Home Dating & Relationships Dating When It Comes To Relationships: Nobody Has a Clue, Yet We’re All Experts

When It Comes To Relationships: Nobody Has a Clue, Yet We’re All Experts

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kiss

I find it hard that in 2014, we are still rehashing many of the same issues we’ve been talking about for the last six years since blogging turned into the industry that it is now. As it pertains to relationships, every year there’s a whole new dose of the same issues and topics with fresh to not-so-fresh perspectives. At this point, we are seemingly further away from being aware that there are no new tricks, just new dogs performing them. When I’m asked how I feel about talking and writing about relationships I always tell them, “I like talking about relationships but I’m not willing to argue with anyone about it anymore. It’s the same argument over and over and I’m merely convinced that more people are interested in the argument more than the solution.”

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And that’s based on the fact that I’ve had conversations with people who vehemently disagree with what I would like to say is the “cheat sheet” version of my ideology on relationships, which is:

  1. The best way to get to the bottom of any of the problems that we have in our relationships is to talk to the opposite sex and not amongst ourselves (whether ourselves is our same sex friends or the person we see in the mirror is neither here nor there).
  2. At a certain age, it’s your fault that you screwed up your relationship. People don’t make mistakes at a certain point; they are well aware when they’re being selfish, deceitful or abusive. Quite frankly, if you want it to work, it will work.
  3. The numbers don’t lie and most of us will be just fine. Not everyone will get married, not everyone will have a family, but whether or not those things happens we will all be just fine. That means there’s no need for some mass overhaul of ourselves if we somehow haven’t had much luck in the relationships environment lately.
  4. Most men and women are very much aware of the people of the opposite sex for which have no chance of ever finding happiness. They either refuse to tell them or they haven’t figured out a constructive way of telling them. Personally, I know that I haven’t figured out a constructive way of telling many, so I refrain. Some of you have figured out a way and are willing to continue exploiting the weakness.
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With all that said, I still have to argue those four HIGHLY sound opinions about relationships in 2014. Maybe it’s just me but when I find myself in an argument about that, I start to think the person would rather argue than actually find a solution.

Then, the other day I was perusing the site of an author that I fancy from time to time and I came across this excerpt from one of his latest posts (I know, you don’t have all day so I’ll bold the important parts for those of you who have “work” to do):

2014 AD – Despite the fact that gender equality is likely the best it’s ever been, sexual and domestic violence are likely the lowest they’ve ever been, and sex education and marriage satisfaction are likely the best they’ve ever been, the constant extremist noise of the internet would make you think that both genders are in the middle of a crisis, if not all-out war. As Louis CK once said, “Everything is amazing and no one is happy.”

Gender identity struggles have been ubiquitous throughout history. Men in the 19th century lamented the feminization of boys and angrily reproached women for their sexuality. Books and plays in the 16th century were written advising women to know their place and be obedient to their husband. Women in the 1920s struggled to express themselves and be accepted for their beliefs and not just their bodies. Ancient Greeks lamented that boys were growing up weak and soft due to too much schooling and not enough warfare.

There is nothing special or unique about our identity struggles today. Every generation goes through them, even though they look different for each generation. The solved problems of this generation will spawn the unsolved problems of the next generation and so the cycle will continue.

In fact, the only thing that is special about today is that we have to struggle far less than previous generations over what our masculinity or our femininity is. Today, a typical boy struggles with the fact that he didn’t get to be on the football team and a typical girl struggles with the teasing she receives because of her bodily imperfections.

A typical man may struggle knowing how much of his identity he’s willing to invest into providing and protecting his family, if any at all, and a typical woman may struggle with how much of her identity to invest in her family. The fact that we get to consciously and openly decide these roles for ourselves and that society actually allows us to come up with our own distinct answers is a testament to how good we have actually have it today. In previous generations, these sorts of struggles regularly involved abuse, poverty, rape, war or even death.

We should be grateful that the majority of our gender-related scars today are merely emotional and not physical.

