All the Single Ladies - The Atlantic
I posted this article earlier today (no longer today, this has taken me a while to finish). A couple of you read it, some of you may have read part of it, or even thought about reading it. It’s a long one. It took me several chunks of time to get thru it (I’m easily distracted when I’m feeling creative and I like it like that). But get thru it I did, though I posted it (and started this) when I was probably halfway. I kept reading because I wanted to know her conclusion. Which I’m not going to cliff-note for you. Sorry. If you occasionally read long articles on the internet (like me), then I would encourage you to read it. If you never do, but this may directly relate to you, then I would definitely read it. Lots of good information in there. If there’s just no way you’re reading “all that,” then you might wanna just skim a couple paragraphs for the purpose of enjoying this blog more. If you’re even willing to read ALL That! *pointing down*
There’s a couple things I wanna say that I kinda wish she had said in the article. It would’ve been great. They’re points that I think are important to be made, and I don’t think I’m being....too radical with this line of thinking, so I’ll share em. Though I’m not sure where this is gonna go once I do....
At a couple different parts of the article she talks about the “dating pool,” and the “population of un-detestable men,” and how it’s shrinking, and yadda yadda yadda. That’s all logical, sensible and apparently supported by various statistics. But that is all flying over the main thing: you are trying to calculate the odds of something that is pretty much inevitable. VERY, very few of us “end up” “old and alone” with “no one to look after us!” And those that do probably have a good reason for it. Or are pretty screwy. Jus sayin. *Shrugs*
SO, why are you so worried about it!??? Chill the eff out. Enjoy life, this shit will probably take care of itself. *Sylvester Stallone voice* “It’s kinda what life does, you know...gets together.” I’m so happy that this whole age thing is becoming less and less of a big deal for you. Not fast enough, but still! Progress, yay! Don’t get caught up in society’s number games, assuming you’re not a reprehensible person, everything should be fine, well before “old age.” And assuming there is more to your life than the pursuit of love, then that should excite you. YAY, now you don’t have to worry about finding “Mr. Right” anymore OR “entrapping the man I want because he’s good enough and I don’t wanna play this game anymore!” Yay. Because if you really do want to find someone, odds are REALLY On your side. But I know some of you have been HAMMERED all your freaking lives to worry about this one thing more than anything else, so that’s like ALL you do if you’re not taking steps towards it. For godsakes. If you girls put as much effort into finding someone as you do in, say, stocks and bonds, then....the market woulda collapsed years ago! (Ooooooooh, BADA-Zing!) ;)
Insensitive as it may be to say, for the purpose being really clear (like I’m a scholar in this shit) let’s go ahead and admit that how much effort you “need” to put into this pursuit is (probably) inversely related to how attractive you are. On average. In the eye of any one group of people. That’s putting it pretty simply, but...just somethin to keep in mind. And not just talkin about looks! There are other things that make us “attractive” ya know. I would never put a LOT of effort into this, but if after being patient for a year or more, there’s no close encounters of the intimate kind, then you might wanna start thinking a little outside of your comfort zone, and make something happen. Maybe decrease the level of value you put on...model-like appearances, open your mind and have some faith in the powers that be. The internet is a wondrously potential place. But be honest, and be honest with yourself (see below paragraph entitled “Know yourself!”) and don’t get into Halflife. That shit scares me. It seems like virtual relationships could easily substitute face-to-face relationships without easily being as good for us. 50/50, at least!
Be patient though. Don’t be aggressive! Not because it’s scary/ “unbecoming!”/or slutty (like I care!), but because it’s UN-NECESSARY. If you can’t be on your own for two weeks then you’ve probably got a problem! Work on that. It MIGHT be good for you. In the long run. For like a THOUSAND different reasons.
