Friday, 26 November 2010
I recently received an email from a reader, which can be summarised down to the following:
• The reader and her male best friend have been friends for years. Despite accusations of them being more than friends, it’s always been strictly platonic.
• About 3 years ago her best friend met the love of his life. They’re currently living happily ever after.
• About a year ago the emailer realised she’s deeply in love with her best friend and she wanted my opinion on whether she should confess her feelings.
Normally I feel torn when I read such emails. This is because even though I like to pretend I’m objective, I like you all and prefer to take your side. In this case it took all the strength I could muster to not type “DON’T BE SO STUPID”. Fortunately I’ve become more familiar with a concept known as tact.
Sidebar: Why didn’t anyone tell me how handy being tactful is? It’s like lying but it comes with none of the guilt. Plus people still (pretend to) like you after you state your opinion.
Somehow, I found a sophisticated way of stating that a confession would be as wise as meeting Lil Kim and calling her Nicki Minaj.
It’s not that I don’t want her to confess because I’m unromantic (then again my idea of romance is being given a wheelbarrow filled with cash and a pair of Louboutin’s atop). And it’s not because I don’t like happy endings. I just think if she goes ahead with her plan, the results will be catastrophic.
Unfortunately months spent (over) obsessing and engaging in counterfactual thinking have clouded her judgement. As our e-conversation continued it became apparent that she was more likely to confess than not. Furthermore all her friends were advising her to confess her feelings “before it’s too late”.
Sidebar: This lends credence to my theories that “Just because they want what’s best for you, doesn’t mean they know what’s best for you” and “Ignore the majority opinion, because the majority don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.”
I truly believe if this young lady confesses it will be an act of self-sabotage, akin to shaving off her eyebrows and drawing them back on…..with toothpaste. Here are my reasons:
Honesty isn’t always the best policy
You know that platitude “Honesty is the best policy”? I despise it because it oversimplifies the complexity of human relationships. You cheated therefore “Honesty is the best policy”. You may have scratched your dad’s car whilst backing into the driveway then claimed you had “no idea what happened” therefore, “Honesty is the policy”.
Honesty in such instances is really a self-serving, rather than virtuous act. It’s not genuine, it’s simply a tool used to absolve oneself of guilt or whatever emotion (or secret) you no longer want to be burdened with. And after your confession the other party is left shattered from the impact of your confession.
Honesty isn’t always the best policy; sometimes the best policy is to keep your mouth shut and walk away.
A woman must never make a decision about love in a time of famine
In times of famine a gnawed chicken bone is an attractive meal. I’m not implying that her best friend is a gnawed chicken bone. I’m just attempting to illustrate during periods of severe “man famine”, us women consider (and reconsider) options that were once filed under “hell no! Not even by mistake”.
My suspicion is she’s capitulating. This isn’t love! She thinks she has no other options and she’s now fixated on the next best alternative.
Sidebar: Ironically there are 6 billion people in the world, a significant number of them, single adult males looking for company. She has plenty of options.
This is most probably phase and just like all those people that had a gheri curl/perm in the 80s, one day she’ll look back and ask herself “What was I thinking?” On those grounds it’s better to lean on the side of caution and allow this phase to pass.
The girlfriend’s pregnant
I’m aware I should have mentioned this fact in the introduction, however I’m in a facetious mood and thought I’d give this blog entry a soap opera feel. Forgive me.
If confessing was inappropriate before, now it’s just insane. I agree we should all have the freedom to live our own love story, but when our love story catalyses another person’s nightmare, we must be prepared to face the (dire) consequences. Relationships grounded on theft (yes I call it theft, even though technically he’s no one’s property) rarely end well.
In movies, you can ruin another woman’s life by confessing to your best friend that you’ve always loved him. He’ll walks away from her and then you live happily ever after. Why? Because it’s a movie! However this is real life and in real life, the impact of our decisions, ripple and ricochet for years. She can’t make a confession without their being multiple casualties. In light of that, is it worth it?
The real question is this; who does she love more? Her best friend or herself? If she really loves him she should keep quiet. As sometimes truly loving someone means letting them go and putting yourself second.
I’m aware this is dilemma many of us have faced at some point (albeit without the involvement of a foetus) and I’m wondering if I’m being absolutist in my response to it. So what do you think she should do? The floor is yours.
