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Significant Loser

I mean no offense to anyone reading this, unless of course you are:

a.) Specifically mentioned
b.) Have done one of these things

If "a" applies to you, well, at least you were noteworthy. If "b" applies to you, please (anonymously) give the world some sort of explanation via the comments section.

I should say that for once, I am not being prompted by personal experience. Someone exceptionally dear to me has been cheated on in the past, and is quite possibly going to have to deal with the same situation again. This angers me beyond belief. Moreover, an equally close person is being tortured by an "on-again, off-again" scenario seen previously only in soap operas. I have no words for my emotions about this. And I saw The Holiday today. It was good, and definitely covered some of these issues.

**Disclaimer: I know this is not a one-sided thing and that people of both genders do this to each other all the time. I will do my best to equally represent both sides, but being female, I am obviously more inclined to be biased in their favor. Also, as I have not actually been in all of these situations, I don't know exactly what it is like nor many of the emotions surrounding it. I'm letting my imagination guide me.**

Complaint #1: Cheating. Can someone please explain to me what is so f*ing difficult about just saying, "I think there may be someone else in my life." OR "I am feeling rather inclined to be unfaithful so I'd like to give you this opportunity to smack the crap out of me now, hopefully knocking some sense into me before I go and make this big mistake."

Never, ever, will I be able to fathom this concept. It is too close to lying - which most everyone can agree is wrong, and I find morally reprehensible in most cases. It is called self-control friends. Get some. If you really can't keep your pants on, look into one of those chastity belts like the one in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. That should work for you.

Complaint #2: Avoidance. What kind of a sissy are you? What kind of games do you think you are playing? Just face up to the situation, whatever it is. Denial can't help you and avoiding someone only exacerbates the problem. If you couldn't handle it, you shouldn't have stuck your darn nose in in the first place.

Complaint #3: Poor Excuses. Poor communication is everyone's fault. No one is perfect at it. But, the trick is (I'm letting you in on a big secret) being honest. If you just say whatever it is you meant to say from the very beginning, you could avoid alot of problems. Sure, it may hurt a little more, but it helps about ten times more.

For example, if you just didn't want to be with someone but you kind of led them on and then told them you weren't ready, you were moving, you had your studies to think about, whatever; you could have fixed it by saying, "Truly, I don't think you're quite good enough for me because of _____. Don't take it personally though, because I am, generally, a shmuck."

"I'm gay," is a perfectly valid excuse, but again, something much better brought in the open from the beginning. "I was horny (or blaming your thinking on any part of you below your belly button)" is not valid under any circumstances. Use your brain. If God didn't want you to think he would have put mush between your ears, idiot.

Complaint #4: Hedging. I think girls are the biggest culprits here. This is when you want something or are certain you don't want something, but basically do everything in your power to avoid declaring whatever it is that you have decided. Be direct! Why can't you just say what you mean? If you don't know, fine. Think about it in a timely fashion, and tell the person. But if you know what you [don't] want, then SAY something.

Do you think the other person is a mind reader? Probably not. Because if mind readers really existed, the psychic network lines wouldn't be such a joke - or alternatively, the other person would be out there working as a psychic making a heck of alot of money.

Complaint #5: Destructivism. I may have made this word up, but it doesn't make the complaint less valid. This is when someone keeps egging on a dead relationship in some way. This is a double sided issue. For the masochists, who know the thing is over but can't seem to get it through their thick skulls, forget about it. Write yourself a post-it. Get a hobby. Move on. The other person doesn't want you, as sucky as that is. If your heart is big enough that you still love them after them breaking it off with you, then your heart is too good for them. Set it loose on something else, like feeding the homeless.

If you are one of these horrible people however, that continue to call, write, invest yourself in the other person's life even though you know you have emotionally ripped them to shreds - what pleasure do you get from torturing them, you sick, sorry, snivelling piece of dirt? Please, please, please, try to give back whatever it is you sold your soul to the devil for. You are going to need your soul, because one day - one fine day - the other person is going to catch on and knock you on your annoying little tailbone.

Now I know my complaints have come out a little harsh, but there has been some accumulation of relationship emotional garbage going on lately (not so much for me, as I haven't actually been in a relationship for ages). Plus, while living vicariously through my family and friends relationships, I have decided that there is way too much drama involved in something that is supposed to make you feel happy and more complete. I think I'll stay part empty; it seems safer.

On this note, I'd like to leave you with one of my New Year's resolutions. Since 2006 brought me someone who only wanted things I was certainly not willing to give, followed by someone who was utterly unavailable, trailed by leftover emotions from 2004, and rounded out with someone I was too masochistic to get over the first time they told me they didn't want me; I am resolving against crappy relationship problems this year.

In 2007, I am going to do everything I can to make sure that my half of whatever this year brings me is well communicated, completely honest, and as direct as humanly possible. I will also be eliminating masochism from my diet. It just isn't as tasty as it used to be.

For all those out there troubled by the complaints above, I wish you the best of luck. If you too would like to swear off these psychological atrocities this year, let me know - we can start a support group. Until next time. Love always, ~Heather

P.S. No one was actually specifically mentioned. By name.


St. Izzy said…
1) I propose (no pun intended) that we do away with dating altogether and go back to courting. Or at least a modified form in which no two people spend romantic time lone unless they are 1) ready to raise children with each other and 2) conviced that they can serve God better as a team than as a pair of singles and have practical plans for how they will achieve this.

2) I'd add chaperones to the courting.

2b) Marriages arranged by people who love us and want the best for us aren't a bad idea, either. AT least you go into the relationship knowing you have a lot of work to do. (and cue here my favorite song about marriage ever: "Do You Love Me?" from Fiddler on the Roof. )

3) Clear, honest communication is not only the best policy for getting the right relationship going, but the best way to keep it running smoothly. So much comes from unstated expectations and definitions. Does "leave at 6" mean gather stuff up and head head for the door at six, or turn the key and drive away at six? Did I do something thoughtless? Tell me plainly what it wa rather than stewing and leaving me to sort it out; it's called "thoughtless" because I wasn't thinking about it.

BTW, our first fight was in our forth year of marriage. One of us thought the other one was angry, made assumptions about why they were angry (everyone's conscience can provide possible reasons for a Significant Other to be angry) and started acting defensive. Both of us ended up mad because we thought that the other was mad, which made us mad. Thinking that the Other is angry is a self-fulfilling prophecy -- if they weren't before, they will be after you start reacting.

4) For a lasting relationship, start with your best friend. The feeling of "being in love" comes and goes over the years, and many people give up when they realize they "don't love" their partner anymore; in fct, they may not even like the Other any more. But think about your best friend and the times you've been absolutely steamed and never wanted to see them again. When you worked through it, the relationship was stronger. So should it be with marriage. Work through the icky bits and it gets better. In short, marry your best friend, not necessaruly the person who most makes you weak in the knees.

tolerated by St. Elizabeth (his best friend and partner) for more than 23 years now
Napoleon said…
Izzy and St. Elizabeth--my guide and example of a solid marriage since Junior year in college. I'm sure y'all's example in Columbia has done more for the sanctity of marriage then you both could imagine. Keep on keepin on. By the way, "Do you love me" in Fiddler on the Roof; great song.
St. Izzy said…

Thanks for the kind words, but you clearly need to get out more and meet some real role models. Just at STM, I can think of several couples who have managed to keep it together better, longer, and while producing kids & grandkids.

Also, Lizzy & I (like most matinee idols) look much better in soft focus. Get close and see us in detail, and we're not nearly so pretty.

Pax etiam,