||02-12-2011 02:58 PM
A Blog entry by Neil Strauss published a long time ago.
A Few Things You Need To Know About Valentine’s Day
Because of The Game, Valentine's Day week is a busy time for me.
All of a sudden every radio and TV show host wants to advise his or her listeners' on how to get a date for Valentine's Day.
And obediently, I play the role.
But let's face it: If you don't have a date by now, you're screwed.
Even if you do meet someone between now and then, it is too soon to be spending a holiday dedicated to romantic love together.
Of course, then there are also those of us who are in a relationship or otherwise have a date for Valentine's Day. And, for every one of my male friends in this situation, Valentine's Day still sucks, because most are emotionally handicapped and have no idea what is expected of them. Rather than looking forward to a day spent in rapturous bliss, they fear the look of disappointment in her eyes when they mess things up today or do something wrong.
So last night, I was sitting around with five of my friends, and the conversation went something like this:
"I have never, ever, in my life looked forward to Valentine's Day."
"I hate it. Too many expectations."
"It's an artificial greeting-card holiday anyway."
"Yeah, and the problem is that it's designed for a woman's needs in a relationship, not a man's."
"You're right. We need our own holiday."
At first, this seemed like a good idea: a holiday designed for the needs of men on August 14, perhaps named after the patron saint of threesomes.
But then we went online and researched Valentine's Day and realized that the whole thing is a sham.
First of all, nothing is known about the original St. Valentine: chances are that, being a man of the cloth back then, he probably knew little about earthly romantic love.
Secondly, the idea of the holiday literally began with a greeting card invented in the 1840's, and evolved into a tradition where people who cared about each other simply exchanged cards.
Somehow, in the popular imagination, the holiday turned into a day when a man and a woman who love each other are supposed to commemorate it with something special.
And clearly all this has done is made the people who aren't in love feel inadequate, and make many those who are in love stressed out.
Besides, we are living in a culture in which twenty-five percent of all crimes are domestic violence, the divorce rate is fifty percent, and the majority of men and women have cheated. So for most people, the ritual is hypocritical. If you're in love, every day should be Valentine's Day anyway.
So in an effort to help out, I'd like to share the two best pieces of advice on relationships I received from pickup artists.
The first comes from David X. Now, if you've read The Game, you know who I'm talking about. The guy looked, smelled, and sounded like Jabba the Hut. Yet from his mouth, in between some of the most disgusting sex talk I'd heard, came this small shrapnel of sensitivity:
"What do you think are the three most important things in a relationship?" he asked.
The answer: Honesty, trust, and respect.
"If you have those three things," he continued, "everything else – friendship, love, sex – falls into place."
Since then, I noticed that every healthy relationship had all three elements in place. As soon as one partner doesn't trust the other or lies or begins treating the other with less respect than even a stranger, everything starts fraying at the seams.
So if you are in a relationship that is missing one of these elements, then you are not in a real relationship: either repair the missing element or get out.
The other piece of advice came from a pickup artist from Tokyo named Maniac High, who learned this analogy from his friend Jake. It was mentioned in The Game, and a lot of people wrote in about it. Here is the full story of Gold Versus Rocks from Maniac High himself:
"Below is a transcript of what I wrote to a very confused middle aged lady. She had been rejecting all the 'nice guys' as 'not her type,' then got a playboy who played her, and now she wonders why she got played.
"Dear confused middle-aged lady:
"Let me tell you about rocks and gold.
"Men and women both appreciate things that are valuable. Diamonds (rocks) and gold are both very valuable things. In a relationship, diamonds equals personality (ie arranging nice romantic dinners, walks on the moonlight, candlelight with soft music', a sense of connection), while gold='sex'.
"But women prefer diamonds to gold (usually), and men prefer gold to diamonds (usually). Of course, both are important, especially in a long-term relationship, but if a woman could choose, she would prefer the diamonds first, and the man would prefer the gold first.
"And (generally), a man can accept gold without the diamonds, and a woman can accept diamonds without any gold.
"So in a relationship, a woman is mining for diamonds, while the man is mining for gold.
"But if you give a woman gold (sex) only, or a man diamonds (romantic walks and nice dinners) only, neither is likely to be very happy, and the relationship will soon fall apart. In short, an exchange of sorts takes place in a successful relationship.
"So if a man expects just gold (sex), but doesn't want to give her diamonds (relationship & the mushy stuff), then she will dump him fairly soon, because he is playing/using her just for sex.
"And if a woman expects just diamonds (walks, attention, nice dinners, movies, etc) without giving some gold (sex), then he (if he has any clue about how to deal with women, though many men do not, especially in North America) will dump her because she is using/playing him just for his personality.
"That should put you to a good start as to how these things are based."
True, it's an over-simplification, and a good relationship fulfills so many more needs than just the above. But Maniac High makes a good general point.
In fact, after re-reading it, I now realize that I must modify my outlook on Valentine's Day. Perhaps I'm just bitter about the holiday because I was the guy in second grade who never got the Valentines from the cute girls in class.
So even if Valentine's Day is a sham, it actually fulfills a necessary function: rocks.
Now we just need a good holiday for the gold.