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.
Today, I pondered this notion… whether telling the truth sometimes is a smart idea. I know plenty of circumstances in life often warrant telling a lie… most common in our family is sometimes we have hidden the passing of an elderly family member from an equally elderly member to prevent them from having to go through the grief and perhaps damage their already fragile/failing health. Whether or not doing something like this is valid and moral, it is up to you to decide where you think “telling the truth” is beneficial.
Today, I encountered one of the many times this has happened to me recently in my relationship where telling the truth didn’t always render goodwill or an understanding. I’m finding myself being more drawn-back from wanting to tell the truth to my Bebe. I always believed that in a relationship, one should be truthful about the type of person we are and of course, speak the truth. I particularly find it revolting for people to lie to their boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, significant other, spouse, or what have you… However, recently, I’ve been often trying to hide myself away from telling her things about myself. Ever sinec the initial incident, I’ve tried to avoid conversations of my personal life (to a degree obviously), my experiences or family matters because I have found sometimes she makes judgments and begins to have negative attitudes towards things I say and thus, have sheltered most of our conversations away from those topics.
I made a grave mistake today, bringing up the topic of my mom with her. I love my mom dearly and hold her in high respects, but it is no truth if I say I do not get into fights with her, disagreements, or arguments. I do not “like” or “condone” everything my mom does, so sometimes the differences in opinions generate friction, but does not mean we do not live well under a single household. Oddly enough, the dynamics of this family is truly held together by our two different personalities resulting in a fairly complimentary roles in our family unit.
So… which comes to the point of me telling her about my family and talking about my family. Today, she drew some very negative conclusions about the way I talked about my mom. Maybe you could say I often make conversations more 誇張 (exaggerated) than they really are, but she takes what I say and then holds it against me and gets all upset with me about it. I will admit, I have my downfalls as a person, there are times when some people have chastised me with the way I have spoken with my mom or reacted to something she’s done. I’m not saying I’m the “perfect son” (although would say I am a “good son”), so surely, there sometimes are lines that get crossed. Nevertheless, she was very unhappy with me telling about my conversations with my mom. Suffice to say, I can understand that perhaps she would dare not speak to her own parents that way, but to criticize me seems awkward, especially when she does not know the fully story or the scenarios which led up to the point. In the past, I have criticized her about the way she treats her brothers (including elder ones) and she went all pissy on me about it… and now, she turns around on me and gives me shit for it -__-”
To be fair, neither of us truly understands each others family matters at the moment, so I think it’s unfair for either of us to be calling each other on about how we talk, things we do or the roles we play within our own family structure. That is not to say our families won’t get together or that we do not make a great couple, but that we should hold reservations when it comes to passing judgment. She didn’t get ‘mad’ at listening to me tell her the conversation between my mom and I, but she certainly had a negative word or two to say to me and she’s obviously holding those thoughts in her head now about the way she perceives me. This comes down to my question of how honest should couples be with each other about themselves? This will really make me second-guess whether I want to tell her anything more about myself or events/people around me.
It makes me sad that this is the second instance this has really plopped up in my head. I want our relationship to be open, honest and frank… not filled with mysteries. Although I would not per se, want to being lying to her… I definitely have to “jazz things up” before I tell her things.. make it sound pretty or perhaps tell her in convoluted ways in which it will create a “positive spin” (kind of like politicians… take something bad and actually manage to make it sound good). I prefer not to have things “surprize her” by letting her know the real-deal rather than hiding things from her, but she leaves me little choice because I don’t feel I can express things without it negatively affecting us.
This frustrates me because I dislike lying because I feel it is immoral, especially when it comes to things that represent who I am. I have this want to start turning things I do and say into”a false reality”, where I am “perfect” in her eyes, rather than being the real me where we can learn to accept each others shortcomings. I am not a perfect person, I have done and probably will do things which are wrong. I do not believe it is fair to expect perfection from a person, even if it is a partner or spouse. We all have flaws and having them held against me makes me want to hide these flaws, rather than being truthful and expressing them where we can help one another overcome these obstacles.
It sounds like I’m going in circles now, because I start to feel that telling the truth or expressing the ‘real me’ around her has negative effects. I should start being “fake” or telling only the “pretty parts” of a story and leaving all the realities out. It sometimes makes me think that I should be a fairytale or something. I don’t want to be like that becasue the truth will surface at one point or another. However, if she just wants someone who does everything “right in her eyes”… then I have to start changing the things I say, do or methods of which I express myself. I don’t want to… I detest the notion that I need to… yet, where is the line of rationale and morals?
Should we make ourselves appear to “exactly what our partners want” just to appease them? Is this actually lying or simply a way of jazzing things up and making ourselves appear “better” than we really are? It may be false, but it also does help keep a relationship going. Should we simply be “less” truthful – but not to the point of lying? I haven’t considered how I’m going to tackle this, because this isn’t the first time where my openly-truthful self has caused me to bite my own tongue. It doesn’t make sense that I cannot freely express myself and inner-self to a girl who I truly care about, but at the same time, if it generates negativity and impacts our relationships or her view of me, I rather lie about it and “modify” stories to ‘her liking’ where I come out as the hero, an honourable and FLAWLESS person. That’s unrealistic… but maybe everyone wants a perfect boyfriend/girlfriend…