Killing the Beast

On that note, here’s another callback to an old article. Namely, Becoming Jaded. It’s the piece I wrote last year explaining the oft come disappointments of dating, and urging women to keep the faith in love despite them. Well, since I wrote that article, I have come to realise two things.

One, is that men also become jaded: and that this is the natural way of things for us. Because for us, becoming jaded is what allows us to accept that logic is of no use in understanding women, and emotion (sometimes resignation), is what is needed instead.

While the other, is that women really don’t understand men – and it cannot be overestimated the extent to which this is the case. So as a man, I thought I would help. By sharing some advice I found hidden in the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast.

Now Beauty and the Beast unlike its contemporaries (Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty), tells a fundamentally different story of romance. Different because it does not begin with a prince charming, but instead, with an ugly beast1.

So let’s review the story together, to see just how much of a difference that makes – and I will highlight the things I think important as we go.

You may also want to re-familiarise yourself with the original story before I begin.

The romance begins with beast falling in love2 with beauty, who spurns his advances seeking friendship3. She then starts to believe that there is a prince charming to be found (because she sees him pleading for her love every night4), but failing to find him5, concludes he is held captive6 by the beast. In time, she decides to leave the beast7 to visit home. Whereupon her sisters convince her7 not to return. Her absence consequently makes the beast so distraught, that he nearly dies from heartbreak (collapsing beside the first gift he ever gave her8). Upon seeing his terrible condition9, beauty returns to care9 for the beast… and it is her compassion that ultimately turns the beast10 into a charming prince.

To me, everything about this story is a reflection of real life. Especially the way I’ve paraphrased it without the magic and romance that made it so enchanting as a child. Because every relationship I’ve ever heard of, including my own, has sounded somewhat like it.

In fact for some of you, I bet some bells are already ringing. If it doesn’t remind you of a relationship you are in, then it probably reminds you of one you were in. But even if it sounds familiar, you may not get what I got out of it. So I will go through the highlighted points to better explain what I gleaned.

1. The Ugly Beast
  • The combination of cold-hard decision-making, testosterone, and sexual drive, make all men animals that are difficult to tame.
2. Beast Falling in love
  • For a relationship to blossom, the man must first love the woman independently of her feelings, or any intimacy arising out of them.
3. Spurns His Advances Seeking Friendship
  • Women shouldn’t be afraid to reject men and be clear on relationship boundaries.
  • If a man is serious about a woman, he’ll keep coming back anyway.
  • A woman must at least like her wooer enough to befriend and abide by him while he’s the beast.
  • Only in doing so, will a man’s charming side begin to appear to her.
4. Pleading for her love every night
  • Men are at their most charming, when desperately trying to woo.
  • We are also very persistent.
5. Failing to find Him
  • Success is not guaranteed to a woman, even if she tries her best.
6. He is Held Captive
  • But even if she fails, she may remain convinced of her man’s better qualities.
7. Leave the Beast / Her Sisters Convince Her
  • If a woman can not find the charm in a man after trying her best, she shouldn’t be afraid to leave.
  • A woman’s “sisters” (female friends) will usually convince her to stay away from a man she left herself.
  • Her “sisters” aren’t always acting in her best interest.
8. Collapsing Beside the First Gift…
  • If a man loves a woman, her leaving him will break his heart.
  • It will break mostly from loneliness. A loneliness exacerbated by his memories of her: things he gave her, places they went, e.t.c.
  • He probably will not reach out to her, but rather suffer his lonely sentence in silence.
9. Upon Seeing His Terrible Condition / Returns to Care
  • If a woman still cares about a man, his heartbreak will concern her enough to bring her back.
10. Her Compassion Ultimately Turns the Beast
  • Heartbreak can motivate a man to change.
  • But his attempt to change must be nurtured by a woman’s compassion else they will fail.
  • The window of opportunity to nurture change is often brief. If Beauty had arrived any later, Beast would never have become prince charming.
  • Prince Charmings are made, not born.

These 10 points are the key to the process I call killing the beast. A process which most women only come to understand after several failed relationships, or a long history with their partner.

The last 5 steps are especially important, because they tend to recur in the early stages of a relationship; with each near death experience bringing the beast closer to being jaded.

This is why bachelors call married men whipped, and why married men accept it. Because we all know what it means to be faithfully married.

Still, as with all things in life, nothing is ever certain, and whether you will be the one to whip the beast into shape in your relationship, is as much a matter of the right beast, as it is an informed beauty.

Not to mention other factors like reversed roles, beasts who become better liars instead, or the dynamics of more unconventional relationships.

But with these 10 points, I hope to inform both sides of their eventual encounter, and the trials that will test the foundations of their relationship.

Damola Mabogunje

Software Engineer by day, Blogger, Poet and Author, by night, I spend my days writing everything from the convex comma, to highly complex code.

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