Wednesday, May 28, 2003

The Doctor of Love

I suggested last week that I was extremely unqualified to give out relationship advice, so any I advice I give would be ridiculous. Despite this warning, I still got a response. Here goes, the KOTWF is about to ruin someone’s life.

N. wrote:

“Well, you asked for it!

“I was married for 12 years to the world's most bitter man. Then I reconnected with a man I had gone to high school with. I fell in love hard and deep, with a passion I had never experienced. We had an affair that lasted a year, and I left my marriage. However, it was soon clear that although he was willing to spend long afternoons having sex, he was not interested in me as ''relationship material''. In fact he was actively pursuing other women. Several other women. I became suspicious and started, well not quite stalking him, but critically evaluating the information he was giving me. I befriended his ex-girlfriend and found out the truth. There was a R. that he had not bothered to disclose. Ouch. So I had to deal with my marriage over, house sold, big-time lawyers fees, and he's going rock-climbing with R. There is no justice. I'm sort of dating a new guy. He's kind and safe and stable, which is all good after the tumultuous year I've had. But the passion isn't there. I know Affair-Guy is no good for me, and that it's over, but I wish I could feel that way again for someone who loved me back.

“Am I just using New Guy while I wait for a new Passion Pet? Or will he grow on me? What is your wisdom?”

First of all, N., you couldn’t have been married to the world’s most bitter man, because that is my barber. And it couldn’t have been the world’s second most bitter man, because that is my ex-boss. And it couldn’t have been the world’s third most bitter man, because that is my best friend. No, right from the start I am sure that you are exaggerating just a tiny bit. So, you were married to the world’s fourth most bitter man, and he drove you into the arms of a womanizing rock climber you knew from high-school, (so far this is textbook stuff), who was happy to spend long afternoons having sex. Let’s just linger on that for a moment. Yes, picturing you, picturing the afternoon. Picturing the sex. Nope, can’t blame him.

Anyway, he turns out to be a prick, but you loved him, and now you have moved on, but you don’t feel the excitement anymore. Well, N., I’ve passed a plethora of periods of time pondering your predicament, while plying myself with perfectly poured potions prescribed by my podiatrist/pal who performs procedures while punch-drunk, and I’m prepared to pontificate on the problem (What the hell?).

Obviously, New Guy is boring, so what you need to do is spice things up. If you don’t feel passion for him, then pretend that he is someone else like Pierce Brosnan or Queen Victoria. It might even help to get him to wear a mask (might I suggest JFK or James Dean rather than someone scary like Lon Chaney or Calista Flockhart). Now, tie him up, drizzle him with some sort of sauce (I suggest Hershey’s syrup, Scotch, or Ram’s Blood), then ride him all night long. After about eight hours of this, either you will have a new-found respect for him because of his amazing stamina, or he’ll be dead from exhaustion. Either way, problem solved. But don’t feel bad for him, he died happy. If this doesn’t work, then you can always go for suggestion number two. Get several girlfriends together, go out drinking, have a big underwear-clad tickle fight, try on some new lingerie, then show up at my house. This works every-time.

Okay, here’s the real advice. If you read this site for the humor (if you can call it that) then I suggest you stop reading here. There’s a lot to be said for passion. That butterflies in the stomach, blood rushing to you face, heart skipping a beat feeling that comes with budding romance. There is nothing better than new love or old Scotch. The problem with this, though, is that new love is actually a drug. I read an article on this recently, in which they explained that new love releases a drug in your brain that creates a sort of euphoria. This wears off after about 6 months on average, sometimes more, sometimes less. My personal theory is that when a relationship starts out with passion (as an affair would) then becomes rocky very quickly, it creates a sort of “I’m not sure if it’s on or off, I don’t know what’s happening” situation in which you find yourself fighting to keep the relationship going. Fighting for a relationship lengthens the giddy getting to know you period, and makes the drug stay in your system longer. It’s exciting, it feels good, but it is NOT HEALTHY. The important thing to remember is that the passion fades to some degree in every relationship. What you are left with when this happens is comfort, understanding, someone you can talk to, enjoy time with, and love. And, hopefully, a few moments of passion thrown in here and there.

What you need to decide is whether or not New Guy provides the things that you want out of a relationship and a life partner, and if you can love him. Then, you need to decide if you can be happy with that. I don’t blame you for wanting passion, and no one says you need to settle down so soon after your divorce, you just need to decide what you want.

Trust me on this, passion alone is highly over-rated. When it fades, and you are left sitting across the table from a stranger, you are that much worse off. What you need is to find the right balance, like I have with the Blondage, of someone that can sit at a polite dinner with your great-aunt Edna as quickly as they can trip you into bed. It’s not passion we need, nor is it comfort, nor is it stability. With love and trust, you can make the other three happen.

And if things don’t work out for you, come on over. I have a thirteen inch tongue and can breath through my ears.

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