broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

All these things that I’ve done

Have we become so much addicted to Facebook and our smartphones that it’s impossible to go backward? Recently, most of my friends forgot about my birthday because I didn’t put an alarm on FB. And they all apologize saying it was FB’s fault. Ahum. On the same week, my old mobile phone passed away, and crashed all the datas I had on it. Of course, I didn’t do any backup of those, so I lost all my contacts, agenda, and special messages.

But sometimes, when technology lets us down, it can do us some good. For instance, I lost all my contacts and messages, but among those, there were people I wasn’t sure I could call a friend or just an acquaintance. Since I would probably never hear of them anymore, I guess my mobile phone helped me to sort my life a little bit. Lately, I’ve been hugely disappointed by one of my contacts, who I thought was a friend. But he wasn’t. There was a huge inner debate about getting rid of him or not. My mobile eventually gave me the answer.

When I told this to some friends of mine, they replied that those signs shouldn’t be ignored. One of them told me she blessed those moments which remind her that it’s time to sort her life a little bit. “I was in a terrible relationship with a guy who was afraid to commit. He was never sure he wanted to pursue the relationship, and I used to argue fuss and fight with him because of that. One day, my answer machine destroyed his message, and I had to throw away the damaged tape. For days, I tried to recover the message, but there was no way to do it. I came to the conclusion that our relationship was as damaged as the tape, and impossible to fix. I dumped him” she said. And now, she feels better.

Another friend of mine, who’s a journalist like me, told me that crashing her mobile was the best thing she could have had in her life. “I was constantly battling with one of my contacts but I couldn’t let him go. I was totally drawn by him. I thought he was a genius. And from time to time, he could be nice with me.  But I felt manipulated. When my mobile crashed, I did try to recover all my messages, especially his messages, but it was hopeless. During this time, I learned he was participating to seminars with a group of extremists,  and it just opened my eyes he was no good for me at all. That”s when I met F., another journalist, who made me realize I didn’t belong at all to his world, and that I should take my distance with him” she said. She and F. started dating shortly after. Finger-crossed, they are still together.

It’s like erasing some shady  parts of our life helps us to focus back on ourselves.

So, do you curse on modern technology?

broken heart, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Toy soldiers

When the world goes crazy as today, with mad traders, economic downturn, pandemy like the H1N1 and wars, some sociologists have noticed that people tend to go back to their childhood. How? Look at the offer in the media and the entertainment industry. Currently, singers like Mika are the biggest selling artists and movies like Wall-E are acclaimed by adults. Recently, I had a strange conversation with one of my professional contacts about this. He said that in this ever changing world, he needs stable marks. He felt the urge to go back to his familial house in the South of France, and to go hiking alone, like he would do when he was younger. But I was surprised to notice that, during the whole conversation, he didn’t mention once his wife, as if she wasn’t included in the picture. When I asked him if Madam would follow, he shrugged, and refused to answer. That silence was telling it all, I thought.

Does it means that when we try to focus on our marks, or when we try to comfort ourselves, we tend to leave behind the one we love? When I think about it, when I was a child, I didn’t have the same relationships, bonds, … I have now with my friends. Back then, I wasn’t faithful at all. One day, H. would be my BFF, the next, I would decide that she sucks and choose J. as my BFF, and the turnover was heavy. It was the time of lightness, carelessness.  I don’t think I could ever go back to that. When I asked my friends about this, they replied they could never act as children  like that. “I can buy candies, but I can’t pretend to be sick to avoid my job, because I know the aftermath of such a decision. When I was a kid, and didn’t want to go to school, I would have used this trick. But now, I know I couldn’t. And no, I could never leave behind the one I love, just because I want to comfort myself” one of my friends said. “I can understand the need to feel alone sometimes to refocus on ourselves. I can’t involve the one I love in this process. This is a road I have to go down alone. But this won’t mean that at the end of the journey, I won’t share it with my significant other. It’s simply that I don’t want to annoy him with my little problems” another said. “Well, I can’t go back into my childhood just like that. I can see the little girl I was back then, but I can also act as an adult toward her, do you  understand? In this process, I could never involve the one I love. I just want his support after that strange inner dialogue” another said.

