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Being Respected

In Love, Relationships on August 30, 2010 at 8:12 am

written by Swag

“I’m over it. We’re done. I’m sick.”

If you are a closet Jersey Shore feen like me then you recognize those three short sentences. Sammi “Sweetheart” goes out of her way to make statements concerning her digest and unwillingness to continue her relationship with Ron. But in the same minute, she will take care of him in all his glorious, drunken stupor. These two are in desperate need of a high dosage, Love|Hate|Relate  (L|H|R) regimen. 

Sam and Ron’s relationship is a cycle of highs and lows, but neither one of them knows how to relate to the other in a healthy manner. I realize they are young and will try to refrain from judging their characters, especially since I can see that a relationship on a reality television show is designed for drama and probably destined for failure. We will only look at their actions.

Everybody in that house knew how strange Sam’s expression of love was. Why did she go out of her way to be hurt by this guy? Why couldn’t she see what everybody else did? Well, for starters, it is a mark of insecurity. In healthy relationships, Love’s resulting feelings don’t trump disrespect. The desire to love someone else should never trump the requirement to love yourself and loving yourself means demanding a baseline of respect…consistent respect. Both Sam and Ronnie have faults and below are some of their most glaring issues explained with past L|H|R articles:

Sam

I Can’t Read Your F’ing Mind – “I suck at tests. That’s why I didn’t go to college. (Ron’s commentary)” Sam tests Ron constantly. She expects him to know how to please her while communicating the exact opposite of her desires. It was not unreasonable to expect him to spend some alone time with her. However, it was unreasonable for her to be upset that he went to the club after she said it was cool. She expected him know better by reading her mind. That’s just an argument waiting to happen.

Holding on to That Thread of Hope – Ron is nowhere near as emotionally invested as Sammi is. After a dramatic, unsuccessful relationship in the first season, she decided to subject herself to the same problems, all over again. Her desire to salvage that decaying thread of hope places her heart in harm’s way once more and it’s up to her to decide to let it go. Ron is looking for something he wants, an easy cuddle. Sam is looking for something she needs, a sense of emotional security. This is the real root of the issue.

Relationship Negotiations – Sammi got swindled. She now owns a garbage relationship and won’t let herself give it up. Since they have history, that means this time around involves a re-negotiation. The terms of the contract should be modified so Sammi can be happier and more satisfied with her purchase but she is all bark and no bite. She is not willing to play hardball and demand Ron treat her like a girlfriend if he wants all the benefits. The relationship is not on her terms, so in the end, Ron can and will do whatever he wants.

Ron

Grass is Greener – It’s obvious Ron wanted to roam. He wanted to enjoy his time in Miami as a single guy. But what he saw was the opportunity to have his cake and eat it too. He realized he could go hard at the club and still come home to Sam. He would get drunk to have an alibi  (I don’t remember) and he would get pissed off every time Sammi and him went out together so he could feel justified (Look how bitchy she is, I don’t deserve this). Not being completely invested changed the way he valued her as a person.

The Cookie Jar – It’s really selfish for Ron to treat Sam like he actually wants to be a responsible mate. She mistakenly puts her heart in his care and he injures it over and over again because he never wanted her heart, he only wanted to smoosh (cuddle/spoon) on command, which is just the Jersey Shore way of saying he wants the cookies (physical intimacy) without the cookie jar (commitment). Deep down he probably knows this, but since the relationship is on his terms, he benefits from the fiasco.

Couple

I Love it When You Yell at Me – Ron and Sam truly do need healthier conflict resolution skills. Their biggest mistake was believing that the conflict could be swept under the rug and they could go back to cuddling again. It’s fine to no longer be angry in the moment but that doesn’t mean the conflict is over. The conflict is over when the rules of the road are enforced. If you establish a boundary (I don’t like it when you do this), you have to also establish a consequence (If you keep doing it, this is what will happen). Sammi never invoked/enforced proper penalties and Ron knew she never would. It’s like a mother telling her child to stop jumping on the couch and the child defiantly saying “Make Me.” Instead of making him, she just repeats her request with more force.

True Love – Love can not be summed up in three words. While it does have associated feelings, True Love is a choice and an action. Ron never loved Sam because he never acted like it, but the real power lies with Sammi. Who’s going to love someone who doesn’t know how to love their self. It’s not that she didn’t deserve it, but if you don’t believe you should get a better deal, you’ll sign the first crappy contract that comes your way. The person who sold you this rust bucket of a relationship is only going to do the bare minimum required to keep you from selling it or sending it to the junkyard.

I wish I could say Ron and Sammi are the exception, but we all know we have had relationships that mimicked some of their dysfunction. Relationships are never about how much we feel for our significant others. They are about how much we are willing to do for them. No feeling lasts forever, even the heart-pounding elation we connect with love. Even though you can feel love, you can’t expect to always feel loving. It must be a choice. Let us allow Sam and Ronnie’s plight to be a quick lesson in establishing healthy relationships as we await the next episode with guilty anticipation.

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