Saturday, February 6, 2016

Why Did He Leave Her?

Why did he leave her? Why did he turn off to a goddess of sensuality so quickly? What is wrong with him? What is wrong with her?

Better yet, what is wrong with Polly, the advice columnist of New York Magazine. Her real name is Heather Havrilesky.

Here are some excerpts from the letter that was sent to Ask Polly:

I finally thought I had met my match. He was charming, older, devastatingly handsome, intense, well-dressed, wealthy, shared my passion for wine — my dark knight. Finally. Fucking finally. He lives across the country, but what the hell? He comes here for work all the time, and that's why they invented planes, right?

I'm 33 and have been mostly single for most of my time in NYC. I've always prided myself on being strong, independent, not your typical rom-com-loving, jealous, cookie-cutter girl. I drink whiskey. I don't want kids. I work in a male-dominated business. I like horror movies. I can hang with the boys. I also like stilettos and lingerie and make pretty good arm candy. Decent package, right? So when I met him, I knew, just knew he was the one. We were so obviously perfect for each other.

I have been looking for someone who can "handle me" for so long, then I found him. He immediately started talking about our future and saying, "Where have you been all my life?" and, "I want your body, mind, and soul." We have amazing toy- and lingerie-laced sex. For hours. He invited me on vacation for the holidays with his friends. He went back to California. He came back a week later. Another week of passion and intensity.
And then it was over:

There was no yelling. No tears. Nothing. I just felt hollow and sad and totally unfuckable. Was it those little pimples I got on my jawline? Did I snore? Get too comfortable too fast? Was I too weird? WHAT WAS IT?

I know I'm not perfect, but I love myself and like who I am for the most part. I think I'm pretty, smart, and try to be a good person.

So how does a 180 like this happen? What the fuck happened? In hindsight, I realized that he was pretty self-absorbed and narcissistic and only kept friends around who were very impressed by his stories of his very fabulous life. But I still want him. What is wrong with me?

Unfortunately, Polly lards it all over with psychobabble. Presumably, she has undergone some form of psychodynamic therapy and thinks that she understands the workings of human desire. Sorry to have to say it, but she barely has a clue.

You have the impression that you know a lot about these people. In fact, you do not. You do not know how old he is. You do not know anything about their families. You do not know what he does for a living or what she does for a living. Knowing that they lusted after each other tells you next to nothing. We know that he is older and unmarried. 

Polly is kind enough to see that this woman is a self-styled, self-branded, self-created badass. This is a very nice way of putting it. The woman is an aspiring courtesan. Effectively, beyond the great sex, she is offering very little. She seems to be content with a long distance relationship. She does not want to be a mother and presumably not a wife. She seems to think that having great sex with sex toys is the meaning of human relationships. It is if you are a courtesan. If you are not a courtesan, it is not.

If she is so strong and independent why does she continue to yearn for him?

The relationship is intense and passionate, because empty-headed therapists want people to have intense passionate relationships. But, Yeats got it right when he wrote:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

We need not ask why this man turned off so quickly. I will soon explain why that is not a mystery at all. We do need to ask why people frequent psychotherapists who teach them that they are beings of desire and not social beings. We also need to ask why people have accepted that great sex is the ultimate sign of a great relationship. It is not. And we need to ask why people believe that they can ignore all of the social niceties and proprieties, because the sex is good.

We do not know if this man’s friends are married or not. We do not know whether this man’s friends have children or not. We suspect, since the man is older, that some of his friends are married with children. Thus, he might feel left out of the crowd.

We certainly do not know how this man’s friends reacted to his aspiring courtesan when they all got together on vacation. And if the friends were there with their wives, how did the wives react? I trust that you noticed that he quickly took her to meet them on a vacation. It did not mean that he wanted to introduce her into the circle. He wanted to know what they thought of her, objectively… because he was undoubtedly of two minds about her himself.

If all of his friends have wives and home lives, how is he going to feel strutting around with his eye candy, a woman who does not seem to want either marriage or children? Thus, with a woman who only wants him for one thing. And wives are notoriously not very happy about introducing an aspiring courtesan into their midst.

In truth, this woman has sold her soul for good sex. And perhaps even for great sex, but, for most people that is not enough.

Did the situation make him feel cool or did it make him feel like a chump, an appurtenance for some woman’s overweening narcissism?

Note that the letter writer says that she loves herself—another take-away from bad therapy—so why should he imagine that she is also willing to love him. It reasonable in the early stages of a relationship to defer decisions about who is going to move where to be with whom, but if moving was not in question. She was apparently happy enough to see him on occasion, so why get too involved with a woman who does not want to be a wife or a mother and who does not want to make a home for him or their children.

Perhaps the man’s friends are impressed by his bragging, but that makes him entertaining. If his friends’ lives are moving in an entirely different direction, he is going to feel like something of a clown. Unless, of course, he’s James Bond… in which case, all bets are off.

We also do not know whether this aspiring courtesan ever met anyone from the man’s family. The real question is: what does his mother think? No woman should ever underestimate the influence of a man’s mother and no woman should ever discount a mother’s interest in being a grandmother. If said wonderful man tells his mother that he is having a liaison with a woman who refuses to have children, trust me, said mother is going to have something to say about it. She might not say it loudly or overtly, but she will let him know that she does not approve. His mother is not going to be impressed by the fact that this woman drinks whisky and loves sex toys. And his mother will not much like the fact that this self-styled independent woman does not want to make a home or to care for her wonderful son.

