After having many relationships with women and maturing over the years as I hit the road and had lots of time to self-reflect, I came to the conclusion that the premise and basis of many of my relationships during my early years was wrong and destructive.
Having grown up in a household under very critical parents (who perceived that criticising everything I did would give me drive to excel and achieve greater success in life), I developed an acute insecurity regarding everything I tried to do or my very self, and this reflected in my relationships.
If I found myself attracted to a girl, that initial attraction would be quickly overlapped with judgment about her and a conquest to make myself look good, to help me “successfully” snuggle into an acceptable position in society.
But perceiving her as a conquest, or meticulously examining every one of her blemishes, is the wrong foundation onto which to build a solid relationship, and is a recipe for tension and anguish.
I found that my judgments of her various imperfections eventually turned to blame, as if it was her fault because I feel insecure in groups. If things weren’t working well on the social scene, I might blame her in my mind, which will inevitably lead to tension, arguments and more anguish. I can now see how this level of personal insecurity can lead to unnecessary conflicts in a relationship.
The conquest aspect would, logically, also lead to conflict. If you see her as a means to an end (ie- your quest to feel secure and confident in a social situation), you will also tend to blame her for when things are not quite on the track that you would like.
Or you can be so attracted to her that you are willing to overlook some blemishes, since things seem to be working reasonably well and you are comfortable on your social scene, but eventually this endless pressure for acceptance amongst others and a happy life puts pressure on the relationship. As soon as things go a little astray, you have someone to blame! The blame leads to arguments, the arguments worsen the relationship, other partners start to appear more appealing and congenial, jealousy abounds, which again puts strain on the relationship, such that the initial insecurity is like yeast in the dough or a sweltering infection, growing ever larger.
Instead, the premise and foundation of a relationship should be based, quite simply, on love, acceptance and tolerance. Not as a tool for self-actualisation in the social environment. In this case, you should first become comfortable with and accepting of yourself before you use that as a cornerstone in building a larger pyramid. Self-reflection and meditation can go a long way on this journey.
I believe the most successful relationships are based on two people who are attracted to one another, get along and like each other, have similar interests, and learn to become loving, accepting and tolerant of one another’s idiosyncrasies. Sure, it is reasonable to ask your partner, “Can you please not openly pick your nose while we are having dinner with our friends and wipe your snot on the edge of your wine glass?” The two have to work together to find a common, happy platform, but you should not hold onto some expectation you developed of your future partner, expectations based on having to prove yourself to others during your upbringing. These expectations are a seed to much unnecessary discontent in relationships.
It is understandable that a child is dependent on their parents and has a tendency to look up to them with reliance. If a parent is abusive, the child will naturally feel less loved and more insecure when subjected to criticism, and will try hard to win back that love and security. These efforts will eventually become ingrained programming that the child/adult automatically presumes to be their very nature, or who they are.
For example, I was once dabbling in the start of a relationship with someone I really liked and got along great with. We would laugh for hours and appreciated each others witty humour. She was sharp, thought in slightly different ways, and seemed like an excellent business partner. Between us we brainstormed a thousand creative ideas and had at least a year of active and fascinating work ahead of us.
But what was the problem? Her mommy said that good boys do not drink alcohol, she loves her mommy and does not want to go against her, so my three beers a day eventually became intolerable. Instead, she chose to settle back with her old boyfriend, who even beat her sometimes. Probably because they often got into heated arguments, quite possibly because he was not fulfilling her strict and high expectations.
Therefore, it is better to resolve all these issues first. Look inside yourself, analyse your motives and carefully examine your expectations and what you think you really are. Once you have found comfort with yourself, perhaps fully forgiven yourself or others, then your cornerstone has a firm foundation, not on quick sand, and you can piece together it with another cornerstone to build a lasting and mutually enjoyable relationship. Don’t jump into blaming others for your own problems, but first analyse them or why they should be problems at all.