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

Using you

Feeling used is such unpleasant. We all need to feel respected. And being used is a proof of disrespect for ourselves. Yet, we can use people when we ask for their help. But by asking, we let the other the choice of accepting or refusing. And we thanked them for accepting afterward. This is normal.

This starts to hurt if we aren’t asked at all about what we’re about to do. Or if we accept because we want to please the one we love. On the moment, you feel great about being useful. But then, when it’s over, you cannot help thinking about how you were used.

A friend of mine is now divorcing, and she’s devastated because she helped her husband to build his career thanks to her multiple contacts and a part of her fortune. After twelve years of marriage, her ex left her for another woman.

Another friend of mine lost one of her friends because she asked him several times to make her ex jealous in the hope he would come back to her. Her friend accepted because he was in love with her. He secretly hoped she would have a change of heart and realized he treated her the right way. But my friend eventually got what she was hoping for: her ex is now back into her life. But at least, my friend asked him to play that role. And her ex friend had the possibility to say no to her and tell her to find another way to get back her ex.

Another friend of mine had the unpleasant surprise to discover her ex was only with her because it was convenient for him. “He had no car, but always relied on me to get where he wanted to be. He also used me to make her ex jealous. But he never lifted a finger for me” she said.

There are obvious hints in a relationship to observe to know if you’re used or not. The first of these hint is simply phone calls, SMS, and/or emails just to ask you if you’re OK.  And just that, nothing else afterward. This doesn’t count if just after this message, he/she begins to ask you for a favor. If he never calls you to see how you’re doing, then you should ask yourself what the hell are you doing in this relationship.

Another of these hints is invitations to do something. Just to be in your company, to enjoy it. This doesn’t count if he spends his time on his mobile phone  while he’s with you or just want to have sex with you, and nothing else.  Or spends his time complaining about his problem and not listening to a word you say to him. Or spends his time looking at the waitress (or the waiter) instead of looking at you.

Love makes us blind and we can’t necessarily see these hints. We all do stupid things because we want to be loved back. But by yielding to our significant other’s disrespectful demands, we only make us disrespectful even more to his eyes.

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

The same place

Criminals often go back to the place where they commit their crime. Sometimes, it’s unconscious. Sometimes, it is to find proofs of their guilt and erase these. But curiously, when it comes to relationships, we can also feel this need.

Recently, a friend of mine brought me back  to a cafe where her ex and her used to chat until late in the night. It’s been two weeks they’re over, and she’s a bit devastated by the break-up. Yet, over all of the cafes in our town, she chose this one. “I never really looked at it. When I was with him, I was concentrated on him and didn’t notice anything in the room. But I like this place” she said.

One of my acquaintances is also still going to couch surfing meetings, where he used to go with his ex, and where his ex is still attending with her new boyfriend.  He left her because he didn’t love her as he said. But yet, he’s jealous of her new boyfriend and keeps on coming back to the places where he can see her.

Obviously, my friend and my acquaintance are not over their ex. What’s the point of going to a place where you can meet your ex, apart from seeing your ex? My friend said she goes there because she loves this place. But this place is also full of memories she had with her ex. As for my acquaintance, apart from going there to see  his ex, I don’t know what he’s doing there. He admitted he has never couch surfed so far. So, this isn’t his place at all. But I guess these meetings are also full of memories with his ex.

I must admit I’m not better than my friend or my acquaintance. Lately, I brought my friends to a cafe where my ex and I had our first date. And I also brought them to a restaurant I went with my ex, which I really love. It was really weird going there. But I was sure not to bump into my ex. These are not the places he used to go normally. We went there by accident, each time. But I needed to go there and get new memories over  with my friends. And now, I can think about this cafe where my friends and I laughed a lot because of our weird neighbors, and about the restaurant where my friends didn’t know how to eat with the injera and their fingers. Yet, I know I won’t go there anymore, over a long time. This was just a one shot.

It’s not good to go to those places full of memories. It’s like living in the past, and it doesn’t help us to move on. That’s why I decided to go the opera with my friends. We realized, over the years, that we all wanted to go there, but no one knew about it, until at that restaurant, one of us spilled the deets about her taste for opera. And that’s how we decided to start a new routine together.

This is my future, my present.  I decided to do this instead of searching for another man right now. I’m still too fragile to go on a date again. But my ears can handle   HanjoMatsukaze or Nabucco.


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

The blind side

Have  you ever tried to make a plan for doing something and realized afterward that things didn’t turn as expected? It happens all of the time because we don’t take into account enough of the context around the plan.  For example, you planed to go for a romantic walk with the one you fancy, but on the D-Day, the weather is against you, and the walk is canceled.  If you’re clever (or simply used to the fact it rains a lot in your country throughout the year like I am), you would have set a plan B, and bring the object of your affection to a cafe or to an indoor activity.

