I just had a really hilarious (and enlightening) conversation with one of my "straight" girlfriends earlier tonight. As far as I knew, up until about 10 minutes ago, she was happily married to the love of her life. However, as we continued talking she begins to tell me that she's been thinking a lot lately about what it would be like to be with women, instead of men.
Why? Because she assumes it would be easier...better...and "less drama".
If I had a dollar for every woman who told me she's thought of being with other women, I feel like I'd truly be a millionaire at this point...and I tell them all the same thing I'm about to tell you too....
Let me (officially) set the record straight here (no pun intended):
The question is....Is it easier for women to be in relationships with other women?
Well, it's easy for me to answer this question because I'm (technically) bisexual. But I hate labels, (as much as I hate you trying to force my identity into a fucking box that you can understand)...No one's identity should be relegated into mere words.
So...Call it what you need to...however, sexually, I'm attracted to both men and women. I've had many great lovers of both sexes. But here's the thing...the truth is that our sexuality, interestingly, is rarely ever about the sex.
When I think about being in a relationship, I'm not thinking "Who do I want to go to bed with"...I'm thinking, "Who do I want to wake up with"?
So, back to the question:
Yes, there is no question that there's a level of symbiosis that naturally occurs between two women. In many ways it is like your left hand and right hand working together in life. And, obviously, sexually....same sex partners just "know"...what you want...naturally...obviously.
And the natural symbiosis isn't just with sex...You load the dishwasher, I'll naturally come right behind you and unload it. You're having an emotional crisis? I GET IT. I truly DO understand how you're feeling, and know what you need.
HOWEVER...even with all of this, I would NEVER say that being with women is easier, better, and certainly not less drama. Not in a million years...
The truth is that men and women both have different things to offer, and different things to "not" offer.
Many of my straight friends complain that their husbands are despondent, or emotionally unavailable, or never quite seem to really understand them, on a deeper level. And they start day dreaming about what it would be like to be with someone who just "get's them". But the issue is that a FANTASY IS INFINITELY MORE POWERFUL THAN REALTY, and it is incumbent upon us all to decipher the truth for ourselves.
The opposite of your despondent husband isn't some woman who will just always "understand your feelings all of the time, and is there for you". Often times, it's a woman who is too emotional, a woman who responds and reacts to everything WITH emotion, (instead of logic), or takes everything to some deep philosophical level.
You're over there fantasizing about being with someone who is just like you? Um...do you know what happens when two people are reacting in the exact same way? DRAMA. FUCKING. HAPPENS. Thats what happens. Spend a day in a relationship with "some" women, and trust me, you'll be missing your husbands despondent responses to your highly emotionally charged reactions.
Listen, I'm a chick, through and through. And, holy shit balls, I can be emotional. And the LAST thing I need is someone like me, emotionally charged and reactionary in the moment...
The point is....There are pros and cons to both sexes, neither of which outweigh the other. Women are naturally more nurturing, and affectionate (yes)....but men offer you a feeling of "normalcy" and protection and security, in ways that most women can't.
You always give up something to get something else. And in this case, the grass is NEVER greener on the other side of the fence. It's just AS green...but in different places.
This is truly the curse of being bisexual. If you've been with both sexes you can understand the appeal to both. When you're with men, you miss the intimacy, and great sex (that never requires you to "fake it"), and deep seeded friendship. But when you're with women, you miss feeling "normal", or the raw natural connection between opposite sexes.
There is no better or worse. There is only "different".
The truth is that it's never about the sex...or even the symbiosis. It's about what you're willing to stay and work through, grow through, and stay committed to.
The only reason my current relationship works is because we chose to stay when the shit got hard. We learned what the other truly needed, in the all of the difficult moments.
She knows to be logical when I'm emotional. She knows to be affectionate when I'm being unreasonable. She knows to "take a moment apart" when I'm demanding a fight. And, vice versa, I know how to return all of the right reactions to her. All learned through commitment, not because we're "same sex" partners.
But this isn't a "sex" thing. It's a "person" thing. It's a "choosing to work through your issues" thing.
Everyone who is around Ashtyn and I talks about how dynamic our relationship seems. They say they "love the vibe" between us. It's all true. It's amazing. We are amazing together...and the energy is palpable. But none of it came without intense work, and dedication, and commitment to our relationship.
Not ALL of what we have was natural symbiosis. She thought it was adorable that I would unload the dishwasher without her asking but TRUST ME, it's NOT what matters at the end of the day.
We are "us" only because we chose to stay committed to what we BELIEVE we can be, and can have with one another. It's not an emotional reaction to stay together, it's a cognitive decision when things get rough to stay, and grow.
Man or woman. Relationships are about commitment. NOT sex. Not feeling butterflies. Not romance or all of the shit the storybooks tell us.
