Love aka Voluntary Insanity: “Going down the rabbit hole” (pt 2)

Remember when I last posted in July of 2014 and I said I would follow up my entry within a few days? I can’t believe you actually believed me. Well surprise mother fucker, it’s now October 2015 and the second part is finally here. My unemployed, bum ass is participating in NaNoWriMo in a week so I thought I’d warm up my writing skills by blessing everyone with a few entries. Let’s get right into the meat. This entry’s for all the chronically single people out there.

This is all written from the perspective of a serial monogamous. Your mileage may vary based on your own viewpoints.


Fatal Attraction

Falling in love with someone all starts with attraction, which means that love starts with something unexplainable and complicated. Research shows that how attractive someone appears to you is primarily based on their personal experiences. So while everyone agrees that certain features make people “better looking”, each person actually has very different “types” that they’re more attracted to.

I never fully thought about this phenomenon until a night I came home from drinking and started drunk messaging a girl I like. While messaging this girl (who wasn’t responding), I received drunk messages from a girl who I knew liked me. I then posted a Facebook status that said “Either my turn-on is people who aren’t attracted to me, or my turn-off is people who are attracted to me” and called it a night. The question I had for myself: If there are people who like me, that means that I’m likeable. Why does the person I like not like me then?

I wasn’t being that serious, but there is a power dynamic that takes place at this point of attraction. Whoever likes the other person more has less power in the relationship (if both people involved know who likes the other more). Like people say, “you always want what you can’t have”. The more you can’t have someone, the more you want them. The biggest problem with this is is that when you start liking someone, you start viewing them through rose-colored glasses. The more you like someone, the harder it is to think about them without bias. Everything about the person that you’re attracted to, no matter how ordinary, sets them apart from the people you normally interact with. This is the opening of the rabbit hole of attraction. Once you fall in, it’s a long way out.


Rosy Rabbit Hole

It starts simply enough. A slight nervousness/excitement when talking to them. Then involuntary smiling that sneaks its way out when you interact with them or when you read their texts. Hahah why is everything they say so damn funny? Why do you get an increased urge to use exclamation points when talking to them? Why does their talking about Game of Thrones instantly make you want to know so much more about them? (Everyone has different things that pull them in, but mutual interests usually do it). They just saw Kanye West in concert? Oh my god you’ve been fuckin with ‘Ye since Through the Wire. AND they hate onions too? Whaat a coincidenceee! You also hate onions!!! If you got married, you’d never have to worry about sharing dishes with onions in it cause you could just ask for no onions. It’s like this onion-hating relationship was crafted and blessed by Jesus Christ himself.

If you’re at this point, you’re fucked already. Game over. Your brain takes almost everything you learn about them and associates it with a positive feeling. Pretty soon, it gets harder and harder to see their crappy qualities, and the only thing your brain is telling you is that you. want. them. bad.

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The longer you can interact with someone you’re attracted to without going down the rabbit hole, the better the chance you have of accurately determining if you should even be going down the rabbit hole. I actually consider this the most important part of dating. It’s not about who you date, it’s about who you don’t date. I always found this funny when friends would tell me about someone they started talking to. “Oh I’ve been talking to this guy, but he’s pretty dumb.” “I’ve been talking to this girl, but she doesn’t like to drink”. People can identify the reasons why they shouldn’t start a relationship with someone, but they’ll throw on the rose-colored glasses and dive in anyways.

From Zero to Hero

This is a problem I never thought I’d have when I was growing up, but lo-and-behold I’m 26 years old now and I’m picky as hell about who I’ll go on a date with. Most guys (especially when they don’t know what they want or they don’t have that many attractive qualities) treat dating like fishing. You throw out your line and you hope you get nibbles. If anyone takes the bait, you reel that mofo in. Doesn’t matter to you whether you’re catching anchovies or big tuna. A catch is a catch. “I’m just lucky that a girl is attracted to me at all”.

The better a person you become, the more attractive you become to other people. Yes, some people are born more physically attractive than others, but this shouldn’t be a crutch that holds you back. As the research earlier said, attraction is based on more than just your looks. It all starts with small habits you pick up that slowly turn into a part of your lifestyle. I’m not gonna give you a whole guide on becoming a better person, but most people are attracted to people who: care about themselves, care about others, can read social cues. At least those are values I find particularly important.

Care about yourself: Care about being the best you that you can be. Care about your future. Care about your happiness. Care about how you look. Yes, you should care what you look like. You got one fucking face and one fucking body. Take care of it. Being happy with how you look leads to you being happier and happier people are just more attractive.

Care about others: Care about friends. Care about family. Care about causes. Care about random people. Care about the world. People who can only think about themselves are wholly unattractive.

