I never have done drugs, so there are a lot of things about drug use that confuse me. But what confuses me most are how people do coke/ecstasy/meth/whatever to get high but don’t think about the crash into depression that comes after. The crash is as much a part of the experience as the high, but nobody ever says “I am going to get high and then get depressed.” People just talk about the high part.
Actually, drugs are not the point of this post. I bring them up because I have noticed a similar phenomenon when it comes to relationships. There is a lot of wanting to get high but ignoring what comes after. More specifically, I have been noticing lately that people desire mates with certain qualities, but never think that there may be a downside to those very same desired qualities.
There are quite a few examples of this. My favorite example of late is when women seek a professionally successful (and therefore wealthy) man for a husband and then express great frustration when he is too busy to spend quality time with the family. Did you read the recent news articles about Goldman Sachs year-end bonuses? Those guys don’t get anywhere in an I-Bank like Goldman by leaving at 5:00PM every night to be home for the family dinner. Want a man with a chance to make partner in a top law firm? Those guys don’t make partner by insisting on time off for PTA meetings. The vast majority of jobs that pay big money also expect you to bust your ass in exchange for all that wealth. Why doesn’t it occur to women that the hot shot MBA who is going to buy them that fabulous Georgetown townhouse isn’t going to have extra time for his son’s little league games?
Men have their own issues with not wanting what they thought they wanted. We know men tend to be attracted to youthful women. I think if you took a survey of men and asked what the ideal age for a wife would be (and you promised you would never reveal their answers any women), I am sure most would say age 18 is perfect. That is, as long as she turned 18 within the last month. But what’s funny is that men who successfully land a young hottie then become driven to near madness from her immaturity. I have been guilty of this myself. In the past few years I have dated some women in their early 20’s and then complained to friends about xyz ridiculous! stupid! childish! thing they did. The usual response from guys is usually something like, “Put that bitch in her place yo!”. The usual response from women is usually something like, “What did you expect, you idiot??” With hindsight, the ladies have a point. Guys, if you like ’em young, go for it, but don’t expect a college girl to show sound and prudent judgment in dealing with you. Expect an impulsive kid raised in an age of instant gratification who was spoiled rotten by excessively indulgent parents.
I could go on and on. Ladies, you want an assertive alpha male with a strong backbone, right? Funny how that alpha male transforms into a macho jerk when he disagrees with you and stubbornly refuses to back down. Fellas, you want that club hottie who wears fashionable sexy clothes? Funny how she transforms into an untrustworthy slut when she flirts with all the club players who hit on her. Ladies, do you like metrosexuals? Funny how they don’t seem so endearing when they insist on different choice of dinner flatware. Ok, instead you want a man’s man who knows how to change a tire just like your dad could? Funny how he think spending all weekend watching football games on TV is a way to spend quality time at home (wearing tapered leg jeans with white sneakers, no less).
I think people would be a lot happier in their relationships if they learned to accept that with every desired quality comes a downside to the very same quality. I am not saying those downsides are a party, but nobody should be surprised when they appear.