Friday, September 14, 2007

Universal Difficulty

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do is to take your own advice.

I mean, the thing about dating is that most experiences are usually universal. We all enjoy reading and hearing about other people's issues because we can relate to them. When you really look at it, there's an infinite number of different variations on things, but there's really only a handful of core issues in relationships. It's the variations that make them our own.

As someone who has a lot of conversations about such things and gives out advice pretty frequently, I like to think I've seen just about all of the handful. And in most situations, the different variations don't really affect (look C, I got it right!) the proper response to the problem. Just as there's only a few core problems, there's also a few standard answers, again with little variations to tailor the answer to the situation.

And when you're in one of those situations you've seen a million times, it's pretty easy to recognize that hello, this is scenario "F," which calls for response 4. So why is it always so damn hard to actually perform response 4, knowing that it will bring you back to where you want to be if properly executed? It's always so much easier (and feels better) to go with emotional reaction 4, which, while being exactly the wrong reaction to the situation, feels more like you're doing something that will bring about the end result you want (it won't, and your logical mind knows it will most likely earn you the opposite reaction, even though it seems on the surface like a so much more effective way). You know where you are, you know where the other person is, you know where you want to be, and you know full well both the psychological principles in play and the correct course of action to achieve your goals. You also know that the thing you're most tempted to do will drive your goals completely out of reach. So why do we want to do it so badly?

Humans are complicated creatures sometimes.


HKW said...

Seems to me this is one reason relationships are "complicated", love makes people do crazy, irrational things.

SarahLeigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SarahLeigh said...

I have this problem all the time. I can easily give the best advice regarding men to my girls, but when push comes to shove, I can't do what I would tell them to do. Perhaps it's because in sticky situations, when the opposite sex acts lame, we all want to be the one whe beats the rap when bad things happen. That for instance, if we were to discover our boyfriend was married, that he really would leave his wife for us (FYI this is STRICTLY hypothetical, I have not dated a married man,) but most of the time it's an urban myth that the nice girl and the jackass live happily ever after. Or the great guy and the nagging shrew of a girl. Usually these realtionships go down in flames, as they should. But we all hope and sometimes act romantically foolish because we just want to be drunk on the love too, even if we realize that our mate is not ideal.

My four cents.