“Life and love are life and love, a bunch of violets is a bunch of violets, and to drag in the idea of a point is to ruin everything. Live and let live, love and let love, flower and fade, and follow the natural curve, which flows on, pointless.” – d. h. Lawrence
First. Happy Valentine ’s Day.
Second. Thank you D.H.
Valentine’s Day should never have a point. It is simply a moment in a natural curve which flows on … pointless. It seems we put so much meaning into everything these days … I kind of think of all the days in the year VDay should simply ‘live and let live’ and ‘love and let love.’
Third. That said. I will make a point on valentine’s day … in fact … a bunch of points <you certainly didn’t think I wouldn’t, did you?>.
I am not sure I will ever best my first valentine’s day post where I applied business acumen to the male thought process on valentine’s day < http://brucemctague.com/a-strategic-look-at-valentines-day > or last year’s thoughtful thought on togetherness < http://brucemctague.com/life-love-alone-and-togetherness … or even my favorite love songs post http://brucemctague.com/6-love-songs-for-valentines-day >but I am gonna try.
This thought for valentines day is not actually mine. Well. Most of it is not mine <because I will add in some of my own point of view>. I was cleaning out a box and I found a column from a late 1980’s Dallas Morning News that for some reason I had stashed in a folder – 10 Romance Myths.
Parts are funny.
Parts are absurd.
But all parts got published in a credible newspaper so I have to think there is some merit <original column in italics … my thoughts are not>.
Here you go.
Myth 1: when its love, you know it.
Not true. One partner may know it; the other may be out to lunch. That’s what happened when one of our correspondents, Didi, met Brad. She knew it was love … not right away. It took her about an hour … but Brad was marching to the beat of a different drummer. One that was banging verrrrrrrrry slowly.
After their first date Brad said, “I’ll call you soon.” And then he fell off the face of the earth for 5 weeks. It took a note under his windshield to get him to pick up the phone.
I agree with the ‘not true.’ Falling in love, oddly enough, has an individual drummer. And just like snowflakes … each drummer is different. I say oddly because unless you are a narcissist it takes two to fall in love. Yet … you don’t know it until you know it <no matter how fast one wants the other to know something>.
Myth 2: when it’s right, it’s easy.
Well. Sometimes it’s so hard it makes ditch digging seem like fun. For two years Jill said, “I love you” and Randy, her boyfriend, said “thank you.” It took the threat of another man to choke out those three little words. It took her threat to move out of town to get him to propose. But that was 14 years ago and now Jill swears Randy says “I love you” every single day.
I absolutely agree with the ‘so hard it can make ditch digging seem fun.’ I just hate the example the author made. Threats do not typically make a great basis for a long term relationship. I agree that sometimes a crossroads moment clarifies feelings … but threats are bad when it comes to love.
Myth 3: dating is fun.
If you are 16 and a Brad Pitt look-a-like takes you to the prom, it’s fun. But somewhere into the second or third decade of dating it can get old. The feeling is best summed up by the woman who told us, “I have spent so many Saturday nights sitting in some restaurant looking across the table thinking ‘I wish I were at home watching Love Boat’.”
Dating sucks. So did Love Boat. There is a happy medium. Good dates are great. Bad dates are whatever the opposite of great is. But you know what? You gotta find the fun in it because you gotta do the dating to actually get to the next phase <I believe that would be called ‘love’ in some circles>.
There’s nothing cupid loves more than a good laugh. That’s why he introduced Alex and Sue. She is a big city girl; he’s a small town boy. She reads romance novels and he reads computer magazines. They don’t even sleep the same way. She likes to burrow in and he likes the sheets loose.
How does their marriage work? Great.
I agree. For every ‘two peas in a pod’ great love example I can find a ‘live on different planets’ great love example. I imagine the real point here is that despite what Cosmopolitan may advise … there is no formula.
Myth 5: don’t play games; they don’t work
Oops. Apparently some do. A correspondent named Victoria explained why: “some people need drama in romance and drama is built on conflict. If you’re nice all the time, you’re predictable and that’s boring. It’s okay to do something nasty once in a while. In fact it’s necessary.”
That’s her advice, mind you, not mine. Just sharing advice not giving it.
This may be the crappiest romance advice I have ever seen. Drama? Ok. Some conflict? Sure. Be nice all the time? No human actually can be. Predictable? Maybe the most overlooked great quality in a relationship. It is not boring … it provides some steady to what can be an emotional earthquake of worry if it isn’t there. Doing something nasty every once in awhile? Oh my. Now that is some good input <not>.
