- Gender and Relationships»
- Relationship Problems & Advice
Are You (Too) Experienced?
How It Was
In ‘ancient’ days, people got married with very little ‘antecedents’. Being a virgin, for a woman, was important, and men had few previous liaisons, many just physical, or emotional and not physical.
In short, two people with little experience of other relationships entered this one, and everything was 'new’. There were few bits of 'then’ which would disturb the now.
As the relationship was important, as it had to last, the need to work out problems, the need to fix errors was paramount.
Today, people form relationships almost off hand. They go from one to another and carry so much baggage that the failure rate of marriages is over fifty percent.
Clearly, there is a problem.
Simple event, Dave takes his fiancée, Julie, to dinner at Fancy Place.
Dave has never been there before.
He’s always taken his women to Other Place, Cool Place, That Place, but he takes Julie to this unknown venue so as to not remind himself that Anna broke up with him at Other Place, that he had asked Cindy to marry him at Cool Place, or at That Place he met Linda.
Julie is having a situation. Mitch took her here all the time. Correction, Mitch had taken her here all the time until the day he walked out on her. It had been a whirlwind romance and marriage but didn’t last two years.
She wondered if she should not say something to Dave about Fancy Place. But entering, she was washed with memories of Mitch and forgot about Dave as her eyes touched that painting she liked so much.
As they reached the table Dave wondered if they would have the same wine he used to enjoy with Anna, it was her favourite... what was the name again?
Julie wondered if she should order her 'usual’ or try something different to make this dinner with Dave 'different?’
So here are two people, physically together, but emotionally swimming in their separate pasts.
Neutral questions become “charged’; for example if Dave asks Julie if she had ever been here before?
Does she lie? Then how much of a lie? Does she say, “My dad took me here when...” or does she dump the fact that this is where she and her ex-husband ate as often as they could afford?
If Julie asks Dave; “Why did you choose this place?” what does he say, that it has no memories, or does he lie and quote reviews?
Around and Around
This is a very mundane example, just to show you how mundane situations can effect people who have too much experience.
Most people live in the same cities all their lives. They roll around in the same kind of circles. In short, they have the same life over and again, make the same mistakes over and again.
If Dave had left the city after his first mistake and moved to a totally different environment where he couldn’t repeat the pattern, he would start new. For example, if he moved from New Jersey to the Seychelles, where there was a different culture and set of norms, then he wouldn’t be in the endless cycle.
If Julie did the same, then she would have that second chance to be a new Julie, a Julie without the baggage of the past.
But most people don’t even realise they are repeating their mistakes over and again.
Cheaper by the Dozen
The problem with modern society is the fact there are few restrictions.
The idea of being a virgin entering the marriage bed, the idea of falling in love once, the idea of working through issues instead of calling divorce lawyers, is passe.
Unlike other events, the more experience one has in marriage type relationships the less likely they are to succeed.
The concept that there are thousands of people out there that one can love or who can fill one's desires cheapens every relationship.
No one is special, no one is unique, if not this one, that one, has created a society of replaceable people.
In the example between Dave and Julie, neither is that special to the other. If they wind up married she's just another woman, he is just another man, and if there is a problem, shrug and walk away.
This is the danger of too much experience.