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25 August 2009

In which I ramble on about relationships and you skim or skip this one.

In my recent contemplative-about-relationships state, I’ve been paying close attention to my friends’ relationships. That and I can’t seem to let go of that Sex and the City scene. And here’s what I’ve come up with: I am not a simple girl. I never ever will be. And that makes me so happy.

I disagree with the term simple, though, because I am not complicated. And that’s kind of the opposite of simple, isn’t it? I think I’m pretty easy (and no, I don’t mean that way).

I’m logical and rational, I think things through, I’m not terribly dramatic, I tell the truth (sometimes when I probably shouldn’t), I’m straight-forward, I laugh a lot, I’m confident, I like sports, I have no problem peeing outside, I don’t cry very often, I watch chick flicks and go shopping with my friends, I’m fun to be around, I don’t need to have my hand held at a party full of people I don’t know, I have my own life, I’m fiercely loyal until you betray me.

However.

I have my own opinion. And I’m not scared to tell you what it is, even if it differs from yours. I like to discuss things. I’m not scared to tell you I think you’re wrong. I do expect you to do what you say you’re going to do. I do expect you to treat me at least as well as I treat you. I do expect you to make an effort with my friends and my family. I do expect you to not be an idiot. And it helps if you’re funny.

The thing is, it’s hard to be with a girl like me because I’m probably smarter than you. Or funnier than you. Or cuter than you. Or more outgoing than you. Or all of the above. And that’s kind of a scary thing. Because…I might leave if I find something better. You might have to put on your thinking cap to hang out with me. You might have to actually put forth some effort, if you want to be with me.

Don’t worry. I’m not claiming to be an original here. There’s a whole slew of women out there just like me. Not that we all have the same qualities, but we’re all confident and strong and opinionated and funny and smart. And that makes us “complicated.”

The so-called simple girls are easy because they will likely just glom on to whatever you’re already doing. They aren’t going to push you or challenge you. They probably just want to be with someone and once they find someone, they’re happy to settle and put up with any amount of crap…to avoid being alone. Their self-esteem probably isn’t the greatest, though it will often seem like it is (at least at first). They come in all shapes and sizes. And they're everywhere.

Most of my girlfriends who are in relationships right now don’t seem very happy to me. They complain and whine and moan, but they stay.

“He never wants to hang out with my friends.”

“We never have sex any more.”

“He doesn’t do anything nice for me.”

“He makes me feel stupid and small.”

“He never wants to leave the house.”

“He’s not there for me when I need him.”

"He's mean to me when he's drunk."

"Well, yes, he sleeps with hookers, but he says it's only because I don't give him what he needs." (I keed...mostly)

My question? “So why are you with him?”

The answer is always: “Well…because I love him.” Or, “Really, it’s not as bad as I just made it sound.”

And I’ve been there, believe me. I was with a man who broke me. I cared far more about his happiness and comfort than I ever did about my own. I loved him more than I loved me. It wasn’t that way when we started dating, but slowly, over time, things changed. I was so worried about him that I forgot to be worried about me. Which made me miserable. I wasn’t a miserable person, but I was miserable in the relationship. I couldn’t figure out why. But it was because I gave me up to be with someone else. I was so lost, I didn’t even know who I was any more.

It pretty much all boils down to this: Most men are lazy and most women think they “need” a man. Also, there's a damn big difference between love and habit. Learn it.

I know approximately two happy couples. Maybe three. And that’s counting Lilu and B who I don’t actually know, but love anyway (Hi, I’m a stalker!).

As women, we generally want to feel special. We go after men who are emotionally unavailable, or dangerous, or just generally jerks because we feel like if they would just see how special we are, they would want to change and chill out and be with us. But that’s not how it works.

I believe that people can change, but I don’t believe they change for anyone but themselves. I wanted to be that special girl once. Now, I just want to do my own thing and live my own life and not have to deal with anyone else’s emotional mommy issues (or whatever, I’m not being specific…ahem). If you want to ride this train, you better have your shit together. Trust me, it's worth it.

If that man that you’re with is treating you like crap, he’s probably always going to treat you like crap. If you’re happy with that, by all means stay. But sit down and think about it for a week. Is that really what you want? A lifetime of being unhappy just to be with someone else? Because I think you’re better than that. Until you think you’re better than that, though, you’ll probably just stay with that guy because he’s there.

