Women like to band together and when a girlfriend feels slighted by a man we tend to want to demonize him and make him the bad guy. On the surface this seems as though we are supporting our sister, taking her side and showing solidarity. In actuality we are perpetuating her victimhood by saying that she is not responsible or capable of deciding how she is willing to be treated, that she is not capable of setting healthy boundaries. She gives her power to the man she is in a relationship with, he is in control of her happiness, her feelings and how she is treated. This disempowers the woman from taking a look at her own behaviors and patterns.
I have friends who fall into various patterns with the men they get involved, I have also played each of these roles at different times in my life. For some, we wind up always paying for things or always cooking and cleaning. Some choose men who are typically inconsiderate, he doesn’t call when he says he will or doesn’t return home when he says he will be home. Some friends go right for the bad boy, he can be verbally and even physically abusive and again we only focus on what He said to us or did to us.
Then of course, my personal favorite is the unavailable man. He is either physically or emotionally unavailable in some way. He lives in a different city, state or even country. Even if we are in close proximity he is emotionally unavailable to make a commitment, whether it be the inability to communicate with me with any emotional depth or he is too busy with work, his friends or uncoupling from a past relationship. I have continued to engage in these relationships sometimes for years. I am given just enough line on the teaser with delicious, shiny bait and I keep swimming back trying to get that bite…yet he always stays one step out in front of me. There is always another reason why he can’t commit.
And I can stay in that story…I know he wants me, I know he will change, he does this too me…or I can empower myself, help empower my friends and say…you are the only constant in your story, maybe it is time we women change. We have the capability to decide how we are going to be treated. We have the ability to not pull out our wallets when it is time to pay. We can allow the dishes to pile in the sink and to sit watching TV with the family when it is dinner time. When the question is asked, “What are we having for dinner?”, to answer in center and with true inquisitiveness, “I don’t know, what do you feel like making?”
We can walk away when we are being treated unkindly, even cruelly. As a woman who has had only a small regular income for several years and who has been a single mother supporting the men I am with, we can support ourselves ladies. We do not die of loneliness…even when we feel like we might. We can reach out to friends for help. We are capable and responsible for our own lives and that includes leaving an abusive situation.
For my own journey, as I have come to believe in myself, respect myself and love myself, I am learning to take care of myself. That doesn’t just mean I take a bubble bath and get my nails done…that means that when I have a need I want someone else to fulfill, I give it to myself. I connect into the Divine and ask for assistance. If I desire affection, then I give myself a big hug and I do take that bath. If I desire an adventure I go out and do it on my own or invite a friend to go with me. If I desire a good meal, I cook it.
As I take care of myself I am learning what I am capable of and what I am responsible for, I am responsible for my own happiness. No one else can give that to me or take it away from me. This is practice because I am ready for that equal partnership. In the past I didn’t want something equal, I needed to be More. I needed to be smarter or make more money or be older so then I could be in control. Some women choose to use the opposite technique, playing the damsel in distress, Needing the man to make decisions for then, protect them, pay for them. In both cases we are living in insecurity and a lack of self love. We are not claiming our own power and we are not allowing our partner to claim theirs either. When we are taking care of our own needs, we will be attracted to a partner who also cares for their needs. In this dance an equal partnership is born.
I am ready to be a partner in the tango of life. I am ready for a man that can lead me with a gentle yet direct touch. The dancers that lead most effectively to produce the most graceful and elegant dances are the ones who remember that their female partner is doing every single step they are doing but backwards and in heels. What a level of strength, courage and vulnerability she must have in order to trust him so deeply. This is the partnership I am capable of today. This is the partnership I am ready for and open to.
All of my partners up to this point have been preparing me for my equal. Some partners couldn’t lead and so I would take over the dance, some partners would lead with a heavy hand, flinging me across the floor. An equal partner understands that good lines must be maintained, the space created between the dancers allows the magic to flow between them. Each must hold their own stance, move individually and fluidly for the art to be fully expressed through them.
The art of Love is one of the most worthy and noble of Creative Expressions as we Dance through this thing called Life.