But sometimes, there’s no plan B possible. “I tried to get in touch with my ex, without harassing him. I sent him an email saying I wanted to talk to him, and did try to call him once three weeks after this email, but he simply wouldn’t return my call or my email” L., 34, said. Trying too hard in this case would make him run away even more.  The only option left for L. is to try to move on with her life. It’s not easy.

You can never know all the parameters in these kinds of situations. L.’s ex can be simply away in another country, and not answering at all. Or he can be engaged to someone else, and doesn’t see the point of seeing L. anymore. He can also be still mad after L. and full of resentment toward her. L. doesn’t know at all.

Sheena Iyengar, in her book “the art of choosing“, says that we tend to overestimate our emotions over context. This is how we only focus on  some elements rather than looking at the big picture.

Our emotions can lead us to have a very selective memory. For example, recently, I had a chat over Facebook with one of my friends, and now, Facebook put all the past conversations we had with our friends. I didn’t recall that in september 2010, I told my friend I had big suspicions about someone I know. Back then, I never tried to solve this problem, and I forgot about it. Until recently, I got mad after this person after what he did. I knew he was going to do so way before. But I chose to ignore this. Because I didn’t want to lose him.

An external view on our problem can help us to see what is really wrong. So, it’s worth asking for advices.

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

One lover, two friends lost

Falling in love costs you  friends. Last month, I attended a friend’s wedding, where was her sister, her husband and her ex-BFF. Before getting married, her sister used to share everything with her BFF. They have known themselves since elementary school, and had a passion for dance. He even sang and performed a show during her wedding. But since then, their relationship has gone really cold.

At my friend’s wedding, they were sitting very far from each other. And except  a hello, she didn’t say anything to him, preferring to stick to her husband. My friend said they don’t talk to each other anymore. “Now that she’s married, she can’t go on holiday with him anymore and go out like that like if she was single” said my friend. So, my friend’s sister lost her BFF.

Why do we lose some of our friends when we fall in love? Well, as I experienced, some of your friends can hate the one you love. I don’t really like my friend’s “boyfriend”. Officially, they are not together. But he controls everything in her life. And they live together. As roommates, she said. Yet, she told me she’s mad about him. And our friendship has suffered a lot since she started to live with him.

Beside, among your friends, some of them can be secretly in love with you or have still feelings for you. “When O. and I started to date, P. got jealous. We used to date for three years, but it didn’t work out between us, and we remained friends. We both dated other people afterward. But none of our relationships were that serious. When I met O., I  knew it would be different. P. also knew about this. And for no reason, he became possessive with me. He would turn out in every place where O. and I had a date. And wanted to know everything about him. O. quickly went mad after P. and told me that it would be better if P. and I took some distance. P. wanted me to quit O., as he told me he wasn’t good enough for me. But I knew P. was jealous, and that O. is the right guy for me. So, P. and I are not friends anymore” L., 37, said.

“J. and I have known each other since we were 12. But we never dated. He had a huge turnover of girlfriends, while I was just his good buddy, always there for him when he needed an ear to listen to his problems or advices for the opposite sex. I did have from time to time boyfriends, but all of them were jealous of the bond I had with J. And none of my relationships could survive to this, except when I met R. in college. J. and I started to take our distance when we entered college, but he was still a big part of my life. When R. came into my life, he became jealous of J. And I didn’t want to lose R. like I lost all my previous boyfriends. So, I told J. about all of this. And he didn’t understand.  He said I was taking a big risk with R. But I replied that I deserve to have a love life and was tired of listening to all of his stories, while my life looked as if I was in a coma. Shortly after, J. started to date another girl. And I didn’t hear about him ever since” P., 36, said.

But it’s important to keep your real friends when you fall in love. Because love is fragile, and you will always need your friends in difficult times.

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

A change of heart

Some women get pregnant by accident. But for the others who try to have children, generally, they think about how they become a parent. And this includes analyzing the relationship we had with our own parents.

A friend of mine speaks German and French to his son, who’s only one year old. She has decided she would teach him her mother tongue, and raise him according to the education she received when she was younger.

We’re not necessarily helped by the father of our children in their education. Single moms do without this help and prefer to do so. Some are even convinced the father of their kids are only a bad influence on them. “When I see their father, I’m just worried for them. He’s such ill-mannered and let himself go a lot. I’m even ashamed to think I fell in love with him before” F., 33, said. “He’s not available. He’s always working. I’m not sure he could take care of her” C., 45, said about the father of her daughter.”He has a long list of women who come and go in his life. I don’t want my son to take his example” K.,40, said.

