Recently I read an article that said, "If you care about your happiness, you should avoid marrying a neurotic person."
The author, Drake Baer, wrote, "Neurotic people are more likely to detect threats in their environments, which can lead to mood swings and obsessive thinking about what could go wrong. They have been found to be more easily distracted, less self confident, and to have lower salaries than their more emotionally stable peers."
Almost everything he wrote describes me, because this entire blog is proof of the fact that I obsess over almost everything; (hence my screenname, Neurotic Workaholic, and my blog title, "Obsessions of a Workaholic"). I've come up with some other reasons why I fit Drake Baer's description of neuroticism to a T:
1. One of my guy friends told me that I put off an "unapproachable vibe." When I'm out in public, I discreetly grip my keys in a certain way, so that if any guy tries to attack me I can use the keys as a weapon and stab him in the eye and/or the crotch. After years of being harassed, groped, followed down the street, and in one terrifying case, nearly abducted by random creeps in Chicago (I screamed and fought back, which apparently scared off the abductor), I've cultivated a "back the hell off or I will CUT you vibe."
2. Most of the guys I've dated thought it was weird that with the exception of the hello/goodbye kiss, I didn't like to kiss in public (especially if his version of kissing meant "I'm going to touch your tonsils with my tongue" or I didn't like the guy, in which case I was all "back the hell off or I will CUT you"). I've never even been comfortable with holding hands or letting the guy put his arm around me in public. I've never liked public displays of affection, because I think that there is a time and a place for everything, and so basically anywhere that has people in it who are not too drunk to notice IS NOT THE TIME NOR THE PLACE.
The last time a guy held my hand, I spent 50% of the time thinking about how long I had to hold his hand before I could wipe off my sweaty hand on my pants without looking rude, and wondering if I could ask him to wipe off the sweat on his hand, and maybe put some hand sanitizer on as well, because I also spent the other 50% of the time on our date thinking of the germs on his hand that could potentially infect me with the flu because he coughed two hours before. (If there was any doubt in your minds that I am completely neurotic, I'd say this paragraph pretty much proves it.)
3. Since I don't even like to hold hands in public, I would definitely not be charmed by a public proposal, where the guy gets down on one knee in front of a restaurant full of other customers, or in a park filled with a singing/dancing flash mob that he organized. Then I'd just be all, "Are you asking me to marry you, or are you asking me to make you famous on Youtube?" I also think that public proposals put way too much pressure on the person to say yes.
Note: If you are married and your spouse proposed to you in public, I hope you don't think that I am saying that public proposals are unromantic or wrong, because I'm NOT; I'm saying that if I ever did get engaged, that's not how I would want it. As an introvert, I'd prefer to have that moment be something that's just between me and the man I love, not me, the man I love, and dozens of people who are filming us and will post the video on Youtube.
4. Recently, over the past few months, I became closer to a guy I liked, who I did not describe on this blog for various reasons. He was much more laid-back than I am. I eventually realized that he needs to be with someone who actually means it when she says, "I'm fine," and I need someone who understands when I'm not fine and will listen patiently, say the right things, and talk me out of stress eating peanut M&Ms (and of course, I would do the same for him).
5. If I ever got married, my parents would want to throw a huge church wedding and invite all their friends, including the friends who keep asking why I'm in my thirties and still single, and especially the friends who think I'm a lesbian because I'm in my thirties and still single. Planning a wedding is stressful enough, but planning that kind of wedding with two Type A personalities like my parents (two guesses where I got my personality from) just might push me over the edge.
I've attended weddings that cost six figures. If I had that much money, I would use it to buy a home or start a college fund for my future children, not blow it all on a party that lasts one freakin' day or one weekend. My "dream wedding" would go one of two ways: either I'd get married in City Hall and then go out for a nice lunch with my husband and some close friends (like Carrie and Mr. Big did in Sex and the City) or I'd get married in a community garden and have a small reception in a nice restaurant, like Miranda and Steve did on SATC.
Although I am a big fan of Sex and the City, I am not Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, or Miranda. I'm the female George Costanza, because I wear glasses and I'm usually pissed off at somebody. Basically, if you marry someone as neurotic as I am, be prepared to marry the entire cast of Seinfeld. That means that the majority of your conversations (til' death do you part) will be like the obsessive, nitpicky conversations that George, Jerry, Kramer, and Elaine had in the coffee shop every day. It's one thing if you are also neurotic, but it could be very stressful or hard for you to understand or relate to your partner if you are not also overly self-conscious and over-analytical. However, although I have those "George is getting upset!" tantrums on a regular basis, I know that I am capable of making someone feel happy and loved.
I don't know if I'll ever get married, and there is a part of me that thinks that my neurotic personality and workaholic nature will decrease my chances. I also know that it is important to make compromises and address my own flaws in order to make a relationship with someone work, though I don't think I'll ever be able to completely change who I am (and I wouldn't want to anyway).
I've also started to realize that there are worse things in life than being single, such as marrying the wrong person just so I can have kids, won't be alone, or can finally prove to my parents and their friends that I am not in fact a lesbian ("not that there's anything wrong with that!" as Jerry would say)
I will also add that some of the best writers I've ever read and some of the guys I thought were the most attractive were also the most obsessive, neurotic people I've ever encountered. Actually, my ideal husband would have Jerry Seinfeld's personality (and Chris Hemsworth's looks and Channing Tatum's dancing ability, if I'm going to be completely honest).
What do you think? What kinds of personality traits do you think are important for a happy, loving relationship, and what kinds of personality traits do you think could make a relationship fall apart?
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