Applied Table Theory – Proximity: Long Distance Relationships

Let me start by saying there is no such thing as a long distance relationship.

Sorry. If you’ve never actually met the girl IN person and never spent a significant amount of time interacting with her outside of World of Warcraft, you have no relationship.

If you’re reading this article because that’s what you thought I’d be talking about, get off your computer, become attractive, and go meet some women in real life.

That’s not the focus of this column.

What I’m going to focus on here is a strong relationship that must, for unavoidable reasons, endure periods of distance.

See, what happens to most people, is they get into a relationship, then something happens, and then they end up separated without having broken off the relationship, or defined how it would work given the distance.

The “something” that separates you and your woman could be anything. Could be a new job in a new city that you or she can’t refuse. Could be something like a death in the family, and you’ve gotta fly back home for an indeterminate amount of time to settle the affairs. Could be that the Sith Lords have finally returned to wage war against the Jedi Order, and you’re needed on the outer rim.

Regardless of what causes it, sustained distance causes an undeniable strain on any relationship, and given enough time, will break ANY relationship.

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Applied Table Theory – Proximity: How much is too much?

Proximity.

Most of you know the obvious – in order to have a successful relationship, you need to spend time with your girl.

Simple, right? I mean, what else could proximity mean?

See that? I’m baiting you. Because proximity as a concept means so much more than “spend time with your girl.”

And the reason I’m writing this is that, if I were to generalize, most relationships don’t end from a lack of proximity, but rather too much of it. Some call that situation “lack of boundaries” or “loss of identity” – I choose not to, because that conflates proximity issues with other separate problems.

“Too much proximity? Preposterous!” you say.

Not at all. I’ll say it again: seeing too much of your girl can be a huge problem.

“No way, Vichet, she’s the bees’ knees!”

The bees’ knees she may be, but I guarantee you, spend every spare moment you have with bees’ knees, and you will get sick of ’em.

Or, equally sucky, SHE’LL get sick of YOU.

Here’s an analogous situation for you: ever have a best friend who you could hang out with once or twice a week and be best buds, getting into trouble and farting in each others’ faces?

Then, at some point, you decide you might want to move in with your friend. You bring it up, he’s super excited, you find a place, and next thing you know you’re smoking bud while singing “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. But not “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin (not Bob Marley).

It’s great at first. You’re seeing your friend every day, and the good times continue for days, weeks, maybe even months, and it’s awesome.

But, at some point, you will probably start to realize that you’re just doing more and more of the same. You guys come back to the apartment and have nothing to talk about because you see each other all the time. Going out has become routine, and boring. You feel like you’re in a funk, or worse – that you’re ignoring other very important parts of your life.

Grim, huh?

And it’s grim, even if you assume that the roommate in particular has no bad habits that piss you off. People having bad habits that you never have to deal with if you don’t live with them – that’s a very specific boundary we can get into later.

Assuming no annoying habits, the only problem there is that you see too much of each other, and then unconsciously started making “just seeing each other” such a high priority in your life (as a habit) that you start to lose the parts of your life you once enjoyed on your own – the things that made each of you the person you wanted to share with the other.

Where’s the balance?

Well, here’s good news.

Remember how I said each person has to have their own independence, their own non-conflicting life goals, and a good amount of chemistry, all aside from proximity?

Well, all you have to do to keep any relationship fresh is to maintain those three: mutual independence, non-conflicting life goals, and chemistry.

The place where most guys f*ck up is when they decide to give up some of these things so that they can spend another measly hour per day doing nothing with their girl. I know guys who have dropped their favorite sport, or the few hours a week where they catch up with their friends, or some goal they had to travel and see the world (shoot, you can even bring the girl on that one), all so they could spend more time sitting in the same room as their girl.

That’s a big no-no.

One, it makes you less interesting to be around.

Two, if you have nothing new to contribute when you do spend time together, that often begins to feel like a waste of time!

So that this makes more sense, an example of not having such boundaries would be if I quit my job (something I do for me) in favor of trying to spend more time with who I’m going out with.

I know that sounds crazy. That’s because it is. And if you think it doesn’t happen, it does. When it does, it’s a case of bad proximity boundaries.

Trust, me, even if you live with someone, there is a way to continue having your own life, and working on yourself as an individual if you prioritize it properly. Your relationship won’t suffer because you both decide to take some “me-time” to keep yourselves happy as individuals. Honestly, having your own life and things going on outside the relationship makes spending time with each other that much more satisfying.