37 comments:

April said...

A-freaking-men!!!!!

evolving-lines said...

This. A million times, this.

It took so long for me to get to this point, and to understand that I can be a lot of fun on my own, and I shouldn't settle for the ones that LOVELOVELOVE me, if I don't feel the same way.

We're "complicated," yes, but well worth the trouble. :)

Thanks for taking the time to post this.

LiLu said...

You're not a stalker if we gchat regularly. I'm pretty sure that's the rule.

I kind of want a stalker though. That would be totally badass, to be cool enough that you have a stalker?! So let's go with that.

Just A Girl said...

I'm stalking YOU now...

repliderium.com said...

I love this post & I also am glad that I'm complicated. Otherwise I would have never bothered waiting. But I did and it was worth the wait.
ps-What the hell is wrong with stalkers? I don't think we give the stalkers of the world enough love.
I suggest a "Stalk your stalker" day. You know, just to give back.

pithycomments said...

This is an awesome post. I'm so tempted to send this post to a few of my friends who are in relationships just for the sake of it. It's far better to be alone and happy than to be in a relationship and miserable.

Mary said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. I think we all get there eventually, but the heartbreak involved is...well, painful. Go you for coming out the other side so much smarter ;).

Renee said...

Hey! I just found your blog through a common blogger we read/like/adore (maybe). I'm in the Dallas area too. Anyway...yes this post...i think you stole it out of my brain. and my soul. But you said it better than I could have. It"s a great post.

FilmFemme said...

I <3 You. Love is so hard to tell from habit sometimes but sooo important. <3 <3 Let's be bff.

Anonymous said...

lets just be honest; single girls arent complicated; there is just something wrong with them that makes men not want them. and i'm not saying that they are ugly, in fact just the opposite.. that's how they get away with being a lunatic! but, unfortunately for you and all the rest, guys realize youre stark raving mad, and move on to your less "complicated" friend.

just to be clear, i'm not a guy... i'm actually a chick, and no, i'm not single. if you think that makes me simple, so be it.. we all need to rationalize our flaws (or in this case, those that arent afflicted with those problems must instead be flawed).

on last thing: your rationalizations are only holding you back from self improvement, and will instead keep you single. oh wait "not simple"

Just A Girl said...

Dear Anonymous,

First, I'm not single because there's something wrong with me. I'm single because my ex couldn't handle being told no and when I cut him off financially, he found someone younger and dumber who would keep agreeing with him (for awhile anyway). If not wanting to support a man who was almost 30 and didn't really "feel like" holding down a job makes me flawed, then I'll gladly add that to the list.

In other news, I don't think you really understood the point of this whole post. Shine wasn't talking about the crazy broads, and trust me, I know a few. She's talking about women who refuse to fit in a box because a man wants her to. If a man wants to be with me, he needs to put forth some effort to - I will not bow down to someone's every wish, hence my ex dumping me. No one said that being in a relationship automatically makes you "simple." In fact, I'd venture to say that everyone who's commented would like to (eventually) have a partnership. Key word: PARTNER.

And hey, at least we all know your major flaw: you're a bitch. What's worse, you're a bitch who doesn't have the guts to sign your name to it.

shine said...

April: Indeed.

evolving-lines: You're welcome!

LiLu: I'm stalking you, and that's that. Don't try to argue.

Just A Girl: YES!

Kim: I'd take a present.

pithycomments: One of my girlfriends just did exactly that.

Mary: Thanks, girl.

Renee: Thanks.

FilmeFemme: It's so true. People just get comfortable with something and start calling it love. Not that I really know any better, of course.

Anonymous: You're certainly entitled to your own opinion, as I am entitled to mine. However, I didn't say that all women in relationships are "simple." Just that there are women out there who want a man so badly that they are willing to put up a with a whole lot of crap just to be with one. I'm not going to take your comments personally, as you don't even know me. And it's hard to respond since you've decided to cloak yourself in anonymity. But I'm not rationalizing anything. If I wanted to be in a relationship right now, I would be. I just haven't found anyone who gives me the butterflies. I was only relating this to myself to say that I've been there, so I'm not really trying to pretend I'm better than anyone else.

