Archives for category: Social Commentary

When we reach our thirties and forties, many of our friends and acquaintances have most likely gotten married and already have kids or are having kids.  Being single among our peers might make us stand out like a sore thumb and make us wonder whether there might be something wrong with ourselves–and similarly others might have the same thoughts about us.  After all, if we were probably more emotionally skilful or otherwise appealing, shouldn’t someone have snagged us by now?

It might also make us emotionally inept.  Lacking experiences, we might be wont to believe the anecdotes of our married pals who do not have a successful marriage and therefore have the time to still hang out with us and ‘kiss and tell’ so to speak.  The successfully married ones are less wont to tell interesting stories or spend time elaborating about the virtues of being single or go on about the woes of being ‘too loved’ by their wives that they feel that they are emotionally tethered and unable to be free.

We must beware of drinking water from a polluted well even when it’s the only one available.  At the risk of stating the obvious, these unhappily married people are the polluted wells I speak of, they are widely available and have the time to share their emotional toxins and negative thoughts and woes with anyone who would care to listen, and we might think that their tales are cautionary and informative of what might be to come for ourselves.

We must not seek advise or tips on having a healthy relationship or marriage from people who have failed miserably at it, despite their protests that they had nothing to do with the pitiable state of their relationship and claim to be the hapless victims in the situation.  As a friend, perhaps we might lend an ear to them if they need to share their story but we must discern that their predicaments need not create a map of fear in our heads about what relationships might be like–and make us cling to being single and causing us our chances at having a happy and healthy relationship.

When we drink (or take advise) from ‘polluted wells’ (negative people) we are setting ourselves up to fail by being contaminated by their thoughts, behaviours, and misconceptions.  We have probably lived in this world long enough to know that each experience requires our participation and it is very rare to find a relationship failing at the hands of merely only person.  We may wish to provide more wholesome point of views to our unfortunate friends and help them improve their relationships instead of enabling their negative thought patterns, or even worse, adopting their tainted view on relationships.

Do not seek advice about health from a sick person.  Do not seek guidelines on a successful relationship from someone who has failed/failing/ailing relationships.  It is simply this simple.  If we forget this fact, we will doom ourselves to follow in their footsteps and we will have no one but ourselves to blame for allowing it.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

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Perhaps there is some virtue in dragging out a situation for longer than is needed, but I can’t seem to see it.  I think that there are some things which have gone out of fashion together with the horse and carriage, and the manual churning of butter.  While advertising seems to extol the values of good old fashioned processes, I think that extending a courtship past a certain point just feels pointless and reeks of disrespect for the time and feelings of the other person.

Time is money and in the realm of budding relationship it also equates to emotional investment which is the currency of emotional connections.  The more time spent on getting to know the person may just equate to more emotional pain when the bandage is suddenly ripped out and the final results kick in.  I think that past a certain point, mulling over the viability of a relationship is just plain indecisiveness in disguise.

When we get to a certain age, we have an idea of what we prefer and it’s just insulting to claim to have no idea what one feels.  If it happens to be true then we might be emotionally retarded and that is just another matter entirely.  Nevertheless, it’s never too soon to to cut someone loose when we don’t have the intention of carrying through a committed relationship with them.  It’s cruel to drag a situation on with no intention of taking it to a more serious level.

We live in a fast-paced world whether we like it or not and when we take too much time to decide on whether someone is right for us, we might risk disrespecting their precious time and inadvertently lead them on–and this is just plain wrong and many other things along those lines.  It is true that only fools rush in but at the same time, taking too long is just similarly foolish, but only in a different manner.

It’s all well and good to go at snail’s pace during the time when there was still no electricity or even no internet, but in this day and age where everyone needs to earn a living and is not merely in a manor waiting for their servants to cater to their every move, we must be mindful of the opportunity costs our dillydallying may be causing the other person–or even ourselves if the other person decides to go for other options due to the prolonged mind games and lack of emotional clarity and direction.

(c) Niconica 2013

In our need to be constantly entertained, we enjoy compelling and dramatic love stories however we risk the tendency of art bleeding into real life and while we might enjoy the idea, very erratic and highly emotional romantic connection, as thrilling as it may be, does not lend itself well to a stable and long-term committed relationship.

We must balance our hunger for excitement with what is feasible in the long run and whatever people may say, an emotional rollercoaster does not benefit anyone and must be avoided at all costs. When we get to know a person, we get a sense of how they might be but we must patiently allow time and continued interaction to unravel them and reveal whether their temperaments suit us.

When we find someone we are able to talk about anything and everything with, it is simply magical and we feel that the energy is palpable. There is an intermingling if the joint energies which draws us magnetically towards each other and sustains itself.

The thrill and novelty eventually does run out and the real magic which happens us more down to earth and involves a sincere friendship and a capable to be open and discuss differences in order to reach and understanding.

We know it when we have found that one in a million person. It’s electric. It’s sacred. It’s…simply magic.

