Love is a beautiful thing. Two people getting to know each other, celebrating their similarities, intrigued by their differences. Sharing special moments together. Maximizing their respective strengths while supporting each other through their respective failings. Becoming stronger together than they ever could be alone.
That’s the theory, anyways. All too often, a supposed partner ends up looking a lot more like a rival.
Think about the ways in which we’re conditioned to think adversarially about the opposite sex. Wear certain clothes. Look a certain way. Say all the right things. Seem interested, but not too interested. Call them. Don’t call them right away. The socially-established human mating dance is indeed a complex, trying game.
And it doesn’t get any better when a relationship begins. When she’s saying this she’s really thinking that. Be careful not to do this or he’ll take it that way. This is how to get her to give you what you want. Say that to manipulate him into doing things your way. There are literal volumes written on how to navigate a relationship with the opposite sex. And a lot of it is on how to get what you want from an otherwise unwilling partner, while at the same time avoiding being forced into reciprocation.
Call me a dreamer, but to my mind this is a colossally wrong-headed approach. Our worlds are filled with enemies and, God willing, friends as well. I believe we should devote as little attention to our enemies as we can get away with, and dedicate most of our effort to our friends and loved ones. Special friends are special, and should be treated with all the love, respect, and understanding that we can muster; not with suspicion, obfuscation, and manipulation. We seek true love, to find someone with whom we can share our hearts, our minds, our bodies, even our souls. That requires absolute honesty, sincerity, and devotion.
Romance gives us a chance at a truly remarkable connection with another human being, something we all long for. Instead, tragically, we often end up sleeping with the enemy. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.