Myth 6: if there’s no chemistry, forget it.
Some relationships actually do start with a sizzle. Mallory and Ted blossomed over a checkbook.
They were friends. Neither of them expected to fall in love. Both got tired of paying rent and realized neither could afford a house on their own. They decided to move in together … split a mortgage … oh, and while they were at it, get married.
Year one was fine. They had a house and a dual income. But something funny happened in the second or third year of marriage. They fell in love.
Chemistry is a funny thing <with feelings not in the classroom>. There are so many frickin’ ingredients to mix up that I think part of chemistry is simply discerning which ingredients belong in the relationship test tube to make it work. If you put the wrong ingredients in <the ones that are inconsequential but steal the necessary molecules from the consequential ingredients> the test tube breaks or simply doesn’t create the desired formula. Ok. Now that I have flogged that metaphor to death … the only thing I would really change is “at first” … if there is no chemistry at first, don’t panic … sometimes chemistry takes a whole semester to solve.
You’ve seen the statistics. You’re tired of statistics. Were smack in the middle of the Great American Male Shortage. Which means that any man who is presentable and self-supporting has it made. Oops. But somehow it just doesn’t work that way.
Take William. He’s young, single and has a good job. You’d think the only thing on his mind would be whether to get racing stripes on his new car. But You would be wrong. From the minute the date starts he worries about how it is going to end. Should he kiss her? Should he say he’ll call if he knows he won’t?
And if a woman asks him in should he sit on the couch? On the chair? How long should he stay?
All the statistics in the world do not make it easier … on anyone <male or female>.
I am a guy. And I imagine I am a statistic. And I can clearly say I do not have it made. I don’t worry like the bonehead outlined in the example <he is a frickin’ freak who SHOULD remain single for the rest of his life> but dating and relationships and all that stuff is not simple … for women or men. No one has it made <or easy>. Well. That is until you actually latch on to ‘the one’ … then you fall into the ‘have it made’ category.
Myth 8: “all I want is a nice guy.”
This may be the biggest myth of all. Every woman says she wants a nice guy. No one really does. Over and over again the nice guys tell us “I got dumped for a jerk.”
Kevin is a nice guy. “a handsome, loving and sensitive person with a bright future.” Three times he has been in love … and three times he has been dumped. Once he was dumped for a tattoo artist. Once he was dumped for a drug addict. Most recently he was dumped for a young unemployed guy. He wonders if all women are crazy or just the ones he runs into.
First. I would suggest to Kevin that he may be a nice guy but he is crappy at selecting women to date.
Second. All women want a nice guy <at his core>. That doesn’t mean they want a spineless jelly fish who does everything he is told to do <even clean the toilets> but they wish for some balance. A manly man with some intelligence and niceness and respect and some individuality <even if it has some not so nice characteristics>. Basically? Women want it all. Oh. A funny thing? So do men.
Myth 9: there is no such thing as a good blind date.
Well. Sometimes they work like magic. There was Eloise. She opened her door to a man dressed in a blue stocking cap, black slacks, white shirt, brown sweater and red polyester jacket. He was short and substantially overweight. Not a great start. Yet … as the evening wore on Eloise found him to be honest, fun, smart, warm and easy to be with. In a word … wonderful. She said yes to a second date and, when he asked her to marry him … she said yes <again>.
Having been on numerous blind dates and even had a couple friend set up a blind date program for me to set me up over a 13 week period I can safely say that there is such a thing as a good blind date. As with anything you do blindly … there is good and bad. The bad may seem badder because being blind means you aren’t prepared … but the good is gooder because you are surprised. I wouldn’t suggest the 13 week program but I do believe blind dates can be a fun supplement to your everyday life.
Myth 10: when you’re ready, it’ll happen.
Unfortunately, no. There are thousands of ready men and women out there. In fact … men and women who have been ready for a while … if not years. But there is an upside to the myth as well. It may not happen when you are ready, but it will happen. It will take its own sweet time but it will happen.
They are correct … no. In fact … I would be tempted to suggest that it is a rarity in Life, in general, on anything … that when you are ready it will happen … given that thought … why would anyone think love would be any different? But. I do agree. If it is what you want … even though Life is relatively indifferent to the fate of your love life … and cupid has a warped sense of humor … if you care it will happen.
Enjoy the day.