When I met him in person, he was just as likable as I had thought. " texts every morning, because he didn't have a predictable bone in his body. In retrospect, it's easy to see that my dream man was an adolescent fantasy. " Romance was presented in these narratives as a thrilling, scientifically implausible series of events, in which neither party ever had to compromise and do something they didn't like. He'd disappear for a couple of days, then call me in the middle of the night and say, "I'm coming over. In his dark moments, he refused to tell me what was bothering him. Unlike Byron, he never withheld admiration; he was never detached or aloof. My girlfriends are wonderful, warm, successful women.
I couldn't remember the last time I met someone who seemed more interested in listening than in talking about himself. But if you scored Evan on the list of traits that my dream man possessed, Evan would score a big fat zero. My dream man didn't have a boring job (unlike poor Evan). Romance was never depicted as a guy who patiently held your shopping bags though he hated shopping, or a guy who called you without fail to ask how your day was. I have to see you right now." He'd say things like, "What if we jumped on the next bus to New York right now? I remember pleading with him not to shut me out, but he invariably did. They're completely sure of what they want in terms of career and family, and they work toward their dreams every day.
More importantly, I thought, his personality was completely different from mine. When he began messaging me, I discovered he wasn't. About two years before I met Evan, I'd met my dream man — the Byron I'd longed for. I no longer saved the affectionate texts he sent me, because I knew there would be many more to follow.
I think he is listening to what I'm saying - but he just doesn't carry the conversation on.
Usually our conversations revolve around what we're going to do next time we meet up.
Perhaps it was his habit of texting me each day to say, "Good morning! I'd never dated a Byron before, but I grew up reading books and watching movies in which he was the romantic hero. "But maybe, just maybe, you could be the girl that's going to ruin my life." I remember being thrilled by that statement, how I tried to sustain myself on it when it became clear that was all the nourishment he could give me. I wasn't surprised, or even angry — it felt like a very Byron thing to do. He didn't hold forth in fascinating soliloquies about how damaged he was emotionally, but he did ask me a lot of dull-seeming questions because he was interested in me — in what I did, how I lived.
" Perhaps it was the fact that he seemed genuinely interested in me and what I had to say. In the stories, there was always a wide-eyed girl and a brooding man who turned to each other in the records store and said, "Wow, I thought no one else liked this! I have a horror of routine." Byron never asked about my own dreams or aspirations. I remember sometimes feeling like a fan standing at the back of a crowd, cheering on a man who never returned the favor. He genuinely enjoyed that I liked to dress up and go out dancing, though he didn't. When I had been with Byron, I shone a little less brightly because he captured all the light in the room. I look at my friends, and I see them dating Byrons.