This is the third installment of the series of Mousetrap. In the first article Mousetrap: A Metaphor for Dating we established the modes of play, objective of game, and rules. In the second article Mousetrap: Prepare for Dating we covered preparing the board, and yourself, for the game and filling your bait box to attract players. Well if you know all the rules, have prepared your board, and most importantly found another player; now what?

Strategy

So there you are sitting at the game table with a new player, ready to embark or at least willing to move one square on the board. But that’s the problem, you both are sitting there. Who makes the first move. The easiest way to tell who should move first and will subsequently be the leader is who used ‘live bait’ first. That means, someone who showed a side of themselves, took a risk, in order to get the other player to sit at the table with them. Be prepared though, it is likely that the first to use live bait and the first to make a step to the next square will most undoubtedly be the one the other is “chasing.”

Chasing

We have all heard the antiquated phrase “chasing tail” or “the love of the chase.” But now, chasing doesn’t mean quite what it used to. Chasing now-a-days is much like the chasing done in Mousetrap. No one is playing hard to get in mousetrap, but someone has to play the risk-taker. Someone has to be the one who reaches their hand out when approaching a task or trap. It is the natural role for risk-takers to be, but rest assured that if you are the one chasing it doesn’t mean you can’t take risks or jump ahead a square or two in the game! Well we have the leader and the chaser on the board, so now what?

Trivial Pursuit Edition

Lucky for our generation Mousetrap: A Metaphor for Dating, in an unbelievable move, joined forces with Trivial Pursuit: Question Yourself and created a very unique game. Once you know the object of the game, modes of play, and rules all that is left is to learn how to play the game. There isn’t dice in this game as one of the rules is to stay closely in sync with your playing partner. This game, much like in life, everything is taken one step, or one square, at a time. The leader moves one square and has to answer a personal question and if the ‘chaser’ likes the answer they can elect to move one square as well. The ‘chaser’ now must answer the same personal question, if they do not they remain on that square until they answer an equally personal question. So on and so forth. Be aware that the questions not only become increasingly personal, but at times they can become loaded this is usually a sign that a task or trap square is approaching. Also you must remember the very important rule that each player needs to be within 2 squares of each other. Too many refusals and you will forfeit the game.

Chaser Becoming Leader

As it was mentioned before the chaser can become the leader on the board; not by answering questions but outwitting or outshining during a task or trap. Basically if a task or trap is completed first by the chaser, they become the leader. This gives the chaser not only a chance to advance an extra square with the original leader by helping them, but it helps them to become in sync again on the board. Role reversals are very common in Mousetrap: Trivial Pursuit Edition, but they are actually very essential if and when they land on the relationship square. Sometimes a leader becoming a chaser or vice-versa will end the game if such role reversal is unsavory to the promoted or demoted player. Unfortunately role reversal will most likely become a task or trap on the new game board if the game ends due to role reversal.

Conclusion

As you can see, the game has a lot of rules to remember but becomes pretty easy once you memorize them. The best strategy to playing thisgame is choosing the other players wisely. Each game loss could potentially add more tasks and traps to your game board, and literally make or break the game play. In the next Mousetrap article we will discuss tasks and traps, a very important part of the game.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Over the months of writing Pretty Girl Confessions I know that we have delved into some pretty serious and, at times, overwhelming issues. I have tried to provide humorous anecdotes to topics that I am passionate and knowledgeable about. But I think it is time to put aside serious topics, take down our clips from our hair, and curl up with some witty ramblings… all inspired by some of the search terms that have lead people here.

Blog stats here on wordpress give you relevant statistical data in regards to the visitors and their reading/clicking habits. Included in the statistics are 7 days worth of search terms used to find my blog. I have picked several out of the 20 used this past week, and I will try to come up with a plausible case scenario of the person using that search phrase. Lets see just how off the cuff on the fly I can really be.

1. The most common search term I get is “Dating Metaphors.” This case scenario is very easy. No one would search for dating metaphors to give their own relationship a cute but usually disturbing coining. No, this person already has had awful luck in dating and is currently experiencing a low from a current or very recent ex. Even more, they are probably trying to write about an analogy to dating and are scoping out what other people have written about this subject.