One of the worst things that can happen to a relationship is complacency fed by proximity – meaning you start to take each other for granted because you assume the person will always be around. As human beings, when you see your couch in the same spot in your house every day, you begin to expect it to stay there. It becomes a part of your mental map.

We view people in our lives kind of the same way. You think, “She’s here now, she’ll be here tomorrow.” And you think that spending time with her gives you some sort of high score based on hours you sit in the same room.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend any time with your woman. I’m saying to spend GOOD time with your woman. Both of you can decide on how often that is, but all those times you spend together should be good times!

I know people who see each other once a week and are perfectly happy, and mad about each other. I know people who live with each other, and spend 80 percent of their waking hours together every day – that’s a LOT of time! But, they wisely spend that other 20 percent being on their own and making sure the needs that they have to provide for themselves (fulfillment, overall life happiness, personal goals, etc) are being met. They stay mutually independent and fulfilled even though they are together all the time. Instead of becoming each others’ crutches, they help each other build higher than they could on their own.

So, before I leave you to ponder what the right balance and boundaries are, here are quick questions you can ask yourself that will help you find that right balance and boundaries.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I have things that I MUST get done right now, that I will otherwise be extremely disappointed/unhappy about? Get those things done first! Your problems will become your relationship’s problems if you don’t take care of them.
  2. Are we going to be just sitting in the same room with nothing to talk about, or are we doing something that adds to the relationship? Even something simple like taking a walk adds to your relationship. Make a plan, do an activity, find something that adds value to your time with each other, because time is all we really have.
  3. Do I find myself giving up lots of things, or having her give up lots of things, in order to spend time together? That’s the opposite of balance. Both of you should be very aware of what you’re willing to give up for the relationship. Honestly, if you have to give up anything important at all, that’s kind of weird. Relationships should add to your life, not take away.
  4. Am I excited to see her, or am I doing it out of habit and obligation? If you aren’t excited, that means the quality of your time together is low. Back some of it off and add more value!

Don’t get me wrong – it’s awesome to meet someone who you want to spend all your time with. I mean, that’s what we’re looking for, right?

Thing is, to keep that all fresh, you have to make sure you spend the right kind of time together.

Proximity, people. It’s about balance and boundaries!

Applied Table Theory – Chemistry, Part II – Mixed Signals

“Vichet! Vicheeeeet!”

What up wit’ it?

“Jane keeps giving me mixed signals! She’s hot and cold! She loves me one second, and can’t stand me the next! It’s so confusing because when things are good, they’re great, but when things are bad, they’re terrible!”

“I’m happy AND angry!”

Right. Wanna elaborate on what you mean?

“Well, for example – the other week we were out on a date. Everything was great, we had a really nice dinner, and then we went dancing. She was smoochin’ up on me all night at the club. Then we get back to my place for a nightcap, and somehow we get to talking about politics cause it was on the news. She loves talking about pretty much anything, and that’s cool, but when it comes to politics, I just stay quiet because I don’t need to be having arguments with people on a night off. So I just smile and nod, but she realizes that I’m holding back – she calls me out on it. When I try to explain that I just don’t like talking politics conversationally, she starts going on this tirade about how I don’t respect her enough to be honest with her about my opinions. She finishes her wine and goes right to bed, with no sexy time to speak of. We wake up the next morning and she acts like nothing happened, giving me wake-up kisses and cooking me breakfast. I don’t get it.”

Oof. That sounds rough. So, whatchu need from me?

“Well, I was wondering… what can I do to fix this?”

Hmm. Well, let’s be sure there’s something that needs to be fixed.

You guessed it – we’re bringing out Table Theory!

Got a questionnaire for ya:

  1. Proximity: Do you guys spend the right amount of time together? That balance between seeing each other so much you no longer have outside lives, and not seeing each other enough to bond?
  2. Mutual Independence: Are you both capable of being on your own? Are you happy, with your own job, activities, and friends?
  3. Non-conflicting life goals: Do you work for the CIA while she works for the KGB? Or, more realistically, do you both have any life goals that directly conflict with the other’s, such as one of you wanting to have grand adventures around the world while the other prefers to settle down and raise kids?
  4. Chemistry: Well, there’s the obvious problem of “fighting for no reason,” and I’ve already formed my opinion of your relationship, but would you say both of you otherwise get along intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically?

