Every now and then people ask for my advice on relationships and women, even more so since the creation of this blog.
I want to clear the air right now.
I am not a relationship expert, dating coach, nor do I play one on TV. I’ve never been married, engaged, given a promise-ring or any other new gimmick that is popular at the moment. While I have been in a few long-term-relationships, I would be lying to you if I could explain the hidden and unknown secret of a successful and happy relationship. I know what has worked for me in the past and The Unbreakable Man Laws is my attempt to convey this in a humorous and entertaining way. Some of the posts are written in jest, some are to be taken deeply serious, and others are meant to simply give you something controversial to talk about with your friends at the dinner table or bar.
With the public service announcement out of the way, let’s get to the heart of this post. There is one message that I repeat throughout the blog in one form or another and that is – your life should never center around one person. Specifically, your happiness should not be dependent on someone else’s livelihood. Albert Einstein put it this way:
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
There are a number of people who believe that by putting their significant other first that they are performing an honorable and noble act. They are tying their personal happiness to a specific individual. Should we sacrifice our own happiness for the sake of others? That’s a question without an answer and one that would likely receive ten different answers from ten different people. At some point after putting others before ourselves, you have to step back and take care of yourself – re-energize. There is only one point in your life that the answer of putting someone else in your life should come before your own and that is when it comes to your children.
As a man, I’m of the mindset that you need a specific activity that involves just you – an area of your personal life where you can see yourself making progress towards achieving a goal – whether its repairing motorcycles and computers or training in the gym. A hobby that causes you to throw out all of the problems of the day and where your attention has to be specifically – in the moment. Some people choose a hobby in order to enter into marathons, triathlons, competitions, or they focus on their own artwork and creativity such as music and film. Whatever the case may be, you need one.
In the rush and fast pace of life – especially in the city, it’s easy for us to go from happy hour to happy hour and party after party without really thinking about our long term goals. Now, some people can go from event to event with flying colors and kick ass. Congratulations to them. I know myself well enough, and I know that I cannot. I need re-charge time. Pretty soon, half the year is over, and we look back and haven’t accomplished any of the New Years Resolutions (remember those?) I feel that as a man, if you look back and you are sitting on the same couch, looking at the same TV, in the same (unhappy) relationship, making the same money (or less), then you need to get off your ass and move forward.
Throughout my life, I’ve done this through soccer, weight lifting, studying music, training in Brazilian Jiujitsu, and even writing to an extent. This is “Bishop Time” and while I’m involved with these activities, it allows me to tune out the outside world. These aren’t hobbies I take lightly – I study privately, have coaches or teachers, join organizations and teams and actively engage in them. The times where I’ve strayed farthest in life (for the worst) have been when all I really cared about was having a good time. It’s great for the first week or so, but then what…
The Great Oracle always said “Every guy wants a girl, but the guy on the street – thats all he wants…” This is the PG version of what he really said but the point is that you need to spend your time working on goals that will make a difference in your life and not solely on one person. Its been my experience that the people who have your best interest in heart, will help you reach those goals and not make you choose between the goal and them…
So Gentlemen, man up, find something to get involved with, and I’m not talking about a high score in Angry Birds – start a blog, join a team, get involved with sports. If it seems like you’ve been treading water for a while and in the last few months you haven’t accomplished shit except an imprint on the couch, ask your friends for guidance but be prepared to make a decision – pick a date, time and do it. No excuses. This is your life! Own it.