Curry's Corner

Keys

“Falling in love should be like Polaroids. Instant.” –Unknown

Within the past month, I have had a whirlwind of excitement and wonder as far as my love life goes. With any new relationship, you tend to have the puppy love stage where everything seems to be perfect and nothing can seem to go wrong. The problem is, most people let that wear off and forget to see their special someone in that light again. They become comfortable and let things slip and just “put up” with them. I refuse to be like this!

I will not let myself fall into the trap of letting someone I am with become just another person that puts up with me and let that give me an excuse to let myself go in all the wrong ways. I have been in too many relationships where this has happened, and the excuses for doing so…

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Madam Realist

The older we get the more prevalent some things become such as the fundamentals of life, love and relationships. We go from being carefree kids to curious teenagers/young adults to responsible mature adults and so on. As more of our friends get married, cohabitate, become parents, etc.; there’s always a select few of us that are single and/or dating while it seems like everyone else’s relationships have taken the next step. Being ‘single’ doesn’t necessary mean that you are unhappy! Society used to make it seem like being single was unheard of  and shameful especially after a certain age. In recent years being single has been embraced. Singles are able to adopt, have a wide array of travel options suited for a solo traveller, their are many outlets online that allow singles to join with other singles to partake in group settings.

At times it may become annoying and even mundane when everyone asks the common questions. Such as………”Are…

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The Idea That Women Can Tame Men

In a (not surprisingly) depressing post railing against equal marriage rights over at National Review, Maggie Gallagher, the founder of the misleadingly-named Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, quotes an anti-equality speaker who argues that

“Only one creature has been known to calm men down into faithful and stable relationships since the dawn of time — a woman.”

What makes that attitude so sad is the low estimation in which it holds men, an attitude reflected in the hysterically angry reaction to the idea that men can play a role in stopping sexual assault. To different degrees on the same spectrum, these views both agree that men are not particularly in control of themselves, and that if they are to be tamed into monogamy and consensual sex, women will have to do a sometimes enormous amount of work, at great expense to their own expectations and personal liberties, to bring about those outcomes.

These views are very sad, but part of what’s depressing about them is that they aren’t necessarily exceptionally marginal. The idea that it takes a woman to tame a man is at the core of an enormous amount of popular culture—particularly culture aimed at women.

One of the most prevalent arenas for the idea that men need to be tamed by good women, and one of the places where that trope has evolved most, is in romance novels. As I wrote at Slate last week, that genre’s evolved from its earlier reliance on character arcs in which the heroine would be seduced, ravished, or outright raped before winning over the heroine to one in which the rakish hero, whether he’s seducing opera singers in the Edwardian era or dating hotties in contemporary Cleveland, meets the woman who makes him realize that monogamy isn’t just socially acceptable—it will make him happier than he’s previously been tomcatting around. These men in contemporary romance novels are rarely as repulsive as their earlier counterparts, or as profligate as Gallagher and her ilk might make them out to be. But there’s still an air of condescension operating there: it seems to have never occurred to any of these otherwise smart, handsome, and professionally adept men that their own behavior might be causing their unhappiness. And often, rather than being truly responsible for their romantic and sexual choices, romance novel heroes are broken in a certain way that can only be fixed by the ministration of heroines whose value was previously overlooked: often they had cruel or absent parents, particularly fathers, who damaged their ability to connect, and rather than seeking out therapy or staring their own deficiencies straight in the face, its up to women to give them the love they were previously denied.

Romantic comedies often follow the same script, with women required to correct for behavior even less attractive behavior than womanizing. Gerard Butler played a grotesquely misogynist radio host (who of course really just suffers from a bad case of heartbreak) in The Ugly Truth, a role that NBC trotted out and then abandoned in its failed Dane Cook sitcom, Next Caller. Matthew McConaughey needed to be literally dragged out of his parents’ home by Sarah Jessica Parker in Failure to Launch in one of his many slacker romantic comedies. The profoundly strange The Invention of Lying even tried to make a virtue out of the manipulative dishonesty of Mark (Ricky Gervais). Maybe making men into utter messes who need to be revitalized by the love of good women is a way to introduce new obstacles to couples’ happiness as the kinds of social pressures that made it harder for couples to come together across class lines or in spite of the bad reputation of one party have melted away, something Chris Orr pointed to as a factor in the decline of the romantic comedy. But the degradation of romantic comedies from battles of complicated equals to stories about broken men who need to be rescued about women doesn’t just make for depressing, and even sometimes infuriating storytelling—it reinforces the larger version of the battle of the sexes Gallagher and her ilk promote, that rogues and slackers are in need of vaccination by good women.

This narrative is dismal on and off the page and screen because it builds disrespect and inequality into the narrative of both real and fictional relationships. To suggest that men are inherently hounds—or worse—and to make that the most salient part of their personalities reduces all of men’s good qualities in comparison to their venalities. To demand that women save or fix men makes us perpetual nags or mommies.

Women should be repulsed by the relationships Gallagher is telling them to pursue, and men should be absolutely furious.

I’d feel bad for Gallagher for promoting those tropes as traditional gender roles worth emulating, if milder presentations of that rotten product hadn’t already proved so effective.

via Maggie Gallagher, Rape Culture, And The Idea That Women Can Tame Men | ThinkProgress.

Deepak Chopra – Expectations of Love

Expectations in love, as in all areas of life, determine how we evaluate our success, failure, our suffering and our joy.

