Archives for posts with tag: dating

We have become so sophisticated with so many facets of our lives that it has spilled over to the realm of love and dating.  We have become so versed with saving our faces and advancing our own interest that we have found many ways of being defensive when it comes to relating with another in the realm of love and romance so that we minimise our losses and are able to retract immediately and safely save our faces if it seems that the other is not on the page as us.

We become so obsessed with winning the dating ‘game’ that we lose sight of the bigger picture altogether.  We have convinced ourselves that we date and love in order to advance our self-interest and gain the most advantage without exposing ourselves or being unduly vulnerable or hurt.  If we think about it, this strategy almost sounds like the way we would undergo negotiations for business or even a strategy which might apply to warfare, and it is up for debate whether this is the best way to go about falling in love.

We cannot truly love when we are more obsessed with winning and preserving our own image.  Love entails a certain vulnerability and it is risky up to the point that it may actually be so painful that we may wonder whether we would survive a heartbreak.

We may see someone and wish to gauge whether they love us more and we may employ tactics which would assure us that they love us more or that we would not be hurt, we may also wish to ascertain their emotions for us before we surrender our own.  It is but prudent, yet at the same time, it robs the spontaneity and the raw authenticity which true fiery and passionate love is characterised by.

Love at its purest form is unguarded and undefended.  How often can we say that we have loved like this? Perhaps, we may only recall our adolescent days when we did not know any better–this was the only time wherein we loved with abandon–the first and perhaps even the last time we allowed ourselves to be carried away by our emotions, only to be destroyed by it.

After the first debilitating heartbreak, we start to employ more armour and adapt more defence mechanisms so that we may not experience the destruction and the pain we have gone through the first time around.  It definitely does have its uses, it protects us from completely falling apart and allows us to function without being destroyed.

However, it also takes away the raw beauty of love–the authenticity which is inherently unprotected.  When did we suddenly regard dating and love as a game or a battle where we must win at all costs and make sure that the ‘opponent’ surrenders or submits before we do?  It is true that the person who loves the most is at the mercy of the person who loves less but at the same time, the person who loves the most experiences love in a more genuine manner.

By all means, in business or in our careers, we must strive to ‘win’ and ‘prevail’ but love is not a competition wherein devious strategies would benefit the players.  Love is not even a terrain wherein winning would necessarily benefit anyone.  Sometimes when we are so calculated in the realm of love and even if we feel that we have secured victory by guarded and cautious moves, we have actually lost.

In our unhealthy obsession with winning in the realm of romance, we might actually cheat ourselves out of a wonderful soul-searing and life-changing experience called true love, which entails that we put down all our defences and is counter-intuitive to our notion of self-preservation.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

I can understand mulling over big purchases and researching before finally buying them because money does not grow on trees, but for some reason, I cannot understand when this attitude spills over to the realm of dating and picking a mate.  Logically speaking, since our choice of a life partner can make or break us, it is not something which can be entered into cavalierly and requires careful thought.  So perhaps a prolonged period of observation and interaction is justified before making any conclusion.

Be it that it makes sense to be cautious about our selection of a mate, I also believe that there is only as much as we can find out with observation and surface interaction and sometimes, it’s better to start dating seeing each other exclusively in order to find out more of the nuances up close and personal and whether we can live with these quirks. There is only as much detail that “window shopping” for a partner can provide and sometimes, we must simply make up our mind and jump in.

It is way too idealistic to think that upon a few interactions and with simply dating or being just friends that we can determine whether this person is the one whom we would be willing to make a life long commitment to.  It’s a romantic idea but it cannot hold up to reality because assessing from the entry point, it does not give us enough details or insight to make an informed decision. It also places too much pressure on the person whom we are considering to be able to measure up to whatever phantom criteria we fancy they must meet.

Experience is the best teacher and it is the same way with relationships.  if we choose to merely be friends or date indefinitely, it wastes precious time and is counterproductive to our aim of getting to know the person well enough to know whether having a relationship with them would be feasible in the long run.  Nothing replaces the actual experience of being in a relationship to find out whether the relationship can stand the test of time, it is not something which can be preempted and prejudged.

