On Tattoos

advice, art, miscellaneous

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I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that 99.99% of tattoos I see make my eyes hurt. People, overwhelmingly, have terrible taste and a real nonchalant attitude about getting inked. Having taste and aesthetic standards in a tasteless world is almost a burden I tell ya. A daily struggle really, especially when you live in the white trash capital of all the places you’d ever been to, Arizona.
Here are some basic tips on getting a tattoo that doesn’t assault my aesthetic sensibilities. Please read carefully and commit to memory. Together we’ll make the world a better place!

1) Don’t just plop by the first parlor and pick shit out of a book, have some self respect, dig down for something with some real meaning, even if butterflies & sunshine are just your fave thing ever.
2) Not all tattooists are created equal, real tattoo artists specialize in different genres and have different strengths, they do not take in every and any Job, they refer.
2.5) You get what you pay for! A skilled professional charges 100$-200$ an hour and comes with a wait list. Sure it’s steep, but getting a tattoo is like growing a new limb, it will be a part of you forever, or at least until you come to your senses and leave Billy Bob for greener pastures.
3) Dark solid colored designs with lots of red WILL make you look like you have syphilis or a flesh eating disease, so think twice, for reference see Jenna Jameson circa 2014.
4) Please NOT the face, one day you might not want to be a gangster.
5) NOT the belly button, that’s just gross
6) Tribal tats..really? Still?! Gag
7) Mostly leg and calf tattoos on women just look bad.
8) This one might be too obvious, but worth the mention, no symbols in foreign languages, unless of course said symbol is in your mother tongue, still this might be a forever ruined proposition.

Tattoos are serious business. They can endow you with beauty; make you interesting; make you a banality & a cliche; completely misdirect people from who you really are; or just make you ugly. Much like clothes, except you cant just take them off.

On Slapping

advice, humor, writing

To slap or not to slap..Or..Quit your whining, ladies

There are a few different kinds of slaps, the “I can’t believe I gave birth to you” slap, the “you’re a dumbass” slap (commonly applied to the back of head), the “I hate your guts” slap, the venerable and always entertaining “bitch slap”, the “genital slap” (if you never saw one drop by my house on Sunday), and the most culturally acceptable of all, the “lady lover slap”…The latter is on my mind now.

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The “lady lover slap” is usually delivered by a woman’s hand across a man’s face, always preceded or followed by a righteous, burning glare, choice words and either a retaliatory punch, a domestic violence charge or an ardent act of copulation. Either way, I’m gonna be a total stick and the mud, and say that it BOTHERS me. Today I watched two TV shows, Cedar Cove and Dallas (I don’t want to hear any smack, so I have bad taste in TV) lady slaps were delivered on both with the accompanying noise effects. If you watch modern day television, you know that this is completely common, can’t hardly flip through channels without seeing some poor chap get smacked across the face by a rosy palm. I consistently cringe.

What is that? Have any of my MALE readers ever been slapped? Does this still really happen anymore?

On Cedar Cove a boy tried to steal a kiss from a girl who was clearly depicted as having feelings for him, but wasn’t ready to admit it, SLAP. I felt for his face. When I see this flippant propagation of a vintage, backwards behavior from a time long gone, I am offended for both men and women. Some might see a girl slap a guy for stealing a kiss, and think it’s cute, harmless, romantic even. Some women might think it’s a deserved advantage, a concession due a woman, since historically women have been the ones on the receiving end of violence and mistreatment from men. It’s crazy stupid is what it is.

There is an evident cultural acceptance of women slapping men, but I think it’s linked in some way to the cultural expectation of men being cads to women. Let me be clear about my position, men being cads is not ok, (but that’s a whole other post) women slapping them in retaliation, also not ok. In fact, cultural acceptance and popularization of gal on guy slapping sets the feminist movement back decades. It’s not an actual advantage to accept women slapping men while unequivocally opposing men striking women. It’s a placating behavioral handicap (horse racing ref), which continues to place women on a dubious pedestal beneath men. We are weaker, we are more emotional, we are less restrained, so whilst we are flinging around our spurned phalanges, men patiently grin and bare it. To summarize:

  1. A) that’s just how crazy girls are (especially when they are on their period!)
  2. B) it’s not like they can do any damage
  3. C) I probably did something to deserve it, small price to pay

And then we wonder why men don’t see us as equals, why we are at a disadvantage in the work place and why they can’t imagine a lady president. 

