I Now Pronounce You

Post Traumatic Relationship Personality Transformation

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 8, 2008

OK, so I lied. I told you that I’d write more and ummm…yeah yeah, I’m a bad blogger. So bad in fact that I was recently threatened with a petition if I don’t post something…anything

I don’t know if it’s that I have less to say, as well, have you met me? My mouth is rarely without comment. The time crunch? Well, that’s a huge part of it. It’s also that I started this blog for a specific reason, then it shifted, and now it’s all kind of sort of…well…dissipated. At any rate, I haven’t been putting (digital) pen to (digital) paper much of late for a number of reasons. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t had things to say. Lord knows I’ve got things to say, and today we’re going to get back on track.

So sit back and enjoy. After all, you never know when I’ll get around to posting again.

Now then;

There’s this odd phenomena that I’ve noticed in the dating world. I’ve seen it in myself and in women that I’ve dated, but until recently I’ve never really had that “A-HA!!!” moment. Now however, I see…oh do I see….

What is it?

Post Traumatic Relationship Personality Transformation.

PTRPT, kids. It’s no joke, and you or someone you love might well be suffering from it. What is PTRPT? Allow me to explain.

First, you have to start with the assumption (or in most cases, fact) that dating is a game of patterns. That we more often than not wind up dating people that are familiar for a variety of reason and find ourselves repeating the same sorts of situations over and over again. Where PTRPT fits in to this, however, is with one very subtle shift in that logic.

It’s not always the same type of person that we wind up dating, but it IS the same type of situation. That’s where PTRPT comes in.

Let’s say that “Bill” has always dated the clingy, needy type. He does this for a number of reasons. Maybe Bill craves the responsibility of taking care of someone. Maybe he likes weak women. Maybe a million things. Not so long ago, our boy Bill was dating “Karen”, and Karen was a classic case of what he knows and, as per usual it didn’t work out. But something about the chronicles of Karen was different. Maybe it was her, maybe it was timing. But for whatever reason, something about his failed relationship caused a seismic shift deep down in the tectonic plates of Bill’s world…

And now, X amount of time later, Bill is dating “Sue”, and in the middle of a fight he hears something that he can’t get his mind around. Something that can’t be true because it’s just so friggin’ absurd.

“Jesus Bill, you are just so fucking needy!!!”

Say what? Woman, have you lost your ever lovin’ mind? I’m BILL, BIATCH! I am NOT needy! I’m…I’m…oh shit.

How the hell did that happen? Better yet; what just happened?!

What happened is that you’ve just been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Relationship Personality Transformation.

I have seen this first hand, folks. Chances are, so have you. For whatever reason, a huge chunk of some aspect of your ex (or maybe an ex froma few rounds ago) has infected your Chi like a case of VD. It didn’t have any symptoms that you were actually aware of…it’s not something you chose…but there it is. You’ve swapped roles with someone that you couldn’t stay with and become that person…andyou didn’t even realize it…

And why exactly didn’t you relaize it? Because it all felt so damned familiar. The tension, the dynamics, the expressions? All the same. Only the roles have changed completely. Now you’re the needy one…or the angry one…or the cheating one…or whatever it was that you bailed on.


Whatever it was that bailed on you. It’s not all a one way street here. Have someone leave you because you’re clingy/angry/whatever, and you might find yourself in a relationship with someone that fills your part exactly. In essence, you find yourself dating…yourself. How’s that for irony? Suddenly you find yourself saying the same lines that not so very long ago were directed at you.

Again, it’s all so familiar that you won’t catch this until it’s too late. In fact, if it’s PTRPT that you’ve got, by definition, you’re not going to realize it until after the fact.

Me? I’ve been on both sides of this. I’ve caught myself realizing that “Holy Mary Mother of God, I’ve become HER”. Conversely, I’ve also sat there with my S.O. and listened to her talk about all the reasons she couldn’t stand her ex and thought “Hang on there..that’s YOU”.

