First, before you ask me, yes, I'm still doing the Bullet Journal Project, no, I won't blog about it right now, and yeah, I think it's not my thing, but I'll keep doing it until I finish the notebook. So, what do I want to blog about today? I want to blog a little about people. Yes, you know, one of those posts.
I actually do have a couple of cases in mind that had me thinking for quite a while, but I don't want to make specific mention of them - mainly to protect the innocent - but also because through some of the paralelysms I've found, I realized that a more generic kind of post may help others. But then, lets see if I can keep this on a pattern fashion rather than a story.
Sometimes it can be difficult to actually understand people who are different from us, and I don't mean, like they speak a different language, come from a different culture or have a different sexual orientation, but people who have a different life experience or a different view of life. It doesn't mean that you can't respect them, but lets face it, it often is difficult to actually put yourself in their shoes and understand where they come from. For example, for a meatlover, it can be really difficult to understand the eating choices of a vegan. It doesn't mean that the meatlover can't respect the vegan's choice, just as the vegan shouldn't have any trouble respecting the meatlover's choice, BUT when it comes to understanding each other, it can be difficult.
Through the years, I have been witnessing a quite interesing battle as a complete outsider, in the lives of several people about a think I have little grasp of: the desire to marry and have children. Though in my younger years I firmly believed in that sort of goal, as I grew up (basically from my 20's on), I grew out of that... "goal", and soon found the prospect of such a happening as a quite horrible, shackling event. Thus, though I've been there - in the desiring phase - as I see others dreaming and planning and getting all happy about marriages and kids, my first instinct usually is to try and jump in to save them from catastrophy. I don't, obviously, because it's not my place, and what for me sounds much like a life sentence, for them might be the best thing in the world.
The topic of forming a family, finding your One and all that, is constantly bombarded on us, and we are exposed to this message 24/7 and on every sound and surface we see around us. It's in the advertisements for detergents, food, clothes, drinks, and it's the topic of loads of songs, novels, movies, self-help crap, series and TV shows, documentals, reality TV shows and many, many other stuff. Though with some people it seems to "naturally happen", others struggle a little with the whole thing. And a lot of people put a really lot of effort into it, even to the point where they work so hard to keep up denial and try to salvage what can no longer be salvaged. Others stand on another end, single and desperate because of it, curiously showing their anxiety about it in different ways. Some try to act cool about it, but with a degree of aggressivity that belies their efforts. Others are openly depressed by their state and slowly edge to the point where they will claw into anything willing to take them in. Honestly, all three of them are scary because it's clear that none of them are happy, and you must wonder whether they'll be able to be happy when they reach their coveted goal.
On one successful case I know of, there was this person who was crazy commited to their partner. Like, really, crazy committed. This person I knew was up to give up everything for their partner, no questions asked. Ok, maybe some thinking and process was needed for some of the hardest parts, but this person basically forfeited their own believes and opinions to basically match those of their partner. Probably not a healthy thing, but the person was happy and seemed balanced. Then they discovered that their partner wasn't taking them seriously, and cheated big time on them, while actually planning on going serious with someone more to their way of thinking. Some will say that this person I know, was asking for it (no, they were not) because they deformed themselves and became a puppet for their partner. Actually, as I slowly came to understand, this person was actually acting under what they perceived as commitment. Misconstrued or not, they tried to make something work by working hard themselves and trying to accomodate the other person, while at the same time trying to negotiate aspects they found necesary for the other to accept.
From this person I learned that often this commitment thing isn't the key, or not as we superficially understand it. Commitment should be a measured thing where you know very well how far are you willing to go, how far can you ask the other person to go, and be ok with it. Commitment should also be about not forcing something that doesn't work to keep up just because you can't imagine your life without it.
This person, after the break up with their partner, spent some time being single, and took the chance to use it for introspection. Through this period, this person purged from themselves many of their toxic asupmtions and predispositions, and learned to love themselves as they are. A new partner came into their lives and now they are to get married.
While this was happening with this person, I realized that they shared characteristics with other people who were struggling with their single status, and getting quite desperate about it. From the aggressive people who yell it and post it on every surface, how they hate this or that type of jackass or cocktease, to those wrapped in gloom declaring that they are no longer willing to date people who are not going to take it seriously, because they are tired of people using them, I stopped to wonder why while all three types want the same thing (form a family), why some get it and for others the chance seems to forever elude them. It's kind of though, specially when one considers how I myself are not into marriage, not even into relationships and I have been in a couple of serious relationships where my partners have actually seriously considered marrying me. Even though they knew I was going to say no. Because I warned them.