How much of what we are learning did the man tell his mother? We have no idea. If he presented the woman to his friends, he might have presented her to his mother. Or else, if his friends knew the story, it is altogether possible that the news traveled.  Who wants to guess what Mom would have thought upon hearing tell of the woman's predilection for anal beads?

The aspiring courtesan seems not to have understood that when you model your life on that of a fictional character, it does not very often turn out too well.

One recalls one of antiquity’s great love affairs: that of Aeneas and Dido. One recalls that Aeneas, a refugee from the Trojan War, made his way to Carthage where he took up with its queen: Dido.

And yet, Jupiter had already given Aeneas the task of founding Rome. And Aeneas could not fulfill that duty if he continued to shack up with Dido. So Jupiter sent Mercury to explain the facts of life to Aeneas. Mercury told Aeneas to get back on his ship and set sail for Rome. Better to found Rome than to be Dido’s boy toy.

Aeneas followed his destiny and not his decadent pleasures. Dido did not do quite as well. She killed herself and had her body immolated. It’s not quite the same thing as burning your bridges behind you, but it certainly suggests that it’s best to make sure that you are not going to be tempted to go back.


Dennis said...

What do most people desire whether they think about it or not? In fact the concept is one of the foundations of every culture that desires to keep growing into the future. Do we get that through accomplishing great deeds? Do we get it through a religion that offers us a chance at it?. Do we attain it by child-rearing where our progeny carry on the foundations of our existence? Or do we attain it through a combination of beliefs we think will offer us this immortality?
It would seem to me this woman has little to offer on the path of the immortality most of us seek. She is by her own description little more than a sexual toy to be used and discarded. What we used to call the 4 Fs. I will leave that to your imagination. Sadly, she has succumbed to the siren song of feminism which leave little to make immortality possible. In fact feminism is antithetical to it or the long term survival of any culture.
Underpinning the concept of feminism is selfishness and self gratification without the desire to recognize the ramifications of this selfishness. One cannot help to see the importance of self throughout this woman's missive. She is this. She is that. She is the center of her universe. Now if one is any self respecting man would you want this woman, who will be nothing more than thin gruel to a true relationship, around you for anything other than sex?
A word that describes much about why we do the things we do.

Ares Olympus said...

Indeed, rejection is a hard game. I wonder if there's any practical lesson whatsoever you can learn about yourself by the behavior of another. That is "Why?" can have nothing to do with her at all. It does seem like women beat themselves up like this more than men.

I so like the Yates quote "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." What was that poem again? Ah, after WW1 and imagining the time of the return of Jesus Christ.

And I do think its more healthy to consider expansive thoughts in culture and history than to dwell on imagined personal deficiencies to explain unexpected loss. You can still eventually find a path back to questioning what you look like from the outside, what control you have over that, and how hard you want to fight to try to conform to who others want you to be.

I admit I'm frequently not impressed by the word conviction, which seems often used when people speak of strongly held irrational beliefs, those with such passionate intensity that no one can sway your narrative no matter the evidence offered.

The key idea of conviction would seem to be religious, asking dangerous questions "What would I die for, what is more important than my liberty?" Libertarians and Feminists do NOT ask this question of course. They worked too hard to see what forces are really enslaving their souls.

And I can contrast blogger John Michael Greer to Yates:
Knowing many stories is wisdom.
Knowing no stories is ignorance.
Knowing only one story is death.

Conviction is the one story that leads to death and the Apocalypse. On the other hand, life is full of endings, and new beginning, so maybe you settle on one story when you're ready for ending the world as you know it?

And the Author Starhawk offered a vision there too:
Where there's fear there's power
Passion is the healer
Desire cracks open the gate
If you're ready it'll take you through

But nothing lasts forever
Time is the destroyer
The wheel turns again and again
Watch out, it'll take you through

But nothing dies forever
Nature is the renewer
The wheel turns again and again
If you're ready it'll take you through

Passion as a healer? If so, healing is clearly not about safety.

priss rules said...

If she is so tough and independent, why is she asking for advice?

I think the letter is a hoax.

priss rules said...

She is so flippant in her attitude and her wants... but she expects this guy to devote himself to her.

Talk about cognitive dissonance.

"I'm so self-centered,and care about me, me, and me. So, why don't you care about me, me, and me too?"

Btw, the irony is that the guy probably left her because he is very much liker her.
He's too much into thrills to care about anything but him, him, and him.

Maybe like Emma Sulkowicz, she should text him with a message like 'f--- me in the butt'.

'Romance' in the age of liberation.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh! A woman's hypergamy in action! She got the alpha male's attention for what alpha males are good for, but she wants the beta provisioning from him that she likely only to get from some nice guy/beta chump.

Don't spend a second worrying about her. It'll take but few months for her to re-calibrate her AF/BB internal equation.

Courtesan? No, that's too nice a word. "Whore" is more like it, but then AWALT, basically.

Theranter said...

Anonymous priss rules said...
If she is so tough and independent, why is she asking for advice?
I think the letter is a hoax.

I don't think it is a hoax. I think it represents what most "feminists" today, deep down, want--marriage, home, family--they just won't admit it or are not cognizant of that truth.

I'm certain if they were drunk enough, and you asked one, they'd burst into tears, start the "how come no one wants me--I just want to be loved forever, why is that too much to ask...."

It's a sad culture we've woven for these young women--sexualized, careerized, and abortionized, and all other manner of stuffing the nurture insticnt nature has placed in us.

Sam L. said...

A sad culture indeed, Theranter, but I disagree with the "we" part; I see it as the Feminists and leftists who have done it.