Thursday, February 14, 2013

Six Romantic Assertions That Aren't Really Romantic

Hey, welcome back people! I'm Dick N. Asshole, your cynically maudlin host for today's festivities! You all know the rules: you have to figure out whether or not the presented idea is either...


We've lined up a number of contributions today. Each is a conceit of modern love that many people seem to unquestionably accept. We are going to see if they are actually useful parts of a sensible, romantic attachment. Though I tell ya folks, sensibility doesn't necessarily enter into it anyway, am I right fellas? Aaaaahahahhaaaa, yeah. Right, let's play.... ROMANTIC... OR... BULLSHIT!

1: “Love at First Sight” = [X] BULLSHIT!
Sorry folks; an endorphin-charged glance of curvy body with a pretty face is not an attachment. Romeo is not an ideal boyfriend. Every relationship that’s ever actually developed out of its first meeting inevitably changes from whatever the initial feelings were into either a stronger connection or “moving on, now”.

2: Infatuation = [X] BULLSHIT!
Don’t you have other things in your life? Family? Friends? BMX bikes? Eastern philosophy? The perfect egg-and-cheese omelet? Your masturbation technique? One person and the associated fixation cannot both consume your every thought AND be actual, honest, sane romance. There are degrees of course, from innocent crush to sociopathic Twilight-esque obsession, but it's never where honest emotions come from.

3: Deifying your Crushee = [X] BULLSHIT!
No, Anakin. She is not an angel. You can glorify the object of your affection with florid wordplay and supernatural worship, but your would-be honey-bun is human, no more or less flesh and bone than you. Also, isn't its kind of cheapening someone's real assets that you have to raise them to some demigod-type level in order to express your adoration? Ask my good pal William: “My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground; / And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare / As any she belied with false compare.

4: Possession / Belonging = [X] BULLSHIT!
When you introduce your wife/girlfriend, you’re not saying you own her but that she occupies that position as your wife/girlfriend. And several other positions. (We’ve seen the tape…) But those are okay. Phrases of belonging and implied “ownership” are just fucking creepy. You know, Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Brooding leans in and sighs, “you belong to me” or “I belong to you”. Yuck. This is also the twin cousin of the obsession problem. I know you’re all attached-pants to your significant other, but just let them be a fucking human and don’t make everything about that one relationship. Jesus.

5: “Forever” or just about any sense of “Eternal Love” [X] BULLSHIT
I know this is going to make a lot of minds explode but NOTHING IS FOREVER. Are we clear, ladies and gentlemen? NOTHING. IS. FOREVER. In MOST cases, relationships just end on their own. Plenty of relationships do withstand the test of time, yes (such as most people before the 1960s when divorce was an Über-Stigma™ alongside women voting). But you can’t predict the future. Spouting a “forever” philosophy as some kind of catchall motto or safety blanket for love just makes you sound ridiculous.

NOOOOO SUUUUCH THIIING. Unless everyone keeps falling in love with Neo. (Well, do that actually; it seem to be very good for his health.) Remember, relationships do in fact work out plenty of times. But where in the seven hells were you given this magical power to know that HE is the one you’re going to spend your life with? And isn’t it a new height in hubris to assume that YOU are HIS special someone that he’ll be forever bound to? While many of these topics have dealt with varying possibilities, it’s safe to say that any and all romances that have worked out ONLY did so AFTER the people involved got to know each other. People love to add a bigger importance to themselves and their choices, and in few other cases is this so apparent than when they belch about “matches made in heaven”, “destined romances”, and “their other half”. There are enough people in the world that it would be strange if there WASN’T at least a few people with whom you seemed to click perfectly. Remember what Tim Minchin’s song tells us “If I didn’t have you, … I’d probably have somebody else.” Statistically, that’s simply true.

Well okay, I think I’ve clearly deviated from Dick N. Asshole’s little game show, but I can summarize my point with four simple questions:

1: What actually attracts you to the person of your interest?
2: Why do you have to exaggerate the grandeur of your attachment in order to express how “special” it is?
3: Do you feel that romantic love is something you need to pursue as quickly and adamantly as Hallmark wants you to?
4: Why do you think in such future terms about where you’ll be with them and what they will become to you rather than enjoying the present with them?

If these don’t really apply to you, then pass them on to someone to whom they do apply. See how they answer and if those answers make sense. As humans, we should feel all those “Valentine’s Day” emotions: crushes, attachment, passion, enamor, and love. We are often so compelled by them that we do not really think critically about them. There is a natural divide between heart and brain… but does there have to be? Love may be a lot of things, but it does not have to be stupid.

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