"Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!"
A girl I am close to was telling me all her relationship troubles: the typical platonic friend.
The story began innocently enough: he asked her to move in with her. She turned down the offer with a barrage of excuses. Of course to her they sounded like valid reasons but I'm sitting there thinking: if she's not moving in on his initiative then something is wrong somewhere.
Cohabiting is always a bad idea for unmarried couples. I will spare you the reasons why. But if a guy is taking that risk and being rejected for frivolous reasons (which do not involve the preservation of maidenhood , for conjugation is ongoing), then he'd better sit down and mentally locate the exit. Because the next rejection on a more significant invitation will crush his soul.
Soon enough my platonic friend confirms my suspicions that her partner is more invested in the relationship than she is. The agony of her soul is the fear of breaking his heart. She spit-roasts the dilemma over the fire in her heart with relish: "I don't know what to dooooo!" She is pulled apart by indecision and the pain gives her pleasure because it is the last vestige of excitement in her long term relationship. It is the great big drama in her life in which she plays the lead role: fate is in her hands, the spotlight on her.
"He is a good guy!" she says with a sympathetic sneer, "But at some point the love just... ended."
So now all that remains to be seen is whether she has the balls to pull the plug. Oh that the gods would engineer it so that he left her instead, and then she could be the victim and cry! Much preferable.
She tells me the guy has even suggested marriage to his dear beloved. I don't know how she weaved out of that hot seat in that awkward moment when it came up, but somehow, she's still there, still in that relationship, allowing him to believe somehow something will work out.
Yet I wonder, doesn't her own internal inconsistency, that cognitive dissonance arising from acting in love while being out of love, appear manifestly sometimes when they are together? I think I have a nose for these type of things. An incomplete smile, a perfunctory kiss, an obligatory compliment, a stiff lay with fake orgasms. Perhaps I am paranoid, but I believe every man should be able to detect these cracks in the façade. Those periods when nothing specific is "wrong," but everything's riding precariously on a knife edge, when one inch out of step is the difference between an uneasy peace and contrived apologies.
This could go either of two ways: they maintain the facade of a loving relationship and marry into a life of continual deception, or she ends the circus and breaks them up.
Except she doesn't know what to dooooo.