Acceptance of slapping as a behavioral norm is in a way an acceptance of the behaviors which inspire the slapping. It’s the restitution offered to women when men do wrong by them. It’s a bribe! Slapping perpetuates the idea that men victimize women in interpersonal relationships. Women cannot take care of themselves & their hearts, so they are granted this one small exemption from the “violence is bad” rule, that’s the placation I spoke of earlier. Slapping is a victim’s reaction. I’ve never felt like a victim. I never felt entitled to hitting anyone, and God knows I dated an asshole or two. If said asshole was an asshole to me, I blamed myself for making a poor choice in man and exited the relationship without degrading myself by physically assaulting said assholeEveryone is just out there trying to get theirs, whether it’s just sex, love, or whatever the heck else. We are all responsible for our own happiness, MEN ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR HAPPINESS < WE ARE. SO WHEN THEY FAIL US, IT DOESN’T ENTITLE US TO A CARD BLANCHE, whether it be one of a small act of violence or destruction of property.

The minute women stop acting like victims, stop exercising the ‘behavioral slack” extended to them by society in recompense for men’s caddish ways and accept responsibility for their unhappiness, the plight for gender equality will get a serious boost. To summarize, quit whining about every douche bag who ever broke your heart, running around with your romantic traumas like a chicken with an egg, and definitely quit slapping men & keying their cars.                                                                                   

The only way to get even is to get equal. 

In practical terms, the popularization of ladies slapping the gents is deeply irresponsible. Domestic violence experts assert that women who inflict minor acts of violence on their male partners have a higher-than-normal probability of being severely assaulted by those partners. Hmm.

Bottom line, I’d like to not see women degrade themselves on television. Wake up Hollywood.

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On Prayer

advice, humor, writing

Title of RELIGIOUS: Apparent Atheist Asks Advice Columnist for Help Convincing Family That Prayer Is ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ — the Response Just Might Bring You to Your Knees.

—>>>LINK TO ARTICLE HERE<<<— 

Response: What’s crazy annoying about this “article”, is that in order to set up the pro prayer argumentation, with which I am totally fine, this obviously fictional “apparent atheist” fellow is created and depicted as a selfish idiot. This is anti Atheism propaganda disguised as a Tolerance piece. His imaginary brother is dying, and his imaginary family is trying to cope: grieving, mourning and panicking, but all he supposedly cares about is arguing about the futility of prayer, insisting on his atheism and fighting about it with his grandmother??! He then writes in to find out how to best relieve them of this one last coping mechanism? Hahaha I mean could this imaginary “apparent atheist” be any more of a douche?! Is he also wearing a wife beater and a trucker hat? Obviously the imaginary “apparent atheist” is mightily misguided and needs to be shepherded into the light by the obliging fictional advice columnist! For chirstssakes, come on! Is this written to bolster the self-righteousness of the Christian short-bus? Because none of the Christians I know would much appreciate this either, not only does it insult the intelligence on both sides of the “God or Not” debate, but it also fuels the unnecessary discord, I certainly did not need to be thusly irritated, but here I am, irritated, and full of them fighting words?

I can tell that a religious person wrote this, because the single-mindedness with which this fictional “apparent atheist” insists on the righteousness of his beliefs is actually more likely to come from a religious person, than from an atheist. In this case however, the tables are flipped, and the atheist is painted like a zealot in need of moderation, in need of being tempered and taught the ways of kindness and acceptance.

