The headline says it all. Intelligent decisions these days haven't really had anything to do with love, girlfriends, or relationships for or against. intelligent decisions almost exclusively have to do with when to cut the other party loose. That's not to say that I will never have to make decisions about love, girlfriends, or relationships for or against, it's just that the issue has not come up in many, many years. So, that's where I am. I figure that I will feel compelled to make an intelligent decision about someone sooner rather than later these days. I just don't, for the life of me, know right now what that decision will be.
For a good deal of my adult life, I've had a tendency to gravitate towards situations and individual women that invariably proved very difficult. The women usually possessed a lot of beauty and youth, and the difficult situation usually involved unavailability or unapproachability as principal features of the women and the situations. I'm trying to take a more compassionate course of action with myself these days, and just take it easy on myself and not try really hard to make things happen if I see a situation and an individual woman with these characteristics. I'm fifty-five years old, and beautiful twenty-one year old girls are not any easier for me to get with than they were when I was twenty-one myself. So, baby, it's not you, it's me.
I've thought about what I've just written up above and I want to add this. I've learned how to bail when courtship situations get too difficult for me. I figure the reason that such situations present difficulties that I can't get around or through or anywhere else has to do with the unavailability of the person. In every situation I can think of off the top of my head, it took more courage to let go than to hang on. And, in every situation I can think of off the top of my head, letting go of the love interest proved the right thing to do. So, for me, the skill I've learned these past several years, the skill of just getting the hell out, serves me better than just about any higher level skill I can think of regarding my relationship with women.
I'm putting anyone I should meet in the foreseeable future on notice; my skills at just up and quitting a situation are for their own good as well as mine. There's some women in my world I like, and I need not feel intimidated by the situations or dilemmas they may present, because I've really learned how to let go of difficult situations and women should it come to that. There's women I like and would like to get to know better, and knowing that I have the ability to let them go makes me feel better, and it helps me like them better.
My last post talked about the love addicted/ love avoidant dynamic. When I finally let go of Jenna during the Summer of 1992, and in a matter of days found out that Sara was gay, the folly of my pursuit of both of these women really hit home. I remember feeling as if, from that point forward, I had absolutely zero obligations towards these types of women ever again. I mean, under no circumstances should I ever again feel the need to try and work things out with women such as Jenna and Sara. If anyone in the future ever, ever reminded me of these two-plus quite a few others- I had every right to just walk away, no apologies necessary to ANYONE.
Saying that to myself in the run-up to my grand mal nervous breakdown, and actually putting that promise to myself into action in the aftermath of all of that drama, when the dust had settled, and I'm feeling good again, well, actions speak louder than words. I had one more crash and burn episode in 1999. It seemed as if I'd learned nothing from the Big One and my subsequent mental illness diagnosis. The only thing I learned from that episode in 1999 was this: Even with a diagnosis, medication, therapy, and the support and understanding of friends and family, I could still crash and burn in the exact same way again. That whole episode was just a psychotic episode on medications that had no accompanying mania, voices, or "recovered memories."
Whelp, someone in my world now reminds me of Jenna, Sara, Veronica, Julie, Wanda, Linda, Myrna, Katy, why, i have the veritable pick of the litter by which to make comparisons between this woman now and those women from my past. I am rich, rich, rich with experiences to draw upon in making my decisions about this person. Rich, I tell you.
There is not one person in my world that I have thought about in the past six months, the past eight months, the past year or more, that I wish to pursue romantically at this time. NO ONE! If someone in my world wants me to pursue them romantically- and let me make myself perfectly clear, I'm not sure that ANYONE wants me to pursue them romantically these days- but if the person I've been writing about these past couple of months or so wants me to pursue them romantically at this point in time, I have this to say: no dice.
Now, one might think me harsh on this person, but I have this to say. Coming out and saying what I'm saying now might actually HELP in the chance that myself and this person could one day get together. Think about it, at least I'm honest about what I want and what I don't want. Now, in reality, my experiences have shown that if I don't sign on for a totally fucked-up, dysfunctional deal with a type that VIVIDLY reminds me of some of my most painful times with women, then no deal ever, ever takes place. In theory, an up front, open, honest approach might actually work, but in real life, it's either a bad deal or no deal at all. I choose no deal at all.
