Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

February 10, 2007

It's More The Guerrilla Type

It's important to make clear that when I say "Dating is Warfare," I'm not talking about your Good vs. Evil, Allies vs. Axis, Us vs. Them traditional type of war. Everyone knows that kind of war doesn't exist anymore in the real world, or in dating for that matter. I'm not saying that men are the Enemy, or that women are the Heroes.

When considering my analogy, I think it's best to envision the Guerrilla warfare more typical of today. No one is absolutely right. No one is completely wrong. Everyone's just scrambling, trying to get their hands on what they think is best for them and their own tight-knit circle. Unfortunately, some bloodshed may be required.

Think of Iraq if you will. "Insurgents." Who are these people? What exactly are they fighting for or against? And what are the Americans fighting for or against? And the Kurds, the Sunnis, the Shiites...are they all particularly evil? Or right? (Fundamentalists aside, OK). I bet if you got a few of them alone in neutral territory, gave 'em a piece of pie, and just asked them for their perspective on the situation, they would probably make at least some sense to you. Most people just want to survive, be happy, and find what's best for them. Most importantly, survive.

That's what dating is. For men AND women. So when I say this is warfare, I mean that we are ALL struggling out on that battlefield just trying to survive and, hopefully, thrive. It may feel like men are the enemy sometimes, but if I had the chance to get some guy with real Evildoer tendencies into neutral territory and just get him talking about what's really going on in his head, I'll bet he wouldn't qualify for membership in the Axis of Evil. He's probably just following whatever tactical strategies have worked for him in the past to survive.

Yes, there are legitimate dating Evildoers out there just looking for a kill. Not a lot, but they certainly exist (and I have dated at least one of them). But these Evildoers are men, women, straight, gay, married, single, confused. All you can do while slogging through the battlefield is keep alert, look for signs and hope to God you don't stumble across one of them in your journey. Kind of like an IED.

I guess what we are all hoping for is to find someone out there who uses - or at least understands- the same homegrown guerrilla tactics we've become comfortable with. Then, you can work together to build your own encampment and hold your ground. If all goes well, the encampment turns into a territory with some sketchily defined borders.

With the right paperwork and a little luck, you can ultimately earn entry into the globally recognized United Nations of relationships, enjoying all the benefits of membership -- and all of its drawbacks as well.

Ahhh, marriage.

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