Personal,  Relationships

How do you choose your partner?

You know, trailing through the interwebs today I came across an interesting article.

About how we end up marrying the wrong people.

Cake Toppers from OffBeatBride

The article goes into very many points and I thought I would go through them in my way. Because I think we all make stupid decisions because we feel that we’re in “love”. That ever elusive self involved emotion where logic flies out the window and you do things because they feel good instead of running away screaming because that’s what any sane person would do.

Cynic? Who me? Nah, never.

Getting back to the article though…

One: We don’t understand ourselves

A standard question on any early dinner date should be quite simply: ‘And how are you mad?’

 One of the greatest privileges of being on one’s own is the flattering illusion that one is, in truth, really quite an easy person to live with.

With such a poor level of understanding of our characters, no wonder we aren’t in any position to know who we should be looking out for.
The Philosphers Mail

I’m rather mad. I know it, most of my friends are mad too, it’s why I love them so dearly. We mesh really fucking well.

I find that we love to gloss over partners though. I could list the very many ways in which I have madnesses. From periods of wanting to hide from the world to wanting to talk to every living being in it. I’m a masochist. I’m a sadist. I love to be alone yet I get lonely. I often get frustrated by people wanting to invade my alone time when I want to read. I love my cat and get upset when he doesn’t pay me attention and then when he’s head butting me every 5 minutes I get frustrated. I’m a bit like that with people too.

I know this of myself. I know that living a life without kinky stuff in it is no life I want to lead. I know that my alone time is paramount to my happiness and well-being. I don’t like feeling caged, yet want to be.

I know, I’m a walking oxymoron.


Two: We don’t understand other people

In a wiser society, prospective partners would put each other through detailed psychological questionnaires and send themselves off to be assessed at length by teams of psychologists. By 2100, this will no longer sound like a joke. The mystery will be why it took humanity so long to get to this point.

We need to know the intimate functioning of the psyche of the person we’re planning to marry. We need to know their attitudes to, or stance on, authority, humiliation, introspection, sexual intimacy, projection, money, children, aging, fidelity and a hundred things besides. This knowledge won’t be available via a standard chat.
The Philosophers Mail

And never a wiser word was said.

No really, we walk about thinking we know someone else, but we don’t. One thing I remember my psychologist said to me that was one of the wisest things I’ve heard is that people walk around with blinkers on.

Blinkers like a horse. Yet those blinkers don’t act like a horses blinkers. They are the persons own experience blinkers. Think of their life experience as a shadow behind them. That is the only experience that they can draw on to try to understand what you are trying to convey, your emotions, your feelings, yourself.

Knowing that, communication needs to be fluid. You need to avoid language that is going to cause your partner to go on the offensive/defensive. You need to figure out how to say things in a logical manner. Instead of using “you” use “I feel”. Instead of “you” use “I am” – take back the pointing finger and start pointing at yourself to try to explain where you are mentally and emotionally.

Yet in the heat of the moment we all say exactly the opposite of what we mean and therein lies the problem. Trying to fix a mess only compounds it.

I’ve started to realise when Loki and I are about to argue about something that I really don’t think deserves an argument and he feels it does because he’s frustrated and wants to vent his emotions. I let him vent and don’t engage with the finger-pointing and blame game. And there are other times I do because I’m also human and can’t be lil miss perfect all the time. I know, shock horror right?


Three: We aren’t used to being happy

We marry the wrong people because the right ones feel wrong – undeserved; because we have no experience of health, because we don’t ultimately associate being loved with feeling satisfied.
The Philosophers Mail

The all elusive love and happiness. What is love? How do you know you have it? Hollywood would like you to believe that love means that you lose all sense of yourself for another person.

I’m yet to experience this kind of “love” – I’ve been totally immersed in another before. We spent every waking second together, mostly fucking. But in between that we’d talk and talk and talk. I’ve never lost my mind over someone. It’s always been rather measured. And more and more lately I find that I have the emotional connection but my logical mind is making up a list of things that I think are totally incompatible. Shelf life always comes to mind.

Maybe I am used to not being happy. I didn’t really grow up with a loving mother and father. I had a mum. She did the best she could. I’ve grown up being told to be independent and not depend on any man for anything. So I have done that. But trying to find how to reconcile this into a loving relationship is pretty hard. Basically I see what my friends have and they all have such varying relationships, yet they are all so much into each other that it’s vomit inducing. They are posting all kinds of things on each other’s social media sites, they share things, they express and share what they have. And for that I’m grateful because I think that maybe I’ll never have that and so I share their glow for I get to experience it 3rd hand.

And half the issues are that we are lead to believe that we aren’t worthy. Or at least I’m not worthy. Do I end up with incompatible people because deep down I believe that’s what I deserve and that no one can really love me? Maybe I do.


Four: Being single is so awful

Unfortunately, after a certain age, society makes singlehood dangerously unpleasant. Communal life starts to wither, couples are too threatened by the independence of the single to invite them around very often, one starts to feel a freak when going to the cinema alone. Sex is hard to come by as well. For all the new gadgets and supposed freedoms of modernity, it can be very hard to get laid – and expecting to do so regularly with new people is bound to end in disappointment after 30.
– The Philosophers Mail

Ok so I’m calling horse shit on this point.

I’ve had some of the greatest sex of my life after I turned 30. But the statement about society and single-hood is pretty valid.

I’ve always enjoyed being single. My time is my own. My space is my own and I get to eat whatever I want for dinner. And my cat loves me because he doesn’t have to share his side of the bed. But I went into all of that when I wrote about how Singledom doth not equate to the end of life as we know it.


The article goes on another other types of marriages and feelings/thought processes.

Feel free to have a read of the whole thing, but I think they might be onto something in regards to the next evolution of marriage.

What if it is all about the psychological?

I know that I have trouble relating and dealing with stupid people. I couldn’t, no matter how much they offered to pay me, shag someone who couldn’t uphold an intelligent conversation… let alone have a relationship with someone who didn’t have drive.

Drive in themselves to learn new things, experience new things, do new things…

Ahhhhhhhhhh relationships, no wonder shrinks make so much money. In so many ways I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, yet at the same time I have all the ideas.

Also I believe that being in a long distance relationship means that everything is harder. Usually you can convey a lot with a touch or a hug. A kiss. A tug of hair. It’s all so much more … emotional and I think it’s easier to shrug off things. And other things get to you more easier because of the distance.

I think I’m the bi-polar of the extroverted-introverted world and that carries across to everything else in my life.



  • Ann St. Vincent

    Thank you for sharing this, Sharn… food for thought indeed. I’m certainly thinking a lot about this these days… how not to repeat past mistakes, and all that 🙂

    Especially when you consider that subsequent marriages have a higher failure rate. That I find fascinating. I did some great research on Psychology Today…perhaps I should drag that out again.

    • Sharn

      I thought it was interesting because it got me thinking pretty hard about myself, how well I know myself and how well other’s know me.

      I would love to believe that we don’t go down the same path twice, but in order to do that we need the self awareness to realise what we’re doing. Emotions make things so ickky I find, but there’s no way of escaping them either.

      Perhaps you should! I’d be interested to hear about it at any rate.

      I guess there’s a reason why I never got married. I might go into that one day.

  • maurnas

    A friend recently told me that he thinks I define myself by my being single. And I totally don’t think I do. I do feel defined by my lack of sex. I think I just throw in the single stuff to beat others to the punchline. And also because he is a work friend and I don’t talk about sex at work.

    I agree with many points in this article. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sharn

      Anytime and I think we all do that to a degree.

      It’s easier to brush it off if we beat everyone to the punchline no?

      Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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