I say that not so much for the girls who are promiscuous as men by choice—and for the love of things other than love (what did the chicken say? BGGOCK??)—, but for the ones who need male attention to breathe and/or are tired of break ups and falling in and out of lovvvvvve. If you really feel that way then ACT ACCORDINGLY. Realize that the universe or GOD or Shiva or Satan is not out to get you and ruin your life, and that LONELINESS is not cancerous. It can actually be eliminated by things other than attractive horny men. A new study just proved it. Swear to god. If you really are tired of it all and want the next one you fall in love with to be the last one, DO Things differently. Create a whole new plan of attack. Sprinkle a LITTLE bit of sense into it just for FUN! The universe will understand and will help you. God will understand and help you. Your vagina will understand but probably won’t help you. YOU GOTTA BE CLEAR ABOUT IT THOUGH! Make up your mind, put your foot down, decide what you want, form words, and Act Accordingly. If you enter a serious relationship and you’re not even sure about marriage then don’t be all broken up about it at the end when it doesn’t “end” in marriage! Things work a lot better if you do them—oh, I dunno—INTENTIONALLY.
I have one more point of contention with this “dating pool” and all the estimations of it, and this is probably my major point and the point is this: it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter HOW—MANY—FISH are in the sea. It doesn’t matter how many men are at the fuckin party. Cuz you’re not lookin for a dozen of em! We’re not talkin about day-laborers here for godsakes! We’re talking about THE person you are apparently going to spend the rest of your wife with. So, in other words, we are talking about one person. One. That’s it, that’s all there is to it. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. You are looking for one person. One person at the party. One person in the city. One person in the state. The country. The planet. Whatever. One, and then you’re done.
You do at least believe that there is somebody FOR everybody, right? I mean…you’ve seen reality TV right? Some of those people are only alive because it is illegal to kill them! And they’re fallin in love and getting married and doin all kinds of stupid shit. No problem. Cuz, in the end, it really doesn’t matter what kind of person you are, odds are still on your side, cuz there’s probably a few million people just like you. And then a bunch of stupid/crazy people on top of those. You really think that NONE of them could or will ever love you?? A tad melodramatic wouldn’t ya say?
If you believe in God or destiny or fate......then this should be easy for you. Act like it. If you don’t and you think that two people falling in love is just some sort of cosmic accident, well....then okay, those astronomical accidents still happen everyday...you should be able to at least rationalize yourself halfway there with what I’ve said so far. What you are looking for is that one person from which there is no defense, that is right for you on every level that matters to you. When you feel that way and that person feels the same way, and there isn’t a toxic mess lurking underneath…then you might be on to something!
It reminds me of a childhood movie/cartoon, I can’t remember what it is or what it’s called, but this one scene always stuck in my head. Not sure why. But in this scene the knights are battling a dragon, and this dragon is unstoppable, but the “hero” knows that this beast has one weak spot, One Tiny Weakness, a chink in its scaly armor. If he can hit that one spot with an arrow, it’ll pierce the monster’s heart and save the day. An enormous dragon, flying around, blowing fire, killing everybody, and all this guy has to do is shoot a wooden arrow into a one meter space from a hundred meters away. Using—his—“sense.” I think he might have even closed his eyes! What we are talking about is basically impossible. Yet he does it! Because he is the hero and that’s what heroes do, the impossible. And this is pretty much what dating is like. Odd of a visual as (I now realize) that may be. Everyday the impossible happens.
Basically, your heart is like the Death Star. You just gotta find your Skywalker to blow it up!
"Awwwwwwwwwwwwww" Gotta ♥ nerdlove.
"Awwwwwwwwwwwwww" Gotta ♥ nerdlove.
Everyday people fall in love with the person they will someday marry. Everyday people also fall in love with someone they won’t be speaking to in three months, but let’s focus on the positive. Just like that, IN LOVE, with that ONE person, out of 7 billion, or however many people are in your city. It seems impossible and yet it happens all the time. If that kind of love wasn’t so rare then it wouldn’t be so special. So fair enough! But don’t let the fact that it’s rare or “hard to find” turn you into paranoid, one-track minded, down-on-yourself freaks! Because scarcity has nothing to do with you! I guarantee if you focused on making yourself the best, most beautiful person you could be (nevermind physically!), love would FIND YOU. In no time at all. Cuz time wouldn’t matter. Cuz you’d be happy with life and most importantly Your life. And you’d have other things to do than….guys.
