“There’s a lot of people you can love, there’s very few people you can make a life with.” -Esther Perel-
“I’m out. This is too difficult. I’m so sick and tired of putting up with her shit. How many times have I told her I need more affection, more sex, more of her time. I’m not here to play second best. She takes me for granted. When we first got together, she made dinner for me every night, we had sex all the time, she was always excited to see me… now I walk in the door and I get a ho hum reception and I’m on my own for food. I’m over it. She was never really my type anyway, I rushed into it, it’s probably for the best it’s not working out. There’s someone that’s more right for me out there anyway, it’s time I end this and start looking for them.”
Relationship getting hard? Fuck it, end it now, there’s a zillion hot women out there. Girlfriend is being emotional, “difficult”, a little too complicated? I don’t have to put up with that, I’m amazing and there are a lot of women who won’t be so hard to deal with. Let’s face it, I’m amazing, I’m hot, I deserve to be happy, and relationships should not be this hard.
Sound familiar? I call it The Swap Out Game.
It’s so dark. Who in the hell succeeded in pushing the ultimate piece of love propaganda, relationships should not be this hard ?? It’s like saying working out shouldn’t be hard, learning to play guitar shouldn’t be hard, it shouldn’t be so hard to get a college degree, etc. You want easy? Move back in with your mom. You want easy? Buy a video game system, load that bong, and rack up some high scores. You want easy? Quit your job, get on food stamps, and put Netflix on endless repeat. Let’s get down to some real talk right now. Would you like to ruin your life? I’ll tell you how… live your life expecting everything to be easy.
I read an amazing book a few years ago, called “The Way of the Superior Man”. I only really remember one line from that book: Stop waiting for your woman to become easier. Mic drop. The end. You don’t need to know anything else about love or dating. Women are hard. Relationships are hard. I’ve said this so many times to friends, and I’ll say it again: Love and relationships are for warriors, people of courage and toughness. Love is not for wimps. If you want easy, get a dog. You don’t sharpen a sword with a sponge. A good woman is here to sharpen you. A good man is here to hone you. I love my hippy wife so much and… and… she drives me fucking crazy. Because she doesn’t put up with my shit. She doesn’t laugh at all my jokes or tell me I’m right when I’m so fucking wrong. She sharpens me. She demands that I grow and live up to my potential. When I’m full of shit, she’ll tell me. When I’m being an asshole, she’ll smack me around, literally (during sex, when it’s fun). Anyway… do you feel me? It’s not them, it’s YOU.
You may have watched too many Disney movies, fantasizing about the perfect princess. You may be suffering from the “I” disease: iPhone, iPad, I matter, I I I… but your relationship is not all about you. It’s about we. It’s about togetherness. It’s about family. It’s about the collective, the community, the entire human race. We’re in this together, or not at all. Have you tried putting your partner’s needs above your own? If you want to receive love, you have to give love, FIRST. Why? I don’t know. It’s just the way it seems to work. When you do it, it becomes its own reward. Don’t believe me? I’m sorry. I really am. It’s not them, it’s you.
It’s me too. It’s horrible. I can be so selfish. But, I know better, and so do you.
Here’s how: Cook your woman a meal, give her a massage, bring her some flowers, give her the space (or the closeness) she keeps asking for, watch the kid while she goes out (yes, you’ll be okay), go to an event with her that you don’t particularly feel like going to (with joy), clean the house, sing her a song, listen to her instead of pretending to listen to her, say you’re sorry (and then say it again), ask her what she needs and mean it (and then give it to her). Do it one by one, it’s easy.
And then watch what happens. It’s like magic. Things will be good, she will be the right woman again, the woman you were looking for. What changed? She didn’t. Circumstances didn’t. Everything is still not perfect and easy. But, there’s some joy, connection, gratitude, and laughs, awesome sex, friendship, togetherness, peace. That’s everything.
Here’s what is so damn awesome about giving FIRST: You can do it anytime you want. You don’t have to wait, or respond – it gives you so much power. If you start giving, even if it’s a little half assed or uninspired, you can turn the whole game around. You’ll stop blaming, you’ll stop pointing the finger, you’ll stop complaining and whining about what you don’t like and what you’re not getting. Relationships are amazing opportunities for practicing the art of giving. Relationships are NOT about getting. If you go into a romantic relationship with a huge list of things you want… YOU ARE FUCKED. Ask your grandpa, he’ll tell you. The secret to being happy in a relationship is to uncover all the gifts that are already right there. The other secret is that you can love and be in a relationship with almost anyone. I think it’s good to choose wisely, but choose! I have chosen my wife. I spent twenty years bouncing from one woman to the next, looking for the perfect one. So arrogant, to expect perfection from another when I am so flawed. Luckily I learned as I got older. I am so damn LUCKY to have this woman in my life, a woman who wants to build a life with me.
Relationships can be hard, but giving is easy. Let’s all commit to work at being givers, not takers, and in the process we’ll build lasting, satisfying relationships that not only change our lives, but the whole world in the process. It’s not them, it’s you.