Monday, May 19, 2008

The wrong stuff.

I like to visit Alias Clio's blog from time to time. Recently she has been running a series of "Nice Guy" posts. There well worth a visit and worthy of some contemplation. As I understand it, she was writing about the "nice guy" from the feminine perspective.

I thought I would like to write my own nice guy story.

Several months ago a young man in his 20's--engaged in a creative profession--presented himself to my rooms with his mother.
He was having difficulty sleeping and had lost his appetite and weight His mother stated that he was moody and irritable, and would lock himself up in his room for hours at a time. She was concerned about his behaviour and was concerned that he may have been taking drugs. She was aware that he has was having problems with his long term girlfriend and that their relationship had recently been shaky. I asked him what the matter was:

"My girlfriend wants to break up"

He started sobbing. "It all began after she went to Europe. When she came back she had changed. She started wanting to go out more by herself. She wouldn't call as often and has been cold. I can't live without her(Gasping sobs), I bought her presents, roses and have done everything she wants me to do. I've even written poetry for her. If she leaves I don't know what I'll do". I asked him if he thought about suicide. He nodded his head and sobbed loudly. His mother looked at me grimly.

"How do I get her back? I'll do anything. I've tried talking to her mother to convince her to stay. Her mother is upset at her because she feels we are a good couple. "

Tears were rolling down his cheeks in a small torrent. I empathised with his situation. I too knew of spurned love and how deeply it hurt. But staring at him I felt nothing but contempt. Here was a man who was in his early 20's and had to be bought in by his mother because he was not coping, he was crying in a whining sort of way because his girl was leaving him, here was a man who was prepared to sacrifice his dignity for the affections of a woman who lost affection for him. In short, crying before me was a mummy's boy who had lost out in love. My response was calculated and said in low growling voice;

"Grow some Balls"

My words struck him as if slapped on his cheek, his mother nodded approvingly. I continued;

"You've have lost her already, she's staying with you because she feels guilty about dumping you but wants to break up the relationship without feeling bad about herself. She's not comfortable about hurting you, but she has lost all respect for you. She has probably got the hots for another man. If she calls you up, you respond in a measured tone. No anger, but let her know that she has let you down, do not whine. Find yourself another woman. If you get the chance, flirt with other women in front of her. Act like a man." His mother continued nodding approvingly.

I counseled him for a while and suggested that the best strategy to deal with his sorrows would be to find a new object for his affections. At the end of the consultation his mood improved considerably. As he was leaving my room he pulled a reflective expression and said:

" You know Doc, You're right. Just before she went to Europe she kept complaining that I was too nice to her and that she wanted me to be a bit rougher with her, I didn't know what she meant then but I guess I now understand."

I have seen him again. He has another girlfriend. He is happier and is now going to the gym.


Anonymous said...

How do I get her back? I'll do anything. I have tried talking to her mother to convince her to stay.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. While I perhaps might not have been quite as brutal with this young man as you were had I been in your situation, I do agree that someone like that does need to be told - harshly, gently or otherwise - that, unthinkable as it may seem at the time, relationships end (no matter how "right" they may have once felt), and that sometimes there's just no point trying to resurrect them (and that, even if there is, doormat behaviour is probably the worst way to go about it). Still, I've been there myself, as I'm sure a lot of us have. I once had a girl I was crazy about, and didn't know when to let things go with her when the relationship started bringing me far more pain than pleasure. Once I finally did see sense and let her go, I decided the relationship I'd had with her had become a lot like a junkie's love affair with heroin. The initial highs had long since gone, but I clung to the object of my affections because, having been with her for well over a year, I felt as if I couldn't get through life without her (even though I'd come to hate her just as often as I "loved" her). Despite the fact I was still a teenager when I came to that conclusion, I still believe, nearly twenty years later, that there was a lot of wisdom in it. (To draw another perverse analogy between drugs and relationships, I can't helping noticing a lot of similarities between the mentality and behaviour of the pick-up artist who subverts everything else in his life to the almighty goal of scoring pussy, and that of the drug addict for whom nothing else matters save the fleeting (and ever-diminishing) pleasure to be had from the next hit of crack or heroin).

Another interesting thing I've noticed is that the advice you gave your patient is applicable to a lot of other situations. When I'm feeling down about something, for example, just moping about seems like the most attractive course of action to take, at least in the abstract (mainly because it requires so little effort), yet I almost invariably feel better if I force myself to get off my arse and just do stuff. I'm not saying I believe in completely denying myself the luxury of a bit of self-pity from time to time (I'm sure that, like most urges, we wouldn't experience it if it didn't serve any purpose at all); it's just that it's one of those things that's best indulged in in small, controlled doses (and usually when one is on one's own).

Finally, I was interested to see you note that the man you treated was "engaged in a creative profession". Was that a subtle way of implying he was a bit effeminate?

The Social Pathologist said...

The fellow could best be described as metrosexual rather than effeminate. Furthermore, he generally was a nice guy. He was behaving in a way a modern middle class white guy is expected to behave towards women and was truly perplexed by his rejection.

I agree with you,a bit of self pity I think is natural, a lot unhealthy. I'm not a big fan of lots of psychological counseling as it actually encourages introspection and self pity. But my line of reasoning goes against most of what is preached by the "therapeutic community".

I took a brutal approach with the fellow since I felt it was the best way to get the message across to him, with others I perhaps would not have been so forceful.

From what I've read of Roissy, I don't think he is motivated by the "rush" of when he scores. Rather I think he is a hedonist, who is having great time. Nothing boosts confidence like success.

Roissy and his ilk deserve to be studied in the same way that we study the Nazi generals, we want to know how they achieved their results even though we repudiate their aims.

There are lots of guys out there who just want to settle down with a mate but have no idea on how to do it. Feminist advice has been proved useless. If Roissy can give the clueless some guidance in their endevours, then good luck to him.