I want it all. I do.
At least part of me does. I know I can’t have it all. Doesn’t make a difference. I don’t want to settle or give up anything and it is a struggle.
Somewhere, someone told me I didn’t have to endure pain or tolerate distress or suffer. They were wrong. Even when I have no expectations, life is painful. My expectations move my pain into the realm of suffering. I cannot have it all and I must settle.
When I accept life on life’s terms like that, it is tough. I grieve a perceived loss. Nothing real can be lost, but it feels like I lost something. I am disillusioned and it hurts. Getting rid of our illusions helps us grow, though. I have the illusion that I do not have to settle. This is not correct thinking on my part, as much as I would like it to be.
Sorry to be the one to break it to you.
I wish the world were different, but I live in the real world and there are tradeoffs all the time.
Am I Entitled?
Yes, we all have this sense of entitlement unless we work on it religiously. We want stuff we do not earn, like love and affection, respect etc. “I want someone to love me unconditionally,” she said. Personally and professionally, I don’t think romantic love and unconditional love are the same thing. I guess it depends on your definition. If she is cheating and lying, she loses my love quickly. That is a condition. If she leaves for months at a time and I don’t trust what she is doing and she doesn’t reassure, that probably won’t work. If she doesn’t pull her weight with the kids or chores or money etc., there will come a time where I won’t want to be with her- again conditions. She wants my love and won’t earn it. She wants a good relationship and won’t put in the required work but thinks it should still come to her. That is entitlement.
Kids are entitled to your love- it is a different type of love.
Entitlement-We want to date the best person we can without being the best person we can be. That hurts to hear and then when we realize that we are not enough, not good enough and have to put in effort, it liberates us. I know many average looking people who want to date someone who is beautiful. They are not interested in dating because they are not attracted to average looking people.
Are you entitled to date the person you want? Do you have to earn the relationship first or are you owed it?
No matter how much effort, I will look roughly the same, but my personality may be more attractive. After the pain…
“She thinks she is too good for me. She thinks I am boring. Take responsibility,” I say to myself. To be perfectly honest, after a full week of work, between my lack of sleep, my emotional exhaustion and physical fatigue, I am probably not terribly exciting. Am I doing what it takes to be exciting? Not to trick her or fake it, but to really be exciting on-going. Am I enthusiastic and passionate about my life? If I am not, then how could I possibly expect her to be excited by me? Seriously.
So, I cut myself some slack while I take responsibility. Now, I can either do what is necessary or I can find a woman who doesn’t mind my style of boring. Someone who also has children and a full time job and doesn’t expect me to be her entertainment committee… Thinking I can get and keep her without doing work or putting in effort is delusional and evidence of entitlement thinking.
There are tradeoffs, getting back to the premise of my article. The tradeoff of being a good father and provider is that I am tired by the end of the week. The tradeoff of being so productive is that I make less time for self-care.
Stop judging …it just is. Whether or not it should be that way or is fair is irrelevant right now. You cannot have it both ways. Each choice you make has a tradeoff. Why would it be different for dating?
She asked me if I thought she was being too picky about the men in her life. Let me lay it out for you: The guys she is dating want her to clean up after herself (financially as well as around the house), to cook some meals and to be interested in a sexual (romantic) relationship. There are a few other needs but those are the big three she notes. She gave a list of 45 things she needs in order to be happy in a relationship.
If you condition your happiness on someone else, that is a set up. If she ever finds this man, she will allow herself to be happy. Sounds messed up to me.
If she finds someone close, she will do what she can to get the rest of the 45 necessary factors. She will change him so that in her eyes, he is perfect. As if he is a project.
Or, she can be disillusioned and say that all men suck and stop dating and just give up on dating men. In my counseling practice, I have seen this pattern repeatedly.
One woman just asked me if I thought all men suck. “Not more than all women suck,” was my reply. Let’s stop the comparing and judging and blaming. There are tradeoffs that require no blame.
If you are looking for a doctor, and he is working 80 hours a week, the tradeoff becomes obvious. Change your expectations accordingly. If you are looking for someone who is really in touch with their emotions and you only look at engineers, on the football team, you might be limiting yourself a bit.
If you want to date someone more in touch with feelings, there are tradeoffs there, as well.
Your expectations are the problem, people are not.
You are expecting something from people that cannot happen or rarely happens and then you are disappointed in people rather than changing your expectation.
She told me I want a really handsome guy, with lots of money, a good dancer, can sing and is intelligent, dominant like an alpha male. Okay- go for it. Can you predict what the tradeoffs might be?
Gottman talks about selecting someone whose downsides you can live with. Everyone has downsides and some are deal breakers- don’t date them very long. Break the deal.
You are too picky if you expect someone who is perfect or who will make you feel happy. That is your job, your responsibility.
Getting someone who is compatible that can be a good friend and lover, has your back and will grow with you- that’s a fair bit more realistic.
Choosing not to date has tradeoffs as well.
Friends with benefits has tradeoffs.
Everything has tradeoffs.