“Well, for questions 1-3, yeah. That’s all good. I mean, I have other obligations and hobbies outside of seeing her, and I’m a pretty happy guy. But that makes it all the worse. At the end of the week I just want to spend some nice time with her, but lately I can’t be sure if I’m in for a great time, or a weekend-long nightmare.

Well, like I implied above, the problem here really is chemistry.

You said it. Do you think she’s crazy?”

Well, I wouldn’t go that far. I don’t know her. As a rule of thumb, very few people are born crazy.

However, I know you. You’re a nice guy. You get along well with others. You always want to give people a helping hand or the benefit of the doubt. I like you. I’ve been you. And I know that you’re hanging onto something.

“What’s that?”

Well, you’re hanging onto this idea of her. You said it up there that when times are good, they’re great. Would you say that’s why you’re staying with her? For the good times?

“I dunno… I guess?”

Well, then you tell me. Why are you staying with her?

“Oh well, easy! I’ve got a list!”

  • She’s easily an 8.5 out of 10 looks-wise
  • Really fun (when she’s not yelling at me about something)
  • GREAT sex (when she’s not yelling at me about something)
  • Very affectionate (when she’s not yelling at me about something)
  • Has her own life, job, money, apartment, dog, etc.
    • She’s a genuinely interesting person
    • … who also yells at me sometimes.

Yeah, see that? For almost all of those great things, there’s that little asterisk hiding in the back. And that little asterisk seems to have put a little chip on your shoulder there, bud.

How long have you been going out with this girl?

“Six months.”

Oh. Wow. Yeah. That’s the problem right there.

“What do you mean?”

Well, she might not be crazy, but she’s driving YOU crazy.

You’ve been going out with this girl for six months?

“Yessir.”

Has she started yelling at you more or less over the months?

“Uh… well, I never really thought about it.”

What, did you get used to it? More or less?

“Well… she never yelled at me when we first started dating… so, more?”

Alright. Alright. You know, I thought at first maybe we could talk through this. Maybe it was something you were doing, or whatever. But, brotha, it’s just not gonna work out.

“What? Why?”

Well, are you happy with the situation?

“Well, yeah, when things are good.”

I didn’t ask “are you happy when things are good.” I asked overall.

“Well, no… not completely.”

Right. Are you doing anything wrong?

“Well, I don’t think so. I mean, I’m considerate, I respect her space, I don’t judge…”

Right, right, right. Here’s where a lot of guys might tell you that you need to take control of the situation and tell this girl to change her ways if she wants to stay with you.

They call it “putting your foot down.

Here’s instead where I tell you that you need to take control of the situation and just leave.

“What?”

She’s not that into you, dawg. People become like that when they like parts of someone and not the rest. You didn’t do anything wrong, and I know for a fact that you’ve got your life handled and you aren’t clingy, so that only leaves the final option – it’s just not gonna work out. Don’t take it personally – the majority of your romantic relationships will not work out, nor are they meant to.

“Well, Vichet, I know that, but I really do think I can work things out here… I mean, we just need to talk about it some more.”

Meaning you’ve talked about it before. What’d she say?

“Well, it was basically a list of little things that she didn’t like about what I do, like how sometimes I don’t make my bed, or sometimes I dress a certain way she doesn’t like, or how she thinks I spend too much money on a couple of my hobbies…”

So did you make some of those changes?

“Yeah.”

Did she stop yelling?

“… no?”

Yep. If she’s still yelling, it doesn’t matter how much you change, dawg. The message is the same – she doesn’t like you enough as a whole person to stay with you.

She might be a nag. She might be demanding. She might have been having a bad day, every day for the last six months. She might have a bad relationship with her father.

Doesn’t matter. All I know is that you tried harder than most could ask you to, and she’s still not happy with you.

“But Vichet! We’ve been having great sex! What do you mean she doesn’t like me or isn’t happy with me?”

Yep, great sex is the duct tape of all failing relationships. And, ding-ding-ding, big surprise if you never knew this before, men and women alike will sleep with people they don’t particularly like all that much because, hey, sex.

Dude, you’ve made some of the changes. You’ve been patient. You’ve been giving. It’s time to move on. It’s not like you’re doing all that poorly in your own life. You’ll be fine.

Stop hanging onto this idealized image of the girl you’re dating, and see it for what it is.

That, and I will say that for an upstanding, accomplished, level-headed guy who is genuinely nice, there is no shortage of cool women around who will actually enjoy hanging out (and banging out) with you.

Just, you know, keep becoming more attractive in the meantime.

