Amelia has been married for the four years I’ve known her, but she usually has a boyfriend, too.
Her marriage is unhappy and her husband travels for work. She keeps telling me about her latest boyfriend — the one who’s going to change everything and make her happy. I don’t remember how many of these have come along in the years I’ve known her.
Amelia saw me at dinner tonight and came over to talk for a few minutes. The man she told me two weeks ago was going to make her happy is now history. She changed her mind about him. There’s nobody new for the moment — and she was in an introspective mood.
“I don’t know what happens,” she told me. “When I first get to know a guy, I think I’ve finally found what I need. I’ve finally found someone who can really love me in a way that [husband] can’t. But after they fall in love with me and want me, too, I completely lose interest. I don’t know why.”
As we talked tonight, something clicked for me. Amelia doesn’t lose interest in these other men because she discovers something wrong with them. She pulls away when they get too close to her — and that’s when she has to find a justification for losing interest.
Amelia’s need for intimacy causes her to go looking for the love she doesn’t have in her marriage, but her fear of real intimacy causes her to run away whenever she thinks she’s found it.