Friday Night Story

When a Man Tricks a Woman

The best lovers in the world are drug addicts- that's science talking, not me. Apparently, the same parts of the ventral tegmented area are in use in drug addicts and romantics- both stimulate the body's natural reward pathways.

Having said that: romance is a myth. Do you know why? Because it's based around a lie- basically, that we're not all biological engines fueled by hormones and an overwhelming desire to pass on our questionable genetic heritage. And don't misunderstand me, I like the fluffy, warm, romantic myth better than the truth- it just leads to complications.

These can be nut-shelled: very, very few of us men are tall, dark, handsome, wealthy princes without any shadows in our past who have nothing but the best of intentions. These unreal expectations placed on men have a predictable result: we lie. Women do, too, but don't sidetrack me; the burden of building the lie falls to men, as we're forced into the position of Jehovah's Witnesses of the heart.

And I know, the first tendency is to say, “He's projecting; these are just his insecurities he's painting the world with.” The knee jerk reaction says that I don't feel like I'm lovable, that I perhaps even sabotage budding relationships as part of my anxieties.

But the thing about that is I like me. I enjoy me. What I'm looking for is a feminine me to complement my already interesting existence (fries to go with my burger, pickles with my cheese). The problem is other people don't seem to enjoy me like I do. I could fall back on the old grade school self-esteem protector, and say “they're missing out,” and they are, but so am I.

The reason I'm telling you all of this is I've met someone. But I can tell, even though it's not something she ever says, that she still regards me as a wolf, and she's a deer taking a sip from a pond. So long as I don't make any sudden moves, so long as I'm gentle and not too aggressive, she's willing to peacefully coexist; if I'm patient enough, maybe she'll even let me drink from the same water without running away (you know, some day). But I'm not some forest predator. At my absolute worst, I'm a stag, looking to do what bucks do. If I'm honest, I'm never even at my worst- like I said, I like the myth, and while I understand the fallacy it's based off of, that doesn't mean I don't find the ideal appealing. Or maybe I've just spent so long immersed in this romantic culture that there's no going back, no matter how overwhelming the science becomes.

But I don't want to lie. I hate lying. It's antithetical to the entire point of an intimate relationship, that you want someone you can trust more, and be more honest with, someone with whom all the petty lies and self-protections can slide away. And of course, there's the reverse of all this- when I'm able to trick women, I naturally lose respect for them- and find them less interesting for it.

Of course, at the end of the day, it seems I'm pushing us towards the point where we bumble our way into a Groucho Marx joke- not wanting to be a part of a club that would have me as a member- but the thing is, really, that what I'm looking for is a club that wants me, in particular, for their club. Someone who would appreciate me not simply for a limited description of success (and almost certainly biased and unrealistic)- but for the creature that I am.

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