The first time I went skiing, I stared down the bunny slope and thought, “I got this.” Then, I just went for it, without any idea of how to do turns or stop. I just knew how to “pizza” and I was good with that. For the rest of the afternoon, I went straight down greens and blues, scared shitless, but knew I had no other option but just to go for it. BTW, this was a year ago.
After my afternoon of what seemed like near-death experiences, I found myself with a permanent dumbass grin. I felt fearless, exhilarated, and invigorated. The last time I truly felt like this was the first time I fell in love.
Rewind to my Sophomore year in high school, when I met Paul in Student Council, who would soon become my first love. I remember staring down this love slope and knew I had to go for it. I had no idea what a broken heart felt like, nor did I see an expiration on our love. I just knew it was like a magnet, pulling me, directing me, and ultimately breaking me to pieces. That love was fearless. That love was 100%. And I haven’t felt the same since then.
The last couple times I went skiing, I was unable to go straight down the slopes, because I learned how to do turns and how to control my skis. But I remember standing on top of a steep blue last winter thinking, “No way in hell could I go down this thing.” I became a coward and used wide turns to cushion my fall.
The last time I was on the brink of falling in love, I immediately held up my shield, because I knew what it felt like to be broken-hearted and I knew how I could protect my fragile heart. But I remember being on the verge of letting go of my feelings thinking, “No way in hell can I say those three words again.” I, again, became a coward and used my shield to slowly dissipate my emotions.
This past weekend, I went to a gaming convention where the majority of people in attendance were boys 14-18. Sure teenage boys talk like teenage boys, but I was absolutely amused by the way they talked about girls. Most people fall in love for the first time around this age and some of these guys were head over heels. Asking me to interpret text messages, Facebook statuses, and voicemails. It was refreshing to see brewing young love and how overall consuming it could be.
Then, I think about my friends and some of my clients, and even some of you. I honestly believe that as we get older, we spend more time protecting our heart than sharing our heart. I get it, the first time hurt like hell but it also hurt so good (I’m not talking about losing my V-card here). How are we really suppose to fall “head over heels” for someone when we’re not even willing to fall in the first place?
One of the greatest things I’ve learned about you guys in recent years is that men have feelings too. You get sad, you cry, and you get, dare I say it, ”emotional” about shit. I find it fascinating when I meet a guy who is trying to get over a girl….from 3 years ago.
Women fall fast, but men fall hard.
I would argue maybe 80% of clients are trying to get over a girl whether they want to admit it or not. When a guy comes to me and tells me he wants to get laid by as many chicks as possible, my first response is always “tell me about the last girl you were involved with.” And more times than not, this prompts an emotional discussion beginning with something like, “She fucked me up…”
It may take awhile for you to decide to commit to a girl emotionally, when it seems that women are constantly looking for that kind of commitment. However, when you do fall for a girl, you are totally invested and it’s very difficult to get over those feelings after a breakup.
It has been found in numerous studies , that your brain processes emotional pain similar to physical pain. Your body actually physically hurts. Men and women deal with heartbreak in very different ways:
See what happens in the above chart is that women start building what I call an Emotional Cushion right away after a heartbreak. We do so by divulging our emotions internally and externally. We also start gathering our support group and thus, making the cushion extra cushion-y. Think of it this way: let’s say you start falling off a building, in those moments of freefall, women are slowly building this large mattress below, because we know without it, it’ll hurt really fucking bad. You guys, on the other hand, like to think that once you go SPLAT, you’ll come out of it just fine without anything to fall on.
So that leads me to today, nearing the end of breakup season, and talking to an influx of heartbroken men who are just digging themselves deeper and deeper into emotional pain. What can you learn from women? Build an emotional cushion. Start with the internal cushion, where you should reflect and face the pain almost immediately. Then branch out into external cushion. I know some of you don’t feel comfortable to talking to your guy friends, but seek out a good friend who is a girl, a sister, or even a dating coach, perhaps. Facing and communicating your emotional pain may just break your fall.
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