“We Need To Talk…”
Nothing strikes fear into a person’s heart more than those four dreaded words. They rank right up there with, “The toilet overflowed again!” and “Hey, Baywatch is on!”
Love is a funny thing. It’s one of those extremes to where you’re either soaring forty thousand feet above ground or trying to claw your way out of big heaping pile of bantha poodoo. Love even comes in stages. There’s a stage where you feel like you’ve got a runner’s high and a stage where things have settled down to where you are both comfortable laying in bed trading Pokémon with each other on your Nintendo DSes.
For the record, this is a bantha. I am still waiting for George Lucas to explain why Luke and Obiwan didn’t have to watch where they stepped.
It took me thirty years to figure out what makes relationships tick, though in my defense Chip N Dale: Rescue Rangers kept me distracted in my early years. I did have a crush on Lynn from ALF and Stephanie from Full House when I was eight but I don’t think that counts.
Turns out I had great taste as an eight year old.
I’ve done my fair share of reading books on relationships like any good logical guy would. Some of the theories are sound and some of it is pure hogwash. Most of the books I read describe acting a certain way to attract a mate. Bullcuckie.
Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture. Go over to your office window or go outside and take a look down your street. What do you see? Lots of cars? Lots of buildings or houses? Now imagine you’re on google maps and spin your mouse wheel backwards, zooming out of your area. Zoom out again. Again. Good. Now ponder.
Should have made the left… (Don’t get it? Watch your Bugs Bunny, kids.)
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, there are millions of people on this planet, all with varying characteristics. I submit that books telling you how to act won’t work all the time because not all people respond the same way to stimuli. These books have some excellent points, don’t get me wrong, but don’t stress out over memorizing pick up lines you wouldn’t in a million years think of saying to another person.
It seems to me that a lot of these tips are centered around picking up one night stands to where you have no intention of seeing the other person again. They won’t work in the long-term. Why? Because…these books tell you to do things you normally wouldn’t do, thus you aren’t truly being yourself.
My idea of being happy in a relationship is being able to come home and totally geek out over a new sci show to my significant other instead of pretending I hate the genre just so that I don’t come off as being supposedly ”weird.” I tried pretending once in my younger days while I was dating and I almost lost a girl because of it.
The simple truth is, you can’t lie about who you are over a long period of time. You shouldn’t have to. Your significant other should love you and respect you for who you are, not try to change you or get you to do things you’re not comfortable doing for their own selfish gains.
No, really…I’ll watch from down here.
I would underline that and put it in italics but I think you get the idea. Would you really want to be with someone who wants you to be a certain way before they would give you the time of day? Even the prettiest people can be poison underneath and it takes time to temper your hormones with rational thought when dealing with someone you find attractive, especially if you’re not good at socializing in the first place.
Going on a date? Be yourself. Bump into someone you find attractive at the store? Be yourself. Vomit your strawberry dackery into the lap of the sexy person in front of you? Well, there’s not much you can do to fix that.
I’m pretty sure even Lassie wouldn’t find this attractive.
Sure, being yourself can mean being alone for a while, especially if your interests aren’t compatible with the people you know. Just because you’ve had bad luck with relationships in the past does not mean you need to change. Change is something you want to do to improve yourself, not something you need to do to get a date. When someone DOES come along that finds you irresistible, you’ll take comfort and find happiness in the fact that this person digs the real YOU.
Being in a relationship is a whole different story. You’re going to fight. You’re going to argue. You’re going to get upset with each other. You’re going to do things that drive the other person bonkers and vice versa. Remember what I said about google maps? Yeah, you’re bound to do something that doesn’t click with someone else. It’s life.
A successful relationship needs communication. Both parties have to be open with each other and trust each other. If you can’t rely on your significant other than what’s the point of being together at all? A successful relationship needs a 110% committment on both ends to survive. If one person is doing all of the work then it’s just a matter of time before said person gets frustrated and leaves. Why pour your heart out for someone who never returns the feelings? Why work three jobs to support the both of you when the other is home grenade spamming on Call of Duty in his or her underwear for twenty hours a day?
A one sided relationship is doomed to fail, no matter how turned on you get when your significant other slips on the Power Glove.
I don’t claim to be an expert…far from it. I just know that in order to make someone else happy, you yourself have to be happy and comfortable with who you are. If you look in the mirror and you’re not sure what you’re looking at, then how is a prospective date going to see you? If there is one thing that most books and casanovas agree on, that I agree with, is that having self-confidence is a big plus to winning over a mate. What I don’t agree with is the ape-like tendency to insult and beat on your significant other in the name of dominance. There’s a difference between teasing / having a sense of humor and being an overall unlikable abusive asswipe.
Along with communicating, people in successful relationships cooperate and compromise. It’s okay to try new things at your significant other’s urgings…maybe you don’t realize that you will in fact like some things you hadn’t considered before. Then again, if they get angry and play the silent treatment game with you for not being ready to leave your comfort zone then that is a totally different story.
So how can you tell when you need to stay or leave your partner? Ask yourself the simple question with a not so simple answer…”Am I happy?” Whether you’re in a relationship or looking for one, just be yourself and give it time. The rest will fall into place.
Or you could do it the Captain Kirk way, though I wouldn’t recommend it.