I wonder if these women ever thought their ex would have been a good father before getting pregnant.  F.  got pregnant after 3 years of relationship with her ex, but C. got pregnant from a married man, and K. knew all along her ex was a player. “I married young. But S., the father of my two kids, has always been childish. I thought he would have changed with parenthood, but he didn’t” V., 37, said. She’s now divorced, but pregnant from another man, who’s mature, she said.

C. told me she didn’t want her ex to father her daughter. “My biological clock was ticking. And I just thought: he’s very intelligent. I just hoped my child would be as intelligent“she said.

But all of these women admitted they reproduced the model of parenthood of their parents. F. was raised by her mom and her grandmother. Her father passed away when she was 14. K.’s parents got divorced when she was 4. Her father cheated on her mom, several times. C.’s father is a famous intellectual of our country, who lived a double life for many years. And V. told me her father was also childish. Her mother used to call him the man child.

This doesn’t mean these women do a poor job as mother. They just picked the wrong father, the wrong man. We all make mistakes.

life, thoughts

Stop your crying

Two weeks ago, while I was waiting at a crossroad, a thief broke my window and stole my bag. I was completely disoriented after that, and it took me some minutes to get my thoughts together. As I parked my car on the sideline and waited for the cops to arrive, a fireman not on duty stopped and asked me if I was OK. He offered me to stay by my side until the cops arrived.  He didn’t say many things, except that he was robbed too, at the same place two months ago. They took his bag where he had his IPad and other documents. He told me that I shouldn’t feel guilty about this, that it happened, and that I couldn’t have done anything to avoid this.  During the time he stood by my side, I felt protected. And when the police arrived, he went away. I thanked him, but I didn’t thank him enough at my taste. And I forgot to ask him his name, and his phone number. When I spoke to the police, this is where I felt shaken by the robbery.

Hadn’t he done this, maybe I would have felt much worse after that. Everytime I think about this robbery, I think about him. This does wonder to my mood. I just regret to have forgotten about asking his name and his number.

In situation like these, it’s often difficult to find the words to comfort the person who was in trouble. But there are many ways to show your empathy to this person. Empathy in itself has a huge power of healing people.

This night, I also gained a friend. Not the fireman, unfortunately. I would have love to know him a little bit better. I know it’s silly, but I hope our paths will cross again.  The friend I gained is one of my colleagues. I mentioned on FB I was robbed, and she invited me to see an exhibition the next day to forget about this. We were not that close before. She’s the only one who reacted differently than the others. All of the other people just left a comment saying they were sorry. Only my sister and my mother reacted the same way.

But I’m not mad at my friends. A friend of mine was at the hospital that night with his daughter.  As for the others, well, I didn’t expect anything more from them.

I read recently this. When it happens, a simple smile or a tissue would do the trick.

Empathy makes us human. Life without it would be very very sad.

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

Crash into me

Last week, as I was waiting for my friends in front of the opera house, a man came to me and started to chat with me. I immediately noticed he wasn’t waiting for the opera. Everyone around me carried the program of the exhibit. Including me. He was the only one not having one. Plus, he didn’t seem to wait for someone to accompany him, as most of the people around me. He arrived in front of the opera house and came straight to me. I just told him I didn’t speak French, and went away. A man near me saw the scene and immediately called the security of the building. When I returned to my place, the guy vanished, but the security was there.

I don’t think the guy wanted to do me some harm. He didn’t insult me when I ran away from him. I think he just wanted to hit on me. In front of the opera house.

It’s a curious place to cruise, unless you want to meet people who are into opera. The building is not really accessible for people who don’t want to get in. You have to get there.  The guy wasn’t a musician, nor the tenor, nor anyone in the public as I could check inside the building when the opera began. He just crashed there. Maybe he wanted to meet a cultivated woman. I don’t really know. I should have asked him instead of turning him down. But that would have been tempting the devil.

Another of my acquaintances told me once he regularly attends couchsurfing meetings, while he has never couch surfed so far. He doesn’t plan to do so either. He said he meets there a lot of interesting people. I guess he’s also looking for his significant other there.

But who do you fool when pretending to be someone you’re not? Is it just a sport? I wonder if these guys woke up one day and said to themselves: “Oh, I haven’t scored yet with a brainiac/traveller/sensitive woman, let’s do this“. Or maybe, this is their ideal.  Or maybe, they want to go to the opera/ couch surf/… but don’t know how to do this and hope to get the help of their conquest.

Lacan would describe this as an unsuccessful act. He had long argued that “every unsuccessful act is a successful, not to say ‘well-turned’, discourse“.

My acquaintance told me he doesn’t like to talk about himself and prefers listening to other people’s experiences. As he would live them by proxy. He admitted to be disoriented by me, who asks a lot of questions to people (this is my job…) in general. He said that he talked too much while he’s with me.

If you’re into traveling or opera, you just book tickets to travel/ the opera and go for it.  But if you don’t want to commit, choosing someone who’s out of your league is the best way to reach your goal.