So, I was thinking, what is the first person doing right, or what may I be doing right to get where the other two types don't get? The reply is quite difficult, because there isn't a recipe to this. There's no charm to use to make sure the person you are having a dinner with will turn to you and propose or look at you with dove eyes and recite a song from Bryan Addams. But perhaps there are a couple of things that maybe could help. Maybe. Emphasis on maybe. That's the operative word.
I imagine that, if I wanted to get married right now, I wouldn't find a single person to do that with. So, when your family asks you "when are you going to get married" it's such a stupid question to aske, because actually getting married isn't like starting a diet or joining a gym. Getting married is a two-people decision, and you can't (or shouldn't) make decisions for others. Also, it wouldn't work to get married right now because then I would be out on the hunt, looking for a husband or a wife, and that alone - that hunt-for-a-spouse vibe - would probably scare away any potential partner. Just think about being at the other end of that laser objective: there is a person who barely knows you, who wants you to commit for life with them. And want you to be responsible about it. Maybe even dishes lines like
"I'm not willing to waste any time on something that's not going to be serious. I want to marry and I want to have kids."
Or maybe a charming line like
"All men are just jackasses/All women are just whores who only have one thing in mind."
Do you know what that looks like? It looks like danger. A person pushing this hard at the begining can be expected to push harder through it. Potential of happiness? 0. A person like this looks more likely to end up on an Investigation Discovery show like "Who the F**ck I married", or any of those about crazy people commiting passional crimes, or killing family members. In my experience, men are not so prone to dish out lines like those on the first date, but some cases have been documented.
The thing here is that not everybody is so desperate to get a ring on their finger, and when people go out on a date, or meet others - aside from the potential hook up - they are on an exploration mission. They don't want to commit right at the begining because they first want to get to know the person. I would say this is pretty clear and desirable. A partner that first wants to know you before becoming an issue, is a smart partner.
Then there's the other component: the desperate hunter is looking for a spouse. They have already all figured out: weekend plans, vacations, the housing, the number of kids, their routine... the only thing missing from their fantasy is the partner. So basically they look for someone to fill the slot - no pun intended. From the other side, this feels like it doesn't matter who you are or what you may want, because it has all been planned out. And you know that you would be to blame if you don't comply to the script. Your role has been casted, all you are expected to do is play it. The person isn't interested in you, but in your role. They seemingly don't give a rat's ass about you. And as they show love and appreciation, you can't keep from wondering if it is real or part of their role.
So, for once, before you keep on bitching about your life, take a second to look at the situation from the other side. You might get surprised.
I believe the first person succeeded in their goal because they took the goal off the table, it wasn't their priority anymore, and their new partner got to meet them open, unpretentious and with no pressure to commit. They got to meet the person, not the expectation.
In order to be in a relationship, first you must love yourself, otherwise you are unfit to love others. You also must understand the relationship and what a relationship is. You have to understand your particular relationship, and how it evolves and where it goes. Just because you want to move faster or slower, it doesn't mean that's how the relationship is going.
A lot of people step into a relationship, but keep on thinking with an individual mentality. It's all about what they expect, what they feel, what they plan. They put effort into it, try to take it this way and that, and don't actually stop to consider the other person and what the other person is putting into it. They just rule and bulldoze over everything that doesn't comply with their plans. They might even call that commitment. That's a lot of imagining, keeping your head in the clouds and not doing anyone a favor. You must understand the relationship you are in.
Also, you shouldn't be afraid to break something that's not working, and trust me, I know how hard that can be, but we must realize that it's much better to be free and able to live ourlives ourselves, under our own rules, facing the world as it comes on our own, than staying with someone who gives us more grief than joy.
It's curious how the people who are so desperate not to be alone are also the most selfish, individualistic and uncapable of empathy you can find. So yes, maybe you are all sad and alone and thinking why God left you alone, while you are not considering that despite your bitching and efforts and even your lucky charms, books, spells, and all your gadgets, God is actually pulling overtime helping a lot of unfortunate people to avoid falling into your destructive hands.
Think about it.