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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What Psychology Has Taught Me About Love & Sex

DISCLAIMER: If you’re looking for real expert-ish type advice on love and sex, run. QUICKLY. This is merely a list of things that being a graduate student of psychology has taught me about love and sex. Or rather, it’s more of a look inside the demented dating life of a psychology graduate student. I am currently single, with a string of bad relationships in my wake, so I obviously haven’t learned much. Actually, it’s more like a list of my failures, and of things that idiotic men do to piss me off. 

Target audience: Psychologists, therapist, graduate students, and other cynical like-minded bastards (such as myself).

Perhaps some of you will find my revelations witty. They came to me while I was driving home from the liquor store. Here we go:

Five out of ten potential suitors will say the following when they learn of your graduate training: “Oh, so does that mean you’re going to try to analyze me, or something?” The answer (that I say in my mind): “No, you idiot. You’re not paying me. Also, most women are going to try to analyze you, regardless of their graduate training. Dolt.”

Beware of arguments with significant others. The following WILL take place:

  • Scenario 1: You’ve screwed up (well, he thinks you’ve screwed up). Either way, you will hear the following: “Wow, how could you not know better? Aren’t YOU supposed to be the therapist?”

You will never be allowed to make a mistake in your relationship, because you are a therapist, and this means that you are an all knowing, all seeing, all powerful master of love and empathy. If you do not live up to this expectation, you will be hearing it from your partner.

  • Scenario 2: He screwed up, and you are trying to figure out how this could have happened. You will hear the following from him: “I’m not your f!@king patient, stop trying to be my therapist!”

Wait…am I supposed to be a therapist…or not? Shit, now I’m all confused!

Important lessons:

Just because you are working with substance abuse patients does not mean that you need to date an addict. That is NOT part of the training. (LOL, oops!)

Similarly, just because you are working with patients that have personality disorders does not mean that you need to date an Axis II fella. That is NOT part of the training. (LOL, DOUBLE OOPS!)

Giving an assessment (for shits and giggles, let’s say the SCID-IV) to a partner seems like a fine idea at the time. You’ll get practice, and maybe you’ll get to learn some new stuff! WARNING: It seems like fun, until you learn things that you cannot unlearn. It’s all fun and games until someone comes up positive!

Your family warns you that if you spend another 34827637246 years in graduate school, you may never find a husband. Turns out, they may be right. Also turns out, I don’t give a shit.

When you hate the guy but the sex is great, you may end up dating him. Why have you convinced yourself that he’s so wonderful?  Look to cognitive dissonance for answers.

Your partner will likely be bored to tears when you tell him about your dissertation. UNLESS (and this likely only applies to me, and a select few) it’s on the sex industry. Or related to sexuality. Or they think they hear the word “sex” somewhere in there. Now, all of a sudden, you are assumed to be “slutty,” and possibly an ex-stripper.

That’s all for now. I will continue to update this list as I continue to go on more bad dates and/or get into dysfunctional relationships.



    There are no other words.

  2. Haha thanks Jay- I knew you'd love this :) Feel free to share it! (shameless)

  3. Great post, I was needing those lolz! :)

  4. In regards to your words, "Your family warns you that if you spend another 34827637246 years in graduate school, you may never find a husband. Turns out, they may be right. Also turns out, I don’t give a shit," there is so much more to life than marriage. A lot of women seem to be in a rush to get married, & either settle for a jerk, or get married before their ready. I believe society is to blame because they have an unspoken rule that if a woman doesn't get married, she is a loser at life. But women can do so much more than just get married & have children. Don't get me wrong, getting married & having children is great, but this not the only purpose in life. By going to school, you are learning who you are & making something of yourself. It is better to know who you are before you get married. Also, I believe a woman can be beautiful at any age, if she puts effort into herself. Society tells women they should get married while they are young & beautiful, but in reality women should get married when they are ready, & know they're beautiful at any age. If someone gets married too young, it is very possible they could end up resenting their spouse. Great article Christina.

    1. Carrie- thank you for that post. Although those were things that I already knew (well, I think I knew them...know who the hell even knows anymore!) it's good to hear them from someone else. A large part of me knows that this is the truth- that it IS OK if a woman is not married by 30...40...50...OR EVER! Personally, I aspire to be much more than a man (or woman's) wife. However, the societal pressures can be difficult, especially when just coming off of a painful break up (as I am). I sometimes fear that I will be single forever, but then I take a deep breathe and try to be grateful for the hundreds of wonderful things in my life. For now (and maybe forever) that will have to be enough, and I hope that it is. I believe that one isn't ready to let somebody else into their life until they are fully content within themselves, while alone. I guess I am not there yet, so I will have to keep working on it!

  5. At least your smart enough to recognize what a dysfunction relationship is, and end them.
    These are all learning experiences in life, and many women do not understand the lesson as fast as you.
    It is a great skill, to be able to recognize these behaviors, and it takes courage to end them before things turn bad.
    My step father has been a counselor for over 20 years and he is rational when it came to anything besides my mother, who suffers from a serve mental disorder, and even though every one of his colleague's told him to end the relationship as it was dysfunctional and abusive, he still stayed.
    I think its wonderful that you have you educated yourself, and put that knowledge into action, and that is what I would describe is EMPOWERMENT.
    Bella's final thoughts: MEN TREAT YOU HOW YOU ALLOW THEM TOO.

  6. It's not whether you are married or not. It comes down to life and the role you play in it. We are organisms with a sole purpose in life to reproduce. Back when humans were only living until our 30's a great emphasis was put on women to reproduce and because women did not have rights they were made to have one partner (Hence marriages). So when your parents are nagging you as to why you're not married yet, well, they are just going by social pressures of the past.

    In terms of a painful breakup: We tend to think of all the good times and forget why things got so bad that you had to break up. I myself went through one hell of a breakup four years ago and it took me forever to get over it but just one day driving I heard the song "Rain" by Breaking Benjamin and he had a lyric that said "Is it you I want, or just the notion of" and when I heard it everything clicked in my brain that "Did I really want this person anymore" and the answer was "No". I did not have to listen to another lyric or what the song meant because my heartache was finally over. No matter what, we may all share the same physical makeup of the brain (neurons, dendrites, axons, etc…) but we do not know how each person will react to certain circumstances in life. For me it took a lyric, For you… Well that is still an unwritten chapter…

    Rob Ardell

  7. Holy smokes you have some very talky commenters here. Just wanted to say that I love the cognitive dissonance. Practice that one all the time by mistake. :-) Keep rockin' it Girl!

    1. Haha I have also made that mistake! lol. thank you :-) Glad you enjoy it

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