The Sore Losers of Relationships
Pat Benatar had a song that has become a staple in the never-ending subject of love: “Love is a battlefield.” It may be a little on the nose, but the eponymous lyrics resonate the actuality of dating. Love is indeed a messy and brutal business with heartbreak being a metaphoric killer (sometimes literally with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, but this is neither the time nor place for medical conditions). However, with all the “carnage” in the battlefields of love and relationships, one has to admit it is all at least kind of funny and at the most absolutely hilarious. The battle of the sexes is a funny subject that definitely demands the attention or at least the interest of either side. I bring this up because I have been among the causalities in this battle, along with an innumerable amount of others throughout the ages. Some are winners, some are losers and some are sore losers; I’m going to pick on the sore losers (sorry guys and gals).
What defines the sore loser of the battlefield called love? Even if you haven’t filled those pair of shoes once in your life, firstly we envy you and secondly, you still know exactly whom I am talking about. It’s not a physical attribute such as weight, height, or anything superficial like that; although, there are signs in behavior that exude through physical actions. For example, any bad habit they have, because we all have at least one, will be intensified. If they enjoy drinking every now and then, they’ll drink to excess. If they enjoy having a snack, be prepared for a mountain of potato chip bags to pile up in their home. If they enjoy the brief company of the opposite or same sex, be sure to carry a counter with you at all times (or don’t, because the exact number might make you cringe). Everyone has a vice and they use it as a way to relax from whatever they had to face throughout the day. In moderation, it’s fine for they can manage their little vice along with their other responsibilities. If not, well there’s no need to explain the potential consequences of that, as overindulgence tends to spiral downward really fast.
Language is another key to identifying the sore loser archetype, from both verbal and body cues alike. This is the easy part, as they will eventually say something about the source of their ire ranging from something childish to something derogatory; I refuse to indulge which is which for obvious reasons, but the implications can be and should be universally understood. This sort of behavior is accompanied by a tinge of bitterness in their voice, like venom from a rattlesnake, perhaps via low grumbling or a deeper timbre. Furthermore, their facial expression is usually flat with a frown or a scowl and lowered eyebrows to enhance a serious demeanor, almost humorless. The only time they’ll enjoy a joke is usually one that is at the expense of the source of their anger. This makes anyone associated with the sore loser either uncomfortable/uneasy being around them, fearful they could snap like a dry twig and do something illegal, immoral, or both; the alternative is the associates will be the ones to snap and do something as heinous to the aforementioned sore losers.
On top of the incessant verbal assault towards their ire, you too will be assaulted by either how much they hate their ex or how much they miss their ex, on occasion both in the same cacophonous sentence. Now you’re knee deep in the worst of this swamp and the more they talk about it, the more the swampy water will rise until you are totally immersed in it. At this point, your patience will be running dry as you are getting wet with their sobs. Unbeknownst to them, since their unintentional self-pity and low level narcissism will reduce their sense of reality, there is a time limit on your pity and sympathy towards, granted it does vary from person to person. Some can last a week, some a month or more, and some about three days; again, this varies to who you talk to, regardless of relationship. The only thing worse than hearing about this is usually the opposite, where a person will gush on and on about how much they love their significant other; this has roughly the same time frame as the former, but that’s a tale for another day.
Before going on one last thing we can see, I’d like to make a quick pit stop on our journey; notice how I am keeping this relatively gender and even sexually neutral. That’s because no matter how you slice it, the sore loser acts the same regardless of gender or sexual orientation. If anyone believes I am targeting any specific person or persons, I apologize if it appears that way. It is not my intent; I am merely pointing out what I have seen from person to person. I’ve seen many friends and even found myself going down this road and acting this way. Even in passing of friends of friends or a grumbling person in a group of strangers, there is someone complaining about the entire population of who has hurt them, when in actuality it is just the one person who did the original damage. Off of the scenic route we go and we land back on track into the final sign.
The final and the largest indicator of the sore loser is when they utter this phrase: “I’m done with [insert gender here].” It’s a cliché but like all clichés, it persists like a nasty cold. The first time they say it, you’ll try to comfort them; it’s only natural to try to heal a wounded person. Time after time and time again, that comfort you offer will wither away and become nothing more than dust floating elsewhere, the same place where the wind takes the remnants of your sympathy. You may want to snap and you may want to smack them, but that’s an absolute last resort, one that should only be used like a fire extinguisher in a kitchen grease fire. The best way to deal with this is not to give out advice because that will escalate the problem more than it actually helps, believe you me. Instead, do what you have to actually do. You can play the wingman or woman or, and this is an extreme case of exaggeration, maybe videotape them to show what they do wrong (or right because it may not be just them), something to make them truly see the error of their ways. It’s a possibility that they are doing something wrong it their approach; maybe it’s something they say or maybe it’s a bad habit they have. Then again, maybe it isn’t them; maybe it’s who they choose to interact with. Some people have a type they’re drawn to and they cannot help it. You, on the other hand, can and should for the sake of your sanity.
Now, I’d like to talk directly to those who I have classified as “sore losers.” First off, sorry for the term: I know it’s not flattering but that’s way we see it. It’s like that one kid on the playground bragging about how fast he can run and when he loses a foot race to a challenger, he whines and cries foul. Secondly, the point, Mr. or Ms. Sore Loser, is you’re going to keep trying. There’s no point in fighting in. If you’re single, then your eyes are going to be on the lookout for a better candidate. Even if you’re in a relationship that unsatisfying in any way, that’s what you’ll be doing. You can’t let one bad experience ruin your expectations of love; there’s always something around the corner, though the corner may take as long as a New York City block or a turn after a long and straight path in a desert landscape. Until you reach that corner, you’ll find you’ll reach it quicker if you don’t think about it while you’re walking that path. If you’re not thinking about it, it’s more likely to happen.
In the mean time, figure yourself out. What do you want out of life? Do you want to improve something about yourself? Maybe you would to like to lose or gain weight. Maybe you want to change your hairstyle or your wardrobe. Maybe you want to rediscover an old talent, improve an everyday skill, or even acquire a new skill. Maybe you want to find a new job or travel a little bit. I offer these ideas because things will change once you’re in a relationship again, including priorities. I don’t say that as a cynic, I say that as a realist. A relationship takes a lot of work from both sides and when you take your time and energy into that, it drains you physically, mentally, and emotionally. In fact, it’s kind of like how people have to listen to you bemoaning and lamenting. Until the time comes when you do find the person that ends your time as a “sore loser”, please don’t take it out on the rest of us: unless you want us to take out our pent up aggression on you.