Saturday, 5 January 2013

Love, relationships, and other crazy things you might not know about me (Part 2)

I’ve told myself I have to spend my precious time preparing for my life ahead. I can’t be muddling around with a girl, monopolising and diverting my time to get to know her. There are far more important things to do and I have to focus. Getting a girlfriend would set those things back too far. They’d be on the backburner and I’d suddenly get less time to concentrate.

I’m sure I’ve actually said this to other real people in the past. I know I’ve thought it. Things would be a lot different if scheduling my time around what my significant other is doing became a thing. I wouldn’t be able to just go a do something; I’d have to bounce it off her first. My life would be way too different. So there’s no way I can get a girlfriend, no way. Now is the only time I have to get better at my life and it’s all about “Project ME” at the moment.

Well, perhaps there’s some truth to that. Taking care of my life is very important and a big part of my life is spent becoming a better person. I have a pretty good idea how short life is and I know that screwing up along the way can set a person right back. Very rarely do people get a second chance in life if they’ve screwed up and there’s no way I’m going to let a stupid relationship bury me in that dark hole. But surely being in a relationship with a female human being is just as important.

I’ve seen good people devote too much time to another person only to have it come crashing down around them as things inevitably don’t work out. They knew they it was happening long before it played out. They know they could have done something about it earlier, but they didn’t. They just got stuck in a rut and accepted it was going to be reality for the rest of their lives. I think some people like that are miserable, while others have adopted a sense of Stockholm syndrome and learned to psychologically live with their predicament. I want neither. I want a relationship without those pitfalls. 

I like the people that are totally comfortable with the other person. There’s very little their significant other could ever do that would destroy their relationship. They’ve probably lowered their standards for what the perfect opposite sex actually is. I don’t believe for a second they truly think their wife or husband is the most beautiful in the world. That’s a little something people say to keep the other happy, they both know it’s not true. Maybe they’ve actually struck on some sort of real love and everything works better together.

Then again, perhaps living life with another person doesn’t hamstring in the way I think it might. Maybe it will enrich my life. Sure, you can still do all the things you used to, just in moderation. Things might actually need to be scheduled a bit better now. I imagine I could still grab a book and read almost whenever I wish; I’d just need to be more careful about how long I dedicate myself to that task. Having someone else around would change things, but probably not for the worse. I’d actually be able to bounce ideas off a real person and I wouldn’t necessarily be alone when I’m out. I can’t actually see a relationship being totally detrimental to my lifestyle. Many other important figures around the world, people I respect and listen to, have partners and seem to get along just fine. Then again, there are plenty of people throughout history that have forgone relationships in favour of their dreams.

It’s a hard one. There’ll be some things that I won’t like if I get into a relationship, but there’ll be other things I’ll love. The balance is crucial, finding that balance is important. I actually don’t think I am all that worried about a relationship messing up my life. It’s probably just one of those excuses I’ve used too much in my own head to justify why I can’t get into relationships. Or why I can’t keep them.

The world is a pretty superficial place. Disney told us there’s nothing wrong with being different and if you struggle to fit in with society’s expectations. In those stories, there was always a way to fix your problem. No physical affliction was too great that magic couldn’t fix. However, the Beast from Beauty and the Beast had to change into a handsome prince before Belle could love him. There was no real reconciliation with the reality of the Beast’s superficial looks. Perhaps the heart of the Beast really was handsome and he was a noble prince all along, the magic only revealed his inner nature. But the reality of the Beast transforming into a prince to give Belle someone “in her league” to fall in love with is loud and clear. You may be a good person inside. You may even be the best person. But if you want to get the relationship of your dreams, then you’ll have to change yourself or fail.

The world loves beautiful people, and we’re all part of this world. We’ve been raised to expect a beautiful person to come into our lives especially for us. We’re the hero of this story and our life is important. We expect a gorgeous person to fall for us, or the tale isn’t complete. At the end of every legend the hero always gets the lovely lady, or the girl always gets the charming man. But there are only so few of these beautiful people around, and so many of the normal folk, that it must be a pipe-dream.

Sure it seems obvious to discover that supermodels don’t grow of trees. Some people aren’t actually attracted to those types of people anyway. But I’ve no idea why many women get upset at the common depiction of the infamous small-size fashion cuts. Of course they’re trying to sell their clothes for those sizes. The sales statistics show quite clearly these are the sizes most desirable by both males and females. Why wouldn’t they cater to the most desirable body type? This is an objective thing. I don’t believe for a second that a thin attractive person is somehow a media-lie we’ve all been fed with a silver spoon. As if people didn’t find the thin people remarkably attractive before fashion really took off as an industry. Give me a break. Evolution itself should dispel those fears. In a lot of cultures the thin attractive female is desirable because they display good genes. If it’s unrealistic, why do so many people clearly fit those small sizes? If those clothing sizes sold poorly because no one buys them, why do those business-savvy fashionistas continue to market them?

