Elaine’s crush had a psychiatrist. One he didn’t hire, or even know about. This psychiatrist was Elaine. They had been dating for a couple of months, and in that time Drew The Crush had exhibited some pretty inconsistent behaviour. One minute, he would be staring deep into Elaine’s eyes, professing a connection like no other. The next, he would be forgetting to take calls, and Elaine would arrive dolled up to a date to find a 15 minute old text stating, “Literally swamped in an ocean of paperwork. Make it up to you. Promise.” Rather than throw this man into her Waste of Space basket and shut the lid, Elaine had a better idea. She decided she would dedicate a substantial chunk of her life figuring his psychology out. Using leaflets on abandonment issues, books on attachment phobias and spending hours trawling the internet for behavioural analyses, Elaine transformed herself into an armchair psychologist. The last time I checked, her degree was in Ceramics and not Psychiatry, yet by the time she had finished, she felt she had Drew The Crush pegged, and knew exactly which psychological pigeon hole to place him in.
The problem was, despite having enough psychological insight to write a Drew based thesis, she was still seeing a man who thought about her a mere fraction of the time she thought about him. So, was this chest of knowledge really treasure or trash?
A friend once came up with a theory that she always knew when one of her friends’ relationships were going to work out because she would hear very little analysis about what a text meant, why he hadn’t called and conjectures about his psychological make up. She would hear very little at all in fact, because there was very little to interpret. Was she right? Is working someone out just a way to convince ourselves that their rejection of us is down to a profound psychological malfunction? Is this easier than swallowing the possibility that for whatever reason, they don’t feel like making an effort or investing in the relationship? According to Trina Parham, getting a deep insight into the male perspective is an overestimated factor when it comes to dating, and has very little bearing on dating success:
If we find ourselves spending more time trying to figure our partners out than conducting a relationship with them, would our time be better spent working out why we’re still seeing them?