Back to our question from last week. Do men prepare for the emotional demands of a relationship?
One day I was saying that guys don’t have the kind of expectations women constantly have on them. A friend corrected me and said guys do experience pressure like women do, but rather to be muscular and financially well off.
But don’t you find it strange that as a society we are forever nudging women to a never-ending better version of themselves? Do we have those expectations for men? It is good to be better, but it’s also heartbreaking when women are receiving messages that they are unlovable if they are less then perfect. We socialize young women this way and it’s often not to their own benefit. It’s for the benefit of whoever they will pair up with. This needs to be examined and changed.
Why is the emphasis on men to financially provide but never on becoming emotionally intelligent and healthy when both are important? Women are to be the model mate- Don’t nag, don’t be needy, don’t be too independent, or have opinions. Love selflessly, have a personality but not too much. There’s an emphasis on molding to your husband instead of molding and shifting together. I want to make sure that I’m not passing on this dangerous mentality onto the next generation. I believe we ALL need to be on a path to mental and emotional wholeness. You don’t need to be perfect because that’s impossible, but you should at least care and value this part of being human.
This mentality and the skewed way women are socialized could be because traditionally (and when I say traditionally I mean way back when) men were seen as the sole provider and women kept the home. So maybe then it was all about women being a good homemaker and complement to the man’s life.
But still, why even now, do some men undervalue emotional preparation for relationships or even in life? It’s scary to me how many men are not even aware of their own deeper emotions and haven’t learned how to access and navigate this side of themselves. They haven’t worked through their past issues with the women or people in their lives. Again I don’t think all men are like this but it’s definitely reinforced through popular culture. Guys that are sensitive are seen as rare.
If you have a son raise him to be self-aware and empathetic. It’s so valuable to living everyday life. I know men who are like this and some of them might feel like they aren’t the norm. For men, a relationship should not be the first time they are coming into awareness of themselves. This is something every human being should be trying to grow in regardless of if they are planning to be in a relationship.
In conversations with friends, we’ve spoken about when as a woman you emotionally take care of yourself deal with all your issues and go to counseling, retreats and whatever you need to do to make sure you are good and become healthy and self-aware only to find out the man you’re interested in has done none of that work…Well, that sucks! What would you do? What kind of imbalance does this create? What kind of arguments? One friend told me she didn’t want to work on herself anymore because what was the point? She’d already noticed most men she’d encountered hadn’t even started that inward journey and relationships with such men were challenging enough without the knowledge of how much more work was needed internally.
I had to agree with her we both felt like she was in a decent place in her life. She is benefitting from all the work she’s done on herself. The good thing is It is valuable to work on yourself but it should be because you want to be a better person and live the life you deserve not just to meet someone. But if you do get into a relationship wouldn’t it be great if you were both emotionally ready? Next week I’ll finish up my thoughts on this.