I think it’s important to note, that if you hadn’t guessed, I am an atheist, and I’d like to correct the wrongful impression of my people you might have been given by this “article”. It is my people’s unofficial opinion, that in the face of tragedy, whether you pray, cast spells, sacrifice turtles or drink hard liquor straight and without a chaser, you’re in the right. If anyone focuses on anything but supporting you, helping you or soothing you, then their problem is not that they are an atheist, it’s that they are an idiot…or a propagandist invention of a religious blogger.

Additionally, fighting with your grandmother is NEVER ok, unless she is a racists, a bigot or, God forbid, a fetish stripper. Oh and by the way, newsflash, prayer is Mumbo Jumbo. If there was a god, who could hear our prayers, how do you explain all the people who’ve lost their children to cancer, to meaningless violence, to natural disasters? Do you think they do not stay up praying to exhaustion, or do you suppose their prayers just aren’t as good as yours? Prayer is not a viable method of communication with anyone who can or will interject on your behalf, to think otherwise is just conceited. Whether there is a God, whether it is a dying child or the Super Bowl you are praying over, it is at its best an exercise in coping, wishful thinking or meditation, and at its worst, it is a ritual of immense egotism.

I’d like to say that I respect all people equally (which means not much, until I know they are actually good people), irrespective of their religious beliefs and do not come from a place of judgment (my absolute favorite devout Christian friend Radhika will attest to this) Live and let live, as they say. I am, however, entitled to my opinions on the subject of those beliefs, just as anyone else is entitled to theirs on the subject of mine.

Thoughts? Death threats? Anything?

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On Vegetarians & Meateaters

advice, writing

Why Vegetarians want to eat Meateaters..or..Vegetarians are crazy &amp; Meateaters are stupid

Yesterday, another blogger popped into the comment section of my blog after having read the “About me” (where I casually mention that I don’t eat animals), and tried to pull me into a debate on the subject of vegetarianism. I personally hate this debate (not to suggest that it isn’t a debate worth having). I don’t try to convert anyone, because  in some ways I have given up on man kind, in other ways I don’t believe that such conversion is even possible. Still, there I was being goaded into an a discussion. There is a marked flippancy with which meateaters usually start this debate and it is annoying as hell to me. Not to say there isn’t a righteous indignation with which vegetarians approach it, that can be frustrating for meateaters.

I do see both sides, as in some ways I exist on both sides, but I think that vegetarians have it harder. The reason it is especially vexing for them to partake in this argument is that their opinions on the matter stem out of true conviction, to their core the suffering of animals disturbs them, they see the injustice and move against the status quo in order to incite change. If nothing else their is a noble cause. Meateaters however are just arguing to argue, and are only as invested in the issue as their dietary proclivities go, additionally they are in the unchallenged majority. They eat animals because of a life long habit & because they taste darn good on the grill, moral considerations do not inform their eating habits. All in all the levels of emotional and intellectual investment when it comes to this subject are starkly disproportionate between meat eaters and non-meat eaters. Which is why this debate is always ripe with an off-putting righteousness emanating from the vegetarian side and an annoying flippancy/disinformation spewing out of the meat eating side.

The three main reasons the vegetarian debate is an exhausting one for me are:

  1. I am not THAT informed. I know that entering a battle without proper weaponry and armor can do your cause  more harm than good. I wouldn’t want to give anyone the satisfaction of a false victory simply because I came unarmed and in my bathrobe, this would only cement their erroneous carnivorous convictions.
  2. What’s the point, when the mental block erected in the heads of most meateaters on this subject is almost entirely impenetrable by argument, no matter how empirically sound the data. Why? Because the culture of meat eating and use of animal products is as much a part of us as is religion or family. We are indoctrinated into it nearly since birth. To recognize that history as a problem, to reject it, is both dispossessing and divesting, it would require a sort of rebirth. 
  3. I love meat, I am the most struggling vegetarian of them all.