(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

 

There is no shortage of books which advise us to be a certain way or act a certain way in order to gain the romantic attention of someone we are interested in.  Perhaps, the intentions might be good in the sense that these dating books try to help us get a grasp on situations which confuse us, but on the other hand, who is really to say that there are really rules which govern the rules of attraction?

Perhaps, the only rule which really applies to all would be “Be Yourself.” Everything else is extraneous and perhaps, even circumstantial.  If a certain technique works for a certain couple, it does not automatically mean that it applies to another couple.  There are as many different individuals and personalities as there are love stories of how people got together and ended up together.

Perhaps all the Hollywood movies have trained us to believe that love exists in a certain format and that there are these expectations which come along with how to act while dating in order to secure the object of our affections.  We might also believe that gaining someone’s love is an active thing–that we must actually do something in order to be loved by them.

I think that when we think about it clearly, evidence will show that people fall in and out of love–just because.  There is no real empirical or concrete reason which contributes to the love appearing (or disappearing) and all other situations, actions, and attempts which surround the dating and the relationship would be merely circumstantial or at most contributory without being the real reason.

When we like someone, we just do–simply because we do.  We might get a few adjectives and anecdotes to illustrate why we do but upon closer examination, we would have to admit that we just do and there is no real one element which would spur it.  It is an involuntary process.  How it begins and ceases is also almost out of our control.

We like to affix explanations and logic onto many phenomena in order to comprehend them, but sometimes, when we like someone, it’s just simply arbitrary.  We like them, just because. No further reason or justification required.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

Beyond romantic attraction, we must assess the emotional capability of a potential romantic partner.  Trial and error occurs because this is not something which can immediately be seen and requires some sort of emotional investment to be able to experience whether the emotional depth and capability of the potential partner matches ours.

In saying this, we must also have a grasp of whether our emotional capability is as such that entering into a relationship will be beneficial and fair for the other person as well.  It is during moments wherein misunderstandings and conflict arise where we would be able to have a clearer sense of how the other person handles it and responds to us.

It is also during these crucial moments when we would be able to have a glimpse of their true nature. and whether it would be feasible to further engage with the person in the long run.  It’s always tricky to be in a situation where we are emotionally drawn to the person that it clouds our better judgement.

However, at the back of one’s mind, one must have the lucidity to be objective and realize that there are certain shortcomings which will be seriously detrimental to a relationship’s wellbeing and upon identification of the symptoms, it must be considered seriously before moving the relationship forward.

(c) Niconica 2013

With more avenues of expression and distraction provided by various social media and communication technology, it is all too easy to get caught up with the superficial plurality of messages and interactions. Communicating has become so mundane that it is taken for granted and the messages may become means of protecting and hiding our truths instead of a means to communicate our emotional needs and desires.

We get a point where we might be so polished with communicating and versed with niceties that we have lost the true ability to get in touch with our inner core and exercise the ability to relay what we really think. It might be because we don’t take the time to introspect or perhaps it may be because we are concerned that communicating our authentic sentiments makes us feel vulnerable.

We might have become so savvy with miming socially acceptable speech and behavior that we end up believing that doing this is all that is needed and required to survive and thrive that we neglect our inner voice and our emotional requirements in order to avoid conflict.

It is all well and good until we decide that we have had enough of hiding in the safety zone and wish to get to know another person better and this requires a measure of courage for in order to know someone better and to be able to develop a genuine connection, we have to risk revealing our true self and risk being vulnerable, hurt, and rejected and proceeding on this path becomes an act of courage.

Beyond social accepted norms of behavior, we each have our own issues, hang-ups, and imperfections and in order to forge a good bond with another and minimize misunderstanding and conflict, we must be versed with understanding ourselves and be able to articulate our thoughts, feelings, and truth in the most effective way possible which would enrich the purpose of the interaction.

And it starts with an act of courage to reveal ourselves and communicate our truth to another, without flinching, hiding, turning away, running, minimizing, omitting, or embellishing.

(c) Niconica 2013

It happens in one split second, and before you know it, you’re a goner.  You’ve fallen and you know that there is no backtracking–you’re helplessly in love and there is usually no fantastically profound reason for it except that you simply have.  It’s one of the most exhilarating and horrifying experiences one could ever experience and it involves a relinquishing of one’s grasp over one’s feelings and just letting it carry you away.

We are often cautioned and told to play mind games or hold our feelings back and it is with good reason that we are advised to do so.  Love can hurt.  Love can break us.  It is one of the purest risks that we would ever take and there might be no coming back from it.  So we try to avoid rejection and we try to keep ourselves safe, and we wonder why we feel that that there is something more to experience.

The moment that we affix high expectations on love and on the person whom we have fallen in love with, we have set ourselves up to fail miserably because it is more likely that ever that they may never meet our unrealistic and idealistic expectations of what kind of people they should be and how they should treat us.

