Is it wrong to reject someone because they’ve had it easy their whole lives?

Railroad Change in TracksI’ve been going over this in my mind because it was a decision I made not too long ago, and while on the surface it might seem petty, I do believe it’s possible that people’s lives can be so vastly different, that the lack of camaraderie and understanding arising from those differences can ultimately doom the relationship.

In my case, I’ve endured a really long laundry list of hardships, difficulties and physical disabilities that very few people can relate to, and those experiences shaped my personality and perspective of the world in a very profound way.

It’s like going into combat.  For those who have never seen combat, mentally you know that it’s full of hardships and can be a terrifying ordeal, but unless you’ve SEEN it up close and personal, you can never really truly understand what combat veterans have had to endure.  It’s the same for drug addiction too, unless you’ve been a drug addict yourself, you have NO idea what it’s like to fight an addiction.  This doesn’t mean people who haven’t experienced these things for themselves can’t sympathize, it just means that their understanding is merely theoretical in nature.

So I meet a girl, and she’s a nice girl.  Grew with a large family, eventually graduated college, got a nice job, bought a house, joined a church.  She’s active in the community and volunteers all the time.  She has a wide circle of friends and family, an active social life, and lives a very healthy lifestyle.  She also enjoys a nice inheritance and owns a large plot of land.

In short, someone who’s had it easy their whole lives.  Their perception of suffering is entirely different from say, one who loses his home and spends a few years of his life as a virtual vagabond.  One who has no inheritance to draw from because it was stolen from him.  One whose nearly entire family disowned and abandoned him when he was a child.  One who has to fight physical disabilities and prejudice that impacts nearly every area of his life.  One who had to claw his way out of debt with no financial help from anyone.  One who had no church or a social network of friends to rely on for encouragement and support.

And try as I might to explain my past to her, she didn’t get it.  She couldn’t get it, because she never lived it.  It wasn’t her fault either, and I would never begrudge anyone whose life has clearly been blessed and privileged.  But that fundamental lack of understanding arising from our hugely different journeys through life was why I ended it.

Does this mean the only girl right for me needs to have lived exactly as I did?  No, but I think it’s important that we share some similarities in that vein.  Camaraderie and shared experiences are powerful factors that can deepen a couple’s bond with each other.  Younger couples have a better chance of developing this bond because they start their lives together, so any hardships they face, they face together.

I just wish my life hadn’t been so unusual that I can’t seem to find ANYONE who could even remotely relate (except for one person, who unsurprisingly has been my best friend for nearly 10 years, though I suspect in part it’s because he’s a glutton for punishment).  I didn’t think my experiences were THAT uncommon but apparently it is.  It’s telling when I have to bury my past and make like I’m any old average Joe, just so I can avoid that deer in the headlights look when I start to tell her my REAL life story.  It’s reaching the point that I just have to resign myself to the reality that the only way I can connect with people is to hide the past 30-odd years of my life in obscurity and mystery.  Just the same old boring American success story y’all, nothing to see here folks, move along now.

Ah well.  It is what it is.

How Halloween explains in a way why I’m still single

Her:  So Frank, what are you going to dress up as on Halloween?

Me:  Myself.  I’m scary enough as it is.

Joke aside, because of my Christian beliefs I actually don’t celebrate Halloween.  I believe people with the same views represents, oh, .00000000000000001% of the population if I had to guess, with the exception of those zany members of the Watchtower Society.

So how does that explain why I’m single?  I think because it exemplifies just how fringe I am.  I don’t begrudge Christians in particular who still celebrate Halloween, and still get along just fine with most people with opposing viewpoints even when there’s a fake butcher knife sticking out of their heads while they beg, BEG me for candy (and this is just the adults).

But it’s one thing to forbear with a disparity in beliefs and perspectives when you’re dealing with acquaintances and friends, and maybe even family members.  It’s quite another though when that disparity exists between you and someone you share your bed with.  This is a bigger problem for me than it is for others because I’m a nonconformist with a perspective on life that very few people can relate to.  For those who are the byproduct of a monolithic culture in which they and everyone else around them all believe the same things, behave the same way, and root for the same teams, they have little issues meeting and marrying those who are just like them.  A Mormon in Utah for example will have no trouble meeting and pairing off with a Mormon girl.  For all our talk about individuality, the truth is the vast majority of us are all like sheep, ready to conform to whatever subculture we happen to be immersed in.  By being part of the herd, you reduce the risk of being isolated and alone, as well as the complications of trying to find a significant other you can relate to and call your better half.  Everyone in the same herd gets along pretty well, as long as everyone believes and behaves exactly the same.

Because God help you if you start to form a dissenting opinion the rest of the herd may not agree with…

So if I were to meet a girl, even one who is sugar and spice and everything nice, but who failed to understand me and why I believe the things I do (and vice versa), I’d suspect things just wouldn’t work out between the two of us and break it off before it started to get serious.  Really, who wants to be with someone who is incapable of being able to see who you truly are as a person and where you’re coming from?  That’s how we connect and form bonds after all.

I asked some of the people close to me who are married and about the nature of their relationships with their spouses, and the nature is such that they know each other so well they’re able to complete each other’s thoughts.  They may fight and argue and whatnot, but ultimately they are both on the same wavelength.  They’re in sync, which is why even when there’s friction in the relationship, it doesn’t threaten the bond they have with each other.

