Sex and the city: I got infatuated with very dynamic trainer, but he doesn’t feel the same way for me

I was engaged to a conservative simpleton and the families set a date for the marriage. However, during the engagement period I attended a professional training program and got infatuated with my very dynamic trainer. I fantasised about him and just could not get him off my mind. I started getting irritable and snappy with my fiancé and finally called off my engagement much to the shock of my family. Now my training is over and I keep finding ways to connect with my trainer but all my efforts have gone in vain. My trainer doesn’t feel the same way for me. I feel frustrated and yet I know I’m living in a fool’s paradise with my fantasies. I don’t know how to live in reality. Please help.

- Paradise is a construct where it is believed that there is a ‘pain free’ and ‘complication free’ existence meant for those worthy enough to have found it. Alas! There is ‘no such thing’. There are no perfect romances or perfect relationships…no perfect journeys and no perfect solutions! Human beings learn to ‘make do with’ and ‘selectively influence’ their surroundings as a way to gain control and better cope with their personal circumstances.

Your fiancé is a man who initially made the cut and then ‘he didn’t’. In thinking about your dynamic trainer as ‘the man for you’ – you perhaps found your fiancé falling short as ‘the man for you’. Your selection criteria changed.

Unfortunately, when our fantasies come crashing, they bring with them the sour realisation that we do not in fact control the way in which we are received and perceived by others. There are no exceptions to this. If the ‘conservative simpleton’ (as described by you) was not palatable to you, then that it all there is to it. No further analysis or counter measures change the fact that you were perhaps not really that into him as you first thought you were.

A marriage isn’t like a shopping cart where you can add items to your wishlist and then decide what you finally want by removing certain items. There are far too many nuances involved. People and their families get involved. Their emotions get involved. There is also the weight of ‘expectations to be met’ which can sometimes be intimidating to those involved. You will need to decide what you want for yourself.

Is it possible that you blame yourself for letting a ‘sure thing’ slip away? You were slated to get married but there is neither a bird in the hand nor one in the bush currently. This option-less conundrum that you find yourself in was a choice that you made based on your changing needs.

You need not blame yourself for changing your mind. People change what they want all the time. However - realistically speaking, one cannot expect the world to keep up with one’s changing desires and standards since everyone has different ways to ‘get by’ in this world.

To live in reality would mean to accept that you’ll often be let down by people and situations. However, that does not necessarily mean that you will find yourself disinvesting in everything that you once cared about. We’re all products of our own thinking. We buy into belief systems based on what we witnessed and yearned for – while growing up. This is the objective truth.

If your trainer does not share your affections, then that is a reality you are going to have to learn to accept if you want to move on. As adults, we are sometimes faced with the bitter truth of our hopes getting frustrated when things simply don’t work out.

What your family wants for you may not coincide with what you want for yourself. It’s important to tell the difference between these 2 agendas. Those in happy marriages often share that that they got married to invest emotionally in a solid companion who they can be themselves with.

Since marriages last a lifetime, most people look to be romantically involved with someone they can trust, respect, care for, feel attracted to, love and someone they can communicate openly and effectively with. It’s vital for you to be honest with yourself about the reasons why you are looking to get married.

Know that whichever man you marry, he won’t be perfect in every way. This is the first step of living in reality. An accurate picture of relationships and men would typically reflect the world as it is rather than how you wish it’d be. People deserve a fair chance to be themselves so that their relationships do not feel like ‘play-acting’ towards a movie like romantic benchmark and a social-index-building exercise.

Your family’s shock of the situation is likely to die down as soon as you take ownership of what you want and communicate this to them. They may choose to accept it or not. That is not your business. Be honest about this with yourself and with them. There’s nothing to be afraid of. You liked someone other than the man you were supposed to marry.

Your indecision about this may have earned you the ill will and scorn of that boy and his family but atleast you have been clear and honest with yourself about the situation. This way you are able to deal with and experience your personal truth.