Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Relationship With Parents

I have attempted to write this blogs subject matter so many times in the past, but have held off because I was scared of offending anyone, namely my family.  But as I watch so many of my friends going through issues of varying degrees it seems to me that there is a pattern emerging within my generation.  I am sure I am not the first one to figure this out, but I will say I am having a heck of time finding anyone else’s writings that have quite identified what I feel is something that must be pointed out.  I felt really alone for a long time with what I was going through with my parents at various stages of my life and perhaps going though what I did at a younger age has made me a little more cognoscente of the patterns I now view around me.

I have written about children before and although I have none of my own, I was a child of divorce.  And I do believe that how we relate to our parents impacts our future relationships.  After all, this is the first bond that we form upon birth.  The primary one is with our mothers, and secondary is with our fathers.  Because of this, whenever I am given the opportunity to comment on a situation where children are involved I will always be the voice for the child.  As much I want to side with the parent, I will never fail in pointing to the needs of the children as the primary action to consider.  But we must not forget that the relationships we have with our parents are starting to change now too even without children involved.

Here are some common problems that I am noticing between my friends the relationships they are having with their parents.  The first is that the parents are too involved in their child’s life.  I went to counseling with one of my parents a few years back because I felt like I had a relationship that was not normal or what I needed.  I felt that the involvement was as a friend and not as a parent.  That the parent voiced opinions and concerns that were inappropriate to voice.  Almost to the point where I felt that if I didn’t not take the opinions of that person that I was letting them down in someway, and a major issue in this was that those opinions were almost forcefully put upon me.  I thought I was so alone in this issue, but the more I look around I see parents of friend my age doing the exact same thing.  I see parents telling 30 year olds who they can and cannot date.  I have friends who are being judged for their specialties in their chosen professions, especially when the wants are different than their parents.  Across the board I am seeing my generation almost being forced to take a stand against our parents.

It is absolutely baffling to me to even write this.  I have never felt unconditional love except by my grandparents and thus I truly thought I was the only person out there who had to take a stand first against one parent at a very young age, and then against the second parent at a much older place.  But now I am seeing the big picture where it is not just me going through this crazy transition.  What has taken place in our parents generation that has afforded them this belief that they have the rights to force their adult children into actions that they perceive as correct?  Parents need to understand that they have made mistakes in their life time.  Not only that but that their children will make mistakes in their lifetimes.  But the real issue is projecting past mistakes upon your children.

My therapist who counseled me during my realization of this years ago said something that helped but hurt a lot.  She told me that my parent was experiencing a sense of loss in losing the child who needed love and support to letting go and accepting that I was now an adult.  The advice was that I needed to set the rules for how I wanted the relationship to continue in the future and I had to set the tone for our relationship.  Honestly it is something that I find so hard to do, to stand up to the person who I owe life to and express that I am an adult who is free to make my own decisions and more importantly my own mistakes.  Maybe in writing this a few of you out there will recognize your own patterns in this situation and your own way to rectify the problems and salvage the relationships with your parents.  It is after all the first relationship you have in your life, and will define you until the end.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Ignoring My Gut Reactions

Sometimes it is easier to pretend that I do not understand men at all, rather than come to terms with the current realities and issues that I face on a day to day basis.  I know what my gut tells me about initial reactions and what I feel about a certain man in my life.  With saying that though it is all too easy to ignore the gut reaction and replace it with hope or the fantasy of what if.  I know I just finished sharing my current relationship fantasy,  but I recognize that it is only a dream world.  It is fictional and will remain in my subconscious, because quite frankly if something like this was to ever play into fruition it would be deemed by myself quite irrational.   I am fairly certain I would not be able to handle any long term repercussions of such a nonsensical attitude towards my future.  And yet logic for me flies right out the window especially when I have known a person for any length of time.  I have an almost uncanny way of imagining a life or reality where times were different and my initial reaction was for all intents and purposes misguided.

