Let Go or Be Dragged
I think I’ve done it. Either I’ve lost all remaining faith in half of humanity or I’ve officially learned. I hope it’s the latter. Now in that, let me remind you what a man’s second profession really was.
In the beginning, God created man. Man was bad, so God withdrew Edenic luxury and divided labor: men worked the land, women had babies. The end…right? Not so much. Man’s true second profession was writing: the manipulation of words. Translation work, hagiographies, and eventually independent writing evolved, but the one commonality amongst these was gender. Even women were using male pen-names well into the 19th century. So what do we gather from all this? …
Simply, men have had arguably hundreds of years of practice in the education, art, and manipulation of words. Their actions have usually been an entirely secondary matter.
- Chaucer composed some of the most influential works of early Medieval literature, many about marriage…but was a convicted rapist.
- Shakespeare wrote some of the most acclaimed sonnets on love and adoration, but abandoned his wife and left her with the “2nd best bed” of the house and only a few kitchen items.
- Charles Dickens wrote many books about the plight of women, children, and society, but still managed to divorce his wife after 10 children and go back to his ex. His wife was given a house and custody of one child but rarely allowed to see the rest. She died still heartbroken, 20 years later.
- Hemingway wrote on love, adventure, relationship, hardship, and perseverance. He adored his wife and young son, struggled to provide for them through his early years of writing, then succumbed to a mental breakdown and shot himself.
These are what we consider to be “great men”; they’ve represented a type to us of what we would want in a potential life partner – at least on the outside, because of their WORDS. We may even feel like we intimately know them as people, because of their WORDS.
Very often when I complain about the modern generation of men to those who are older, they will instantly begin to reminisce about how much “better” men were in their day. I don’t know that I fully buy this. You can choose what type of person you are regardless of the year, and based from my examples at the beginning of this article, I’d say my theory can be proven. The majority of men haven’t really changed all that much. I’ll elaborate …
(These do not apply to grown men who truly care about you + are emotionally healthy)
Do NOT think…
1) You can change yourself to be prettier, skinnier, more interesting, more understanding, more experienced, etc. and it will matter.
2) That the following statements mean anything close to what they resemble. Mocking birds sound like car alarms. Are they?
3) That if you share with him how much you truly love and care about him (because you do), that it will motivate him to modify his behavior. There’s only one key to that lock and it’s HIM.
4) That playing mind games will bring him back. Of the two of you, you know you’re an adult. You shouldn’t have to manipulate someone into wanting you, especially a man who already professes that he does.
5) That he doesn’t already come to you with 4 suitcases, a lamp, 2 pillows, an end-table, a dog, and maybe even a bookcase. Your man has baggage, just like all of us, except HE hasn’t unpacked. You being patiently willing to sit and sift through all this with him will not allow him to feel autonomous like he needs to. Do not emasculate him. Your job is to build him up, not carry him. See #3.
6) That he’s not going to leave you before you leave him. Even if you leaving him is the furthest thing from any actual reality, because of his past baggage, he is going to self-sabotage your relationship methodically until he can rationalize to himself that there’s nothing left to work for. Your type of devotion is a first for him, but it’s not enough. Someday he’ll come to the heartbreaking realization that you were the only woman who actually DIDN’T leave him, but where will you be? #mindblower
7) That he wants you. He doesn’t. Here’s how to know if he does. He’s with you. Period. He doesn’t care that you need him. This is all about him.
~ * ~
Now, let me be fair. These men ARE capable of change, but they are the self-starters of the world, the self-motivators, the ones who do everything for themselves, and usually in the realm of business – this is no different. That said, if this man so chooses to put in the self-reflection and hard work to analyze and redirect his behavior, he can absolutely fulfill his capabilities and be the man you need. It’s just not your job, nor will he allow it to be.
~ * ~
Bets are you’ve heard at least one of these statements verbatim, or if not, at least a close ringer. Just pause a moment to consider that it actually may not be you! Giving any piece of your heart to an emotionally compromised male is perhaps the most dangerous game you could play. It’s roulette. You might as well be Hemingway with an adventure and a gun. You can bring 100% to the table on one side and if there’s nothing on the other side of that table, or if it only shows up when alcohol is served, then congratulations, you’re already pretty good at being in a relationship with yourself – and believe it or not, that is actually a really good thing to know. So, observe the following real-life examples and learn. If you hear any of them, you will know exactly what you are dealing with.
“I need to be alone” = I need to date other people. None of whom are you.
“I’m not ready for a relationship right now.” = I want to free-fuck the world.
“I’m not ready for a relationship right now, but when I am, it will be with you.” = I want to free-fuck the world until I get bored, catch something, or lose my mass appeal, and then I want to be with you because you’re an end-all and my mom would really like you.
“I can’t be around you or I’m going to want to touch, kiss, and be with you. It’s too hard for me.” = If I continue to be around you, I may develop deeper feelings for you than I already have and those are scary, so I’m going to tell you something I know won’t have an argument attached to it so I can give myself some free emotional distance. Enjoy.
“We have too much potential for me to do this with you right now. I don’t want to ruin it by feeling like you’re a rebound. I don’t want you to be another (enter one of his ex’s name’s here + a story about how she was a needy piece of work).” = I know that I’m supposed to want a girl like you, you’re the whole package & if I could only stop being a selfish manipulative asshole for 2 seconds, I could really build something amazing with you, but here’s a story about me and how my past is making more decisions for my future…
“I want the lines of communication to remain open…I want you in my life. When something changes, when I’m ready, or if something major in my life happens, you’ll be my first call.” = If I completely let you go right now after having treated you like shit for months, you’ll never come back and then I won’t ever have the option of being with you if I want to later when I realize I’m done being a player man-child. I like options, I live on options…so I’m going to give you hope to keep you around. (Ps, Although I say I want to talk, I really don’t and am going to continue what I do best, which iscompletely ignore you, exempt you from group invites, and pretend like you never happened. Now this makes me perhaps the cruelest and most calculating person you’ve been with besides “that one guy”, but you’ll never know that cuz I’m just so damn sincere.)