And moments after reading this post, (you can read the full post here), I felt a shiver come over me. I actually wanted to write this post and I wanted to get into a debate about this post. I knew that there would be much discourse but I was motivated. I was motivated because I had for once read something that I actually agreed with 100%. Sure I could poke holes through it myself, I could add several other dimensions to try and dispel it. But at the end of the day I realized that what it would take in order to falsify this post would be akin to adding Pepsi to my single malt whiskey and complaining that it didn’t taste like a typical Jack & Coke. It was just fine before I decided to mess with it; I could have let it just be what it was.

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But moreover, let me tell you why people stop reading blogs or stop writing blogs that we have loved all together. It’s that they realize one of two things about relationships: 1) They really don’t have any problems in the area and don’t feel the need to keep arguing about it or 2) they have figured out what their own personal problems are and should focus more on addressing them rather than pontificating them with those who haven’t. That’s why it’s important to read pieces like the one that Mark Manson penned, it’s a good reminder that all we’re doing most days is arguing.

There’s nothing worse than two sides of an argument that are just arguing to argue.

gNgnB

Things are great, you can pretty much date anyone you want to date in America and anyone who doesn’t agree with that is considered a social pariah or parasite. Yet people will spend countless hours ranting on Twitter to the ghost opposition about what’s wrong with relationships in 2014. (The ghost opposition is the people who inspired a rant but when you ask them exactly WHO said anything to piss them off they give you a detailed answer like, “you know, people.”) The fact is that many of us will never be happy or find happiness because we’re so convinced that we’ll never find it. Or we’re convinced that we’d have to fight for it but we aren’t willing to fight for it. But WAIT, that still doesn’t keep us from publicly asserting that “we won’t fight for it.”

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If you want to know what I think, I think a lot of people should stop ranting about their poor sex lives or their non-existent relationship and realize that they’re doing just fine. I only imagine someone from 100 or 1,000 years ago listening to us bitch about the issues that we have today and chuckling. I, for one, don’t like being laughed at by people I don’t know. You’re free to do what you want. That’s your right in 2014… get the point?

Comment(27)

  1. I am feeling this post 100% I agree that most people have it good but want more/better. It's kind of sad but hey who am I to judge. I didn't grow up with that person…I don't know their struggle. All I can do is try to understand where they are coming from and respect their opinions…..that doesn't mean I have to agree with them. That is a blessing that in this day and age that we can have a difference of opinion and still live to tell about it. In another time that was reason enough for me to be killed. So yes we have it good…and we are a spoiled society that needs to wake up and take ownership of our lives. Do what works for you in your relationships and in life. Simple enough right?
    My recent post Feel Good Friday

  2. I agree with most of this and I disagree with 1 point of view. Obviously there is some type of issue here because I don't think the mass majority of people talk just to hear themselves talk and argue just to argue.
    I think the problem is that people are clueless about how to get to the root of a problem, much less solve it. I remember in school I hate all math, except problem solving equations and word problems. That was the one aspect of math I was good at. Where the majority of my class was good at all the other aspects of math I sucked at, but they sucked at word problems and problem solving math. Point is, many people are clueless about how to problem solve. Therefore, when they have any type issues/problems they will go round and round in circles trying to solve them. In the end they will have someone else solve them, pay someone else to solve them, or the problems will never be solved.
    Also, as someone with a psych degree one of the reasons why people need therapy is they are clueless about how to get to the root of the problem. People only tend to see and focus on the here and now and what's in their faces now, not where it all began. One of the main things therapist do is take you all the way back to when and where your life began, and go from there. In doing that, u will inevitably resolve any issues you have/had, and/or at the very least be more informed about why your having the issues your having, have more answers and clarity on your life, and know how to deal with it all.

  3. "There is nothing special or unique about our identity struggles today. Every generation goes through them, even though they look different for each generation. The solved problems of this generation will spawn the unsolved problems of the next generation and so the cycle will continue."
    This statement I wholeheartedly agree with and have said something similar myself. However, we are a different generation and society of people than we were in the early 1900's. We're in a new century now. The way in which we handle things is much different than our predecessors because we're different. Technology is different, the world is different, and our mentality and society is different. So as much as it's a fact that we still have the same issues and lament about the same things people did in the 1900's regarding relationships, we see them differently through different eyes. Our perception of things, people, and the world around us is different, and will change with each generation as things in the world around us and in our society change.