It puts an inordinate amount of pressure on ourselves too when we nurse the odd idea that if we enter into a relationship with someone that they would be ‘the one’ we are to make lifelong commitments too because we must always consider the inherent reality of life which is that everything is subject to change.  We may change our minds further down the road but it does not mean that we should cheat ourselves out of what can be a potentially beautiful experience.

In thinking that we must research for as long as we can before determining whether we are to go into a relationship, it shows that we are risk averse and that we which that our decisions be final and lasting.  It is understandable that as humans, we value security and permanence, however it may be too much weight for the reality to bear.  In order to experience life to the fullest, some measure of risk must be taken and we must give ourselves the leeway of making mistakes.

Finding an ideal partner who will be our first love, our first relationship, and our lifelong partner till death do us part would be a dream come true indeed, however, this scenario is too perfect that it would be very rare for it to be that way.  When we get attached to such standards, we sometimes forget that we are ourselves fallible and imperfect and expecting everything to fall into place in an ideal and dreamy manner is indulging in daydreams which, as pleasant as they might be, are a waste of time and would be detrimental to our finding someone who would hold up to the light of day as our romantic partner.

After a reasonable period of observation and interaction, it might be best for both parties to make up their mind and decide whether to give it a go, or just let it go.  Having uncertain situations drag on for an unspecified amount of time does not benefit both parties involved and furthermore reflects a lack of respect for the other person.  It might also cause the other party to perceive this lack of respect for their precious time and encourage them to move on.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

We might want instant results and answers, owing to the immediate access to Googling and Wikipedia, but with getting to know someone we are interested in, there is no better ally than time to aid us with uncovering whether the person is worth investing emotions in and whether our impression of them matches who we discover them to be through the passage of time and whether what we discover can sustain our interest and relationship dynamics.

Dating might not be the best manner in getting to know the other because it requires socially accepted forms of mutual deception owing to our desire to impress the other party and get them to reciprocate our feelings.  It is of course an enjoyable process but in the long run, when the real person is reveal, the reality might not live up to the glittery packaging and we are left floundering and wondering how we ended up in this position.

The social ritual of dating while being the norm in getting to know someone whom we are romantically interested in inherently contains some pitfalls because in hoping to impress the object of our affections, we try to minimize conflict and conceal our imperfections or true sentiments if it may take away our chances of securing the admiration and approval of our desired partner.

If the desired result is for a long term relationship, it would be valuable to address point of conflict and dissimilarities early on and this would require disclosure of the weaknesses which doesn’t usually happen in the early stages owing to the haze and excitement brought about by infatuation.  In getting to know someone, it’s not about grand sweeping gestures or romantic overtures, it’s the daily manner of relating and interacting which increases in significance as time passes.

It is these seemingly trivial ways of relating which are the fibers which weave together the relationship which only becomes apparently when we let down our guard enough to reveal our true manner or relating and being on a daily basis.  These crucial tidbits reveal themselves through the course of time and are best nurtured by friendship where there is no pressure or expectation from both parties to commit prematurely.

The process of getting know, while fraught with emotional vulnerabilities and turning points, is a necessary stage before even dating or committing because it is where we get to assess the other and their compatibility with us for the long haul, if it is what we desire.  With important decisions such as choosing a life partner, we cannot afford to be hasty or cavalier for our future happiness or misery lies in the decision which we make in selecting someone whom we would move forward with.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

It has been said that idle minds are the devil’s playground and it certainly applies in the realm of romance when we are suffering the pangs of unrequited love.  If we are mature enough to not stalk or prostrate before the object of one’s affections and beg for their love or attention, then we must know that keep ourselves occupied with something other than thoughts of the person whom we believe has ‘broken our hearts’ is the best way to deal with this.  It does not pay to go down the road of wishful thinking nor speculation as to why we have found ourselves in such a predicament.

