Because I’m feeling ballsyWritten by hootenannie on June 3rd, 2008
Lately, I have been made acutely aware of a certain discord in romantic relationships between people of my generation. Now, I am not currently dating anyone. However, these observations have come from my own experiences as well as those around me – I’m not pointing the finger at any one person, or any one gender, for that matter. I’m just going to share my thoughts, simple as they may be.
If you’re feeling particularly sensitive today, maybe you should take some deep breaths before reading this. Are you ready? Consider yourself warned.
I have noticed that most humans are looking for fulfillment. In my experience, women generally look for that fulfillment in the context of relationship, while men generally look for that fulfillment in the context of autonomy.
I said generally. Stop bristling.
So when men and women interact, and coexist, and begin to let their guard down with each other, generally a conflict rises out of the tension between what they are each looking toward for fulfillment: the woman tends to look to the man, while the man tends to look away. The woman asks, “Do you love me? Do you think I’m beautiful? Am I worth it to you?” And the man says, “I can’t be responsible for you. I’m not ready to commit. I need to be free.”
The man sees the woman as needy. The woman sees the man as an asshole.
I propose that we need to stop looking toward the wrong things for fulfillment in the context of romantic relationships. Women need to stop expecting the man to fulfill her. Men need to stop looking toward independence to fulfill him.
Women, we need to stop asking the hubba-hubba man to dictate our worth. If the God of the universe created us, and knows us inside and out, and calls us worthy and beautiful and captivating, then honestly, what else do we need? A man is just a man. He’s never going to be enough to fulfill us – it’s unfair to expect that of him. And a man’s opinion of us – favorable or otherwise – happens to have absolutely no bearing on our worth. So maybe we should just start trusting that our worth is already determined, and nothing can ever change that. Let’s rest in the fact that we are LOVED, and move forward into our relationships with confidence. We’ve been watching too much of “The Notebook.”
And men, maybe it’s time that you stop looking toward experiences and autonomy and wild adventures to fulfill that hole inside. Being in a healthy relationship with a good woman will not be an emasculating thing – in fact, some of the most honorable men I know have told me that their marriages have been the biggest and best adventure that one could possibly embark on. That restless ache inside of you is not going to be fulfilled by freedom or the mountains or the ability to sow your oats or a lack of responsibility. That hole is only filled when we ask God, “Who do you say I am?” I have watched too many men turn their back on good, substantial women, for fear of being “tied down.”
What do I know? Am I hypocritical? I’m just a 25-year old single girl who, trust me, does NOT believe these things easily. I want a man to come and sweep me off my feet and tell me that I am beautiful and that he will never, ever leave me. I really want that – and I have asked for it and expected it. But as a result, I have been severely disappointed and deeply hurt by numerous guys. It has felt unfair. It has left me tempted to launch into bitter diatribes at weddings, and bridal showers, and every time I get another Save-the-Date card in the mail. I am definitely a person in process.
But I invite you to be a person in process alongside me. Because the way that it’s going isn’t working.