The Relationship Issue, Part 3

Who’s got the Power?
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

I made the mistake of telling someone, a woman, one who says she is shy, one whom I do not know in person (you know who you are), that when it comes to the man/woman thing (relationships, dating, hooking up), that she has all the power. Not content merely to stick my foot in my mouth, I went further and counseled her to “use it for good,” thus making it seem that I knew exactly what I was talking about.

Now, I think I’m right, or I wouldn’t have said anything. I mean, if you leave out the serial rapist and the brutal numbskull, and include only normal guys who harbor the wish to love and be loved, and to do right, whether they are aware of this wish or not, within this group — and I believe this is by far the largest group of males in the world, so large that a woman might go through her entire life meeting only this type of man — you would find it safe to say that men have ceded control to women in matters of the heart. Personal experience and long observation make me pretty sure I am right about this. Someone’s in charge of these matters, and it ain’t the boys.

Sadly, though, The Power is is elusive and magical, and I don’t have the authority to confer it on anyone. I feel now like the Wizard of Oz, the old fraud, caught behind the curtain, manipulating the levers and dials of a cheap illusion, and forced to admit that I am no more a wizard than you, or you. One thing I promise, though: I won’t hand you a diploma or a pocket watch and try to con you with some kind of power-of-positive-thinking baloney, because we all know that no matter how positive we feel, sometimes the real world doesn’t go along.

The Power I spoke of is not a force that is controllable — you see a guy and you want him, so you turn on your Power and he is inexorably drawn to you, unable to resist. You wouldn’t want that kind of power anyway. I have known women who wanted it, or thought they had it. Eventually they discovered that it didn’t always work, which meant maybe it never had worked, and inevitably they became fixated on the man who did not respond to it, even if they didn’t really want him. They would try more and more ploys, makeup and perfume until bitterness set in, and in their disappointment they would become cynical and unable to see the great guys all around who were naturally attracted to them, without any secret weapon having to be deployed. And yet…

And yet there is a power at work when we mate, whether for a night or a lifetime. I don’t know what it is that makes one woman look different to me than the others, one laugh so infectious, one body in the crowd so irresistible. And maybe she doesn’t, either, but when I fall under her influence I see her face everywhere, I smell her hair, I hear her voice and I long for her touch. Sometimes I feel like I am under a spell, delerious and bipolar. I’m up when she favors me, down when she looks away.

I’m sorry — you can’t use this Power to have any man you want. The Power doesn’t work that way. Not only that, but there is no one Mister Right for you. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are millions of them. The Power probably lies in being receptive, but not passive. Give yourself a little credit, and go after what you want — you may be surprised to find that he wants you, too. If he doesn’t, please trust me on this, somebody does. And not just some low-grade slightly irregular second choice, but someone fully ready and able to rock your world. You’ll have to take this from me on faith: Somebody does. Really.

He can’t stop thinking about you. He wants to impress you. He’s waiting for a sign from you, maybe a smile. He’ll do anything you ask. And if you look at him with an open heart, he’ll get cuter.

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19 Replies to “The Relationship Issue, Part 3”

  1. “Falling in love with Love” is what most of us do. VERY nice at first, then rather insubstantial as time wears on. We all like to think of ourselves as Mr. Nice Guy, I suppose, but then it becomes complicated…

    (What the hell does that mean?)

  2. *cue C+C Music Factory’s “I’ve Got the Power”* No one knows the mysterious workings of attraction between people, and that’s just as well. If it was something we could figure out, it would be all pre-packaged and commidified like everything else. At least there’s still some uncertainty and mystery left in the world. Even if it sucks sometimes. I’m just glad my husband’s and my powers were working in sync when we met–that’s the best 🙂

  3. Ron – What the hell does that mean?
    GFI – I emailed you.
    KPP – In your coarse, piggy way you have stated the exact predicament we all find ourselves in.
    Brent – I’m sure she wasn’t your last girlfriend.
    Steph – You add hope to Kung Pow’s piggy sentiment.

  4. Chick — Actually I prefer your quote.
    jericmiller — What do you mean by equilibrium? In sync, as Steph says? Or blind luck as KPP suggests? Are you talking about simultaneity? I wonder if you’ll see this question.

  5. I also think there are degrees of power. As in “I’ve got the power because I’m self assured and in touch with myself” but also “I’ve got the power because I’m smokin’ hot.”

    And Steph, I can’t stop singing that song in my head at all either.

  6. SJ – I think I covered the “smokin’ hot” part of your equation in the passage that begins never had worked…>.
    This leaves only the part, which might be the only real power we can have.
    And as long as that song stays in your head and doesn’t leak out, that’s fine.

  7. l,
    of course i see the question!
    i think it can be reached by either blind luck or really good chemistry, but, as you suggest, most of the time you’ve got two peole coming at the same place from vastly different angles, with vastly different idea about what it all means and should mean. or fuck it, not even very fast.
    when you get on that teeter-totter, unless you wanna do that up down thing, which can be fun but is really child’s play, you’ve got to weigh precisely the same amount as the woman on the other side. so that you can, you know, balance there, and look into each other’s eyes…etc.
    but man, one of you or the other is much too heavy or much too light and someone is going to be stuck up in the blue sky and the other trapped with his or her butt in the mudd…

  8. L, that was beautiful. I truly believe it’s about – something. A something that can’t be explained but felt not like a touch, but like a heartbeat that surrounds us inside and out the moment eyes are met or hands are brushed. What a beautifu post.

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