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Archive for October, 2015

Opinionated Ophelia is the *worst*. Ug. Who ever invites her to anything, anyways?

Just kidding. Well, I mean, I’m not…if there’s actually someone you know named Opinionated Ophelia, just leave her at home, okay?

So, children, topic of the day is a two-fer. Age difference in relationships and how long before you “should” get married. For some reason, some people are extremely opinionated on both of these subjects. Why? I have no idea. But it happens. I mean, I have an opinion, but there are people I actually know (plus strangers on the internet and TV) who get *angry* over these topics, which never ceases to blow my mind. Like…why? Anyways, so here’s the break down:

I used to say, 10 years older than me and one year younger than me. That’s what I was working with for a potential boyfriend. I was never thrilled with the idea of younger than me, but I was also fairly young when I was thinking these things considering I was married when I was…24, I believe. So hard to keep track of the years haha. There is the saying that men mature more slowly than women, so that’s why women tend to go for older guys. I’m not sure if that’s not just a sexist saying, but I think there is something to the idea that when most women are looking for a committed relationship, they are thinking about nestling down. And they want someone secure and grounded, which would tend to be a little bit older men than younger men. However, there is that strange phenomenon of the “cougar,” but if I digress into that now, this will go on forever. However, I will say, I know of at least four women semi close to me that have dated men at least 10 years older than them, most way older than that. I think it’s weird, but hey, it’s not my life. If it works for them, it works for them. I don’t think there actually exists a “perfect age gap” for a successful relationship. My sister actually just started dating someone 12 years older than her, give or take a year. I think there tends to be more thought that goes into that than with someone who’s only, say, 4 years older than you. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work. It just means you have more to think about. He will go into the “senior” years before you, but some people stay in good shape and stay healthy for a long time. However, even more so than this topic, nothing gets Opinionated Ophelia more stirred up than…

How long you should date before you get engaged, and how long you should be engaged before you get married.

Oh, my. Do people get upset over this one.

And I wonder sometimes if it’s because they either had to work extremely hard to have a successful relationship or because they really don’t have a successful relationship and they are jealous of people who come across the right person at the right time. Or they are jealous of happy people in general. I’m confused as to why people think they know how long you should wait. Like, not only have people I know post their own thoughts about this on social media, but they share articles written by psychologists and other kinds of doctors and people who supposedly are smart and should know these things. And they have actual year amounts that you should wait. “You can’t really know a person well enough to consider marriage until you’ve been with them at least 4 years.” I’m not actually quoting something right now, but I’m almost positive I’ve read a sentence similar to that before. They actually gave you a number. Four years. My mind was blown. I’m not sure how they can think you can ever *really* know another person. I’m honestly of the opinion that the only person you can ever know truly well is yourself. I’m sure after a long time of living with someone you will know them well, but there are so many true stories about finding out someone is serial killer or something crazy after being married to them for decades…it’s crazy. If someone wants to hide something, they will. Dating them for four years won’t tell you that. And what about the people who get a divorce after 20 years of marriage? Sometimes relationship don’t work or fail on how well you know someone…it’s how much effort you’re willing to put in. It’s how much you love someone. It’s goals and dreams you share and support.

My point is, there is just so much that goes into relationships. And there are no two people alike. How can anyone honestly think they know what is best for everyone? I say, love and let love. I don’t think it will come as a surprise to people who know me that I support love as long as it’s consenting both ways and not hurting anyone (actually hurting anyone). Girlfriend, boyfriend, no gender terms, significant others, guy is older, girl is older, same age, different races…who cares? This could transition into a whole other topic, but I think this is enough for tonight. Remember, if someone is posting and/or saying something that is getting you down about your relationship, like, you can’t get engaged when you haven’t been dating for even a year yet! Or, how can you think to marry when you’ve only known them two years?? It will never last! Just remember that they don’t know you like you know you. Buck up, there, Buttercup. Keep loving.

And you can always envision back handing them. I don’t encourage actually doing it because, you know, assault and battery charges follow you for a long time. But hey, thoughts are free until Minority Report becomes a thing for real.

Peace,

AV

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Or, Why Forgive and Forget Should Have a Well-Known Limit

This blog might make me come off sounding like an angry person. That might be because I am an angry person, but hear me out. I will try to keep it as neutral and logical as possible even though this is a topic that currently hits close to home.

The idea of “forgive and forget” is probably a healthy one. It’s good to not keep anger deep inside and to dwell on things and to constantly cut people out of your life for being idiots and/or jerks. HOWEVER…I get confused when people shame me for not playing “forgive and forget” after a metaphorical million times with the same person, or when I refuse to do it with someone who has done something I deem pretty unforgivable.

