To not see this reminder again
Regardless of all traditional and modern attitudes about male-female friendships, I have always considered myself fortunate for being treated as friend by someone, if those friendship attitudes had been based on sincere interests and unconditional likings for one another.
A while ago I wrote a piece triggered by an advice I received from a male friend regarding my love life, and it is not fair to not act similarly respecting the advice of a female friend.
I'm a liberal person, by liberal I mean, liberal in moral philosophy definition and I believe in honesty and with all these backgrounds, I really have a hard time playing games, or receiving white lies, so similarly, like advice I received from male friends, I had a hard time to really process the advice I received female friends, more experienced than me, who could see I'm really internally not well and need help.
The first two or three times I received this advice, I was so inexperienced, I had no understanding what it meant, and I don't claim I have made lots of life experiences since then on my own skins, however, trying to consume more works of arts and literature, I mean, if I hadn't seen similar conversations in books or movies, I would be totally misunderstanding what people mean ... I literarily have no social clue in human interactions.
The reason, now I have some confidence to confront that advice is that I stumbled upon a short story which contained following lines (Rescuing little l, 2014):
... the wife went away to find herself, a new boyfriend and God but not necessarily in that order.
The advice I received was to "travel", or when I was closer to the person who was giving me the advice, to "travel and change my mood/attitude/..." and the last time I received this advice was quite recently and because we aren't really friends, I couldn't tell my judgement right to that individual's face, but this sentence really put how I felt about this advice exactly in open.
and I want to talk about this:
The truth is I have seen many movies in which the plot is exactly that story or some variation of that story but in all those movies the main character is a female. I don't know, I mean, I don't have the knowledge to give a real opinion but judging from the movies I've watched, it looks like this style of the solution to the issue of "broken-heartedness" or otherwise a "loveless life" only works for women. The only movie, literarily the only movie in which the main character embarks on a journey to find himself and the rest of it, which I've watched is "Into the Wild" and it has no happy ending, no sex scene involving the main character, basically he ends up discovering all he wanted in life was a family while slowly killing himself ...
To me, it seems like women who lose their virginity to a guy who had no interest in building a family with her, and she believing the vagina having the super-power to turn the beast into a man, and think of their chance for disillusionment as disappointment because they have too big an ego to admit that they believed in beliefs that were totally wrong, move elsewhere and forget all that they had gone through and this time hopefully allow someone better, or at least more serious, in their bodies and their lives.
I'm not against this solution if it works for some individuals, even though I believe at one point in life, one should stop sticking with such big ego, but that's an unresolved side-problem and not the main issue.
I don't want to generalize this to all men, just as I don't think all women would ever need to go on such self-discovery journeys, but perhaps a percentage of the population who believes in "love", the magical, the God-destined version, would benefit from these strange style solutions.
To be honest, I kind of feel like men are far more loyal than women when it comes to romantic love, contrary to the common sense's judgment. Men perhaps can have sex with no emotional strings attached, and perhaps that's what makes this kind of solution not working for men compared to women. Because as women probably if you are that physically intimate with someone, you will be emotionally intimate as well, yet men don't need emotional intimacy, nor will necessary achieve it because they were physically intimate with someone.
Even if men and women were emotionally and physically totally the same respecting intimacy, there are still plenty of issues that would make such suggestion never working for men.
The problem is pretty much simple: if you are an attractive woman and traveling alone and a single man spots you, that man is going to follow you because he wants to have sex with you and as soon as you get yourself in a dangerous situation, he jumps in, saves you and he becomes your hero and of course you as a woman can't imagine any better husband than the hero that saved your life, I mean, even if you don't want him as a husband, other women would think differently about him after hearing the story of his heroism.
Now think about this plot with the gender reversed. The first issue is that a single woman doesn't follow a stranger into darkness because he is physically attractive, in fact, if a woman spots a total stranger who seems like not belonging to her environment, she probably would feel unsafe, instead of feeling physically attracted to him. The more serious problem is that women can't save men in dangerous situations, not that it doesn't happen, but that it is not that usual. and exactly because of these reasons if a man travels alone and walks into danger, there is no hero woman who will save him and make him want her to be his wife, instead, there is no one there for him and he will end up dead. That's exactly what "Into the Wild" was demonstrating in this perspective. So, yeah, men don't find the love of their lives by going away alone and deliberately walking into danger.
In contrast to what you might be thinking, I'm not sexist, I do believe men and women are equal but different in style, and just like the "traveling" plot, there is a certain plot for men who never find love in their lives or who are going through a heartbreak and that plot is the nurse who takes care of them after being harmed in a fight/war. There are many movies and stories with this plot or a version of it being the underlying order of the events. The reason is pretty simple: women make their mating decision based on the man's character, and by being the nurse and spending so much time around a man and caring for him, the woman will get a chance to get to know the man intimately, and so it becomes possible to fall for that man. and the man just like the woman in the previous plot is extremely happy to choose the woman who saved his life as his mate.
