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See the author’s TEDx Talk on Creating Extraordinary Intimacy in a Shut Down World
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If you think all men are dogs then you might consider trading your needs for your wants…
A friend of ours recently declared that she was SO over men that she decided to get a dog instead. This woman is in her mid-30’s, attractive and really has it together in most other areas of her life. Apparently, the men that did show up during her many attempts to date and connect with just turned out to be dogs. So why not just get a real one. You know, that will love her unconditionally and forever be her best friend without all the B.S. that comes with the hominid variety? And she is not alone in making this decision. A recent study in the U.K. revealed that 1 in 10 women in relationship with a man actually prefer their pet over their man. Is the male gene pool really that bad off or is there something else going on here that suggests these women could go about finding the man of their dreams in a more effective way…
Tick, Tick, Tick…
We have another female friend in her mid-30’s who is drop-dead gorgeous, and very, very frustrated. One day my Partner and I walked into a restaurant only to see our fetching friend having what appeared to be an intimate conversation with yet another new man. We didn’t hear a word either of them said yet is was instantly clear to us that this was going to be another let down. We came to this conclusion so quickly because her body language was like a neon-sign flashing the words “I need a man!” over and over again. Since she is so attractive, she ends up with having many short-lived relationships where the men get the sex they want until her needs pushes them away. In the inevitable aftermath of each one we are debriefed on what “dogs” all men are.
We observed similar behavior in many women in their 30’s and it is really no surprise. The 30’s are the period of a woman’s life where the ticking of the biological clock becomes more strident the closer one approaches 40. And this is true whether the woman wants children or not. It’s all part of our default Sexual Operating System that is designed for propagation rather than fulfillment.
Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again
The problem here is not the biological clock nor all the horn-dog men out there. The real issue lies with: a) not even being aware of these drives, b) assuming one is “incomplete” without a mate, and c) not being clear about with whom you want to share your life. And without these being addressed honestly head-on, one is doomed to repeat the same experience over and over again. That is, until old Fido and his incessant wagging tail starts looking really good as a substitute life companion.
Finding the right partner starts with first learning to be totally comfortable in your own presence. This means you have the ability to fully enjoy life with or without a partner, i.e. alone yet not lonely. Likewise, want and need are two completely different things. You can still feel complete and yet desire someone to share your life adventure. However, the moment you feel a mate is necessary to feel complete, your needs only serves to ward off potential compatible partners.
While I can’t speak for all men, I will say that a self-assured woman is far more attractive to most men than one who comes off as needing someone to fulfill them. And, this kind of self-assurance will not settle for anyone she feels does not meet her standards and is fully willing to risk waiting for the one that does.
This of course assumes one is willing to be very clear, ideally in writing, about whom they want as a life Partner. I firmly believe this takes a great deal of introspection and self-questioning as to why various characteristics within a mate are so important. It also means being equally clear on what qualities are not acceptable, no matter what –i.e., the “deal-killers”. While most people will tend to agree with the efficacy of this approach, very few ever follow through. It’s as if they would prefer to have God or the Universe just magically deliver the right person on a silver platter. Without clarity, you are essentially tying the hands of Fate from being able to deliver. And by the way, if you are waiting for Prince Charming you may as well as get that puppy now because P.C., who is the very definition of filling a need, is never going to show up.
Don’t get me wrong I love dogs, and cats, for that matter. They love unconditionally, never judge, comfort you when you are down and can even help you keep warm at night. However, they will never, ever provide the depth of fulfillment that can only come from having an authentic relationship with someone you want and respects you as an equal. And that is the ultimate shared human experience worth risking to prepare for.
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