If you faithfully believe or logically conclude that there must be a man out there who’s just right for you thennnnnnnnnnnn “Dating pool??” whatthefuckareyoutalkingabout!!? Having a MILLION choices is not going to help you get there faster! Be patient for Christ sakes! You only need ONE!
Think about how you think about these things. Eliminate unnecessary points of view, streamline your line of thinking so there is less distraction, less doubt and less fear, and continue on your merry way.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything after this is just…chunks of writing that came flying out while I was working on the above. This wasn’t a LINEAR process at all, which is part of why it took so long to finish. But yeah, I wasn’t really trying to control it, or shape it (and usually don’t), but in the end, with everything that came out, it would be hard to tie this all together into one flowing piece. And I don’t think it’s necessary. It’s just a blog, it’s just for fun. And it’s already taken longer than I wanted it to. If you wanna read on, you can, they’re pretty much just rants, and they’re probably pretty insulting, but...if they seem “off-topic or...uncalled for, that’s probably because they are. Dating advice from KJ INK...why not!
Here’s another thing that’s worth addressing: men and women with issues who engage in long relationships that don’t go anywhere and are constantly fighting the same battles. Why? Because they keep trying to tackle SYMPTOMS of their bullshit instead of digging deeper and getting to the source. We do this all the freaking time, bugs the hell out of me. Never mind the symptoms! Address the source. Yes you’re very insecure, going out of my way to make you feel special everyday MIGHT Help with that, but it is in no way a long term solution to something that should be seen as bit of a handicap. It is NOT good for you to feel so empty, without THIS or THAT. Become aware of that, it’s not something to be ashamed of. After all, WE ALL Have problems! :-P
Really, we need to start putting time limits on things. But very generous time limits cuz some people don’t respond well to pressure. Cuz they’re fucked in the head. I would say a year and a half is long enough! That’s enough time. Enough time to figure it out, to have SOME CLUE as to what the hell you two are gonna do. That’s all I’m sayin, some clue, nobody needs to be proposing or anything. But a year and a half in you two should be talking OPENLY about this shit, you know, ASSESSING the SITUATION, checkin the pressure on the ol’ love gauge. Why not? You should know each other by then and have some sense as to HOW MUCH you love that person. And a year and a half isn’t too long that you can’t still see the shores of what it’s like to be independent. So you won’t be so freaking scared of it, as some of you seem to be.
I know talking about the future and marriage isn’t an issue for some people but for a lot it is. And I feel for these girls who are in like 4 year relationships and the guy isn’t even sure what he wants to do!? Flippin AYE, cut him lose! It’s silly. If it’s not understood after a couple years that you are getting married someday, I....I wouldn’t bother anymore. LOL. Is that too harsh?? Is that mean? I don’t think so. Life’s too short, and I hate it when people cling to "doomed" relationships out of fear, or have REGRETS, and that’s a terrible complaint to have and a terrible way to feel when you feel like you just wasted all that time on somebody. Wouldn’t wish that on anybody.
But really, why are you trying to force it? And we do! We do this all the time, try and force our love, our will on the one we love even though they don’t love us as much, like we’re trying to wear them down. “I love you, so you WILL love me just as much if I just keep dumping love into you. You will. Just wait here.” Five years later, “OHH MY GAWWWD, I CANT BELIEVE HE/SHE JUST LEFT ME LIKE THAT, AFTER ALL IVE DONE,” yeah yeah yeah. I get it. If you would quit trying to settle for something that is less than mind/heart/soul-blowingly amazing, this wouldn’t keep happening to you. Call me crazy, but that’s what I think.