2. “downfalls dating when you want ex back” This is definitely another common theme I see in the search terms. People want advice on how to get back with their ex. Unfortunately they haven’t read all my posts. Which lets face it, they are the ones who need to the most. I would guess this person is currently dating a “nice guy” that she has no real feelings for while secretly pining away for her asshole ex that treated her like she meant little. She really thinks he is a jerk, but she desperately hopes that she is wrong.

3. This one can be one of the most heartbreaking: ‘”I love you” “i don’t want a relationship”‘ This is sad because what that person is really saying is: I like you a lot, and I had a lot of fun, but I don’t want a relationship with you.” That is why when you run into your ex 3 or 6 months later, guess what? They are in a relationship and it isn’t with you. This person is obviously hoping that there is hope for them. They are hoping to find advice to make that other person want to be with them, sadly… ain’t gonna happen.

4. Now for some funny ones. “martha stewart’s boyfriend” Now this one is completely hilarious to me. I came up in a search aimed at finding out if and whom Martha Stewart’s boyfriend is. Either this is one very strange guy that thinks Martha’s snobbery and jail time is attractive and fulfilling or there is one very bored housewife that dotes on Martha’s ideas and wants to see a picture of her boyfriend in order to play out some sick fantasy that she is Martha Stewart.

5. But this last search term picked for this post definitely takes the cake for the past month: “slutty sister wanted me” It isn’t so odd that a blog of mine could possibly come up in a search like this, the funny part is that they clicked on my blog that was associated with that phrase. I wouldn’t know the first thing about helping out a guy like that… if he was looking for help.. which is highly doubtful. I have sisters, but they aren’t sluts and they certainly wouldn’t want any one I had feelings for. My guess, he is your average guy looking for some porn. Softcore or even pornographic stories would do for this guy. Hmmm sorry dude this Pretty Girl doesn’t do porn… she just enjoys it like the rest of the population!

Add to Technorati Favorites

Ever met someone that you really liked and their inner light shined bright? Be careful because you may be looking at them through their diamond house. It is so easy these days to fall for the person you see behind the diamond wall that you seem to miss that there even is a wall. So what are the signs that someone is living in their own diamond house?

Diamonds Change Perception

One clue to look for is the guy that says “I am a simple man that wants simple things.” No one is simple, everyone has complexities… especially the diamond houses. They appear to be simple and straight forward only because they hide the complex and emotional side of themselves behind the wall. They want desperately simplicity. And as an outsider looking through a beautiful diamond the brilliance masks what really is inside.

Another sign, which is one of the biggest tell tale signs, is that the closer you get whether initiated by you or them the further they recede away from you. You see they do not want you getting so close to the diamond house that you will be able to see right through it. But make no mistake, even if you can see what is on the inside you will never be able to break through. Bang your head and your little fists against the diamonds, try as you might, but you will never be able to break through.

One of the biggest dangers of a diamond house man is their lack of empathy and taking risks. They will never be able to love you or give you their love because that is too risky. They would have to make a hole in the diamond to reach through, thus leaving them vulnerable. It took years of high pressure emotions being stuffed and layered into their walls until the pressure turned the dark emotions into diamonds. They will not risk their walls coming down, not even for someone who truly loves them… wall or not. Just remember they will never be able to give you the one thing you really want and deserve… them.

The one thing that diamond house men know is manipulation. They know where to stand to reflect the light of their walls. They seem driven, they seem to to know exactly what they want, and their brilliance can be overwhelming. But make no mistake these men only know where to stand so that the cuts of the diamonds reflect back what you want to see. They have learned how to walk through their world hiding the fact that their brilliance is only a wall only their house. They want to be everything they have glimmered toward you, they are not liars, they are just fearful.

Remember there are no simple people, only people who try to simplify complexity. Beware of simple brillance, it is rarely what it seems to be.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Nothing says more about you then what you are willing to accept or take. Take for instance Martha Stewart. Her first pies sold were in a local mall just feet away from another woman selling the same pies. What did Martha do in regards to her business competition? She raised the prices on her pies. Her reasoning is simple, if something is priced higher people assume that the quality is better. But you may be asking yourself what in the world does this have to do with relationships?

Self-Respect

In this day in age we are taught from a young age that self-esteem is important. And it is true, self-esteem is a very important factor in being happy and getting what you want. But it only plays a part. Self-respect is the other component to something that is even more important, self-worth. Think of self-esteem as the internal motivation you need to get what you want and self-respect as the means to obtain it. When you combine your wants and needs with a way to achieve them you get your self-worth.

