I have this problem with jealousy. I have such amazing friends, and they frequently live their lives in the ways that I (sometimes) wish I lived mine. For example, R always seems to have an amazing boyfriend who is perfect in every way, and if they break up, then she goes on to date an even more perfect guy. Or J will go out and meet three hot guys, two new besties, and a former NFL player who invites her to chill with him and his wife in Spain for the summer. M just got a job where she is making almost double what I make, and her brother makes over $100,000 and he is three years younger than I am. So it’s not that surprising that I have issues with envy.
Only, R and I were hanging out the other day (pre-SXSW) and I finally brought this up to her. I was telling her how much I would absolutely love to be in her shoes when it came to guys because she always has this bevy of menfolk who crowd around her and worship the ground that she walks on. And they’re not cretins either – these are incredibly hot, employed, all-around decent fellows. I just felt as if she had this streak of luck that I had only ever dreamed of, and it would be nice to know that I could always have a date if I wanted one.
“I can see where you’re coming from, but believe me, it’s not the way it looks from the outside.”
“I know. I am completely aware of that. But from the outside, your grass is not only green, it’s a freaking jungle.”
“But the way I see it, we’re both in the same boat. We’re both looking for that new person, the true love, and whether we’re seeing several different guys or taking time to figure out what we want, we’re still ultimately not where we want to be yet.”
Here’s the thing with R – she is not only one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, she is also incredibly intelligent and self-aware. Which makes her absolutely perfect, which is very hard to live up to. I thought a lot about what she said, and she was right.
Because, here’s the thing. I’m not very good at dating multiple people at the same time, and I’ve never been very good at casual dating. If I’m not totally into someone, what’s the point in continuing the relationship? It’s one thing to say, “Yeah, we’re never going to get married, but this is really fun, and let’s just make this last for a while.” It’s something else entirely to say “We don’t really get along, and the sex isn’t that great, and we want completely different things out of life, but we’re too scared to try something new, so let’s just stick it out.” I think that too many people get caught in that second situation, and I have never wanted that for my life. Plus, I feel like time works in weird ways for me. I haven’t even been divorced for a full year yet, but I feel like I should already be in a committed relationship working towards marriage number two. And it’s probably a really great thing that I am not there – I doubt that that relationship/marriage would last very long if I rushed into it.
As it turns out, my jealousy was pretty misplaced. Do I want the experiences of getting to date several nice, cute, smart guys? Sure. Do I want to go through all of the drama and the game-playing that goes with that? Not even a little bit. Do I want to go out and meet tons of new people and have them invite me to exotic locales? Duh. Do I want the hangovers and the missed connections and the exhaustion? Not really. I’d love to make more money, but I also love the flexibility that I have with my job and the fact that I really do only work 40 hours a week. And let’s be honest – I don’t live the lives of my friends. I have absolutely no idea what goes on in their heads on a day-to-day basis. It’s pretty easy to think that the grass is greener on the other side of the street. But we rarely see the work that goes into that lawn, or what goes on inside that house. Maybe we’d be better off if we worked on our own grass rather than comparing it to the landscaping of someone else.