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The Pyramid of Love

Location: Berkeley, CA

Years ago, when I found myself at a loss to justify and understand my singleness throughout my 20's, I came up with a theory to explain some of the aberrant behavior I witnessed in the dating world. Since then, I have found myself trotting this theory out time and time again, so I thought I would share. 

(I also realized most of my posts involve drinking, and thought perhaps a change of pace was needed :).

I believe that there is a good match for everyone out there. Soul mate? I don't know, sometimes yes, sometimes no, but I genuinely believe everyone has an opportunity to find happiness, even though sometimes that match is inexplicable to the casual observer. So why are so many amazing women still single? Why does it seem to take accomplished, intelligent women so much longer to find their match?

My theory is predicated on the idea that you can organize the male and female populations into pyramids.

The bottom level of the male pyramid, i.e. the largest group by far, is comprised of men who think they're the shit but aren't. They're cocky and arrogant. They believe they are entitled to whatever they want, and sad to say, they often get it. Even though deep down inside they are often insanely insecure, they use their bravado to bluff their way through it and cover it up. Selfish to a fault. For the sake of simplification, I like to call them Assholes. 

In the middle level of the male pyramid, you find the opposite: men who are wonderful, caring and smart, but don't realize it. For whatever reason, they aren't in touch with how great they are, so they have no confidence. These are the Nice Guys.

At the top of the male pyramid are the smart, intelligent, caring, committed guys who know they're great. They're not arrogant; they are simply confident. They know what they are capable of, and what they deserve, served with just enough of a dose of humility to make them perfect. They are the Heros. 

The female pyramid is similar, but with a key difference: the bottom two groups are inverted. In the bottom group, you find so many adorable, caring, committed women, who have absolutely no idea of their own worth. They've been brought up to believe that they should be the unsung heros, supporting everyone around them, and compromising their own desires to everyone else, especially their boyfriends/husbands, without any appreciation or recognition. Selfless... to a fault. I like to call them the Sweethearts. 

The middle group of women, just like the bottom group of men, is comprised of women who think they're amazing, but really aren't - they're insecure and reckless, and take advantage of others. No surprise, they are the Bitches. (Or Psychos).

At the top of the female pyramid you find intelligent, confident and caring women who know they're great. All too often they are mistaken for Bitches because our society expects them to compromise... but they won't, because they know they deserve more. They are the women who defy definition. They want love as much as the next person, but they're not willing to accept someone who isn't their equal. They are the Goddesses. Admired, but also intimidating if you aren't worthy.

So the pyramids together look a little like this: 

In the dating world, what happens is the bottom rung of women end up dating the bottom rung of men. The arrogant, insecure men pair with the caring women who don't know how great they are; the Assholes get taken care of by the Sweethearts. Same with the middle groups. All those amazing men who don't know how great they are, the Nice Guys, end up with the psycho women, the Bitches, running their lives. But for some reason, in both these cases, despite how twisted it may seem, the relationship often works. The Sweethearts and the Nice Guys get to be selfless and take care of someone who needs them, and the selfish Assholes and Bitches let them. 

At the top of the pyramid, you have the Wise Men and the Catches (not the best names - someone recommend something better!). They belong with each other in healthy relationships. They are worth waiting for. However, they are all too scarce.

Beyond scarcity... there is also the problem that the Wise Men sometimes get impatient, and settle for a Sweetheart. Whereas the women at the top of the pyramid are unwilling to compromise, sad to say, I've known men at the top who have. Well, at least I thought they were at the top. 

So the point of my theory is this: if you are at the top, it's going to be harder for you to find someone who is worthy of you. Be patient. Don't compromise.

The advice I give to my women friends who are having a touch time of it is that they are right to wait. Don't bend to societal pressure to get married. Don't try to love somebody because they're perfect on paper. Someday you'll find the guy at the top of the pyramid, and he'll appreciate how important it is to choose a life partner... someone who isn't intimidated by an equal, and isn't looking for just a beautiful yes-woman who never questions their decisions.

To my men friends... I tell them not to be idiots. It's worth the wait. Remember, passion and looks will fade. Be sure you want to have a conversation with your wife.

When people ask why I love my husband of eight years, and why we work well together, I tell them that we're partners. We both feel lucky to have found the other one - which we are. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses, but they fit together. We challenge each other to become the best person we can be. We fill each other's gaps. At the end of the day, we face the world together, as a team. Life is already challenging enough; why complicate it with a difficult relationship? It's easy to be with him, even if sometimes it doesn't feel like it.

And while some days my husband makes me absolutely nuts when he challenges me and doesn't let me get away with my intellectual slacking... like re-reading the Twilight vampire series because I don't know what to do with my life and I'm avoiding figuring it out... well, I know he's right, and I love him all the more for being a true partner, even if I don't show my "gratitude" at the time.

My grandparents have been married 66 years. None of their four children or seven grandchildren have ever divorced. Seeing everyone together last weekend, I was reminded of how great life is when you don't compromise on the fundamentals.

Next week is our eighth wedding anniversary. No matter what life throws at us - and it's thrown some doozies this last year - we're always in it together. I love him more and more with every passing year.

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Reader Comments (1)

Interesting theory Lucinda. I wonder if there are really more assholes than bitches in the world? Congrats on finding yourself a hero!

October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn P Morgan

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