Coupling has a side-effect: de-coupling. Until we find the one with whom we want to spend our lives meshing energy, emotion and mind, we’ll make false starts, and false starts inevitably lead to real ends.
Ending relationships is a rite of passage. Knowing how inept we are at the beginning is the way this journey begins. Gradually we learn what we need to know about ourselves and the nature of coupling to make them stick…at least for a while.
Or not. Kregg and I bat the breakup blues around in this week’s podcast.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Ego is the barrier between us and seeing the other. By the other, I mean the other person, specifically the one with whom we’re contemplating coupling.
When we list out the qualities we admire – and desire – in others, oftentimes the result is a compendium of who we think we are. We all look at our own constituent parts and think hey, this is the good side of me, I want someone who is similar to this.
It makes complete sense. You and I both feel that we’re alright, that we’re sufficiently individual with our neuroses, predilections, biases and slants…that we’re worthwhile and that’s something to aim for in a coupling partner.
But is that true? Do I really want me in a dress? Am I best served by finding someone who mirrors me in a female way, and in doing so will mesh beautifully?
Ego stands in the way of finding who someone who fits in real life because we’re all resistant to accepting different ways of looking at life, and especially different ways of looking at us. Self-protection is a fundamental human quality. It’s a personal affront (but a critical element of good couplehood) to live with another viewpoint of everything we hold dear; which is code for “living with someone who sees the good and the bad”.
But living side-by-side with someone who sees us clearly – the good, the bad and especially the ugly – will ultimately be our making. A bargain with another person who wants to link with us but is both clear-sighted and affectionate results in something bigger than us both.
The word “dating” has almost run its course.
Words are powerful for the images and emotions they create, and because dating drives straight to the heart of us as mammals and intellects, it is an especially charged thing.
Removing the links to expectation and desire might be a start to some clearer thinking about finding people. Replacing the word – date, or dating – with something more accurate could get us shuffling along a better path. Detachment from dreams and attachment to reality seems to me a healthy goal, so why not call dating “mesh testing” or “compatibility examination” or “people fitment”.
Yes, all those clunky words won’t replace something so strongly held as dating, but even if we think for a second or two about what we’re actually doing, we might find a useful shift in our outcomes.
Two schools of thought:
A. She should take me as I am. And like it.
B. What can I do to get and keep her interest?
Neither works in isolation. Any coupling will involve both of us modifying our behaviour, some more than others. Imagine two partially inflated balloons fitting into a chest not quite large enough for the two of them. That’s the mental picture to keep in mind. We’ll need to shift, change emphasis and here’s the word….accommodate the other.
Both of us need to do so. For a successful coupling, that is, my assumption if not yours.
In looking at A. and B. above, do you think is says more about the person concerned or his or her romantic interest? If I choose someone whom I want to accept me totally as I am, is that likely to work out well?
And if I choose someone for whom I will change as required, will that work out?
When Alice looks into the mirror, does she see herself?
Or does she see the bizarre world she’s about to explore?
Perhaps the view changes with the day. Or with the time of her cycle. Or if she’s in company or not. Or if the car’s low on petrol.
Being a male with an interest in an Alice is our own version of going through a looking-glass. To most of we guys, the world of women is odd. Things change quickly. What worked yesterday doesn’t work today. Clarity garnered in similar circumstances earlier turns to misunderstanding the next time.
When we do find a moment of mutual meshing it never seems to last. Such a balance is fragile, rapidly dissipated and replaced by the eternal riddle…what did I do wrong?
At a certain point, males discover that we are a relatively fixed point in space-time, and women are an energy field. (Time for some hard physics in the coupling sphere, don’t you think?)