Back in the late eighties I got tripped up by the concept of what constituted entitlement. Entitlement basically goes this way: "If I do a, b, c, for such and such a person or persons, I have a right to expect x, y, z, in return." The nice guy type oozes a sense of entitlement with his obsequious ways towards his love interest, and then rails against the unfairness of it all when his love interest invariably shits all over him.
My last post talked about my dilemma with entitlement this way: if I follow the rules of courtship regarding issues such as not being underfoot all the time, not being so available, respecting the other person's boundaries and life, taking my time etc., and they still pull the rug out from under me, then that's a deal killer for me. Two examples of pulling the rug out from under me include: having some guy show up on the scene, and trying to make me jump through hoops.
Here's the difference between a sense of entitlement and how I describe my reactions to such avoidant behaviors from the other party as the one's I've mentioned in the previous paragraph. A guy who carries around a sense of entitlement would try to come off as super-nice and infinitely patient about such behaviors from the other party, whereas I acknowledge two things: 1) that there's only so much I am able to do on my end to bring these matters to a satisfactory conclusion, and, 2) that I have limits as to what I will put up with. The guy carrying around a sense of entitlement will try to come off as infinitely loving and patient in the face of such behaviors, things can drag out for a long time, the nice guy will start to feel a great deal of resentment at how the avoidant party treats him, and, oh, the fun that both parties may experience with this interactive dynamic in play. In contrast, the guy who sets limits and boundaries will cut such a person loose sooner rather than later. "Gee, Rich, how is it that you know so much about the inner workings of the nice guy, and how is it that you can chart out so thoroughly the way things can go wrong?" I leave it up to the reader to guess at that one.
About the avoidant type. Yep, women who are very, very attractive, come of as confident and well put together can totally end up engaging in avoidant behaviors with someone like me. From what little I've gleaned from looking stuff up, I can now kind of understand where such a type, the avoidant type, comes from with this kind of abusive behavior. As a child the avoidant type may have been treated by one of their parents as more of a friend the parent could lead on emotionally than as a child who needs to have a proper childhood that doesn't incur such a heavy emotional burden. I can see how a very attractive, confident acting child can inspire a needy parent to dump a lot of emotional baggage on him or her, because the good looks and confident demeanor of such a child can make such a parent feel that the child possesses a wisdom and insight beyond their years.
It's not that the avoidant type is just a whore, or slut, or player, or what have you. It's that any prospect of a love addicted type coming around can stir up two conflicting things. 1) that it's great to have someone who really needs them, 2) that having someone who really needs them can make them feel emotionally claustrophobic, and they will flake. Youtube videos will have these therapists go on at length about this toxic dynamic, but the only ones I've found address the dynamic between the love addicted woman and the love avoidant man. Actual dating and marraige relationships can occur when the maladies are distributed between the genders in this way; that is, if the woman is the love addicted party, and the man is the love avoidant party. For me personally on the other hand, as the love addicted man pursuing the love avoidant woman, I have often been viewed as the obsessive weirdo/ stalker type / bad guy, and a dating relationship never takes place.
If it sounds as if I'm talking myself out of something again, maybe I am. I'll just say that the best thing I've ever taught myself to do in the face of such dilemmas is to have not only the willingness in theory to accept an outcome where myself and my designated love interest don't become boyfriend and girlfriend, but the proven ability to actually accept, and even embrace, that outcome, over, and over, and over again.
In yesterday's post I brought up the idea that two people who meet and close the deal in regards to intimate relations will find that they are in a probationary period with each other. In other words, the beginning stages of a deal are the period where, if each party has a clue about any of this, they judge each other's attitudes and behaviors and see if they need to bail-out before things get too shitty.
I will take that further and say that the probationary period begins much earlier for a lot of people. I've found it a good idea to begin this process soon after the other party fires a shot across my bow, gets my attention, call it what you will. My experience tells me that the other party judges the shit out of me at these early stages, and that I serve my best interests, and theirs, if I do the same.