But so much about why this suggestion is not going to work for men as it does for women who believe in a magical version of romantic love. Oh, by the way, before forgetting, I have to make a side note: I said about "the super-power to turn the beast into a man" before. In fact, the belief that a woman's body can turn a beast into a man is just a Hollywood/Disney, or better said popular culture bullshit. Because in the real version of the story, there is no kiss, no intercourse, that transforms the "Beast" into a human being, and this is really important, because in reality "Beauty and the Beast" is not a bad work and it gets some fundamental understandings of human psyche correct, for example you can interpret the story as a metaphorical tale of how "love" can transform someone with what today's psychology calls "personality disorder", and unlike the pop-culture version, by "love", we mean real love. Beauty really accepts to spend the rest of her life with the Beast, because at some point in the story she really realized that he loves her and that she can have a worthwhile purpose for her life by loving him, even though he isn't physically attractive. and I guess the issue isn't really "physical attraction", in fact, the Beauty's character is really not into materialistic values, and that is demonstrated early on in the story when the only thing she asks from her father is "a rose" while her male and female siblings ask for materialistically valuable things. So, yes, regardless of gender, love has the power to transform an individual in the psychological sense by for example helping to overcome trauma from childhood or the resulting personality disorder from that traumatic experience. That's the foundation of the story but for people who don't really believe in love and don't really care about what is beneath the surface, the original tale of the "Beauty and the Beast" has been adapted into multiple versions that makes a kiss or intercourse being the cause of transformation of the Beast, but that's a big-time lie. Perhaps that's also partly responsible for why young women have these false expectations about what they are capable of, believing if they sleep with a guy they can help him with his issues, in reality, it is never going to happen. I know even real-life women who spent years of their lives wondering why they had such horrible life with their husband and having few babies didn't fix anything, but as soon as their guy slept with another woman and left them, whatever wrong with his life or character seems to be gone.
Sorry for the harsh truth, but just because a man wants to sleep with you doesn't mean you have the power to change his life, or his character for the better. Yes, if you did love each other, you would have had such power, but there are plenty of reasons why two people might be attracted and enjoy physical or emotional intimacy, however, none of them might be love. So, be careful about what you are doing. I guess if some of those women knew this, they wouldn't need to go on a journey to find themselves, new boyfriend and a new religion. But this was the side note.
But so far about what is principally wrong about that suggestion if it is made to a male, but let's put this aside, I still feel terrible for being subjected to such suggestion because I don't think any of those three promises are in any way what I want, what I need, or what would ever feel satisfied with.
Starting from "finding myself": no I don't need to find myself. and yes, a while ago, I wrote a piece about "living with a missing sense of identity", so I do believe I lack a sense of identity but that's not because I have lost myself and need to find myself, as it could be the case when something you believed in, turns out to be totally wrong, for example, the belief that you and someone love each other. My missing sense of identity dates back to very early childhood and my relationship with my mother. As far as I understand from human psychology, it is an aspect of what is nowadays called "borderline" and as such it dates back to a never made growth at age two because I was never loved by my mother, neither anyone else in my entire life. Look, that's really a serious problem, and it is not a temporary state triggered because someone I believed to love me happens to not love me and my world feels like falling apart. The first time I talked about suicide, if I don't remember wrong, I was 15 or 16 years old and I had never have felt any form of romantic attraction to a girl at that time. So, I do have deep, serious identity issues, but it is not something that can be fixed with once traveling alone for an unknown purpose. You can't fix your relationship with your mother since you were two just because you had traveled alone, it is really a daunting process and it is really hard work and it is anything but an adventure, or fun, or anything else that a travel supposed to be ...
"a new girlfriend": I'm sorry that you can't imagine I never had a girlfriend, but now you know it, what do you want to do about it? A while after I watched "Into the Wild", I realized I'm living exactly the same style he was living, and so I sat with myself and watched the movie again, this time trying to figure out why he ends up killing himself and how he missed the opportunity to have a successful life, because whether you know it or not, it is not a fictional movie, the story had actually happened and the guy had really ended up dead. So, yeah, for the first time in my life I was confronted with the idea that I'm going to end up realizing that what I really want is a family, just as he did, and back then there was this kiddo in my environment whom I felt so endless love for her in my heart and just as he was, after realizing she might be younger than I thought her to be, I couldn't imagine wanting any relationship between us, but as said, I promised myself to not end up killing myself for stupid reasons as he did, so I accepted that if we really loved each other, regardless of whatever age difference, I would stay true to myself and admit, all I wanted was us being a family and thanks God, a while afterward, for totally different reasons, once when I was thinking back about the first time I met her and what I felt and trying to make sense of what those feelings meant, I came to the conclusion that my heart really sincerely believes she is the soulmate I need in order to have a real family ... So, I'm sorry to disappoint you, just because I'm an adult, doesn't mean I need a "new girlfriend", because it is really bullshit. It doesn't even make logical sense, because there is no "new" because there is no "ex-girlfriend" in my life, so there can ever be a new one there.