  4. "The fact that we get to consciously and openly decide these roles for ourselves and that society actually allows us to come up with our own distinct answers is a testament to how good we have actually have it today. In previous generations, these sorts of struggles regularly involved abuse, poverty, rape, war or even death."

    Eh. Someone could take that sentence and apply it to racism. It's one of those things we know is kinda SORTA true and yet not really. I'm really not arguing it for argument's sake here, I'm just saying that sort of statement is hard to visualize as truth from the side of the marginalized party. We have it good, and yet….we don't. I dunno.
    My recent post Moda por Menos-the Lupita Edition!!!

    1. "Sure I could poke holes through it myself, I could add several other dimensions to try and dispel it. But at the end of the day I realized that what it would take in order to falsify this post would be akin to adding Pepsi to my single malt whiskey and complaining that it didn’t taste like a typical Jack & Coke. It was just fine before I decided to mess with it; I could have let it just be what it was."

      That's exactly why I said this… because you could apply it to racism, but you don't have to. It's 100% true until you try to add a layer to it.

      1. My point wasn’t adding a layer, my point was “it’s all in our heads now, this gender equality thing” is really easy for a man, not necessarily the marginalized party, to say. I was just using the fact that they say the same thing about racism as an example. We’ve made huge strides, yes, but labeling it a “non-issue” is a reach.

        1. Nobody labeled it that. But I don't want to take away from the post so I respect your right to dissent, respectfully.

          Would rather focus on the overall purpose of the piece which I think stood fine without this detour.

  5. The title of this post I love. It speaks volumes, and is very true.
    "Things are great, you can pretty much date anyone you want to date in America." This statement is relative, and should be based solely on personal opinion. The reality is, everyone you like will not like you back, everyone you want, will not want you, hence why we "the friendzone" exist. And everyone you Want, is not the person you Need, and not always good for you.
    Relationships and attraction are comparable to food in some ways. Some people are like Veggies. They're good for you, keep you healthy, and sustain you. But they don't taste or look appealing, so we don't like them very much. Some people are like junk food and fast food. Not good for you, and cause you to be fat and unhealthy. However, because people have idiotic tendencies, are just plain idiots and/or just "cray cray", we typically gravitate more towards what's unhealthy. It looks good, taste good, and it's convenient and easy to obtain. The fruits and veggies, (people) that are good for us, we don't want and don't eat because they're don't taste and look appealing, aren't cheap, convienient , and easy to obtain.
    When it comes to relationships, men and women alike, we're all our own worst enemies most times, and we consistently get in our own way. Unfortunately many people can't seem to figure out how Not to do that. So until they do, they vicious cycle will continue forever and ever.

  6. i agree, in a sense. it makes no sense to argue about this point in relationships, or that point in relationships. i just start hitting folks with the 'you know what, you're right' play action pass nowadays.

    after a while, people will do whatever it is what they want to do, and all you as a person can do, is be responsible to yourself. i learned that 'my' truth, isn't 'the' truth when it comes to relationships, and vice versa.

    truly, your mileage may vary.

    1. All of your statement I can definitely roll with h.h.h. I've used that same reply. Many times that's all people really want to hear anyway: "Your right" or "whatever you say."

    2. "you know what, you're right."

      That's gold! I've been using that for years.

      The problem is when they come back at you like, "You don't really think i'm right. Do you?" That's when you KNOW they're arguing just to argue.

      1. "The problem is when they come back at you like, "You don't really think i'm right. Do you?" "

        that's when you line up, switch with that Omaha audible and respond, "Hey, wasn't there something you needed to get at Target? You told me to remind you…"

  7. Its kinda like Wall Street, no one really knows what is going to happen but as long as you sound convincing. "Follow these rules" when they don't work, its the other person's fault. The best advice is use your own judgment and be realistic, but its hard to sell books with 7 words in it
    My recent post Today’s Word is… INDEBTED

  8. Personal experiences and personalities def skew what people take away from blog entries/comments. So, yeah, arguing can be pointless b/c we don't fully see why people view things the way they do. And the "why" (or details) matters when it comes to actually winning an argument. W/o seeing the full picture to refute or affirm the root of certain perceptions, most arguments just drag on. That's why I fall back on "we can agree to disagree" fairly quickly. But opinion pieces are just that. You don't need to be an expert to have or give an opinion.