So what is self-respect? It encompasses the part of us that stands up for ourselves, it is the part of us that acts upon feelings that go against our self-esteem. This self-respect is a very important part of a relationship. For some people it comes naturally but for others, not so easily. Take for instance the following scenario:

Jane just got home from a hard day at work managing her fellow bank tellers. Upon her arrival she realizes that she has gotten behind on dishes and laundry, not to mention the fact she has a report due first thing in the morning at work. She is working past her bedtime, still having an hour left until meeting her goals, when the phone rings. It’s John, her boyfriend. They have been in a relationship for about 5 months, and they feel very deeply for each other. Well John is drinking with his buddies, again, and not only does he need a ride home but so do two of his buddies. Jane mutters under her breath and is very annoyed that John keeps expecting her to go out of her way for him, but she does it anyway. When finally arriving back at Jane’s home, John persuades Jane to come to bed. Jane wakes up a little before John and rushes to finish her report. Just as she finishes, John wakes up and they both rush to get ready for work. Jane drives John to work, and makes it to her job just in time. She hands in her report and finishes out her day tired, but content.

This is a classic scenario of having self-esteem but not having self-respect. If Jane had respect for her own responsibilities and her time she would have said no to John. Some of you might find this cold or heartless, but the fact is.. it is John’s responsibility for his own choices. If he drinks too much to drive home safely then he should of had a plan to get there. It also points to his own lack of responsibility and more importantly his lack of respect for Jane. Since Jane does not respect herself it is only fair that John not respect her either.

Conclusion

In order to get what you want you have to be willing to not only think you are worth it, but to make actions that let others know your worth. If you give to yourself first not only will you respect yourself more but so will the people around you. No one should panhandle for love, taking only what little they are given. So go sell your pie as if it were baked in a golden pie tin and cut with a diamond encrusted knife.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Mousetrap: Prepare for Dating

February 18, 2007

Just because you know the object and rules of the dating game, that doesn’t mean you are any good at it or that you can get someone to play it with you. So lets take a look at the things you must do prior to sitting at the game table with someone else.

Preparing the Game

The most important aspect of getting good at playing any game is to know what to expect. Do you remember all those tasks and traps sitting on your board? Those are what you need to become familiar with. When your relationships ended what tasks and traps did the other player leave behind? What tasks or traps did you skip in multi-player mode? What traps or tasks did you fail to triumph over to get to the relationship square? These are all questions you need to ask yourself. If you have a plan for the traps and tasks ahead you have a better chance at winning the game, not to mention you can add that lure to your bait box. Which leads us to the next point.

The Bait Box

If you are prepared for the dating game by knowing your board, how can you get someone to sit at the table with you? You need bait of course. And everyone has bait, except for one of the previously mentioned types; the sideliners. Sideliners will just have to take the plunge and buy their first bait box. So what is bait? Bait is your best features or attributes. To put it plainly “work with what ya got.” If you are funny use it, if you are intelligent use it.

Your bait box should have at least three lures in it. The first lure should be your best feature, what works best with the opposite sex and as well as what works with your friends. Your second lure should be a supplemental attribute, such as you may be hilarious (lure #1) but you are also a pretty good cook (lure #2.) And finally, your last bait should be a live worm so to speak. It is your best bet for a lure, as your live worm is the real you the emotional you, but it is also the most vulnerable. When fishing with a live worm you catch less as they can nibble bits of the worm off without hooking, or they can completely remove the worm before you even notice it is gone. So a word of caution must be given when using live bait; use sparingly and be prepared for the unfortunate possibilities. My advice, use it later in the dating game.

Baiting isn’t just for luring someone to sit at your game table, baiting is used throughout the whole dating game and even beyond the relationship square. Baiting is in effect, your personal charm. Not all people love a funny man or an intellect. But if you are fortunate enough to to land on a relationship square with someone else, do not underestimate your bait box, after all it probably had a lot to do with the success of winning the game. So don’t put away your bait box just because you won the dating game, it is an essential toolkit for your relationship ahead. Just keep swimming.

And always…

Happy Fishing!

Disclaimer: Let me say that there are plenty of women that go for and can be with the 4 types of fishermen and their subsequent sub-types. These articles are not for or about them. This is for the transitional and transitioned new school fishies. But most of all, this is one of my posts that is more for entertainment purposes. More serious and enlightening articles are soon to come.

