Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Damage, Deceit and Dating: The Great Game

Due to the interests and subcultures I have talked about on this blog it may come as a surprise to no one that I am currently a single man with a messy room and a wardrobe full of t-shirts printed with obscure pop culture references that no one normal would understand.
If you don't get it, I'm officially better than you
Surprisingly enough it wasn't always this way, in fact up until a few months ago I was in a relationship with a girl (a real one) and had been for four years. We had moved in together last year. Everything was going well and I was planning to marry her. Then I found out that she had been cheating on me with one of my best friends from university. I found out while she was at his (he was a mutual friend who I though I could trust) by stumbling across pictures and videos she had made for him as a valentines day present on her laptop.
This is a dramatisation, I am not actually a cat. Also I was crying more.
I'm not going to bore you with the details of the shitstorm that followed but suffice to say we are no longer together, the dream is over, I don't trust her any more and I love her less and less each day. The advice -  some good and some crazy ("you should shit in her bed" being a personal favourite) - and condolences I've received have helped me and soon I will be out of our house and she will be out of my life. Good times. The crowd goes wild. Everybody laughs.
Now this isn't another livejournalesque first world problems rant about how women are bitches and how she never deserved me or that she was holding me back. Actually I wanted to share some personal revelations I've had recently as a single person about straight relationships and dating as a twenty-something. Obviously anything I have to say is indicative of the position I'm in at the moment and I'm still re-building the lego house that is my psyche (as opposed to stepping all over the pieces and hurting my feet) but our wounds define us so I hope I still have some interesting things to say in spite - or maybe because of - this.

The Mirrored Wilderness Forces us to Build Castles

Love is pain I hear you say, love is a cruel and bitter way to pay you back for all the faith that you've ever had in your brain. This is a perspective many of us have adopted as single young adults and it's as dangerous as it is sadly often correct. Most of us have been burned before so we erect emotional fortresses in our minds and protect out feelings behind self defence mechanisms and portcullis' of passive aggression. It's a common tragedy to meet someone who you feel you could have a real connection with if they would just let down the drawbridge once in a while.
No I don't mean like that, dirty Internet!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we should knock down the castle and set out without protection, it's just important to make sure you know the way out or in should the right person come calling. If you don't know the layout of your particular stronghold I suggest you have someone help you write a map.

There is no Such Thing as a "Soul Mate" and you Would Hate them if There Was

The concept of a Soul Mate is one that has bugged me ever since I've been having lasting meaningful relationships for one simple reason. It's a form of dehumanisation on par with sexual abuse. Now I understand that's a bold statement and it would be remiss of me not to explain myself. We can dehumanise our mates in two ways; by can dismissing their feelings or idolising them (an interesting thing to note is that pornography does these two things simultaneously). 

No one is that perfect for anyone else and everyone has their fair share of issues. Take me for example; I'm sensitive, empathetic, articulate and creative but I am also prone to bouts of extreme self doubt, misanthropy, social anxiety and blunt stubbornness. I will never be perfect for anyone all the time and I don't want to be. 
Seriously, fuck this guy. He probably has a sex dungeon. And Syphilis
Constantly seeking a Soul Mate leads to the same form of emotional wanderlust that destroyed my last relationship and hypothetically if you met yours your wouldn't like them. We need the little imperfections in our relationships because otherwise there would be nothing to overcome or use to define the good times against. Acceptance is one of the most important things we can give another human being and it's selfish to constantly seek unrealistic perfection. Speaking of which...

Guys: we Need to Learn that the best Solution is Often not Trying to Fix Things

As men we like to fix things. As a boy I would take things apart just so I could fix them again. Sometimes we can fix things for our girlfriends for example: 
  • There is a spider in the bath.
  • I can't put up these shelves.
  • No one has checked out my ass as I've left a room recently.
But what's more important than this is learning a sense of stillness. Sometimes women just need you to relax, make them a cup of tea and watch Buffy re-runs with them. Surprisingly enough actually attempting to solve the mysterious 'problem' that is causing her apparent bad feelings by interrogating her will actually make her feel worse. Maybe this will lead to her being passive aggressive and possibly even an argument about something neither of you really care about. Maybe you might think you are winning that argument but that will make her cry. Then you will loose because lady tears are magic. 

It's ok, just don't listen to her sobbing. Be strong. Be str- oh man I've seriously F-ed this up
My dad has always told me to make sure that a battle is worth winning before you try and we as men need to be an anchor for our partners. Anchor's don't do anything apart from sit there and weather the storm but without them ships would get smashed to bits on rocks.

Women: You Need to Learn That not Talking to us About Things will not fix Them

The last point I made may have seemed slightly sexist to all the ladies that read this blog (of which there are many I'm sure) and that's because I'm stupid. In-fact many men are. Sometimes we do things and say things that piss you girls off. We would probably apologise if we knew but often we don't notice. 

It seems the general modus operandi for many girls I know is to not tell their significant other about these instances and instead tell me about it (I guess I have one of those friendzonable faces) and that's unfortunate; we would love to talk about the crazy shit we do because it helps us grow as men. If we think you're being petty we will tell you but generally your criticisms will help improve us and our lives with you. This has to be tempered with respect and the ability to pick your moments but keeping things from us only leads to damage in the long term.

So these are the things I have been thinking recently. Are they revelatory? Probably not. Are they original? Definitely not. I know I'm probably treading old ground for some of those older and wiser out there but I hope someone somewhere finds this useful. 

Hey at least I'm not still banging on about God and that.

Stay Crunchy Internet

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