    "At a certain age, it’s your fault that you screwed up your relationship."

    So true!!! And some folks argue simply to try to play this truth down. And the word "relationship" can be replaced with "dating life".

    Comparing this quote with #3, if you own your faults, it makes sense to want to address them (change) and increase your odds of relationship/dating success in the future. Not a massive overhaul of yourself per se…but def tweaking the areas that need improvements.

  9. This post made me want to stand up and start a slow handclap. The 4 points were spot on. After a certain point, adults recognize who they are and what they need out of another person in order to have a relationship. We know what our personal issues are, and what we need to do in order to fix them. Basically,self-awareness and being realistic are the answer to relationship questions/ problems.

  10. Great post. I'll say this: While people know what they need to do to fix the situation, they are often unwilling to do it thanks to the ego and emotions, which always gives them an out because they don't FEEL like they should have to do it, and would rather have somebody else be responsible. Too often, so called adults want the benefits without the work that earns the benefits. I learned that the second a person is unwilling to take responsibility for their actions/choices, there's nothing else left to say.
    My recent post New friends

  11. 1)" The best way to get to the bottom of any of the problems that we have in our relationships is to talk to the opposite sex and not amongst ourselves (whether ourselves is our same sex friends or the person we see in the mirror is neither here nor there)."

    This is the ABSOLUTE truth. How many times do we see both men and women claim to be experts on the opposite sex ("I know how men/women think") but their @$$ is single AND bitter. Women think they know men. Men think they know women… yada, yada, yada. It gets old because why bother reading relationship advice when you already know how men or women are and refuse to analyze your own behavior? I really want people with this type of attitude to kick rocks and keep it moving because they usually are the cause of their own problems.

    2) At a certain age, it’s your fault that you screwed up your relationship. People don’t make mistakes at a certain point; they are well aware when they’re being selfish, deceitful or abusive. Quite frankly, if you want it to work, it will work.

    Truth, like medicine, never goes down good. Personal accountability is the sign of maturity while blaming everyone else is its anti-thesis. Which one do you think is easier to be? (Hint: It's not the former)

    3) The numbers don’t lie and most of us will be just fine. Not everyone will get married, not everyone will have a family, but whether or not those things happens we will all be just fine. That means there’s no need for some mass overhaul of ourselves if we somehow haven’t had much luck in the relationships environment lately.

    Nuff said.

    4) Most men and women are very much aware of the people of the opposite sex for which have no chance of ever finding happiness. They either refuse to tell them or they haven’t figured out a constructive way of telling them. Personally, I know that I haven’t figured out a constructive way of telling many, so I refrain. Some of you have figured out a way and are willing to continue exploiting the weakness.

    How do we tell another person (especially our own people) that they are immature/self-destructive/arrogant/et cetera? You ever find the answer to my question bro PLEASE let a brotha know.

    Your points were on point Dr. J.
    Kudos to you.

  12. Women can change the dating game for the entire country in just one month. If every woman in America decided to simultaneously refuse aloof advances alphas, and instead fuck men who only took them out to dinner, called them daily, and complimented their appearance, the result would be obvious. Even if you are the most alpha of alpha in your crew, you would be wining and dining girls like a simp to get vagina if that was the only way to score. But that’s not what the women want. They want the Skittles man and they want the man who texts like he has a 6th grade education. And as long as they prefer that, that’s all they’ll get.

  13. Relationships are all about compromise and the understanding that the grass is not always greener on the other side. After leaving my partner of 5 years I realised a lot of our problems were mine not his, but is a lot easier to point the finger and blame others instead of looking at ourselves and working on our own faults instead of focusing on others.

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