“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
If you really need relationship advice I tend to think that’s probably a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship.
Says the woman who spends about a third of her blog pontificating about ways to have better relationships.
But most of the relationship advice I’ve ever received or read hasn’t been even remotely relevent to my life. Heck, most of it barely even makes sense.
Like how there seems to be this received wisdom that if you’re dating a man you need to ‘take control of the situation’, ‘make him work for it’ and ‘make him come to you’.
I don’t understand how ‘making him come to me’, leaving the ball in his court and the whole situation festering in the background is ‘taking control of the situation’. I couldn’t do that if I tried. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a terrible control freak, the waiting to see if I was actually waiting for anything would just about drive me out of my mind.
In terms of how much it annoys me this is closely followed by ‘you need space’.
If one or both of you needs to calm down then sure, take the time to do that, but beyond that space is the enemy of intimacy.
Absence seldom makes the heart grow fonder, it more often hardens the heart due to the fear of getting hurt that stems from not having a frikkin clue what’s going on. So your partner removes themselves from the situation entirely and leaves you deal with the mess by yourself.
And what’s with the umpteen articles I see on a daily basis telling me ‘how to get my partner to do x, y and z’?
Why is anybody reading those things?
I’m not interested in emotionally manipulating anyone. I want to create a connection that’s real. I want to know that I really see my partner and that they see me. That we’re both present in the relationship and that we’re doing the things that we do because that’s us and that’s how we want it. Not because we’re playing by someone else’s lousy rules; doing an impression of a real relationship.
You need to treat him this way because he’s ‘A Man’. You need to treat her this way because she’s ‘A Woman’.
They’re also individual human beings.
And I’m going to find a way to treat my partner that works for them. And for me. And if that doesn’t work out and I end up getting hurt then so be it, because that’s so much better than getting into that box all this so called advice is trying to fit us into. It’s just too cold and detached in there for me.
I think part of my aversion to relationship advice is that control freak thing kicking in again. If something is really important to me I don’t want other people who don’t truly understand it barging in and messing it up for me. If I’m going to screw it up I at least want to know that I did it on my own terms.
Partly it’s because the picture the advice is based on of what a relationship is supposed to look like just isn’t something I aspire to. It assumes that all successful relationships look the same, based on the assumption that everyone defines success in terms of their relationship in the same way. It also tends to assign either party a role within the relationship and then expects them to proceed within the confines of that role.
I know who I am; and I know what I need from a partner and want out of a relationship. I don’t need to play a part; and I don’t feel like my relationship needs to look like everyone else’s in order to be healthy.
But mostly it’s because I really think that if anyone else knows more about your relationship, or has a better idea how best for you to negotiate, improve, or mend it than you, you probably shouldn’t be in it.
Honestly, if you can’t ask the person you’re with “why did you do this?”; or say to them “you hurt me”, or “I don’t understand why you are doing this”, or “I need blah blah”. You probably shouldn’t be with them. You’d be better of just ending it and finding someone who you feel like you can be yourself with.
Communication is the only way to build a relationship and to create and sustain any level of intimacy. If you have intimacy you shouldn’t really need to seek guidance from anyone but your partner on what’s best for you relationship.