The Wandering Eye

Rosita asks: “why do men like to chase after different women at the same time? Don’t they know that nothing ends well and it’s always destructive to everyone involved? Why can’t he just satisfy with who he’s with?”

It’s easier to get that which is new than to make what’s old new again.

Ever had that “Wandering Eye” feeling? You know the one that when you’re walking down the street – by yourself or with a love interest – you see something new and shiny that catches your eye? You know the feelings that get stirred up…mind starts getting curious crafting a possible history of the individual to your liking; your eyes get sharper noticing curves, skin tones, body parts; your ears get sharper in anticipation of hearing what that voice sounds like; your nose opens up, capturing the slightest scent of that person.

Yes, we’ve all experienced those sorts of biological stimuli. We live in a very stimulus driven society in many ways. What’s trickier now more than ever is the sense of “accessing what I want, when I want it”. In other words, the individual power of agency is seemingly so strong that one never has to “settle for anything” with upgrades constantly around the corner or just a swipe away.

So why is this so much of an issue? It’s because the stories we paint in our minds when our eyes wander most times never go according to script. Plus, the costs we pay are usually pyhrric at best and downright destructive at worst. I always think of the story of this man and woman standing together in line at an amusement park. Some guy comes up to the woman for the first time, says a few words to her in a way she feels so captivated that when her partner in line calls her back, she ignores him – ending the relationship instantly as she walks off with the new guy.

That story has always stuck with me for a few reasons. The media always presents this idea of being swept off the feet in such a way that all senses as dulled and packages it as romance. In this case, the old boyfriend saw that as anything but romantic. Still, we keep getting force fed that it’s ideal to be swept away and that things will still work once those hormones settle down – like turning down the dials on a stove from a white hot to bright medium high. 

“Cast everything aside in pursuit of the love you desire”. Or “no cost is too great as true love is always worth it in the end”. The issue is most times it’s true lust, and not true love.

The other part about this story that sticks with me was the vulnerability that existed on the girl’s part. She was likely open to leaving the relationship outright and may have already left the relationship on some level emotional level before the amusement park incident. So the question I asked is: what happened?

Well, we know that humans are on of the few creatures on Earth with the capacity to mate for life. We also know that bringing two people together is an ongoing exercise of compromise, value and appreciation in order for a union to work (amongst other things). So was there anything that could have been done for the girl in the story? Maybe, maybe not. For all we know, she could have been expressing her concerns to the old boyfriend and he never acted in a manner satisfactory to her. Or she could have gotten to that vulnerable place on her own and showing signs of susceptibility that the old boyfriend couldn’t see.

That’s the thing when the eye wanders. We often see what we want to see in those moments and not see things such as the risk vs reward and the impact of our choices on other people. Relationship history is littered with many takes of coupes going through rough times and one person steps out. After the excursion they realize the grass was always greener where they were. Sometimes they were able to go back, sometimes not. 

So lots of times when we act on things in the gut it isn’t always about what’s best for us. People and relationships are always messy…even in that moment of outside curiosity, it is highly unlikely we’ll get exactly what we see when our eyes wander. 

And yet… we’re willing to roll the dice under the “right circumstances”…

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