So, do you sometimes need to be alone?

broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Bad influence

When we fall in love, we fall in love with the person who holds the promise of changing our life. That change can be good, but it can also be bad. It’s amazing what we can do when we are bored. Recently, I was reading an article about baby escorts, aka Italian teenagers who sell their sexual services just like that, because they’re bored and they want to get noticed. Geez. Now, back to love. Recently, I had a bit of a chat with an old friend of mine, who just got dumped, three days before his marriage. Since then, he’s been miserable, and he only wish for her to come back into his life. Even if he knows she was such a bad influence on him. “I wasn’t myself anymore when I was with her. I was hypnotized. When we were together, we were like rebels against everything. We would do everything we wanted, we felt invincible. My friends didn’t recognize me anymore. They told me I became such a douche. They said it was her fault. She was just too wild to handle. Very unpredictive. But I love her to death. We were about to get married, when she decided we shouldn’t continue like that, that it wasn’t right. And disappeared. My heart exploded in thousand pieces when she told me that. I was totally numb afterwards. It took me days to realise she was gone for good. Since then, I don’t feel the same. I need her back. I don’t feel whole anymore” he said. And when I asked him if he lost himself in this relationship, he replied positively, but added that this relationship helped him to find himself back.

Such a bad influence can’t last for long. Why? Simply because it doesn’t sustain the burden of time. This only goes hand in hand with passion, and passion doesn’t last. In every relationship, passion fades away after three years, and we end up in the process of the maturity of love, which can also translate into a hard landing into reality. But those first months  are  so good, aren’t they?

What is a bad influence anyway? According to my friends, a person who has a bad influence on us is someone who tears us apart from where we belong. “If you fall in love with someone all of your friends hate, someone who’s dangerous for you, someone who doesn’t care about you” one of my friends said. “It’s someone you can’t trust”. “It’s someone who will make you suffer, you know it from the start”.

Of course. But this is also why women fall for the bad guy, the rocker, the rebel. Why douche writers like … can score with the opposite sex (and the same sex as well).

So, can you fall for someone who has a bad influence on you?


broken heart, celibacy, life, love, miscellaneous, relationships, thoughts, women

Cold front

Love is not a competition. Why? Simply because when we fall in love, we can only fall in love with one person and all our world revolves around him/her. If not, then it’s not love. Recently, one of my friends told me she was jealous of one of her co-workers who’s also after the same guy than her. She can’t help comparing herself to her colleague, and is very upset because on paper, her colleague is better than her. “She can speak five different languages, I only speak three. She’s very cultivated, I’m not. She’s tall, I’m not. And she’s damn pretty. How can I compete with that? she asked. Well, for a HR, my friend would probably not win in this competition, especially since on top of that, her colleague is also a very hard worker. But for her object of affection, it won’t work the same way.

We don’t necessarily fall in love with someone who’s the best in everything she/he does. We fall in love with the person who carries the promise of changing your life. Francesco Alberoni explains in “Falling in love” that it is the same dynamic than picking a leader for a group. Studies have shown that the leader isn’t the most intelligent, competent,.. of the group. He’s chosen because of his charisma. And indeed, when we fall in love, we can’t fall in love with the most intelligent, brilliant, handsome,…person if she/he’s not charismatic. Those qualities don’t go necessarily hand in hand.

Charisma is hard to define, though. Bourdieu and other sociologists have determined that a person is charismatic if other people accept he/she has it. In the process of falling in love, this boils down to the recognition of this charisma by only one person. And this is purely subjective. There’s no rule for this.

With my friends, we have often asked ourselves if there were any particular reason why we fell in love with someone. And most of us reply that it just happened, and can’t explain why. “There was something in him that urged me to take its guidance, but I can’t really explain why. I was drawn to him, all of the time” one of my friends said. “He wasn’t the brightest, nor the most handsome guy in my class. But he has a way to talk to me that just turned me on, and I can’t explain that” another one recalls.

As for my friend, I can only hope her charisma will win over her object of affection. But we can’t force someone to love us. This is all the difficulty of love.

So, can you explain why you fall in love with your significant other?

broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

It’s not me, it’s you

Recently, one of my former co-workers gave birth to her first child. She’s 41, and chose to have a baby on her own. Before she left our newsroom, she told us she was tired of waiting for the prince charming who will never come and would rather get artificially inseminated. She obviously didn’t choose the same options as one of my acquaintances, who went to a holiday resort for singles, and slept as much as she can with different men to have the chance to get pregnant. We were discussing with my co-workers about our old colleague, and one of them wondered how come such a beautiful woman like her has never found the one. “It must be her character, she’s such difficult and hard to handle. She’s not the one you can easily say to do this and that” my colleague said. “It’s just that she had relationships either very difficult, that ended really badly, or relationships that bored her after some time” another one said.