Some of you women though, and the guys you take on...I don’t know what you’re thinkin. I mean, I do, but I don’t. Relationships do Not HAVE to be this enormous challenge! Really, they don’t. And women who haven’t developed any passions or hobbies of their own in life (not revolving around their sexual orientation), often look for men who ARE projects. Which is fine. Unless you don’t realize you are doing that! Then it’s probably just annoying. To both of you. There are relationships out there though, that (when compared to yours) would seem amazingly easy. WHY?, you might ask. HOW CAN THAT BE? Is it because they’ve always been so good and that’s why Santa Claus brings them the best presents!? No. It’s probably just because those two people were better suited for each other. Not much of a big secret or mystery there. They just…match well. They’re friends, they believe and care about similar things and aren’t just fuckbuddies who see each other five times a week. OH, and they probably have less issues, i.e. know themselves well, can be honest with each other... That helps.
Bottom line though: If you didn’t date terrible men for so long and so often...THERE WOULDN’T BE SO MANY TERRIBLE MEN! They would be FORCED to change, to clean up their “act.” To—OH, dare I say it—Grow Up. Become more Well Rounded Individuals. All the jerks and douche bags and dickheads (I’m not gonna put idiots on the list cuz, ehh, you know, some people can’t help it) would either start killing each other (for lack of anything better to do) and possibly other people (:(), or they would get a clue. And change. At least that’s what I would like to think.
Oh and I KNOW THEY HAVE “GOOD HEARTS!!” WAA-Waaaaaa. They’re assholes. As soon as you see that it needs to be ADDRESSED as a serious problem. Or you need to leave. If you tolerate it, you condone it....at the expense of society and those closest to you. Yeah, I know, nobody’s perfect, we all have problems, everybody’s family is dysfunctional, blah blah blah. QUIT—whitewashing—serious—problems! Nobody’s perfect, but some people have actual, medically diagnosable issues. We all have problems but some of us have A LOT more. Every family is dysfunctional, but some families are WAY FUCKING WORSE off than one with parents who JUST work too much! I am tired of that shit! Every time somebody comes back at me with that, I’m like 0_o? Like all of a sudden we’re competing for credit in battle scars, just cuz I mentioned that my family has problems?? Oh, I’m sorry, did I just make you feel insecure that your life might not be as bad as mine!? Oh shoot! Are you concerned I might be unfairly blaming some aspect of my life on my unfortunate upbringing and not be taking responsibility for myself? Awwwww, aren’t you sweet. This is my story. Shuddup and listen, jesus!
Seriously, all that makes me think every time somebody feeds me one of those lines like I NEVER GOT THE MEMO that most people have some kind of problems is 1: you must have a very limited imagination, OR 2: your story must be HORRENDOUS. As well. Otherwise, why are you interrupting me!? I wouldn’t be saying this if I didn’t have damn good reason to!
K, that was....A TANGENT. Getting back to it!
Quit whitewashing serious problems. I’m tired of that too. It scares me every time I hear that when it could be a serious matter. This ACCEPTANCE of our damage, not of our “natural” flaws and imperfections, but of our DAMAGE that turns into destructive/counterproductive behaviors amazes me. It does. How we just go on for years and years like it’s okay that I’ve never said I love you to another human being, or...it’s just fine that I haven’t spent more than a few weeks out of a relationship since puberty. No problemo. I’m terrified of commitment! That’s all right. I’ve never cried a day in my life! Sounds GREAT. I get angry and verbally and physically abuse my family when my team loses! HaHA, Don’t We ALLL?
What is this crap? How can we not see that there is something amiss there? Something…off balance, which may be making our ship list on our way to (Koh) “True Love.” DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Like….the OPPOSITE of what you were doing before, which was probably nothing. Read a book. Spend some time alone. Talk about it. Write it down. Find SOME balance! I would say “google it” but I’m worried about all you hypochondriacs out there. Still, you might learn somethin. And if it seems pretty serious, like you’re havin trouble changing it, feel free to seek a professional or unbiased opinion. I’m SORRY that therapy still has a stigma on it, I wish it didn’t, I DO! I know it’s better than before but it’s not becoming acceptable/accessible fast enough. Seriously, if it were up to me, I would build an annex on every McDonald’s and open one up! A desk, a chair and a couch, what more do you need?! Take a number, enjoy your fries while you wait! Therapy really is like.....ONE OF THE BEST THINGS EVER! “WAIT, you mean there’s a way for us fucked up people to, you know, UN-fuck ourselves?? Sign Me Up!” The best part about damage is it can be mostly repaired or removed. And once that does happen you get these things called “wizdom points!” And if you get enough wizdom points, you become a Wizard or something...I’m told. Sounds pretty cool. Think about it.
