Monday 3 March 2008

What is Love Without Understanding?

A lot of interesting posts around the place on Love and Relationships.

It seems that we're all a lot more shallow than we like to think.

I guess the real point for me, is that too many people see romantic love through rose tinted spectacles. It's not always a good thing, indeed it has only ever caused pain and misery to me.

The problem is, we all want it, we all think it's the answer, but we overlook the truth.
Even requited love doesn't cause happiness. Two people can be in love, and ultimately, only cause eachother misery.
It can be a terribly destructive force, even, a force for evil.

And certainly, that is all it has ever been, to me.
My friendships, have all been rewarding, but those who have loved me in a romantic way, have only ever caused me immense suffering.

It's only natural to reflect why this is, and I suppose it lies in the tricks our minds play on us. Falling in Love, involves a huge risk, but also, it involves temporary suspension of normal processes.

When people meet, if there is a spark of some kind, it is natural to go into a certain mode. You show interest, you want to learn about them, you show off what is you have to offer.
And maybe something comes out of that. Mutual attraction, strong feelings, a desire to make something of this.
This is a person you select to protect you, guard you, nurture you, carress you, love you.
And you offer the same back.

The problem is, the fact that there is mutual attraction, no matter how strong, doesn't mean either of you are ACTUALLY what the other person needs.

We don't flaunt our vulnerabilities, our weaknesses, our hang ups, our fears, our obsessions when you are trying to attract people. We don't show them what it is we are asking them to protect.

And as time progresses, it sometimes become clear that both parties really cannot see to eye, that one party just cannot give what the other party wants.

The problem is of course, that we start by showing ourselves off, it was the versions of ourselves we were both proud of, that connected. That's what falling in Love is, it's seeing kindred virtues and feeling a union of souls.

But that isn't enough to sustain it.

What sustains it, is do you know what it takes to make the other person happy, and can you really live with that?

Can you live with them, year in, year out, the other side of them, the weak them, the vulnerable them, and can you guard THAT them?
Do you love that side of them too?

The thing is, I suppose I do enjoy the chase. I like it when people respond to my good points, and I'm not being dishonest, what people see is what they get.

But my good points are public and prominent.

People will probably meet me in an environment I'm comfortable in, a public one, when I'm at my best, in a crowd, aiming to please, putting on the charm, interesting conversation, that sort of thing.

I appear to be very approachable, tactile, caring- and of course, to my friends I am all those things.
What you cannot see of course, is that one thing I am not, is trusting.

And just how NOT trusting I am, is way beyond most people's comprehension.

The greatest fear I live under, is anyone having power over me. And just because you love me, doesn't mean I'm going to trust you.

And this I guess, is why 'Love', has only ever, CAN only ever, cause me pain.

Ultimately, I create conditions for people being in my life. My close friends understand what their respective conditions are, and why. They aren't the same conditions.

I suppose maybe, I don't actually TELL women what it is they are letting themselves in for, what a life living with me would entail.
I suppose, perhaps I should.
The point is, it's not a life a woman wants from a man who is supposed to love her. But it's all I can offer.

So, here it is. What Ms Crushed would have to accept.

The idea of actually living together is only possible under the following circumstances- separation of property is still maintained. I couldn't even consider a joint account, joint tenancy agreement, or joint mortgage. You will retain your property, and rent it out. You will then become my lodger. Then, if it all goes sour, you can just move back into your home.

We will still have separate social lives. I will certainly spend more time in the company of other people, than I do you. Over time I might get more comfortable spending more time with you, but I will need continual and regular breaks.

If I say I am going out, that's all you need to know, asking me where I am going and who I am meeting, will make me suspicious you are spying on me and make me uncomfortable. You don't need to know- you have my phone number.

If I go away at the weekend, don't call me unless the flat is on fire. I'm with friends, I'm having a break. I won't be able to cope with spending every day in your company, it's too much, and I like to have parts of my life that you are not involved in. It makes me feel more comfortable.