We have discussed the 4 types of fishermen, some are obvious as to why they would not work and some are not. So what does work? First we need to take a closer look at the sideliners because there is a special subset that you would think is what you want, but sadly it isn’t.

There is a sub-type of the sideliners that are called the servers. They are sensitive, they care about your needs, they are giving, but most of all they know what it takes to be in a relationship and make it work. There is just one problem for them, the dating game. Imagine yourself being invited to a dinner party. You arrive at the front door, it opens, you step through and the door closes behind you. Before you can take another step your good looking host hands you your plate piled high, your silverware, and a drink. You didn’t have a chance to take off your coat let alone mingle or have a drink. Furthermore they denied you the opportunity to make interesting conversation, they even denied you the opportunity for your sense of smell to lead you to pick among the array of food choices. The servers say “this is all of what I have, eat up!” That isn’t the dating game, it is entirely skipping it.

While they might be able to offer a lot of what you want, how they offer it isn’t very effective. It basically takes the romance out of the romance.

The Conundrum

So if offering it upfront doesn’t work and not playing at all doesn’t work, what does? Well the only way to win the game is to play it. You can’t sit on the sideline and win and you can’t jump to the end of the game then turn and ask, “did I win?” You have to play the dating game. But remember this is called the dating game, not the relationship game. You have to know the rules, and sadly, many people do not. But the biggest mistake of playing the game is not knowing whether you want to win or not. Which is ok, in it’s own right, if you don’t want to win. And here is where the first rule and strategy comes into play. But before any game can be played you have to know the modes of play and the object of the game.

Modes of Play

There are two modes of play, two-player and multi-player. Each has a different objective.

Objective

Two-player mode: The object of the game is to get both players to the relationship square. The players must be within two squares of each other at all times. In order for both of the players to win each player must reach the relationship square within one turn of each other. Watch out for traps and tasked squares.
Multi-player mode: The object of this game is to build strategy for future two-player games. During multi-player games the mode of play can change to two-player mode. However; only two players can reach the relationship square, thus the remaining players must be eliminated. Watch out for traps and choose wisely of the tasked squares.

The Rules

1.) Once a choice to play the game is made you have to decide what mode of play you want the game to be. This is very important as there will be consequences if you choose wrong!

2.) In multi-player mode there can be more than two players in a game, but if the mode has been changed during play one of your objectives is to eliminate enough players so that only two remain. If you do not, all the players will lose the game.

3.) If in two-player mode you must be within two squares of the other player at all times. If not, the player ahead can choose to loose two spaces or choose to leave and forfeit the game. This forfeit would count as a loss against you. If in multi-player mode this rule does not apply unless mode of game has been changed. The only exception to this rule in multi-player mode is when a player falls behind 5 or more squares behind all other players, once this occurs that player is eliminated.

4.) In two-player mode each player must take their turn only when the other player has finished with their turn. In multi-player mode for each square you advance you get an extra turn.

5.) If a player reaches a trap the other player can choose to help them pass the trap. If successful, the two players facing the trap will get to advance an extra square. But watch out, if the other player chooses to help there is an increased risk that both players will fall into the trap, thus ending the game.

6) In two-player mode, when stopping on a task square, you must complete the entire task to move forward. Once you have completed the task you must remain on the task square until the other player has also completed the task. If in multi-player mode you can decide not to do the task. But once the leader on the board chooses to do a task and completes it those remaining on the board must complete it as well or they are eliminated from the game.

7) The final and most important rule, if the two players make it to the relationship square neither of the players may return to a previous point in the game with the other player. If the player chooses to return to an earlier point, they forfeit the game and must go back to the start square with a different player. The player left on the relationship square is allowed to add one more trap and 3 more tasks before leaving the game board.

Now that you know a little about the game. How do you choose what players to invite to the board? And how, once you have chosen your other player(s), do you ask them play? Hopefully these are answers I will be able to give you in posts to come…. so keep swimming!

And always…

Happy Fishing!
Add to Technorati Favorites

Keeping with my fish theme I akin the dating game, and yes it is a game, to actual fishing. You have the fishermen that sport fish, they catch and release and keep catching and releasing. They do it for the thrill of catching the “big one” only to take a few pictures and let it go again. Then you have the fishermen who do it to keep their catch, it is done with the intent to eat or mount their prized catch.