My cousin and I both watch Smash, and I fully admit that I love the show.  We bbm each other after each episode and discuss our feelings towards it, making predictions for the future episode.  Some really fantastic bonding time for the two of us, where we can lose ourselves in the show and take some focus off our current lives.  We both have our relationship issues and although very different from one another she made a rather poignant statement the other day.  One of the characters, Karen, has a boyfriend with whom I predicted would cheat on her with a co-worker.  We both determined that we were quite sad if that came to pass as we both liked the character.  Then my cousin spelt it out by saying, “I liked the guy too, hence why we make bad choices [with men]”. 

But there you have it; quite simply, I know what my instinct tells me about a person.  I often even know how things will or will not work out in terms of a relationship, but I constantly fight these feelings.  I honestly couldn’t tell you if this is a personal competition that I have within myself.  Or it is more than that.  Maybe it’s that I just would much rather be with a person than only with myself.  That I can put my gut and long term aspirations on hold for a while, to ensure that I no longer feel isolated within myself.  Is this an inherent human trait that others feel and has lead to our mutual cooperation and ultimate survival as a species?  Or is this just a very base level feeling brought on by being an only child?

I have told myself a hundred times in the past few weeks that I am going to be selective and picky when it comes to forging a connection with a new human being.  But in the meantime, I am watching as a few very interesting dynamics are created around me.  And I call them interesting only because I for a long time took deliberate action in ensuring that these scenarios did not take place.  But looking back now, I am not entirely sure what I was afraid of.  If for example I knew that my independence would be a huge turn on for partner A, then the only conclusion at the time I could come up with was I would end up leaving him for someone who was OK with me not being 100% independent.  My gut instinct told me to be strong and self assured, but my feelings overshadowed that instinct telling me that the relationship would only end in heartbreak.  Ironic, but the writing was on the wall from day one.  The internal struggle to be myself, versus being what my man wanted me to be or more clearly being what I mistakenly perceived my man really wanted me to be.  All I can do now is laugh at the ridiculous nature of so many of my relationships and trust the little voice that tells me to be myself no matter what.  There is no hardship knowing that a relationship ended because two people weren’t compatible and they both knew it.  There is however a lament involved when one party knows that they were just not capable of being themselves for whatever external and internal pressures were present.  

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Practice Makes Perfect

The people that say things have often remarked that practice make perfect.  Suppose though that I don’t want perfect, and that I am tired of practicing.  Where exactly does that leave a person?  Perhaps my logic is flawed knowing that perfection is boring and that I do not want to be the sun, moon and stars for one person.  I want to be loved and love in return, for the moment, and for the future with the flaws.  I have a fantasy life that often comes to mind.  In this life, I meet a guy and we hit it off right away.  We make each other laugh and have instant communication, plus the sex is amazing.  Then we do the most impulsive thing, and that is we run over to the justice of the peace and get married on the spot.  Now that we are married we find a way to make each other and ourselves as happy as possible.  All selfishness melts away and we are two people who are in love and now have enough on the line to truly make a go of things, 50/50 as it were. 

So in this scenario I suppose the biggest factor that I am eliminating from my life is the whole part about practicing.  I am truly frustrated and tired of the trial and error, never quite knowing if the other person is as invested as you yourself are.  The games played of gaining and losing trust, of sharing everything yet keeping parts a mystery.  This very time consuming and sometimes unrewarding endeavour of the dating world is anything but appealing in the here and now.  And yet our society as a whole seems to be encouraging more and more conventions that make a relationship about practice.  We now have an overload of people to choose from on the online dating community.  Whereas before, a blind date that your friend or family set up, took so much time and effort that you really made an effort to get to know the person. 

The idea of sex before marriage has been frowned upon by church and state for decades.  But the rarity today is to not have full sexual chemistry prior to saying the “I do’s”.  40 years ago it was unheard of to move in prior to getting married, a major social faux pas.  However in our current climate, the push is now to live together for at least a year or longer to really see if you would be compatible in marriage.  The push seems really to encourage practice, and variety, but I find myself wondering if this is all really worth it.  Is the result a happier and healthier relationship in the long run?  Or does all the trial and error really just set up the unrealistic expectation that we should be holding out for perfection?  And if perfection does not actually exist, which I would argue does not, then what really is the point of all the safeguards being built prior to marriage.

