Symbolically, I’m tardy with this. That kinds of says it all, doesn’t it. 🙂
Ugh. Boo. Match.com bought OkCupid??
I listen to a lot of podcasts about marriage and relationships. On and leading up to V-day there are a lot to choose from. Recent conversations have got me thinking about all this business. I was thinking:
Relationships are about what we need. Relationships are complicated by what we want.
Everyone is different. And everyone is different every day. Or multiple times a day.
I’ve been called a romantic. That should be capitalized or in quotes somehow. A “romantic” in a literary sense, I think, because I’m not romantic, per se. Thoughtful, I would say. Considerate. I’m not sure that would translate to successfully executing a competent Valentine’s Day wooing.
Listening to all of this talk about romance and relationships has got me thinking, though.
1. The impotence of words
Words are not powerless, but it’s become obvious that it’s not words alone that convince people of anything. People convince themselves. I have some creative abilities and have thought in the past that if I just find the right words I can win someone’s favor/attention. Not. Most definitely not.
Like, when someone decides that they’re not going to consider you as potential romantic interest, they’ll have all kinds of reasons by the time the rubber meets the road. Some of these reasons are to spare you embarrassment. Sometimes they don’t make a lot of sense. Or they’re not entirely rational. But that’s not the point, really. The point is, “No. Thanks, but no.”
And the rest, if you’re persistent, is feeding you that rejection in bite sized morsels. You’re too short for me. I don’t want to threaten our friendship. You’re too nice. You’re mean. You’re probably too attentive. You’re too detached. You’re too close. You’re too far.
If that doesn’t work you get (in action as opposed to verbally): “You may have noticed that I have avoided you and any interaction with you for weeks at a time, deviating suddenly from our former, well established social rhythm. This is a hint. Please be so kind as to accept this unspoken missive for its most sincere intent. You are not a candidate.”
If you’ve been in an argument and you were playing the role of rational verbal combatant for that melee you know what I mean about words falling short.
“But you said you wanted that.”
“I know I said that but it’s not what I meant.”
“Well how am I supposed to know what you mean if you don’t say it?”
[Storms off in response]
If you’ve ever had a friend that was in a bad relationship, you also know what I mean. You see it coming. Your friend may even ask you what you think. But no words will convince him/her that they’re making an unhealthy choice or getting involved in something destructive.
More than words
And yet a healthy relationship is all about communication. It’s our unmet expectations that cause tension between us. Communication is about so much more than words, though. Communication means listening, action, transparency, openness, availability and a dash of vulnerability. Trust. Compassion.
Communication isn’t about a conversation. It’s about a state –uh, an atmosphere. An environment.
2. Constantly New
I was listening to a podcast where some of the male hosts were describing their attempts, successes and failures at being romantic. Or romantically validating their wives.
They’d do something one year that was a hit. And the next year something similar was an utter failure. Apparently you should not do the same thing twice. Creativity counts. Noted.
One of the women on the show was describing how one year her husband bought her an expensive gift and she was upset because it wasn’t really thoughtful. The next year he got her something more personal and thoughtful and she was upset that, monetarily, it wasn’t significant.
We’re new people every day. In some cases we have different needs every day. Today we need companionship and intimacy. Tomorrow we need personal space and isolation. Today we just want to be left alone and not pressured. Tomorrow we’re offended that you didn’t call.
It’s amazing that we manage to navigate each other, isn’t it?
Here are some thoughts
Please note that these thoughts and opinions are contained in a blog titled “Why I’m Still Single”. They’re subject to change due to either personal growth or duress. Or social pressure. I’m not an ideologue.
I think the modern day wedding is kind of obscene. It makes no sense to me that people would spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding. That investment should go into a home or car or something helpful for husband and wife to hit the ground running. As opposed to in debt and trying to get over the stress of wedding planning.
A ring that costs thousands of dollars? Good lawd! How about putting that into a house down payment or furniture? A puppy. A year’s supply of diapers for those that plan on having children. A year of gas.
A big party where the worlds of bride and groom come together en masse for the first and possibly the only time is brilliant. But dang. Potluck. That’s all I’m saying.
When I walk down the street I see couples everywhere. It seems so natural. Like that’s the order of things. And it is. Yet it seems so foreign. Of course, every one of those couples has drama. It’s unavoidable unless one of them is imaginary.
And you may ask yourself
How did I get here?
Okay, I was going to write something encouraging for my fellow singularities out there for Valentine’s Day, but I’m way behind now so nevermind.
I definitely find myself wanting to have companionship for the little life adventures. I don’t know what to do about it, though. I don’t have any game. The thought of approaching a stranger based solely on her breasts, butt or whatever just … that doesn’t work for me. I’m not knocking it. Well, I’m knocking it for me. Not for you. Bona fortuna. Some kind of common interest is critical.
A while ago a friend was trying to help me out since I made it clear that this was an area of my life that needs some fixin’. He looks out so he came back with some women he knew. Like, here’s one — she’s really nice — and here’s her online profile. Go.
“Uh. What am I supposed to…”
“Look, if you can’t just introduce yourself and ask her out, you’ve got problems.”
“Exactly. I do have problems.”
If there’s one thing life has repeatedly confirmed for me, it’s that I can’t take off from a standstill. There’s got to be a runway. Or if you prefer, I can’t time travel until 88 mph.
And in my head, a woman isn’t going to be attracted to me until she gets to know me a little. My friend said, “There’s more to attraction than looks.”
“I know that! But you don’t get a chance for them to see those beyond-looks things on a cold call.”
Maybe I should read this more carefully: http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-best-questions-for-first-dates/
when I ponder the possibilities of a relationship, I think about how much I value my alone time. You know, I’m into making music, writing, painting, reading and other activities that are largely solitary. I’m not sure what to do about that either. Something will have to give.
I can’t picture myself un-single. Like when you have a loved one whose face you can’t quite recall. So familiar yet so vague. Like trying to remember the streets of some place you lived a decade ago.
Meanwhile, the key is to do stuff so that’s what I’m doing. New places, new faces.
I figure, live your life and the rest will fall into place.
Better yet, live a life you love with what you have and you’ll be unshaken by circumstance and open to opportunity.