IT IS ALWAYS GOING TO COME DOWN TO COMMITTMENT.
So, before you go jumping ship into the unknown, please remember, maybe you'll get something from the opposite sex, or someone else, that you're currently not...but that fact won't change with someone else. You'll always be getting something you weren't before, and missing out on other things. THIS IS CALLED LIFE.
Because ultimately NO ONE can be EVERYTHING.
So stop searching outside of yourself for what you should ultimately be giving yourself in the end. Love. Acceptance. Hope. Happiness. Joy. Forgiveness. It all comes from within...no man or woman alive is responsible for any of the above.
RELATIONSHIPS AREN'T ABOUT SEX. THEY'RE ABOUT FINDING SOMEONE YOU WANT TO WORK THROUGH YOUR SHIT WITH.
AND THAT IS THE SEXY TRUTH OF IT ALL...
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I have recently learned the secret to dealing with a total narcissist.
The obvious answer most people would say is simply, "don't engage with one". Ummmm ya, it’s not that easy. The issue is that you don’t realize you’re actually in the middle of a relationship with one until you are knee deep in some kind of business arrangement, or fell madly in love with everything about them before you noticed (or paid attention) to any of the red flags.
See, the biggest issues with narcissists is that most of them have their ways of being able to lock you into a reality with them via some extraordinary deal you can’t refuse, or charm that swoons around you for miles and days on end.
Narcissists are, undoubtedly, the most charming of all charmers in the world. They’re like snake charmers, slowly lulling you into a vulnerable, submissive position with them.
HAVING SAID THIS, and prior to getting into the crux of this article, let me also say that each of us has some level of seemingly narcissistic tendencies we feel or display in some capacity. So don’t be getting all high and mighty and too judgy before you read this.
The world is a mirror image of ourselves. Everyone around us is simply reflecting some truth that arises from within us. The “total narcissists” I was dealing with simply reflected behaviors within myself that I abhorred, and she highlighted behaviors and patterns that I needed to change.
However, this is the thing that's important to realize here. The difference between a true narcissist and myself is that I immediately came to the conclusion that there are things within me that need to change, whereas she would never see that about herself.
We (you and I) may have narcissistic tendencies, but the overall shining reality that makes us ultimately NOT a true narcissist’s is our ability to come to the conclusion that WE need to change from within. Trust and believe, you’ll never hear a narcissist come to the conclusion that there is anything wrong with them.
Like I said before, I didn’t realize I was dealing with a true narcissist until I was dead smack in the middle of my relationship with them, and once you’re there, you must learn to deal with them accordingly.
Most narcissist’s will try (at some point in the relationship) will call you a narcissist; much in the same way that most selfish people will accuse you of being selfish. It’s how they deflect total responsibility, always.
Again, that mirror thing…remember, it’s always active and present.
We all have the same experience with all narcissists. It doesn't matter what kind of package they come in.
We are all plagued with the reality that we must constantly cater to their emotional and mental needs, above all things. We excessively give into them. We will do anything to avoid conflict with them, because the only thing worse than not giving into a narcissist is the fight that ensues afterwards.
Usually at the end of every argument with a narcissist is the person on the other end wishing they would have just given in to begin with and avoided the fight altogether.
So you start arguing with yourself, battling the internal endless, relentless debate over your needs vs. their needs.
Therefore, first of all, it's important to understand that Narcissism is actually a personality disorder. It's not like depression (which can be helped with medicine or therapy). Narcissist do not see the world the same way that non-narcissist do, so dealing with them is extremely difficult!
So if you’re dealing with one, take my lead here, and throw down a few rules, if nothing more than for your own self-preservation and sanity.
1. First, understand what you're dealing with here!
You're not dealing with someone who sees the world from a collective perspective of balancing all elements of understanding and empathy (as most non-narcissist do). You're dealing with someone who is truly incapable of seeing life outside of themselves.
You cannot reason with them.
You will not change them.
You can't fix them.
And you can't help them see the world differently.
Once you recognize this reality about ALL of them, you can deal with them accordingly!
Step one, realizing this is not just someone who is displaying narcissistic tendencies, (like we all do at times), and understanding that you are dealing with someone who truly has a personality disorder, and therefore you cannot change them!
However, not being able to change them doesn’t mean you can’t still be in relationship with them, it simply means you need to understand what that relationship looks like, and ultimately lay down some rules and boundaries.
2. The second step (and probably most important) is to remove ALL elements of control from the relationship.
One of the biggest signs of narcissism is control. All narcissist want to control you. And this control isn’t always physical or financial control. It’s often emotional and mental control.
They will almost always put themselves in a position to be the person in control of some aspect of your life, even if it’s just letting you know when you’re “good enough” for them.