Love & Light
Friday, 19 November 2010
I write this post in memory of friendships past. Those men and women who came into my life for a season of time and have left an indelible mark. Some of us parted amicably, others naturally and some drowning in a pool of animosity. Regardless of the circumstances and the words spoken, I thank you. I thank you all. Thank you for being so gracious to teach me priceless lessons. Thank you for giving me your time, for the immeasurable amounts of advice, for the care and above all for the love you bestowed.
Although now we rarely speak and some us walk past each other as though we were strangers, I do hope you know that I’m grateful. I’m not angry or bitter. For some friendships I feel sadness, because I know our pride, stubbornness and inability to compromise brought blossoming relationships to an abrupt end. As it’s inappropriate to communicate with your adversaries, there's no real way of relaying my gratitude without seeming disingenuous. So I have no choice but to use this medium. Juxtaposed with the depth of what we had, it feels rather hollow, but I hope I manage to convey how I feel.
For each friend I lost, through you I gained something that has made me me. You taught me things like humility, confidence, diligence, fearlessness, how to hustle, how to make my hair look great on a budget, how to effectively stalk a man without letting him know you’re stalking him…. : ) How to not care what people think, how to care more about what those that matter think and how to let go....(well almost!).
Perhaps one day we’ll meet again, all will be forgotten and we’ll be friends like we used to. Except things can never be how they used to can they? I’ve changed, you’ve changed and in the real world our decisions aren’t made in vacuum. Reembarking on our friendship would be a road rife with insurmountable complications and I do think we’ve all moved on. Well…almost. You don’t ever ‘move on’ do you? Because old friends like old lovers remain implanted in the walls of our soul forever.
If we get to do this life thing again and we’re reincarnated into new beings, I hope our paths cross again. This time I pray we get it right and have the privilege of watching each other grow old in harmony. Until then, for your presence in my life this time around, I thank you.
* This post is dedicated to a special friend who was once like a sister. I wish you well. This universe and all its abundance is yours. Love & Light xxx*
Friday, 12 November 2010
Working on “The Tip” has meant I’ve literally had no free time and after being reprimanded by my family and friends, last weekend I decided I would relax. I failed woefully.
On the upside, I finally left my bedoffice* and spent some time with a few of my friends. One of whom has recently become a resident of Singleville and as a former serial monogamist, she’s having difficulty grappling with her new status. She’s become contemplative (well paranoid) and believes the Gods are conspiring against her. As she’s the only friend I have that actually wants to get married soon, you can imagine how distressed she is by her current “predicament”.
I find it all very amusing because:
1) She has nothing to worry about and her paranoia is completely misplaced.
2) I think 5 year plans are stupid and love it when I’m proved right.
3) Her rants are the holy grail of all things entertaining.
Mid-way through her, “I’m single and I need to get married in 27.5 months speech” she said something that hit me.
Why did she say no to these men? At the time she felt they were “too nice”. I can’t judge her because in the past I’ve behaved in a similar manner, as have many women reading this. We’ve passed on perfectly sane men with great prospects just because they were “too nice”.
We weren’t quite sure when our thought process became so polluted, that a man being “too nice” was considered a liability rather than an asset. Since we were feeling ambitious we tried to decipher the root of the problem.
Disclaimer: Our reasoning faculties were severely hampered by drinking too much Rosé. We used the home of all faction aka Wikipedia as our research source.
We concluded that being “too nice” is a liability not necessarily because of niceness itself. Taken in isolation being nice is an attractive trait! However when a man’s too nice and he likes a woman, it means there’s no challenge. The absence of a challenge diminishes a man's attractiveness. Our jaded perception of relationships means that many of us think “true love” must come with a struggle. We believe that if it’s easy to attain, then it’s not worth having. Which is for lack of a better word….stupid.
Not only is there no challenge with a “nice guy”, there’s no competition from other women. Those two factors combined and we have a generation of women who would rather catch a permanent case of thrush, than catch a man who’s “too nice”.
We are proud to announce that after thinking (well talking) about it extensively, we’re official members of #TeamNiceGuy. We’re also on the hunt for new recruits, because it’s lonely over here. As such we thought we’d compile a list of reasons why the unconverted among you should join us.
1) Nice doesn't mean he's boring
I think we’re hardwired into assuming that a man being nice means he’s boring. Newsflash! Nice and interesting can co-exist!
