I don’t believe that we can blame the decline of happy relationships on any one societal or circumstantial change. There is an entire wave of social evolution that is flowing over us, and unfortunately it’s washing away what we have always referred to as ‘happy relationships.’
Women like to blame men, and say they are ‘no longer men’ and don’t step up or put effort into dating anymore. Men like to blame women, saying they are ‘no longer women’ and feel like we are in competition with each other rather than working together.
There is so much conflict and miscommunication flying around, it’s no surprise that fewer people are getting (or staying) married, and even fewer people seem to consider the concept of marriage as a viable future plan.
Lots of millennials aren’t even sure if they ever want to get married, or have kids. Many of these millennials are men.
Men constantly feel vilified and as though they are the reason why women are unhappy. They are made to feel like they can never be, do, or have enough to bring to the table – some men simply do not know how to approach dating or a relationship, and given the turmoil in the landscape, never begins in the first place.
There are certainly no excuses being made here, men, in many ways, do need to step up and BE MEN. We need to reinforce the idea of being romantic and putting real effort into dating. To make the woman in your life feel valued, and special, and cherished.
But, here’s the problem…
A lot of women don’t put across the vibe that they even want a man to be romantic. I have had many a conversation with women who are completely unapproachable and closed off – who then told me they weren’t intending to be that way.
We all understand that people are walking on eggshells these days. I can’t scroll through Facebook for 5 minutes without seeing a woman complaining about a guy who hit on her, or winked at her, or complimented her the wrong way in Starbucks. Yes, there are a lot of creeps out there, and I often publicly speak out against them – but that does not mean that all men need to be grouped together with these idiots.
What happens is, kind, goodhearted men start to get the idea in their mind that women simply do not want to be approached or spoken to, so they sink back into the corner and leave women alone. In an episode of New School Romance, author Alexandra Adomaitis told me that she never gets approached by men when she leaves the house. “Maybe it’s the way I’m presenting myself…” she wondered.
Or, maybe men just aren’t approaching women anymore. But, why?
And herein lies the problem. Men have no idea how to navigate the playing field of the modern, professional woman. There is complete confusion brought about when we are biologically programmed to be the provider, the protector, and the pursuer – but then be submerged in an environment that tells us we are not needed to be any of those things.
Perhaps, not even wanted to be any of those things.
An environment with a high risk of divorce – a circumstance which is widely perceived to favor the woman. So, then, men will think: “Why even get married?”
People cannot even figure out dating, let alone a relationship, let alone marriage. So, is it all just fading away? Are we descending into a free-for-all, a’la the wild wild west?
I do believe that people do want to find love. They want to be adored, and cared for, and have someone they can rely on (even if they don’t need it). I believe that men are men and women are women, biologically. We have different strengths and different desires – neither is better nor worse. They are just, different.
The reason I believe this is because it’s biological fact, generally speaking. I know that there are plenty of things I lack, that a woman would provide me great balance for. And, vice versa. I enjoy being the guy who lifts the heavy things, who carries the bags, who opens the doors. Why? Because it makes me feel like a man, and a useful one at that.
But, women are squashing this in men with the “I can do it myself” attitude. We know you can do it yourself, that’s not why we do it. We do it because we want to, and it makes us feel good.
So, then, what is the solution? I think we need to make a clear separation between strength and independence in one’s individual life, and in a relationship. A successful relationship is a team, and teams only win if they work together towards a common goal. In this case, a happy life.
The great thing about teams is that each member of the team has specific talents and skills. A quarterback has different strengths than a receiver, and when the two communicate and work together seamlessly, the team wins. If the quarterback tried to throw the ball and ran down the field to catch it himself, it would never work.
At this stage of the human condition, we are all trying to be everything. Our society is making us so individualized that it’s hurting our ability to actually work together with each other. We are terrified to give up power or control in any area of life (unless you’re Anastasia Steele), and it’s causing us to be wound so tightly that we never open up to any other possibilities.
We have to understand our differences and accept them as positives. We have to understand that ‘equal’ does not have to mean ‘the same.’ We can love and respect each other on an equal level, while understanding that we are different from each other – and that’s what makes things work.
If you have a puzzle, you need all of the pieces to fit together in order to create the picture. In a dance, there is balance between partners. In a yin-yang, both sides cannot be black or white.
The same goes for a relationship, and we are losing sight of this. Men are men, women are women, and when we work together as a team, beautiful things happen.
Teams do not compete with one another, they work together in order to win.
It’s time that we remembered that again.
Do you agree? Disagree? Tell me in the comments, and be sure to share this article on social media so your friends can chime in as well.