Applied Table Theory – Chemistry, Part I – Pick Your Battles and Know When to Shut Up

Before I begin talking about this, read my article on mutual independence and also having life goals. I’ll assume that you’re an independent guy who has interesting things going on in his life that don’t involve vaginas.

Begin transmission.

“Vichet! Vicheeeet!”

What up wit’ it?

“My girlfriend is totally wrong about something and won’t admit it!”

Oh boy. I see where this is going.

Alright. I’ll bite. What is it that you’re so right about that she’s so wrong about?

“She’s Christian, right, and totally doesn’t believe in evolution! Or anal sex! I tried to explain it to her, but then we got into an argument, and now I’m in the dog house. How do I make her see that I’m right?

Hmm.

Good question.

Irrelevant, but good question.

Now, I’ll tell you that I’m inclined to agree with you in this particular point. Evolution makes the most sense. 6000 year old planet with one guy made of clay and a woman made of his rib producing the entire human race seems like a bit of a stretch.

But as I already said, that’s irrelevant.

Let me ask you another question instead: What do you gain by having and winning an argument, in this particular instance?

“Come on, Vichet! You told me in your article about Mutual Independence that a real man doesn’t let a woman walk all over him!”

Yes, I did. How does her having a particular belief mean that she’s “walking all over you?”

“I dunno. If I’m right and she’s wrong, she has to know, right?”

Yes and no. She only needs to know where you stand about important things. Things like “I’m not going to give up my friends because you don’t like some of the things they say,” or “I’m not going to rearrange my life goals around you without a big reason,” or “I’m not going to be your personal assistant just because we’re dating.” That’s the kind of thing where you stand your ground. You know, important sh*t. Not things that have little to zero payoff or benefit to the relationship, or worse create flaws in the relationship.

I know how you’re feeling. You work hard on yourself. You’re independent. You’re kicking ass and taking names. You won’t take disrespect – especially not from some girl who you were perfectly happy without.

But lemme ask you this: Does she treat you nice? Is she patient? Caring? Independent? Fun, interesting, and overall attractive to you, and not crazy?

“Well, yeah, she’s all of those things. She doesn’t bust my chops either.”

Brotha, you’ve got a good woman. And you got her because you were a cool guy who doesn’t sweat the small stuff. And now you’re risking it by letting that cool guy turn into a whiny, argumentative douche.

What I’m telling you is that in some cases, especially if you have a good woman, this is not considered disrespect. It’s a difference of opinion, and is only as important as you make it.

See, there’s a gray area between “being a doormat,” and being a “selfish, egotistical prick who always needs to be right.” Every successful relationship I’ve ever seen happens in that gray area. I’m not saying you’re the latter, but you took my good advice from before and took it up to 11.

“But Vichet! She’s wrong!”

What, and you’re the enlightenment police? If you have that much of a problem with her “being wrong” about this kind of thing, dump her. Why are you asking me about this if really you’re just picking fights?

And that’s what this is really about.

It’s not about a difference in politics, or religion, or left-brained and right-brained people. It’s not really about whether the Notebook is a better movie than Predator (spoiler: it’s not better than Predator because it has exactly zero spine-ripping aliens).

It’s about immature people who never learned that it’s okay to not have everything be exactly the way you want it to be. I mean, come on. The human condition is calling, and it’s telling you to wake up. Not everyone will agree with you on everything and to expect them to is the pinnacle of self-entitled douchiness and immaturity.

Furthermore, if you’re dating a woman who does the same thing – always having to be right – you’d be tired of her bullshit in a week, and dump her triflin’ ass.

Chemistry-wise, here’s what both of you need to bring to the table to put a lid on these arguments:

  • Both of you must have important non-relationship things going on in your life.
  • Both of you must be forgiving.
  • Both of you must be patient.
  • Both of you must understand that it’s not all about you getting what you want all the time.
  • You are attracted to each other because you are both tackling important things in your life.

If either of you don’t have those qualities, you’re all aboard the fail-train for a really annoying ride, and the problem is you, not your difference of opinion.

If you need more examples, here are times when Vichet, personally, decides to shut the f*ck up about little things because they’re not important as long as the woman is handling her important shit and is overall attractive:

  • Any time a girl I’m dating disagrees with me about politics (to a point).
  • Any time a girl I’m dating talks about her little daily annoyances (to a point).
  • Any time a girl I’m dating tries to give me fitness advice.
  • Any time a girl I’m dating is extremely religious.
  • Any time a girl I’m dating has very particular tastes in food and drink.
  • Any time a girl I’m dating is a smoker (to a point).

