It was a lot easier to fall for a guy who I knew, on some level, wouldn't fall in love with me. The real risk would be to finally be vulnerable to love. It was that I was scared to be in a real relationship. Peter made me deeply happy, not constantly anxious that I wasn't good enough.
I recently came across a photo of a sexy Brazilian man I had an affair with a few years ago.
(OK, I Googled him.) When I saw his sly smile and unruly black hair, I couldn't help thinking that, by comparison, my live-in boyfriend wasn't quite as darkly seductive or exciting.
He didn't come up with crazy ideas, asking me, as other men had, to take off for Argentina, ride the roller coaster in Santa Cruz, or swallow vision-inducing drugs with a shaman in the Amazon. "No," I mumbled, embarrassed and worried that he was going to flee. "Just because I'm not an asshole doesn't mean I'm boring," he said "You need to figure out the difference." Now that was interesting.
He was predictable—showing up when he said he would, bringing flowers, picking me up at the airport. He left, pissed off, and I ruminated all the next day. When I considered it, most of the charismatic men I'd dated were actually jerks or bad boys, hardly relationship material.
We spent a passionate week together, and when I left town, I thought I was leaving behind a new long-distance boyfriend—one who, it turned out, didn't like to call or e-mail..