“Whatever your age a man can leave you for another woman or die (of the two, I think dying is preferable).” – Helen Gurley Brown
It may be preferable and today there are any number of people not wanting to be committed or in a relationship with intense intimacy for too long.
There may be a variety of reasons.
We get our ideas from society, our own personal history and our genes.
Today society gives a plethora of messages about relationships and mainly that there is a whole world of people out there to be explored and maybe, just maybe, someone ‘better’ will come along so why settle or get ‘nailed down?’
Just look at the Internet and dating sites, or Facebook. You can compare and pick and choose people all day and night. You can meet them and compare them Comparisons on every level; how they look, act, and relate to you. All important to be sure but when to really get involved or stay involved over a period of time?
As a therapist, dealing with relationships, sex, and love, for decades, this is a whole new world.
Major changes in this world have caused women, in particular, to be freer and independent. Antibiotics, computers, and feminism have drastically caused women to behave differently from past generations.
It is no longer just men that can compare and act as they wish within a relationship.
Old relationships can be brought up silently or even verbally for comparison with a current lover. This does not make for a good feeling usually; even if the comparison is not positive. It means someone else is lurking in the background.
There can certainly be comparisons with more than one partner in the present. Again, both men and women have a variety of experiences and comparison is normal. When it is comparison with the body and sexual life; that is crucial and if the partner doesn’t ‘measure up’ that can be the end.
Sometimes the comparisons are fantasy or people that are not known in reality, ie: movie stars et cetera. Then it becomes just unrealistic.
Men actually like women who are demanding respect and they fall in love with strong people today. Absence also helps; not the clinging vine any more.
Women fall in love in the present and judge a man as they are with them.
The list of substances used in relationships often tell a story and often it is a result of comparisons. This is also true when a loved partner has died, or moved out of your life.
Alcohol is taken to forget. Pot to feel peaceful. Cocaine to feel sharp and confident. Ecstasy for ecstatic sensations. LSD to meet ‘Lucy with diamonds in the sky.’
These may ‘work’ for a while but at some point, reality will set in and then the real work has to begin.
Saying ‘That was then; this is now’ can get the ball rolling. Maybe it has to be said a thousand times a day in the beginning. If you stay with constant comparing and no one measures up you are ‘stuck.’ You may stay that way for life. Up to you.
If you know the comparisons are there and real BUT you want to move on you HAVE to live in the present and maybe compromise and deal with the situation really objectively. There are NO angels walking the earth and the one that your barometer uses for comparison had ‘bad’ parts as well as ‘good’ ones. Concentrate on them!
Take every person’s good and bad points and maybe make a list to see them in black and white.
Remember, you too are being compared………with…………
“A girl can wait for the right man to come along but in the meantime, that still doesn’t mean she can’t have a wonderful time with all the wrong men.”- Cher
Have you ever compared a partner to someone? How did they measure up? What did you do about it? Have you ever been aware of being compared to someone else? What did it feel like?