You have two types of the catch and release players in the dating game. The first type are the ones who love the game, and only the game. They love the thrill, especially the thrill of catching the “big one.” Once the few second thrill is gone, they throw their fishie back into the sea with a nice little wound where their hook was. The other type of C&R players are the ones who are of the mindset “Iapparently want what I can’t have and don’t want what I can.” (This was an actual quote from an ex old school fishie of mine just the other day.) This is where the game becomes very confusing and where the most damage can be made to their once prized fishie. More on this later.

Now you have the keepers, there are many types of the keepers but in this article we will focus on two of them. You first have the type that keep the fish to eat them. They appreciate what nature has given them, they don’t treat fishing as a sport. It is waiting  for a good catch.. but catching for keeps. The second type is the keepers who would be C&Rs but need an ego boost or lack of self-esteem. They are the ones who love the thrill and sport of catching the fish only to mount it so everyone else will say “wow what a beautiful catch, how did you ever manage to catch one like that?”

Now, back to the C&Rs who don’t want what they have once they actually have it. You see they sit in their boat with their endorphins running high from the pursuit of the fish and subsequently from finally catching it. They admire their fish and don’t want to throw it back right away. After all this fishie made them feel accomplished and skillful. So after a little while they notice the fishie is trying harder and harder to breath. They are twitching less and less. The scene ofthe prized fishie has turned the fisherman from feeling accomplished and alive to feeling bored and even a little guilty, he made the fishie feel this way. He knows he has made the fish suffer and wounded, but the fishie doesn’t make him feel good anymore. So he has to get rid of it and throws it back into the sea; a gaping wound and severely oxygen deprived. He takes a little time to shake out the images from his head and the negative feelings he has, only to come back for some more fishing.

So now we have 4 types of guys: the players, the heartbreakers, the sideliners, and the users. Each has downfalls, yes even the sideliners. But the bigger question here is where do they fit in regards to the schools of fish; are they old school new school or the other school.. transitional? And what role does the game play in the schools, is it obsolete or needed? All of these questions will be answered in the next blog… so keep swimming!

And always…

Happy Fishing!

Add to Technorati Favorites

The Why Me’s of the World

February 10, 2007

One very important article started me on my path to understand what it was that was encouraging me to pick men who were not good for me. The best place to start was, well, me. Since I had been doing the picking I had to be playing a part. But what part and what aspect of it was I doing wrong? I had no idea, so I sat there pondering; that is until one day I happened to read an article about how we develop same-sex friendships. That article was Friendships: Laws of Attraction.

How friends turn into best friends:

“Self-disclosure characterizes the moment when a pair leaves the realm of buddyhood for the rarefied zone of true friendship. … In the early stages of friendship, this tends to be a gradual, reciprocal process. One person takes the risk of disclosing personal information and then ‘tests’ whether the other reciprocates.”

First you meet someone, perhaps by a common interest. This puts you into aquiantence or buddy mode. But small self-disclosures soon turn into a friendship. But what turns a friendship into a close friendship? Intimacy. And that isn’t an easy thing to define. The article attempts to quantify it by saying :

“Hefty helpings of emotional expressiveness and unconditional support are ingredients here, followed by acceptance, loyalty, and trust. Our friends are there for us through thick and thin, but rarely cross the line: A friend with too many opinions about our wardrobe, our partner, or our taste in movies and art may not be a friend for long.”

So if common interests/circumstances leadto acquaintances, disclosure leads to friendships, and intimacy leads to closeness, what leads someone to be your best friend? Larger doses of disclosure and intimacy. In this article they quantify it as a “beyond-the-call-of-duty” expectation. This means that if we suffer an emergency—real or imagined—and need to talk, we expect our best friend to drop everything and race to our side. But wait, there has to be more than just larger doses, why do they connect so well? Social identity. If you see yourself first as a mother, second as an artist, and third as a wife you will most likely form a best friendship with someone who is a mother as well. This is because she supports and understands how you see yourself.

So there we have it; common interests, disclosure, intimacy, and social identity. The recipe for best friendship. You may wonder how in the world this would relate to me picking those who were not right for me. I assure you that there is a strong connection.

