Just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Just in time for Valentine’s Day!
At some point in every relationship, you end up having the “what is your favorite x?” conversation and go down books, movies, etc. I once went out with a girl and we were having this conversation when we got to music.
“Oh, I’m not really into music.” she muttered. I think I kind of sat there incredulous, when she backtracked a bit, saying something about listening to the local top 40 station when she is in the car.
We did not go on a second date. I later tried explaining this to friends without coming off as some Seinfeldian freak who is too picky (she’s got man hands!) And the best inarticulate reason I could come up with is that it shows a person is without passion if they don’t like music. But a friend wrote a post about how she has attached certain music to certain boyfriends and how important that is. It is spot on:
You see, music is an intensely personal, sustainable–free–gift that just keeps giving, for weeks or even years. I don’t want your jewelry. I’ll exclaim over it and toss it in a drawer. Nice dinners are delicious and then forgotten. But play me a beautiful song I’ve never heard and will never hear anywhere else and you have me.
Even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll know that years from now I’ll be thinking of you while I lay on the beach, get ready to go out, and maybe even with a wry smile while I cuddle with someone else on the couch. He doesn’t have to know.
It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.
But what happens if we never lose our past loves?
I am reading the paper, and the bartender—23, maybe?—is updating the other patron on her love life. She’d been seeing a guy, but it fizzled out. He started spending more time with another girl instead, and the bartender didn’t like him quite enough to put herself out there and pursue an exclusive arrangement, so it fizzled out, which has been kind of a bummer. She is explaining to the other patron that one element of the bummer is, because she was linked to guy and his friends on Instagram, she has had an automatic view onto his ongoing life. She could pick up her phone and watch the other girl riding his motorcycle, straddling the bike that she, the bartender, had imagined herself on. The other patron wondered, “What ever happened to the romance of ‘I’m never gonna see you again”?
“In the utopian paradise of a spiritually enlightened world, “I love you” means much more than the expression of deep affection and attraction. It means “I trust you.” Think about it. For most of us, those words are not necessarily synonymous. It’s easier to tell somebody you love them than to tell them that you trust them. More often than not, love tends to amount to a strong emotion of affinity, fondness, intimacy, longing, and attachment. To be honest, it is an experience that, under the light of close scrutiny, is neither as profound nor inherently meaningful as it appears to be. We easily allow ourselves to feel affection or attraction without becoming truly vulnerable, without dropping our defenses. But if we want to know the extraordinary freedom that the awakening of profound trust bestows upon us, we must open ourselves up far more that most of us feel naturally inclined to do.
When we permit ourselves to trust deeply, we are letting another human being into our heart and into our soul. We have accepted the good intentions of another so deeply that we allow them to step so close to us that we cannot protect ourselves any longer. Now we are wide open and when we meet another in the infinite expanse of true vulnerability and profound intimacy, the experience is identical to mystical intimacy with God or Spirit. No boundaries, one Self, infinite freedom, and joy beyond measure. This kind of trust is more profound and more significant than any love that is merely personal. In this truly transpersonal love, through our relationship with the other, a new inner world opens up. This love, based on trust, is a sacred world of boundless freedom and infinite space. No fear whatsoever of loss or betrayal. This love means I’m always with you, forever.”
I’m not picky. As long as she’s smart, pretty, and sweet, and gentle, and tender, and refined, and lovely, and carefree…
It’s strange how the phone is the next step in social connection these days, as if that is somehow more serious, more personal, more dangerous than, say, letting someone into your daily thoughts and photos.
I had a discussion with a friend about whether one ever gets too old to stay with a friend instead of getting a hotel. I made a comment that I thought I was reaching the precipice where I would no longer feel comfortable when visiting a city to ask a friend if I could crash on their couch. I felt like I am at the point where I should just pony up for a hotel room.
She expressed that she thought any reason to visit friends is welcome, and she would love to have anyone stay with her. I have to imagine there comes a point when this is inappropriate. I suppose it comes down to the reason behind the trip. If it is to visit the friend, of course I would feel comfortable staying with them. If I’m just passing through town though, I’d feel like I was burden.
That got me thinking about roommates. When is too old to have roommates? You probably can’t still be living with roommates at 50.
I’ve noticed a lot of my friends getting married lately. It seems I get a save the date every month now. While also helping me develop a complex about being the last single person of my friends, I also wonder if perhaps roommates are just proxies for spouses. You split costs and household responsibilities, share events together, discuss problems and happenings in your lives, and your social circles start to meld together. On the surface, the relationship seems very similar.
