Sunday, January 27, 2013

The One that Got Away

It is odd looking back, wondering what if things would have been different. What if she had chosen to say yes, instead of saying no? What if love had ever had the least chance to develop, instead of turning into dust, into vapor, floating far far away? Alas, time moves on, years pass, trying to find new friends, new relationships; yet your mind wonders, what if? What are they doing now? Does she ever even think about me? Does she wonder what I am doing or could she care less?

I think about trying to make contact sometimes, but I wasn’t the one who ceased our friendship, who ceased communication. I did have to completely cut her from my life. Why? It was just too much, too torturous to see someone you were once so close to ignore you. To know you tried to be friends, but you were not the one who rejected her, she was the one who rejected you.

I try to convince myself that if I tried to reinitiate a friendship years later that it would be just for that, friendship; but a sneaking part of me still thinks, years later, perhaps I still want more, still desire a relationship. However, we are two different people now, with years of separate experiences between us, dividing us, putting distance between us. I feel if I tried to reconnect, with the shortening of that distance, a lot of questions, a lot of feeling and doubts would only resurface.

I might feel that rejection all over again, rush over me like a deep dark sludge, sticking to the crevices of my mind, reminding me of how I felt back then. Reminding me of how I don’t want to feel that way again. Reminding me how I don’t want to give anyone the power to make me feel that way, so small and insignificant, like we had never been close at all.

Who knows, maybe it was hard for her too, just so hard we couldn’t be friends. Maybe too confusing. Maybe I look back so much because I don’t have anything at the moment to propel me forward, to start my momentum and vision in a more hopeful manner and future direction. Oh, how long we can spend staring into the past, wondering, brooding, being consumed by who we were, by how we were treated. However, the past is previous, the present is now, and the future is what we make it. Shall our futures be riddled day after day with the thoughts of the past, with things we cannot ever change?

Perhaps the one that got away is not the one is the past, but the one in the present, and in the future, the ones we keep missing because we are too blind, too stuck in our old ways to see new potential, to make changes, to takes risks. Perhaps, because we let fear and rejection blind us, we cannot see the great potentials that our right in front of our faces. Yes, maybe it was not she in the past who got away, but the ones right now who are getting away, every time we let the past define us, instead of defining ourselves in the present, thus redefining our self in the future.

I want to move on. I have tried, but with every new rejection, my resolve lessens, my confidence wanes, and depression once again knocks at my door, pounding louder and louder. And yet, if I never try again, I will never find the hope; never find the confidence to open up to someone again. I must press forward, must make a change, and must get unstuck from my complacency.

Now is the time.

~ Daniel

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Nice Guy/Girl Parodox

What exactly is the Nice Guy/Girl Paradox? Well, primarily, I will be speaking from my point of view, so this is from a guy; yet I think many females also find themselves in the same category, asking similar questions. I have been reading a lot of blogs lately that talk about how nice guys need to stop whining. Now, some of these blogs are right, in that some self-proclaimed nice guys are really jerks in disguise, hoping their niceness will get them dates and sex. This is not what I am talking about, I am speaking of real nice guys, men who genuinely want a deep connection to someone else, who desire a long-term relationship, which may one day lead to marriage and maybe a family.

I have heard some advice around that says that such nice guys need to man-up*, to have a what-ever attitude, to understand that their are lots of fish in the sea, each female only being one of million or billions for them to go out with at any time. This is really a lie. Why? Because I dont think nice guys are looking for millions of relationships. I know for myself, I have only ever been seriously  interested and dated a few women, mostly starting in college. My guess is that some think the end justifies the means when it comes to dating, meaning that if jerks can get dates and girlfriends, then they must be doing something right that the rest of us nicer beings are doing wrong.


