After wowing us with The Game, Neil Strauss gives us a more sustainable approach to relationships, not only with others but ourselves.
After turning the final page of The Truth by Neil Strauss, I felt a little sad. Not because it was a sad story, but because I really didn’t want the journey to be over yet.
As described in the full title of the work (an uncomfortable book about relationships), this is not the kind of book you’d want to discuss at a church book club.
The book details his adventures not only through rehab for sex addiction (post The Game), but through nights at swinger parties and his adventures creating his own love commune in San Francisco where he lived and had a relationship with 3 different women, all at the same time.
Neil spares no harsh details on his incredible journey to discovering himself, and the way he shares his personal story makes it seem as if you are right there next to him, listening to his every thought.
Though this book mainly addresses the debate of monogamy vs. a life of sexual freedom, any man, regardless of their standing in life, has something great to benefit from reading this incredible work.
As I took notes throughout the book, I wrote down a few lines that stood out as monumental life lessons. Whether he intended them this way or not, that’s how I took them, and I would love to share them with you.
Love is not about finding the right person. It’s about becoming the right person
How many times do you hear someone complain about “not being able to find someone”?
Finding someone who YOU feel safe enough to enter into a relationship is hard enough, let alone find someone who feels the same way about you.
Forcing love is like putting a band-aid on a shotgun wound. It may patch you up for a few seconds, but as soon as the honeymoon phase is over, all your innerds are going to gush out of your body like a villain in a Quentin Tarantino movie.
If you don’t have your crap together, someone else isn’t gonna just come along with their crap-scooper and scoop it up into a nice, neat, steamy pile for you.
You don’t have to have your entire life figured out in order to be in a relationship with someone, but you need to have a good hold on the insecurities and baggage that’s holding you back.
Relationships are like divining rods for locating one’s faults and weaknesses
A common misconception among single people is that finding another person to spend your life with is going to fix you.
Maybe, just maybe, having someone else is going to help keep your worst characteristics in check.
If you were dating a beautiful woman, do you think that’s going to make you less jealous or insecure?
No way. In fact, it’s going to be worse.
When you’re single, you can hide that stuff more easily. You can retreat into your own little world, where nobody knows how jealous, insecure, or un-confident you can be.
When you’re with someone, ESPECIALLY if you’ve been with them for an extended period of time (aka after the honeymoon phase) that stuff is going to come to the forefront of your daily life and relentlessly eat at you, unless you learn to tame your inner beasts.
Life is a test. You pass if you can be true to yourself.
It’s impossible to life live without influence from others.
That’s just a fact of life. If we are the average of the five people we associate with most, then we better be damn sure the people we spend the most time with aren’t bringing us down or influencing us negatively in any way.
There is one quote that comes to mind when I think of this line. Rita Mae Brown once said that I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you, except for yourself.
There are certain points of life where you have to make tough decisions where the tradeoff is either conformity, or doing what you really want to do. The unfortunate thing is that most of the time social pressure is so great, that doing the thing that you really want to do seems to be a matter of life or death.
The other great example I think about when I think of this line is Tim Tebow.
Yes, the Heisman-trophy winning college quarterback who didn’t quite make it in the pros. The one who just got dumped by Miss Universe Olivia Culpo (http://www.faithit.com/miss-universe-just-dumped-tim-tebow-because-he-wouldnt-have-sex-with-her-his-response-is-perfect/) (pics here) because he wouldn’t have sex with her before marriage.
Can you even imagine the social pressure that Tim Tebow faces on a daily basis to just conform? To be like everyone else? To just lose his virginity like “everyone else does”?
He knows what’s important to him, and he sticks to it. He could care less what people think he “should” do. He doesn’t get “peer pressured”, and he surely knows what it’s like to be respected more than liked.
And at the end of the day, Tim Tebow wins.
Where there’s reactivity, there’s a wound
When I take a minute to think about this little gem, I have a hard time finding an instance where it isn’t true.
Each time you have a negative reaction to something, more than likely there is a root cause behind that reaction that has a wound hidden behind it, deep down.
For example, today someone honked at me while I was merging onto the highway.
You know, those dumb little 4-leaf clovers that expect you to go from 25 mph around the curve to 70 mph at the drop of a hat. That’s tough to do when you’re driving an old-ass company minivan.
So anyways, this person honked at me. As a result, I was super pissed.
WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO, B*TCH? DRIVE OFF THE ROAD? YOU DIDN’T LET ME OVER!
But right after I got off on my exit, I wondered to myself- why did I feel the need to get so mad and defend myself? Nobody even cares. She won’t even remember it by the end of the day.
And when I thought about the quote, I thought how that incident fits in with my status as a recovering people-pleaser.
I reacted to that lady honking at me, because I felt insecure about being considered a “people-pleaser” as I had in the past. As a result of pissing of someone off, I reacted in a way that over-compensated for my (mostly) former people-pleasing nature.
Like I said earlier, even if you aren’t really interested in pursuing the kind of relationships that Neil did, this book has TONS to offer on self-esteem, confidence, habits, becoming shameless, and has the best relationship advice out there today.
But, if you’re into the raunchy details of how sex clubs, swingers, and love communes work, this book spares no details with those topics either.
After The Game and The Truth, it’s hard to imagine what else Neil would have to write about when it comes to relationships. Whatever that work is, however, you can bet that I’ll order it on Amazon and read it cover to cover.
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