I'll tell you things if I want to tell you. Otherwise, don't ask. It puts me on edge. It makes me feel you are gaining too much of a hold. That will cause me to withdraw.

You will get on with my friends. You won't pass judgement on them, or argue with them, or try to get me to argue with them. If one friend doesn't like you, that's fine, but he or she, will remain my friend. I won't fall out with a friend, just because you do. If the majority don't like you, I'm likely to go with the majority verdict. And if The Baker doesn't like you, however much you might disagree with his decision, again, you've got no chance. I'll always take his side against yours.

I will have close female friends too. And in some ways, I will trust them in ways I don't trust you. I will spend time in their company, we will go out together, and you will have to accept not coming with us. That's going to be hard. But it's something you'll have to accept. Interfering in my female friendships, is AS grave a sin in my book, as interfering in the male ones. I need a large social circle- both male and female- to be happy. I'll not have it hurt.

The flat reflects my taste. Anything you do is subject to my approval. I like to feel secure in my own home.

Don't worry about meeting the parents- you won't. They won't even know you exist, unless we move in together. And even then, you won't hardly see them. They belong to my life, not yours. And my grandmother, you'll never meet. She remains my private relative.

Don't expect any public acknowledgement of our relationship. I won't have a problem being seen out with you, we will, naturally, go to many places together, go to parties together, etc. It will be obvious in these cases that we are an item. But I'll never state this, I'll never be comfortable referring to you as my girlfriend, even partner is too excessive. You will just be classed, publically, as a 'girl I'm kind of seeing'. If we did move in together, you would be upgraded to 'the girl I live with.'

If we had children, you would gain the title 'Mother of my children.'
I do want children.

However inept I might be at financial management, this isn't something I will share.

I will forget to shop and forget to cook, unless someone does these things for me, or at least reminds me.

I will spend hours on the computer not talking to you, I won't even tell you what my blog is called.
I will probably talk to you whilst we eat, but weekdays, the only decent conversation we will have will probably be in bed, unless you come to the pub with me, when we would have great conversations, but I won't want you to come every night.

Oh, and be warned. Sometimes you might wake up in the middle of the night and find me gone. I'll be out on the step with a cigarette and a cup of tea. Sometimes, I may have gone for a walk to clear my head. I often don't sleep.

If I have a far away look in my eyes, I'm not going to tell you what I'm thinking. If I look upset, I may not want to tell you why.

I will put my mail, personal documents, bills, letters where you can't access them. The computer will have two passwords, one for you, one for me, so you can't access my profile.

If we ever argue, and I say 'I've had enough of this' and just walk out- which I will, that's how I deal with arguments, don't push it any further. Don't bring it up again.
Don't try and change me.

You can offer advice, but if I tell you to back off, back off.

Sometimes you may call my phone, and I don't answer. I may even be able to see it's you calling, but I'm busy. Just leave a message. I'll call you when I'm ready.

If I ever say I'm ending a telephone conversation, no matter how angry you are, don't call back. Wait till I call you.

And ultimately, I need to know, that if I wanted to end it, just like that, you'd accept it, and wouldn't fight it. That you'd just walk away.

I will hurt you over and over again, by pushing you away. If you resist being pushed away, I'll push harder. I will only stop pushing when you stop resisting. Then I'll pull you closer to me again.
But resist too long and too much, you'll make me hate you.

This is all I can offer any woman, and that's truth. Unless I can be sure a woman can accept these conditions, there's no hope.

It's not a good deal, I know that. But it IS the only deal, I can put on the table.

Only a woman who can accept these conditions, can hope to make me happy. Otherwise, she can only cause me Hell.

But- looking at them- what woman would accept them?

But do you know what?

One that could accept, really would be worshipped by me.
And I'd never let her go.

And in fact, in time, I would probably trust her implicitly.