As Item # 3 states, I am one of the most reluctant, tortured vegetarians I know. I LOVE meat. I am a foodie. Before I evolved into a rather bad Vegetarian this year, I had spent many years contemplating the glaring wrongs of the meat industry. I worked on building the connection inside myself between those wrongs and the meat on my plate, and it hasn’t been easy. I knew that to break years of habit and dietary preferences I had to incite a change of heart and mind within myself. During those years I was not able to move myself beyond contemplation and to take action for change, I had my steak and ate it too, with a side of guilt. But what it really comes down to is self discipline and attrition. Recognizing the undeniable truth even if it hurts, even if it means depriving one self of a way of life, to be replaced by another.I feel I had to sacrifice a part of myself in order to make room for growth and what is right. What makes it so hard, is that what we eat is not merely about what we enjoy or what’s available; eating is often about culture and family, it’s about tradition and a connection to the past. Our food choices are closely intertwined with our sense of personal identity, and trying to change them can feel like a kind of self annihilation, loss and even disenfranchisement.

In my effort towards a vegetarian lifestyle, I had to push past my mental blocks by treating meat eating as a routine to be replaced with a ritual of abstaining. My greatest obstacle has been in that I LOVE MEAT, and am unable to make an emotional connection between animal suffering and a hot dog. I am like Dexter i abstain via routine, because otherwise I always just want to eat the hot dog. When it is in the freezer or in the skillet I don’t see the grisly death of its source animal at all, I just get hungry.

HUNTING

In fact as a vegetarian, you think I’d abhor hunting, but I don’t. I used to abhor it when i still ate meat and refused to acknowledge my own part in the rise and expansion of factory farming.  Not to say that I support hunting now, but a clean, quick death is a blessing to an animal, in comparison to how Tyson fills grocery store shelves with dead flesh. I now feel that the Animal loving community’s vitriol towards those who hunt is somewhat misguided and not necessarily rational, unless it is stemming from devout vegans. If we are condemning hunters, as morally bankrupt and cruel, then logically speaking we would have to extend this condemnation to every single person who shops for meat at a grocery store. Just because your average house wife doesn’t actively prey on animals in the wild, doesn’t mean that her impact on factory farmed animals is not equally as(or more) damaging. There is no doubt in fact that anyone who contributes to factory farming by shopping for meat at the grocery store is in fact supporting an industry of unmatched and abhorrent cruelty, one which far exceeds the violence of hunting in the wild. Every time we buy hotdogs, bacon etc, we fund a widespread culture of animal breeding for lifelong abuse, anguish and death.

First I’d like to offer the simplest explanation of why I think it is wrong to consume meat in the year 2014. In truth, as i indicated, my issue isn’t even meat eating, it’s the meat farming. It’s the treatment of animals raised or procured for food. It’s the apathy. In a word*, it’s FACTORY FARMING.The human capacity for torture, mistreatment and brutality of living things is hard to comprehend, the capacity to pretend like it’s not what’s happening is even harder to fathom. We read in horror about crimes committed in say, Africa, by people against people. We wonder how they can do such horrendous things as dismemberment of children, disembowelments, grisly maiming. How can they not feel compassion, take pity? Have they not hearts, no souls. Yet, around here, boiling lobsters alive, living creatures with long life spans and intricate social systems, is a completely common practice by decent, even animal loving folks?  How can someone see a creature struggle and writhe in a scolding pot, scrambling to get out, and not take pity I wonder, not feel like crying? We find it unconsciounable that in the middle ages people were often boiled alive, they would be slowly lowered into the cauldron by a rope. That wasn’t an uncommon form of execution or torture. It seems unconscionable now, like something out of a horror movie. Can you see the hypocrisy? That’s what really blows my mind. We are all no better than those rogues chopping up children in the less “civilized” corners of the world or the ancient people of the middle ages, in fact we are worse. For all our education, for all our purview of history and science, abundance of resources, ingenuity and claims on morality, we still can’t muster the obvious compassion due a boiling lobster or a factory farmed pig.

