What if men and women actually do need each other?
“I just want a good woman”, says the lonely man, working tirelessly to form a good life of provision and safety that any adoring woman would love to have.
“Are there any good men left”, says the burdened woman, desiring to be held and cherished, loved and seen for who she is.
Oh my, we all want the same thing, yet the battle of the sexes wages on as we move through time, each decade taking on a certain tempo that causes a shrug of shoulders, an eye-roll and dismissing giggle at parties.
But in the end, it IS a war and it’s getting bloody, dangerous and even deadly!
Women are to be held in high esteem for leading the way in conscious evolving, modeling boldly what it means to awaken to the deeper meanings of life and embrace the things that truly make us happy. In doing so, men have been left behind and have shown both ignorance and outright laziness in any attempts to catch up, or even learn.
This lack of congruence in the sexes has created an ugly curtness in women creating situations of spiritual arrogance, and an unattractive pride that men won’t go near. The women leave the guys behind to huddle in their communities and grow stronger in femininity, casting off any balance of the masculine causing sadness, loneliness and outright indignation that we actually “need” each other. Yes “need” is now a dirty four letter word not to be uttered in relationships, especially new ones!
We want love. Wait a second…according to Maslow, LOVE and BELONGING is among the top NEEDS (not wants) of us actually being human. So what is happening?
The enjoyment of playful toying with each other has been replaced with a delicate dance of political rightness and men are confused, big time! The frustration is causing disengagement that is rampant across both genders and none of us are guilt free. The comfort of sex and gender independence has been a false companion and not a fair exchange.
Men are tired of being rejected because we are gentlemen, thought of as weak because we show our emotions or lack a certain flair that the women don’t communicate. We try, yet fail and are friend-zoned by woman after woman or occasionally get lucky with a rebound lay only to discover later we’re in the drama den of an ugly love triangle and not-so-lucky after all. Score? More like penalty box!!
The women are pent up in their apartments on Saturday nights resolved that a glass of cheap Cabernet and a Netflix rerun really is all the love stroke she needs since understanding her male counterparts is well…just too much fucking work. So the apple-tinis live on in the women’s tradition of Ladies Night, gulped down with crappy calamari and a lonely drive home to cap off the work week before more girl’s activities ensue.
It’s fucking boring! It’s not working! And something has to change!
We need each other, and, I’ll even go so far as to say…desperately! Not in the sappy (dysfunctional) ways Hollywood has shoved down our throats for years, charging us millions in the form of entertainment while not giving us the courtesy of calling it emotional crack. And don’t get me started on the false intimacy of pornography that has millions of men’s minds so totally perverted and off center that many of us don’t have the energy left to actually romance a real woman and work through the relationship snafus that are commonplace in creating any kind of unity, much less sacred sexuality.
No screw that!
I mean love. Grounded. Centered. Loving…good old fashioned, grace-filled love. The kind where we actually CARE about making the other person FEEL good. Yes, I know, I’m spiritual too and you can’t actually MAKE someone feel anything. Yes, I know that it’s up to each individual person to own their thoughts, that cause feelings, and create emotions and come to the relationship clear and free.
I’m out of breath. Gee-Zus! Come on, I want to make you feel good. I have that ability, certainly…right? I’ll use my charm. I’ll flirt. I’ll provide a great evening of fun-filled activities and end it all with an impulsive rickshaw ride through downtown and back to our car before departing home with a full and warm heart. We all want this!
I’ll make you dinner, and even clean up after. I’ll compliment your attire when we go out, I’ll place you on the inside of the sidewalk when we walk, I’ll kiss you on the cheek and nibble on your ear right before I whisper, “you look beautiful tonight”.
I’m tired. And, you are too. We’ve done everything “right” and in it, missed each others hearts. We’ve failed to hold each others secrets as sacred. We’ve failed to smile with compassion when things are going rough, and we have no idea why. We’ve failed to embrace, when all we wanted to do was run. We’ve failed to communicate our TRUTH and in the end, left empty from the pit of deceit caused by our fears.
In the effort to love, be loved and more importantly, keep loving in spite of failure, I’m led to one of the truest descriptions of love when the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
~1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
I’ve read this text, completed the ten point studies from Sunday School, written poetry and experimented with the many, complex and complicated meanings of love. I’ve fucked it up thousands of times, energetically bouncing off others by way of attraction, friendship and the randomness of connections to return again and again. This leads me to purge from the deepest parts of myself these five reasons we need each other:
1. Oneness. We’re not traveling alone on this planet. We have needs and wants that are collective and require the input of each other. To quote the poet, John Donne.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
2. Without the service and community of belonging, our glory fades and we become empty by way of our own gluttonous living. We are designed to powerfully engage each other, sometimes in conflict, and mostly with an inner knowing that you’re NOT with a mere mortal and rather, with something divine and so much greater.
3. Laughter. It is the sound of joy and nearly impossible to laugh alone or without any outside engagement. The tantalizing stimulation of laughing creates the shortest bridge between two people, connecting them through almost any trial.
4. Sex, Connection and Intimacy. Those three words conjure up so many varying emotions, opinions, fears and preferences that grow us because we can’t hide. To get our needs met, we must face the terrifying shadows of our soul and break through to be truly seen, to be known and accepted, mostly…by ourselves first.
5. Vulnerability and Authenticity. Nothing is harder for us as humans, AND, it’s the two things we crave from our fellow travelers in the thousands of manufactured environments. By authentically engaging each other, sharing our vulnerabilities we grow past the wounds, lay down the hurts, forgive the wrongs and feel into emotions that drive the human endeavor, fuel our dormant dreams and create breathtaking beauty.
So my dear friends, can we trust these words written centuries ago from a rowdy apostle named Paul that was leading a church in a cosmopolitan city of wealth and prosperity with people desperate for answers asking, “what is love?” Can you look at this list of five points above, exhale in a surrender and try again knowing we, centuries later, are asking the same exact question and struggling?
Well I guess it’s a choice, one we must make every day. Me? Well I’ve already dis-positioned myself as romantic-in-nature and will return to this deep well of the universe and draw from the endless resources because, I need love and I need others.
At least give this a try. Love each other…over, and over, and over.