Esquire Malaysia August 2011″ http://www.esquire.my
Esquire has kindly allowed me to reprint the monthly articles that I’ve been writing for them for the last few years. This week’s blast from the past comes from July 2011.
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LOOK AT ME
They say to love somebody else you’ve got to learn to love yourself.
Your love for her should only make you love you more.
How many times have you consoled a lady friend who was dumped by her boyfriend, as she ripped through a box of Kleenex, wailing her eyes out and cursing her ex? Most women have encountered this situation. We were either the ones doing the crying or the ones holding our friend’s hand, assuring them that they will get through that difficult period, bastards.
Personally I don’t believe that at all but as my once-confident friends are reduced to what resembles a bowl of Jell-O with tear ducts, I am forced to feed her emotional monster with that affirmation, all in the name of sisterhood But what if men are not the bastards, and what if women are the ones to blame? How much consoling can we handle if the situation is reversed? Would we sit beside them, idealistically chanting from Glo-ria Gaynor’s breakup anthem, “I Will Survive”? Relationships are born out of need. It’s the oldest ritual since men and women gathered to live together in a cave a long, long time ago. Men hunt, women gather, and our primal instinct to mate is so we won’t become extinct. These days, women aren’t just gatherers. We’ve crossed into hunter positions as well.
So how does that affect modern relationships? One male friend, after a series of unsuccessful flings that never got to moving on stage, gave me and a bunch of other girlfriends some interesting insight into the whole situation. “Women don’t get it. If we like you, we don’t want to change you. But most women, once they find a man, they start changing. Men don’t want that, and we don’t want to be changed either.” Another male friend admits that when the dating stage is over and a woman moves in, they start seeing things that they never saw before. One stand-up comic friend of mine recently quipped: “Women wear master disguises. First you show us what we want, and there’s the sex, and it’s awesome, and we stay, and then out of nowhere after we’re with you for a few months, and you’ve moved it, one night we come home and you change, and you become psycho, and we’re like, who are you?” So perhaps the answer to coupled bliss is about sustaining you—instead of putting the relationship first, you should put you first. The best relationships are the ones that bring satisfaction to the individual.
This may sound selfish but a relationship will last longer and be healthier if you put yourself first. So the next time a weeping lady friend is sitting on your sofa saying, “But I did all those things for him”, give her a wakeup call and ask her, “But did you do anything for yourself?” Men don’t change to suit a relationship. If anything, they manage their habits better—women should know that if they expect to mould the person they’re with, or themselves, into what they feel is the ideal partner, then have the superglue ready because someone’s going to crack.