I was driving with one of my close friends the other day, speaking simply about his love life and the subconscious mistakes he had been repeatedly making in his dating career. He had been desperately hoping for a love that could take him to the moon, or more realistically, the chapel. Speaking frankly, it is quite easy to admit the mistakes he was making but analyzing them was difficult when I didn’t understand what his thought process was. He described his ending relationship, explaining that he felt as though he could have spent the rest of his life with the girl he was dating. When they first met they were utterly obsessed with one another and couldn’t be torn apart. As time grew on, he decided that maybe she wasn’t the girl for him and he described the descent into feeble attempts of communication resulting in her grasping onto the relationship’s past like a bar of soap. He blamed her inability to set him free as the reason that led him to meeting a new girl that he couldn’t stop thinking about.
I let the relationship conversation subside and continued to ask about other aspects of his life. I thought it was interesting that he had bought and sold two very luxurious cars in the past year, and his mind was now set on yet another car. It all came together like the blurry shapes morphing in a kaleidoscope I had been squinting at.
This girl was not an exception but a rule; the rule of his life that he had not confronted consciously. The three previous girls he had dated were absolutely wonderful, the “full package” so to speak. They were inseparable, and he did almost anything he could to attain them. With each luxurious car he had purchased, he took the same steps and actions, creating a bond with each car as though it were a woman. After a few months with those cars, he started to notice a newer, different car. He started to resent the car he had been driving and had worked so hard for because it was holding him back from the new car he endlessly thought about. He was consumed by the body style, the color, sleek interior, and powerful engine to the point where he could only neglect the current vehicle he owned.
“Jack,” I said, “You have a problem with cars. This is the exact problem that you have with women. Think about it.”
For the first three minutes he was silent. Plowing through his mind trying to prove me wrong. After the silence his jaw plummeted downwards and his head jerked towards me.
Evidence is provided below.
Rob bought his first car when he was 23-years-old, a simple Toyota that never broke down. He kept the car for 10 years until it finally died. He treated it as though it were his dying mother and maintained it eloquently regardless of the miles he adventured with it. Rob has been married for 25 years and treats his wife in the exact manner. He is attentive and kind, supportive and reliant. Each car he has purchased since the Toyota has been cared for and driven to the end.
Isaac was given a Dodge Durango without any work or maintenance required of him. He played multiple sports, and couldn’t keep up with putting gas in the car. He would run out of gas weekly, destroying the fuel pump and creating resentment towards the car even though the mistakes were in his hands. Whenever he had the chance, he would take his father’s Porsche out on the road, always cursing the Dodge he didn’t realize he couldn’t live without.
Isaac had a wonderful girlfriend who consistently attended each baseball game, swim meet, and school dance with him. She didn’t ask for much, but he gave her nothing, leaving her exhausted and worn dry. In his spare time, he would sleep with other women, telling them he resented the girlfriend that he didn’t need, but when she finally left him, he realized he had lost something greater than the fleeting romances with his other women.
As a mathematic genius with mandarin Chinese as a minor, Daniel had everything but had gone 4 years without a car, leaving him to ride a bike to school in the snow, rain, and heat. He worked meticulously on himself, reading about ways that he could make insurmountable amounts of money on the side of school in order to gain the status that he wanted with a car. He searched for the perfect car, noticing even the smallest flaw in each option. Finally, after much consideration and perfecting his choice, he purchased the highest end model and brand that would give him the status he had been searching for. When he bought the car, he expected only the best and easiest maintenance but with his severe OCD, managed to run into issues he caused himself by trying to turn the car into something it wasn’t. Over a short period of time, the car racked up thousands of dollars in ridiculous repairs, causing Daniel intense stress and frustration.
Daniel could not find the perfect girl he was looking for, and tore through each opportunity for happy relationships by finding all of their flaws and approaching them with an apathetic attitude. Nobody was good enough for the lifestyle that he had imagined. He searched for years, until one day he found the girl he knew he wanted. He schemed his way into a relationship with her and although he has everything he wants, he is exhausted by the perfection he cannot create.
Crashes each car on purpose. Buys a new one. Crashes it in Mexico. Buys a new one.
Finds a pretty girl. Uses her. Finds another pretty girl, leaves her after two weeks. Finds another pretty girl….
Although the correlation may not equal the causation of the car and women commitment issues, it is thought provoking to think about the similarities between these two necessary relationships men have in their lives. The level of commitment and maintenance men are able to put into relationships may be blatantly clear once you have analyzed how they have treated their cars.