2) Even if he is “boring”, it’s still not that bad
Boring is better for your blood pressure, heart rate, weight and you’ll cry less. Yes boring is boring, but I’d take boring over insane any day.
3) Passionate relationships with passionate men are overrated
Romeo was passionate and Juliet is (still) dead. Passion is overrated. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that when “passion” is used to describe a relationship, it’s nothing more than a euphemism for “doomed”.
4) Relationships with other "types" probably won’t work in the long term.
The thug, the commitmentphobe, the serial heartbreaker, the emotionally unavailable hoarder, the man who oscillates between loving you and being indifferent, the dreamer with no work ethic. Relationships with such men have a high mortality rate. And even if they do survive, the relationship is so diseased it might as well be terminated.
If you just want a bit of fun it makes sense to go for such men. After all, the quality of man doesn’t matter when you don’t intend for him to stick around.
Sidebar: Isn’t it funny how the men we don’t intend to keep around, still manage to stick around?
However, if you're at a stage in your life when you've chosen the "No More Drama" route, then a nice guy will compliment that choice.
5) You don’t need to “change” him
At least once a week I’ll get an email from a woman engaged in the mother of all Sisyphean quests. She’s trying to change a man. Here’s the thing, no woman has the power to change a man. Not because men can’t be changed, but because people can’t be changed unless they choose to change.
On the other hand if you get with a nice guy you won’t feel compelled to “change” him, because he’s not (as) crazy.
6) Nice guys grow up into great men
7) They’ll take care of you AND his mum will be nice too
Anecdata proves (and when I say anedata I’m really talking about statistics I made up in my head) that nice guys take better care of their girlfriends. This is simply because men that treat women like princesses’ tend to have been raised by queens. He’s great, he treats you great and his mum is great. Win. Win. Win.
8) They deserve our time
With so much pressure to conform to the status quo, “nice guys” have the courage to run a different race. They still persist in being nice even though it makes them less attractive and many will overlook them. That alone deserves admiration, respect and at the very least a second date.
Love & Light
P.S If you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook you'll be aware that I have another "secret" blog. It's called "Like I don't blog enough". http://christianam.tumblr.com/ If things are quiet here I may pop up over there. My favourite post thus far is "In Memory of Friendships past" which I felt freed me after writing it. Just thought I'd share it on here as I've had it for months and still haven't got round to it!
* Bedoffice = A bedroom that’s morphed into an office.
Monday, 1 November 2010
How I have missed blogging! This hiatus has reminded me how much I genuinely enjoy blogging and precisely why I do it. As some of you know, most of my time since the beginning of August has been spent working on "The Tip". Today at 11am we finally went LIVE.
So yes..... please bookmark
Working on "The Tip" has been such an intense experience (I'm writing this post after having just 4 hours of sleep eeek), but it has been rewarding! I've been able to collaborate with a group of creative, talented, tenacious and ambitious young people, none of whom are willing settle for less than the best.
Whilst putting this together, I have fretted more than I ever have in my life. I have perfected the art of being an insomniac who over-thinks, over-works and over-tweets inappropriate statements late at night. I've learnt that if you neglect doing your hair for too long even your dad will subtly hint that you need to get it done. I've also been the beneficiary of an immense amount of support from family and friends.
The most humbling element of this experience is discovering that humans are kind. Seriously. Humans are kind. Though I don't like to admit it I've always had a Hobbesian view of the world and human nature. During this experience people I have never met have been so kind and helped me even though they don't need to. Without such people "The Tip" would be no more than a bunch of (shoddily drawn) sketches on my bedroom floor.
Anyway! I'm not trying to create any contrived Oprah moments. And considering how much these people have done, a blog post just doesn't suffice. I was going to write about my favourite articles on "The Tip" and recommend them, but I don't want to project my preferences on you. Log on (yes that is another shameless plug) and read away. There's so much going on right now that I need to blog about. Even though I've been quiet of late, I'm going to get back into the flow (promise!). I just need some sleep, some brandy and a pair of shoes.
Sidebar: Yes I said a pair of shoes, buying shoes is the ultimate energy boost. I think I deserve a pair, it's been so long since I last purchased some shoe porn, I'm practically a stiletto virgin.
Finally, thank you to every single person that helped me get "The Tip" off the ground. You are amazing.
Love & Light,