4:24 PM, Friday, January 7th, 2011:
If you're in a the opening stages of a relationship and want to test it? Go see Blue Valentine. It'll make or break it really quick. It's a very simple story showing the beginning of a relationship and years later the end of a relationship and cutting between them. For a guy like me? It was an excruciating reminder of how much you believe in the beginning and how little that matters in the end. She can look you in your eye, believe with all of her heart that it is forever and years later fall completely out of love and change her mind... and men can do the exact same thing.
Now interestingly, this was a screening with a Q&A with Ryan Gosling afterward. I was honestly too devastated at the end of the movie to ask a question (or to get a picture with him as others were doing, sorry for being a bad "Journey" story-teller), but a lady asked a question that reminded me of how strong the need is for most people to control the very things we can't. Although everything in the movie shows how much the woman loved him at the beginning, and then was out-of-love at the end - the lady asking the question convinced herself she never loved him, and that's why it didn't work out. "When you marry someone you're not in love with" was how she saw it. It's such a common "rewrite" of relationship history that even if you're shown that it wasn't true? Some people can't handle that. The only way they can move ahead is to rationalize it that way, and focus on being "in-love" the next time so that doesn't happen. My personal experience with my first wife, Burgundie, and her "I was the bride at my best friend's wedding" line instantly came to mind. Ryan was kind and used the old "you can take whatever you want from it, people see it from their own perspective, etc.", but jeeeeeeeesus was that a psychological mirror, because there were no such scenes in the film. The cold hard truth is it's not really in your control. You can never make "the right choice". You can make an educated guess, but there is no right choice because a relationship involves a variable that is uncontrollable: a human. If I chose to marry CeBe, all would be well... and that is because CeBe is a dog.
Talya of course was sitting next to me thinking: "Oh for the love of fuck, why did I pick this movie to take him to." Ha. She suddenly understood what I had been trying to tell her for months now. And if that surprises you, maybe that should be a bit of insight into how I operate. There is very little "honeymoon" period for me in a relationship. The reason things move fast with me? It's not because I get swept up in love and just jump while gazing into the eyes of the woman I'm with... it's because I do the opposite and talk about the serious shit up front. We may be floating downstream, but the conversation in the raft is the potential boulders a mile ahead. Now it's an even-handed distribution of floating/talking, but I don't waste a lot of time. I talk about concerns immediately and it has a lot to do with why I maintain friendships for so long: no one feels betrayed or blindsided.
My biggest concern with Talya is that she's accustomed to a lifestyle that I will probably never be able to provide. I personally don't give a shit, because I've never wanted that. The only financial thing I've ever actually wanted is the ability to keep my house. After that? I want the ability to create and produce art... and just love. These are the things that fuel me. Now, she says that lifestyle is not important to her and I believe she believes that... right now. In ten years when all of her friends are doing things she can't do, and her friend's kids are getting opportunities that her kids aren't? Something tells me she's not gonna look at me and love how well I sing. She's gonna want to burn my piano for all it represents... maybe.
Now, this is a new and bizarre situation for me because everyone I've ever been with had friends/family surrounding them that were all part of the "struggle". All in similar tax brackets, fighting the good fight, so the dissatisfaction level doesn't come up as much because it's relative. However, if all of your closest friends marry lawyers, doctors or millionaires in real-estate? That "cool" artsy dude is gonna be decidedly uncool in a few years. Oh it's exciting now. It represents everything that those other guys don't. It represents going after your dreams, believing in yourself, romantic risks, talent! Beauty! AHHHH!!! LOVE!!!
...in ten years it represents struggle, heartache and resentment. Again, maybe. I know this isn't an absolute truth, but ya gotta admit I make a pretty impressive point. And this movie showed that to a T. Totally different situations, but what she loved about him in the beginning is no longer true once real life sets in through no fault of his. He never claimed to be anything more and simply promised to love her. And he most certainly did.
We walked out and Talya was noticeably concerned. I said that I felt like I was the "end of the relationship" man, trying to talk to the "beginning of the relationship" woman and was struggling to convey what I saw. She understood and was certain I was about to cut things off. To the point of tears when I didn't. And why didn't I? Because I looked at her and still believed. Not with my heart (that believed long ago), but with my head. I believe she gets it. I mean, the woman has simply never wavered from her calm, confident acceptance of reality. She's so logical I still check for a penis from time to time. I've thankfully not found one, but at this point even if I did I'd probably still go for it.

Lines like that are like a mini-reward for reading the whole entry. :-)

So there's simply no other way to say it:  I believe. This is serious. And as I quoted "Tropic Thunder" to Talya last night when I made this video: "I'm going full retard." No more Adam-lite. I'm putting my full energy into making this relationship incredible. This is the most stable, loving connection I've made with a woman since Jessica left in 2004. I believe.
Now, is it too soon to post this publically? Of course it is. Which is exactly why you continue to read.