A Giant Account of My Relationship With My Girlfriend

Happy Valentine’s Day. Here’s something.

Summer, 2008: depression, prehistory, first contact

I had been single for about six very alone months previous to this summer, until I signed up for Lovelab, The Stranger‘s dating website. I met a few girls from this website, none of which worked out, really, except for one, which couldn’t even be said to ‘work out’ — she was more like ‘acceptable.’ I slept with her for about a month in what was really sort of a depressing, unsatisfied and ultimately unsustainable period of my life where I was in reality just flexing whatever sexual prowess I might have. We stopped seeing each other after it naturally couldn’t go on and I started dating my next door neighbor, who had a really nice body but was extremely questionable with regards to her worldview; one time I came out to the sidewalk in all my hipster colors and long hair to find her dressed like someone on Jersey Shore at a club where they grind against each other to hip pop anthems and act like Girls Gone Wild. Despite this, I made out with her one night, just to do it, sort of, because I did want to sleep with her. I probably would have – as that was the point to which it was naturally leading (even though I imagined it to be an uncomfortable affair re: her questionable worldview/style and the fact that her personality wasn’t at all what I could deal with in some kind of sustained relationship) – but then my would-be girlfriend came into the picture. She had messaged me from Lovelab a short message that was just something like “hi, you’re interesting,” or something vague like that. Her dating profile seemed mostly innocuous and her picture looked alright, but was generally just difficult to discern. I didn’t care, either way. I had grown skeptical of dating profiles and of internet self-portraiture, and hardly gave any weight to profile pictures or what one wrote in their profile anymore.

Lovelab dating profile picture

We met at a bar called the Redwood, me having prepared for the night by drinking a 40 and taking a shower right before leaving because I thought my hair looked better after I showered; I thought that the way it dried made it look more interesting, or something. I had worn these black rimmed glasses and had my hair covering most of my face, and ridden this little black BMX with pegs to the bar, all of it an emphatic statement of how alternative and gritty I was. She had worn a white billowy very innocent-seeming down-to-earth sort-of summer dress. I was surprised by how ‘wholesome’ she looked, and about her face in general. I thought there was something good about her face. During the date I made the decision to pursue her.

Fall, 2008: frenetic vacation period, traditions, mutually reinforced philosophies on life

I don’t remember that fall too much. We had ‘fallen in love’ heavily and I was extremely compelled by her worldview and her ideas. I remember consciously thinking about the fact that she seemed such a perfect match for the things I wanted a girl to do for me. During that fall she became this person that maintained me, quite literally; who had immediately, upon us committing to each other, taken to carving out a space in her life for mine, or just decided to replace her single life for her idea of a life that she wanted to share with me. I was completely welcome; it seemed like it was the only thing that she wanted. She cooked three meals a day, we never took showers alone, she shaved me, etc. I remember that fall trying to recall cooking my own meals before the relationship and not having a clue. I was really absorbed. She was an extremely reasonable and innocent and smart sort of person who was apt to take beliefs to their logical ends, rather than be conspicuous about having a belief but fail to act in a corresponding manner. She took all my existential problems very seriously and liked me for being hurt and upset about how life could be depressing, and she told me this often, how she liked how I was disturbed sometimes, and even that she liked how I was fully conscious of the fact that I was disturbed and used it to enhance my own persona. She preferred to be completely honest about everything, even if it meant hurt emotions and being blunt, and it fit very nicely with my ideas about relationships: how if we just kept an open line of communication, secrets could not be formed and shame would not have any place to grow; if we just allowed complete and embarrassing honesty around each other then we would always work. How could it not work? She believed in these ideas with me. We were a team. We loved each other very much.

Winter 2008/2009: progression and a slight decline

During that winter I was working at a cafe downtown, and she would come in on her lunch break and eat with me because she was temping at an office nearby. We began having minor disagreements, I remember – but I don’t remember what about. I remember specifically being pissed at her, a number of times, when she came in to my cafe to see me, and sometimes longer, difficult talks after work, on her couch.

In late March we went to Florida together and stayed in a friend’s condo on a river for about a week. It was a very calm time. Every day we went out on a boat that our friend had there. We were completely alone with each other. During this little vacation we decided that we hated our jobs. We chalked up the first little downfall of our relationship to having shitty, never ending feeling jobs over which we had no real control. We decided that we wouldn’t work for anyone else anymore, that we would be satisfied if we could figure out how to make money together, as a team. There was lots of money in the world, we said, we just had to figure out how to get that money. We told each other that so many stupid people have made money. Why couldn’t we? We were smart enough.