So, what are the things I can keep in mind in light of this awareness of the situation? If I have the other parties phone number or other contact information, too many phone calls from my end can kill a deal right away. In general, turning up all the time like a bad penny in their world, whether through phone calls, messaging, or in person kills the deal for a lot of women regarding me. That can be a problem when the other party has a lot to offer in the way of youth and beauty and an overall confidence that can really capture my imagination and really send me off to some Lala Land.
What's are deal killers for me? Okay. Suppose I follow the above rules and don't call too much, don't turn up too much, don't make myself too available in general, take my time, and suppose I show all the respect to the individual that is due them, and then.... they do something to pull the rug out from under me. I think the name for that is "avoidant behavior," and it makes me crazy. Again, if I make it about some really attractive, confident type, and I'm doing all the right things, and things looks as if they are going really well, and then some guy appears on the scene in some way, that's a deal killer. I might not even ask such a person for one date, or their phone number, or email, or nada.
Another thing that makes me crazy involves the demand to jump through their hoops. Again, this falls under avoidant behavior. "How do things ever work out for you if you are not willing to jump through hoops, Rich?" One may ask that, and to that I say; rather than me jumping through hoops, I find the best interactions involve an ever escalating back and forth between myself and the other party. One has to look back on one's own experiences to know the difference between the two, I reckon, but a difference definitely exists.
One may ask, "Rich, suppose your love interest actually DOES read this blog? Aren't you worried that all of this self-conscious ruminating will kill the magic?" No. These days, in a fluid, transitional society such as ours, people entering into any kind of deals that could involve physical intimacy would do well to lay down such ground rules that the other party may easily see and refer back to.
Several posts ago I wrote about telling a friend that I reside in a de facto wild oats phase in regards to my relationship with women. When women do offer themselves to me for sex, it usually comes with little or no strings attached. I don't mind this at all. Back in the day I would shit on this deal more often than I care to recall. I wanted a more serious committed relationship, and often the woman just wanted to give me a shot in the arm. Sometimes I turned such offers down because I wanted to save myself for someone else. I would demonstrate my devotion to my love interest by forsaking all others for them. Yeah, well, one can imagine how those gestures would work out.
I wanted to tell a story about how one such encounter shook out in the way the gal wanted, but enough with stories. I get this kind of shot-in-the-arm deal more often than not, if I get a deal that involves actual intimacy at all. I guess when I'm on my game, I can appeal to a very confident, independent sort, but in the past they would freak out a bit when my obsessive behaviors that resulted from my love addiction problem came out.
The first girl I ever dated, back when I was twenty-one, just said flat out that she wasn't looking for boyfriend. She said this to me up front. At that time, she initiated a path in life for herself where she really got a handle on her issues with love and how she would allow past boyfriends to treat her shabbily. Her statement to me about not really wanting a serious boyfriend just went in one ear and out the other. After out initial periods of intimacy, I kind of took it for granted that we were boyfriend and girlfriend. She didn't let me down too easy when she broke up with me a month after it all started, but having had the experiences I did have with her, I found it easy to let go of her. I subsequently hobbled off to a much more dysfunctional deal afterwards, and I'm still trying to come to terms with my whole decision making processes back then to this day.
These days I've come to understand that any legit deal with a woman starts out with, "Here it is big boy, no strings attached." I don't know if that would ring true in all cases. I mean, I imagine a woman can offer a legitimate deal to a man that involves more commitment up front, but I just don't have enough experience to make those kinds of generalizations. I've just known male friends who would exploit a more needy type of woman whose offer of themselves to such a guy was for the whole love-and-committed- relationship enchilada, and I just don't seem to appeal to those types.
I wanted to end it there, but I now want to go further into the reasons why a no strings attached initial offer seems more legit to me. The main reason such an offer seems more legit involves the notion that one really doesn't know what one may get in a partner until one takes that partner out for a test drive. One can size up a potential partner all day and night, but until that initial encounter takes place, one just doesn't know. If I found someone to my liking through such a process, and the feeling came back mutually, I think, at best, we would then put each other up for a probationary period. A probationary period would consist of a further sizing up of each other, with a "no fault" exit clause if things didn't work out during this period. I can't put a timetable on how long such a period might last, because that would involve further negotiations with said partner. I would guess a period of at least a month or two to see what tendencies in the both of us would shake out. After this initial probationary period, then we could talk about a relationship and all of that.
