I was at dinner with a friend over the weekend. We bonded because we could commiserate over being in our 30s and single when all of our friends seemed so happily settled down. We also bonded over a love of self-help type books, female-centered empowering memoirs, and the power of mantras to turn your day around.
Let me paint the picture a little better. We are two incredibly smart women. We work great jobs. We love the arts. We have great friends and great lives. We work those mantras.
But as I listened to her talk about her insecurities around the guy she was happily datings, I had a breakthrough.
I realized that I, and many other single women, are unknowingly creating our own cycle of dating trouble.
We think the problem lies with everyone else. We think that the men aren’t up to our standards. We think that timing is bad. We think that men are misbehaving. We think that they aren’t ready, that we’re not ready. That they were badly hurt in the past so they’re acting badly now.
You know what? It’s all just made up excuses.
It is still blowing my mind. And I think that I never could have seen it when I was in her shoes. We get so stuck in the middle of our own stories that we don’t see a way out.
Then, worst of all, we get attached to our story so we limit our ability to learn from it. We get stuck in this idea that it’s all going wrong for all these external reasons, we spin stories to justify that, and then it all falls apart and we create stories about what caused that to happen, too. These stories are what keep us sane, we tell ourselves. Without them, we would never understand men.
But the truth is, it is taking us farther away from loving and accepting the men in our lives. We distance ourselves from men when we expect them to behave like hairy women.
I know the statement sounds ridiculous, but think about it. We as women expect men to think and behave like we do. And that’s natural, we understand women so we want them to act like we understand. I am sure men do the same thing which is why women are so baffling to men.
Men are more than hairy versions of women, and they should be respected for exactly who they are. And when we try to put them in a box and figure out their actions compared to how we women think and feel we are assigning untrue reasoning to the situation, which makes everyone feel disconnected, frustrated and misunderstood.
Not exactly the way to build healthy, long-lasting relationships.
So, we are sabotaging ourselves. And we are so stuck in our ways and so attached to the fun of the drama (let’s be honest, we create the drama because it is fun and exciting) that we aren’t willing to see it a new way and to let go of everything we thought we knew.
Perhaps you can feel my frustrations for this situation seething through this post. And I apologize for the heat you must feel because boy am I angry. I feel like so much time has been wasted on this.
And I feel somewhat stuck because you don’t see the error of your ways until you see it. I have read countless books and things did not shift until I read The Queen’s Code and saw my old patterns being acted out in front of my eyes. That was the moment I really felt 100% committed to changing the way I relate to men.
Can you relate? Does this ring true to you at all?