Read social cues: Socially awkward people are the least attractive people. I feel for them, because reading social cues doesn’t come naturally for everyone. The only thing I can say is: Copy people that other people like interacting with. The rule I’ve always followed: Speak when you have something relevant to say that people want to hear. If no one wants to listen to what you’re saying, shut the fuck up and listen. Just like when I said earlier that it’s not who you date, it’s who you don’t date. Sometimes, it’s not what you say, but what you don’t say. So step one to not being socially awkward is actually this: Have relevant stuff that people will want to hear. Talking to people about mutual interests is easy when you have a lot of interests. I’m an interests whore. I can talk to people about food, hobbies, sports, video games, TV, music, movies, books, life, love, travelling, and everything in between. I’m usually pretty good at guiding conversation, but one of my biggest turn-offs is when I ask someone what their favorite music artists are or what are some movies they’ve enjoyed or what kind of food they like and their answer is “I don’t know. I like everything”. Bitch that doesn’t mean you like everything. I like everything. If you can’t list out what you like, then you actually like nothing.

Most people are working on improving themselves in some way or the other. The more I worked on myself, the more people ended up attracted to me. But unfortunately, the more I worked on myself, the LESS people I ended up attracted to. This rings true with a lot of chronically single people I know.

When you have high standards for yourself, you have high standards for other people, which means you eliminate more people from the dating pool.

Just Give In

Every attractive person out there who has been single for a long time (people have different definitions of long) has had the thought: How about I just give someone on the list of people who like me a chance? Any attractive girl could snap her fingers and any of the guys who like her would instantly take her out or fuck her. Even I have a list of people I know would say yes if I were to text them and ask them out on a date (and some people who would agree to just straight up have sex). This is what most people simply refer to as the friend zone. The friend zone is just a designated spot you put the people who you’re not attracted to in. As men become more attractive, their dating world starts more closely resembles the female dating world, where they actually end up friend zoning girls as well.

The feeling you get when you friend zone someone is not pleasant. Most people don’t enjoy doing it. It’s done out of necessity. I’ve friend zoned girls who I’ve thought are beautiful or sweet or everything in between. I wish that I was attracted to them, because then I would date them, and a part of me hates that they’ll take me rejecting them as a sign that I don’t think they’re good enough. The only thing is that whatever personal experiences I’ve had have shaped my attraction so that I don’t see them through the rose-colored glasses that sets them apart from the people I normally interact with. I don’t feel any nervousness or excitement when I talk to them. When I read their texts, I don’t involuntarily smile or think it’s any funnier than what other people text me. The shitty part is that they do feel that when they interact with me. I recognize the imbalance in power, and I try my best to maintain a non-romantic distinction so that 1. I save them from heartbreak when they realize I don’t like them as much as they like me. 2. I save myself from accidentally liking them and getting stuck in a relationship with someone when I know they don’t match what I’m looking for. The assholes and the bitches of the world are the ones who see the imbalance and power and use it for their own personal benefit.

Thinking about the people who I’ll never give a chance to helps me understand the people I like who’ll never give me a chance. Yes, it still feels like shit being attracted to someone who doesn’t feel the same way, but at least I understand it a little better. I’ve actually been in love with someone who isn’t attracted to me. They don’t feel the same feelings for me that I feel for them, but they’ve probably felt those feelings for someone who doesn’t share those feelings back. It’s a chain of pain that you can follow up and down both ways. When you think about it, the difference between me and someone in my friend zone (or someone who’s friend zoned me) dating is literally a few lines of text, or the difference between us having sex is literally three articles of clothing and a question, but it ain’t gonna happen.

My advice: Try not fall in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you. If the rose-colored glasses start to come on and you know the person’s not interested, just run far way and move on. I didn’t, and I ended up deep down the rabbit hole. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Figuratively, it feels like you’ve cut off your dick and you’re just constantly fucking yourself in the ass. In real life though, there’s whole lot less fucking going on.

There’s a quote that people like using to come to terms with this phenomenon: You can’t make someone love you. You can only make yourself someone who can be loved. The rest is up to the person to realize your worth. Combine that with another quote I’ve seen: Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.

Remember this valuable lesson: the person you like is actually not as great as you think they are. Inversely: You’re not as great as the people who like you thinks you are.

Will that make you feel better? No, but falling for someone proves that there are people out there that you’ll end up falling for. It’s the little drops of water that keep you going when you’re dying of thirst. There are people out there who will feel the attraction to you that you feel for them, and when you find each other, you’ll forget about everything else.

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I’d Rather Starve than Eat Shit

The problem (as stated in my previous entry, which if you haven’t read, you can scroll down to read after this) is simply volume. I meet a lot of new people, but I’m attracted to very few of them. If you only wait to date people who you’re actually attracted to, you might be waiting a long goddamn time (if you don’t have low standards).

In the meantime, you’ll have many opportunities to get into shitty relationships. Taking time to figure out if someone is worth dating while your rose-colored glasses are off is the easiest way to keep yourself out of shitty relationships. Like I said earlier, it’s not about who you date, it’s about who you don’t date. If I determine that someone isn’t worth dating (I either don’t find their personality or looks attractive) then I will throw them in the friend zone. The easiest rule is to not dip into this pool, no matter how desperate you get, because attraction ends up building up over time. If you give people a chance, you’ll actually start liking them. However, you’ll never like them as much as you would like someone that you’re actually attracted to.

