Thursday, July 29, 2010


I've been on the road a lot and keeping busy with divers activities and lessons and dating, and I have neglected to blog. I haven't had much of interest to relate besides dating horror stories and discovering that huckleberry infused vodka with lemonade is EVIL. I have done some soul searching, though, and think I have made a breakthrough that might be interesting to my reader.

My query to myself has been "what kind of fool stays in a relationship in which he is mistreated and disrespected"? A further line of inquiry is "and what kind of fool does it again and again"? A partial answer is that I believed the objects of my devotion when they suggested that I didn't deserve any better and that I couldn't do any better than them. But I am coming to realize that the problem is rooted in the nature of courting as I learned it and some deeper issues that I need to address.

Southern gentlemen press a kind of courtly, chivalric suit with unreserved and enthusiastic expressions of interest and flattery directed at women who are expected to appear to be indifferent. Or at least that's how it always seemed to me to be the way it was supposed to work. There was nothing more attractive to me than indifference (except perhaps outright hostility). Indifference was a sure sign of a lady's merit. She was not supposed to show any sign of interest until I had spent ages showering her with my devotion and practicing every charm I could muster, and then it would be most reluctantly bestowed.

So from youth, I always pursued females who did not like me and ignored those who did (assuming ad arguendo that such females existed). If they did like me, they would have to be unavailable in order to be attractive. In high school, I had some very close female friends as a result of this but very few dates. When I had girlfriends, I liked them more than they liked me, and I ignored the obvious "enthusiasm gaps" that should have foreshadowed the inevitable painful breakups.

I persisted in this throughout college and law school. I had lovers who were exceedingly selfish and inconsiderate of me. The higher maintenance, the better it must have seemed to me. I passed on many lovely young women (I was a catch at one time) who would have adored me in favor of cold and indifferent women who, in retrospect, cared nothing for me.

At first, my ex-wife was a break in the pattern for me. She pursued me relentlessly for months, and I was not attracted to her as a result. It was only when I got to know her and discovered that she was relatively unaffectionate and withholding that I realized that I had to have her. And the more she grew to despise me, the more I loved her. You can imagine that my love for her reached its zenith as she was walking out on me.

Tragic and stupid, huh? How do I break this pattern? I don't want to end up with another high maintenance, withholding and contemptuous lover, but I fear that I will be drawn to just such a woman like a moth to a flame. Perhaps the nature of on line dating will prevent me from hooking up with such women. After all, if they are indifferent to me, why would they consent to meet me or date me? I suppose, though, that there are women who enjoy being pursued and flattered by men whom they enjoy tormenting, and I am probably doomed to meet some of them. They'll be looking for men like me.

I'm hoping that awareness will help me see when my destructive pattern is emerging so I can make an escape. I really do want to find someone who will love me back. I think it would be better to die alone than to endure another lopsided relationship.

I need to develop a list of warning signs. Any ideas on what should be on that list would be welcomed.

1 comment:

Kevin Carson said...

Sounds like a copy of "The Rules" anywhere near her should be a big red flag.