Words of Wisdom On Relationships
I recently ended a relationship best described in the words of comedian Dain Cane as a relationSHIT. I’ll refrain from divulging any personal information or specific details about that breakup out of respect for my ex (and myself, and you, and the world at large). HOWEVER, there are a few lessons I learned that I want to share with you. (And, if time travel ever becomes a reality, to send back to myself so I could avoid the mess I’m currently in.)
Although, before I even begin this article, I know it’s somewhat an exercise in futility. Even if I could send this article back to myself, warning a more naïve me about the dangers of what lay ahead, I probably STILL would have made all the same mistakes.
Because when you fall for someone, it’s like sealing yourself off in a vacuum of illogic. No amount of advice or warning can stop the heart from crashing through the guardrails, tumbling over the cliff, and falling to a fiery demise that will leave only a smoldering husk of charred wreckage to stand as a testament to bad decision.
So at best this article will only serve to slap you in the back of the head post-break and snarl, “Told you so.” Or, perhaps if you have more foresight than I, you will heed these words and avoid the horrors of relationships gone wrong.
The first lesson to learn about relationships is this: don’t rely on attraction. Sexual attraction only indicates one thing about a girl: you’d love to have sex with her. And in that regard the feeling is probably accurate. You most likely will have mind-blowing, toe-curling sex with a woman you find to be very sexually attractive.
The problem, however, happens when you equate great sex with great relationships. The scam of believing in “love at first sight” tricks most people (e.g., myself) into believing that an attractive person will make a great life partner. That certainly can happen, however it’s as arbitrary as picking any random girl and believing she’s your life partner.
So repeat after me: Attraction is about sex, NOT relationships. If you’re instantly attracted to a woman, that’s great, but don’t assume your body is telling you that she’s your future soulmate. At risk of sounding crude (and turning my childhood Disney fantasies X-rated), love at first sight means you found your ideal bedmate. Don’t forget that.
Now that we’ve clarified the scam of instant attraction, let’s suppose you DO begin dating that total hotty you felt instantly attracted to. That’s great (again, I’m not saying it CAN’T work out, I’m only saying NOT to put your blinders on!), but there’s something you should be on the lookout for during those early “honeymoon months” of your relationship: epic fights.
Now I’m not saying disagreeing over something or even getting angry at each other is the worst thing. But if you have one “epic fight” in the first months, meaning that one person gets so angry at the other person that they remain enraged for more than 24 hours, then do yourself a favor and remove yourself from the situation. NOTHING good is going to come of your relationship—and the more you stick around the worse it’s going to be.
If you’re like I was, you may be saying, “But what if she has good reason to get mad? What if I did something that necessitates her being mad for more than 24 hours? Shouldn’t I apologize and try to make it work?” My (current) answer: NO. The reason being: what you probably “thought” you did wrong wasn’t that wrong. When you’re still in your “honeymoon phase” with a girl (which lasts at least 2 months) then NEITHER OF YOU is going to do anything so messed up that it necessitates an “epic fight.”
And so anything that DOES come up (to necessitate the “epic fight”) is simply an indication that you’re NOT meant for one another. A relationship will never work between you two. And the harder you try to make it work, the more effort you put in to resolve things, the more you’re going to hate yourself later on when the relationship inevitably fails.
Make sense? Good, so tattoo this mantra in your subconscious: if get into a fight during the first months of a relationship, end things immediately.
These two rules are only the tip of the iceberg. I could write an entire treatise on the wisdom I gleaned from having relationships go to shit. And perhaps I will write that treatise. For now, however, take these two rules and turn them into habits. If you don’t remember them at the start of your relationship, I promise you’ll remember them at the end of it (and you’ll be pining, “If I only listened to that TSB columnist!”)
A man’s major purpose in life is to find the right woman, but don’t shoehorn the wrong woman into that purpose. Because you will regret it later—I did!
About Rob J. Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.