While I do think it is true that jerks get more dates, I think there are a few reasons why, which indeed nice guys can learn. However, I do not think the non-caring attitude, nor the one that treats the other as merely an object of sexual and/or emotional gratification is right either. Instead, I think there are three main reasons the jerks seem to get more dates:

(1) Risk-Taking: Why do girls seem to like the guy in the leather jacket or the one on the motorcycle? Why do girls like guys who go skydiving or want to travel? There is something adventurous, something about being swept off their feet that I think females tend to enjoy. From my own perspective, most of those things terrify me, not to mention how much money they cost (yes, I am very frugal with money). However, I think risk-taking is even seen in that first instance when a guy likes a girl. He takes a risk upfront in asking her out. For the jerk, he doesn't care if it is yes or no. If it is a yes, he is in; however, if it is a no, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Nice guys and girls, myself included, need to be willing to take more risks. This can be asking someone out, going out with someone you aren't sure about, or doing something that might be awkward or make you uncomfortable as a person. This bring us to the second issue...

(2) Rejection: Since jerks seem to be risk-takers, they are also very good at handling rejection, either by not caring or learning how to push back their feelings to get the job done. As I said, I don't think the answer is lying to ourselves about how rejection makes us feel. It hurts, but what we can learn from jerks is that if we focus on rejection, we are not focusing on new possibilities. We get so hung up on one person, we lose sight of other maybes. I don't think this means we will move from dating a few to a million significant others, but I do think it can help us move forward faster.

(3) Confidence: I think jerks exude confidence*, which is why females are so attracted to them. Because they seem not to care about anything or anyone, everyone is intrigued. Who is this person? What makes them tick? Now, whether that confidence is a reality outside of the dating atmosphere is debatable; however, having more confidence means we fear rejection less and are more willing to take risks, thus giving us even more confidence. See the cycle, I think it feeds itself. Now, in jerks, I think it stems from unhealthy relations to others and self, but in healthy people, I think it is the ability to move forward and adapt. If we stay stagnant, doing what we are doing and have already done, the simple truth is nothing is going to change for us. Something must change, so if we cannot change every other person we want to be interested in, that means we must change ourselves. I am not talking about lying to others nor manipulating them, but building up our own self-esteem and self-identity, becoming comfortable in who we are already and who we are becoming.

Now, in addition, we also must remember that even though jerks seem to be getting lots of dates, relationships, and significant others; the truth is that their jerkiness becomes very unattractive at a certain point, thus making them loose dates. This means that one can only be so much of a jerk before they become dateless or even a creeper or stalker. Why? The truth is we all have standards and we all over time will shed our pseudo selves because who we really are is always inside dying to be free.


See, the truth is that at a certain point jerks, men or women, are going to falter. Especially as the relationship begins to linger, the thought of exclusivity and commitment will inevitably come up. This is where jerks will get scared and leave. Yes, many out there have the thought that maybe that person will change. It may be possible, but I think it is highly improbable. Indeed, to believe that you out of everyone that person has dated will change their lifestyle, personality, and worldview is a tad much. So, with jerks, the following chart demonstrates how the relationship will dwindle over time.

What I think this means is that maybe in short-term and bad relationships, jerks have the upper-hand. Yes, from a quantitative point of view, they will seem to win every time; but is that really winning? If what one desires is a long-lasting and mutual relationship that is going somewhere, it seems that jerks lose, they shouldn't even be on our radar for a comparison. Therefore, what I propose is a new way to look at dating, one where we don't compare ourselves to people who have dated numerous times, but one that may take some concepts for jerks that can help us on our own way. I think this means learning to take risks, learning to better handle and deal with rejection, increasing our self-esteem, and solidifying our own identity (being happy in who we are and what we do). Then, I think dating and relationships, look more like the following.

So, the paradox that says being a nice guy or girl will not get you dates or long-term relationships, in my opinion, is false. It all depends on what you are actually want and desire from a  relationship. If you desire a meaningful relationship, you cannot be a jerk, it isn't going to work. Of course, as with all things, the truth is hard, it means we may have to do some hard work on ourselves (and stop blaming others). It may mean we need to stop dating and find out who we really are apart from others. However, for some it may mean taking more chances or learning to get over rejection. I think it all depends on the person, but certainly improving our self is never a bad thing and can only increase our confidence and therefore, increase our datability as well.

~ Daniel

* Click included linked text for some relevant & interesting articles I found online.