As opposed to me, who seems to be out of sync with the entire universe.  If God could make mistakes, I’m sure my existence would be the best proof of it.

And yes, part of this ability to form such a bond happens with time I’m sure, but much of it I believe has to do with having a pre-existing kernel of insight into the other person’s mind, something I believe can come supernaturally or simply as a result of having similar walks in life.  Even if you don’t know someone very well, you just GET who they are, and hence you’re drawn to them.  Such is the plight of human nature where we are naturally drawn to the familiar rather than the unfamiliar.  Science describes this as assortative mating, and by and large it’s probably an accurate process of how most of us meet our significant others.

But I am a glitch in the Matrix, an anomaly, a… special snowflake if you will.  There is none like unto me, and hence I may indeed be doomed (or blessed depending on how you look at it) to a life of solitude.

Is it possible that I’m being too trivial though?  So what if the perspectives and beliefs between myself and that of a potential spouse didn’t perfectly align.  Did that HAVE to spell automatic doom for the relationship?  Aren’t there other factors to consider?  Wouldn’t true love conquer all?  More importantly, even if we were initially on different wavelengths, isn’t it possible that they could eventually converge together somewhere down the road?  Well, anything’s possible, but how likely would that be?  I can’t imagine the odds for success walking hand in hand with someone who finds your thought process completely alien to their own would be very favorable.  People don’t really change, so if they fail to understand you now, it would require a leap of faith to believe that could change later on.  Maybe, depending on the right circumstances that leap would be warranted.  But it hasn’t happened to me yet.

Single ladies, I’m ready to provide, are you ready to cook?

I can just hear the teeth grinding from de vimmins now.  Heh.  So let me ask you, why am I as a man still expected to fulfill the traditional role of a provider, but it’s perfectly ok for women to cede the traditional role of a nurturer? (and making me good sammiches?)

So if I not only have to slave all day to rake in the coins, but also come home to cook, clean, maintain the house, etc., what exactly will you be contributing while I’m busy here effectively working 2 full time jobs (one at work and one at home)?

I understand that there are men who are willing to stay home while the women work.  I personally think these men are girlie boys who should be ridiculed, scorned and flogged mercilessly with a rusty barbed cane, but hey, if the relationship works, more power to them.

I’m not a nurturer though.  My drive is to protect and provide, because I like protecting things, and I like providing for others.  It’s a man thing, and I’m not going to apologize for it.  I also know, as much as so many feminist/career minded women today will deny it, that deep down most of them ENJOY being a homebody, cooking, nurturing and otherwise taking care of their homes.  It’s  a lot of work, but if I take immense satisfaction in being a protector, I can only imagine that they derive an equal amount of satisfaction in cooking a gourmet meal worthy of a 5 star New York City restaurant for their honey snoogum winkles (or family and friends.)

Darth Vader points way to kitchen

I’m not an unreasonable man though.  If we were BOTH working full time, then it’s completely reasonable to expect and work out a way to split our chores equally, including cooking as well.  The irony is that I LIKE to cook, but I’m very inexperienced at it, and I could use the guidance of one who has mastered the craft.  One of the things I fantasize about is enjoying a cooking weekend with my honey twinkles, where she teaches me how to crack an egg with one hand and spin pizza dough with the other.  Mad ninja cooking skills, yo.  A feminine mentor who shows me how to handle my… curry, if you know what I mean.

Cooking together, doing chores together, working together as a functioning and stable unit, why that almost sounds like how a healthy relationship should work!

But if there ever comes time where marriage comes in and children after that,  I simply will not accept any arrangement that would have me staying home full time to raise the kids, because it’s not who I am.  Whoever I wind up with will understand that as well,  and would cheerfully give up her job/career to care for the children and the house.  Even then it’s not necessarily permanent, as she could work part-time or re-enter her choice of profession full time again once the kids are grown.  Together we can provide our family with the dual pillars of both financial and domestic stability.

That’s why honesty is the best policy for me.  Letting women know up front what I expect of them, and what they should expect of me.  If you decide cooking is beneath you, your career is more important than not leaving kids with a weird nanny, and/or men are glorified ATM machines to be abused and insulted on a regular basis, well then, there’s the door, hope you find what you’re looking for, nice knowing ya.

It’s ironic.  Women have these lists of demands about what they want in a man beginning with him not being unemployed and living on mommy’s couch, and for the most part I totally understand and agree with it.  But when a guy’s criteria starts with a woman having some good basic cooking skills, they go CRAY CRAY.

Yeesh.  Modern women today tend to believe the traditional roles such as is described in Proverbs 31 are beneath them, leading to the logical conclusion that leave men with no other choice but to take on multiple roles to support a family, while women take on, well… no roles.  Except moving up the career ladder so they can be just like Marissa Mayer.

Is it any wonder so many men have decided, “You know… this is kind of a bum deal, I’m out!”

The sad thing is so many of them think they’ve finally one upped the EVIL man by being stroooong and independent and like, stuff.  But while those of us who remain single enjoy flush incomes, peace of mind and a drama-free life, women can only soldier on via the taxpayer’s dime, or relying on the goodwill of companies offering work at home jobs (for those of you who actually have some self-respect and refuse to take handouts.)  You know, companies like Yahoo!  (Oh wait…)

In some weird twist of poetic justice, we’re living in a world where women, having refused to take on one role, are now being forced to take on TWO in order to survive.  Brave new world, my friends.

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