I was watching the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” this past weekend and one of the lines has been on my mind ever since. The lead character, Liz, says, “Ugh, I am so sick of people telling me I need a man.” The man she is with, Felipe, responds casually yet confidently, “You don’t need a man, Liz. You need a champion.” She seems a bit surprised, but then smiles as if she is relieved someone else finally understands what she already knew. This exchange got me thinking about what it means to be a champion in a relationship.
One thing I decided is, in order for a relationship to truly work, both people need to be a champion for the other at some point. This can pertain to family, friends, parents and children, co-workers, etc. When the relationship is based on romantic love, being a champion is essential for both people, not just men. (Unfortunately, it seems women are more in need of a champion while men are trying to understand how to respond.)
The word champion implies that something has been won, most likely in a fight. I can see how that concept could affect a love relationship but it’s so much more than that. When I think of the ways my husband has been my champion, I reflect on his support, his devotion, and his refusal to give up on me. As cliché as it sounds, I know he is the one person who will always be there for me, especially when I need him the most. He’s not at my beck and call, nor is he always in agreement with everything I say. Being my champion also means having the courage to lovingly challenge me when I am wrong.
I’m reminded of something he said when he asked me to marry him, “One of the good things about us is that we don’t need each other but our lives will be better together.” I now realize that he was right, we didn’t need each other, which really is a good thing. I didn’t need a champion, I had been advocating for myself long before he came into my life. However, having him to lean on has been invaluable. He is always willing to back me up, but I seem to notice it more when I’m too lost or down to champion myself. He offers a course correction to guide me back to the path I want to take.
Circling back to the quote from the movie, it’s clear that the two characters are falling in love. Felipe’s words seemed to reassure Liz he intends to accept her for who she is and not try to change her. He wants to be her defender, her supporter, her champion.
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.