the truth-neil strauss (family matters)

“The underlying cause of most unfulfilled lives is that we are simply too close to ourselves to see clearly enough to get out of our own way.” (360)

“The problem many people have is that the exact quality that originally attracted them to their partner becomes a threat once a serious relationship begins. After all, this quality was the open door through which the romance started, so now they want to close the door, lock it, and throw away the key before someone else tries to come in after them.” (324)

“And avoiding eye contact with people is worse than directly telling them they annoy you: It’s your soul telling their soul that it annoys you.” (248)

“I used to think that a good relationship meant always getting along. But the secret, I realize, is that when one person shuts down or throws a fit, the other needs to stay in the adult ego state. If both people descend to the wounded child or adapted adolescent, that’s when all the forces of relationship drama and destruction are unleashed.” (246)

“And that’s when I realized that guys bring on their dating problems on themselves. They program their daughter with an aversion to men and sex for fear that she’ll meet someone just like her father, then they meet someone else’s daughter and expect her to just jump into bed without anxiety or reservation.” (192)

“When things get hard for you, you start blaming the person you’re with. None of this has anything to do with her. Just you. Can you see that?” (24)

“Perhaps sex addiction is the new ADD or Asperger’s syndrome. It’s very real for some people, but it’s also massively overdiagnosed and anyone who doesn’t fit a certain unrealistic standard of behavior is labeled with it. Pretty soon, just like there are six-year-old kids taking Ritalin and Adderall, some poor child who strips a Barbie doll naked will be getting sex addiction treatment.” (140)

“What I’m mad about is that some people’s parents can’t come to family week because they’re dead or broke or in prison, but my parents just won’t. A guy who molested his daughter has the balls to show up here. As for my father, he doesn’t even have the balls to speak up for himself on the phone.” (77)

“I wish she was receptive enough to discuss what I learned, but you can’t expect the same person who wounded you to heal you.” (117)

“The problem with time is that it doesn’t go backward.” (109)

i suppose this last group of passages is about the degrees to which i accept and refuse to accept that what our parents taught us carries over into how we conduct our relationships whether we like it or not. i mean, i agree with my chosen father, john waters, when he says that if you’re over 30 and still blaming your parents for how shitty your life is, it’s time to move on. but at the same time, we need to learn and process in order to unlearn. i also claim a band of very stylish wolves and tlc for how i turned out (thank you and you’re welcome?). but as much as i was floored by my single girlfriends who started breeding just as we were starting to make our own money and were ready to live our lives-i love the beauty-full little people that they made so that i don’t have to.

but i still want people to kick it with. (sigh).

people who won’t send confusing messages like holding hands at robert glasper and hand making pizzas and then having mediocre (and quick) sex with you just to get laid when they knew you were holding out for the exact opposite of that.

but there’s this weird push-pull that happens when we find out that someone likes us-we’re not into it anymore. in fact, i heard a study quoted (i think, oddly enough, on under the influence) that we are attracted most to the people that we think like us, and not those that we know like is. it’s that not knowing that fuels us to the point of obsession, and then nobody wants us because we’re obsessed.

patrick gave me some interesting advice at a tiki party the other night-he told me to be more accepting of the fact that rejection happens, and that it’s a part of dating. he also told me that the key to being single was to date until feelings started to develop, and to cut people off, but i’m torn over a lot of things, including whether or not i need to accept dating advice from patrick. i mean, we’ve been having an uptempo mariah vs. ballad mariah argument for almost four years now. (i’m on team uptempo, obvi).

what i will accept is that rejection happens from all sides, and we all perceive rejection in different ways, especially when we are the perpetrators. it’s always more tragic when we’re the “victims”. but it’s really hard to be honest about that, and much more assholic to just bounce, so we need to thank those who bowed out and cleared a lane, or trimmed the hedges a bit so that your light can beam where it needs to be seen.

i’ve referenced this letter before, and it’s definitely one for all of us.


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