But I need to know first. I need proof.

And I think, perhaps, in future I need to show any prospective Ms Crushed, this post.
It would save a lot of heartache, for both parties.


Anonymous said...

What a prize you are!

Joking aside. I certainly think you believe all that stuff now and it seems that you have had some rough experiences with love, if it was really love but I do hope that if there is a Ms Crushed you change your mind on these things.

Some one might say they could accept this but I don't believe they would mean it in the long run and such a person would not seem to me to be a very loving one or even lovable.

The only way I see this happening is for you to have a good friend who turned into a love interest after the trust was established and you moved to the next stage.

I do hope you can move past this, especially if you want to have children for this is not going to work in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Hate to say this dude, but you're going to end up a lonely old man if you don't budge on some of those isolating choices.

Anonymous said...

I can't putitany more succinctly than Ms. Smack. That's a pretty tough set of criteria for anyone to live up to.

Anonymous said...

*Grins* This is one of the posts which made me chuckle, yet had me holding my breath.

I'd say the prospective Mrs. Crushed would succeed best if she neither loved you too much, nor too little; if she regarded you with affection, rather than passion; if her only concern was with giving you what you need - instead of her gaining a friend in need (because by being with you, her status would be less than a friend, since with those social friends, you feel you have to work to keep them, while having chosen you, she'd be taken for granted. and not having been around in the days before, she couldn't gain the status of 'old friends')

Hmm, but you didn't mention what you'd be to her; a listening ear? a helping hand? what do you offer her? ;-)

Anonymous said...

jmb- Thing is, it wouldn't be the long run, that's kind of the point.
It's one of those paradoxes. Proving that one could meet the conditions, means the conditions are more likely to be removed.

For example, myself and my best mate owns tonnes of stuff in common. You could even argue, we no longer have separate music collections, the borrowing interchange is large, he has about 100 of mine, and vice versa. We have a common music collections, in two location, with a large element of duplication.

We own one DVD player, me both paid for it, since we neither of us watch films unless we watch them at the weekends, it just travels a lot.

I know his bank details, he knows mine, we get paid different dates, so the easiest way to find cash if short, rather than go to the trouble of going to your building society, which take a while to get your own money out, is ring the other and ask them to stick some money in.

When D live here, I slept with my door open, and since the only working telephone point here, means the PC in my bedroom, I had no problem D going on Myspace whilst I had my Saturday morning lie in.

So yes, I guess with me, it does need to be a frienship that goes further, except I have an ironcast rule of never sleeping with my friends, and i can't see how 'd risk breaking that, unless I really, really KNEW, that she was the one.

I've just read what I have written there, and actually, maybe in some ways, I AM more a hopeless romantic than I like to think.

Ms Smack- This does bother me a bit, in a sense, I have become, well, acceptant of that prospect, it doesn't really quite worry me, because it's what I expect to happen. Maybe that explains my comulsive hedonism.

X-Dell- I have my reasons. I learned from an early age, you don't trust people, unless you have no choice, but we all need to make some choices.
Not all my choices are wise- that's pretty damn obvious, but I've also made some bloody excellent ones, and my blogging history, shows that so on BOTH counts.

Eve- Christ, that's good. THAT's good.

Yes, I do respond well to affection, as opposed to passion. I can't cope too easy with the passionate type, I'm too highly strung myself. But I love dogs. I like all that, I like women who like to play with my curls, who just shut the F**k up and listen and don't drone on at me in strident tone.

I think she'd, basically have to accept, and I was thinking about this on the way home, because I read your comment at lunchtime, that there are times when 'm sitting chats to mates, and it's bewildering to an outsider.

With my closest friend, D used used to just find it fascinating to watch. We can talk for eight hors solid, but what you are seeing as eight hours more, to easily exceeding a thousand hours of conversation between two people. It could be several thousand.

