The Game of Life: Managing Interpersonal Relationships (Part 3 of 4)

I often write about interpersonal relationships on this blog. I think it is an important, often overlooked, and misunderstood subject.

Many people confuse self-preservation with selfishness. An analogy I often use to delineate self-preservation from selfishness is the airline flight safety brief analogy.

When you are on your flight and the cabin doors close, the airline stewardess or steward will tell you that in the event of cabin depressurization in flight that you must put on your oxygen mask before assisting others, including small children. This is sound advice because if you fail to follow procedures, you will likely pass out from hypoxia before you can assist the other people around you.

The same reasoning applies to life and your relationships with other people. Two “messed up” people are unlikely to be of much help to each other. You cannot help others when you yourself are in need of help. This isn’t to say that if you are in a position to assist someone that you shouldn’t help, purely out of self-interest, but it does mean that you are in a better position to help others if you yourself do not need help.

Never ignore your needs to satisfy the needs of others. While such selflessness is admirable, it is also quite foolhardy when selfless actions on your part are wasted on the wrong people or applied to the wrong set of circumstances. Finding selfless people is how scammers, con artists, and grifters identify and take advantage of their marks.

When it comes to interpersonal relationships on a romantic level, I wish my 49 year old self could have a conversation with my 20 year old self and tell him two words…

Be patient.

Young men should absolutely embrace the art of patience before chasing women because oftentimes, they catch the wrong woman through their impatient actions. I know this to be true (anecdotally) because it happened to my 20 year old self.

20 year old me definitely married the wrong woman because I didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t have the wisdom or experience to recognize that I gave my heart to a low-quality, damaged woman. 20 year old me was an idealistic romantic who thought “love can fix anything and anyone”. Most young men think this way. It’s part of our cultural conditioning and cultural conditioning is more often than not, illogical.

Young men tend not to have the wisdom, wealth, or experience that quality women find desirable and attractive. Most young men, like my 20 year old self, settle down while still young and foolish. Don’t make this mistake!

Being patient and working to gain wisdom by chasing excellence and not chasing women is a far more logical life plan. “Chasing excellence” means working on yourself through education, personal development, and cultivating social skills and personal tastes before seeking long-term relationships.

The two-word piece of advice I have for young women is quite different…

Act now!

No one has the luxury of time. 30 is NOT the new 20. For anyone. This is especially true for women. The time to work on your marriage as a woman is before you have one.

At the risk of sounding sexist, a woman is at the pinnacle of her beauty and fertility in her late teens through her mid twenties. Every year after about age 28, it becomes less viable and more risky to try to conceive and bear children.

A woman thinking that she can put off having children until 30 to build that career will likely jeopardize her ability to have children, assuming that having kids is or will become important to her.

The end result of a woman not acting now is bitterness and resentment. A woman should use her youth to gain wisdom.

Lots of young women receive tons of male attention, and thus, they think that they have the luxury of choice (which they do), but as I said, 30 is not the new 20 and being spoiled for choice doesn’t last.

The 20 year old “party girl” who freely gives herself to men who won’t commit to her (usually low-quality men) very quickly becomes a 30 or 40 year old woman who either never finds the right man or settles for a lesser man. Either way, she becomes a bitter and resentful woman stuck in a dead-end job and/or in a marriage she isn’t happy with.

The fierce urgency of now should motivate women to act with precision and acumen in finding and attracting the right, high-quality man and men should be patient in their pursuit of excellence so that the high-quality woman can easily recognize him.

Such is the key to success…

-The Rational Ram

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