That’s all I’m really trying to say, just....think about it.
You know what, Ladies? Listen to this. This might sound crazy, but I THINK....the better you know yourself, the less time it would take to know if someone was perfect for you.
I know! Me Too! What a crazy way of doing things. It’s almost like it’s backwards, even though IT ISNT BACKWARDS AT ALL!
Know yourself. Please, know yourself. Work out your daddy issues, or at LEAST become aware of them. Realize that IF you’ve been abused at any young age, you probably have issues that are causing you to behave and react in ways you normally wouldn’t. Seek help. And don’t be offended when I suggest that. I’m not looking down on you, I’m just telling you...what I did. It’s hard to look down on somebody when you’ve been there. And I don’t care if it’s a shrink or just a good listener who occasionally says something that’s not stupid. Get it out there in the open and work on it. It’s not a shameful thing at all. It’s a public service. This world is fucked up, and fucked up people do fucked up things. But you do NOT have to become one of em! We got enough destructive zombies self-destructively roaming the planet. Take a long look in the mirror or in the eyes of someone who can help. OUTSIDE of love.
Eros Agape Philia Storge! (no, that’s not a spell from Harry Potter. Sorry to disappoint)
I wish modern language had more words for love than the word love. And before you jump to rattle off a few words that are similar, nope! I know what I’m talking about. Love is the only word pointing to what it points at that cannot be immediately turned around and seen in a negative/unsatisfactory/not good enough light by someone else. For example: fuckbuddy love. Lots of people would just think that that’s not a great kind of love to have, which would eventually make the person who has it dis-appreciate it too. Sad story, I’m sure. All right, bad example, but you would totally get what I’m saying when I point out how “plutonic love” seems to become worthless when “True Love” is attained. For some people.
And it’s UNDERSTANDABLE. Look at how we’ve been programmed. That is the fucking ULTIMATE GOAL. Whether we like to admit it or not, that is how we behave. Everything else in life PALES in comparison to the pursuit of romance and procreation. So, when we think that way, it’s no wonder we have so many issues with loving anything but ourselves and our most immediate surroundings. See love, feel love. Don’t see love, don’t feel love. That’s how it is for a lot of us. Sadly true. And because we have only one concept of GREAT love to “achieve,” various other levels of life (with love) are ignored or undervalued. But clearly there are other types of love, that are good on all sides, and valuable, and enjoyable and worth keeping! Like the love of your family. Like the love of your closest friends. Like the love of your God. Like the love of your work or art. Like the love of your lover versus the love of your (future) spouse. It’s ALL love but it’s all markedly different. Clearly, right? Yet we keep using the same word, IF IFFF we use the word at all, and that’s probably not a good thing. I believe our understanding of love has been limited by our ability to verbally differentiate between the different types of love. And if our understanding of something is limited, our ability to experience it is limited as well. Crippled even. Like tryin to squeeze a funnel cake through a funnel.
The ancient Greeks had a much better way of dealing with this. And by dealing with this, I mean, they didn’t have to deal with this because they had more than one word for love.
4 in fact. Each one valued and respected and appreciated, but slightly different. Allowing people to express different types of love, without the person receiving it feeling slighted or insecure. Allowing someone to literally tell a friend, WITH FEELING, that she loves him, without worrying about her husband getting jealous or betraying him in some way by using the SAME WORD. Because she wouldn’t be! Different, INDIVIDUAL words for different kinds of BEAUTIFUL worthwhile Wonderful love. What a system. I think we would really benefit from something like that. Suddenly it would seem like we have so much more love in our lives, and, ironically, that would be true.
