I don't need your civil war

Sometime around 3:30 this morning, I got up for a drink of water. Then I crawled back into my cozy bed, turned my TV on, set the timer for 30 minutes, and tried to get back to sleep.

My body was all over that idea.

My brain had some reservations.

While it wasn’t working well, it was definitely active.

About 10 minutes in, I heard some mellow music on my TV, as well as some discussion about relationships. (It was probably a commercial for herpes meds.) And in my strange ‘dreaming while somewhat awake’ state, I started thinking about life and love and relationships. You know, all of that crap.

It was at this point that I came up with the theory that there are three distinct Peters when it comes to relationships. (And sometimes to “relationships.”)

Phase 1 Peter – This is the pretty laid-back dude that most people meet. He’s moderately funny. He’s sometimes entertaining. He’s a relatively good guy.

It seems that when a woman meets Phase 1 Peter, their reaction usually falls into one of three categories:

1) “He’s kinda funny. I’m going to talk to him.”
2) “He’s a sarcastic prick.”
3) “Yeah, I don’t get this dude AT ALL. What’s for lunch?”

Fair enough.

Phase 1 Peter’s reaction to meeting most women for the first time:

“I don’t know you, so I don’t really give a fuck.”

He just says whatever pops into his head.

He’s typically goofy and easy-going.

If he likes you, Phase 1 Peter can hang around for quite a while. But, only until the arrival of…

Phase 2 Peter – This guy, man…

There’s one in every group.

When Phase 1 Peter starts to really like someone (rare) and/or thinks that she might like him, something bad happens.

This is where our story turns, people. So, if you are scared, or if you don’t have the stomach for it, back away now. Nobody will think any less of you. This is not going to be funny. This is a journey into the deepest, darkest recesses of my soul. And you don’t even get one of those miners helmets with the light on it.

I’m not even sure where to start with this dude.

I think the key word would be “overanalyzey.” (All phases of Peter bastardize the English language whenever the mood strikes.)

Phase 2 Peter lives entirely in his own head. He is crunching numbers and filling in mental spreadsheets up there.

He is thinking things like:

“Why did she say it like THAT?”
“In her last e-mail did she use fewer exclamation marks than usual?”
“Does she seem less interested? I think she does. Does she? Maybe not. Oh man, I don’t want to be THAT guy. I don’t want her saying to her friends, “Guess who talked to me again. Homeboy just can’t take a hint!””

Every bit of communication is analyzed for hidden codes.

Before Phase 2 Peter says ANYTHING, he weighs out the potential impact of the words. A one man focus group — with a lot of different voices — is held in his head.

It’s exhausting.

All of this, of course, causes Phase 2 Peter to be much less funny/interesting/entertaining than Phase 1 Peter.

This can cause a shift in the behaviour/attitude of the woman. (Even if it doesn’t, Phase 2 Peter is very likely to imagine it any way. He’s good like that. Fucker.)

Sensing this (real or imagined) shift, Phase 2 Peter becomes overly… earnest, I suppose. Nothing sexier than that.

So, even if chica wasn’t pulling away before, she sure as hell should be at this point.

Sometimes — thankfully only sometimes — Phase 2 Peter will become a little indignant.

“Doesn’t she know that it is just Phase 2 Peter? Dude is NUTS. What’s her problem? Fuck that chick. She thinks Dane Cook is funny. Bah!”

Phase 2 Peter may burn bridges or just stop communicating all together.

But, despite all the odds against it, sometimes a woman gets to meet…

Phase 3 Peter – I LOVE this dude. I want to watch the Super Bowl with him.

Usually when a woman meets him, she ends up sticking around for a long time. (Possibly because she is exhausted from running the gauntlet that is Phase 2 Peter.)

Phase 3 Peter is supportive. He’ll spend months trying to find someone the perfect birthday gift. He’ll remember your favourite flower, even if you told him ages earlier.

He’s got all the good stuff of Phase 1 Peter, but he will also let you see behind the curtain.

And, best of all, every incarnation of Phase 3 Peter is better than the one before. He learns. He adapts. Unlike Phase 2 Peter, who despite knowing he is doing it, can’t seem to change his behaviour. He’s like a pigeon. Or a government employee.

Thankfully, once I worked out this theory in my head, I was able to go back to sleep.

You know, the next time someone asks why I’m still single, I should point them to this post.

Especially to that bastard Phase 2 Peter.

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  1. sybil law says:

    Awww, but the ones (or I guess, one) that sticks around gets a really great guy. It’s the overall package that counts in the end. (Think what you want about the word “package”. Haha just kidding… maybe…)
    That, and backrubs. Remember the backrubs.
    I really don’t know why you’re still single. What up with the Canadian chicks?