So they begin the endless cat-and-mouse game called THE RELATIONSHIP HUSTLE (where you’re chasing after their approval, constantly, and they’re never going to let you win).
You can have everything they have to offer, as long as you agree to be controlled by them in some way.
Therefore, you must make it abundantly clear that they are no longer able to control you, in any capacity! Even if it’s just letting them know your self-worth doesn’t come from them. Take all aspects of control out of the relationship and see where it leaves you.
Most narcissists don’t have a lot of close intimate relationships in their lives. And if you pay really close attention you’ll realize that there’s a single common denominator among any of the relationships they do have, and that is they are somehow in control of some aspect of that person, in some capacity.
Narcissists are calculated in ways you don't realize. They would never have entered a relationship with you unless they realized they could control you to some degree; mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually, etc.
You must realize that the core of your relationship has been built on their ability to be controlling, and not a mutual understanding for respect, love, kindness, empathy, or shared perspective on life.
I cannot be more dramatic about how important this is for you right now! You must remove their ability to control you. You must take away the aspect of control.
And besides, if they cannot control you, they will probably not want to be in a relationship with you.
3. Stop trying to change them (or their point of view).
It's not possible for you to change them, nor is it really even necessary.
In order for someone to change they must be willing to consider the reality that they need to change, and narcissist aren't even capable of this type of understanding at all.
And, as a non-narcissist, you think your job is to help them see things from a different perspective, but the truth is that they are totally incapable of it (hence the personally disorder)!
I have literally cried tears. Screamed tears of frustration as they're falling down my face because I so badly wanted them to see my perspective.
However, to be truly honest here, one of the things I realized pretty early on is that my desire to try and control a narcissist in a way that works for me only makes me actually show up more and more like them.
It’s almost as if wanting to control a narcissist makes you a narcissists. It’s an endless mind game that you play with them, and then with yourself.
Stop the madness. It's never going to happen.
Self preserve. Move on.
4. Stop reacting to them.
Reactions are power. Reactions from you mean they still have control over you!! Take the reaction away, immediately!
Narcissist’s will do and say anything to you to make sure they still have power over you.
They’ll make comments that usually get a reaction. They’ll display behaviors more and more to garner attention from you.
This is 100% all to control you, or measure the amount of control they still feel as though they have over you.
And be aware, that once you take the control away they will go down kicking and screaming (and often lying and manipulating in any way possible to get a reaction from you).
At all costs necessary....Walk away. Don't engage. Block them from your cell or email if necessary, and set up extremely clear boundaries for communication (and NEVER deviate from them).
Once they realize they can't control you, they will then turn on you, and often attempt to create some new reality in their mind that they were the victim in your relationship.
This is classic narcissist behavior.
Don't give in to it. Remember, you will never be able to change their minds or attitudes or behaviors.
5. Set up very clear boundaries, that YOU control!
Once you’ve realized that this is all your reality, the most important thing you can do right now is to set up clear boundaries with them. You can no longer control who I am showing up as, how I’m behaving, how I feel about things, where I’m going, who I am speaking with, what I’m doing, etc.
And ACTIONS are the only thing that matters to narcissists. So to say something and do something else is hugely detrimental in this relationship.
You can’t say, “I’m tired of this particular behavior”, but then continue to accept it. Actions speak louder than words. If you’re truly done, be done.
Set up strong and very clear boundaries, and (most importantly) stick to them.
BE PREPARED FOR AN ALL OUT WAR IF YOU LEAVE
The other issue that’s important is that you’re aware of the all-out war that will ensue the moment you leave their lives.
They will suddenly become a “victim” and you’ll be the perpetrator.
You will be called a narcissist. You’ll be called selfish. They will highlight every single thing they perceive as “wrong” with you. They will go down kicking and screaming and will try to take all of your self-worth with them.
What you will probably try and do is remind them, convince them, or show them how much you’ve given to them, been there for them, come to the table with equal qualities, etc.
This is all just part of the game and you’re back in the relationship hustle at this point. There’s no need to say anything.
THE BEST ADVICE YOU WILL EVER RECEIVE IS THIS:
If you choose to walk away you just need to walk away and realize that there’s no amount of conversation that will change their perspective on the truth about who you are or your relationship with them.
They literally have a mental disorder.
You’re fighting with someone who is incapable of being empathetic and considerate, or having thoughtful, meaningful, or constructive discussions about anything.
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
Let's be honest here. The best thing you can do for yourself at this point is by looking back and recognizing your own culpability in how you got there.
You gave up control, it's not like they just took it without your permission.
Don't be a victim yourself. Take responsibility and learn from your mistake!
And the second you can wholly break away from this relationship. DO IT. And never, ever, again, ignore the red flags that we all admittedly saw when entering into these relationships.
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