Why Not Me? On Men and Relationships

midnight kiss-by Flavio-Flickr

Nick Jurczak explores several reasons why a relationship depends on more than just the desire to have one.

During this last year of college, some friends and I opted to have a 4-person on-campus apartment together. This kind of action is normal for people who have been at Ithaca College for 3 or 4 years and is something that most of us look forward to during our freshman and sophomore years. However, every now and then I regret my decision. Sure each of us has a particular dynamic that we bring to the table, something that makes us truly unique, but at the same time we each come with our varying problems and things that irk the others.

The one problem that we all have in common is actually somewhat of a blessing for me: relationships. So far I am the only one of the people in the apartment that has a relationship that somehow puts me both on a higher and lower standard, at least from the eyes of my roommates. I am at a higher standard because I have someone to hold, someone to love, and someone to share things with at the end of the day. I am also on a lower standard because of the same reasons and I continually hear the same exact question on a regular basis: why not me?

In a way it can be demeaning. What makes me, out of everyone else so damn special? Why am I able to achieve something that they cannot? Facebook reinforces these sorts of questions because when each of us sees someone enter a relationship they ask, “How can someone like that get a relationship and I can’t?” This is something that I have to deal with often and quite frankly it’s irritating and I’m sure that I am not the only college student, man or woman, who really has to deal with something like this.

Do you wanna know why you’re not in a relationship at this exact time and place? Here may be some reasons:

1.) You’re comparing yourself to other people.

All too often when I hear people complain about why someone has a girlfriend or boyfriend and they don’t it’s because of this reason. They are asking themselves what the other person has that they don’t. When you do this, it’s like going in the gym and asking why a certain ripped guy can bench press 300 lbs and you’re stuck at a meager 135. Consider what that person went through to get where they are. Have you done the same? Consider what that person’s personality is like, what their interests are, and where they were when they met a particular person. Is your life exactly the same as theirs? The answers are most likely a resounding “No,” Stop focusing so much on comparing yourself to them and figure out what you can do to make yourself better.

2.) You’re putting yourself on a pedestal.

This may seem insulting but honestly get over yourself. When you ask how someone in particular has a girlfriend or boyfriend and you don’t do you realize just how condescending and arrogant you sound? It could be that arrogance that’s getting in the way of you and a potential partner. You’re saying you’re better than who the ex-potential girlfriend/boyfriend chose to date? That’s also condescending to the ex-potential girlfriend/boyfriend. You’re saying that the right decision is you and that there had to be a lapse of judgment on their part, but here’s something else you should know:

3.) Relationships are reciprocal.

When you say to someone that you have feelings for him or her no one ever said that was it, end of story, you’re in a relationship now. He or she must also say back that they also feel that way towards you. If they say they don’t , you need to do two things. 1) Stop pursuing them. 2) Respect their decision. Yes, you may have made the decision to be together but relationships require two people and you can’t blame the other person if they chose someone else over you.

4.) You may not be ready.

Saying to yourself over and over again that you’re ready for a relationship or that you’re lonely and want one is not enough for you to get a relationship. You must consider everything else going on in your life. Are your feelings with your ex squared away? If your answer is to get angry that I mentioned him/her and throw a fit then you aren’t ready. Is your heart conflicted between 2 or 3 different people? If you say yes, you are not ready for a relationship. Do you even really know the person? How long have you been speaking to one another? If your answer is anything along the lines of the song “Call Me Maybe” then you are not ready. You have to be able to put yourself to the side and be comfortable doing so in order to actually have the emotional capacity to care for someone else. If your entire happiness is dependent upon someone else then think about the burden you’re taking off your shoulders and putting on theirs. Relationships are supposed to be about fun and spending time together, not about getting over everything that has happened in your life thus far.

Long story short, stop attacking people when you should be happy that they are happy. Your life is not theirs and most times these things happen for a very specific reason that has nothing to even do with you. If you think it does, please take a reality check and consider what’s going on in your own life that may prevent you from a relationship.

Photo: Flavio~/Flickr

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About Nick Jurczak

Nick Jurczak is a senior television-radio major at Ithaca College with a minor in writing and philosophy. In his writing studies he has worked with everything from autobiography and personal essay to television scripts. You can follow him on twitter @DJNickJ.

Comments

  1. What an incredibly condescending argument. Romantic success isn’t a corollary of personal quality.

    • Nick Jurczak says:

      This argument is not a generalized opinion of where relationships come from, but more from the perspective of when people ask how a particular person could have a relationship (they are basically insulting a particular person) and they themselves do not. It’s something I have seen over and over again with multiple people.

      I’ll agree that romantic success is not a matter of personal quality. These same people who complain about how they don’t have the success others do have great qualities about them and I do believe with some time and faith that they will have their own relationships, however they should not compare their qualities to another person and basically say that said person does not deserve the relationship they have but they do.

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