233: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

The ritual of good morning and good night messages between myself and Leigh, has now stopped. In fact, there are now days (even weeks) when we don’t talk at all. Instead, it has been replaced by those with Daniel, but it is a routine I am already familiar with. It’s the kind of thing people who have lived together for years do out of a sense of duty because they are living together.

I want to avoid the sense of boredom that I inevitably end up experiencing when I live with someone. Boredom, routine and familiarity have always been enemies of my relationships. I get sick of looking at the same face every day. Living with someone is a passion killer anyway. You see all the less than glamorous aspects of them, like not rinsing the sink after brushing their teeth or leaving the toilet seat up. I am very intolerant of others quirks. Equally, I am so set in my ways now, I am sure I would be a huge source of irritation for anyone.

There are nights when I would just like to (and now do) just switch off my phone without having to do the niceties. It’s not cute. Routines like this tie me to the things I don’t want. I don’t like feeling trapped or like I am doing something as a pleasantry because I think I have to, not because I want to.

It’s possibly in part why I keep ending up with lonely types, not the married guys who have a great relationship with their partners. I get the ones desperate for an escapism, who have lost that connection. You have to wonder why they stick out. The trappings of a constricting relationship would drive me nuts – I’ve been there too many times. I get it that there are those who have lost their way and have no relationship at home, but it can’t drag on indefinitely. You might have to deal with another 40 years of this! I was listening to Jon Ronson’s ‘The Butterfly Effect’ the other day. And he asked one interviewee about spikes in traffic on the Ashley Madison site. The interviewee said that they would have spikes around the time of big events such as just after Valentine’s Day, the holiday season, and Christmas, just after husbands had been ‘forced’ to spend time with their wives. It’s the most depressing statistic.

Daniel talks to me about the mundane stuff because he has no one else to share it with. His wife is more married to medication and alcohol than she is to him these days, at least that’s what he tells me. Leigh seems to be living in a houseshare with someone he gets along with platonically. He mostly works. It fills the gaps. It’s been like that for more than 20 years.

Monogamy is for seabirds. If anything, it reminds me that I am not ready for that cosy set up and that I am gleefully selfish with my own time and have no enthusiasm for getting ‘coupled up’. Every time I get involved with someone and see the complications they are trying to escape, albeit temporarily, a bit of me feels a great sense of relief and I keep on wondering why these people just don’t have conversations. What are you scared of? Improving your life?

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