I tend to read Sam Britton’s All Men Are Liars Blog from time to time. And from time to time I want to blog about something he’s blogged about but somehow I never do it. But his most recent blog, on whether it’s better to be the one in the relationship who loves the other more or visa versa is something that has always interested me so I thought I would actually get around to it this time.
To hear his arguments, which are more amusingly put and far better articulated than mine, you should go here. Among his points is the interesting one that ‘who cares less, wins’ – meaning the more ambivalent partner inevitably has the upper hand. Which is pretty much true.
I’ve been on both sides of the fence and it might fly in the face of popular opinion (I’m not sure what everyone else thinks) but I think I prefer to be the one who is more into the other person than being the cool, slightly distanced one. Perhaps this is some sort of weird flaw in my character or something but I’ve tried both and this one makes me happier. Er, I think.
When you know the other person is just that leeetle bit more into it than you spend half the relationship feeling guilty. At least I do. I wonder if I should break up with them so I don’t lead them on, I find myself being a bit cruel just to dampen their expectations and I have found myself saying things I didn’t really mean just to please them.
Being the one who is more into it, however, isn’t so tough. Sure sometimes you might feel a bit neglected or wish you could have their cool detachment but at least you’re not swamped by guilt and having to poke them away with a stick. Granted you get sporadic flashes of rejection and wind up wondering what’s wrong with you but at least you don’t waste time rehearsing ‘I’m just not that into you’ speeches. I'm not talking about being madly in love with someone who couldn't give a shit - I'm talking about being so crazy about someone you sort of suspect they can't feel quite the same but, even so, in your head you're going to be 2Getha4Eva.
And there is hope. Again: er, I think. At least I’ve found, over my many years and (cough) extensive experience with relationships (cough, cough) that the dynamic can change. While, in my experience, it’s fairly rare both of you are at exactly the same level of lovey-doviness at the same time, in a good relationship you tend to switch roles: one of you goes through a ‘eh, whatev’ period while the other is sketching potential engagement rings. This sounds a bit wrong and destructive but I think it’s a good thing: you get to try both sides of the equation and one of you is usually sufficiently invested in the relationship to keep in on track when things get a bit bumpy.
In an ideal world this is how I would live – not always on the top, not always on the bottom but sort of jumping about the place and in a constant state of either insecurity of ho-huminess. Healthy, yeah, I know.
But what about you readers? Am I talking tosh? Has the pressure gotten to me and I’ve finally cracked? Do you think anything but being on top, so to speak, and in control is wrong? Please, do tell.