Burger King Beau "Have it Your Way"
"Single File" - June 2023 Issue
by Susan Deitz
I have sexual feelings for my boyfriend, but it's usually when we're apart. I get that rush of lovey feelings when I'm at work or driving to the store; I think of him and how he makes me feel good about myself. More than that, I love that he complements me so well. Still, as soon as I see him in person, all I need is a hug or a quick kiss; all those feelings leave.
So tell me: How weird am I? I come from a non-affectionate family, though we love one another. I married at 19, had a wonderful son and, after I got divorced, vowed never to repeat the mistake of not being true to myself.
This man I'm seeing is kind, considerate, a hard worker and very nicely built. I've been attracted to him since we were in high school. He can be a bit clingy, but all I have to do is say something and he gives me space. So why can't I get those bubbly feelings people are supposed to get when they're in love?
So I guess I'm wondering: Is this the man I ordered at Burger King? ("Have it your way.") Why don't I feel the need to marry him? He'd marry me in a second. I can't believe I'm the one having commitment problems. Could you please pass along some insight that would help me?
—From the "Single File" blog
Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. Old Will Shakespeare himself couldn't have concocted a better plot than you and your Burger King man. With him, you can indeed have it your way—but then, just what is your way?
At 19, you believed that loving meant submerging selfhood. Long gone from that marriage, you're rejoicing in a life that celebrates freedom to be yourself, and you're not too eager to go back to the old ways. Perfectly understandable, I'd say. But marriage doesn't squelch your individuality if you marry the right sort of mate. And this man seems to have the right sort of attributes: kindness, ambition, physical attraction. You desire him mightily when he's gone, but in person, not so much. Sounds to me like fright, my girl—terror of returning to prison. And the only way to convince yourself that you'll be free to be yourself if you marry this hunk is to observe him in many different situations. You need to convince yourself that the man you see is the husband you'll live with. That all takes time, but what's the rush? Dream your daydreams when you're apart; enjoy him when you're together. He's not pressing you for marriage; don't put pressure on yourself. You may not want to marry him—or anyone. Your chosen way may well be commitment without marriage, living together or as partners. Your way may be a free zone.
Have a question for Susan?