FACTORY FARMING at a glace

  • 97% of the 10 billion animals produced for food are tortured and killed each year are farm animals
  • In this country, roughly 29 million pounds of antibiotics — about 80 percent of the nation’s antibiotics use in total — are added to animal feed every year, mainly to speed livestock growth.
  • A typical supermarket chicken today contains more than twice the fat, and about a third less protein than 40 years ago.                                                                                                                
  • Sows are kept pregnant the entirety of their miserable lifespan in gestation crates – or sow stalls which confine a sow during her 114 day pregnancy and then the next and then the next. It is so small that she cannot even turn around, she is often chained to the ground as not to try and get up…her entire life.
  • Pigs, sheep and other animals have their tails docked (cut off) with a pair of pliers, without any anesthesia.
  • Pigs are often still alive, when being dropped into boiling water intended to clean/ soften their skin before butchering.
  • On average, to produce 1kg of animal protein requires nearly 6kg of protein in the form of feed grains.
  • Around 30% of the nitrogen that pollutes water in the EU and US is from livestock, more than 70% in China.
  • Male chicks are ground up alive

Don’t get me started on veal or foie gras.

Anyways, as I said, this list goes on and on, it is terrifying not only because of the glaringly barbaric treatment of animals, but also because of the crippling effects intensive farming has on the environment. In the end, it won’t be an atomic bomb that blows up the world, it will be intensive animal farming. Most people are blissfully oblivious of the horrors & impacts of animal farming. When there is an undercover video floating around Youtube or Facebook about Tyson Farms, they turn away, as not to get themselves too upset, as not to have their day ruined by disturbing images, then they trot over to the store and buy themselves a Tyson roast. This is willful ignorance and it is wrong. But blocking out the argument for vegetarianism is an infinitely easier than otherwise. It is a lot easier than living with the knowledge of where hotdogs really come from, what goes into them and the guilt associated with the brutality in which we have participated every time we chowed down on a juicy burger.

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I don’t need statistics to know that factory farming is wrong, I know it viscerally, I feel it in my gut and and in my bones. If you feel compelled to protect a dog from an abuser, then you shouldn’t partake in the abuse of other, no less valiant or innocent beings. When I was 8, I heard stories of boys torturing frogs, they disturbed me deeply, I remember crying; when I was 10 I saw boys swinging a crab on a string and smashing him into the pavement, I pushed one of them off the dock, before getting punched by his friend (yes boys are the general source of all evil it would seem). It’s not the eating of flesh that disturbs me, it’s the suffering generated and endured in the process.

Meat eaters like to say that it’s a personal choice. Well of course it is, what isn’t a personal choice really? Kicking puppies and punching old ladies would also be personal choices. It being a personal choice doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice, the moral choice or even a choice equally as good as any other. Obviously a choice which in some way supports an industry of abuse is inferior to a choice which does not. At which point do we hold ourselves accountable? Maybe never, but if it’s never, then at least we, as meat eaters, should have some humility, acknowledge this reality versus argue against it.

Meateaters, don’t be flippant towards vegetarianism. I am not judging or perching myself above anyone, there is a broad spectrum of morality and I am not at the top of it at all. But I AM aware of my place on that spectrum, and I don’t wave off those who set an example of doing/being better. I do plenty wrong myself, my couches are leather, my shoes are leather, my car seats are leather, I am aware, I hope I can become a better person with time. Awareness is a necessary first step, if we are ever to make moves towards change, and every little move counts. It is not what it is, we should aspire to better. The platitude does not fit…

Now a quick summation of the annoying, clichéd arguments I hear all the time from the very flippant stupid meateaters who cheerfully accost me asserting that they could just never give up their pepperoni pizza.

1) If I wasn’t meant to eat it, I wouldn’t have canine teeth.

Answer: Most animals have canine teeth, herbivores and carnivores alike, and the most ferocious canine teeth actually belong to herbivores. One of such examples is the hippo, another is the guerilla…the list goes on.

Additionally, we are built for all kinds of violence, our capacity for causing harm has nothing to do with whether or not it is right.

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2) A chick I knew became a vegetarian, lost all her hair and nearly died.

 Answer: A steak loving guy I knew had a major coronary incident at 38 and nearly died. Oh yea and he had gout. The fact is leading government and public health organizations worldwide agree that humans do not in fact require animal products to maintain optimal health! One can eat poorly and cause harm to their health whatever their dietary culture.

American Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, the U.S.’s oldest, largest and foremost authority on diet and nutrition, also recognized that humans have no inherent biological or nutritional need for animals products: “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

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 3) My body craves meat, I am a man, I can’t ignore it.

 Answer: http://www.veganbodybuilding.com.There is a slew of top fitness athletes who partake in the vegan lifestyle, so that’s just nonsense. Vegan protein powders alone would completely eliminate your needs for the consumption of dead flesh. Your body has a habit, so does your mind, which is where the cravings come from, and if you wanted to break the habit you could, just as I am trying to do, not because it is easy or feels natural, but because it’s right.

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In conclusion, there is so much more that gets thrown around to defend the eating of meat, and it might have worked 300 years ago, but in the age of information, science and factory farming it simply doesn’t fly. And it’s all fine really, because regrettably the human race is not ready, just like we weren’t ready to recognize that black people are people and not slaves, objects or property until the 19th century. Just like we didn’t want to know about the Holocaust, allowing it to annihilate nearly 20 million lives of men, women and children, before the world decided to look up and take notice. Just like we thought homosexuals were mentally ill, disturbed, unequal or depraved until 2020. Today, we are still committing so many atrocities against each other, that animals don’t stand a chance…yet. But one day, if we hadn’t blown ourselves up, we’ll look on this age just as we look on the age of slavery or the Holocaust, with shame and horror. I am just trying to get ahead of the shame. 

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On Love

advice, love, writing

About Love..or..The only time I’ll ever quote the Bible..or..Meet Miss Love Doctor!

Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

This entry is inspired by my friend (you know who you be) and every woman (or man), who has been demoralized by dating and is fearful of a lonely loveless future. I am sorry that my alter ego, who so inventively calls herself Miss Love Doctor, is such an unbearable pedant. But here goes:

I’d say that ubiquitously, we, as a species, seek to make connections with one another. Even this here pastime of Blogging is arguably just another means by which people are trying to connect with each other. In life, these connections, whether platonic or romantic, are perhaps, as a general rule, the most crucial components of happiness. Relationships/connections are an integral part of human existence, the very conception of life is predicated on a connection, albeit just a physical one. The metaphorical structure of our lives is built from these connections. The first level i.e. the foundation of the structure is comprised from the family of origin. We are born connected to it, at the very least genetically, and since we cannot choose its members, we simply must learn to live with them, regardless of whether they bring us happiness or otherwise. The next level is friendships, we are able to choose these people for ourselves, they serve as excellent practice in the intricate art of creating lasting bonds. Those friends, who remain in our lives through the years, become a part of who we are. The next, most complicated and coveted level of all, is romantic love. It is like a roof, it completes this life structure, making it a home. It not only completes us spiritually and emotionally, but also leads to the fulfillment of our primal instinct to procreate, ensuring the birth of new families.

Love is a mysterious thing, although the spectrum of the human experience in this regard is pretty broad, we can for the most part agree that Love is as desirable as it is difficult to find. It has many faces, and responds differently to various circumstances. Commonly it is perceived as something which can be joyous, as well as incredibly painful, it can be simple and at times it can seem extremely complicated. One thing is for sure, we all, again, in our majority, strive for it. We go to clubs and bars trying to meet people, we let our friends set us up, we fill out internet profiles and spend an uncomfortable amount of time browsing through the profiles of others, at times we even work up the guts to approach an attractive stranger at the supermarket and strike up a conversation. We search for that connection far and wide, all the while bombarded by various ideas about what love is or should be, how we ought to feel about it, or ourselves for lack of it. Is it epic, is it common, is it forgiving, does it fizzle, should it last, can it hurt? Then, at a certain point, many of us who have yet to find the answers to all these questions, get a little concerned. After a number of failed relationships we often tend to find ourselves disheartened and disappointed, and just like that, we lower our standards. This is an anthropological mechanism, designed by evolution to ensure that we find a way to procreate even if the person/relationship we seek is failing to make itself available.

