So of course when I saw this article pop up on MSN after logging out of my Hotmail, I could not help but want to read it and see what it’s all about…:
By Maura Kelly
Blogger ponders the ethics of the great love divide
A certain romantic conundrum has been on my brain for a while:
Isn’t it unethical — or at least kind of mean … or at least a little deceptive — to date a guy if I can tell he likes me more than I like him?
At least one of my friends thinks it is. If I ever say anything like, “Yes, that dude I met through OkCupid is pretty cool, and he seems to totally dig me, but I’m not sure I see it lasting any longer than three months, if that,” my friend will come back with, “It’s not fair of you to string him along! You should either break it off or let him know that you might feel less serious than he does.”
And because I think my friend is mostly right — and because that is CERTAINLY the kind of advice I give him when the roles are reversed — I usually do break it off.
But lately, because I’ve been thinking seriously about my problems with commitment-phobia, I’ve started to wonder if my “ethical stance” about not dating anyone who likes me more than I like him is actually coterminous with my fear of getting into a serious relationship.
If you’re wondering what the hell I mean by that, allow me to show my work, as my algebra teacher might have said: It’s more likely I could get into a serious relationship with a guy who actually likes me — and the idea of being in a serious relationship is scary to me. And my “fear of intimacy” gets sublimated into a lack of attraction to the guy who actually likes me. So voilà! I remain free to get hung up on “douchebags” (by definition, dudes who are less into me than I am into them, naturally). And so I remain single. And I remain FREE.
And even though I say I’d love to be in a healthy relationship … the truth is, the idea of uniting my life with another person’s kinda freaks me out for a million reasons. Which maybe I’ll get into tomorrow.
But for now, let me get back to my original question. Tell me, folks: Do you think it is, in fact, unethical — or at least kind of mean — to date a person if you can tell he or she is more into you than you are into him?
Or do you think there is always going to be some kind of imbalance — and that the only way any romantic relationship ever evolves is if both people deal with the fact that one person likes the other more, at first, but they’re both willing to move forward to see if things even out?
Do you think there should be a gender exception when it comes to this issue? Like, is it okay for one person to like the other more only if that person is a man — since, according to conventional (or at least old-fashioned) wisdom, men are supposed to be the pursuers?
Or do you simply think that when a relationship is meant to be, it’s meant to be, and there’s no sense of disparity?
Given that bebe has expressed to me before that she’s afraid of being committed in this relationship because she feels she might lose her freedom, make herself vulnerable (emotionally) and that she has yet to know where she’s going to permanently locate herself, she finds it hard to overly commit herself… however, I also think that she may even have this said ‘fear of intimacy’ that the author writes about. Of course I’m not bebe and I can’t say for sure or maybe she doesn’t even understand/recognize her own feelings/thoughts yet – but hey, either way I’m still pursuing her!
I really enjoyed reading this because it highlights the encompassing idea that two people must always equally like each other and I think that’s almost shockingly non-existent… how do partners achieve equality? Almost in any relationship, I can see that there will always be one of the partners who loves the other more. Does this mean that a relationship cannot be successful? Absolutely not! In fact, that’s the reason why courting, dating, wooing, etc. all exist – to solidify the opposite individuals feelings and emotions for yourself. If two people were automatically “in love” with each other like we love to believe in fairy-tales, then there would be no courting process, no need for one of the individuals to want to make the other feel good, confident and of worth!
Bebe has told me of her guilt before in dragging me on and continuing to try to make things work by holding on to me, even though she doesn’t quite feel for me. She says it’s unfair to me, but the reality is, there’s more unfairness to trying to giving in and ignore than truly taking the time to analyze possibilities while in a relationship. It always hurts me more in any relationship to end prematurely rather than seeing what could have been. Yes, there will always be a potential for a negative ending but yet, why not think that pushing forth may result in a positive ending – an ending of happiness and fulfillment? Attraction is a funky thing and i know over the years and perhaps, lol, even months… my definition of attraction and the type, physically and personality-wise, of girl I would normally be or not be interested in. Suffice to say, when bebe and I first met, there was some getting used to for me in regards to coming to terms with things I’m simply not used to and not a matter of me not being able to accept certain things/matters/features.
I’m not only a believer that there will always be imbalance in a relationship, but would even dare want to be the one who loves bebe more than she loves me. I don’t have a problem with that. Some may say that’s a blind and foolish thing to do – but then you could argue, so are all the crazy people who get married and have kids! Oh-the-nightmare-of-it-all. People do things for a special someone because it makes them feel good. When I do something for bebe, I don’t analyze what I get out of it. When I give bebe something, I don’t have an expectation of getting something back but rather, is a fulfilling feeling on its own. Perhaps, getting something in return may make me feel additionally well about myself, nevertheless, even the act of doing something for a loved-one is a joyous moment itself.
I see many successful relationships nowadays which all started from something that was “forced”… for instance, many older relationships, women were pretty much forced into marriage or perhaps simply chose their husband out of not wanting to be single/out of wedlock or have a dependency. Many of these “fake loves” grow into “real love”… and although as cruel as that may sound, how could one deny everlasting happiness? I don’t keep tallies and nor do I care about trying to compare how much I’ve done for bebe versus how much she’s done for me because there is no score on love or for someone you care about. How can someone “quantify” the amount of love they have given? Is it tangible, can I hold it? Every time I hear a girl use the word “feel” to describe their willingness or unwillingness towards a guy, I think the Heavens should punish them by removing a tooth our of their mouth. If chemistry and “feel” exists… then so does fate. The concept of “feel” is retarded because there are justifiable and descriptive things that relate to whether we have “feel” or not to one another.
I read many of the comments following this article and was surprized to see how most people as they mature and become older, recognize the realities of life that cupid just doesn’t fly by, shoot and arrow and we all instantly fall in love. Relationships prosper under effort, commitment, loyalty and willingness to endure hardships. No amount of “chemistry” helps you resolve problems. “Feel” does not pay the bills when a partner loses a job or becomes chronically ill. Chemistry does not justify bringing a newborn child into existence. Feel is not the binding glue of aged couples walking happily down the street in canes and walkers. How we truly learn to love is by overlooking the things we want or expect, but rather, what is necessary for two people to enjoy a lifetime of happiness together.
I really think people should revisit the above article every time they think about whether a guy is right for them a not, just based on their own lack of attraction and truly consider some other qualities about the guy who do shine forth. I cannot imagine that any couple out there when they got together satisfies each others wants/needs 100% – but what DOES matter is that these two people through their love and commitment for each other enables them to stay together. Love has no disparity, only ignorance.