We may also have strange ideas about what love is supposed to feel like that we wouldn’t recognise it even when we are deeply in and and by the time an inkling dawns, it might be too late.  We might have let pass us by because we are too scared to let go and allow uncertain and unknown experiences to take us with it.  We prefer to stay safe.  We prefer to stay in fear.

Whatever happens after, the moment we realize we have fallen in love, there is an imperceptible click in our hearts and everything just seems clearer and more meaningful and at the same time our emotions reach out to greater extremes than we care to experience when we are in a saner state of mind.  We can’t help it when we find ourselves in that moment.

Perhaps, it might end up badly.  Perhaps we might get hurt.  Perhaps it might not result in the ideal ending which we hope to achieve.  Perhaps we are just letting our fears run away with us and cheat us of experiencing the finer and more poignant experience life has to offer.  Perhaps we may let love in and experience the lessons and moments it has to offer us.  Perhaps it might be a risk which pays of.  Perhaps.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

Even in the best of times, entering into a rebound relationship is not ideal.  When a previous romantic connection has concluded, it is advisable to enter into ‘Relationship Detox’ where we focus on ourselves, pick up the pieces, and take a breather from being a couple.  This is in our best interests because no matter how affable or justified the break-up is–which doesn’t usually happen–there are wounds which need to heal or issues which need to be addressed so that we do not carry these into the next relationship and expect the other partner to address them.

We must be responsible and allow ourselves a certain period to assess the prior failed relationship and own up to the manner in which we have contributed to the demise even if it may not have been the catalyst for the break-up.  We must also assess whether the expectations we have brought to the relationship have been realistic or based on our own imaginings of what relationships are or how we should be treated without a blunt assessment of our own character traits.  We must also be able to have enough space to rejuvenate our own wants and needs without referencing the other.

It sounds difficult or even impossible.  It may be akin to entering a tunnel and feeling that there is no light to be seen on the other end.  However, time is our ally in these instances and would introduce some perspective to whatever misconceptions or deep hurt we may be experiencing initially.  It is only when the emotional debris have been cleared when we can emerge from the relationship detox phase and entertain the possibility of another relationship–without inadvertently acting against our own best interests.

(c) Niconica 2013

The early stages of a possible romance is probably one of the more fraught stages–uncertainty, anxiety, and yes–those dreaded butterflies in our stomach.  We are caught between a panic attack and feeling the fleeting thrills of the moment where hope allows us to glimpse possible reciprocation, and in the next minute we find ourselves doused in the cold water of uncertainty–wonder whether we have misread the signs of interest or whether we have experienced moments of clarity behind the initial dance of dating.

When we are in our younger years, we enjoyed this phase immensely and define it as the most exciting chapter because it is a prelude to a new experience or possibility.  When we become older, whether we wish to or not, we have the tendency of becoming more risk averse, and set in our ways and any indication of uncertainty does not sit well with us–and hence the most ‘exciting’ stage becomes the most confusing stage which we try to navigate with our outdated emotional equipment and hope to make it out in one piece.

We become torn between wanting a definitive conclusion and wanting enough time and space to be able to assess our potential partner and figure out how we feel about it.  It is this push and pull that becomes excruciating and should we just be a bit more emotional than the average person, it becomes a difficult stage which we wish to accelerate by all means–which might turn out to be a big mistake because entering hastily into a commitment, or leaving a potential romantic connection arbitrarily in order to escape the awkward uncertainty or possible rejection does not give both parties a fair chance.

For those of us who have not been in a relationship in quite a while, it can be a petrifying process akin to being thrown into a lake without a life preserver, while desperately trying to remember how to swim.  The initial stages might remind us the comforting solitude of being single where our emotions are not dependent upon the decisions and actions of another person.  We may wish for this quality of unilateral autonomy and attempt to shake off the unsettling feeling of including another person into our frame of reference.

We would then wonder how the other person would fit into our already busy lifestyle and whether we would be able to accommodate them into our set ways.  We then might also wonder whether we are merely enjoying a new friendship and whether we might be seeing what we wish to see instead of what is really there.  We might wonder whether we are setting ourselves up for disappointment by hoping or expecting too much.  We are fully aware that the other party has the prerogative to change their minds about furthering the connection, and so do we.

When we get to a point in our lives where we have gotten used to exercising more control over our lives as adults, it is difficult to relinquish control and acknowledge that in relationships, bilateral agreements are necessary and the professional prowess in creating results which we have honed in our career might not be applicable and it leaves us feeling helpless and vulnerable.  It would be an uncomfortable emotion to grapple with since we find ourselves outside the safe confines of our emotional cocoon.

It may very well be that all this is in our heads, and that it would all be for naught.  It might be that all the effort and intentions might not result in any significant life changes.  We must be aware of this fact that we cannot control or predict the future and if we so allow the experience to continue, we must be pliant and open to where the interaction might go next–and yes, risk heartbreak, hurt, and vulnerability.  Whatever happens, we can take comfort in the fact that we have gotten to where we are despite previous experiences, and we will be able to move forward knowing that we have been brave enough to take a chance.

(c) Niconica 2013