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

When the morning hunts you down

The morning after offers us sometimes awkward situations. If you had a drunken night with a guy and then end up in bed with him, the next morning, you could wake up and wonder who’s lying beside you.

This is why some people leave after sex or during the night, to avoid the morning confrontation.

This is also why some people refuse to let the one they had sex with stay over.

For those who haven’t got this extreme problem of intimacy, the morning after can still be a big deal.  We can be nervous, stressed, or just not at ease at all. This is true for the first night you spend together. Afterwards, usually, we get to know each other a little bit better.

The first night we spend together is quite an experience. Depending on how long we waited for it, it can offer us a lot of surprises.

When I spent the first night with S., we didn’t know each other really well before that. We were just attracted to each other. We had only three dates before this moment, and those dates were really short in time. When he arrived at my place, he looked very disoriented. He arrived late, 45 minutes after, and apologized for it. He didn’t know what to say to me and was really embarrassed. But instead of inspecting my place, he just started to kiss me over and over again. We quickly switched to my bedroom and when we did finish our business, it was too late in the night for him to go back home. So, he asked if he could stay with me, like a little boy. He didn’t bring anything with him, no toothbrush, nothing for him. During the night, I don’t know why, I felt the need to hold his hand. I didn’t sleep well that night. I thought he would run away early in the morning while I was sleeping. But he didn’t. We woke up but he stayed in bed. I took my shower, got dressed, and then prepared my breakfast. He dressed up and joined me. Before leaving, he just pulled me against the wall and undressed me. I arrived very late at my work because of that” recalls H.,34.

Nothing prepared me for the night we would spend together. He arrived at my place with food and flowers, without knowing I was allergic to the latter. He offered me to cook me a dinner. But it turned out he was a terrible cook. He burned everything and almost started a fire. To add to that, he cut his fingers, and we had to call my neighbor, who’s an MD, to fix this. I was expected a torrid night. He was so tired after all these events that he fell asleep in my couch. The next morning, he was really embarrassed and told me he was sorry to suck this bad. And left me” P., 36, explained.

Oh, it was terrible. He couldn’t get an erection because he was too stressed. In the morning, he ran away while I was taking my shower. I didn’t hear about him afterwards” I., 38, said about a terrible one-night stand.

So, is the first night that terrible?

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

Never let me go

In the opera Hanjo, Hanako is patiently waiting for her lover, Yoshio, to come back from war safe and sound. The waiting turns her into madness, and she slowly becomes the shadow of herself. The memory of her lover is so imprinted in her mind that the day he eventually comes back, she’s unable to recognize him. She calls him a skeleton, and makes him go away.

Does it mean it’s never worth it to wait for someone for too long? Probably. Life is full of unexpected events, good or bad. And it’s better to be the actor of your life rather than letting life deciding for you what it should be. Of course, this implies to take the risk of failing at what we do. But if we don’t try anything, there’s not much happening in our life.

Life is too short to sit and wait for something to happen. Despite love needing time to develop, love is also a collective movement involving two people, as says Francesco Alberoni in “falling in love“. Love needs action.

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

Colder than the winter

Sex as a barometer of love? When I hear the stories around me about this topic, I realize that indeed, sex is really important. A friend of mine told me that prior to his divorce, he didn’t have sex with his wife over a year. They were fighting constantly and had severe trouble communicating with each other. There were also loads of  passive-aggressive behaviors between them. For instance, she gave away all his questions for his exams to his students. And he told me he needed to go on holidays alone, without her.

Another acquaintance told me she has trouble too in her sex life. It’s been seven months now her man refuses to touch her. They had a lot of fights too before he began to take his distance with her. And the fights were all about his lack of ambition. I guess her man felt diminished by her. It’s going to be hard to reverse this situation, I’m afraid.

What we say to each other can cause a lot of psychological damages hard to reverse. Apologizing afterwards is useless. For example, if you criticize him repeatedly about his looks, his performance in bed, his career, … this can really emasculate him. Besides, this is not the sign of a healthy relationship.

But what if there are already problems in the bedroom from the start?

P. was never really into it when it comes to sex. He was really sweet with me, but sex wasn’t that great. The first night we spent together, we talked and talked until we fell asleep. The second night, he was so stressed that after 5 minutes, it was already over. The next one, he needed to have several drinks to get into it. And so on” G., 32, said. She called it quits after eight months.

He needed to drink, to take stuffs, to watch porn, to light candles,… to have sex. Otherwise, he would fall asleep or play on his computer late in the night. He wasn’t that sensual” H., 36, recalls. Her ex is now living with a man.

If sex isn’t important for you, this shouldn’t be a problem. But maybe it’s worthwhile  to check if there’s nothing wrong in the bedroom.