Bryan Reeves expects other men to find the woman he loves sexy. He also expects that sometimes she’ll feel the same way about them.
Recently, I started dating an incredible woman who attracts men to her like bees to a sunlit sunflower.
She is an absolute light in this world, radiant from the inside and gorgeous all over the outside. She’s kind to strangers and shares her sunshine smile freely. I’d be dumb as a lap dog if I didn’t think attraction was happening in her presence everyday. Men are drawn to her constantly. I also know there are times when she’s attracted right back.
Attraction simply happens. It’s like tripping over a rock.
Masculine energy is drawn towards feminine energy, and vice versa. It’s everyday physics, and it happens every day, all the time.
And in case you were wondering, when it happens … yes, I do get jealous.
I hadn’t really noticed until I started dating this exotically beautiful woman that men are everywhere! I routinely hear her innocently recount interactions with other men. No matter how insignificant the story—like the TSA security guy at the airport who made her laugh during their 15-second encounter—that familiar angst quickly seeps into my gut and quietly whispers, “he wants to take her away from you.”
All this inspired my recent article, “Two Simple Truths to Beat Jealousy” in which I identified the two truths as:
(1) She’s either going to choose me or she isn’t.
(2) She isn’t the source of my self-worth, respect or identity.
After reflecting on these two truths, I’ve decided there’s a third I’d like to add:
(3) She is not mine to keep, and she never will be.
I don’t own her. No matter what I may ever do “for” her or how long we’re together, why would I even try to demand she do anything other than what she deeply believes would be best for her own happiness—even if that means choosing another man?
She’s dealt with a lot of insecurity from boyfriends past who would rather shrink her light than face their own sense of insufficiency. I have also experienced the nasty strangling effect of jealousy’s poison in my past relationships. One past girlfriend was so racked by fear that I would cheat on her that she hurled invective at me for years, telling me over and over that I was completely unworthy of any other woman. I stayed, in part, because I actually believed her.
I refuse to let that noxious energy infect this new relationship.
I love playfully and poetically calling her “my woman,” but I refuse to think her radiant brilliance and beauty somehow belong to me. I resist believing that she exists for my pleasure alone.
As soon as I believe I own the gift of her light, I’ll want her to dim it down when I’m not around.
Jealousy demands that our partners shrink so we can feel safe in believing no one else will be so drawn to them that they’ll try to rob us of our happiness. The irony is that it actually preemptively robs us of that very happiness, in obvious contempt of our desperate attempts to keep it.
What’s wrong with other people being attracted to our partners? Or our partners being attracted to other people?
I don’t want an open relationship. I don’t intend to sleep with other women, and I don’t want my partner to sleep with other men. I’m merely talking about embracing her right to share her beauty, her kindness, and her light with the world around her. Which means respecting her freedom to fully interact with men I know will be attracted to her—even sexually attracted.
That’s where these three truths to beating jealousy are useful.
(1) She’s either going to choose me or she isn’t. (2) She’s not the source of my self-worth. (3) I will never own her, nor should I want to. I want a partner who chooses me freely, not out of some imagined obligation. What fun would that be for either of us?
I absolutely want a woman that draws men to her. Not for some perverse pleasure, but because I want a woman in my life who is all lit up, who walks confidently through the world connected to her innate wild radiant brilliance.
A woman like that is going to attract throngs of fascinated men.
Sure, part of me worries that I will lose her to some other man she suddenly decides is more interesting than I. But I know that grasping desperately at her, insisting that she shrink herself to make me feel better is more likely to create the very scenario I’d be trying to avoid: her choosing another.
Actually, she’d be attracted to that new man because he would only support and encourage her radiance—at least in the beginning, anyway. Until he starts thinking her beautiful light belongs to him alone, and then …
No thanks. I refuse to ask my woman to shrink herself for my peace of mind.
I want the freedom to be my best self in the world. So I need to give her the freedom to be her best self in the world, too, even if that means she’ll attract lots of men.
In the end, I’ve realized that the absolute best strategy to attracting and keeping an amazing woman by my side is to simply create an amazing life everyday, independent of whether she chooses me.
Curiously, I notice that as I create an amazing life I love everyday and completely encourage her to shine her light in the world for all to see, she keeps choosing me … with her big sunshine smile.
—Explore Thriving Life & Relationship Coaching with Bryan at www.BryanReeves.com
Originally published on Elephant Journal
—Photo by Lorraine. / flickr