To what end and purpose does practice make perfect?  If we finally achieved the perfect climax and orgasm, would we then no longer need to have sex?  Or would we just keep having sex far beyond the monotony and put sex back in time where it became only for procreation and not for the pleasure and adventure?  Does all the practicing take away from the real goal, and the ability for couples to say forever?  Is divorce finally on the decline for all of this additional work that couples must do prior to even taking their vows?  I for one am getting dizzy from all the questions and lack of answers.  There seems to be a real push to encourage extra time spent prior to starting a family and perhaps the generation making this push are doing it with wisdom and the best of intentions.  Again though, I am getting tired of the practice, and curious about more permanent surroundings.

Friday, 13 April 2012

God's Impact on my Teenage Sexuality

When I met my first love of my life I was astonished to find out that he was God fearing man.  He was at a crossroads breaking away from a church that he had been interested in, but had created some good friends through it.  I remember after a few weeks of seeing each other having the talk with him about religion.  I impulsively blurted out that I could never respect or be with a man who believed in God as I found it childish nonsense.  Yes, I actually said that, or something incredibly similar and blunt (it was years ago so I am probably paraphrasing a bit).  Oddly enough he went on to be one of the strongest atheists that I have ever met, but I digress.  I bring this up because we were both virgins when we met, and I have often wondered what role religion played, in us making it to that point.

While I went to catholic school there were the girls in my social circle with whom we suspected of having sexual encounters.  But the part that baffles me, is that whatever these girls went through they went through alone.  There was no support from their peers regarding information towards contraception or options.  I held onto my virginity merely because I was not interested in high school boys and knew no one older.  Whereas my friends who were experimenting with their long term boyfriends, could not safely share, or ask questions within our group.  The judgement of family for teenagers to be sexually experimental is one thing, but then you add God into the mix and the result is a bunch of ill informed, hormone-crazed males and females interacting in an almost chaotic fashion with a poor sexual education. 

It has taken me a long time to come to terms with being sex positive, and I think being in that environment growing up did play a role.  Although to be fair, I had a very open parent, with whom I knew I could ask anything.  That in itself was almost a detriment though, as I had no peers that I could share my concerns or feelings about masturbating, hormones, or any number of questions I had at the time.  God may or may not played a role with me specifically, but that figure played a large role within my social circle.  Or at the very least, ensured that we were not comfortable openly discussing anything sex related on school property, which we spent the majority of our time.  I will share with you a rather unpleasant memory of just how perverse the idea of sex was within my group of catholic friends.

When I started to date and hang out with more males the summer after high school and my first year of university I had no idea what I was doing.  So I ended up making out with a few guys who knew each other within our circle.  Well people like to talk, including as I would later find out, the males in particular.  The result was a sick little club that was nicknamed the KKK (K’s Kissing Klub) as best I could figure it stood for.   I couldn’t believe that in university I was in a group that was so fearful of sex and who they were that I was the object of ridicule for merely kissing a few guys over a span of a few months.  With brutal honesty I will tell you that the night I lost my virginity, my exact words were, I just want to get this over with.  Sex had become so skewed for me that it was almost a meaningless action.  I was already given the stigma of a slut so I might as well just get the actual act over and done with.  My first time bore no meaning, and as I had broken my hymen when I was kid playing on a playground, I didn’t even have the pain or the blood.  It was insignificant.

