Vitals Signs Reloaded

Many Eves have read the very famous book ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ and/or watched the film with the same title. The book is described as “the No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys”. The gist of the book is that if a guy really wants Eve, he will let her know and will go after her – he will call her and if he is really into her, he will introduce her to his friends and maybe even eventually to his goat-herding clan (hehehe), etc – you get the drift. If he’s just not that into her, then those signs like not calling her back (especially if he’s already dipped into the cookie jar), acting all aloof and being unavailable will surely show.

When the book came out, it was widely acclaimed and most of the reviews by Eves were about how great the book is and how it outlined some simple truths (not simple to swallow though) to the problems that plague Eves when an Adam in question seems to be behaving ‘badly’.  Some women even felt that the book helped them understand men better.  Of course, there is always a section of people who will dissent but what would the world be if we all agreed to the same ‘truth’. Probably much calmer but very boring is what it would be but that is beside the point of this post.

Later, I was amused when I came across a piece by a college girl titled ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ Ruined My Life and I started to read reviews where Eves and even Adams (mostly shy ones) did not think that the book was all that. They were mostly quite amusing but above all, it was quite interesting to read all these ‘dissenting’ voices over a book and film that became so popular.

Picture this: Eve and Adam start dating or are in some of sort of similar relationship for some time, mostly not very long. Then certain acts or omissions by Adam start to get under Eve’s skin and they cause an internal itch – sometimes he doesn’t call when he says he will or doesn’t answer his phone when Eve calls; sometimes he is just unavailable, physically or emotionally or even both, etc. – basically Eve keeps getting these intermittent cold signals from him and she doesn’t really get what is up. The thing is that when Eve and Adam are in a relationship and Adam is giving these hot and cold signals, this normally throws Eve into a state of untold internal confusion especially if Eve is looking towards a committed relationship.

What usually follows inside Eve is an inner ‘dialogue’ where many, many questions are posed but no answers are given. In many cases it is a tumultuous state of being with the questions of uncertainty being asked: ‘does he really like me?’, ‘did I do something wrong?’, ‘maybe it’s me – he doesn’t like the way I kiss or my boobs are just too big for what he likes’ (heheheh, OK, that last one is never usually an issue), ‘maybe I have shown my deep feelings too soon, I am just too passionate at this time and he is not ready for that’, ‘maybe he is with someone else?’ and it just goes on and on and on…..The simple fact is that this inner chaotic one-sided discourse is a quest for answers – for the simple truth as to WHY this is happening and of course sometimes lined with a view to solving the problem(s) so that Eve and Adam can get back or on to happy dating. The fact is that there are never really clear answers to most of these internal questions and sometimes when the answers come, they do not necessarily appease or pacify our hearts and minds.

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Now, of course there are vital signs which should just tell you in large print neon letters that things are just not working out (see Vital Signs). In fact, in this previous post, one of our fans averred that if Eve is questioning whether Adam is really into her, then maybe it’s just the sign that perhaps he’s not. It’s the seemingly grey ones that send us off in a mental and emotional twist. What I found of interest from the dissenting voices can be summarized as follows:

That sometimes when relationships are in the infant stages (and here I don’t mean infant making stage), sometimes things don’t go as smoothly but that doesn’t mean that the relationship doesn’t stand a chance; sometimes it just needs to be given space to breath and grow – it may snore or heave heavily but at some point, normal breathing will be attained. That whilst women have a picture of how naturally a relationship should progress and thus have these expectations of how the relationship should develop, this can sometimes stifle a growing relationship and lead to disappointment if doesn’t appear to follow the course and stages of expectations.

That whilst some fundamentals apply to most men, not all men are the same and this rule that a man will go after you and show you off and introduce you to his friends doesn’t necessarily apply to all men. Some men are shy, some have baggage, etc. and therefore they may not immediately make all the moves as the go-getter-guy-who-is-into-you described in the book would. That the fact that he’s into you doesn’t mean he is going to give you all that you want/need/expect. After all, only God is good all the time J.

That you will need to look at the relationship through an open and honest lens to ask yourself questions that will help you understand whether there are some vital things about being in a relationship that are being honored or not being honored or whether you are dealing with workable issues and hence can give the relationship a chance and hence not just conclude, ‘he’s just not that into you’. To be clear, these are not the same questions involved in the ‘inner dialogue’ – these are questions which put your relationship on weighing scales (or lie detector test) depending on the period of time you have been together.

That whatever the answers or non-answers are, you need to find peace and balance and love within yourself and your life, even in the absence of this ‘significant’ other. Sometimes you need to give a little leeway and sometimes you may just need to let go and breathe easy.

By Joyce

All In

It is slightly over two months since the world woke up to a thud; the thud was the fall from grace of a decorated four-star general. It was reported that the FBI just stumbled on this information and unearthed a big scandal, enough to make the CIA chief resign. The general had an affair with his autobiographer who apparently spent one year embedded with the general in Afghanistan. The autobiography is called “ALL IN” – how ironical? OK, it is called “All In: the Education of General Petraues”, but who is interested in the long sentence after “in”? And anyway, who writes a book and calls it “All In?” Her name is Paula Broadwell, a graduate of West Point and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.

The general was the face of America’s war in Iraq and Afghanistan and was widely acclaimed for his command and the surge which is said to have led to some degree of success and reduced casualties in the war. His departure from CIA became headline news, for many reasons but of course partly because the media knows that the public’s  appetite for such stuff is insatiable. Besides, this was guy was so popular and respected that his name was at some point being bounced off as a possible Republican Party contender for the White House.

