Yes, this is a topic I can't get enough of, but then again, when I'm surrounded by the Nation of Denial, how can I? It's there every step of the way, and time and again my anger halts for a moment as I stare in surprise and wonder "could it be they really don't notice?". Then I'm back at being upset because that's how I am: "I don't give a flying fuck they don't notice, they should". Then, though there are the cases of people who deny doing a poor job, and people deny not being as smart as they think they are, this post will be dedicated to those who purposefully ignore the conditions of their love life.
Through movies and stories (I would say books, but how many people read today to actually make books count as cultural references?)... okay, and books (just because shit-stories printed and bound in book formats should be considered so), and soap operas, TV series, telenovelas and others pound time and again into people's mind that there's one goal and one goal only in life: You've got to have Someone (preferably married to that person). In each fairy tale the pricess marries the prince, in each chick flick the girl marries the guy and in each action series, the dude gets the chick. It's not only from the side of the women, though certainly the products launched specially for us push this agenda with more muscle. Prince Charming is supposed to be the best thing in our life. Forget college and all you sacrificed and put up with to build a career, Prince Charming alone worths sending the whole thing down the sewer.
And also, guys, you don't get the girl and you'll end up forever being "the sidekick" of your group. You are the unwanted, the stupid, the funny, the unsuccessful, because you can't land a chick. A joke, always Robin, never Batman. You can become the best in your area of expertise, you can develop skills like nobody, excel in everything, if you don't have at least one chick under your belt, you are a weirdo, a not-wanted, a failure. Don't look at me like that! I can mention a couple of guys who have been the butt of every joke of the group they belong to - whether they are present or not - because of their inability to hook up with a woman.
This kind of environment breeds a particular type of people, who terrified of being in the target of taunting, or being labeled "unwanted" and "failure", they engage in self-destructive activities and behaviors, in a way to secure love (or the illusion of love). There are those who get obsessed with someone without having actually developped a relationship. Those who fall for a friend or a good friend, and imagine they actually have "something" going on even when there's no such something, and the friend is being just a friend. Such a case was this guy I knew sometime ago, lets call him Jack, who had a crush on a coworker of his, lets call him Vic. Jack was gay and the object of his affection wasn't, yet he talked himself into believing that Vic was developping erotic and romantic feelings for him, and so he imagined his mission was to help Vic transition and embrace his own homosexuality. To everybody he knew he told them that though Vic was heterosexual, they were having "something".
You are an outsider (I know, because the guy of this story never got hold of my blog address ^_^), and I bet you are rolling your eyes and thinking "what a moron!". Question is, have you been there? I know I had. Yes, I have. It was this friend, "Pat" - whom I love to bits and pieces - who had always been very special to me. I was sure Pat and I had a connection that was never outspoken, but was there, and it drove me crazy up and down. I convinced myself that I was head over heels for Pat and that Pat had similar feelings until one day I realized it was not so. That day I also realized that my feelings were called "friendship". So yes, sometimes it's good to take a minute to analize what's going on inside your head, and yes, accept that there are friendships that are more intense than others, but they are still a friendship, and not something else.
So yes, eventually keep a bucket of ice handy to stick your head in it and cool down a notch to get to reality, because these imaginary relationships bring you nowhere and can often be negative for you and your friend. How? Well, Jack was so obsessed he got pissed off everytime Vic when out with his girlfriend. If Vic broke up with her, he was happy, if he got a new one, Jack was back at being bitchy. Since there wasn't really any relationship between them, Jack started once spreading rumors about Vic's new girlfriend, which got to Vic's ears. Jack hoped to make Vic break up with the new girl, but instead, Vic got to know the whole truth, how Jack was spreading rumors also about the two of them being lovers, and that marked the end of their friendship.
See? Open your eyes and take a long, hard look at your relationships and make sure everything is really what it seems to be. Some surprises are not pleasant.
The second type of self-deceptionists are those who are in a relationship which is going down the sewer, yet continue to hang on thinking they are getting something out of it. They stay in a toxic relationship spitting venom at each step of the way. Believe it or not, I had also been in one of those. I was young back them and the guy... Rick... was a piece of work. It came the moment when I just wanted him away and looked at any moment spent with him as a chore, yet I didn't break up with him because I felt tied, as if I couldn't do much for myself if I didn't have him around. Couldn't keep the appartment running, nor pay the bills. (I was quite young then, if you wonder.) He wasn't aggressive either, just one of those that don't get anything done, and completely unreliable. Eventually I broke up with him (because I can delude myself, but my sense of "fuck it, do something or I'll have your heart for breakfast" is stronger, thanks Hyne). With him, however, I realized that when you are in a relationship and you can't say a nice thing about your "significant other" without a. thinking for a long time, b. not sounding like you are saying a cliché thing, c. no, you can't no matter how much you try, then it's time to break up. (Actually, if thining about your one doesn't bring the tickling of a smile to your lips, it's time to break up.)
As an example of this there's the case of a woman we'll call Ann. Ann had been dating this guy, Ross, for over fifteen years. They had a girl in common, Jessie, who is pretty much as old as their relationship. Since the first day Ann knew Ross had other women, one of them his own wife, Rebecca, whom Ross said he was divorcing from. Ann still continued seeing Ross, trying to get married to him. Years went by, Ross had a parade of mistresses longer than a beauty pageant contest, and Ann made a scene out of each and every one of them. She wore her nerves thin spying after him, cheking his phone recods, his computer, his drawers, his pockets, his online profiles and every official record available. Got sick each time he realized he bought jewelry or a car to one of his other women or his wife, and came up with demands about "getting her fair share". Not once Ross broke with her with the clear intention of dating a chick half her age, which only sunk further down her self esteem.
Whenever you asked her about Ross, or she told you about him, she could never say a single good thing, except that he had money and was a good fuck (which later she denied saying he didn't wash himself porperly, was lame and made demands she didn't want to fulfill). Though good sex is quite important, it's not nearly enough to stablish a relationship. A fuck-buddy relationship yes, but something more serious no.
I'd like to tell you that they eventually broke up for good, but that's not the case. Ross actually broke up with her once to chase a 20-something girl, and it was "for good". Sad, she got a new boyfriend who treated her well, though he wasn't a rich guy, and she resented he didn't lavish her with presents. Ann did comment it was the first time she felt in love. When the Ross' new girly broke up with him (he was too old for her), Ross went back to Ann. Ann was happy, but he then told her that he would marry her, and thus give her a house, a car and a company. She dumped the new guy and went back to him. He then walked back on the marriage, gave her nothing but sex and a couple of dinners, and so they went back to the old rutine... with the added bonus that Ann found out that Ross hasn't divorced his wife...
Why Ann isn't dumping that motherfucker? Why did she ditch the guy that made her happy for an ass who has always cheated her? Because Ann, like many, can't picture themselves without the other. For me leaving Rick was easy once I remembered that I didn't need him to pay the bills and help me with the rental, because I actually had a life prior to him, and I was freaking happy.
With or without kids or any new additions (home, car, mortgage, pets...), when a relationship isn't making you happy, you can always walk back, break it and land on save footing.
So the next time you will complain about the conditions of your love life take a minute to consider whether you are yourself the cause of it being so, and whether You could do something to be better.