2005-09-12

More M reflections

I forgot to remember to forget -- Kessler/Feathers

Getting to closure is tough when it comes to some relationships. The irony, of course, is that sometimes it’s not necessarily the great relationships that get all this afterthought. As Muse has pointed out in her latest missive, the relationship with M did not even have the passion she so desired. So why all the post-M obsession? From my experience, sometimes the focus on the one individual (for example, M in this case), is not the true obsession. M may be no more than a vessel to focus upon. Is the real issue more likely: "why does it never seem to work for me with anyone?" As was once pointed out to me, I am the only common denominator of all my failed relationships. That may be a trite but sobering thought. And it doesn't dismiss what responsibilities others have in making it work, but it is something we need to consider.

11 comments:

Corrie said...

What a pointed question: "why, indeed, does it never work for me with anyone?" The trouble is, it's so hard to be objective, and to answer truthfully. As someone once pointed out to ME, "the truth can hurt, but it's still the truth." So don't reject it outright. If someone offers advice, gentle advice that doesn't sting so much, right on up to the throwing-in- your-face-every-attribute-of- yours-they-don't-like kind, the idea is to try and listen.
Are you too picky? Too neat? Too messy? Too oblivious? Too self-involved, immature, rigid, blah, blah, blah, all those words that hurt so much?
Because if you can get past the hurt of the words, you may be able to admit, "yes I am pretty self-involved, aren't I?" And that's the first step to modifying self-destructive behavior.
Think of this: if physical attraction is at the top of your list of "must-have's", ask yourself why? Is it because you yourself are so very attractive, and you need, and deserve an equally-good looking mate? Is it not necessarily a matter of great good looks, but a need for some "spark"? Again, ask yourself why.
Then picture this: you are in a bad accident. Your face is burned and horribly scarred for life. Not only that, but you now face a series of operations to try and fix some of the mess that used to be your loveliest feature. The surgeries will be difficult, time-consuming, involve some expense, and be emotionally-and-physically-draining. In the end, they may not even "fix" your features. You've decided to work part-time to accomodate your health-needs. So now you barely earn enough to live on, and you may never be able to return to full-time.
NOW, what do you need and look for in a mate? Someone who can look beyond your face? Someone who doesn't need a "spark" in order to at least try getting to know you? Someone who will be the most giving and kind person, there to help you when you need the kind of help you now need? And someone who'll share with you?
Thinking about our "needs" is important. But it's hard to figure out why we need what we think we do, or predict what we may need in the future. Or if we really "need" it at all, in order to make a relationship work. With your face half-burned off, you'd suddenly be thrilled if the plain, slightly over-weight, quiet guy at the next desk showed an interest in you. The guy you rejected outright, when you still wore your pretty face. The guy you thought was boring (he's quiet), or wouldn't be a great lover (he's overweight...).
So think about what you REALLY need. The kind of person you'd like to be with...one who'd dump you so fast it would make your head spin, if you lost your face, or your income? Or the nice, quiet ordinary guy, who was sitting right next to you, all along?
I find now, now that I've been through a few personal fires, I don't need a "spark" in order for me to try to get to know someone. When someone criticizes me now, I try to listen, and change, if it's a valid criticism.
Perhaps this is the way to find the kind of person who'll walk through a fire with you, and gladly. And who in the end, surprise, surprise, isn't at all boring, or plain, thoughtless, or, or, or...

Conch Shell said...

Ah Corrie, what sad beautiful poetry this all is.

Conch Shell said...

However, I must admit that as long as I'm not disfigured and destitute, I don't want that fat, geeky nice man, either. I'd prefer to think the goodlooking, funloving, active, smart guy, etc., would stick by me if such disfigurement arose.
But how about this one, if my man became an obese depressive case with hygiene problems, should I stick by him? (or vice-versa?)

Agatha said...

My apologies for the non sequitur...and nothing against all other 5M commentators - even those who find us loathesome - but BOB is my favourite. I know he's too young for an old dame like me, but I think I may be in love with him.

Corrie said...

AGGIE! Self-projecting, once again!

OK, Ok, I agree. Bob is the best.

4th Dwarf said...

Aggie and Corrie, thanks for trying to take some of the "creepy" heat on to yourselves and away from me. I don't think it'll work. It's one of those non-reciprocal gender things.

As for the question 6A poses, I figure we should always be self aware enough to recognize our weaknesses and motivated to improve where we can.

But except for the widows and widowers, anyone who has been in a relationship and is now single is the product of one or more bad relationships.

We can always find patterns in them. Humans are pattern recognizing beings. It's why we see faces in mouldy potatoes and constellations in the sky at night.

And as for the things that are "wrong" with us... You never know what will bug the hell out of one person and be charmingly endearing to the next. With truly insecure partners it can even be our strengths that get us rejected.

coyote said...

Was it that old fraud, Socrates, that said, "The unexamined life is not worth living"? He may've been right, just this once.

Or maybe it was that other G(r)eek philosopher, Mediocrates. Whatever. A little peering in the metaphorical mirror is sometimes good for the soul.

I do not discount instant rapport -- it's given me some stunningly, memorably good moments. But deciding somewhere around (or even before) the first date that I was in love with a lady coyote I didn't know very well, and that we were destined to be soul mates for life, then trying waaaay too long to make the resulting mismatch work, has also given me some stunningly memorably bad moments, too.

I guess I'm sayin' that sometimes, with almost zero information, we delude ourselves into falling in love with what we want that other to be, rather than what they are... Dame Agatha.

As an older, wiser coyote, I have thoughts. One is that in relationships, we needn't sell our selves short. We needn't be ridiculously grateful to any jerkass pretending to tolerate us. Rather than trying to measure up to what we imagine their expectations to be, we should be examining if they measure up to ours.

We also need to find ways to strip away self-delusion and see things clearly. And I think Corrie is absolutely right about considering whether what one thinks of as one's core values hold up.

That said, each of us is worthwhile to be with. If somebody else doesn't think so, well, we shouldn't try beyond all reason to make 'em. At the same time, we shouldn't beat ourselves up too much over what we think of as our failed choices. Because, well, we learn things that way. And that's a gift, not any reason for self-abuse.

4th Dwarf said...

You know the problem with quotations is they're often abbreviated. It's a little known fact that what Socrates actually said was:

"The unexamined life is not worth living, I bet."

Agatha said...

Or perhaps what he actually said was "The unexamined life is not worth living...NOT!"
I'm projecting a lot these days, so I won't say anymore. I'm going to wait for the next posting. I hope Bob comments soon...I'd love it if he commented here. Sigh. (Am I creepy enough yet, 4D?)

4th Dwarf said...

No, but again, thanks for trying.

I just tried this test, answering as me, I came out as "Christopher Walken", pretty creepy, you'd have to agree. Answering as you, it came out as "Abraham Lincoln".

coyote said...

Speaking of creepy, was it Kenny Rogers that said, "...I just dropped in/ to see what condition/ my condition was in..."?