My Mental Challenge.

I’m suffering from a mental condition. Or perhaps calling it a “mental condition” is a bit too dramatic – but you know me, I love being a little drama queen – let’s call it a challenging state of mind instead.

So, to rephrase, I’m suffering from a challenging state of mind. It is, of course, related to the opposite sex, a subject that has surfaced a lot since I started to push my opinions on people on the internet back in 2002. There are actually over 7 years worth of incoherent ramblings in the archives. I’ll be damned. In not so long I’ll be celebrating entry number 1500, this will be entry number 1394 if it’s ever published. Sounds like a good excuse to party to me.

Anyway, let’s return to today’s subject. Having been through two failed long term relationships and quite a lot of less serious and much shorter relations (often referred to as “dating”) in between, I’ve now realized that I’ve got a problem with posts-relationship physical jealousy.

“Post-relationship physical jealousy” sounds like a pretty serious condition if you say it out loud really fast. I just made up the name, by the way, so you don’t need to waste any time looking it up anywhere. Let’s call it PRPJ for short. Even though it’s probably not a condition you’ve ever heard of, it’s likely that you know what I’m talking about: It’s that punch in the stomach and the need to yell profanities you feel whenever your brain tricks you into imagining your ex girlfriend, or maybe even someone you dated for a while, in a physical situation, usually sexual, with a new guy.

At least it’s very likely that you know what I’m talking about if you’re male. I discussed PRPJ with Hans Olav the other day and he argued that PRPJ is not that uncommon among males. His theory was that it can all be traced back to when man was living in caves and getting a date was a matter of banging a cave woman in the back of her head with your club. The cave man’s goal is to reproduce, and to increase his chances of that actually happening, he should not lay all his eggs in one basket, he should get busy with as many cave women as possible. Of course, other cave men should stay the hell away. But, in the unfortunate event that another cave man manges to dip it in the pond, this should genetically trigger a negative reaction from the first guy. Back in the days when dinosaurs were roaming the Earth, it would probably mean ripping his throat open with your teeth, but today’s modern, civilized man feels the need to yell a bit instead.

Women often suffer from another type of jealousy. It’s not physical to the same degree, rather physiological. Their sense of jealousy is often stronger when their ex fall in love with a new woman and gets an emotional, not necessarily physical, relationship with her. Let’s call it Post-relationship physiological jealousy, or PRPHJ for short. I’ll be bold enough to say that it’s possible to trace this back to our genes as well. The cave woman’s goal is also reproduce, and when the kid is born the chance of him or her growing up is higher with a helpful cave man close by to take out the garbage and run down to the store to buy chocolate. If this cave man falls in love with another cave woman, however, the chance of him hanging around will of course decrease and this triggers the feeling of jealousy and probably also the need to pull the other cave woman’s hair. I’m not saying that a woman can’t also come down with a serious case of PRPJ, but because of their primal needs, they are more likely subject to PRPHJ.

Of course I agree with Hans Olav in all this, in my personal opinion the majority of what happens inside our heads and our social behavior can be traced back to our genes and man’s ultimate goal: To reproduce and take care of our offspring. As with many primal needs and instincts, both PRPJ and PRPHJ can result in a human being making quite a lot of irrational decisions.

An even more interesting fact is that there exist a word for what cause PRPJ, Machismo (see also: Wikipedia article):

1 : a strong sense of masculine pride : an exaggerated masculinity
2 : an exaggerated or exhilarating sense of power or strength

Cathrine told me about Machismo when I met her on Friday and we discussed what’s going on in our lives, something friends usually do when they meet. You might get the impression that I talk a lot about myself when I’m with my friends, and yes, yes, I do. I’m hoping that they don’t get tired of it.

So what would the doctor prescribe? Well, first of all, the effect of PRPJ will decrease as time goes by. Your brain will gradually fuck with your mind less frequently and eventually stop all together. The mental image of your ex in the most exotic Kama Sutra positions with the love of her live will no longer affect you. If you’re looking for shock treatment, I’m guessing getting back on the dating wagon, love train or whatever you prefer to call it, should probably work well. At least it will give you something else to think about.

It seems that writing about it also helps. In your face, brain doctor, I dodged you again! Realizing that I have this problem, I guess I can also suppress it. Because that’s a good way to deal with emotions, right? Suppressing them? I think I read that somewhere.

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