More From Thought Catalog

  • Kel

    “…but I remember suddenly feeling very strongly that there was actually not anyone that was better than her – that I had literally traveled across the world..”

    i seriously felt good and excited about the possibility of relationships not being entirely shitty and futile when i read this.

    dude you look great in the paris pic, short hair looks excellent, would look good in a suit

    • cccp

      receiving good vibes from this comment

  • Billie

    I find it funny that this was tagged as “Long term monogamous relationships”…. it kinda makes you sound like a cheating dirtbag and your girlfriend like a pushover.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/john.fisherman Fred Rocha

    The story of your life can be mapped to those e-mail exchanges with your girlfriend. The book is already written. Memeoirs.com can get you a copy, in the format it always should have had; paper.

  • http://newhandsweepstakes.com/writings/tijuana-story-by-brian-mcelmurry/ Brian McElmurry

    Damn, awesome! I like reading about your anixiety over monogamy, and settling down.

  • http://twitter.com/dementia_inc dementia inc.

    Man why you look so faggot-y in the pics?Ok, I can give you some credit for the last one.
    But stil…

  • http://heheheheheheheeheheheehehe.com/ tao


    read with high levels of engrossment while eating chicken wings, steak, fish

    • ESTAR

      Chicken wings, steak, and fish sound really good right now.

      • ccc

        best reading food of 2011

  • JD

    fascinating. it sounds like you grew a lot in the past few years, although i'd be interested in reading your girlfriend's point of view throughout this process–sort of seems like she was just endlessly patient and waiting for you to sort yourself out. hopefully you appreciate the fact that she didn't end it earlier. you look good in the later pics.

  • http://twitter.com/MissKimball misskimball

    I liked this but you seem to have left out the part where your girlfriend promises to cut off your balls and make you eat them if you ever do that again

  • giancarlo

    this was a good article that i really enjoyed reading.

    and your girlfriend does seem to have almost endless patience, but it sounds like you're happy.

    that's nice.

  • 2ci


    i think you are the best writer on this website

  • Emotion

    I enjoyed reading this, I hope that you and your girlfriend will work out all your issues and live happily ever after. I like how you casually mention you flying across the world and hooking up with different girls. You make it seem so easy.

    • http://heheheheheheheeheheheehehe.com/ tao

      'flying across the world and hooking up with different girls: the bsg story'

  • http://twitter.com/KelleyHoffman kelley hoffman

    i have enjoyed reading so many of your shorter stories, it was nice to read the whole story

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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Catherine Maldonado and brandon gorrell, Thought Catalog. Thought Catalog said: A Giant Account of My Relationship With My Girlfriend http://bit.ly/hH8OMi #TCValentinesDay […]

  • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

    sweet, bsg

    i also read feeling interested, eating various meats

  • Mallory Whitten

    i felt really happy thinking about you two and reading this

    • Mallory Whitten

      my face is red
      actually meant to comment http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011…/ with “i felt really happy thinking about you two and reading this “

      • http://www.smokingonanemptystomach.blogspot.com Jordan




  • http://timothypresence.com/ Timothy Willis Sanders

    read this 2x. very nice.

  • http://brianburke.tumblr.com/ brian burke

    cool, this is really engrossing/entertaining

  • EmiliaBedelia

    this is a perfect read for valentine's day.

  • Email Blender

    Well written but damn, your girlfriend sounds like she has the patience of a saint. So much of what you did sounds incredibly selfish. Glad you seem to have your shit together now.

  • thich

    i liked reading this a lot. it made me feel like i could not be stressed about my sports economics exam tomorrow, somehow.

  • Guest

    Hmm, was kinda expecting this to end with you two breaking up for good and you finding someone that you actually like enough not to treat like shit.

  • http://kumquatparadise.tumblr.com aaron nicholas

    honest and beautiful. thanks for this.

  • al

    So basically you're “suffering” from a personality disorder (i.e. a reason to blame your crippling insecurity, black hole feelings, and noncommittal attitude on) which in some way handicaps relationships for nearly all eclectic skinny, white guys in their 20s. It's nice that you two click, but this doesn't sound exceedingly healthy. I like that she reads your unflinchingly honest work though.

  • http://www.musedatbay.blogspot.com Michelina

    This post is incredible. Whether your relationship is loathed or loved it still feels entirely real and familiar and honest. What a surge of emotion.

  • Sabina Cudic

    Incredibly good writing almost masks the incredibly stereotypical behavior of a fucked-up western boy, representing a good number of members of his generation…who are coming to grips with a realization that traveling around South America, unable to relate to the hostel culture, while dragging another person through emotional mud is no more special than sitting in an office as a used cars salesman. Still, pleasure to read.

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