But I’m a bit out of my depth here. They’re obviously out to make money and you don’t sell a house by showing the buyers what the average house is in that suburb. You show them how much better this particular house is. This is the desirable model, this is what you should strive to want, because everyone else wants it too. It’s s desire thing. And besides, when a person’s weight has very little to do with their overall health, it seems petty to get hung up on how ‘thin’ or ‘fat’ a person is. If they’re selling the size-0 dresses, move on. There’s a shop down the road selling clothes especially for your size, I can guarantee it. Let’s stop getting hung up on how big someone is. Who cares if she’s too fat or too thin? Someone else might find her attractive. No one cares what you think; let them live however they want.

All this aside, it should come as no surprise I want to have a relationship with a girl who’s pretty and gorgeous. I know what’s beautiful. I know what’s not beautiful. I am attracted to people who are beautiful, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The problem comes, I believe, when my superficial attraction for a beautiful person erodes the edges off the world until I have an infatuation with only the most pretty and disregard anyone who isn’t as ‘unworthy’ of attention. I know why this sometimes happens: it’s an evolutionary coding for attraction to certain body types. I just think that maybe I could control it a bit better.

I don’t think it’s healthy, and I‘ve noticed it happen more than once. I’ve heard of people being attracted to the opposite sex for pure love, not for any overarching superficial reason. They spot the person across the room one day and fall head-over-heels in love with them, completely bypassing the rational part of their thoughts screaming at them how simply unattractive they are objectively. What ends up happening is one person in the relationship is beautiful and the other is simply not. Everyone else can see it, but for the folks in love, they are effectively blind. People cynically ask which of the two “settled”, as if somehow the relationship is mismatched and one of the partners is out of their league.

To be honest, I think this is a reality quite often. It might even be a reason why many divorces occur. The person who “wakes up” out of their love and sees the reality of the person in front of them, and the potential they could have with other mates, will sometimes simply leave. I’ve heard that perhaps people are so comfortable with their own looks they don’t care who it is they love. They’re so caught up in the feeling of love they don’t need to look at beauty objectively. For these people, physical attraction is less important than other forms of attraction. This makes sense. There are so many different types of people in the world that there has to be just as many variations of sexuality and attraction. I suppose you can’t really choose how you love someone, you just do.

I’ve told myself that I don’t want to get into this position. If I can avoid “settling” for a partner because I think I’m maybe running out of time or I have a momentary rush of blood to the head, I would prefer to wait. I’m looking for the best possible person to spend time with. This person for me must be beautiful, smart, funny and a joy to be around. I’ll keep looking until I can find this person and disregard all the others who come before her. Therefore I’ll stay single. By choice.

As if I have that freedom. I’m no Jared Leto or Brad Pitt and I know this excuse is feeble. I’m not pretty and I have had to face this fact. I can’t simply line up a whole row of reciprocal girls and choose which one I want, that’s just the life and genes I haven’t been given. Some people live that luxury, and a big part of me is jealous of that. I wish I could have girls falling all over me and I wish I was even remotely handsome. But I’m not and this is the reality I’ve only really just accepted recently.

Part 1 here, Part 3 here


Ryan said...

" I don’t believe for a second they truly think their wife or husband is the most beautiful in the world. That’s a little something people say to keep the other happy, they both know it’s not true."

They do indeed. I'm not sure why this cultural trope as it were still exists. Why and how on earth couples still go around bleating this old tune when it's plain to see there are agreeably "hotter" or more beautiful men and women out there. I would go one further than you:

That’s a little something people say to keep the other happy and to portray to others, those in other relationships and those still single, that they think they have passed this life milestone of finding their mate, with High Distinction, a whopping 100%, A++

Call me cynical - but I think the evidence is there. Facebook statuses and Instagrams abound with "hottest wife eva" "love this sexy chick" and you're looking at the pic saying to yourself
"Look I know my wife is perhaps a 7 but yours is an 8 max, chief, and the internet has shown me 9s nay 10s (if perfection exists, I often say I can't rate a movie 10/10 as that will be the theatre I die in from too much exposure to perfection) so you are in denial, my friend!"

Though this is rarely voiced, for similar reasons, I think, that no one speaks to anyone of sex being overrated only to be scoffed at "you just ain't doing it right!" Case closed without investigation! As though your problem is that you just suck (as opposed to sex actually being overrated or you not actually thinking your wife is the hottest female in the world).

Anyway... you can spot the honest lads, as they carefully say things like "she's my favorite person in the world" - and that can definitely be true.

"This is an objective thing. I don’t believe for a second that a thin attractive person is somehow a media-lie we’ve all been fed with a silver spoon."

I disagree - to an extent. While I would agree there is a large consensus on what's attractive, I do believe the media have had their fair share of influence, though I wouldn't call it a 'media-lie'. Apparently in Tonga, or one of those islands, it's the chub chubs that are attractive mates. Don't quote me on that one, it's probably a pseudo-fact I heard years ago that I can't be both checking up on.

'Beauty' being a metaphysical characteristic is quite subjective, I think. No matter how many people think Mila Kunis is the sexiest woman alive in 2012 - I just don't see it. Wait that's a lie. I see it. I just don't agree. I can think of probably a dozen celebrities I would consider far more attractive than her.

I think what we have here, rather than something objective like a measurement or a fact - is a large intersubjective consensus, another example being "murder is wrong".

Who knows though, maybe beauty can be objectively measured.. I'm open to that reality.

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