Confession #9: The Wandering Eye

(Warning: This confession will make me look like a huge jerk. If you currently don’t think I’m a jerk and would like to continue to think that, stop reading this.)

One of the biggest struggles I’ve had while dating is the persistent wonder that there’s someone better for me out there.

“Better for me” is the key part of that phrase. Not just “better.” There’s always someone prettier, funnier, smarter, etc than the person you’re with. But is the person you’re with the best person for you? Do you connect with them better than anyone else? Are you completely satisfied with them?

There have been many times during my relationships when I’ve thought that I’m with the person that I’m supposed to be with. But there are also times when I’ve had a wandering eye. My wandering eye wonders if some other woman is actually the right one for me. If I’m the right one for her.

I was at a party with a girlfriend when my wandering eye landed on a cute Asian woman. She was wearing a slinky black dress, and at some point during the party, we started talking. It was one of those conversations that made the rest of the party seem irrelevant. Including my girlfriend of the time (I warned you about me being a jerk). My girlfriend was otherwise having a good time with the other guests.

At some point I ended sitting off to the side of the kitchen on a stool, and the woman was standing very close as we spoke. I distinctly  remember this because she was doing one of the most subtly sexy things a stranger has every done to me. My legs were propped up on the stool, and as she spoke, she moved closer and closer until she was leaning her upper thigh against my knee. Her dress was very think, and I could feel the heat of her body on my knee.

She remained in that position until my girlfriend called me over to speak with me. We went out in the hall and she asked me what was going on. I told her nothing. Which was completely true and completely false. I had no intention to do anything with this other woman. But emotionally and socially, I was unquestionably betraying my girlfriend. Right in front of her. Right in front of everyone, in fact.

Again, jerk, I know.

The problem was that I was really connecting with this other woman. I barely knew her, but what I was feeling that night made me doubt what I had with my girlfriend. I could have taken the high road and been a good boyfriend and not talked to this other woman. But I wasn’t that guy. I was indecisive, and I wondered if I should be talking to this other woman, so I did.

I’ve had this sense of doubt and indecision at some point with every woman I’ve dated. Is she the right one for me? What about this other woman? Or that one? But you can’t eliminate every person out there. It’s simply not feasible.

Over on Harley May’s blog, where I recently had a guest post and she had a follow-up post, there has been a discussion about “the one.” So many people talked about “the one” as a choice–you find someone who works really well for you and you for them, and you make the choice to be with them–on Day 1 and every day after that too. I love that idea, but I’m so daunted by that first choice. That’s not a choice I feel comfortable making if my eye is still wandering to see if there’s someone better for me out there.

All of this comes back to me being intentionally single. There’s simply no alternative with my wandering eye. I don’t like being a jerk to these girlfriends–it’s so unfair for me to do that to them.

What I’m really afraid of is that my wandering eye is never going to go away. So if you’re open to it, all of you in long-term committed relationships and marriages, tell me about your experience with your wandering eye. Tell a weak man if you ever look around and wonder if someone else is somehow even better for you than the person you’re with. If so, how do you deal with that? How do you keep the doubts at bay? How do you keep your love untarnished by the curiosity of others?