Sunday, May 07, 2006

Shock and Awe

My coworker first alerted me to the concept of shock and awe:

The concept of Shock and Awe was first developed by the Pentagon's
National Defense University (NDU) in 1996 as part of the "Rapid Dominance"
strategy. The strategy was first used in Afghanistan. In their 1996 NDU book,
"Shock and Awe," authors Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade wrote of the need to
mount an assault with "sufficiently intimidating and compelling factors to force
or otherwise convince an adversary to accept our will."

In dating, shock and awe is the newest term for how men use extreme actions to completely intimidate and dominate the course of their romantic relationship. Otherwise independent and remarkable women are usually the recipients of this horrible tactic.
Take one of my close friends here. She's been dating an undateable guy for a little less than a year. He had never had a long-term relationship before her, and thus, for the first couple of mistakes he made, she was able to rationalize to herself that he was inexperienced. She truly believed she could change him.
But then he learned how to completely shock and awe her.
By unleashing horrible extreme actions, ie in the middle of a normal relationship disagreement regarding communication issues or scheduling issues or money issues, he packed up all of his stuff from her apartment and left saying he needed a break. Confused and in tears, she asked him "are we breaking up?" His response was, "I need time to think." So she thought they broke up. She spent the night restless in bed, crying to her mom, and figuring out what her next move would be.
And then he called the next day wanting to move in together. He wanted to buy a ticket now for Thanksgiving to go visit her parents. He wanted to bring her out with him to meet all of his friends all of the time. He brought her favorite flowers as a surprise. He told her he loved her and didn't want to be apart from her.
And then he got mad at her for running 25 minutes late to a social outing. She apologized, humbly, citing a phone call that made her late filled with bad news. But he spent the entire night mad. Making side comments.
And then he told her he loved her and couldn't live without her and wanted to marry her and wanted to spend more time with her and that she was his best friend in the world now.
And so on.
Extremes. Such extremes that rationale cannot retaliate.
Sometimes APK pulls this out on me. I ask him, jokingly, if he's happy knowing when he's out with me he's going to definitely get some action. And he comments that he enjoys the excitement of not knowing if he'll get to bring someone home.
But then he tells me how hot and sexy I am and how happy he is to be with me.
And then at dinner, he tells me that he's so happy to be sitting in one of the nicest restaurants in one of the greatest areas in America with a beautiful girl. And then he says that without me, he'd just be sitting in one of the nicest restaurants in one of the greatest areas in America with another beautiful girl.
Or another friend of mine, who's man can't make a plan to save his life. He's too busy. He doesn't know what might come up.
And then he's so happy to be with her. To care for her. To have someone as sexy and fun as her in his life.
So you don't get too high on yourself.
So you don't think you have a secure relationship.
So you get so beat down that you think to yourself, "damn, I'm lucky to just be with this person."
And you succumb. You succumb to their will.
Shock and Awe.


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