Hi Evan. First I wanted to thank you for creating a fantastic forum for dating enlightenment and for changing the way I view relationships. Here’s my question: I have met what most of your readers would call the man of our collective dreams. Absolutely gorgeous, smart, highly educated and very passionate about his job, which pays very well and is stable. He has a wonderful masculine energy but also a very sensitive and romantic side. He is madly in love with me and we have had a wonderful relationship that has lasted just over two years. He tells me he loves me many times a day, showers me with kisses, his family welcomes me, and he makes it very clear every day he wants to be with me for the rest of his life.
Here’s the rub: he’s not as charismatic as I would ideally want. He listens attentively and communicates clearly, but we lack the verbal banter that I find such a turn-on. We do have fun, but I find sometimes I meet people whom I “click with” verbally. I’m still young and eligible. Should I keep looking for someone who perhaps lacks his many blessings, but that can make me laugh more, or am I just being unrealistic, and that after multiple years of being together, conversations just get a little duller?
I don’t think you’re being unrealistic about relationships.
When you have a 20, you don’t take another card and hope for an ace. Chances are, you’re gonna bust.
I think, if anything, you’re being completely clear-eyed and realistic.
You realize that you’ve got a winner on your hands.
Your description of your boyfriend would make any woman want to swap positions with you in a heartbeat: gorgeous, smart, educated, passionate, stable, successful, masculine, sensitive, romantic, family-oriented, devoted.
A few readers probably had an orgasm just by reading that.
This does not mean you have to marry him.
It does mean you should think twice before tossing him away.
The only reason breaking up wouldn’t be a devastating decision is because you’re young. And if you have ten more years to date, I’m confident you will find true love again.
But even that relationship might not be as healthy as what you have now.
Put it this way: your description of your partner is a laundry list of the perfect guy and you know it.
But you want more — you want charisma, butterflies and sparkling dialogue straight of a romantic comedy. Since you’ve felt this before, you ask the very reasonable question: why not? Why can’t I get the same exact guy with just one more great quality: charisma?
I wrote about this phenomenon in my 2nd book, Why You’re Still Single in a chapter called, “Hitting on 20”. It’s a basic blackjack metaphor that says when you have a 20, you don’t take another card and hope for an ace. Chances are, you’re gonna bust.
Your boyfriend is a clear 20 and a half and you’re trying to incrementally improve on a relationship that’s pretty close to perfect. This is not to say that your boyfriend couldn’t be more compelling if he were a world class raconteur, flirt and wit. This is to say that a man with those qualities might not be as kind, devoted and loyal as your current boyfriend. And it’s also fair to suggest that even if you find a guy with whom you have crackling banter, it doesn’t mean you’ll have the safe, fun, nurturing thing you have with this guy.
Your boyfriend is a clear 20 and a half and you’re trying to incrementally improve on a relationship that’s pretty close to perfect. Smart gamblers stick on 20.
I predict that if you break up with him, you’ll go out with a bunch of tools — like most single women do — until you find a guy who makes you sizzle.
Once you get that sizzling guy, you’ll discover that while he has one advantage over your ex, there are five things he DOESN’T have.
So you gained one quality — charisma — and lost something that’s a lot more important when you’re talking about a 40 year relationship.
From time to time, I still meet women who remind me of that mythical kind of chemistry. The difference between you and me is that I have enough experience to appreciate my wife for what she is, instead of wishing she were someone that she’s not.
Eventually, the chemistry dies down and love becomes a choice. A commitment to the commitment. You don’t have new stories to tell at every meal. You’ve seen every inch of each others’ bodies. You’ve reached a level of safe and predictable consistency. You can certainly break that up to find something more exciting.
Just know that where you are right now is where all GOOD relationships end up. If you want to take a risk, just know that you’re either going to have years turmoil before you find this again OR you may never find this again — not in the same package, anyway.
Smart gamblers stick on 20.