Jay Ferris said...

It's posts such as this one that get me thinking a few steps ahead, like if we were somehow able to cull all desperate women from the singles scene, what positive benefits might we in turn see on the currently out-of-hand world population explosion?

Joanna said...

Hmmm. I won't try to guess whether I'm happy or not, I'll only look defensive and guilty... :)

I'm happy for you. You are in such a good place right now, and, except for work, you sound happy and fulfilled. Hooray!

Just think, though, that, somewhere, some guy probably just wrote an echo of this post. Don't compromise, but don't be too hard on them, either. Poor, inept things. No one is completely perfect. Anyway, aren't dates and relationships about learning things about each other and building something NEW together (and encountering epically ridiculous foibles to blog about), not just about two individuals staying exactly the way they are and trying not to annoy each other too much?

Anonymous said...

let me ask you this, are you autistic? i saw from your picture that you have one lazy looking eye (i could be wrong, it could be downs syndrome), and it seems you ramble on, and i see no reason why you are unable to respond just because i'm anonymous... i understand if what i say is too 'on-point' for you to accept and respond to.

your blog should instead be called "shit out loud." but yes, that is just my own opinion, and it seems i have digressed. the reason why you havent found anyone that gives you the butterflies is because you have these problems (i made the mistake of reading other posts, i.e. relationship police), and it seems that because you arent accepting your flaws, you cannot deal with them. no one wants to be with someone who insists their shit doesnt stink, when it is much like your soul- fetid.

as for the cunt that responded to me, way to take shit not directed at you personally. seems like a sore issue for you. there are only a couple reasons why people in general are single 1. they want to whore around and not commit 2. there's something terribly wrong with them that they are just not relationship material. neither of those things makes you a bad person, so dont get all buttsore! it just means you will probably die alone. but hey, not all is lost; that's why people get cats! Also, youre obviously not all that bright if you were letting some dude leech off of you, but i understand if there's something negative about you that you need to compensate for.

i'd also like to add that i dont feel any woman should change herself to fit into a box of what some man wants, HOWEVER, there are some base qualities 90% of men arent cool with i.e. being boring, obese, crazy, poor hygeine, bad in the sack, or a few other requirements i didnt mention.

April said...

Anonymous,

I just have to thank you for proving a point. If you'd actually gotten the point of this blog, you would understand that differing opinions are welcome. Openly welcome. We are the women that want to be challenged. We may not agree with your point, but we welcome the discussion. You post a differing opinion you clearly support, but you hide behind anonymity. Do you chose to "stand up" to your relationship the same way or do you only differ from their opinion when you can sign it, anonymous?

Your quote: "Single girls arent complicated; there is just something wrong with them that makes men not want them." There is nothing wrong with single anyone. The fact that you said that proves, You.Dont.Get.It.

The point was not that we want to be single. It's that given the choice between settling and single, we would all pick single every time because we HAVE settled in the past. Not every relationship is settling, but many of them are just that. Read some of the entries in the http://postsecret.blogspot.com/(for example: I married him because I wanted to wear a wedding dress, but I didn't love him) and you might just agree. You'd like that project, all the entries are anonymous.

mysterg said...

Maybe the lesson to be learned here is that women should stop dating emotionally unavailable jerks because they love the mystery and think they can change them and instead date a nice guy for once.

Just A Girl said...

Oh April, I think I love you. That's exactly my point - I would much prefer to be single than to settle. And our darling anonymous doesn't seem to understand that there's absolutely nothing wrong with being single. I don't need to have a man to make me a whole person.

April said...

Right back at you Just A Girl...I already said exactly those words to Shine today about you :)

justjp said...

Wait, you know anonymous has a great point about the single vs involved girls. I much prefer having random hook ups with slutty chicks that are in a relationship. Let's face it the poor bastard is funding my play time. #awesome.

In other news, I totally love my girls a bit off, random, and or autistic. The more flaws they have, the less mine shine through.

Yeah, this comment made no sense and that is the point.

I am so glad I am not in a relationship with an apoplexy inducing retard. I will take my "flawed" single girl any day.

Singlegrrrl said...

I am seriously feeling you a thousands times over on this. Also, you have some very, ahem, interesting commenters.