My last post talked about my efforts to take the high road in difficult situations with women. The reason I try to do that, even with someone I suspect does not have my best interests at heart, has to do with perceived opportunities. I've often talked about the crude sexual proposition I made towards a young woman in 1986. That did not solve any problems I had with her, to put it mildly. One of the big problems I created came from the belief that I may have undermined a genuine opportunity to connect with that young woman. I'm pretty convinced these days that no such opportunity existed, and that no amount of loving patience would have afforded me one. But, my crude sexual proposition muddied the waters to the extent that I will never know, really.
I think about that in my dealings with women in my day to day world. I don't really believe I have a chance with any young women in my world that I'm attracted to, but I don't want to muddy the waters with bad personal conduct towards them either. Which brings me to this point. I've talked about how I decided to avoid patronizing a certain business at a certain time of day so that I could stay away from a certain young female employee. Recently I decided to go ahead and move more freely about my world and lift that restriction. I'm no mind reader, but I kind of get the impression that some other employees don't approve of my recent decision.
I really have no desire to bother this young woman at her place of employment or anywhere else. I have no desire to try to buddy up to her, nor do I have any desire to behave in a more negative way towards her. I think I can take the high road in regards to her without trying to go out of my way to prove I'm a great guy and all that B.S. The worst thing I do these days towards women in dodgy situations is withdraw in an effort to get a clearer picture of what all goes on with this or that person. I've already done that, and I have no desire to engage with this young woman in either a positive or negative way.
I talked to a doctor today about the repetitive motion injury on my left hand. He gave me a couple of suggestions, and also gave me the okay to resume light-duty art production and guitar playing. I still have seven more issues of my comic book series, "The Legend of Richy Vegas." I don't think I'll ever go back to cranking the rest of the books out at the same rate I did the first five.
"The Legend of Richy Vegas" goes into my deal with a young woman I later wrote off as a very distasteful person. In the years that followed the events of "The Legend of Richy Vegas," she always seemed very glad to see me whenever we would run into each other. I chalk that up to my total effort to take the high road with her for the entire duration of my dealings with her. I chalk up my own feelings towards her afterwards as a realization that she felt no obligation to take the high road with me during that time. Time has passed since those days. I think she will come off as more sympathetic to readers in the long run than I originally intended. I might attribute that to a holdover from my days with her back then, with my total effort to take the high road concerning her winning out after all these years.
I think about Jenna in my dealings with the women in my world nowadays. I've talked about "Linda," someone from a little before my time with "Jenna," and how Linda may still have issues with me after all these years. All I can say about that goes back to what I said last Fall, I can offer myself up for a dialogue if anyone wants to engage in one with me, but I have the right to defend myself to the best of my abilities should it come to that. I've had ZERO takers in engaging me in a direct dialogue about that time so many years ago, and maybe a few times where I've had to show that, yes, I will try to defend myself to the best of my abilities against whomever wants to go there with me. I will say it again, I am willing to engage in a civil dialogue with anyone, but I don't think I'm much obliged like anyone at this point.
When I fist quit drinking ten years ago, I would talk about the overall topic of obsession and compulsion with various friends. I would say that if one stops the obsessive behavior, the obsessive thoughts would eventually stop as well. In the case of things such as cigarette smoking, that's true. I stopped smoking in late 2002 as a result of a massive, comprehensive, determined campaign that involved first using the nicotine patch, then Zyban, along with a support group I found out about through the American Lung Association. It's been a long time since I smoked, and no, I don't think about cigarettes all day and night, and it's been many, many years since I did. Drinking was pretty much the same way. I can go to clubs to see bands or play open mikes and not constantly think about how I'd like to have a drink. It took some getting used to for that, but the aggravation of not drinking while in a club or bar passed as well.