and finally the mysterical "God": but seriously? You really think I need to find God? I mean, look, I may be a terrible believer and Muslim, and I hope the Lord forgives me and guides me, or why putting it this way, let's put Quran's suggestion:
And who say: Our Lord! Vouchsafe us comfort of our wives and of our offspring, and make us patterns for (all) those who ward off (evil). [25:74]
But I understand the logic behind the suggestion: "because I have a broken heart, I doubt the God." Let's not get into the discussing the term "broken heart", but I mean, seriously? That's the reason I should doubt the God? I'm sorry if I wanted to doubt the God for the sake of terrible romantic-related things happening to me, I guess the more appropriate one was the moment I realized I was actually raped and abused, or all those days when I was reading "Waking the Tiger" and would cry for hours and have no mean to calm myself down ... You really think I should be doubting the God because the woman I love is with someone else? Seriously? I still haven't finish that book. This is how painful that childhood experience[s] is [are] to me, so, excuse me, I really don't see the point for finding a new God. If you're surprised how I can still believe in God if my story is really true, all I can say is I'm sorry, I come from a childhood where I never felt love, I was never praised for an achievement that meant to me, I never felt good about any birthday or birthday present I received from my parents, practically no emotional connection was there. So, it wasn't a big issue to accept being raped and at the same time accepting that there is a God who cares about the world and all its inhabitants, the Merciful Beneficent God. I'm not saying I feel amazing about what happened to me and or that I never asked "why did You let it happen, if ..." but thanks God there is too much philosophy of Islam in my head that makes it impossible to start doubting God just because bad events happen. Sure, I appreciate traveling and as a side-result experiencing some spiritual growth or one or few moments of spiritual awakening but that's not something that only happens when you travel, nor is there any higher chance for such things if you travel alone. But yes, if you travel alone and put yourself into dangerous situations and someone recuses you, you start to believe the God exists and He cares about you. Yes, a God who didn't stop you from falling for the wrong man but did save you from losing your life is indeed a logically Merciful God for your perspective, but for me, there are plenty of reasons to wish death instead of life from the God and because of that, He saving my life is really nowhere a reason to start believing in Him. I never disbelieved in the God's existence in first place. Sorry, this trick is not going to help me ... Excuse me for disappointing you, but for someone who had prayed for death days and nights in multiple periods in his life, death is actually not that awful a prospect that being rescued from it would make me feel like the God has answered my prayers, that's the opposite of so many of my prayers ...
The last point is: no, it isn't that I didn't want to "go away", but not for any of these reasons, but what prevented me was actually all the visa, permission, and financial barriers, and perhaps these are kind of excuses, perhaps more fundamentally what prevented me from finding solutions for all those barriers is that I was so madly in love with the kiddo and I couldn't find my way to deal with my emotions not to mention work on finding solutions for all those issues, and then for what prospect?
Yeah, maybe if this is how my life is supposed to be, perhaps it was better if I hadn't met her, but to be honest, I believe a more reasonable complaint is wishing that all those misunderstandings and interferences by strangers didn't happen between us, that I was a more emotionally and psychologically mature and less damaged person, that I was far far far far better in financial control of my own life ...
May the Lord help me complete the solution to my current misery successfully instead of looking for why I'm going to fail following other's advice, as it has been the case in my life since many years. Yes, you heard it right. I had "went away" multiple times in my life and no, it did not make me find myself, neither a new girlfriend, neither a God. Sorry to disappoint you, but my life was always loving someone who was, or in this occasion, start with someone else without even the faintest idea of how I felt for her ...
I'm sorry to disappoint you, I don't need to go away alone in order for all my problems to be solved, because I'm already away and I'm already alone. To be honest, I never felt belonging wherever I was and I had been searching for a home for many years ... So, maybe I and someone can help, support, and encourage to get to know ourselves and actualize ourselves, but I don't need to find myself ... So, maybe me and someone can be each other's soulmate and start a family, or aim for it and fail and aim for it again and again and again till we get it right but no, I don't need a new girlfriend ... and certainly I don't need to find God, but if I had a wish, I wished the Lord made me and my soulmate be an example of living His way in both worlds ... So, no, I don't need to "go away", this fucking miserable life is actually itself a temporary home soon to be left for a more eternal destination, and all I need is rather a true helpmate for the rest of journey ... may the Lord help me with what I need ...
I'm not a fan of going away without any purpose, to be honest, I'm not a fan of doing anything without real purpose, but I also I'm not a fan of staying somewhere without any purpose, so, may the Lord help me and some future helpmate be wherever is best for us ...
About Little L's portrait: The Original Love Story [WWW Document], 2014. [WWW Document]. Rescuing Little L. URL https://rescuinglittlel.wordpress.com/about/ (accessed 6.10.18).
DOWSON, E. C., & CONDER, C. E. (1908). The story of Beauty & the beast: the complete fairy story translated from the French by Ernest Dowson ; with four plates in colour by Charles Conder. London, John Lane, the Bodley Head.