Personally, I always wonder if it’s a bad luck or something in us that causes us to stay single. I was reading a female magazine where it said that it was because of us, not a question of bad luck. Some people expect too much for a relationship and get disappointed all of the time, some people just yield to every opportunity they get but only collect disastrous relationship, and other simply refuse to lower their long list of requirements and stay therefore single. There’s another category who is disgusted by so many failures. And I think that my former colleague falls into that last category. But the game of love can sure be exhausting and you can easily get fooled and badly damaged. I can understand she wants to preserve herself from too much heartache. However, if she continues to think that way, for sure, she will never find love again.

Is there a way to stop this infernal cycle of collecting disastrous relationships? Probably. One of my friends has collected bad relationships so far because she has never refused any opportunity she could have. We have told her numerous times to respect herself more and leave whenever her partner doesn’t treat her like he should. But each time, it’s the same. She falls easily for the guy who told her straight away he doesn’t want to commit or have a stable relationship. She could have spared herself the pain of waiting and getting rejected if she just turned her back immediately on the guy. Her problem is simple: she doesn’t love herself enough. We all believe that when she would learn to love herself more, she wouldn’t even consider dating the men she usually falls for. She has never tried this, maybe she should.

As for my ex-coworker, I don’t know if solving her self-confidence would be the key. When we were together, she used to turn down every PR or CEO who didn’t treat her with respect. She was very persuasive, and very outspoken. Maybe her problem was, like most of women, she was waiting for a prince charming. Unfortunately, he doesn’t exist. I can understand how she can be disappointed in men in general. High expectations are rarely matched. Hence, the disappointement.   Or maybe she had really a bad luck with the opposite sex.

So, do you think love is for lucky people?

broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

The world has turned and left me here

When you have the world against you, does the world always win? In French, we say that “Une histoire d’amour qui commence mal finit mal“. In other words, a relationship that starts badly has great chances to end badly. If  we go through many difficulties to start a relationship, chances are those difficulties will remain and can poison your relationship. An example? Dating someone your friends and family hate, and have warned you about not falling for him/her. You have two options: either you choose not to date him/her, or you go against your friends and family advices and take your distance with them, inevitably. Picking this option would mean you will only have your partner, but no friends and family in your life left. That’s a difficult decision to make, isn’t it? Sooner or later, you will feel alone in this relationship, and you will have no one to speak to, except if you make new friends. But you can’t take your distance with your real friends and family. They are a big part of who you are. Erasing them from your life is like giving up a huge part of your personality. Is this sacrifice worth the case?

This is an extreme example. But there are other cases where the obstacles are just too big to ignore. “I fell in love with B. but I was married at that time, and so was he. B. was also much older than me, and I knew that my mom would have screamed if I brought her a man like him. Plus, B. was a very controversial man. Everyone hated him, because he’s very tough with people in general. Choosing him would have made me his allies, hence, someone to hate too. I couldn’t accept that. Yet, the love I had for him was very powerful. I was really drawn to him. We started to have an affair. His wife learned everything and asked for a divorce. Later, my husband knew too about this, and asked for a divorce. My mother was furious against me. She told me I should feel ashamed to ruin my marriage and another one, with a guy she hated as soon as she heard his first words. I was blinded by love, I couldn’t see the end coming. Months of living with B. proved to be really difficult. He turned out to be a really selfish man, who also spent a lot of time away from home. I ended up going back to my mom, and asked her for forgiveness. I guess our relationship was doomed from the beginning, and that there were too many powerful forces against us.  I should have read the signs” H., 35, told me. 

If people try to separate you from your object of affection, this is not a good sign too. “My family hated my man. They told me he was after our money, not in love with me. As I was working for my father’s company, he promoted me to a post abroad I couldn’t refuse, but  I had to sacrifice my relationship. I accepted. I was hoping my man would have followed me, but he told me he couldn’t. Shortly after, we broke up” I., 37 ,said. “His parents thought I wasn’t worth it. They did their best to ruin our relationship, and managed to send him away from me. He just forgot about me” J., 29, said.

Love is subversive. When we fall in love, we try to establish a new world with only the two of us. But this new world can be fragile, especially if there are multiple attacks against it. Chances of survival are really thin.

