Love would be easy if rules weren’t hard

By Linda Warchal

This column is written in the hopes that men and women can one day understand each other as if they existed in the same plane of reality.

A friend of mine told me an interesting anecdote about her ballroom dancing class. She said it was ironic that dance partners had to interlock their elbows like a puzzle, because the relationship between men and women is just that.

Romance is a fairly easy phenomena to understand in your younger years. That is the magical time when boys chase girls and love really does make the world go ‘round’—at least for a while.

That is, until the Cootie Syndrome develops. It’s an ailment documented in the unwritten texts of the Book of Love. This strange illness sets a precedent for the later years. Only then it has a different name: Why Didn’t (fill in the pronoun) Call?

We can’t forget the next stage, when things really begin to get complicated. This stage would be the Let’s Form A Clique And Rotate Dates Each Week. This occurs in the early teen years. It’s self-explanatory.

The next stage is a bit more painful because relationships become a tad more serious. It occurs during high school. People are caught between wanting to handle the situation maturely but also wanting to call up that certain person, wait for the answer and then hang up the phone.

This now brings us to the college stage. This is by far the most perplexing and the most frustrating. Everyone involved is supposed to be mature and ready to deal with all of life’s happenings.

Psychoanalyst Erik Erikson has a stage which defines the conflict of intimacy versus isolation. A person who can maintain individualism and have a relationship is one who has successfully entered into this stage.

The problem is, of course, communication. Men and women still have difficulty with this. It has much to do with the terms each gender uses. Sure, they’re the very same terms but they are defined differently.

The concept of time needs to be standardized. You probably already thought it was. Silly. If that were so, couples, friends or what have you would not be wondering why so-and-so didn’t call “later” like so-and-so said.

Certainly everyone can recall some very long laters. In fact, some are still waiting.

There’s also the whole idea of naming things. Are people items, couples, lovers, or just friends? Are they committed, going-out, in a relationship or just trying to find their shoes?

It seems people should just spend less time trying to worry about what they’re calling whatever it is they’re having and enjoy it while it lasts. Treat each other with respect. Don’t hurt the other person. Things will be fine.

Remember, if you say you’re going to call, then just do it. If it’s not your intention then why say it? Surely the other person won’t perish without you.

And remember, it’s high time our society gets rid of negative stereotypes. Don’t be afraid when someone takes a fancy to you. In most cases, the person is not standing there with the ol‘ ball and chain in hand.

And that’s the skinny.