~Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sarah Answers, Part 5 of Bazillion

Nic asked, "How can we become satisfied with ourselves so that we never lose ourself in someone else again? How do we begin to be happy with ourself? So that we know we are giving our all (in a relationship) but not giving too much."

First off, thanks for waiting. Secondly, thanks for having the enough faith in me to think I know the answers to these questions. I have lost myself in a relationship twice. I loved him and therefore wanted to make him happy, but somehow the lines got blurred. Or maybe he took advantage of it. Or both.

But both times I ended up a puddle of self-loathing. I am such a vivacious person that I couldn't believe I'd allowed myself to stop being that. This happened for the second and last time a little over a year ago.

Become selfish. Find what makes you happy and pour yourself into it. I always loved dance, so I started taking ballet classes again. Before you think I whiz my way around the stage-- I have rhythm, but terrible balance. And I can't jump for shit. But I go every week and do it because I like it, and that has earned me the respect of the rest of the class.

These things are called "hobbies" and they also make you look more interesting when you do start dating again ;) I love watching men's eyes dazzle when I say yoga.

Dr. Phil loves to ask his patients how much effort each person should put into a relationship. They usually respond 50%. This is the moment Dr. Phil likes to laugh and say that if you're not giving 100%, then it's not going to work.

This is a bunch of bullshit.

I wish I knew what to tell you, Nic, but I don't. My current modus operandi is tit for tat dating: I put forth as much effort as he does. And we all can see how well this isn't working. But I also know that me trying harder won't change a thing.

When I read He's Just Not That Into You, I put the book down and cried. I don't know if you've read it, but it ends on such a low note. Truth is that there aren't many nice guys out there. Not all nice girls will end up with nice boys, much less a boy at all. It's the terrifying but sad truth. "Everyone-- if they tuly believe it and are open to it-- will find a good person to love. I don't believe that's true," Liz writes. "I can give you incredibly valid arguments, backed up with statistics, flow charts, and diagrams, for why my pessimism is the more realistic outlook to have."

Our gender isn't making it easier. We've shot ourselves in the face with feminism. Yeah we can have sex like men, but do we want to? And why would men want to try when women are just throwing themselves at them? Why would a man ever need to commit when women say it's okay to sleep with them but not date them?

Be Honest: You're Just Not That Into Him Either ends on a much higher note. He says that in giving up on love and remaining single and not settling for some badly behaving loser, we actually win Charlie's Chocolate Factory. "You wised up. You don't believe in happily every after anymore. You know the golden ticket was a sham... you've been through so much you're a candidate for a permanent Purple Heart," the writer analogizes. "So here you are, pissed off, defeated-- and ready to leave your Everlasting Gobstopper of Love of the table and walk away... All those times you lowered your standards and were tempted to settle? You didn't... You didn't give up, not completely." In short, single people can't get divorced.

Just focus on youself. Become selfish. Become happy. If love comes again, great. If not, at least you're happy with yourself.

I'm interested in anybody else's opinion on this topic, because now I'm pretty fuggin' depressed.


Anonymous said...

Here's my opinion: Fuck it all.

Fuck the rules, fuck the gender responsibility, fuck obsessing over the future. Have fun today, and if it doesn't work out then you had a great damn time. Doesn't mean it wasn't a success nor does it mean it was a failure.. it just is. Eventually that special someone will come and sweep you off your feet whether we have think we have control over it or not. And if you become the old lady with the million cats (or dogs) in the process, well give the kids something to talk about and put potato chips in the cat (or dog) food bag and sit on the front porch with your rocker and laugh your ass off.

Anonymous said...

I was having this same conversation with a couple of my (female) team members just yesterday.

The upshot of the 45 minutes of work time devoted to my personal life was that I invest way too much into relationships.

I'm the one that calls, I'm the one that initiates a conversation, I'm the one that sends the e-mail, that suggests the date, that drives up the highway, that makes plans, and spends the money and time in being available.

It ain't going to happen like that anymore!!

If she's not prepared to meet me halfway, I'm moving on. Hi, welcome to Nick's place. Sorry, no doormats here.

I agree with totally with Angel Girl - Fuck the rules, fuck the gender responsibility, fuck obsessing over the future. Have fun today, and if it doesn't work out then you had a great damn time.