This general is married (I think he still is because the press has not dug up any info about a divorce). It was reported that when she was writing the book, Paula interviewed the general’s wife and at some point observed that “their marriage is unbreakable”, only for news to surface that while Holly (the general’s wife, who is herself the daughter of a former superintendent of West Point – raised on the code of honor) was home holding fort, Paula was busy calling the general’s “weaponry to attention!” – at the behest of the general.

Well, it became clear (for me and this one makes me laugh all the time) that whilst the media was preoccupied glorifying the general talking about his “command” and the “surge”, Paula knew a totally different kind of “surging”. No wonder she was photographed holding the autobiography and all you see on the cover are bold letters “all in” and then a photo showing only the back of the general’s head, his military cap with his name on it. I laughed and wondered if they both have a meaning or joked about ‘all in’ –  maybe it is just the naughty side of me but there is something about those words and the look on Paula’s face which makes me laugh even as I type this.

All that he could say was that it was a “lack of judgment” on his part. I find this rather intriguing – this “lack of judgment” lasted months – yeah, months. No wonder Holly threatened divorce and wanted to know how many more women he had cheated with. In other words, she was questioning if this lack of judgment was common occurrence.

Of course there is nothing positive to say about an affair, especially one which catapults into the public eye. It plays in the media as big news because it sells; no one needs this kind of invasion – the publicity is obviously painful to all people involved. Think about it; your hubby comes and says “this love is unbreakable” or your wife, acting all caring and constantly declaring her undying love. Then from somewhere, stories come out in such a public fashion – someone has been busted and you realize they were just paying you lip service! This is how most people are caught unawares about their spouses’ or significant others’ shenanigans. I can imagine the family of the general trying to dissect the situation, looking for the answer as to why it happened, wondering if it was the isolation in the military bases in Kandahar (well they said that the affair started after he left military service and joined the CIA but many did not buy it). May be she saw him as a hero, like all Americans, only that they did not go ahead on a “surge” on him.

I think we all know this but it becomes alive again in this event that it does not matter when blood flows from the head on the shoulders and sufficiently supplies the smaller “head”, it leads to dire consequences. With all the power that Petraeus wielded, he could not hide this scandal. Even as his wife was reported to be going crazy about the revelations, and demanding to know if more revelations were coming, on her part, Paula said that she regretted the damage and pain that the affair had caused.

At some point on the Bill Cosby show, some teenage kid asked him some question about sex; the kid wanted to know when to know that the time was right. Cosby told him to think a bit more about it because when it happened, it was going to be the best 40 seconds of his life. But for these two, I guess it wasn’t 40 seconds; he is a very fit 60 year old general and she is an even fitter 40 year old. I do not want to imagine their code conversation but I think it would go something like this: “we are surging at 1700 hrs” :). Well, me thinks it lasted more than 40 seconds, but it does not matter. The question is: is it worth risking everything for a 40 seconds “surge”?

Have a good week!

By Fridah

Forward!

First off, a happy new year to you and welcome (back) to our blog! We hope that you had a merry festive season and that is all is well with you and yours.

Great things happened in the year past and one of those great things that happened was the re-election of Mr. Obama for a second term as the President of the United States. Now, it is impossible for anyone to marvel at the triumph, success and accomplishments of this U.S. president without taking in the obvious that seems to surround this man and leader – his wife, their relationship and marriage. This is a union that has exemplified the audaciousness of hope and shown us in bold colors what a strong and stable marriage can be. Now, there is a lot that has been said about the (perceived) public relations element of ‘the perfect picture’ presented by the Obama camp for seemingly political reasons – but the plain truth is that, it is hard to dismiss the smiles, gazes and the holding of hands that we see of the couple as anything but genuine. In fact, I would call them genuinely infectious and for me, this is one beacon of hope that I carry forward into 2013.

At the start of each year, we are presented with new opportunities for dreaming, for new outlooks, for setting new goals and for possibilities of making achievements. It is indeed, a time for reflection, sometimes to look back at what has been, take stock, see where we can make changes and where we can right some wrongs.

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For those of us who are in committed relationships or are married, we can look towards making those relationships better than they were in the year past. No one has a perfect relationship – not even the ‘first couple’ – and as we look back to what has been, there is always room for improvement. More importantly, we should not forget to be grateful for what we have (unless you are dealing with breadcrumbs), because it is in the same vein and lens of gratitude that we can see the opportunities for making our unions better. If you already have a perfect relationship, then we wish you all the best as you wait to ascend to the next state of being – hehehe, just kidding!

For those just starting out on their relationships, you will need to build on your reserves for patience, understanding, respect and most importantly wisdom. This phase normally is and should be just exciting – you take time to enjoy the experiences without thinking (OK, dwelling too much) on the end product. That said, the journey through finding and building on love can be a blurred one, not because you forgot your 3D lenses in your past but because the prospects of new love, new relations and even the wafting possibilities of new unions sometimes throw sense and sensibility out of the window, if only momentarily.

On the converse, for the rest of us (the greater majority?) who are still out there in the maze, searching or waiting or praying for a significant either, well, this is where we are called upon to take on the slogan for Obama’s campaign for his re-election – ‘Forward!’ The exclamation mark says it all – it gives no space for dithering or shilly-shallying – we must forge ahead with life. As we do this, the call is for all us to look around us and grasp onto every bit and beacon of hope that we can in the search; the call is for us is to recognize that although we may have come across all sorts of weather elements, weather men and weather women in the days gone and probably experienced a significant amount of fog, all is not lost and that so long as there is a new dawn, there is always the prospect that we can find that Eve and Adam to share life with. It is as simple and yet, just as complicated, as that.

You might be surprised to see what happens when you choose to hope over despair, ‘Forward!’ over ‘looking back at what could have been’ and above all else, believe in the sheer depth of strength within you to forge ahead. Here’s to living 2013 with hope, lots of it!

By Project 44

“A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love.” Stendhal