My life as a romance plot

I am very independent. I hate asking for help. I appreciate the thought and effort when others offer to help me, but unless you are already in the inner circle then, I will most likely not take you up on it.

I assume that others are offering to help out of a sense of obligation. From a place of pity. Or because they want to be able to say they made their effort. It’s only with my closest friends/family that I am able to let them help. It’s only the people who have been in trenches with me, who know fully what I have been through and I know their struggles that I feel we can truly be there for each other.

It is common knowledge that men like to feel helpful. They want to fix things. They love to solve a problem. Even more so for the girl they like. I feel like men think that if they can prove to the girl they are helpful, full of solutions, and can fix anything and everything, then the guy thinks the girl will realize that she can not possibly live with out the guy, and fall madly in love. That’s how that works, right?

I have been on several dates where the topic of some project has come up, and the guy never fails to chime in with “I can help!” Thanks. But, no thanks. Please stop. Do not offer to help when you don’t know if you intend to be around next week or whatever. New rule: If you aren’t ready to declare feelings, and intent, then maybe don’t be making plans to help with projects.

SIDE NOTE: That is my least favorite part about being in a relationship. The part where you have a list of chores and projects. That never ending to-do list that couples have. At least now, I know I will get to it when I have the time, money, and energy. It will get done when I’m ready for it. No one nagging me or reminding me, and I don’t need to nag or remind anyone either.

I went over to a guys house to spend time while my kids were with their dad. I was telling a whole story about how the guys that I had mow the grass at my house were confused about the property line, and left a patch of grass uncut. It was just a miscommunication, but now I’m secretly hoping that my neighbor on that side picks up the slack. Guy says “how big is your yard, I could cut the grass,” I respond with, “really that’s not necessary,” and he says, “You have a bo- man in your life who can do these things. I’m offering to cut the grass, not asking you to marry me.”

And just like that I’m transported in a romance novel plot line. I’m the jaded woman, not looking for anything serious. My husband left me for someone, fill in the blank with the most ridiculousness you can imagine as the other woman. I have two young kids of whom I am fiercely protective, and am not interested in getting them involved in my dating life. I’ve met a really nice guy, and am having a nice time, and all of a sudden he says something like “I’m offering to cut the grass, not asking you to marry me.” Which in romance novel land would mean he had thought about asking the girl to marry him. Or a girl. At some point in time this guy was thinking marriage thoughts about someone.

The plot would continue something like: He continues to pursue me, while proving that not all guys are assholes. He wants to move forward with the relationship, while I am reluctant to get serious, even though there really isn’t anyone else I’m interested in. There is a fight about something, maybe a disagreement about meeting kids or family too soon, or maybe over something else. But I use it as an excuse to end the relationship. I use the small fight to make a big issue, claim that we are just not on the same page, and it just isn’t fair to either of us to continue in the relationship. And in the romance novel version, there would be a few days, weeks or even months, of dealing with the break-up, and pining, maybe even dating other people, before some situation occurs to put us in the same room together, and forced to deal with the unresolved issues. The moment we both realize we are in love and both want to try to make the relationship work. The happily ever after ending.

That’s the romance version of what might happen. I’m stuck on the real life words. “I’m offering to cut the grass, not asking you to marry me.” Does he know that I’m a little hesitant to get fully involved with someone? Does he understand that I have a hard time asking other people to do things for me? Where did he get that line? Who says things like that in real life? Why couldn’t he look at me when he was saying it? Was he about to say boyfriend, and then stopped himself? Does he think he’s my boyfriend? Does he want to be? What does that even mean for a 33 year old with two young kids, who technically is still married? Is he thinking about marriage? Is that was he is looking for, someone to marry?

As I was walking out, to go pick up my kids, I stopped, and asked him, “What were you going to say, when you said ‘man in your life’? You were about to say something, and stopped and then said that instead. Were you going to say boyfriend?” He noncommittally responds that I can call him my boyfriend if I want. That I can call him whatever I want. Again, He can’t look at me while saying these things. Is he shy? Is he nervous about my reaction? Does he think I’m trying to make him be something he’s not ready for?  Is he talking about me with his friends? Does he refer to me as the girl he’s seeing/dating, or is he using the term girlfriend?

It is all very confusing. And I think he understands that I don’t want the pressure or the stress of a serious relationship. I think he gets that. Maybe. Maybe that’s why he backed off from saying the word boyfriend? I’m in a place, where I just want a fun cool person to hang out with, to go out with, to stay in with, to cook with, to road trip with. Whatever that is.



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