Nasty or Nice – Which is best?

In a relationship, I mean.. You see I am by nature a nurturer (Try saying that after a few tequila shots!) If I care for someone, I enjoy taking care of them.  I think I have whined about it in previous posts: that I end up giving a lot to my ‘mate’ but that eventually he just sits back and goes ‘awright!’, takes anything on offer but stops giving back..

It doesn’t ever start that way, but inevitably goes there. So you have him lovin’ every minute of his life cos he’s with someone who’s kinda nice to him. Then you have me feeling used and under-appreciated. And you guessed it: ending the relationship.

A friend of mine recently became engaged to a man she’s been with for some time. All very exciting! I’ll talk more about that later because it means I’m coming to the US of A – so look out everyone! 😉

But a few months before the engagement she was on the brink of tossing him out the door!

Without going into details, we talked about it at the time and she was really upset and on the verge of telling him to get out of her life. Then she updated me a few days later, after they’d had a “big talk” and said he was lovey dovey beyond comprehension, helpful.. nothing was a bother, he was positively doting on her.

She laughed and said “treat ’em mean – keep ’em keen!”

Now she isn’t actually the mean sort so she was more using the phrase to explain away how come this change had taken place. But it did make me wonder why she had to get to the brink of breaking it off before he finally went ‘oh she’s seriously upset, I better do something!”

i.e.: it took a drama before he took action.

So does that mean that maybe relationships are meant to be like this?

Maybe relationships are just like see saw rides?

They all start out WOOHOO! FUN! WHEEEE – LIFE IS GOOD! Up up and then – crash.. Bad .. Ok, let’s go back up … YAY .. It’s all good! Down down down …Thud. Or worse: they don’t even continue to see/saw – the other half gets off the damn thing, letting you crash to the ground.

We all know how much that hurts when it happens. Metaphorically speaking or otherwise..

But you know what else?

If they are like this and there’s nothing we can do about it then I don’t think I want one!

Because I cannot live that way. I strive for balance and peace .. Not in that annoying “peace, love and lentils” kinda way – this is about my head space.. my life. I enjoy things being calm and pleasant.

Not for me the dramas, the fights, the making up crap that seems to happen so much in modern day relationships..

So anyway, am I wrong, can a good relationship be anything other than a see saw ride?

Saw this pic above on a blog today when searching for “treat ’em mean and keep ’em keen” – sadly, this does seem to be the case, from men I’ve talked to on this topic. No wonder we’re all confused as hell in this game of love..


About lifeinthefarcelane

Giving life the shake down it so richly deserves.

Posted on January 10, 2012, in Humour, Life, Love, Rants, Relationships, Stress and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. Sure, life has it’s “ups” and “downs” but most of our time is spent in between. A saw ride doesn’t work if one person is always on the ground and neither does a relationship. You’re very wise! Great post!

    • Oh yes agree, ups and downs are a part of being. I like being 😉

      As you say – it’s when one is up and the other down, without a sense of balance that things are less ideal.

      I wish GETTING a relationship to work was as easy as blogging about how damn hard it is!

      Maybe I should go thru and read all my posts and find any commonalities then analyse them then form my list of “this is what I need and / or want” ..

      yeah, tomorrow maybe .. ish ..

  2. Very thought provoking post – I used to be in this situation all the time – constantly taking care of my mate & being underappreciated for it. So when I found myself single again about 15 years ago, I decided to do something a little different. Instead of yearning after the type of guy who knew he was a step up for me, I decided to try the guy who knew if he got me he was “dating up” to get me. This guy was so appreciative of me, he did everything for me, I didn’t have to wait on him at all. As a matter of fact he couldn’t do enough for me! As the relationship deepened & eventually became marriage, it’s become more like a 100%/100% effort on both our parts which is how I wanted it to be in the first place!

    • interesting concept, I am glad it worked out and you got to the 100% each thing!

      I am unsure quite how I feel about dating up or down (never heard it called that, I like it!) Punching above his weight is the one I’ve most heard..

      I think this comes back to my post awhile ago about being with someone who complements you.. And we all have different needs, different things that are at our core .. that need satisfying. Which simply makes it all harder LOL

      Thanks for your comment, Lynda 🙂

  3. Okay, so try not to hate me for this, but I have passed along to you The Versatile Blogger Award, and it has… requirements. Yeah, I know… you just recently went through a round of this business of picking out your favorite bloggers, and you’re not wild about it because it means picking some of them, and excluding others. But think of this as a second chance to pick some deserving folks whom you didn’t pick before! And the Versatile Blogger Award gives you 15 picks, so now you’ve got 15 new chances to make it up to the people you slighted last time!

    So now, like it or not, you are now officially a Versatile Blogger, and congratulations!

    Or… you can just forget about the whole thing, because here on WP, I know that you wouldn’t be the first blogger to do so. But you might want to at least check out the link, because I said some nice things about you! 🙂

    • awwww thank you (you suck hahah @ 15 more!!!) I read your entry actually, but have been flat out (don’t be grotty) this week and not had time to do any real comments or responses grr hate this work bizzo getting in the way of my blogging habit!


      • Grotty? Who me? Never! I just don’t know where you’d ever get such an impression, Ms.Starfish… LOL! And Now that I’ve got you thinking even more highly of me, please answer me this question:

        Why is it, that I’ve never met an Aussie or a Kiwi chick online, that I just couldn’t resist? Huh? Because there’s been more than just one or two of both…

      • Yeah you … *grins* I have NO idea why you’d like Ockers .. Kiwis I can totally understand tho 😉

        OK now that we have the obligatory “anti Tasman” statement done … seriously – I think it’s cos we’re real blokes??