“I yearn for commitment, but I’m scared to have that accountability with someone.” = I’m a runner. I want what I can’t have, as always. Oh, I also don’t like responsibility outside of a workplace.
“What do you want me to do?” = I use this one a lot, especially when I’ve pushed you away for long enough that you send me long text messages because it’s the only way I’ll allow you to communicate with me. See, I know I did something, but I’m going to put this all back on you right now instead of dealing with the situation. I’ve already run away. Now I’m going to create some drama or excuses to mask the fact that I actually don’t want you.
“I’ve wanted you for 3 years. I can’t believe we wasted so much time with other people and we finally have a real chance.” = You’ve been a challenge to me for the past 4 years. I’m just now getting around to seeing what you might think of that idea. I don’t have anyone else soaking up my attention span right now, so it might as well be you. Ps, I’m drunk and I’m going to go home and tell my roommate we hooked up. That’s fine, right?
“I’d love for you to wait for me to figure all this out, but I could never ask that of you.” = Here’s some more hope that I don’t have to feel bad giving you because I can always come back and say I told you not to wait. Oh, you are actually waiting for me because you believe in me more than I do in myself? You want to? Wow, I really don’t have to get my shit together now, thanks!
“I really hope that I don’t wake up in a week and realize how much I’ve fucked this up.” = I probably will but I’ll never tell you. Only in fleeting empty moments alone will I think of what I could have had. Oooo, is that beer? #imagrownup
“Ok, let’s do this but I need it to be really slow.” = This is what you want to hear and it’s what I really want too, deep down … but I can’t allow myself to be happy when a really good thing is hitting me upside the head, so I’m going to use the space I created with the word “slow” to think up all the reasons why I must not deserve this – which is really hard when you’re constantly affirming me. It’s distracting.
“You deserve someone better than me. You’re too good for me.” = You love me more than I love myself. I don’t deserve to be happy and I’m going to do everything in my power to keep that from my life because happiness only eventually ushers in loss and I could never lose YOU.
“I’m working on my business plan.” = You won’t argue with this because you’re so darn supportive of my ambition and career. It’s cute. I’m stalling. This should buy me at least a couple weeks, right?
“I hope that when I am ready for you that you aren’t with someone else and I’ll have my chance then.” = I want to say this, but truth is the second I see you in another relationship, I’m a dog with a toy and will come right back to you. My ego isn’t that resilient.
“We’re out to dinner and I’m leaving in the morning for 3 weeks so I won’t see you, but I have to get home by 9:00 pm exactly to talk to my roommate about our roommate problems.” = I’m a commitment-phobic escape artist who always needs an out. It’s 8:57 and you’re giving me a kiss goodbye? Just enough time to pull away and run inside. I’ll text you, babe!
“I can’t tell you that I don’t want you or I can’t see a future with us because it isn’t true.” = Welcome to the rotation. You’re in outer orbit, but I might bring you back to circle whenever I feel like it. You’re welcome.
“I think I’ve done everything I can to show you that I’m not ready for a relationship.” = I don’t know how to use my words so I’m just going to be a dickbag to you until you get the point. Don’t worry, you will.
“You’re amazing, you’re perfect. I hate to use the line that it’s me, but it is. I’m fucked up.” = I can’t find anything really wrong with you, I just can’t allow myself to be happy and am going to self-sabotage until I’m in AARP.
“I still need to work through what my ex did to me. I hate her for it and making it so we can’t be together. She gets to walk away from this free and I’m left here like this.” = It’s been almost a year, but I am still going to let my past dictate my future because it’s less work than starting anything of substance with you. Plus, I’m actually still in love with her and that “closure” I’m talking to you about needing from her is actually a 2 chance. If that fails, you know I’ll come back.
[NOTE: I can’t scream this loud enough – the opposite of love is not hate! It’s indifference. If a man is still speaking about his ex in any way that exudes high emotionality, you can almost see this sentence coming in a matter of time.]
“There are some days when I really think I can do this with you and others where I just can’t get over (enter name of ex here)…” = When I actually allow myself to open up to you, I see how great this could be – but that’s scary, so here’s an excuse I know you’ll understand and maybe even like me more for. I’m really deep and emotional, look.
“I want to be with you but I want to do it the right way this time. I have some things I need to tell you about my past. I’m not ready to share these, and they could ultimately ruin our relationship because it’s done that in the past, but when I’m ready, I’ll tell you and we can do this right. I don’t want to mess this up with you, I want to be up-front.” = I’m stalling. Will you stop asking me for the straight answer I owe you on how I feel and what I want now? This should buy me at least a couple weeks, right?
~ * ~
As women, we can’t help but look back at a relationship we feel we poured ourselves into and wonder what happened, how we could have been better, done better, said better…but you have to realize – these men can’t see you the way you see them. They don’t want you in your entirety. They can’t love your shortcomings as much as your strengths because they don’t have shortcomings.
however, do know my faults and will readily admit them.
- I have a tendency to want to see the best in everyone.
- I assume that everyone is emotionally capable of their own highest potential + I think I can help inspire that.
- I have loved the highest potential of a man, rather than the actual man himself, and in doing so; have waited for this man to ascend to his own greatness while stagnating my own heart.
- I am a victim of my own optimism.