Why are we in this relationship? Have you ever met someone really nice who qualifies on all levels, yet you already know before he/she utters ‘I like you’, this one is friend material? This person is perfect, but not for me. Sometimes we meet the most wonderful, shiniest, most spotless specimen of humanity, and we set him aside ‘Nah, I don’t need that’. Friend zoned. Automatically.
I’ll start by saying that I don’t believe in giving people chances, not even those nice guys in your friend zone. They are in that zone for a very good reason. They are either unsleepable or we can’t learn anything from them. They may be good people, even beyond our wildest expectations, but we don’t need them.
My theory is that the reason we sometimes put people automatically in the friend zone is because we don’t need them on our path toward personal growth and evolution. I have been accused plenty of times of not giving the nice guy a chance, but being attracted to a moron instead. It’s true, I openly admit it. In my previous post I wrote about my history of dating monsters and the valuable lessons I learned from each. I wasn’t a glutton for punishment, I wasn’t sadistically craving mistreatment, I was on a path to becoming ME, and had to get in touch with every single aspect of me, especially those darkest shadows I’d never show to the world. Who was capable of showing me that deepest, darkest, most vulnerable me, that deeply flawed, self-hating, perpetually failing at life me? The nice guy? No. He could never have taught me that.
Experts claim that some women are conditioned to be attracted to abusers. I can give them that. What no one thought is that there are a lot of self-possessed, free, vulnerable women out there who crave life, self-discovery, experience, rawness, and are deeply committed to discovering themselves. Humans cringe at the thought of getting in touch with their dark side, it is to be avoided at all costs. But light cannot exist without darkness, and to know ourselves means owning both.
This may be a hard pill to swallow by the establishment, but not all women are looking to marry, have babies, settle down, and coddle men. Some of us think, feel, crave freedom, exploration, sex, novelty, not because these experiences will lead us to settling down, but because they won’t. Settling is death, and some of us came here to live.
What was I looking for in relationships for all these years? As humans grow we need different things from different people. It is small-minded to think that one person can satisfy all our needs. At various stages of life I needed different lessons. Each lesson was about myself, and I had to learn it all. In my younger years I had to discover different types of manhood. Some suited me, most didn’t. I had to accept, reject, overcome, defeat, abuse, adore all different kinds of men to find out what manhood really is. I learned that above all, a man must be human, humane and humble to be anything at all.
I learned my toughest lessons from the worst men. My father was one of the most insecure, narcissistic, egotistical, assholes I ever met in my life. Who would I be had I not learned how to make him cry by the time I turned fourteen. The day I realized how small this big-mouth really was, I learned that when it comes to men, I have nothing to fear. He was my first teacher.
Later, when I realized I was getting into repeated patterns with narcissists, I had to discover what is it about me that was available to them? That aspect of me had to change, so one lesson, after another, and then another. I was black and blue, crawling on my hands an knees begging for mercy. Could that nice guy with a halo over his head have taught me how to outmaneuver a narcissist every time? Nope, he had no chance.
It wasn’t enough to know how to spot and avoid narcs, I had to learn how to bring one to his knees, make him run for his life when he sees me. I succeeded during my stint on Wall Street, where I worked with the most bloated bunch of male egos. These Neanderthals were so puffed up on their own gas, grunting and thumping themselves on the chest every time they got a whiff of a female walking by. The younger ones were harmless, too busy putting in the hours to notice me panic every time one of the older starving males wanted to see if I would acknowledge his manhood. Sorry grandpa, I don’t think much of your manhood at all. I can’t tell you how many times I almost got fired because I refused to stroke his ego. I could have worked with so many tame guys, the respectful ones, the upstanding humans. But what would I have learned about myself?
The best lesson I learned is where is the seat of my power. Who am I, what are my most significant qualities? I learned that my ability to put up a good fight was not a weakness that I should hide, it was something for me to use to my best advantage. I learned that my willingness to unmask a narcissist, is that which narcissists fear most. They know I will do it, they no longer come near me. I learned that a nice, educated, classy girl from a good family won’t get far in life if she bows down to manhood. By not being afraid to piss men off, say exactly what I think, and not back down, I learned how to command respect. I had no interest in being a nice guy’s wife, I had an interest in experiencing me.
I know so many wonderful men who any woman would be proud to date. I fix them up with quality women, but I only dated a few. A psychologist might conclude that something must be wrong with me to pass up so many opportunities for love, marriage and relationships. Every woman dreams of getting married, right? I dream of so much more.
Love is easy. I know how to love. While most humans have had only the kind of love they miserly allowed themselves to experience, I experienced it all in the raw. Nice guys love gently. They back down to easily. They don’t put up much of a fight. They call their mom, and their mom tells them what a man they are. It’s true, most of them really are good. Some day I will need that.
I am sure that a lot of men experience the same. Why settle down when life keeps giving me more, and more, and more? Why settle down, when I can still climb higher? Why settle for the good girl, when the bad girl has so much more to teach me? There are no bad girls or bad guys, there are just teachers. We all need them.
While experts claim that a lot of women’s dating instincts point to deep, emotional flaws, I insist that our instincts are just right. Some of us are starving for life and starving to find ourselves. We won’t be satisfied with domesticity, motherhood or matrimony, we want to discover our passions, develop our inner selves, build empires, achieve balance, and we aren’t terrified of being lonely. We never are.
So, in relationships we don’t seek what is stable, what is safe, what is everlasting. People who crave life seek the opposite. We are not empty thrill-seekers looking for fulfillment outside ourselves, blame that on the people who need a spouse. We are whole, we are giving, we are too alive to succumb to tradition. We are looking to grow, experience, experiment, change ourselves over and over again, and keep reinventing ourselves until there is nothing more to learn.
When I am tired and exhausted from learning, I might settle down with a nice guy. I have been in a couple of relationships with angels, and sometimes I wish for a warm, loving, kind, affectionate, uncomplicated human. For now they are all in my friend zone. If they get taken by better women, I’ll love them anyway. But they are not for me now.