      • If you mean by “…cos we’re real blokes??” that you ladies from NZ and that other place seem very comfortable with being “one of the guys” by being rowdy and outrageous, while still being attractively feminine, well yes, that’s definitely part of it. And you more often than not seem to have a great sense of humor, and even more endearing… you seem to appreciate mine. Lol 🙂

      • lmao!
        I do get it, is that so wrong?

        PS I will have you know I am not rowdy *haughty sniff* well .. maybe a liddle bit .. just a teeny weeny iddy bit..

  4. Agreed. Game should be for children.

  5. OMG that pie chart makes me want to stab someone! If that’s just how it is… How men are, then I don’t want one either!

  6. Here’s my take: As women, we are socialized to accommodate and to avoid confrontation. That’s great in many situations. But, sometimes, in relationships, it means we allow behaviors to occur that don’t work for us. We say nothing, and of course, the bahaviors continue or become even more pronounced. Then, by the time we confront the situation, things are already out of control. So what I believe is that standing up for ourselves is neither nasty nor bitchy nor any other kind of negative label. It’s simply an acknowledgement of our own value and knowing what works for us in a relationship. And that chart is another matter, entirely. When I see women gravitate toward men who ignore them, I just think it’s sad. Very, very sad.

    • I’m very hard to ignore cos I’m annoying as hell *grin*

      You are right about the way we’re brung up – that we’re hard wired to accomodate. And I’ll be honest with you – I don’t mind that, in fact I think I kinda like being that way.

      The key, as you and others have said – is to deal with things pre-emptively almost. Certainly before they become situations! I think maybe part of my problem is I go “ice maiden” when I start to feel taken advantage of. So I don’t express my feelings, I carry on as best I can (so he’s oblivious to the fact I’m hurting) and then I bail when it all gets too much..

      Amazing moment of introspection happening as I read and reply to these comments .. and I’m sitting in my office at work lol love it ..

  7. It’s not supposed to be like that, but it frequently is. Just keep going until it isn’t. Not with the same guy, though. Don’t be taken for granted, and always ask for what you want. Don’t let it build up. Be more like Old Faithful, venting steam regularly, and less like Krakatoa.

    • You know what Edward Hotspur – you just made me go “OMG” (face palm style)

      I always say that I am big on communication in a relationship and yet when I think about it, I bloody am not. I do not articulate what I want, to the person I expect to deliver it.
      Well DUH. Go figure I don’t get what I want..


      I kinda think I was applying the ‘lead by example’ tactic. And that sure as hell hasn’t worked.

      If you were here I’d give you the biggest damn hug ever.
      This is huge for me.

  8. I’m a lot like you are. I need to work on finding a balance between extreme devotion and utter emotional exhaustion.

    • I take comfort in the fact it’s not just a “me” thing, that so many people are the same. I know men who are givers and get taken for granted too, it’s not just a female thing, either. Which comes back to someone else’s comment below ..

      Nice people being taken for granted by awful people.W HY do they attract it and / or put up with it?

  9. Instead of treating em mean to keep em keen, just don’t be over the top nice to them all the time. Otherwise they just get used to it and stop apretiating you. Everything in moderation I say 🙂

    • Ben I love your comment, it’s so simple and right but ..I caaaaaaan’t do it *whine*

      I don’t think I am over the top nice cos fundamentally I’m a horrible person *

      I kinda like the idea of each half trying to out do the other in keeping their mate happy – am I just a dreamer?

  10. The pie chart seems to be so typical these days. Sigh. I don’t think you’re a dreamer ( your response last comment) I think you’re on the right track there. Not a bully or a doormat.

  11. I thought of a horrible analogy, yet it might work nonetheless. Take Jello. Let’s call Jello a nice person. Now take a wooden block. Let’s call that an awful person. The Jello is liquid, and solidifies around the wooden block, but the wooden block never gives up anything, never changes its form for any reason.

    Two jellos – they swirl together, mix together, gel together, form together, figuring out each others’ boundaries and working with each other.

    Two wooden blocks can also work together, but not as long, because they rub against each other the wrong way too many times and catch fire and burn each other out.

    Sorry about that analogy. I really am.

  12. honestly, the media has done so much fucking damage to our cultural view on what relationships should be. TV or Hollywood portrayal demands that they become dramatic and loud…with the big last-second apology at the airport in the end. Literature and magazines are no better.
    I really don’t blame femanism…or even male mysogony (sp?) as much as our current media culture…and our inability to seperate that fiction…from reality.

  13. I wish dating were simple. I find it so stressful, especially being the over-analyzer that I am. Most of the time it just seems so much easier to avoid it altogether. I guess if you’re willing to go through all of that, he’s possibly the right guy? Maybe? That’s what I’m counting on. Until then, the single life is a whole lot easier.

    • Single life is kinda fun in a way, isn’t it? I totally get you there .. it makes me wonder why we all constantly go on about love and relationships because mostly they suck or are “tolerable” at best, it seems. And I don’t do anything that sucks or is merely tolerable if I can avoid it .. so I’m never gonna find me someone lol

      I guess it’s that whole “hope” thing, that I suppose only humans ever experience, that keeps us looking .. ?

      NO idea to be honest! (As you can tell from my ramblings!) 😉

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