Over the years, that just develops, like a self-contaained cultures, treating Human Dynamics as an area of study worthy of spending hours discussing, is one example, but the consistent references to early chapters in thos long dialogue is also inevitable. And then referring to things we remember doing, or people remember, for example 'As Shifty Dude might have done. With that tenner, you remember?'
And 'OK, I get that, but you remember how we established, and you agreed, back in August, I think, that actually, Alison was just a BAD mistake all round, if you look at long term.' or 'But didn't you once say that you thought The IRA ceasefire wouldn't last past 2005?

It's impossible to come into this process without having been there from the start.
And that process continuing, is vital. Tonnes more installments to come, and I need that be the case. It's great.

Well, I am pretty affectionate, ans as long as you're not threatening of anything I do, I'm actually protective. I protect you, as long as you are the type that needs protecting. If you don't need protecting, chances are, I don't need you.

Evoking my protective qualities, is I guess, a good sign I'm letting you in.
I tend to only trust people if I feel slightly protective towards them.

Anonymous said...

To put it bluntly, love without understanding is a load of claptrap!

Anonymous said...

*nods* I understand. One thing I wonder; is that beach picture of you? :-) And even if it isn't, it's a pretty evocative one. Fits the post well. :-)

Hmm... a thought about needing protection arises. One can afford to 'need it' if there's someone to give it; but if there's not; does it mean that without you, she'd be wiped out? Bullied right and left? Because you'd still leave if you'd had enough, wouldn't you... and then the only way she'd be able to survive is to grow strong....

Anonymous said...

Well you always have me to fall back on....

Anonymous said...

*wonders if that was directed at Crushed or me* ;-)

Anonymous said...

Gledwood- Largely, yes. If you can't be bothered to try understand the other person, it's not Love, it's just a desire to own them.

Love is happy NOT to own.

Eve- No, I'm actually more slightly built. But yes, I quite liked it.
The best wat to find pic, is just to google what comes to mind. Just think of a word, like, say your post is on the Universe, just google 'Big bang images' 'particule images' and 'god images'. Your search will give a top result listing hundreds of images that relate to what you want. It takes me about six pages to find one I know will go with what I'm saying, but I always give about a quarter of an hour, just in looking for images.

Tricky one, Eve. To be honest, not quite. I wanted to leave Claire, long before I did- I felt compelled to stay, even though I didn't love her and was seeing other women. I was worried she wouldn't be able to deal without me. In some ways, there's two ways of putting, her immense jealousy was based on two things; firstly, she was clingy, needy, she didn't like being without me at all, even at work, that's how needy she was. Secondly, our sex life was functional, rather than joyful, and whilst I found it suited me, I think she felt that sometimes 'less is more', and that maybe there was a more somewhere, that I might be giving somebody else.
But no, sadly functional but frequent is about my limit. My boss jokes 'You fast, you drink fast, you smoke fast, I hope you don't do everything fast.'
I just shrug my shoulders and say 'It's pretty functional'
I'm just not really a patient person.

It may get to that, Mutley. I'm thinking it's too cold this time of year.

Eve- I think he DID mean it to you...

Anonymous said...

*nods* I see.
For me, I guess I WOULD stay, and do, as long as I am needed *which is why my ex and i have finally broken up; he always needed me before, and doesn't now. and of course, the fact that in this culture, accidentally losing my virginity to him really does mean that i'll have to be celibate for life, if he doesn't marry me *and he WOULD still marry me, actually - the whole thing was an accident (he said he'd just put 'it' in a bit, and he scolded me for objecting, so i tolerated it, but he got over-enthusiastic over time... ah, it haunts me); except that I think i'd rather be single, 'cos i can't bear the thought of having his kids*
Here's a line for you, since we both have regrets *I need to remember it too* - i see people wearing it on T-shirts: "when the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future."

Just that often, I think it's us reminded ourselves.... and again, back to that 'acceptance' thing, and wanting to be accepted.