I devoured my $0.80 copy of Buyers Renters and Freeloaders yesterday as I sat in the sun.
It was well worth the eighty cents. Dr. Harley’s writing style makes it easy to read and his clear-cut philosophies just make perfect sense to me.
Although the book is designed for people who are dating, there is a lot of good info for ‘ole married broads like myself. I have always been fascinated with psychology. I want to discover why I make the choices that I do, especially if it was an out-of-character choice that is inconsistent with my typical values. Moreover, understanding other people’s motives have helped me keep my head (somewhat) straight in this crazy industry.
As for today’s topic, I was talking to my good friend Priscilla who recently moved back to Texas. For those of you who remember her from Christie’s, she’s doing great! She said she was giving up trying to seriously date someone while she was still dancing because every time she really likes a guy, and everything seems to be working well, 6-9 months into the relationship he pulls the “I can’t commit to you…when you go take your top off for other guys” line. Another friend told me that her boyfriend gave her the “You have one month to stop dancing or I’m breaking up with you” ultimatum.
I’ve never experienced this first hand, but just five minutes in the locker room proves the Madonna/Whore Complex makes it difficult for entertainers to date, marry, and lead “normal” lives. Compounding the problem, is the tendency for people (both male and female) to be what Dr. Harley calls Renters in relationships.
Renters are willing to adjust and care for a person, as long as it is in their best interest to do so. Its like a person who is willing to pay whatever rent is necessary to live in the house of his choice, but reserves the right to leave if it is no longer suitable or if something better can be found. He or she agrees to keep the place clean, but is not willing to make major repairs or improvements. This agreement-to provide short term care as long as it’s worth the effort-is based on the following beliefs:
1. Romantic relationships require a certain amount of give and take, but its only right for me if what I take is worth what I give. Someone who is right for me today can be wrong for me tomorrow. The person may be what I need in one stage of my life, but not what I need in another so my romantic relationships should be considered temporary. If what I take isn’t worth what I give, either my partner should give me more, or I should end the relationship to find someone who can give me what I need.
2. If I am in a romantic relationship with someone who criticizes me, it does not mean that my partner is wrong for me if I can make the necessary changes. But my change should only be made if what I get from my partner is worth the effort.
3. If I am in a romantic relationship and my partner expects me to sacrifice my own happiness to meet my partners needs in return for what my partner has done for me, that is a reasonable expectation. And if I feel I am getting less than I deserve it’s reasonable for me to expect my partner to sacrifice some happiness for my fulfillment.
If you are reading that and shaking your head in agreement, then you are a Relationship Renter. There is nothing “wrong” with being a Renter in a relationship. If you are happy being single for life, or happy with the idea of having two, three, or four different serious relationships and/or marriages for the different stages of your life, then continue to Rent. But if you are truly seeking one lifelong partner, know that all your relationships are ultimately doomed to fail with the Renter mentality. The statistics speak for themselves: 50% of all first marriages fail. 67% of all second marriages fail. The third time is not a charm because 74% of third marriages fail. These statistics come from www.divorcerate.org
Getting back to Priscilla and the quandry most of the single entertainers I know face: the insecure man who gives you a job ultimatum is simply a Relationship Renter. Renters regularly evaluate how fair their relationship is, making sure the levels of effort and sacrifice are even. If Renters feel they are giving more than they are getting, they feel justified in demanding more for themselves to balance the scales. When their demands are unmet, it often leads to fights and ultimatums.
Keep in mind, the Renters’ willingness to sacrifice and expect sacrifice somes from the assumption that the relationship is temporary. They are not thinking about long term solutions to problems but rather about short-term fixes. Thus, the guy who is willing to sacrifice his Madonna/Whore complex to casually or exclusively date a stripper…ultimately expects as much of a sacrifice back in order for the relationship to be fair.
The big question for the SuperStripper: are you willing to sacrifice your income, livelihood, and lifestyle for someone who assumes your relationship is temporary?
Buy it for 80 cents
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