Sunday, October 7, 2012

Don't tell me it's not worth fighting for...

I seem to frequently write blogs on relationships. Maybe it’s because I’m single; I’m not sure, but their dynamics fascinate me.

Tonight, I was reminded of a conversation I had with some female friends where the topic turned to—surprise, surprise—men and relationships. One girl was expressing frustration over the lack of movement in a new relationship. After much analyzing (as only women can analyze), the statement was made that “maybe he is waiting for a signal from you.” That, of course, led to another 30-minute discussion on how she could give-off said signal.

Remembering this conversation, and hundreds like it that I have been part of over that past 32 years, I kept coming back to the same thought: “What signal? And why is it the girl’s job to wave this flag of welcome?”

Ok—Pet Peeve Confession time: I hate what Feminism has done to romance in our culture. There have been many good things to come out of the movement (higher wages, more opportunities, etc.); however, it has just about destroyed the male/female romantic relationship. Women have worked so hard to prove that they are “just as good as (or better than)” men that they have left men feeling almost unnecessary. For example: If all the players on the football team decided they were all “as good as (or better than)” the quarterback, you would have an absolute mess on the field. Who’s catching the passes or running the touchdowns or protecting the ball? No one can be the quarterback if everyone is trying to be.

The same principle holds true in relationships: if both people are trying to be the man, who’s actually the man, and who’s left to be the woman? Unfortunately, we have all seen couples where the roles have been fully reversed (and they always make us cringe, right?). In my opinion, the same confusion has been forced on our modern dating scene.

Women are told “If you want something, go after it.” Naturally, they apply this to men, but something odd happens when they do. It has been my experience that most guys don’t like being actively pursued. Now, they will all admit it is a nice ego boost, and some will even say they are fine with it. But for the most part, the relationships that I see that work and last and have 2 contented, happy partners were mostly initiated by the man. We all know the old adage that we will work and fight for what we value, so women who have to chase down and convince a guy to date them should know that they have just proven how little the guy values them.

Of course, the truth of how women feel and are intrinsically wired is seen in the love stories they adore so much. Think about it: women absolutely love love stories! Here we are all saying how much we have the right and ability to go after what we want and initiate a relationship if we want, but we idolize these classic romantic heroes. Think of the most popular movies. I personally didn’t like Titanic, but I can totally understand why every other woman in the world (apparently) did. It’s not Rose, or Leonardo DiCaprio; it is the character of Jack. He knew what he wanted, and he went after her and got her. He was willing to take a crazy risk to get the girl he loved, and nothing was going to get in his way. It’s the same story with Mr. Darcy or Robin Hood or even Edward Cullen; these men flouted society, money, protocol, and expectations to try to win the heart of their women. And deep down, all women want to be the heroine that the hero will risk ridicule and rejection to win.

Now, understand that I totally get that we can’t necessarily live our lives just waiting for Mr. Rochester to knock down our door, but as women, we must realize that whoever initiates the relationship will probably be in charge of it from that point on.

I guess the simplest way to state it is the way I always describe my attitude about it: I won’t chase a man or try to get his attention; initiating is his job. I won’t fall all over myself making it easy for him, but I will be friendly and make myself available if he should decide to approach me. Watching me, you may think I’m standoffish or uninterested; but quite frankly, I can’t flirt to save my life, and I’ve always thought the fan-girl groupie act to be childish and irritating.

It all comes down to one question: Do women want the right to pursue what we want, or do we want to feel cherished and respected and desired?

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