We often start rethinking our expectations, wondering if we had been brainwashed by rock ballads and romantic comedies. We begin to consider that there is no such thing as that perfect Love, maybe love is really about compromise. Sometimes, this way of thinking is appropriate, as it is important to have reasonable expectations, and to be able to dance the dance of Love in tandem with your partner. Other times, it is quite dangerous because it presents us with a slippery slope. How do we gauge the appropriate amount of compromise? At which point do we begin sacrificing things which are necessary and vital to our happiness? At which point are we just sacrificing ourselves? It’s all so confusing right?

And of course, there is this pressure coming from all around, our friends may be getting married and having children, while we are still wading in the singles pool. Our parents are starting to act like something must be wrong with us for not having settled down by the ripe age of say 30. More and more we hear conversations about that ever shrinking baby making window?! We are feeling judged and wonder if there isn’t something pathetic about our failure to couple up, what could it be? What is wrong with us? Sometimes we fold, we convince ourselves that we had found IT, we get married because it is time, because he or she looked good on paper, or because we feel we had wasted too much of our partner’s time to throw them back out into singledom.

A duty proposal, or a duty acceptance, is, I think, one of the most tragic occurrences plaguing the personal lives of too many people. But, this is an example of when we decide to just give it a go. Sometimes it works, sometimes we are just dutiful enough, just agreeable enough to make it last. More often than not though it’s a hard road, this road ensures job security for many marriage counselors across the nation. In these cases, people around usually start consoling us. They tell us that relationships and love are hard, that they require work, that a lifetime of marriage therapy is really not that big a deal. Many of these kinds of relationships, as well as others of course, culminate in separation. The incredibly high rate of divorce in the modern age serves as a testament to the fact that mankind struggles with the lofty aspiration of eternal love and lifelong commitment. A really good match is harder to find than we want to believe.

While a whole book can be written on the subject of all the necessary things one needs to increase his/her chances of authentic and successful coupledom, there are a few key elements which can be mentioned right here. Firstly we must KNOW ourselves. Honest self-examination is a key element in our ability to both SEE other people for what they are, and allow ourselves to be SEEN by them. Owning our flaws, identifying our deal breakers and our most urgent relationship needs, are just a few of the fruits borne of dedicated self-examination. We must then achieve a keen understanding of what kind of a person would make us happy long term, not to be confused with the kind of person we really, really want to sleep with. We then have figure out how to best attract THAT kind of person, without compromising who we are. And in aaaaaall that, we have to share with that person complimentary values, perspectives, ideologies, and relationship goals, as well as be in the same general place in life. Never you mind the sexual component of the whole ordeal, we MUST after all find one another attractive. And that’s just the short list. Seems quite impossible right? What happened to meeting a cute girl or guy at a farmer’s market and tying the proverbial knot 12 months later at a quaint Bed & Breakfast in Vermont? Well nothing, this is for all those people for whom that simply hasn’t happened or for whom it has happened but did not stick.

It seems impossible doesn’t it. Shouldn’t love be simpler than all this? No, I’d say it is definitely not at all simple. Lots of pieces have to fall into place for it to be BOTH good and lasting. Lots. I can say one thing with absolute certainty though, a good relationship, should not feel like work, should not require “work” and no, it should not hurt. NEVER should it hurt, not for a second. It should be based on a friendship first, a deep mutual respect, an understanding of one another and an open compassionate channel of communication. A good relationship doesn’t force a fit, instead the fit is organic, where each of the persons involved accepts the other wholly and completely, with foibles and without judgment. It is an intimacy unmatched by any other in a person’s life, filled with trust, kindness and equal measure of respect. It is in a word, a HOME, the safest place of all. Only in such a home do two people stand a chance of happily ever after. These are the standards to which you have the right to hold your relationship and your partner, and it is NOT impossible or unattainable. Believe that you deserve to be happy, to get as much as you give, and to be loved unconditionally. Remember that it is not at all easy to find and there is nothing wrong with taking your time, you have no one to answer to but yourself.

Love is the only gold. Lord Tennyson

Miss Love Doctor