First I started with common interests, usually the meeting of the person through friends who share common interests with me as well as the new person. Secondly I jumped right to seeking social identity with this person and that identity is …..*drum-roll please* …. SURVIVOR. This starts the attraction and the subsequent courtship. But wait a minute, what does surviving have to do with this? You see I am a survivor first and foremost, a survivor of an abusive relationship that lasted many years, and in my formative years to boot. So it is natural that I would seek those that understand and relate to being a survivor, by being one themselves. Usually they have survived much worse situations and lives than I have, and unfortunately they are still in survival mode.

It gets worse as the courtship continues. We start the self-disclosure process, only that they don’t disclose very much and I would bare it all for them. Reciprocation doesn’t ensue, but instead of walking away I would go to the final ingredient on my quest to find my friend-relation-ship… intimacy. Now the intimacy I am talking about isn’t very well explained in the above article. But, lucky for us there is a wonderful blogger out there that just wrote a fantastic short about intimacy: Let’s Get Intimate. Ruby said it best:

“Intimacy is not about agreeing on everything or spilling your guts. But it is about being a friend that can be trusted, a person worth sharing with, an person with you in both the storms of life and the sunshine.

An intimate thought does not need to bare your soul. My very favourite ones are more about the revelation of every day life- a loved one’s favourite pastimes or the thoughts on a topic of interest.”

Again I fostered intimacy with loyalty, trust, and acceptance but I chose to ignore the simple fact they were not intimate back. Without this awareness I would be sure to pick Mr. Still-in-survival-mode again.

I wrote this story 1) because Ruby reminded me of that journey and 2) because I know there are many of you out there that pick the wrong guys and you cry “why me” as a complaint. But, you really need to take this question seriously… Why you?

Seriously…

Why you?

My parents are still together, amazingly. My father, when I was just a toddler, was working full time and going to college full time having just left the military. He worked hard to make a lot of money, to provide a nice home for us, and tried to protect us from any physical threats. My mother was a stay-at-home mom for both my older sisters and me, the youngest, until I was in about the second or third grade. My dad still works 50-60 hours a week, making use of his degrees and making a nice salary. My mother stays at home and provides daycare for my nephew and watches my daughter and my other sister’s daughter when we need it. I lived your typical and average life with typical mother and father roles.

My mother is starting to discover that she deserves a lot more, and I learned that lesson a long time ago that I needed more from a father then what I was given. Most women are coming to this realization, that we no longer need or rather require a provider and protector. We don’t live in caves anymore, we are no longer embarking on a trip to the new and wild west, and we no longer have to stay home with the kids while Mr. Cleaver, our dear husband and father figure, goes out and provides for us and ultimately makes the choices. This is a new era we are embarking into. We are evolving and becoming new fishies. But evolution is tricky and not always pleasant. So where has evolution left us?

We, as women, are stuck between two worlds. On one hand we are attracted to the manly guy who forgets important occasions, spends a lot of time relaxing, and is very motivated by his work and obtaining a stable and steady income… one that will be enough to provide for others no doubt. On the other hand we are now aware that this is no longer acceptable or feasible for the modern woman. On this current hand of evolution, women now expect a man who has become sensitized to a woman and her needs, the expectation that they should relate to us on a more personal level. Not only are we stuck between what we were raised to be attracted to, but now we have to figure how to attract and foster a more meaningful and fulfilling relationship with men who are going through their own evolution.

The current evolution of man, I will unequivocally admit, is much more intense and much harder than what women are faced with in their current evolution. We know what we are attracted to, we know what we want, and we have the determination to see it through. Men on the other hand not only were raised to be desensitized but do not even know what it means or feels like to become sensitive. They are circling their little fishy tails because they have no idea what else to do. Being emotional and relating to people on an emotional level is not something that you can put into a powerpoint presentation and learn. It is a life long process that is hard until the very end. Women talk through their emotions to strike a balance between cerebral and emotional stability. Men on the other hand have been taught to approach difficulties or problems without emotion and with whatever means it takes to alleviate the problem. Sometimes that means stopping and reverting back to a more stable time. Hence why a lot of women find themselves chugging along only to look next to them to find that their fishy has stopped and began circling their little tail, the fishy saying “just leave me behind.”

