- Gender and Relationships
How to Fail at Relationships
If there's one place you can expect to find advice from literally everyone, it's in the area of romance and relationships. Everyone from parents to self-help books claim to be able to teach you how to successfully attract and retain the opposite sex for whatever purposes constitute a "healthy" relationship. Countless magazines, videos, websites, and fortune cookies have tackled the question of how to live a long, happy life with the right person, but we don't adhere to these standards, do we? We want to be different! We want to be unique! We want to fail... Successfully!
We are going to speak to the men of the world today and apply the principles of successful failure to love. In order to do so, we first have to take a look at what "love" is. There are countless definitions offered, Plato defines it as "a grave mental disease", and who wants one of those? If you're anything like me, you have enough mental diseases and Greek philosophers already. Why on Earth would people strive so hard for a debilitating psychological condition? Either Plato is wrong or people are stranger than I can comprehend, and I don't see anyone reading copies of Someone Else's Symposium.
Perhaps it's a subjective issue, in which case the job of everyone out there offering advice for a healthy, happy relationship is impossible. I, however, can still help you.
Step 1: Finding the Wrong Person
In starting the quest for failure at love, it's important that you be selective in your pursuits. So much time can be wasted by chasing things that those "experts" will send you after, like compatibility, sparks, attraction, and that's exactly what you're going to do.
When you first meet a potential interest, your first impression is your best friend. You'll know instantly that they're someone you could be romantically involved with, and that's what you're looking for. They'll be attractive, human, with matching shoes and everything. Exactly what you dreamed of that one time when you woke up in the bathtub with that copy of Pride and Prejudice in your mouth.
You see, my friends, real love has nothing to do with that initial impression. The person you fall in love with is not going to be carrying a neon sign with your name and a cute little heart on it. Or maybe a cupid. Perhaps two puppies nuzzling each other. Whatever. Fact is, if you want to successfully fall in love with someone, they're going to blindside you. You can't actively pursue getting sucker-punched. What you can do, however, is fail at finding it until it finds you. So, when you get that initial feeling that you should pursue someone based on instinct and attraction, do it. Immediately and aggressively.
Step 2: Paint a Picture
Finding the ideal person who compliments your personality and interests, with whom you share mutual attraction is difficult. Finding someone like that who won't press charges is even worse. So, rather than work your way through the phone book trying to find Mr. or Ms. Right (try starting in the R section,) why not just apply the traits you're looking to by way of a bit of imagination? Fact is, it's a lot easier to pretend that he or she enjoys sitting on the couch while you eat Cheetos and play WoW than to find someone who actually does.
On the other side of that coin, fake your way through their interests as well. You're not as big a fan of viticulture as they are? Well then hop on Wikipedia, learn a few things about grapes, and practice when to nod and agree.
The important thing is not to actually share interest in mutual topics and activities, but to feign interest enough to tolerate spending time together. Once you can strike an equilibrium between you secretly being disinterested and their being secretly disinterested, you will find yourselves tolerating each other for days at a time without descending into madness.
Your Opinion Counts!
What is the most important aspect of a relationship?
Step 3: Sex is a requirement, not a priviledge
What's the point of having a significant other if you don't have sex? Physical relations are the cornerstone of a good relationship, and you absolutely must keep them at the forefront of your mind at all times. All of them. Everything else is secondary. "Not in the mood", "I have a headache", or "I'm in an iron lung" are not acceptable excuses to leave this most crucial of shared activities out.
That being said, don't feel as if you need to assign things like meaning, feelings, or pleasure to it. Do it because you must, not because you have a sincere desire to. If you go through an evening talking, or perhaps enjoying a shared hobby that you coincidentally have and fail to have intercourse, then you are wrong. You're establishing a connection beyond the superficial, and that's what I've been warning you against this whole time. Haven't you been paying attention?
I didn't set out to make this "How to fail at..." thing into a series, and I've failed at that. This fact speaks volumes on the effectiveness of my advice. I can teach you, fair reader, how to fail because I am an experienced failure. When I do succeed at things, it's usually as a result of sheer luck or the will of the unspeakable horrors from the stars that sleep and dream in R'lyeh. You know the ones I mean.
Anyway, I've succeeded at a few things in my life, and I'm told that writing is one of them. So, I turned it into an article on how to fail at it. I'm strange like that. Similarly, in this article I've written about how to fail at relationships because, by sheer chance, I have succeeded at it. I'm saying this, by the way, because I owe credit to my significant other for teaching me what a proper relationship is, so that I could in turn write about the opposite in a sarcastic way. If not for her, I wouldn't realize how absurd the ideas I list here are.