Romance and relationships take up way too much space in my mind when I don’t have my life in order.
Since coming down with CFS in 1988, I’ve been limited in my abilities to conquer the outside world. I can’t go jog off my frustrations. I can’t just buckle down to work and bull my way through my difficulties by force of will. I don’t always have the strength to do that. Instead, I have to live carefully and I have to rest, and consequently I spend too much time thinking about my relationships and my feelings.
This makes me way too vulnerable to whatever girl I’m seeing at the time, particularly as I am most attracted to high-powered, high-achieving, smart tough chicks who don’t care for loafers.
The less I have going on in my life, the more vulnerable I am to the ups and downs of my romantic relationship.
I’ve shed tears on numerous occasions in my tumultuous relationships and I’m pretty sure it just makes me look weak and unattractive to the woman I’m with.
So why am I crying? Is it over our lost love? Is it because she’s said she doesn’t love me anymore? Doesn’t want to date me anymore?
That’s just the pretext. What’s really going on is that my life is relatively empty. I lack mastery over my life. I’ve isolated myself socially. I’m not making much money. I’m not learning new job skills. I’m not contributing significantly to my community. I’m not making new friends. I’m not deepening and strengthening my relationships with my family and friends.
On the other hand, when I am doing the right things, when I am going to therapy every week, when I’m going to 12-step programs, when I’m working hard, when I’m writing quality blog posts, when I’m developing my relationships, then I am less vulnerable to the ups and downs of the female I’m seeing at the time. I’m not as vulnerable to my rabbi’s opinion of me.
Mastery is the solution to depression and the feeling of emasculation. The more you can master of yourself and of the world, the stronger you’ll feel and the more ready you will be to wrestle with the inevitable problems of life, including those of women you love not loving you back.
If you find yourself crying to the woman in your life, I wouldn’t say stop crying, even though that would probably be a good idea. I think the tears are just a symptom of a troubled life. You feel emasculated. The solution is mastery. The more mastery you can exert over your life, the better.
You can achieve mastery with your health by eating right, getting enough sleep, getting exercise, and keeping up with friends. You can learn new job skills so you can offer more value to the world and therefore make more money. You can volunteer within your community so that you become important to people and a valued member, not just a freeloader. You can read books and do self-help courses and get therapy and go to 12-step meetings and improve yourself so that people have more pleasure in your company. These are all forms of mastery, the best solution for feeling small in a big world (Dr. Stephen Marmer).