Today is a day for mass sarcasm. A good friend forwarded information about a new “anti-rules of love” book titled The Case for Falling in Love: Why We Can’t Master the Madness of Love – and Why That’s the Best Part. I know, quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Take a moment and breathe.
The blurb: Are you tired of hearing that men and women come from different planets? Are you sick of the idea that men and women live in separate emotional universes? You’re not the only one.
Following these rules, you “will have lived like a true lover”. (Please hold the laughter until the end of the post) Well, being twice divorced by twenty-seven, I should be one of the top candidates for an “anti-rules of love” book, right? Let’s see what this book has to offer…
1. Stop trying so hard (I can see this one…after all, I try really hard to force conversation, leave the house to meet people, smile when someone says something nice…no more! If he tells a bad joke, I’m going to go with my gut and stare at him like he suddenly sprouted a talking zit.)
2. Stop being so cautious (Um…if I were an actual reader, I’d have to stop right here. Erecting an electrified fence around your heart is one thing, but you should always be cautious. This is tantamount to okaying the practice of drunkenly bringing men (are you sure he’s a he?) home from the bar. I don’t think so, Sparky.)
3. Stop analyzing your every move (Okay, this is a good one. Sometimes we women take a conversation and dissect it into teeny tiny sections so we can use a magnifying glass and find the context hidden within the hidden context. Or is that over-analyzing the rule not to over-analyze? Is it too analytical?? Am I breaking an anti-rule by dissecting the anti-rules?? TELL ME, DAMMIT!! TELL ME!!)
4. Stop expecting your guy to act like a caveman (I know, ladies, this one might be hard. There’s nothing I like more than being clubbed in the head and dragged back to someone’s lair, but if it’s a detriment to the relationship, I guess I can give it up. Seriously, though, what does this mean? I expect my guy to not act like a caveman. Am I really that abnormal??)
5. Stop apologizing for being so strong (Again, I’m confused – women do this? I know it doesn’t mean physically strong because I haven’t seen any reports of angry women ripping the arms off their husbands and beating them with said arms…though it would be funny…but really?? Are we talking mentally strong? Emotionally? Intellectually? Let me put it this way – if you’re apologizing for it, YOU AREN’T THAT STRONG. This is a bit of an oxymoron, I believe.)
6. Stop being afraid to have needs and vulnerabilities (Perhaps only the second valid “anti-rule” so far. I was guilty of this just yesterday. I put my needs/vulnerabilities on the back burner to make sure a friend was able to attain his. In the short-term, that’s fine, but in the long-term, it will fuck you up.)
7. Stop running after guys THAT don’t want you (Had to capitalize THAT because if you’re running after a GUY and not an inanimate object or ZOMBIE, it is WHO. Gah. Anyways…running after a guy is fine. Sometimes they need to be clubbed in the head to realize what they want. It’s when you catch them, tie them up, and keep them in your basement as a sex slave that things get a bit sketchy.)
8. Stop looking for a guy without issues (Because honey, there aren’t any. Period. No snark needed.)
9. Stop manipulating the guy you love (…how does the author think you got him to love you? Being honest? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Moving on…)
10. Stop regretting very (I THINK THEY MEANT EVERY) false step you ever took (I’ll give the author a point for this one. Regretting them will do you no good, but remembering them and LEARNING from them? Totally necessary. Sins of the past, and all that jazz.)
11. Stop thinking of loss as a pure loss (…I have no words…)
But wait! That’s only eleven! Aren’t there twelve?
Why yes. Yes there are. Number twelve? STOP TRYING SO HARD! Yeah…again, I’m going to have to call bullshit on this one. I hate to say it, but you HAVE to try hard in the beginning. I’m not saying be fake and reinvent yourself as something you’re not – but you definitely have to put yourself out there and make yourself available. By definition, that’s trying, and in this bubbling dating pool of malformed genetic mistakes, it can be VERY, VERY hard to do.
Overall thoughts? If you really wanted to stop trying so hard, you’d quit reading self-help books and get your ass out there. Just my opinion.