Do you want me to be the person who settles for good enough when someone who fully fits what you’re looking for is out there? Understand that it might take a really long time to find this person. Hell you might never find them. You might find them and they might not be attracted to you and then you have to wait to find someone else like them. You might find them, but the timing doesn’t match up and they’re in a relationship. I’ve heard people say that everyone who’s worth dating is already in a relationship. If you’re not willing to holler at people in relationships, then you’re not gonna find anyone worth dating. I don’t think that’s true, but whatever helps homewreckers sleep at night I guess.

The question is, are you willing to stay single long enough to find someone who matches what you’re looking for? If you’re in your 20’s, then yea, you probably could afford to wait. But as you get older, maybe the risk isn’t actually worth it. I’ll update you in 4 years if I’m 30 and still dry as the Sahara fucking desert.

And in the end, just because someone is perfect for you, that doesn’t mean the relationship is guaranteed to work out. The only thing you can do is give yourself the BEST CHANCE of a successful relationship by putting thought and consideration into who you actually date.

The most common causes of shitty relationships is that the rose-colored glasses of attraction come on too soon. While you were looking at him objectively, you knew that he partied way harder than you and that he liked spending money freely whereas you like staying in and you’re more conservative with your spending. However, you thought he was cute and decided to date him anyways. In the beginning, it wasn’t really a big deal. Everything else about him was amazing. But over time, everything about him that was amazing became just good, while the negative qualities didn’t go away and start getting on your nerves more. Relationships don’t get easier over time. They get harder. They require more work, but you get a lot more out of them. That means the start of a good relationship should start easily. If you start with shit and think that you’ll magically improve to something amazing, you’re in for a big surprise.

What most people know, but try to fight against, is the fact that most people barely change. It takes so much work to change yourself. While it’s possible to change yourself in a relationship, the ideal time to change yourself is outside of a relationship. Don’t date someone expecting them to change their true nature. The people who I’ve known for 10 years who were awesome are more or less awesome now. The people who I’ve known for 10 years who were shitty are either still shitty or at best, are barely starting to become awesome. That was with middle school/high school/college, where people go through a lot of change. If you’re in your 20’s and you’re still an asshole, odds are, you’re gonna be an asshole for the rest of your life. Sorry. Though, you’re an asshole, so you probably don’t care anyways.

I’m not saying to date someone perfect, because no one’s perfect, but DO NOT start dating someone who has a fundamental flaw that you cannot stand. I can’t stand inconsiderate people or negative people. I know this, so I avoid dating people with those qualities. Doesn’t matter if they’re hot as fuck, I’m not going to be in a relationship with anyone with those qualities, because I’m smart enough to avoid future trouble.

People get into these shitty relationships and wonder why they’re unhappy. I’ve heard some pretty shitty advice from these people, and the most common thing they say is that: “Every relationship has problems”. While true, they also conveniently omit that some problems are way bigger than others. Before starting a relationship, make sure that you’re not setting yourself up for a relationship with BIG problems. A relationship takes money, time, effort, and energy. If you start a shitty relationship, it’s not as simple as simply breaking up. You’ve invested yourself emotionally into the relationship and you’ve incurred sunk costs along the way. You can polish a turd as long as you want, and it won’t turn into a diamond.

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What if you don’t want a relationship though? Well there’s casual dating/sex and two other common modes of dating.

Heartless (or maximum efficiency) mode: Date anyone available to you. Dump them when you find someone better available to you and start dating that person. Repeat and try not to think about the path of destruction you leave in your wake.
Fuck it mode: Date anyone you’re slightly attracted to, because “fuck it, you need someone to watch Netflix and to go to restaurants with”. Break up when you’re satisfied.

I’m not saying that any dating mode is better than the other, but I’ll give you the benefits of the chronically single mode.

Chronically Single Mode: Try not to be that bummed out that you’re not in a relationship and rarely find anyone that you actually want to date. Read people’s awesome blog posts about dating and figuratively nod in agreement.

Why do I embrace being single? There’s a huge opportunity cost to dating. A successful relationship requires a huge investment. Time, money, and energy that you put into a relationship is time, money, energy taken away from yourself. If you want to become a better person, become a better person while you’re single. All the care in the world can go solely to yourself. You can do anything you want and you only have to consult yourself. When you date someone, you have to take into consideration whether or not they want to do the things that you want and you’ll never completely match up with whoever you’re dating. Successful relationships are all about compromise. If I’m going to get into a relationship, I’m gonna do my best to make sure it succeeds. So I’m taking advantage of being single to literally do anything else I want. There’s upsides and downsides to being single and being in a relationship, but this has gone on long enough.

You’ve reached the end. If you read all that, sorry for the length. This entry has been a long time coming. I think there should still be one part left where I talk about what constitutes a good relationship and why it’s the end goal that most people strive for. Hopefully I’ll finish it before 2016. I do have some other unrelated drafts that I want to finish cause I’m pretty tired of talking about dating now. Next entry coming up might be my views on success and happiness (I’m almost done with that one).

I’ve hoped I’ve sufficiently scared you away from dating people for the sake of dating. If not, well, it’s your life. You can do whatever and whomever you choose. As always, thanks for reading. Happy dating.

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