Ask Joey: Make love, not war

Joey Garcia

You missed the boat in your response to the guy who complained that women prefer gangsters over nice guys. He’s right. Online profiles by 20-year-old women list tattoos and motorcycles as top requirements. And the government is the “baby daddy,” so girls can afford to slut it up with sexy gangsters, get pregnant and have taxpayers foot the bill. I’m a 33-year-old man who knows girls want a challenge, someone who creates a wide range of emotions, not just positive ones. Bad boys are good at that, because they say the right things. Anyway, I say self-interest over niceness, but I had to have my heart broken bad to learn how to do that confidently and without apology.

Oh, darlin’, it’s time you stopped reading online profiles and pledging yourself to campaign rhetoric about the government. Allow me to assign a summer reading list for you: The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle. Oh, you might have read these books, perhaps even joined a meet-up group to discuss them. Books offer knowledge. To gain the self-awareness necessary to actually free your ego from cleaving to unconsciousness, however, you must study yourself and practice disciplining your mind. Like this: “Anything you resent and react strongly to in another is also in you,” wrote Tolle.

Yes, that means at some level you are engaged in the same behavior as the 20-something women and gangstas you attack. Here’s one possibility: You slut it up (promiscuously putting down women who are not attracted to you).

Tame your ego. If you were more attracted to yourself, women moving like moths to a flame riding a motorcycle would not be on your radar. Your social calendar would be focused on removing your inner obstacles to loving others. That’s right, if you are living your life fully, other people’s life choices are not a bother.

Here’s Tolle again: “A genuine relationship is one that is not dominated by the ego with its image-making and self-seeking. In a genuine relationship, there is an outward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever.”

You cannot become conscious by choosing—let me quote you here—“self-interest over niceness,” but it does successfully feed your unhealthy ego. When you tire of that path, try living in the present moment, treating each person and their situation uniquely. Even yourself. And, remember, a broken heart is an open heart. Building defenses around it prepares you for war, not love.

My friends say I’m single because I’m too picky. I read online-dating profiles carefully and can tell after a phone conversation whether it’s worthwhile meeting face to face. But a friend met her husband at a charity event. That night, she found his online profile and said she never would have given him a chance based on what he wrote. They’ve been together five happy years. Am I doing this dating thing wrong?

Not necessarily. You tackle dating the way a human-resource department searches for new employees: perusing applications, prescreening by phone and inviting a few lucky candidates for interviews. This process works sometimes for some people. It may work for you. But interviews are stressful. If you fire difficult questions at your date, you might appear judgmental or controlling. Most of us possess one of those qualities, but it usually surfaces far enough into the relationship so that our finer selves have already made us desirable. Try being open, accepting and present with potential dates. Noticing how you feel (emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally) in his presence will tell you as much or more than his answers.

Meditation of the week
“The ego’s … tendency to emphasize the ‘otherness’ of others by focusing on their perceived faults and make those faults into their identity … taken a little further … makes others into inhuman monsters,” wrote Eckhart Tolle. Who is your scapegoat?

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