Some of you will disagree with particular things in this list – that’s fine, but it’s not the point. The point is, you need to know what YOUR limits are, and what is REALLY important to you, and shut the hell up about the small things.

Ask yourself, “do I really need to be right about _______, or is it my pride that needs to be right? Can we agree to disagree?”

A lot of times, yes.

But I’ll admit that sometimes, you legitimately can’t agree to disagree.

To illustrate the point, here are differences of opinion where Vichet cannot agree to disagree:

  • Any time a girl I’m dating is racist against any group.
  • Any time a girl I’m dating is steeped in petty drama.
  • Any time a girl I’m dating picks fights.
  • Any time a girl I’m dating is absent-minded to the point of being a threat to my stability.
  • Etc etc etc.

But if those arguments ever came up (among others), I would just straight-up leave. No “trying to be right,” because if it’s at such a point where I feel like the girl is my adversary, why the hell am I with her?

Just be careful though – look at it with as objective an eye as you can muster. You might even ask one of your trusted guy friends about the point of contention if it really bothers you. Because if you have a strong, patient, forgiving woman who would rescue you from a burning building, help you out when you’re down, and expect and help you to live up to your potential, and is very attractive to you, I have to wonder if you REALLY need to be right about whatever little argument you had?

Don’t get me wrong – know your limits and stick to them. If one of your limits is, say, politics, and your disagreement makes her so much less attractive to you that you want to leave, then leave. You’re either attracted to her or not. It can’t be fixed through an argument. 999 times out of 1000, you won’t change a person’s politics. You will, however, make that person resent you for trying.

So the real question is – do you need to have that argument about how you think art is pointless, or about how you think the economy should work? Do you?

If you have a good woman, be careful what fights you pick, because you might win the argument at the cost of the woman.

Applied Table Theory – Mutual Independence and Your Relationship With Yourself

I rarely get serious about anything, because I’m a joker at heart and this is, for the most part, a comedic advice blog.

However, for everyone who has read my posts and laughed at my dickishness, I ask that you contemplate the following for a moment:

Most of my best advice comes from having been in a dark place for a long time.

A lot of my friends don’t know that about me. They don’t remember the angry me. The unmotivated me. The depressed me. They think somehow I magically got to be the way I am and then, poof, here I am, giving advice.

With that said, you might laugh at a lot of my advice as being obvious and kind of ridiculous, but a lot of this is stuff I’ve given to people before because a) I’d been there, and b) it was the difference between them staying angry at the world (and women in particular), or making something good and worthwhile for themselves.

For a lot of people you might not be aware of, they are coming from a place of hurt and anger, and they think they’re alone and no one can help.

And then I come along and tell them that their shit is weak, and that they’re not unique, and ask them if they need more tampons to soak up their lady vagina tears (that last part wasn’t written to make sense). LOL. Also, the whole LOL thing is sarcastic, because I never use that abbreviation and find it to be patently retarded. YOU can keep using it, though.

Sidetracked. Main point is that, I also remind these desperate boys (these are boy issues – men by definition have gotten over them) that others have been there (like me), and that if you hang on, make positive changes, and expect more of yourself, you can steer your life in a way that you might have thought was flatly impossible at some point.

So there. I said it. Purple-monkey dishwasher.

Now, I bring us to what I consider the most important leg of any table. This advice goes for both men AND women, and if you’re not doing your part, you’re actively ruining someone else’s life.

I can say that after making it my life goal to be the best person I can be, I am measurably happier and more successful in every aspect of my life – and I’m still not even nearly there yet. Also, I’m still REALLY bad at keeping track of paperwork. I totally could use a secretary. Brunette, 5’4″, nice legs, dresses well. Yup. One of those.

Today I want to talk about Mutual Independence.

It’s a pretty misunderstood table leg in Table Theory.

Let’s start with a simple question:

Are you afraid of ending up alone?

Are you? Be honest.

I am. Or, at least, I have an instinctive, irrational, strong tendency against being alone. I mean, I’m an extrovert. I like being around people. This gets especially more pronounced if I’m going through mild depression.

But the problem is that, in relationships, such an attitude can be a HUGE f*cking weak point. This is because if I’m not careful with who I hang around with, having that strong tendency to want to be around people will also cause me to stick around people that I don’t like, or are destructive forces in my life.

To be clear, the blame can’t be all on those people, because at least half the problem was (and possibly still is?) me.

