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Can This Relationship Be Saved?


The Pork Forest Blog

Saturday, March 12, 2005

In the beginning, Coral was very attracted to Rain. She was a quiet girl, but looking to break out of her shell. Rain seemed like her dream date. An attractive, new-age kind of guy, Rain was creative, fun and full of new and original ideas. They’d talk for hours over coffee about life, his vision, his dreams. Coral was completely smitten.

Things started to get serious, and they began to plan a life together. Coral was caught up in his dreams, dazzled by the idea of a marriage to this incredible, articulate, romantic man who seemed so exciting compared to her practical, everyday life.

Coral’s friends were a bit more skeptical. They pointed out how all his cool ideas weren’t exactly practical. And it’s not like he had a job, in fact, he knew that Coral had substantial savings, and he seemed to be content to live off her instead of being a real partner in the relationship. The kind of guy that was really, truly, going to make it with his band someday, but wanted you to pay the bills in the meantime.

Coral wouldn’t listen. She decided to go for it and move in with Rain. At first, things seemed wonderful. Coral would go to work during the day, leaving Rain free to work on his dreams. At night, over dinner, Coral and Rain would have long, intimate, wine-soaked talks about their plans, the vision of their life together. With the money Coral had saved, Rain would take business trips to the coast. He’d call her from his hotel and describe the meeting with designers in New York or California. As he talked, she could feel his excitement. They always seemed just on the verge of realizing their dreams.

As time went on, Rain seemed to become more distant. His phone calls became increasingly sporadic, and Coral often wondered who he was with and where he was going. Not wanting to seem jealous, at first she refrained from questioning him. She didn't want him to think she were insecure, or worse, a nag. After a while, when it seemed things weren't going to change, she would throw out vague hints, subtle questions about his day. Rain didn't respond well. He seemed vague, evasive. More seriously, the money that Coral had earned still funded the trips, Rain never seemed ready to get a job, settle down, and get married. Coral started to question whether Rain truly loved her, wheter he'd ever be ready to settle down.

Coral pushed her doubts to the back of her mind because she wanted to make the relationship work. When Rain came home between trips, he was still the same free spirit, bursting with creative ideas. She’d come away from the conversations revitalized and determined to stay with this incredible man.

Eventually, it got to the point where Rain was almost never home. When Coral would ask when he was coming back, he’d get angry, calling her jealous and manipulative. He'd accuse her of being uptight, wanting to stifle his dreams and sentence him to a boring, middle class, paper-pushing existence. He’d apologize, of course. He'd call her loving names and reassure her that everything was going to be fine. But with time, his apologies started to sound hollow, thin.

One day, Coral had enough. She decided to have it out with him, to ask him to commit one way or another to their relationship. They were going out to dinner and she had “the talk,” gave him an ultimatum and a time frame. If he wanted to get married, it was time to stop living in a dream world and start working to make their plans a reality. It didn’t go well. While he insisted he still loved her and wanted to get married, Rain refused to set a wedding date, wouldn’t discuss any plans to get a job, and generally seemed annoyed at her for trying to tie him down.

When Rain left the next morning for another prolonged round of meetings, Coral started going out more with her friends. Over a beer, she'd complain about Rain’s attitude and refusal to commit. Some of them took the chance to remind her that they’d told her this would happen from the beginning. Regardless, they all told her she was going to have to leave Rain. They encouraged her to find a new man who would settle down and make her happy. Coral couldn’t help but crying a little over the dreams she’d had about their exciting life together. Her friends listened to her cry, bought her a few shots, but generally told her to screw it, she was better off without him. Coral wants to meet one more time, to make one last-ditch effort to save the relationship before she tells him goodbye for good. Rain agrees, saying everything that he's done has been for Coral, to make her happy.

The Verdict: Many people go through a relationship with a person like Rain, someone who seems to be exciting, a little dangerous. But ultimately, marriage with Rain would lead to nothing but heartache. Coral is a smart girl, and if she listens to that voice inside, she'll figure out that Rain just isn't right for her. She'll understand that she can't change him, make him over into the man of her dreams. She’ll meet someone new, someone exciting, who is willing to make a commitment and settle down to build a life together.