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

A little bit of competition

Men like it when there’s competition. That’s what told me a guy I met in a seminar, when we talked about the possible creation of an alternative trading system for small and mid caps companies in Europe. He said this would bring competition to the market, and that competition is always good, like in love. “It gets more interesting when there’s competition in love” he said.

Is it?

From a female perspective, I can say that I hate when there’s competition for a man. Jealousy can be poisonous.

But from a male perspective, that’s different. Take for example this experience:

Once, we were invited to a party, but my man quickly disappeared to chat with his coworkers and left me alone. I had noticed when I entered the room that one guy was heavily staring at me, so I decided to have a chat with him. He was very funny and made me laugh. Two minutes later, my man came back at my side and wondered what was going on. He looked at the guy and told me we’d better go home”  J., 34, said.

When I met him, he was surrounded by women and had many female friends. He was a player, in other words. But I had also male friends who kept on inviting me to go to the cinema, to art exhibitions, to conferences. And I heavily counted on them to take me out as much as possible at the beginning of our relationship. I didn’t want him to think I was easy. So, he became jealous. Three months after our first date, he asked me if we could be exclusive to each other, because he couldn’t stand me going out with my male friends. I didn’t stop seeing them, though. I still go out with them to art exhibitions,… but at a slower pace” G., 35, said.

This competition doesn’t work all of the time though. It depends also on the bond you have with your significant other. And there’s also a rule: it doesn’t work if you sleep with your male friends.

A male friend of mine told me he used to date a woman who had four different lovers. He discovered it after three months and was shocked to learn about it. So he dumped her. “I didn’t feel she wanted me. I was just another lover to her” he said.

And it also depends on how you treat your significant other.

She kept on nagging on me for everything I did. So, if I saw her with other guys, I thought they were better than me, and I didn’t want to bother them. Trying to make me feel jealous didn’t work here” said one of my male friends.

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

The blind side

The world of finance was shocked this past week by this. In this op-ed, one of the former employees of Goldman Sachs explains why he’s leaving the firm, saying it became a toxic environment.

The guy got little empathy for shouting this out loud. This is probably the best example for why he got slashed.

Among the numerous negative comments on this op-ed, there was one asking why it took him 12 years to realize his firm was doing something immoral. “12 years, it’s a long time!” said one of my contacts.

Yes, it is a long time. But many people stay in a bad relationship for years. And they don’t realize how bad it is until one day, something happens in their life.

We get used very easily to a bad treatment. If our significant other is manipulative, he/she can lull our defenses to sleep. This takes years of repetition. And we don’t see that coming. At least, we don’t want to see those alarming signs, because we’re in love. But usually, the alarming signs are there from the beginning.

But we always know when we have enough of this situation. That’s why we leave. But it takes a long time until we realize we can’t take it anymore.

This can happen because we don’t love ourselves enough. If we love ourselves, we know what’s not good for us, and we don’t accept to be treated the wrong way.

Once, a friend of mine told me about her bad experiences with online dating. She met several of her online dates, and she realized they were far from the prince charming. “One was criticizing my diploma. He asked me why I chose to do my PhD in Egyptology, because “it’s completely useless”. He added he bet that was a diploma easy to get. But when I asked him what he studied, he replied he was a college dropout. And no, he’s not Mark Zuckerberg” she said. “Another one was constantly talking in derogatory terms about women in general, and was yelling at me for picking a bad restaurant. He let me choose the place” she added. Each time, my friend declined politely the second date.

Hadn’t she loved herself, she could have said yes to a second date, and even a relationship with one of her disastrous online dates.

But when we don’t love ourselves, this is where it can go dangerous. “I met him six months after my father passed away” said one of my friends, who discovered her unconscious father lying on the floor of their kitchen. “I guess I saw him as my savior. I wasn’t really well during this period” she added. “But he was very jealous and possessive, and never wanted me to go out without him. He was also criticizing me every time he could” she said. My friend realized she had enough the day her little daughter started to repeat every insult her father said to my friend. “My little baby looked at me and asked me if I was crazy, after her father yelled at me and told I was crazy. For me, this was the sign I should leave this relationship. I didn’t want my daughter to be raised like this” she said.

But it took her a lot of time to realize this.

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

We’ll get married when we’re 40…

Recently, a friend of mine told me she was really upset because one of her friends was leaving for another country. “He said he fell in love with Thailand and wants to set a restaurant there. He already sold his house and all his belongings here when he told me that. It wasn’t a joke. He was really on the go” she said.

Her friend and she had a special friendship. They were lovers for years until they decided to call it quits (she left him because he cheated on her). But they have remained good friends.

Last year, she told me they made a pact together. By the time they will be 35, if no one is involved in a serious relationship, they will have a child together. She said they planned to live next to each other to raise the kid. But she also said they don’t want to rekindle their old flame.

So, when he told her he was about to leave for Thailand, she was disappointed, because she will never have a kid with him (she’s turning 35 in six months).

Why do we make such plans? My friend isn’t the only one who made such promises. Usually, we seal this kind of deal when we’re young, in College for example. Because at 20 and under, we may not know what holds the future, but we have still some illusions about it.

Life often decides otherwise for us.  At 20, people have an unclear idea of what they will be when they grow old. I knew back then I wanted to be a journalist. But I couldn’t really see how.

Life also offers us opportunities we know we can’t refuse. And these change the course of our destiny. For example, a friend of mine got offered the chance to work abroad, in Hong Kong. She couldn’t refuse. But she would never thought, when she was young, she would work there.

We can also meet the One despite such a deal. “I made a deal with my best friend when we were 22. By the time we’re 40, if we  were still single, we would get married together. But then, I left for another town because I had an opportunity for a job, and we lost contact. Fifteen years later, I learned he got married. His wife is now expecting their second child. Our deal seems really compromised” R., 39, said.

Besides, why setting a day in the future like that? Chances are it will never work in the future if it didn’t work in the past. Or if we hadn’t tried anything.

As for my friend, I think her plan was ill-fated from the start.