A lot of us have developed a bit of a ‘list’ over the years. A list of qualities we want the person our significant other to have. Maybe we want them to be ambitious, or athletic, or blonde, or tall(ish), or dress a certain way.
We develop what we consider to be our ‘type’ over time, and we tend to stick to at least a general image for who we are attracted to. But, I feel there is one very important concept that seems to get overlooked too often.
How does this person make you feel about yourself?
Being with the right man is not just about how you feel about him, it’s also about how you feel about you when you’re with him. Does he encourage you? Does he support your endeavors? Does he help you flourish in all ways, when he is able?
In my opinion, the non-negotiable answer to all of these (and other) questions, has to be a resounding yes. It has to be a yes because a healthy relationship is comprised of two individuals who both lead separate lives, but that converge as one. Neither person can smush themselves into the mold of the other person and sacrifice their identity – unless they want to be resentful and unfulfilled forever.
We all have individual interests, needs, desires, professions, hobbies, and paths in life. And as a result, your teammate (my favorite word for ‘partner’) should support you as you enjoy all of the things you loved before they came into your life.
Too often these days, I hear from women about how they cannot seem to get a man’s attention (or keep it) because she is too intimidating. This typically translates into women who are ambitious, intelligent, successful – or all three. I do sympathize with men on this, to an extent…
Before you jump all over me and tell me “it goes both ways” in the comments (we all know it goes both ways), hear me out.
For the first time in human history, we are navigating a landscape in relationships that does not require the man to be the provider. We do not have to hunt, or bring home the bacon anymore. Even though it’s worth noting that the Lioness is the one who does the hunting in the Pride. But, I digress.
The point is, that the human male has always had his identity rooted in being the protector or provider. It is ingrained in us through millions of years of biological evolution, and has always been the way of the world. Until, now.
Guys, it is up to us to learn to adjust to this new landscape and understand that we are far better off in the new world. The women in our lives are driven, and passionate, and are changing the world as we know it – literally. They are successful both personally and professionally. They are self-sufficient. They are well-educated, and they know what they want.
What they don’t want, is a man who is going to treat them as anything less than an equal. Nobody is saying women should be elevated above men (not even feminists, look it up), but for the first time in history, we have the privilege of having an equal teammate in life.
I know, for me, I adore having a woman in my life who works her ass off and goes after what she wants. Why?
It means she does not settle for bullshit.
It means she isn’t just going to accept a random man into her life who cannot keep pace with her, match her efforts, and support her as she does for him. It means if she chooses you, you bet your ass she is dead serious about you.
It means she will understand your hustle.
A woman who is on her grind the same as you are will be side by side with you as you face your challenges and hurdles. Relationships are a dance, and they require both partners to lead when appropriate, and follow when appropriate. We all have different strengths, and allowing the other person to flex their respective muscles does not diminish yours in any way. Any great team is successful because they allow each individual member to shine with their unique skillsets.
It means she will be your teammate for life.
Do you know what pulls a lot of people apart in long term relationships? Resentment. Feeling taken for granted. Losing his or her identity. And, who can blame them? Nobody wants to feel engulfed by another person’s existence to the point where you feel like you’re losing your own.
A woman who is your equal, your teammate, your confidant, will be able to shine in everything that she does. You will be the magnifying glass to each other’s sunlight, helping to focus and strengthen each other’s power. She will love you ferociously because you are the fan to her flames. Too many men try to extinguish the power that is a woman, and only end up getting burned.
Relationships are about mutual empowerment. They are about standing beside each other and pulling each other up when one falls. They are about mutual support, mutual accomplishments, and mutual progression in life.
Too often, one teammate will grow, learn, and develop – while the other remains stagnant. And, in a world that stifles the growth of one partner, what else could we expect?
But, in a world where everyone is free to spread their wings and fly, our possibilities are unlimited, if we work together as a team.
So, gentlemen, I implore you – do not see a powerful woman as a threat. She does not want to take your place as a man. She does not want to steal your masculinity. She does not want to stifle your personal growth – just the opposite.
Powerful women crave powerful men – it is their only option – a weak man will have no idea what to do with her.
Grow, thrive, and succeed…together. We have more power as a society than we ever have in the past. Let’s not waste it.