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The Ghost of Relationships Yet to Come

August 2, 2010

Last Thursday I was visited by my own version of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come: The male version of me, unmarried and ten years older, had come to warn me about what my future holds.

Thursday was the second in a series of dates resulting from a Craigslist ad begging for company in Atlanta. Well, technically it was the first because I kinda stood up the first one.

My Ghost of Relationships Yet to Come bears unnerving resemblance to me. Like me, he’s a consultant. Like me, he works long hours and is on the road for weeks at a time. Like me, he both resents and adores his demanding job. And? He is alone. Never married, he lives in a big empty house in the suburbs with a dog that a neighborkid cares for while GoRYtC works.

I have long been hyper-aware of how my job affects my datability. When I’m home, the aggressive pace at which I date is a pathetic attempt to compensate for spending all that time locked in an office. That, and I really suck at moderation.

Before I left for this trip I had a good three or four irons in the fire. Now four weeks later, I’m in contact with exactly zero of those guys.

Why? Because there are 168 hours in a week and, last week, I worked 111.5 of them.

So there I sat on Thursday, stricken silent as my Ghost of Relationships Yet to Come described (in what I believe was a misguided attempt to scare me into a mutually desperate union) how his drive to succeed at work distracted him as his dreams of family life dimmed and ultimately faded away.

I told him I would never choose work over family and he said, “That’s just the thing. You’ll choose by not choosing.”


This is my worst fear, y’all; that work will create a perpetual state of bad timing until I realize, ten years from now, that all my possible good timing has passed me by.  If the pickin’s are slim now, I shudder to think what I’d be dealing with then.

My buddy Joe also suffers from Extreme Hour Count Syndrome. Because he’s wonderful (and single… ladies?), he interrupted my whining a few weeks ago to remind me that sometimes a little faith in love goes a long way. We all have our love roadblocks, but perhaps when I find the kind of love that I’m looking for schedules and work trips will be minor trivialities.

But that all sounds a little Disney to me. More likely the Ghost of Relationships Yet to Come is closer to reality.

As it is known to do, eHarmony sniffed me out in my time of desperate. Like Scrooge buying the prize turkey on Christmas day, so must I spend my drinking money on a few months on the 29-Dimensions of Compatibility wagon, trying to change my wayward ways.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. dru permalink
    August 2, 2010 8:27 am

    I feel as though you could ( assuming you ever found time ) write a novel that is a cautionary tale to those of us who are so eagerly pursuing love or work.

    I also feel like you might need a hug.

    You can do this.

  2. August 2, 2010 9:39 am

    There’s one thing worse than being single and wishing you were in a relationship (actually, there are lots of things, but let’s keep this appropriate to the context) and that’s being in a relationship wishing you were single.

  3. August 2, 2010 10:21 am

    He’s right. Doing nothing is a choice too. You can totally do it.

  4. August 2, 2010 10:47 am

    Here’s the great thing about GoRYTC (I think I got that right…): you can learn from him.

    Let HIS loss be YOUR lesson. (By the way, I am sincerely hoping he’ll find a great lady soon!) I can’t imagine that it’s easy to balance an awesome career with a love life (I’m a grad student & glorified secretary — I don’t know about these things!), but I get the feeling that if anyone could do it, it would be you. You said yourself that you really suck at moderation — so when that great guy WORTH budgeting your time, effort, etc. for, you’ll be ready. You’ll be able to put yourself into both work and love with dedication. I have a feeling.

  5. August 2, 2010 1:45 pm

    First off, thanks for the shout out. You and I seem to have a lot of similarities between ambition, drive, and desire both with our careers and what we want out of life.

    And yeah, I don’t disagree that faith in love can be viewed as more fairy tale than reality, but I also am at a point in my life where I’m not ready to settle on that subject. I tried settling last year and ended up in the exact situation @Kyknoord described, which is something I do not want to put another woman (or myself) through that again. I know what I desire, and I know that it’s out there, so I’m still willing to let it ride for a while longer and wait for the right kind of woman to enter my life.

    P.S. – Your more than welcome to be my pimp on a regular basis.

  6. August 2, 2010 1:52 pm

    Jen is so right: you can learn from this man.

    It’s funny I was just discussing with the ex our different perspectives on relationships. To paraphrase, he said “you’re ready for full-time, sign on the dotted line now. I’m just not ready for that right now.” As he is very soon hitting 40, I asked, “When *are* you going to be ready for it? Do you want to be a lonely, old man who yes, got all his projects done but finds out he missed out on the big chance to be with someone great that he loved?” He said it was a great question. I made him think, and I think I scared him a little. But I just wanted him to see the big picture.

    He’s still on the fence, which is why I knew it was best to move forward with someone else who was just as ready as I, if not more so, now. I don’t doubt that the ex will reach out again as he has continually over the last year and half to show me he still cares and didn’t really want to let me go. Yet as I kept telling him, if we want different things, it doesn’t make either one of us a bad person, it’s just we both have to honor our different choices…

  7. stineybean permalink
    August 2, 2010 6:47 pm

    I say have a little solo time, you got the big operation coming up, that might change a lot of things for you. And good luck with the juggle, I agree with the last couple comments, you take away some things when it’s worth the while.

  8. stineybean permalink
    August 2, 2010 6:48 pm

    Also, have you ever met GoRYtC that was a woman twenty years your future? They are scary. Do not be them.

    • August 4, 2010 6:47 am

      yes. they usually own an alarming number of cats.

      • August 6, 2010 2:12 pm

        I’m about 20 years into your future, and not a single cat owned…LOL! I wot claim to have anything at all figured out on this subject, but I will say that you already know what you want and that’s half the battle of getting what toy want!!!!!

  9. August 3, 2010 11:46 am

    Bea, I don’t know if you’re in Atlanta, or what, but I’ll take you around and show you a good time here! It wouldn’t be a date, more of a home away from home rocking-out-party. 😉

    • August 3, 2010 4:13 pm

      i’m in for a bit but working long hours! thanks for the offer, Van Slammy! i try to explore when i get out before last call, but i can’t really plan all that much.

  10. August 3, 2010 10:14 pm

    We can choose without choosing?

    Does that mean I can date without dating?

    Holy shit. Am I dating right now and I don’t even realize it?

  11. August 4, 2010 8:01 am

    I can totally relate. However, I put myself in a precarious situation of believing in risk, love, reward, and … urgency.
    This caused me a lot of problems.

    It sounds like you are a great strong and confident woman. You have a lot of time, there is no rush, and you can play your success to your benefit. Do not apologize for yourself OR or success. You will find ways to include someone in your life when you meet the right person.

    Good luck!

  12. Donkey permalink
    August 11, 2010 1:25 am

    IMHO Get some counselling and stop running away. We’re not here for ever

  13. February 27, 2011 6:03 pm

    Thanks for the pic Need it for my book report cover and yours is perfect. [= Don’t think it’s original though…


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