I know the role that God played in the eyes of my friends and thereby how I was viewed by my peers.  I am also thankful to that man who stayed with me after that night and would stay by my side for years afterwards allowing a safe environment for me to explore and grow sexually.  He gave me room to flirt and discover my likes and dislikes.  Also he quickly helped me rid myself of that horrible klub with which I was the key member.  I guess my bottom line is, I firmly believe that the role of God should have no bearing when it comes to sex and building a sex positive environment for our teenagers.  There is more harm in mixing the taboos of faith regarding sex, than giving our teens honest and factual education regarding their bodies and hormones.  If “16 and Pregnant” has taught me anything, it’s that sex is going to happen no matter what the circumstance, now let us work towards separating these two ideologies and building a healthier next generation.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Temptations in the Married or Already Committed Man

I am prefacing this blog topic with a little disclaimer, and that is to say, this has been a topic I have wanted to write about for quite some time.  However I must be truthful in that a few recent events have given me a significantly clearer perspective on how was I going to go about sharing some things that I have learned on the subject in question. 

Married men are a real temptation for a lot of us in the female variety.   And from the few men whom have opened up to me on the subject, this can be a two way street.  These already committed men represent a desire for stability and security in that they have already attained and committed which is what many single girls actually desire.  They have the ability to fall in love, to get married, to start a family which is a huge turn-on for many of us.  As well there is a level of misguided security that states we can be who we are without fear of judgement because this guy is safe.  When we allow ourselves to be this honest and open, we actually in most cases become more attractive to the married man.  Why is that?  Because here is a woman who can be honest, impulsive, and real.  The woman to whom they are married too may no longer be able or willing to do that. 

On the flip side, the man may be attracted to the challenge.  The thrill of the hunt and exploring that forbidden fruit that he knows he should not taste.  Some other man has determined that this woman is desirable enough to marry and therefore should not be overlooked.  There is a competitive strategy to going after an already desirable woman, which we see in the primate community on a regular basis.  A baser instinct that drives a sexual passion in the males, and to a lesser known or admitted extent, the female.

Here is my insight into this though, the trial and error that I myself have witnessed and learned first- hand or avoided learning which may be a more accurate statement.  I recognize in myself the extreme competitive nature that drives me towards many things in life.  I want to be recognized for being intelligent, attractive, fit and most of all, a genuinely good and sound person.  With that being said, sometimes the temptation exists to see if I can actually get that man who is for all intents and purposes unattainable.  Now I in no way am stating that I have acted on these feelings, but I do recognize that they exist and part of me understands that is why having an open relationship made so much sense to me.  The thrill of the seduction is so amazing, that it would take an incredible guy to allow me to seduce and chase him over and over again to obtain the same or similar rush.

Many men I know, who are confident, good looking or charismatic will say that when they pursue a female that the ring just doesn’t matter on the woman.  The odd thing about that is, if I don’t want to be hit on, I will wear a ring to show men that I am unavailable.  So the colliding impact of the two behaviors can definitely lead to some trouble down the road.  I rationally know that temptation exists and the added level of attraction towards a man who has proven he is willing to commit.  Hence why, I know myself well enough to avoid any and all temptation in this realm.  At the very least though I will always have my fantasies.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Crazy Meet Stupid

My moral code will not allow me to publicly write about the specific events that have thrown my little old world into a tailspin, but suffice to say things have been surprising?  When I reach the emotional breaking point that has me seriously considering a female pillow fight in only underwear being the only next logical step to my crazy life, well, it has just been one of those weeks.  There is a part of me that wishes I could change my orientation and try women on for size.  When sharing this revelation with ‘Thomas’  he provided the following, “Guy troubles are easy cause men are stupid and stupid can be figured out. Women however are crazy, and there is no predicting crazy.”  So I am back to the drawing board, which means no pictures to share of scantily clad women fighting with feather pillows.

So back to the men that I love, but here arises a strange thought that I had not even considered but has been brought to my attention.  After writing and being open about my previous relationship, how do I go about proving my trustworthiness to a new potential partner?  I am perfectly willing to discuss and negotiate rules and guidelines on a go forth basis, but how rationally do I move forward.  The idea of being open and flirting with whom I want and when I want has brought me intense happiness.  But is that reasonable to expect in a new person?  Have I just entered into a roll whereby I will have to teach and guide males into the mould that I would prefer, or do I hold out hope that there is someone out there with an intrinsic understanding about my nature?  Just because I flirt does not necessarily mean that I have to go all the way, nor should it.  There is a playful flirtation that I enjoy and understand about myself.