Beckbee said...

wow. I must say, my blog is exceedingly LESS interesting than yours, Shine.

And I do appreciate all points of view... especially when they are open to reBUTTal. ;)

"lets just be honest; single girls arent complicated; there is just something wrong with them that makes men not want them."

This is quite possibly the biggest crock of shit I have read all day...oh wait, nevermind....you provided more....

"there are only a couple reasons why people in general are single 1. they want to whore around and not commit 2. there's something terribly wrong with them that they are just not relationship material. neither of those things makes you a bad person, so dont get all buttsore!"

Reaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly? Wow. I mean. I am not even sure how to start with that whole contradictory cluster-fuck you typed out. In your little black world of judgment and rationalization, women only have three choices?
1.) Be single and whore around because you don't want to commit OR
2.) Be single even though you would rather be in a relationship, but you can't because you are a complete fucktard (or are fat, or lazy, or don't put out enough, or don't know all the effin professional sports teams...pick your poison) OR
3.) be in a relationship (whether it be happy or not)...cause if you are a cool chick and have all your shit together, obviously, this is what you would be doing...there aren't any other options, are there?

Thank you Anonymous for clearing all that messy "to be single or not" shit up. I now know that being single is just NOT an option if I want to remain unscathed by the nasty claws of bitter harpies in the "relationship police". I forget how appalling it must be to see strong, single women who value inner-strength over appearance and who honestly think you should not settle into something that in the long run will make you unhappy just to avoid being alone.

Hey...just my $0.02. There is someone for everyone, and I am glad you found someone who likes your particular brand of bile.

Thank you for your entry...it entertained me greatly.

Wow.

Natalie said...

Shine,

Love the blog (and you!). I wrote a similar one a while ago and it warms my heart when people are secure enough to put it out there and share what they're feeling. Not expressing these feelings is what keeps us from growing, so cheers to you.

I'm not even going to start with Anon. because I don't want to fuel whatever bullshit game she's playing. Don't like? Don't read. Done.

Love to you pensive bloggers!

Rachel said...

I <3 you. Have I told you that lately? Cause I do. This post is so timely for me, as I'm helping my best friend through a really brutal breakup with a guy that constantly and routinely told her that her career was worthless, that she didn't love him because she wouldn't give it up and move for him, and that when she finally ended it after 8 years, that she would always and forever be alone. She was challenging and smart and he broke her. I'm just she can pick up the pieces and learn that she's worth having a partner that respects and supports her in all her smart, challenging awesomeness. Also, anonymous commenters can suck my left nut. Especially when they're stupid.

shine said...

Jay: Where would I be without your comments?

Joanna: Ahem...no comment. I love you.

mysterg: I concur. 100%.

justjp: I think I love you.

Singlegrrrl: My first troll-y thing! I feel an odd sense of accomplishment.

GingerMandy said...

wow, i definitely needed to read this. great post. oh wait, until i found out that the reason i'm single is because there's something wrong with me that makes men not want me. *sad clown*.

it's nice to be in a relationship, but it's also nice to be single. being single isn't a disease. i'll happily be single for the rest OF MY LIFE if being in a relationship makes me a frigid cunty bitch like anonymous. sounds like someone needs to loosen their cheeks and let their boyfriends dick out of their ass.

and even if you are an autistic, lazy-eyed bitch, i still love the shit out of you.

shine said...

Natalie: Love you, too, pretty bitch!

Rachel: That sounds like a horrible situation. It takes time to come out of those. I hope she knows she's lucky to have a friend like you!

GingerMandy: I'm in agreement about being single. Completely. And I love the shit out of you, you ginger bitch, you. High five for great hair!

LBluca77 said...

Um, this is for Anonymous, Fuck you!

You are certainly entitled to your opinion but you are not entitled to be such a fucking bitch. Who are you that you think you can call someone autistic or lazy eyed?

So based on what you said I can assume you have never been single before? Never in your entire life? Bitch, please.

There is nothing wrong with single girls and there is nothing wrong with girls in a relationship. Frankly I don’t give a shit about peoples relationship status. Why someone is single is not your business, just like why someone would actually want to be in a relationship with a cunt like you is not my business.

Oh and Shine, this was a great post!!

cool as folk said...

