Archive for May 2009

how carelessly we hold their heart   Leave a comment

I have had something on my mind for a while and wanted to throw it out for your consideration. And I mean that. I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Actually this has been on my mind for a couple of years. It swims a little deeper than some blogs I have written so please be thoughtful and self analytical.

Every so often I hear someone commenting on how attractive they find a celebrity to be. It may be a guy I know commenting on an actress or singer or whoever. It may be a girl I know commenting on an actor. The thing is that usually the person doing the commenting is either in a relationship, or they are married. This perplexes me and this is the point where I would like to hear from you.
Since my very first relationship many years ago I never knew how to respond to my then gf when she turned to me and asked “do you think she is attractive”? Now I know that those questions are born in insecurity. That is a discussion in itself. But when I hear a girl comment on how hot an actor is, and her husband is standing right there I get a little sick to my stomach. Actually it bothers me a lot.

My thought is that I want to care for the esteem of my partner so I cannot ever picture myself saying something like that. Beyond that though I do not ever want to be thinking about how attractive someone else is. Much less verbalizing it! My friend’s dad says this “you can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair”. The meaning is that you cannot control the thoughts that pop into your head, BUT you control whether you think about them. I had to learn this at an early age and I didn’t learn it at that age. It took me years to realize that I was normal for the fact that I am attracted to females even though I was in a relationship. I had no desire to be with anyone but the girl I was dating but I noticed girls. I was so guilt stricken that I confessed to my gf that I had a problem. She made me feel like I was the worst person alive and that apparently she wasn’t good enough.
I learned later on in life that I was made to be attracted to girls and girls are attracted to guys. That is how we are programmed. But in a loving relationship there is a process that occurs, at least for me. This is how I perceive events to occur starting with a thought and where it leads to.

The first step is a thought

The second is actually thinking about it

The next is dwelling on it repeatedly

Then acknowledging it (verbalizing it)

Then action of some form

And then… you fill in the blank. There are more steps possible but at what point has a line been crossed?

For me the line is crossed between step 1 and 2. I dismiss the thought and move on. Again I am speaking for myself. Feel free to comment.
Let us take this from a woman’s perspective. Her man comments on how attractive another woman is. Maybe that woman looks just like HIS woman. Hardly. Maybe she exudes some quality that his woman possesses. Eh. More likely than not this statement from him could cause her to wonder what he thinks is attractive and if she herself has it and… the point is that comparison starts to take place and that leaves the one doing the comparing feeling inferior. A woman comments on a male celebrity and her partner sees that celebrity and looks at physical characteristics and sees where he himself lacks. Esteem is lost. It goes both ways. I witnessed this just the other day.
Maybe its ok because they are a celebrity and therefore unattainable. Hmmm now we have a gray area to navigate. What about the girl bartender you meet that looks a lot like_____? Attainable? What about “you can look but you just can’t touch?” really? That makes no sense whatsoever. Purposefully looking is a couple of steps down the road to action. In fact if you go out of your way to look you just skipped down a couple of steps directly to action.
I don’t ever want to do something that hurts my partner’s feelings or harms her self esteem in any way. That is what it comes down to for me. Treat your partner the way you would like to be treated. Do you want to find that your girlfriend surfs the internet looking at guys? That she goes out of her way to go to the local Applebees because of the waiter that works on Thursdays and Sundays? What if that unattainable guy makes himself available? Well she loves you so she wouldn’t… yeah.
I want my relationship to be all inclusive. My woman cares for me and I care for her. Isn’t that the way it is supposed to be? If I go somewhere else for something that she is supposed to be providing isn’t that considered being unfaithful? Maybe this is getting a bit too heavy. We are just talking about admiring another human being.
What happens psychologically when what you find to be attractive is not what your partner is? What if what you are admiring on the movie screen is a tall, exotic, dark-skinned woman with puffy lips and a disproportionately large bosom? Sitting next to you holding your hand is a 5’6 girl with light hair and… well you fill in what is sitting next to you. What message did you just send to her when you let a “wow” escape your lips? What are you programming into your mind? You are establishing parameters and standards for yourself that your partner doesn’t necessarily meet. The second that the girl sitting next to you mentions that girl on the screen she just acknowledged that the actress is attractive and she is feeling inferior to her.

I work at a job that forces me to deal daily with people with insecurities about their bodies. YOU deal daily with those people because they are most, if not all of us. I have to confront those issues. People come to me to change what they look like. I am very careful to encourage because most people compare themselves to an elite few. Those people are celebrities or professionals. When you make a comment regarding how attractive those people are you just risked having your partner compare themselves to them. I work very hard to try to break the thought that leads people to use those celebrities as a standard.
So back to the careless comment made in front of your spouse. I guess it is just fine as long as…

(1) Your partner has absolutely no esteem issues and finds themselves to be equally attractive if not more so.

(2) YOU do not find the celebrity to be as attractive, or more so than your partner.

(3) You do not spend any time thinking about that person you just admired.

I know the feeling of insecurity that comes with hearing the admiration for someone else. I have seen the immediate self evaluation that happens. I have seen my buddies changing their eating habits and going to the gym because now they feel inferior to the guy their wife admires openly.

If you are the person that admires other people quietly then I guess you must let your own conscience be your guide. I applaud you for at least considering the feelings of your partner. I do ask that you evaluate yourself. What happens the day that someone you never believed would be interested in you suddenly shows you attention? Just food for thought.
Do you love your partner? Do you show it? Do you care for their feelings and esteem? Do your actions/words care for their feelings and esteem? Do you align your thoughts with a love for your partner? Does your partner lack something that you wish they had, and are you looking for that or admiring it elsewhere?
Treat others the way that you want to be treated. Especially your friends, relationships, and spouses.

I understand that many will read this and consider it to be extreme. Maybe for some it is. Go ahead and comment. For some maybe it is just a reminder of how powerful you are in regards to how you can affect those that you love and are loved by. Care for them.
Once again… feel free to comment. I am sure that some of you have good points and I am missing things.

JB

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Posted May 16, 2009 by john b in Uncategorized