Why do I even bring this up?  Well recently I encountered a male who informed me that my nature could bring about unease in him, which I gather would not be reserved only to him.  I just never quite thought about this from the other sides perspective.  I feel that I can be incredibly loving, trustworthy, and honest in the right circumstances.  But I recognize that I need to get my flirt on and feel sexy from time to time.  Should knowing that about myself not instill more confidence in a relationship rather than less?  I suppose another way to look at this, is in the objective, that perhaps this guy would not be able to handle me.  Which I think is a fair thing to say even though I don’t have any real desire to admit that.

I wish that my ability to rationalize would downplay the female craziness.  And sadly I am not a male and do not think like a male, so I cannot comprehend why they intrinsically show stupidity in relationship situations.  I recently watched a documentary where a course is taught in the states about what males think, their evolution and sexuality.  The class is composed of more than 80% females.  The main criticism for why more men do not enroll in the class is that they cannot figure out how a whole semester can be spent discussing how they think, as they are just not that complex to understand.  Oh the irony of it all.  So with that being said, here’s to the men with whom I have learned so much from, and to the women who have given me strength and have shown me that it’s possible for stupid and crazy to find happiness in each other.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

007- James Bond

It was a long time ago, somewhere in 2001, October.  I was in a friend`s basement in mixed company after a long day at University.  I was playing video games with the boys, and I remarked that I was going to kick the ass of one boy in particular, D, the game was Golden Eye.  I used every trick in the book to win.  And win I did, for a little bit anyways.  It grew very apparent that something was happening between the two of us and it became less about the video game, and more about how to subtly make physical contact without any of our friends around noticing.  Silly 18 year olds, we had no idea how obvious this growing spark was to everyone in the room.  But here it was, playful, flirtations with our attentions changing between the competitive drive to beat the other and the curiosity of this live new person. 

This spark of course grew into my first real and true love.  What started out as mere childish flirtation turned into the major relationship that shaped myself throughout my early 20`s.  And now I write with a lump in my throat at the irony of James Bond being the beginning, can now be said also to be the end.  

Flash forward 10 years, to a girl sitting beside a boy she loves, E, in February of 2012.  Picture the two of them sitting in a dark living room a few hours after an ill timed argument.  Both trying to crack smiles and move forward but absolutely exhausted.  Picture the boy trying to find something, anything to change the mood.  Enter in, my old friend in a new system, James Bond.  There is no playful flirtation, instead there is only a boy who is trying to get his girlfriend to try and play.  And for some inexplicable reason she resists.  She knows the good times that could be had if she just picks up the controller, relaxes and playfully flirts again, or shows that competitive side that she desperately hides.   And yet she continues to resist, to give up, and accept, the fate that will inevitably befall this relationship.

Will this girl regain that piece of herself, that playful and competitive side that made one boy fall in love with her, and without sealed a conclusion on the next?  How did I allow fear to take a hold of me so strongly that I forgot to let go and just have fun?  I honestly failed at communicating the big things, and chose to live just day to day finding small joy in everything I did.  I worked so hard at not taking life so seriously and I wrote extensively to that end.  I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish through and through.  But in the end, living day to day is a self fulfilling prophecy, in that if you are not working towards a future, then your partner cannot see a future in you. 

Life is a very interesting game of strategy and chance.  You can strategize and plan for a relationship all you want, but in the end without communication and planning, it becomes chance that the two people who matter end up on the same page.  I can appreciate why many men out there (and women), do not enjoy games of chance, as ending up alone is a scary thought.  I thought that living my life for myself along side my man who was doing the same would keep up happy forever.  It turns out, I put my relationship on the line by leaving things to chance.  Oh 007, you may have much yet to teach me.