The facts are clear when the person is not inclined to reciprocate our feelings–we need not delve into their inner thoughts not intentions because no good can come of it.  We must also avoid thinking that there is something that we can actually do to win their affections because once it becomes very clear to us that it is a lost cause–it often is a lost cause.  It can be hoped that we have lived in the world sufficiently long enough to harbour a realistic worldview which includes knowing that there are many things–in fact, most things–out of our control, and this just happens to be one of them.

As much as we would want things to turn out a certain way because we are convinced that they are our soul mates or that they are perfect for us, we must swallow the painful truth that they cannot be perfect for us because no one is perfect as well as the fact that they cannot be our soul mate if we don’t even warrant a strong or intense romantic response from their part.  True, soul mates can come in the form of friends, but that’s another topic altogether.  Back to the topic of dealing with unrequited love, we must strive to channel our frustration elsewhere and it would be good if we use the energy towards something which benefits the world in general such as volunteering for worthy causes, or raising funds for a non-profit organisation, or even, simply by donating time, money, or goods to charity.

There are many things which are out of our control.  We cannot make someone who doesn’t love us, love us… But instead of becoming a whirling dervish of gloom, we can instead choose to give happiness to others who need them even more instead of sulking and pining to the detriment of our own physical and mental health–as well as those who are around us who have to put up with our black moods.  Ideally, we must learn to accept the situation and let go of it but it might be too much to ask so perhaps keeping busy would be a better immediate antidote which might lead to eventually being able to let go.

(c) Niconica 2013

When we get to a certain point in our lives and we find ourselves still single, it may be that it is because we have not met the person who is meant for us but at the same time we might wish to question ourselves as to whether we have contributed to the situation as well by having dating criteria which hinder the opportunity to meet the person who might be suitable for us.  It’s a bit of a double edge sword when we have a preference for a person with certain attributes because while it’s good to have standards, it might be these same standards which might keep us from allowing in certain people whom we might not have imagined dating but yet be suitable for us in the long run.

We must be reminded that we are not omniscient and sometimes, we might lack foresight or a realistic assessment of ourselves.  Our outlook and expectations might also have been skewed by our own biases, upbringing, or popular media.  These would contribute to our possible limiting ourselves of the possibilities available which we have not considered, encountered, or imagined. We must also review whether our criteria for the ideal mate or the ideal range of mates are really our own, or whether we have adopted the acceptable criteria of our society, culture, religion, parents, family, or friends. In order to be able to secure our future happiness, we must be honest with ourselves as to which qualities we are really looking for and not confuse the expectations of others into the equation because this might compromise our chance at a truly suitable mate.

We will be the ones being in a relationship with the person and if we do so choose to enter a committed relationship, we will be the ones enjoying or suffering within the confines of our choices therefore, we must consider which qualities and criteria are truly ours in order to be able to proceed with dating and selecting the right partner–and giving ourselves a fair chance at happiness.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

One of the better dating books around, ladies. Jeff Mac steps up and lifts the curtain of secrecy and shows us what lies behind baffling male speech and behavior.  It turns out that it’s not all that complicated and pretty hilarious the way Jeff Mac writes it.

I couldn’t put the book down–it was informative, funny, and easy to read.  This is a must-read for everyone who ever wondered, “What is he thinking?” and/or “Why is he doing that?”

Replete with common sense, truisms, and hilarious insight, Manslations should be required reading for everyone who ever wants to understand men.

Two thumbs-up: required reading for Love101!

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

There comes a point in any relationship when that line is crossed, and there’s no going back. Negotiating relationships is more complicated these days since there is the appearance that there is no more ‘hard and fast rules’ people seem to think there is a license to act however they please with impunity.  With more people possessing weaker or damaged moral compasses, it’s no wonder that relationships are a minefield.

With what is becoming a more and more popular trend for relationships to be more on the “It’s complicated” side rather than the cut and dried relationships, there is more room for error and miscommunication.  With the so-called evolution of human beings, the patterns and trends for relationships seem to be splitting into a myriad number of manifestations–and not always for the better.

Surviving the gray area takes a lot more emotional acumen than most and there comes a point during the dance that something is said or done, and there is no turning back, and as the saying goes, “It’s all downhill from here.” No matter how we want to cling to the way things are or the way we want to maintain our impression or feelings towards our ‘partner’ it’s never the same–it’s the proverbial crack in the glass, sooner or later we are left with shards–and possibly bleeding.