When I talked about obsessive thinking back in 2009, for me that meant women. I talk a lot about young, attractive women here on this blog. A lot of entries have to do with me talking myself out of approaching or otherwise pursuing this or that much younger woman in my world. Where is this all going? Maybe if I refrain from approaching much younger women for social reasons over a long enough period of time, I will not find myself so preoccupied with them as frequently as I do. I've cut way down on approaching much younger women over the years. Last year I approached two who were in their early twenties, and one a little older. This year I approached one younger woman in a club that I talked about here a couple of months ago.
I don't know if I want to stop approaching younger women altogether, but rather stop approaching waitresses, baristas, and whatnot who inhabit my everyday world. Would that be enough? Perhaps if I stop that particular practice altogether, and I have really dialed that back these last six years or so, I won't become so preoccupied with these women who inhabit my everyday world. It might take quit some time and a lot of talking myself into letting such women go on a case by case basis before my tendency to become preoccupied with such women abates to a manageable level. Maybe that process has started, I don't know.
That guy who does the pop culture detective videos on youtube comes across all woke as fuck to the point of annoyance, but he does have a point there in a lot of what he says. In one video titled, "Born Yesterday Sexy," he talks about how movies such as Splash. The Fifth Element, and the new Tron that feature emotionally childlike but fully grown up beautiful woman that cater to male fantasies of innocence and inexperience in said beautiful young women. He says that such fantasies address the male viewer's fear of rejection by presenting women who would have never had other men to compare the male protagonist to.
I often write about attractive young women in my world. Right? Beginning in earnest around 2009 and ending around 2012/13, I would ask waitresses and baristas out who typically spanned a great difference in age between themselves and me. I've talked about compiling quite an oh-fer for my trouble. I think I lost track at about oh-fer 17 or 18. I decided that this represented a phase from that time that I don't care to get back into. I think of it as just fine and dandy that I gave it the old college try, but as I just kept on coming up short, I've since considered ways to change things up that might actually work for me.
I believe that if I were to approach a twenty to twenty-two year old waitress or barista or some such nowadays, I could rightly classify such an overture as a fear of rejection. Here's why: If I approached such a type nowadays, and she shot me down as usual, I could just say, "Oh, she's only twenty-one. What does she know?" Whereas, if I approached a reasonably presentable woman much closer in age to my age, and that older woman shot me down, I might tend to take such a rejection to heart and feel really insecure about it, because I would see her as having been around more and seen more of life and as having a more valid judgement of my actual worth and viability as a partner. What might make such a rejection sting even more is if we had some things in common such as taste in music, comics or whatever.
Another reason a move towards a much younger woman, particularly one of these women I see on a regular basis, would reveal a fear of rejection on my part stems from the idea I'm too scared to move on. In other words, much in the same way I would obsessively ask an individual woman out over and over and over again in my twenties, approaching these young waitress and barista types nowadays might just mean that I'm too afraid of experiencing loneliness and being alone in the face of trying to approach some other type of woman in some other type of environment. So, one might call that a fear of the unknown, or, to put it another way, something about "the devil you know" vs. whatever unknown things lie in wait out there.
There, I said it. I often wonder how much of an "audience" I have amongst these very young, attractive women in my world, and I often fantasize about cashing in on such attention. I don't have any issues with going out with a much younger, adult woman in theory, it's just that I have a problem with the idea of approaching a much younger, adult woman in the actual world I inhabit. I'm juuust now beginning to introduce myself to some of the women I've seen at clubs when I go to see friends' bands and whatnot, and no, they aren't twenty-two year old waitresses or baristas.
In a related topic, I'm thinking about patronizing a certain business at a certain time of day again. Yes, I'm talking about the business where a young, very attractive woman works, still, I guess, but that I decided to kind of cede to her and not go there at her usual hours. I never felt as If I did anything wrong by her, so there's that. Also, I think I can go there and not get all hung up on the admiring-her-from-a-distance deal. If I do find myself getting back into that same old shitty deal, I will just bail again. It's just that I feel a bit inconvenienced when I think about continuing the current situation indefinitely.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.