So, would you sacrifice everything just for love?

broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

The same mistake

Is it possible to repeat the same mistake over and over again in our relationships? Among my friends, one of them is just repeating a pattern with his new relationship. He’s been with his new lady for two years, but they still  live separately from each other. And have no plans to move together. My friend was previously married for twelve years with a woman who cheated on him and got pregnant from her lover. She hid this detail to my friend, and made him believe he was the father, until the real one came to claim his paternity two years later. Their marriage was a bit weird, because they live separately during the week, and only shared their weekends together.  Generally, those weekends were filled with a lot of family reunions, friends reunions, … In other words, they hardly managed to spend time alone together. Back then, their situation could have found a solution. He could have asked to move in the city where she was working during the week. She could have asked to work in his city. But neither of them wanted to change a thing. Even when their “daughter” came into their lives, they didn’t change their distant relationship.

His new relationship is following the same path. Her new love lives in another town. She pays him a visit during the weekends, but hardly sees him during the week. My friend is working everyday very late, so she wouldn’t get much time seeing him during the week. I asked him why she couldn’t move in with him. Even if he’s working a lot, she would get a better chance to catch him. But he replied that he’s fine with this. “I’m afraid it could kill our love. If I see her on a daily basis, I’m afraid this could ruin everything” he said. Yet, he’s behaving exactly like in his previous relationship. And chances are his new one will go belly up if she doesn’t share his vision of love and wants to move in with him.

Another friend of mine admitted she kept on repeating the same mistake in her relationships. She dated only guys who weren’t available for her. She collected married men.  She had also this guy who would only see her on thursdays, after 10 pm, but couldn’t spend the night. Each time, she told me she hoped he would change, realise how great she was, leave his wife,… But each time, she got disappointed. One day, she decided to understand what was going wrong with her, and went to see a therapist. After months and months of therapy, she realised she needed to change her approach with me. But also, learned to respect herself. And she stopped seeing married or unavailable men.

Some of us do have an epiphany when they take the wrong way several times. Others need a little more time, or some external help. But we can’t repeat the same mistake forever. Can we?

broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

It’s you when I look in the mirror

… And it’s you when I don’t pick up the phone

I met very recently an old friend of mine I haven’t seen since high school. Back then, I was secretly in love with him. But I was just too coward to make any move. And I didn’t think he was interested. I also remember that we used to laugh a lot when we hung out together, but we were unable to have a simple conversation apart. This time, I had the occasion to chat with him. It was the first time that we had this kind of conversation. When we were younger, his parents just got divorced, and he remained very mum about this. I know this hurt him a lot, because he kept on doing weird things and went out to parties whenever he can. He also began to act very rebellious with his parents, especially with his father. But not rebellious enough because he went to study engineering at college, and succeeded. He’s now a very demanded architect, and lives in a very chic suburb of the City of London.

Like me, he’s not married, and doesn’t have any child, but he’s been with his partner for eight years, with some pauses during this time. When we talked about our old classmates, he mentioned that he was appalled to see how many of them have put their pictures on FB with their children. He also said that he feared, if we made a classmates reunion one of these days, that everyone would come with their children’s pictures, and that this subject is soo boring. Of course, when you don’t have kids, it’s really difficult to understand those who have some. I just told him that this topic wasn’t my biggest fear if we ever had a reunion with all our old classmates. Then, I asked him if he wanted to have kids. He said no. He also replied that he didn’t believe in marriage, that’s why he’s not married. And he added he didn’t want to follow his father’s path. Rebellion, rebellion…

I didn’t realise when we were teenagers that we had that common point, he and I. I must admit I do my best not to act like my mother. My rebellion started at an early age than my friend, though. I was extremely lazy at school, and often disappointed my mother. When I think about it, maybe this is also the reason why I’m  not married, don’t have any kids, and write articles my mom is absolutely unable to understand (the mystery of finance…) and actually enjoy this.  Yet, I know that if I ever get pregnant, … In fact, this perspective is frightening me a little bit. When I see my friends with their children, I’m happy for them. But I don’t know if I’m able to be a good mother, or if I would follow my mother’s path.  

I know that if my friend’s partner does get pregnant, he would act at first as an asshole with her. It’s written in his destiny. And would accept it, or not. But it would be a major point of argument in his couple. I bet this is already the case.

Part of maturity is to take our distance with our rebellious behavior, and learn to make peace with ourselves. Until we forgive, we cannot evolve and keep on repeating the same pattern that makes us suffer. The key is to find the way to break that circle.

So, how do you get along with your parents?