As much as a cavalier attitude towards relationships is admired or propagated by mass media in more ways than one, we must be vigilant and responsible with our thoughts, words, and actions.  Before jumping to conclusions which may damage the delicate balance of the relationship or pseudo-relationship, we must always remind ourselves that there is a more diplomatic way to communicate and phrase things–a way to be able to communicate and resolve differences without ruining everything.

Once that point is crossed, barring the sudden invention, appearance, and/or access to a time machine, there’s no taking it back.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

It’s funny how when we are much younger, we have a black and white view of the world.  Everything was both more simplistic and more generalized, as life was pretty much more of a theoretically possibility and held boundless potential, and has yet to be tempered by the bitter blows of experience.

I used to imagine that I’d be married in my mid-twenties and by my thirties I’d be well on the way raising the prescribed 2.5 children. It was simple and with the characteristic hubris of youth, it seemed doable.  I had the mistaken notion that finding the right life partner was simply about falling in love.

I realize now it’s not that life is much more complicated than that. Finding a partner was not simply something that is as easy as infatuation (and this is indeed a far cry from love), nor is it about finding someone to simply hold hands and skip into the sunset with us.  If we are more self-aware, we would realize that it is as much about our inner journey too.

The fantasy of the perfect life, the perfect family, and the perfect partner can be dangerous to our health… not that it harms us to aspire towards it, but we must be aware that ideals are simply what they are… and that reality might be, with hard work, patience, and determination, pretty good too, though it might fall short of picture-perfect.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

To be sure, it’s a catchy title… and it didn’t disappoint! I would recommend this to anyone who is seriously seeking love, relationships, and/or marriage.  It’s not preachy and there’s certainly no sugar-coating when they share interesting–and sometimes uncomfortable–factoids about the discrepancies of the male and female psyche.

While there is not much handholding throughout the book as Allan and Barbara Pease candidly share with us their thoughts and findings on the matter, there is a certain clarity that dawns upon us and one cannot help but feel a bit more equipped to delve into the vast underpinnings of the male and female psyche as applied to romantic partnerships.

I cannot say enough that we need to read up and learn more about the inner workings of romance and how being aware of gender differences set the scene for more effective communication and understanding between partners. Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love would be a good place to start.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

Just because we happen to fall into relationships or find ourselves in relationships by a series of events or another, it does not immediately mean that we have the necessarily skills to navigate, maintain, and optimize our relationships. We take for granted that we automatically will figure it out as we go along or that we’ll learn as we go along… and learning by trial and error can cost us the whole relationship.

Just because we find ourselves having access to or being able to buy a car, it does not automatically mean we have the skills to drive.  We actually take the time and effort to learn how to drive officially or unofficially before we take the wheel–otherwise, mishaps have a greater chance of happening.

It is the same way with relationships and it’s a pity that relationships skills are not part of K-12 education… and we are paying the price for it with higher rates of divorce, separation, and marital/relationship strife which might have been avoidable had we been equipped with the right know-how.

Funnily enough, if and when we do take time to pause before running headlong into the search for the next romantic partnership, we would find that there are a lot of resources available to this effect. However, it would seem that by the time we are aware enough to stroll to the self-help section of the bookstore or to a psychologist’s office, the damage has already been done and as trite as it may sound, the saying, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” applies.

We must not be arrogant enough to assume that simply being born human and having emotions is automatically confers us with competent relationship skills. It is simply not so. Instead of looking around and finding fault with another or others, we must first look within ourselves and try to attempt some emotional and psychological housekeeping.

The way the world is going at the moment, it would almost be helpful to suggest that screening must be done before allowing people to go into relationships and even more screening to be done before allowing people to have children.  The capability to procreate is not proof of being able to be an able parent. As difficult as it may be, there really should be a line which should be drawn somewhere.  However, I digress.

I shall be featuring a series of reviews of books which discuss relationship skills soon.

Stay tuned!

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 91 other followers