There is an old saying about “playing hard to get” or being coy. How does it hold up in reality? Do we really enjoy the chase as much as the catch? Or, would we rather know that the person we desire is just as into us are we are into them?
Turns out, if you want to grab a girl’s attention, don’t pay her attention at all. Or, at least come off a bit mysterious.
From the Huffington Post, a report on a study out of UVA about female reaction to men’s attraction in them.
The results were clear, and a bit surprising. As described in the online version of the journal Psychological Science, the women were more attracted to the men who liked them a lot — much more attracted than they were to men who were lukewarm in their feelings. This isn’t all that surprising, and it lends support to the reciprocity principle. But — and it’s a big “but” — the women were most attracted to the men whose feelings remained unknown. They found these mystery men even more attractive than men who openly declared their attraction.
So, women liked guys who admitted to liking them. It made the women feel comfortable and safe. However, “nice guys” the world over know that girls may say they like all that, but what they really love is uncertainty, the bad boy. Girls love drama. And being able to spend time wondering “does he like me, or like me like me” is like catnip for women. Now, before you scream “sexist!” – it’s science.
The researchers asked the women how often they thought about the different men — how frequently they “popped into their head” — during the time before they made their ratings. The women spent more time musing about the uncertain men than the others, suggesting that having a man in one’s thoughts can increase attractiveness. These women — the ones contemplating a mystery man — were also in a better mood than the women who had been flattered or deflated.
If you really want to dig into this, girls like proving they are good enough for a guy. I’d argue the girls wanted the opportunity to impress the “unsure” guy. The guy who is already won over – probably a shallow player or a loser to be smitten so quickly. The disinterested one – screw him, he doesn’t know what he is missing. But the unsure guy… I’ve passed the initial tests (yay gym membership!) but I’ll really win him over with my personality! I wonder why he doesn’t totally love me? Maybe he dates supermodels and I’m just not up to his standards. What a catch he would be! (and so on..)
Finally, in general there is also the fact that anyone mysterious is attractive. The stranger you flirt with on the subway could be anyone. You can make up all these fantastic back stories about them to fulfill your wildest dreams and escape your mundane life. The person you know already is just boring. You know their personality flaws and how often they do their laundry. Not exciting.
Lesson: Say less. Be on the fence. Disappear without explanation. Flirt with other girls in front of her. Treat her like your sister.
A new study about relationships was discussed on Salon this past week. The theory is that female successes in education and the workplace is making casual hookups without relationships more common.
Women outnumber men on college campuses, they are making great strides in the working world. This is good. However, everyone wants to date someone equal to them in intelligence, income, status, etc. No one really likes to date down. (I think this is especially true with women. You rarely see the male equivalent to a trophy wife.)
It’s not that young educated women don’t marry — in fact they have the highest odds of getting and staying married — it’s that if you look at the whole relationship scene out there today, more than ever women feel like they’re competing for men. In American colleges, 57 percent of students are women and 43 percent are men. That’s a radical reversal of where we were 30 or 40 years ago. Presuming that people are attracted to people who are like them educationally, it means looking for secure relationships becomes challenging because the sex ratio is so imbalanced.
So, with women succeeding more than Men, the pool of attractive, qualified, equivalent Men is getting smaller. This means the traditional method where guys would court girls is flipped. The women feel like they have to compete for the men because the numbers are skewed against them. The best way to get a guy’s attention? (hint, despite what your mother told you- its not through his stomach) Sex.
The cold-hard truth is that women’s successes have left them with a small pool of similarly educated and financially stable men, they say. As the authors put it in a press release, “It’s created an imbalance that tips relationship power in the direction of the men. Instead of men competing for women, today women feel like they must compete for men.”
So, girls are giving it up easier than they did in the past. They know that if they don’t hook up quickly and without the traditional requirements of a relationship, another girl likely will. Simple economics of supply and demand.
The women wind up competing with each other — not necessarily to marry because they’re not interested in marriage at that point — but they compete with each other to attract men. How do you compete with other women to attract men? Well, sex is the way to get his attention. It’s the opposite of a cartel effect where women would say, “All right, we need to band together and artificially restrict the price of sex and get it high, even if we don’t want to, in order to extract things from men.” It used to be women would shame each other for selling low.
Do you see this playing out in the real world? Do you feel like you have to compete for guys’ attention instead of guys courting you? Or, do you think this entire study is crap, and women are just embracing the benefits of being equals to men, and figuring out that they can have relationship free sex without outdated consequences like getting a reputation?