So what exactly does that mean?

Well, the easy answer is that you’re a fucking mess.

I kid you.

Really, the honest answer is that you’re probably (1) not completely over your last relationship and, more importantly (2) in serious need of some self examination. Whatever has you repeating these patterns of dating the same person over and over again has now kicked it up a level and smacked you with PTRPT. It means you’re not getting something, and Someone somewhere is trying to tell you what that is.

Now, more importantly, how do you treat this phenomena?

Ahhh well, therein lies the rub, kids. Therein lies the God damned rub. See, it’s really so very simple that it’s almost absurd. It goes like this; what do you say to an alcoholic who wants to get well?

Stop drinking.

Sounds ridiculous, right? It ain’t. More often than not every other answer is some sort of BS way to prolong the issue and not really do anything. You have to STOP DRINKING.

Well, in this case, you have to STOP DATING. I know, I know, that’s not what you want to hear, but that’s the answer. What you want to hear is that there’s a pill or a class or something that will allow you to keep dating while working and blah blah blah.

That’s all BS to keep you tied to the drama that you love so much you’re getting creative with ways to experience it. Get out of the cycle, step away from the drama, and just be. Figure out who and what you are and what you want. Be a good Buddhist and just BE. In that stillness, of course, you’ll probably freak out a bit. You know what that is, right? That’s withdrawl and you need to fight through that shit. In the stillness that follows, you’ll start to see why exactly it is that you need the drama so much in the first place. You’ll start to see what you miss more clearly, and if you really dig a little in that space, you’ll see why.

And you’ll see why it sucks and why it’s so damned detrimental to you in the first place.

OR, you can just go date another clingy fucker while you shell out $150/hour for a half way decent shrink who will listen to you whine. Just remember that when you find yourself in that position that our boy Bill was in, saying “What the hell just happened”?

It’s got a name, and you learned it here first.


10 Responses to 'Post Traumatic Relationship Personality Transformation'

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  1. So D.C. said,

    Brilliant. Thank you so much for writing this!

  2. KassyK said,

    Wow, this is post IS brilliant.

    I have said over the years to people and to myself…the only way to get out of any bad pattern is to STOP DATING until you are sure what you want. I hate dating so for me, its natural to want to be alone after a breakup but I think most people jump back in because of loneliness or horniness or whatever…and its just going to fuck you over.


    I hope Bill ends up ok. 🙂

  3. Karma said,

    Fine, fine. Just ignore the poor, abandoned alter-ego/concept in the corner. Not that you don’t make a very good point.


  4. So DC; You’re very welcome.

    KassyK; Dating is the unsung addiction of the modern day…

    Karma; I always liked YOUR alter ego better. She makes alot of sense, and she’s got a great set of stems, too.

  5. Lemmonex said,

    People are addicted to dating–and they don’t give themselves times to figure out what the fuck went wrong before jumping in to a new relationship.

  6. kerrie said,

    1) I’m so happy you’re back, even if it is only for a spell.

    2) I should have called you this weekend. Those pearls could have come in mighty handy.

    3) The aforementioned pearls, if correct, dictate that I’m going to become a real tool. So, dating hiatus it is!

  7. jess said,

    I love the idea of deciphering patterns. It can be a painful process, as in ‘what’s wrong with me that I’d put up with and/or put on this kind of behavior from/in a relationship,’ but I think it can be a doubly good process. You save yourself, and you save someone else from your own BS.

    The thing I think you can gain too is a source of compassion — for the person you once were and for the person you may see mirrored in the S.O. you now love.

  8. Amy said,

    great post. you should write for these folks. 😉

  9. Arjewtino said,

    I know I’m breaking my own rule of “wait three posts before commenting” but Amy’s right.

  10. Babycakes said,

    wow, a dating blog by a man. This looks good, especially interesting about relationship patterns.

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