Rising above your natural instincts is what needs to happen if you really want to have what you say you want.
Let’s get one thing straight before I launch into this topic: I am no scientist. What I’m going to offer here is just plain-old common sense stuff.
Evolution is driven by what works, right?
So the things that stick around, and are behind a lot of our motivations in life, are driven by ancient instincts. Which are all about survival. The strongest made it, the weakest didn’t.
So imagine along with me here: for a gazillion years (see, I told you I wasn’t a scientist!) women had to have the strongest, tallest, fiercest, bravest and most capable protector and provider as their mate. In fact, my imagination says that there was probably “zero tolerance” for any signs of weakness…maybe even between the cavemen!
It was critical to the survival of our species. Thanks, cavepeople!
But now, we’re in the 21st century, and, even though we don’t need them any longer, those ancient instincts are still wreaking havoc in the way women and men are relating with each other.
These days, a majority of women are looking for a relationship with a man to be all about:
- Awesome communication
- Building a life of shared values and interests
AND – at the same time – men also have to be:
- Powerful and in charge
- Successful and an excellent provider
- Able to fix or build anything
I’ve been doing this work with women for many years, and when women articulate what they need in a man, some version of all of these are typically included on their lists.
(My husband is tortured by this mythical man whenever he compares himself to him, by the way; he calls him “The-Marlboro-Man-who-is-also-a-Poet”.)
Now, before anyone gets on my case that I’m saying only women are basing their selection criteria on what those instincts call for, men are also subject to basic instinct: wanting women to have a certain physical shape, to display signs of fertility, etc. – even if they have no interest in having children with her!
My husband Craig jokes about how often all the men at work “fall in love” with women who are shopping at his store, not knowing a thing about them other than the way they look.
So it’s not that anyone’s being “bad”, it’s just that these instincts are so strong, it’s hard to rise above them.
But rising above instincts is what needs to happen, if you really want to have what you say you want.
So what’s a gal to do?
- Be very clear that you’re going to be driven by instincts, and when a/your man shows any signs that he’s not being the “caveman” that your inner “cavewoman” wants, reel yourself back in.
- If he IS being the “caveman” you chose, help him “evolve” – not with judgment, but with appreciation and love for being the man you picked, exactly as he was.
- If you’re already in a relationship, look for the ways he’s meeting you in the evolved kind of relationship you want; where he’s interested in partnership, where he can share what’s really in his heart, where expressing vulnerability is rewarded with appreciation and love, where he doesn’t have to be taller/stronger/more resourceful than you are.Be a safe place for him to reveal his soft underbelly – and remember that it’s what you really want!
- If you’re single and dating, give those non-caveman men a chance to show you who they are. Take time to build a solid foundation based on what’s real, what’s important, and what will create a lasting and mutually-satisfying relationship.Fight the “cavewoman” instincts, and allow yourself to connect with and get to know some of the really good men who are out there, ready to be an awesome partner.
The truth is that, today, many women don’t need a man to protect them and provide for them. Women are quite capable of taking care of themselves and providing for themselves.
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