They say time flies when you’re doing something you enjoy.
Well, the opposite is just as true. I’ve been waiting for him for over twenty minutes now and with every minute that goes by I am more tempted to leave. It feels like hours. I’m embarrassed and the waitress is getting moody.
But I can’t leave now. That would be even more heartbreaking than what is about to happen.
You see, he never takes me anywhere. EVER. We’ve been together for 5 years and I can’t remember the last time he took me out on a date, so I obviously grew suspicious when he asked me to meet him for dinner after work.
I thought he either wanted to break up or tell me he’s cheating on me, both options would require a public safe space because I can get really… intense.
After he told me he wanted to go out with me I went around the house on a mission, a mission to find evidence that he was cheating but instead, I found something I wouldn’t have expected in a million years: a ring.
A bloody ring, can you believe it? Why would he want to marry me? Perhaps it’s not even for me! I hope that’s the case because our relationship is so dead that its life insurance has paid out already.
I think our problems started as soon as we got together. We automatically adopted a lifestyle that made us resemble a long-time married couple. There was no mystery, no privacy, it was all about us being together. We both stopped working on ourselves, and things went horribly wrong.
We moved in together just a couple months into the relationship. He was renting a tiny apartment and I started staying over so much that I just stopped leaving altogether.
He did and still does, so many things that annoy me. He leaves the door open when he goes to the toilet, every time he eats he hoovers the food down like he hasn’t eaten in months, he leaves rubbish everywhere he goes, and the list goes on. And I’m absolutely sure I’m no saint either.
We got too comfortable too quickly, too soon.
He also does things that I find adorable, not all is bad, he leaves the light on if he goes to bed first so I don’t trip, he makes me a cappuccino every single morning, he does most of the chores because he wants to, and he loves me, even if he doesn’t show it.
But just because he does good things doesn’t mean I have to live with the bad things.
We also have very different views. I want to build a career, make good money and never have to worry about the end of the month. He on the other hand, not so much. He’s comfortable in life. Way too comfortable. He doesn’t mind getting minimum wage if that means routine, normalcy and no risks.
I’m full of ideas and interests. He only has one interest and I’m pretty sure that in 5 years, I’ve never witnessed him having an actual idea.
But he takes care of me when I’m ill, and he deals with my meltdowns like a champ. He does anything and everything I ask for.
That also bothers me, he does things because I ask him to. He never does something because he thought it would make me happy. It’s always because he’s following orders. And I need a partner, not a butler.
Our sex life is non-existent. Talking about having kids is somehow a thing, but how are we going to make them? I have considered looking for a sex partner elsewhere, but I don’t think infidelity would solve the issue. The issue is us. We don’t belong together. We don’t match. I don’t understand why he would propose.
When we met the red flags were there. Everything wrong with us today could have been predicted back then. He never showed that he craved me sexually, he never chose what we would eat that day and would conform to whatever I chose, later revealing that he hated the meal. His apartment was filthy, his mattress was bare! He slept on nothing but his mattress and used the tiniest blanket to stay warm.
Why did I even stay with him?
I think I see him through the window.
Yes! That’s definitely him. With his fancy clothing. Who is he trying to fool?
“Hi” Dry and uninteresting as ever. Good start.
“You’re late. You know how much I hate waiting. You know how much I hate being alone in public. Why did you think it was ok to leave me hanging?”
He never talks back. It’s frustrating. It always makes me nervous and I eventually explode with anger.
“Aren’t you going to say anything?”
“Can we eat, please? I have prepared something for you.”
The waitress looks happier, she no longer has a loner occupying one of her tables without ordering.
She doesn’t look so happy when I order tap water and the soup of the day. I couldn’t care less.
Dinner is uneventful. We don’t talk much as usual. But I can see he’s visibly nervous, terrified even. I know social situations make him really uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable too. That’s probably why he never takes me anywhere. Neither of us really enjoy it.
“I took care of dessert. I’m sorry I didn’t consult you, and that’s why I was a bit late too. I’m sorry.” He says, almost sweating and visibly trembling.
“Your forgiveness will depend on what dessert you got.”
I can see a little smirk form on his face, and suddenly he signals to the waitress. Brave and exclusive. He avoids these situations like the plague.
The waitress brings an overly fancy tray and puts it in front of me.
Written on it with chocolate fondant is the dreaded question - “Will you marry me?”
“Is this desse…”
I couldn’t finish my question. He’s already on his knee showing me the ring I had already seen. But he doesn’t know that.
“I know we have our moments, but if it wasn’t clear already, you are the woman of my dreams. I don’t want anyone else in my life but you. And I know I can be difficult, but everything I do is for you. I want you to be the happiest woman in the world, and if you let me, I want to be the happiest man in the world with you. Will you marry me?”
I want to say no. Why am I not saying no?
Unfortunately, the answer is easy.
He makes me absolutely miserable, but I can’t imagine my life without him. He makes me laugh, he makes me look forward to the future and I can be my true self around him.
I don’t need filters, pleasantries or fake politeness. I am more me with him.
So, does he really make me that miserable? If I can only be myself around him, isn’t the problem me? Is being myself making me miserable? It would make sense. I’m irritable and sad most of the time. I get angry at absolutely everything and it only takes a second to make me go from 0 to 100. Truth is, when that happens, he is there to either calm me down or to allow me to take it out on him.
Perhaps I don’t hate him, I hate myself.
It’s so much easier to blame someone else for our problems than admitting that maybe, the problem is within ourselves.
He knows me better than I know myself. He sees all the ugly in me, and still, he loves me.
And if we’re being real, I love him. I love him more than anything in this world. I want to spend my life with him.
Is suffering worth it? Definitely. Because no matter if I’m with him, with someone else or alone. I will suffer. That’s just life. So if I have to choose, I want to go through life with him.
I look at his face and I see it differently now. He has the purest, most innocent and more beautiful face I’ve ever seen.
I touch it and it’s as soft as ever, his eyes watery and I can feel him shaking. He doesn’t need to wait anymore, my decision is made, and it has always been.