Sarah said...

AG- Have I told you I loved you today?

Nick- Rules are good for me as an individual because they keep me from investing myself unnecessarily. I need them for self preservation. With these rules, I expect the men to initiate as they have in societal roles for hundreds of years-- otherwise the connection will never happen.

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying I won't initiate contact in the future, I'm just saying I expect there to be as much effort from her as from me.

Equal effort means equal interest. If she's not willing to at least say g'day once in a while in this egalitarian world, or come up with a date suggestion (how hard is it to say: "Movie?" in all the myriad means of communication available) I'm going to lose interest in making the effort.

Scorpy said...

Brilliant! I have my happy place and if people want to visit then well and good but I'm not going out of my way to lay the welcome mat down and then be trodden on and walked over...I will not be the alleged villian ever again and I definately will not be the victim. I will be ME and I am not changing for anyone.

Miss Natalie said...

I'm content in my status, I'm a single gal in this beautifu lcity i call home, Sydney. Now... I've had 3 long term relationships, engaged once, proposed to by the 2 other guys, therefore if i WANTED to be in a relationshio i would be.

I firmly beleive being in a relationship should not 'make you happy' it should enhance your happiness.

As for the rule book - Mine is thinker than the telephone book. Until i find my prince or he finds me thats the way it will be.

As for giving yourself totally to another and your point that you should only give 50% - arn't you cheating on yourself?

M said...

I feel like people should give as much of themselvesin a relationship that they feel in their heart. It's only when you start questioning whether or not you should call or whether you should let him wait and stew that you start getting into bullshit land. That has nothing to do with compromise and everything to do with power games. In a relationship one MUST compromise some things but not compromise everything about themselves. If there's no compromise then you might as well just live the single life (which is totally cool for some).

As for feminism and sleeping with men. That's more of a self and moral issue. Women don't have to sleep around if they don't want to - it's not like the feminists are banging on every woman's front door demanding that they fuck the nearest guy. Women can't keep blaming feminism for their lack of love life. Personally I would hate someone to marry me just because it's time to have sex now and I would hate to be sold off to the farmer next door for 2 cows and a goat just so he marries me (which is basically what used to happen). Plus, I love having a right to vote. ;)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous because I would hate to be responsible for saying this, but here it goes;

When I gave up on love and having a relationship, when I actually became content to be by myself, I found someone perfect. He is one of the "good guys."

....and sometimes I wish I was still single.

Phil said...

Hmmm more thought required but basically:-

Phil: happy and content meets girl and wants to date her. Relationship works out good.

Phil: unhappy and discontent meets girl and needs to date her. Relationship turns horrible very quickly.

Sarah said...

Nick- Seriously, a movie for a date? You need to date some more creative people.

Scorpy- I really really really hope you weren't being facetious!

Natalie- You and I are just alike :)

Maybe I am cheating myself by not putting forth 100%, but I have yet to meet someone that deserves 100% from me.

M- You're absolutely right that no one is forcing some women to act the way they do (and I personally have never seen a door banging, pamphlet waving feminist) but I do think that women as a group have made things too easy for men, especially in my city.

Anonymous- my married friends confess thoughts of still wanting to be single all the time. You're not alone. :)

Phil- Exactly. If you're not happy with yourself, why would anybody else be happy with you?

Jen said...

"...but I have yet to meet someone that deserves 100% from me." So true!

When I meet someone who truly captures my attention I give 100%. The problem is I think I have maybe met 1 person in my lifetime that I felt deserved it.

Nic said...

Hey girl, thank you for answering my question. I know that you (or anyone else) don't know the answer to everything, but I had faith that you have something inspiring to say. I think that you sound like a great girl.

Angel Girl - I like that. You'll definitely be that fun old lady when you're old. haha, I loved it.

Anonymous - I agree. I was very skeptical when I was single. But honestly, basically THE day I decided to give it all up, be free, and move on ... was the day we got together and are happy so far.

Sarah - also, I forgot to say, I definitely agree with making yourself happy. And with whoever else said that a relationship should "enhance" your happiness not MAKE you happy. Very good points.

I have to say - this was inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Nope, you haven't told me today... until now :) Soo woo hoo for someone loving me today lol.


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