My Romantic Journey, Part II

I had no idea that B. was very happy with the kind of existence we led. I was very young and inexperienced and I strongly believed that he simply had to share my disappointment and boredom with our hopeless, stunted lifestyle. He was never a great talker, and I was not then (and probably still am not) a good listener. I kept prattling about how amazing things would be in Canada, he listened and never objected, so I was convinced he was as excited as I was about my plans for the new life that awaited us.

It turned out, however, that B. had been accumulating a lot of resentment against me. My earnings, my publications, my grades, even the fact that people kept referring to me as “a star” made him feel eclipsed and inferior. When we moved to Canada, he decided that it was the perfect time to make me pay for this string of humiliations and the great life we had had in Ukraine and that I had disrupted on a whim. We had been together for six years, and when you know a person this well, it is quite easy to find things that would make their life intolerable.

So I left him. (More on this in the series titled “My Feminist Journey” that is coming soon to Clarissa’s Blog.) I started a new life as a single woman in Montreal. I was terrified of getting sucked into yet another serious relationship that was going to impoverish my life. For some weird reason, I happen to be the kind of woman that makes men think of nothing but marriage. Usually, words “commitment”, “serious relationship”, “marriage” and “a lifetime together” start cropping up on a second date. This, of course, scared me stiff and made me lose interest.

I remember once I was at a restaurant with a man I was seeing.

“Could you bring a glass for my girlfriend, please?” he asked the waiter.

I was incensed.

“This jerk!” I thought. “How dare he call me his girlfriend? What kind of woman does he think I am?”

At this stage in my life, the last thing I wanted was a relationship of any kind. I just wanted to have fun.

As I grew older, however, I felt that I was finally ready to enter into a more permanent relationship with a man. This, however, proved to be quite complicated.

(To be continued. . .)

8 thoughts on “My Romantic Journey, Part II

  1. Haha, you had a right to be upset about that. Someone who openly calls a person their girlfriend or boyfriend without consulting the other person first about whether or not that’s really the case is being a jerk. It might be a manipulation thing, it might be an “I’m so hot who could possibly resist me” thing, I don’t know. But you don’t just decide someone’s your girl/boyfriend without asking.

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  2. Wrong! Nonsense! I would have been very Seinfeldian about the situation, saying, “Uh, hey, can we talk about this ‘my girlfriend’ thing you just said? I have some words on that…”

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      1. I think the only thing wrong here is that you doubted for even a single second that his behavior was unacceptable.

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  3. How often had you seen him before he said that? If it was only casually then I don’t know if it’s necessarily manipulative (although it could be). It may be an indication of neediness. From a male point of view, he’d have been better off letting you raise the issue of the nature of the relationship before he called you his girlfriend, unless the two of you saw each other as soulmates from the start, which I guess wasn’t the case.
    What did you do when he said that?

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  4. That’s happened to me before too–when you’ve been on a few dates and you haven’t had ‘the talk’ yet, but it’s weird to call them your ‘friend.’ I’ve been on both sides. Being called the ‘friend’ of someone I was sleeping with annoyed me much more. I never considered being given the girlfriend label without ‘the talk’ some kind of unfair ownership term, however. If you don’t give it credence, it doesn’t have any.

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  5. Eh, it’s happened to me too, probably a lot of us–when you’ve been on a few dates and you haven’t had ‘the talk’ yet, but it’s weird to call them your ‘friend.’ I’ve been on both sides. Being called the ‘friend’ of someone I was sleeping with annoyed me much more. I never considered being given the girlfriend label without ‘the talk’ some kind of unfair ownership term, however. If you don’t give it credence, it doesn’t have any.

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