Just to be able to express love more and see more things as love, would make it so that there is more love, even though it was all there before. A rock on the road that you don’t see, has less power than the rock in the road that you do. Even if you’re not going to hit it, it could cause you to swerve and cause a wreck inadvertently. Yet, if you didn’t see it AND didn’t hit it, then it may as well not even exist. That is the power of its presence, visually! As soon as you see it, identify it, “Rock,” it has presence! You do not have to wait for it to blow your tire open. Until something has presence, it cannot have an effect.
The more we see love and speak love, the more we’ll feel love and be love.
That Sounds good to me.
At this point I’m just another man telling women what to do….Right?
That article spearheaded all of this, for sure. But then once I started writing, a dozen conversations I’ve had in the past few months with various females and close friends just started to spool together. And I’ve done a pretty good job of being supportive, while tryin to squeeze in a little sense here and there but...it’s not easy. The latter part that is. Human beings (not just women) are not easy to talk to sensibly about things they are emotional about. Plus, unless it’s a really destructive situation, they’re probably just better off figuring their own way out of it. Experience is the greatest teacher. At least when it’s not being the harshest.
My point is, some of you who read this may have noticed a connection to a recent conversation we’ve had, please don’t think this was anything personal. I’ve had a lot of conversations like that all my life, there’s just been more than usual lately. You were more like the inspiration, the spark, the match. My whole life is the fodder. I didn’t think of any of you more than I did my past or past relationships with women. I’m just trying to put all of it together in hopes of squeezing some highly concentrated juice out of it. For SOMEONE’s benefit. If not your own.
I would love to be able to tell you that throughout this I’ve been trying to walk the fine-line between being condescending and being sensible, but really I feel like I’ve just been trampling on both sides, fairly evenly I hope. This is why I have to tell people I’m an asshole. Cuz there comes times when I can’t tolerate whatever anymore and I have to say what I really think. Regardless of….whatever the fuck you think. Not that every word should be taken literally, I am trying to have fun with it and make it an interesting read, but I’m just not going to limit how I express my thoughts because you might not like to hear them.
Plus, when I embrace my assholish side, and channel that voice, it makes the writing process a lot more fun and...gives me a chance to flex and fart and scratch myself all at the same time. How nice, uh? Of course, I meant all of those metaphorically, cuz...I’m such a cool writer like that. *rolls eyes*
I guess if I wanted to be truly fair I’d have to follow this post up with one about men but....I don’t care. Really, I mean, what would be the point, or the challenge? It’d probably be like a paragraph long. And sound something like: “Don’t rape anybody. Don’t assert your will over another person, it’s terrible. Try to talk about women in a way that wouldn’t disgust your mother or progressively liberal sister. It’s a little weird to talk about any group of people with that much vulgarity. Be honest, or become a slightly better person so that you can be honest. Enough white lies put together is just as poisonous as one big lie. And being a good person actually feels really good. It does, give it a try. Value other things in a relationship as much as you value blowjobs and sex. (Yes, using the words “more than” would’ve been asking too much) Grow a heart.....admit that you care...show your…you know, those things, whatever they’re called....feelings or emotions or whatever. It’d be good. And be patient. Which is important because patience will keep you from being “creepy” and from becoming one of those guys in clubs who just grab at girls as they walk by. Which is just stupid and creepy. There really is a scent of desperation. And the only time women seem to ignore this (or somehow find this flattering) is when they’re desperate, intoxicated, Or the guy is really “cute.” Otherwise, BE Cool. And if you have real issues then talk to somebody about it or....read Fight Club. But don’t read Catcher in the Rye. Or Heart of Darkness. Or American Psycho. Please. Oh, and don’t rape anybody. Thank you.”
There. Done. That pretty much says it. The main difference being that one of these lines could take a lifetime for a man to master. And often do. While being more emotionally complex, women are also more apt and able to adapt, to the environment or needs. If you don’t believe me, see something called “survival of the fittest.” Men have always been kinda losin that one. Hmmm, I wonder why.