First of all, I’m confused as to why other people care enough to condemn me for holding onto my anger. Yeah, it’s not healthy, but neither is getting drunk and smoking cigarettes, and I don’t see them following around people who do those things and lecturing them. In fact, a lot of things are unhealthy. Eating a lot of junk food, staring at your phone for hours at a time, driving over the speed limit when it’s raining out… But apparently my ability (amazing ability) to hold a grudge forever is offensive.

But secondly, and most importantly, why should you continuously forgive and forget? I’m assuming there’s a valid reason why you were ready to cut them out of your life in the first place. To be completely honest, there are times I just meet someone or look at someone and just get this feeling that I won’t like them or won’t get along with them. I’m not talking about those people. I’m talking about people who were legitimately in your life and they did something to make you mad and/or sad, and you’re ready to say good bye forever. The logical thing is to take a minute to take a step back and evaluate. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have many friends in my life. Most people make me angry at some point to some degree. It’s probably my fault. So I ask myself, is it worth staying angry over? Most of the time, no, it’s not.

So I’m not completely unreasonable, thank you.

But there are times when I make a mental list of reasons why I’m upset, and then try to factor in why I was friends with them to begin with and why it’s nice to be friends with them. If the “Why I’m Upset” side tops the other side, guess what…bye forever.

A friend of mine said that all of the time. Bye Forever. I think it’s hilarious. Another friend of mine would get angry about it and demand to know why it’s “forever.” But I digress.

It seems to me that there’s this idea that people need to have tons of friends and to be buddy-buddy with anyone that breathes. I find it confusing. Why quantity over quality? Yes, humans are social creatures by nature, but some like social more than others. I honestly find social to be exhausting most of the times. So it’s not hurting me any to weed out the crowd.

And I feel like it becomes a self-esteem issue at some point. Why should a person have to friends with someone who has treated them like dirt? Are you that hard up for friends? If you find yourself unable to have friends outside of people who treat you badly, you need to reevaluate a lot of things. Do you go out of your way to be friendly to other people? Do you try to find engaging and interesting things to talk about to new people? Do you make yourself approachable? Do you try to be controversial and make people uncomfortable for shock value? I feel like almost anyone can have good friends, but you have to try. I’m not exactly the most amazing person, but I have managed to find some truly genuine and great friends. However, there have been many scenarios over the years in which I constantly went through “friends” who were either psychologically abusive or just not good for me. Part of that was my fault. I constantly let their behavior slide and I told myself I just wasn’t worth having “cool” or good friends. And after each time that this “friend” would make me feel bad or make me angry or leave me disappointed, I turned on myself. So, to the people who think it’s unhealthy to not forgive and forget…which is more unhealthy? Refusing to forgive someone else and let them back into your life so they can inevitably upset you again, or constantly blaming yourself for the other people making you feel bad?

I’m not a certified psychologist, but I’m going to lean toward the latter on that.

You are worth more than that. In fact, when I do have an occasion of someone treating me like dirt and I feel awful, I think–and it’s probably true–I would rather be a little lonely than to surround myself with fake, terrible people. I’m not that kind of a person. Maybe they make good friends to other fake people, but that makes me feel bad. Why do it to myself?

So in summary, if someone gives you grief for refusing to forgive and forget, just explain to them that they don’t live your life and you didn’t ask for their opinion, so they can stop wasting your time. I like to be a little harsh at times. Deliver it with a wry tone and it makes them wonder if you’re mad at them now. That’s always fun for a while. But in all seriousness…you shouldn’t have to be friends with someone who treats you badly. Feel sorry for them because they don’t have a lot of friends? Feel free to tell them why you’re going to stop being friends with them. Give them some advice so they don’t screw up the next relationship. Or tell them to give you a call when they decide to stop being a bitch. Believe it or not, when I get to the point where I don’t want to be friends with someone anymore, I physically find it hard to even talk to them or look at them in the face, so I find this hard. But maybe it will give you some peace of mind. Some closure. But you have to remember: feeling guilty or bad for that person will not make them stop treating you like an object. It will just encourage it unless you step up and do something. Should you give them more than one chance? Yes, I think you should. But you have to choose where the line is. I personally advocate the “three strikes and you’re out” method. If you can list three “good” reasons why they are terrible…and I don’t mean like, they drive 5 over the speed limit and you don’t like that they break the law. But things like, they made me promise to go to this party with them that I really didn’t want to go to because I have social anxiety and then they stood me up at the last minute and I have to awkwardly leave by myself…or, you make plans to do something with them a week in advance and they make the decision to drink themselves drunk and stay up super late so then they are hungover the whole day you’re supposed to be having fun and they stop you from doing what you were doing to do…or, they constantly don’t trust you and talk about you behind your back…I feel like those can go on a seemingly endless list of “good” reasons.

Be good to yourself. Part of being healthy is being happy. Have good quality friends.

Cheers.

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