Friday, September 3, 2010


I've been thinking about it lately, dating that is. I blame this on seeing the movie "Eat, Pray, Love". For those of you who haven't read the book or seen the movie, it follows a woman in her thirties (recovering from a divorce) as she basically discovers herself and becomes the whole person she can be before she can wholly love another. (kinda like the book "The Missing Piece Meets the Big O")

I definitely have (a lot of) hangups when it comes to dating. But seeing this movie did not make me want to work on these hangups, like it might make most women. No, instead I went home and decided it was finally time to clean out my book collection. This could be metaphorical....this could just be pragmatic. When I move, most of my boxes contain books.

At any rate, the first book I selected for judgment was "The Adjusted American: Normal Neuroses in the Individual and Society." I haven't read it yet, but it's supposed to examine modern day society and how we, as individuals, fit in. Coincidentally, the book fell open to the section concerning love. The author purports that contemporary romantic love is a projection of our own lackings onto the other person. We love about them what we cannot bring into the world. I see the logic in this. Hell, I might even agree with it to some degree.

Also noted is that (this was published in 1964), women are taught to NOT be masculine in the same way men are taught NOT to be feminine. And so, we were all taught to see these opposite traits in our mate. A big strong man for me, and a docile, cookie-baking wife for him. These gender traits were such defining characteristics of people, that their identities were often wrapped up in this. But society has changed SO much. Not only are we all a bit more narcissistic now, but the genders and their traits are much more fluid than they used to be. I think this part is good.

But what does that mean for finding a mate? When it is no longer clear what you are projecting into the world and what you're not, how can you find someone who fills in those gaps? Or, like in The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, should you even have these gaps? When one's gender characteristics are not necessarily distinguishable from one another, it becomes necessary to delve deeper. Few people have the patience for this. When people are so narcissistic and in love with themselves, is it even possible to see in others what you don't see in yourself?

I don't know. It's interesting though, especially given the rate of divorce today.