When you set your expectations of a loving relationship with the standard that it should bring you someone with an “awareness of the beauty of real love” that is identical with your awareness, you are assuming that having a partner with an identical perspective and experience of idealized love is the good and right aim to aspire to, and if actual relationships don’t meet that ideal, then something is wrong.

I would suggest that you open yourself to the possibility that the right loving relationship is not a perfect picture that you try to attain. But rather the right love is a journey of conscious experience of whatever relationship (or lack of relationship) you are going through at the moment.

This is because loving awareness is what is guiding your life while it grows and matures. The partners you find yourself involved with do not need to share your vision of love, they need to reflect the hidden areas of your heart that need to grow and expand, just as you do that for them. That is how love expands even through the uncomfortable episodes of intimate relationships.

These relationships can be considered good and right even if they don’t last a lifetime or if they aren’t always smooth sailing. What’s important in a loving relationship is always find a way to let go of your old, limited version of your self-interest for the sake of a more real loving self that knows its true value independent of anyone else.

via Deepak Chopra – Expectations of Love.

Autonomy and individuality, and our need for stability and constancy

Lest you think I’m on a personal vendetta against marriage, may I present this article written by a family therapist:

As an alternative to marriage, serial relationships and casual encounters constantly create new and unexpected challenges calling on us to reach more deeply in order to navigate the demands of different experiences. Every relationship with its particular intimacies and requisite ending, will enable or force us to develop all the different aspects of our identities. Our capacity to handle the vicissitudes of life is enriched by our openness and we develop a sense of individual strength and power in mastering such challenges. Unfortunately, many people see the world as dangerous and so they hide in marriages and settle because the fear of being alone is so overwhelming.

It’s worth noting that I’m not a huge fan of Psychology Today and I lit into them, along with about 20,000 other black women, when they published a bogus article not worth linking to about the unattractiveness of black women compared to women of other races based on really ignorant science. That said, I think it’s important to have a dialogue about the ways people’s fear about being alone lead them to stay in relationships that don’t serve them. When it comes to women, this takes all kinds of menacing forms that are not quite summed up by using the word “unhappy” including abusive relationships (physical or emotional), co-dependent relationships or marriages that are mostly for show and end up rotting their souls from toxicity.

It sucks even writing about this topic, frankly. I was just watching Beauty and the Beast in 3D (I was with two other women in their thirties, thank you, and one of them is in a happy marriage) thinking about all of the fairy tale weddings and romances Disney programmed me with as a child. The romantic in me is torn and wants to believe that despite data and anecdotes about the downsides of marriage, it is completely plausible to be deeply in love, make a lifelong, government-sanctioned, IRS-approved commitment and not have it end up with half of your life in someone else’s pockets, your heart hardened against future failure. But Stanley Siegel makes some great points about autonomy and marriage “defying the laws of nature” that I’m not sure I can argue with:

One of the greatest existential crisis of our lives is the struggle between our need for autonomy and individuality and our need for stability and constancy. All life engages this balance. Many argue that marriage matures us because we develop a sense of responsibility to another human being and transcend our own selfishness. But working through problems over time, experiencing loyalty, commitment, intimacy and friendship, even raising children, can all meaningfully and successfully happen outside of marriage. It’s the exceptional couple who can form an ongoing intimate partnership that can withstand the oppressive forces of marriage and not lose their individual identities.

via Psychology Today: The Case Against Marriage | Single & Happy.

The Case Against Marriage

Those who are trying to do the good work to modernize marriage need to consider the other possibility of reform and challenge the assumption that the institution itself is worth saving. By all means fight for equality. But don’t just fight for gays and lesbians. Fight for everyone, fight for anyone who wishes to live by an unconventional standard of love.

Let me conclude. If you think about it, marriage appears to do the exact opposite of that which it has traditionally been supposed to do. Marriage doesn’t encourage love; it restrains it. With the infinite variety of human interactions, is there really a need for the state to establish the gold standard of human relationships? (If liberty requires that we should each be free to love as we please, equality demands that the state remains neutral as to whom and how we love, or indeed, whether or not we love at all.) Marriage purports to be an institution that celebrates love; yet history shows us that marriage has served only to control and restrain the possibilities of human love. Civil marriage, however defined, will always and arbitrarily confer social meaning and hierarchies. Perhaps we should simply abolish it.

QUITE A BIT MORE via Out on a Lim: The Case Against Marriage.

[blogger’s note:  not all posts of other articles necessarily reflect my personal view]  🙂

What Smart Women [and men] Do After Divorce

Smart women [and men] channel their energies post-divorce into examining their life, their goals, their mistakes and how they can learn from the past. Instead of jumping into another serious relationship (or spending their time complaining about their ex), they focus on their own life issues. They redefine their priorities and discover what’s meaningful to them. They mature fully into themselves as women whose identity is not tied to the role of mother or wife.

We’ve seen this or been there ourselves — how men and women “lose themselves” in marriage. For many women, their identity becomes tied to their husband or children early on, and so when the marriage ends and these roles are lost or diminished, the woman feels unsure of who she is. This is one reason divorce can be a real moment of crisis.

The smartest women I’ve observed use their divorce as an opportunity for growth and maturity. They take inventory of their life, mistakes and all, and devote time and energy to discovering who they are and what they want for their future. This process takes time, patience and dedication, but in the end, these women are able to put their divorce behind them. They go on to be centered, stable, self-assured, capable women who find the happiness they felt they had lost. In fact, when I asked these women if they could turn back the clock and stay married, the answer was overwhelmingly a heartfelt “no” — they would never go back, even with all of the known challenges.

What would be on your list for recovery?

MORE via Alison Patton: What Smart Women Do After Divorce.