As a fellow single girl (who has been in shitty relationships and knew when to draw the line) I completely agree with you. I have really strong opinions when it comes to relationships and I absolutely hate it when people stay in them out of comfort.

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

i had this whole comment written out in response to anonymous and then i deleted it, it wasn't worth the effort or the attention for them.

but shine, i heart you A LOT. and i think you made a lot of sense here. i like you, know what it's like first hand.

chin up, and i hope your knee feels better!

Phronk said...

Yes. YES. You should stick this post in womens washroom stalls so that all of them read it. Because those with the self-confidence and maturity to get what you're saying here, they should never have to settle for emotionally unavailable lazy assholes. Yet they do.

They should be dating the opposite sort of guy. And I'm not saying this to be self-serving because I consider myself one...aw fuck it yes I am. Date me instead of assholes, everyone.

P.S. I suspect Anonymous is 14 years old. Go easy on the kid, he just doesn't know anything yet.

Meg said...

I'm pretty sure I only found my man by being 'stark raving mad'...life never gets boring.

Also, I would like to second stalk your stalker day. Hell yes.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Holy Cow...33 comments in less than a day. That is great but evil at the same time. Now I want you to be miserable. How catty is that? No, but seriously. I am gonna write this as someone who is already your bf and I could never aspire for that role...you are too good for the likes of me...but it helps make my point. Here goes. YOU are the kind of girl that anyone with a brain really wants. The rewards are huge and the pain is minimal. I want someone that is challenging and difficult but also magnificent and worthy of my love and adoration..and thats it...you need someone to ADORE you and feel totally unworthy of you sometimes. Someone who takes you for granted at their own peril because if they lose you then, as Baba would say, "The Angels will weep for you." I say stay frosty...hold out and don't settle until you absolutely have too..and that point only comes after you adopt the 70th Kitty. Oh and another thing Ms All That...you are NOT funnier or smarter than me. You are smart, funny, prettier, and in general terms much cooler but not funnier or smarter. Keep letting me believe I at least have that going for me. I work hard at those things and I need your pity and unwavering belief is that part of me. I know I am not the best looking guy you could get but you are with me for a reason so if you can let others see those reasons once in awhile you are really helping me out.

Jeff said...

whoa, way to start some shit up Shine.

My last relationship sucked. I was miserable and didn't know it.

My current one is mind-blowingly awesome. I didn't know that it could be this good.

The difference? TALKING ABOUT THINGS! God it sounds so stupid and cliched, but the biggest difference is that SHIT GETS DISCUSSED WHEN IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. If one of us is unhappy about something, we bring it up and work it out. We've had disagreements, but we haven't had fights. Fights happen when someone doesn't follow the rules of being a good partner.

I'm not claiming to be an expert, and I don't think what has worked for me will necessarily work for you. I just think the reason you hear this advice on every talk show, from every pshrink, and from every Dear Abby is because it works.

blue-eyed brunette said...

Hey thanks for the comment back! and yes, that comment you mentioned means you're very very cool. hahaha!

Graygrrrl said...

I like this post, but now I want you to tell me what to do about it. I'm with you- I'm sick and tired of being told: "They're just intimidated by you", "You're too strong", "You come across as standoffish", "You can be really blunt". Give me a break! Every guy says they want a girl who's one of the guys, but that's a lie. They want someone who plays the part of a guy but rather unconvincingly. I have a crush on this guy right now, and his friend was talking to me. He asked if I liked him, and I said 'Yes, and he likes me too". "How do you know?", he asked. "Because I asked him!"
Why can't I just be Joan on Mad Men?

standingonthebrink said...

I don't wholly agree with you - I am my own non-simple, fiercely independent and confident woman as you describe but I am also in a very happy relationship - a real partnership. I enjoyed being single and I think I'd have the balls not to just settle if I wasn't wholly happy and/or prepared to put in some work to my relationship. I think most relationships I know are happy, honestly, and more importantly equal - and it's interesting that your feeling about he relationsihps you see is the opposite but I can't put my finger on why that should be! And I'm not even going to express how I feel about Anon. except to say that either he/she should be sectioned or they're just a crazy shit-stirrer with a realy weird snse of humor and either way they've made me pretty fucking livid and I was already having a pretty rough day so cheers...