This has happened to countless friends before, and to me personally at least three or four times. I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there, and if you say you haven’t, you’re lying. You will be that person who fights me on this, and I will tell you straight up that it will be because I think you’re lying to yourself.

Those countless friends I mentioned? They talk to me about their relationships. They tell me all sorts of things (I should start charging) that bother them about the relationship. I dunno why, maybe I have a big sign above me that says “tell me about all your hang-ups,” because that’s what people talk to me about the most.

Here’s a short list of things guys have told me – not direct quotes, but you get the idea:

  • She doesn’t listen to me. I try to talk to her about things that are important to me, but she doesn’t listen, or care.
  • She is always fighting with her friends, and brings me into the mix to take sides with her against people I don’t even know.
  • I mean, I’m pretty happy with her, I guess, but she does _____ and _____ and _____ that really bothers me. I’m kind of hoping she’ll change.
  • She kinda cheated on me with this guy over break but she was drunk and I forgive her.

Now for the ladies:

  • I feel like I’m his babysitter sometimes, because he never offers to help out with anything.
  • He gets really wasted all the time and I’m tired of taking care of him.
  • He belittles/bosses me around in front of his friends.
  • He keeps telling me that he doesn’t want to be more than just friends but he keeps sleeping with me.

I could come up with a lot more if I really try, but the things is, these statements make me so sad that I try to forget them as soon as I can.

Now, there are some real clunkers up there. But, some of the other things up there might just sound like “small beans” to you. If they do sound like “small beans,” this article was written exactly for people like you.

The list above wasn’t small beans. It’s not a case of “he says to-may-to, and she says to-mah-to.” It’s not two people disagreeing on whether to watch the “Dark Knight,” or “Love, Actually.” Those “little issues” up there are actually a big f*cking deal when someone else has to put up with your bullsh*t.

They’re not the kinds of problems that gets worked out over a conversation, because only responsible, thoughtful adults are capable of calmly discussing a problem and taking proper action, and they don’t force their little hang-ups on others to begin with!

After hearing all these stories, this is what I used to ask:

Why don’t you just break up with him/her?

I don’t ask anymore. Because I’ve been there (at least three or four times), and looking back, it really is because I was literally so averse to being alone, that I’d rather put up with all the crazy drama than leave. I was so stuck and dependent on my relationship, that when someone older and wiser who had been there would present me with the alternative of being alone, I ignored it. I’d say “It’s not an option.”

Isn’t that a sad thing to realize about yourself?

How unhappy do you have to be with your own life to put up with such ridiculous things in dating?

I’ll admit, a big part of what kept me in those situations is what I saw around me. I mean, other people were dealing with the same thing, or worse, right? So that means that whatever I was dealing with was normal, and I should just stick it out.

Fact of the matter is that in these situations, I was unhappy most of the time – maybe not “cry my eyes out and be angry at Jesus” level of unhappiness, but I absolutely was not jumping for joy about anything in my life. Except (occasionally) my relationship.

So what that would say about me, in those situations, is that I started to assume that it was normal and fine to be unhappy at least 40% of the time in my relationships, based on how unhappy everyone else was in their own.

That is a f*cked up line of reasoning right there. But guess what – if you are a male who grew up in the United States, this is the message you were bombarded with from an early age:

  1. Slay dragons for your girl
  2. Defeat the personification of death for your girl
  3. Go to hell and back for your girl
  4. Die for your girl

But then we got older, and we found out that we don’t have to jump in front of bullets, kill imaginary monsters, or cheat the only certainty of life (death) to get a girl. And comparatively, when we realized that all we have to deal with is a partner who is occasionally mean, irresponsible, demanding, or manipulative/abusive, it looked easy. So you put up with it.

And that’s right. I’m blaming you – you bent over and took it because you believed that was the best you could do.

You might say that this opinion, or these observations are unfounded. But, I challenge you to look at how many of your own relationships have had these dependence issues and then worked out in the end.

Even those of you who are currently in kickass, awesome, mutually beneficial and productive relationships will look back at the past and be like “yeah, there were a few I regret.” And by “a few,” you’d probably mean most of them.

Be honest with yourself, because any time you willingly stay in this kind of situation, the problem is not your harpy girlfriend/asshole boyfriend – the problem is you not pushing yourself to do better.

If you were truly independent of the other person in the relationship, your tolerance for antisocial, unacceptable behaviors would go straight to zero.

And thus, the importance of Mutual Independence.

Work on it, people!