of explanation. See if it flies with you.
Wine Guy has had several long term relationships and, from what I can tell, they all had a "best friend" quality to them. Don't get me wrong. I think that's terrific. Only Child and I had that same kind of relationship and that is why he and I can still be friends today (and why Wine Guy and Ex-Wine Gal are still good friends). But the thing is, Only Child and I became, in my opinion, too entrenched in our friendship. So much so that I think it cost us that invaluable spark that makes you think this relationship is special enough to be "The One."
In contrast, my relationship with Naval A-hole was all sparks and no friendship. So when he decided the sparks were dying down, he gave me the kind of goodbye you give someone you shared an elevator with for three floors. Not the painful goodbye you would endure for a dear friend.
So now I'm stuck in this potential no man's land. I'm glad Wine Guy and I are comfortable with each other and still manage to have that sexual spark that makes us officially "more than friends." But I'm realizing that this leaves me feeling like I'm treading dangerously close to "buddy" territory. Like the only difference between me and his other good girlfriends (of which he has many, all of whom I like) is that we happen to get naked with each other at the end of the night.
If we want to avoid this slippery slope, I think we need to discover that middle ground between what I had with Only Child (and what he had with Ex Wine-Gal) and the surreal, sparkly glow of what I had with Naval A-hole (without the A-holeness of course).
Here's the issue boiled down (and it should apply to everyone seeking "the One" in my opinion): How we treat each other and feel around each other needs to be exceptionally different than how we treat and feel with anyone else.
Of course, I have yet to articulate any of this Wine Guy. I probably should now that I'm able to actually understand what it is I'm feeling (unless perhaps he reads this himself, or one of his friends who reads this blog spills the beans). But I don't know if saying it will actually result in anything. Can you tell someone, "Hey, treat me exceptionally, would ya?!" Don't they have to kind of come up with that themselves?
I am trying to follow my mom's advice (she is a shrink after all), "Turn it around. Do for him what you want him to do for you." And I'm doing that as best I can. I just hope I can keep that smart-ass sidekick occupied with something else in the meantime.