I want to take a break from talking about my life events for a bit and talk about Crush Culture again. In fact, this will be a set of epiphanies that I have encountered in my experiences with the opposite sex that will hopefully help others walk away from Crush Culture . This will be a preface of sorts to the 3rd of the Four Horsemen of my apocalypse as well. Had I read this article, or something like it before meeting my high school crush, my life would probably be a lot more different, and it would definitely be better. This article will also make connections to this article, as well as this one.
Before I go further, it is important that you understand exactly what I mean when defining Crush Culture. If you don’t want to read my article about it, the cliffnotes version is that whenever you have made the decision to make someone a romantic interest a major or sole source of your happiness you are a part of this culture. And we are in a society that tells us that this is a good thing, even though it places unfair pressure on others.
Now that I have loosely defined what you are privy to, it is now time to talk about how to break away from this. And keep in mind, just because you have decided not to place people you like on a pedestal does not mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) enjoy their company. It just means that said company can’t be your only source, or even a major source, of good emotions for you.
Recall my article about greed and need. Crush culture tells us that either our greed or our need levels need to be maxed out at all times. When women’s movements talk about men seeing women as sex objects, they are complaining about greed being maxed out. When men perform songs about impressing women to have sex with them, or impressing other men by bragging about their sexual exploits, their greed levels are maxed out. Women’s movements are correct in saying that this isn’t healthy. It places pressure on men and women alike. It pressures men to achieve a false depiction of value based on his success with the opposite sex, and it pressures women, making them afraid of sex.
However, what they preach instead, which is to have maxed out need and to overvalue women and place them on pedestals, is also wrong. This also objectifies women in a completely different way. It places a different kind of pressure on both sexes. Now the man must walk on eggshells to stay in the one particular woman’s good graces. And because of the naturally heightened emotional investment that both sexes develop because of all the crazy expectations and assumptions involved. This isn’t natural, it isn’t healthy, and I think more and more people are waking up to this observation.
If you are single, you should be inviting numerous people places, and you should be well aware of the emotional investment you are developing. Write your thoughts down and question them if necessary. The #1 thing you should be telling yourself when single and hunting is “this person is good, but I am sure that there is someone better.” When you are single and hunting, you should be inviting many people out on dates, not just one. If you are one of these people who is actively hunting and you have invited less than fifty people somewhere (roughly one a week), then you are part of Crush Culture. It means that you are afraid of rejection.
I have only one response to the rejection thing. We have been trained to fear rejection nearly as much as death itself. Its both sad and hilarious all the same. And I don’t like quoting memes, but I only have one question if you get rejected:
I chose this pic for the meme because the burning house represents what rejection feels like for many, and the little girl represents how minuscule the effect of it actually is. When you are a part of crush culture, you have so much emotional investment in the people you are hunting that it really does feel like your house just burnt down after getting shot down. Even the term “shot down” is a proponent of crush culture. You got shot down, like you just got murdered. Let that sink in.
But the actual effect of rejection? Its nothing more harmless than a 6 year old girl. Actually its even less harmful. Do you want to know what happens when someone rejects you? …NOTHING! That’s what happens! If you are single and you can’t eat 5-10 invite rejections a month, then you’ll be one of the worst partners ever when you do meet someone. You’ll be so needy that you’ll smother your partner without even knowing it. You’ll get cheated on almost instantly. You want to know who cheats? People who are smothered. They cheat as a form of escape from someone who is figuratively imprisoning them.
Does this mean that monogamous relationships in and of themselves are part of Crush Culture and that you should avoid them at all costs? Not necessarily. It just means that when you are in a monogamous relationship, you should never be afraid to create some space in between you and your partner. It means that the daily phone calls and text (sometimes several times a day) need to end. If my own mother texted or called me several times a day, I would demand her to stop. I can’t imagine how imprisoned I would feel if a lover did this to me.
This also means that the whole “let’s see each other every day!!” thing needs to end. I’ll use my buddies as an example for this. When I moved, I hung out with my best friends for roughly a week straight. Now it was great to see them, and I enjoyed their company. But had it gone any longer, it would have become overkill quickly. And I would have respectfully declined their next offer to spend time if I felt like it was overkill.
The final way to break away from Crush Culture is to know exactly what the forces of Crush Culture are. Now this doesn’t mean you should completely disassociate from these things (although in most cases it’s a good idea), it just means you shouldn’t take them so seriously and look at them as entertainment. Here are the forces of Crush Culture that I can come up with. There are probably more:
-Pretty much anything in the media: Music, TV, Movies, Video Games, you name it, it probably has elements of Crush Culture in it.
-Your family, who were at one point monogamously married when they had you. This is the same family who lectures you in favor of Crush Culture every chance they get.
-Any and all western religious institutions, who overvalue people (in general) so much they are painted as holy figures who are incapable of wrongdoing.
-Nearly everything in public education, who preach that there is “someone for everyone.” There isn’t “someone for everyone.” There are many people for everyone, and there is ALWAYS someone better.
-Women’s movements, who want men to stop “objectifying” women by instead placing them on pedestals. Paradoxically, placing women on pedestals also objectifies them.
-Men’s movements, who want women to “get back in the kitchen” because they are the first, last, and only chick they will ever have sex with and they are afraid of losing her.
As you can see, Crush Culture is everywhere. Does some of it make sense? Sure. Go back to earlier in the article, when I was talking about Greed and Need levels. Many of these are preaching against greed levels being pushed to the max. This is done with good intentions. But good intentions can go wrong, and in these cases they do.
So if you truly want to break away from Crush Culture, it is your job to cherry pick the components of Crush Culture, analyze them on a case-by-case basis, and see exactly which ones work for you today and will continue to help you. You must do this by yourself, because you can’t do this kind of thing when outside forces influence you. A strong sense of self-awareness and even some selfishness is necessary for this kind of thing. Selfishness is another useful trait that has been demonized, by the way.
This requires you to take some self-analysis as well. This is not easy, takes a long time, and requires you to be around many forces of culture that you may not at first agree with. You should develop, by yourself, a comprehensive list of values and principles that make you happy. Because while doing this, you also quite possibly unlearn values and principles given to you in your youth that have not been conducive to your happiness or your success. Crush Culture is one such thing.