We are defining our roles as lovers, wives and husbands, and as mothers and fathers. Mom and wife no longer have to rely on a male for financial security. We can have careers, go to school, buy houses and cars, and even raise children on our own. Stability and physical presence is no longer enough. Taking up space in a home and contributing to the finances is no longer attractive, in fact it is down right aggrevating and obsolete. We can get a smaller home and provide for the household and children just as well without men. But in this scenerio the men are no longer taking up space, neglecting our new needs, and making situations where we have to sacrifice or revert to a traditional role. However; the one thing that is missing from this scenerio is a partner and equal to share our life with.

This is the partner we as women are looking at evolution to give us. Unfortunately we are not able to help very much in speeding this along. This is an evolution that men will have to face on their own and come to terms with. They will have to work hard and they will usually have to start from the inside out. They have to become re-familiarized with their emotional cues and convictions. They have to start relating to people in a whole new way, in a way that cannot be taught by reading a book. It can only be learned by trial and error. They have no role models to look up to, they don’t have peers to turn to, and they have no manual to help them. This is true for both sides of the coin. Women as well have no role models to look up to, no peers to turn to, and no self-help book has come out to help your Old School Fishies turn in to New School Fishies.

I have no doubt that my daughter will refine and define a greater sense of this role. Our generation is faced with serious problems because we are creating new roles, and with that creating new and harder problems. We are making a lot of mistakes, both sexes, and trying to learn ways of fixing them.  What will help us in making these new roles? Can we really find a common ground? Can men really relate to women the way we want them to? What can both sexes do for each other to foster better understanding? Are these new roles even workable? These are all questions we are faced with and there are no easy answers. The one question you can ask yourself that will give you a starting point at least is:
How evolved are you on the fishy scale?

Fish Evolution

 HAPPY FISHING EVERYONE!

I became a pusher (see Pushing. Give Up and Let Go blog post) and I couldn’t figure out why, of all people, I had fallen into this bad habit for a few weeks. I knew I didn’t want to be with him, I knew that I deserved better; yet there was something there that I didn’t want to let go of. I finally figured it out after much soul-searching:

I wanted my best friend back

This lead me to even more soul-searching as to why I was making them my best friend. I thought I was very wrong on this point and tried to figure a way out of it, after all I am a pretty and confident girl. After a month of searching myself and my behavior an article lead me to my Old School Fish New School Fish theory. It was about the new roles men are facing in marriages and relationships in general. Here is my conclusion from this article (an excerpt written in a private blog of mine):

When it is all said and done all this article has offered me is a more meaningful and larger explaination with what is wrong with the people in my generation. We are pioneers for what our kids and grandkids will no doubt refine and master. We are feeling our way through and making mistake upon mistake only for our kids to come out and say “you gave us the first steps in these new ‘roles’ but now we figured out the next few.” You see our generation is going through a period where a lot of things have changed, and a lot of these things are contrary to what we have seen and were raised to be. It’s like we realize they had it wrong, and we realize what we want… it’s just we don’t know how to get it.

There are some people I know who have figured it out and have met and retained people that give them what they need, but as a whole we are trying to re-make the rules and it isn’t as easy as it was to come up with the goal. This article has not changed my determination nor has it lent me much sympathy for the men who think physical presence is enough. I want more, I demand more, and I am not willing to wait years being with someone while they figure it out. Because that is only going to cause resentment and hurt feelings. My expectations are high, I demand the best of myself and of my partner. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that want or expectation, but I think I should add to my expectation that what I want might be very hard to find.

I am looking through a sea of confused and unsure fishies. When I look at this “sea” I am looking at fish chasing their tails, chasing other fish, then retreating back to chasing their tails. With all the chaos it is hard to see the fish that have gotten beyond going round in circles. And sometimes I catch the fish while they are going straight only to look next to me to see they have regressed back to going round in circles. It’s hard to tell the circlers from the straight and determined. And to be honest, right now I am getting a little sea sick from the chaos.

The Emperor’s New Woes was meant to foster more understanding and acceptance of this new forging of a man’s role. All it has successfully done is made me more determined to find the few fishies that have left the “old school” for the “new school.” I know they are out there, I know they have gone through a lot to get there, all I need to do is figure out how to recognise the new schoolers from the old schoolers.

This is why I had become a pusher. I had expected him to be a New School Fish but he just turned out to be another Old School Fish. I gave and expected the same in return, and simply put, I wanted what I gave back. It was regret manifesting as pushing. Fishing is a topic that will covered for a while, including some social experiments and in-depth interviews. Check back soon for these blogs.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.