  2. Peter says:

    sybil: Thanks for kind words. But, even Phase 2 Peter gives back rubs. (Of course he stresses about whether or not he is doing a good job of it.) As for Canadian women… they are clearly insane. It’s the only possible explanation.

  3. Cyber D says:

    Does P2P annoy the shit out of his buddies or does he keep everything to himself?

    Thankfully there are only 2 sides to CyberD. The “act interested because I want that chick” side and the “sneaking out of the bed before they wake up” side.

  4. Peter says:

    cyber d: Thankfully P2P keeps most of it to himself. The voices in his head are paranoid about others finding out about his business.

  5. Princess of the Universe says:

    As a Canadian girl, I obviously have to take offense to the insanity comment. I blame East Coast girls. For a good time, head on out to the prairies Peter!

  6. TK says:

    If you want, I’ll find this Phase 2 Peter and beat the fuck outta him.

  7. 123Valerie says:

    You know, I have a “Phase 2 Peter” as well. Not in the actual sense. That would be weird.

    But, we all hit that in-between-stage where we decide we like the other person, but we must (like, obsessively) figure out if they like us as much as we like them so we don’t look dumb because God forbid we have actual feelings.

    Hence the overanalyzey behavior, like counting exclamation marks.

    The cure is simple: Get with a lovely lady who will happily make the first move and can clearly communicate “Hey, Peter, I like you,” so that you can bypass P2P and move right to P3P.

    I’m actually most curious about Phase 4 Peter.

  8. jazz says:

    the guide to peter.

    you know, any stalkers you have may find this interesting.

    not that you have stalkers.

  9. molly says:

    So which Peter do I know? The girl that stays forever is going to like all versions of you. That’s why she’ll be the one.

  10. Clink says:

    Phase 2 Peter is like Phase 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Clink.

    M is the only one to have gotten through – hence why he’s still around.

  11. Peter says:

    princess: I do have friends and family in Calgary…

    tk: You know, he totally deserves a punch in the junk.

    123valerie: I’ve never even met Phase 4 Peter. But, I think we’d be safe in assuming that he can transcend time and space.

    jazz: Not even a stalker could put up with Phase 2 Me. “You know, I don’t think she is stalking me with as much effort as she used to.”

    molly: You are very wise. You know Friend Peter. He’s all right. He’d help you get rid of a dead hooker.

    clink: But, being a little neurotic is super endearing in a woman.

  12. Mood Indigo says:

    Ok – so you just need to channel Phase 2 Peter into insight into girls – because that’s what WE do. So use him in your favor to figure us out!

  13. Slightly Disorganized says:

    I like all phases of Mr. DeWolf. If I lived in Nova Scotia, I might make phase 2 Peter take me out on a date.

  14. Peter says:

    mood indigo: So, Phase 2 Peter may have some sort of insight? I was totally ready to write that dude off.

    sarahleigh: Why thank you. And I suspect that “make” is likely the best way to go with P2P.

  15. MissE says:

    You have Phases?
    Wow.
    I’m fairly sure that the reason I’m still single is coz there is currently only one phase that can be reached in the world that is MissE. And it is the yeah-right-sure phase, where the voices in my head all tend to agree that it is highly unlikely that that guy is in anyway actually interested in me.

    I am currently in the process of trying to gag and or kill these voices but they are slippery and wily little b-yatches.

    Phase 2 Peter sounds like a challenge… some girls like a challenge, you know.

    And if it ain’t working in Canada… well come on down to Australia (I nearly went with “come on Down Under” there but thought better of it) because here you would get to be “foreign guy” and we Aussie girls love a guy with a great accent…

  16. Keshi says:

    alright..atleast u found out WHY ur still single. I dun even know WHY Im still single. Maybe cos Im such a freak? :(

    Keshi.

  17. skinny says:

    but peter, you just need to show the girl your blog (or stuff that you write), and she should know you have these phrases, or maybe more…

    the “over-analyzey” part is all over here, so are the other parts. unless you have a complete bi-polar thing going on here with the real peter and the blog peter (which i doubt). i don’t think girls will be scared away.

    whether you are too picky… that’s another thing though.

  18. Eve says:

    Dude, everyone has a Phase 2 self. I can’t even tell you about the way-too-long Friendster emails I sent one guy (I’m cringing at the memory of it), the obsessive calling, and general overanalyzing every text message. Shitty. Everyone has a mini-stalker inside waiting to get out. It’s normal.

  19. Caron says:

    Did you see the light bulb go off?
    I think my man and I are in a bit of a phase 2 funk. Moving forward.

  20. CamiKaos says:

    Phase 2 Peter clearly needs to be slapped, or drink more…

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