Although I had planned a different topic for this week, I happened to have three separate conversations with three completely different women on Friday who put their respective relationship plights in the forefront of my mind. When I say “completely different women,” I mean that in an absolutely literal way from top to bottom and A to Z.
- Woman 1 (Jalene): Twice divorced, mother of three, dating, in her early 50’s, works in an office, post-secondary education, raised in another country in an average family, and lives a modest lifestyle.
- Woman 2 (Nadia): Never married, not currently dating, in her late 20’s, highly educated, driven and successful in her career, raised in a wealthy and successful family, and consciously defiant towards authority.
- Woman 3 (Valerie): Never married, single mom, early 20’s, works in retail, raised in a home that experienced two divorces, and tortured by goals that she feels she cannot attain with her current situation.
The only thing these three women have in common is that they are all physically breathtaking and have hearts of solid gold. Ironically though, they all have parallel failures, disappointments and concerns in the love department. As a side-line observer, I feel as though they may also have one more thing in common—a low level of self-worth.
Jalene subjected herself to two miserable marriages and then dated a smattering of men who should have never passed the entry exam to her heart. Now, in a relationship that she loves, she feels standoffish and guarded. Although she is enjoying the getting-to-know-you phase of this courtship, she is unable to fully open herself up and enjoy the riches of… well… joy. She is far from running through a field of daisies in slow motion. She has yet to allow herself to be completely swept off her feet. Does it mean that they are incompatible, or that the “white noise” of society is tampering with her unconditional happiness?
Nadia is a firecracker, but if she were a man, she’d have white tape on her heavy-rimmed glasses and a pocket protector for each day of the week. Yes, she’s a total nerd. But she’s a nerd in the sexiest of packages. She’s like broccoli dipped in chocolate and sex.
That has got to be the worst analogy that I’ve ever come up with, but it totally works. In layman’s terms, she’s a hotty-pa-totty with far too much grey matter in that noggin of hers.
Nadia is highly intelligent and successful in her career but yet suffers from her own insecurities. Insecurities that I would never dare to ask about, or feel as though I should be privy to. Insecurities that, I’m sure, most would scoff at if they judged her solely by the sparkling Neiman Marcus-esque window display that her life may appear to be. She seems to have it all, but maybe she cries herself to sleep at night, just like so many of us. After more than two dozen dates this year, she said that she is “over it” and claims to be happy being solo. Does it mean that she’s given up on love? Does it mean that she’s putting up a good front? Maybe it means that she’s not willing to settle. Maybe it means that she really does like being single.
And then we have Valerie.
Valerie is tortured by the father of her child. She loves and adores him, but she can’t help him. He has put himself on a very self-destructive path that is not healthy for either her or their child to be exposed to. She had to remove herself from that situation because she recognized that he had an emotional stronghold on her that so many women allow themselves to be held captive by (previously, myself included). She has so many dreams and goals, but the almighty dollar and her lack of self-worth stifle her. She is paralyzed by fear. She doesn’t think that she ever wants to be in a relationship again because she doesn’t want to go through the awkward learning curve of a new relationship. Her baby-papa fit her like a glove. She wants him, but she doesn’t want the “him” that he has chosen to become.
Is it just me, or does it seem as though three completely different women from three different generations and socioeconomic backgrounds gauge the completeness of their lives by whether or not they have a man in it?
Have we allowed society to take the submissive Leave it to Beaver housewife out of the home, toss her into a mosh-pit of strong, armpit hair-flaunting feminists, right into an epidemic-level of diverse “strong” women who feel as though they are nothing without having a man to validate them as a human being?
I mean really, when you go to buy underwear, does the rhinestone stringed bra and g-string set at La Senza boast itself as a staple of your undergarment wardrobe? Probably not. Is that the only way that we can truly feel like a woman? Definitely not. Then again, I dare you to wear that to work and tell me how “womanly” you feel after eight hours in that contraption. So why would someone buy it? We all know why.
Is it society that has done this or is it our genetic programming? Are we, as humans, incapable of living a complete life without pairing with another? Does it boil down to our “hunter, gatherer, caveman” genetics, or have we allowed the stigma of society and the media to make us believe that we are unworthy if we are not coupled?
Why don’t these three women focus on the passions of their heart and soul; and not give partnering a second thought? Why?
I’m sincerely asking why?
When I emailed this to my husband he replied with, “Is it because their focus is not in tune with their heart and soul? It is the question of WHY, but the answer is simply WHY NOT. Why not focus your mind on what it desires, needs, and has a passion for. Whether it is a mate, a companion, or comfort friend. Let your focus be the ‘why not.’ And not only about the if, or what if, or ‘IFF’ (‘If and only If ’) this happens can only the why be gone.”
Did he just go all Dr. Phil on my ass? My head hurts now.
I’m not God, I’m not a psychologist, I’m not an expert of anything (well… I do make an amazing cheesecake), so I don’t understand why.
Is it that they/we all suffer from a certain level of self-worth constipation? Or is it that we’re not meant to roam the earth alone?
Why do I ache when my husband is away from me? Why do I crave to feel his skin against mine? Why do I get butterflies in my stomach when I hear his voice? Why do I blush when he looks me in the eyes too long? Why does it feel like the air is sucked out of our house when he leaves it?
Is it because I lack self-worth, or is it because my soul is not complete without being paired with his?
If I was a skilled writer (or followed blogger rules/etiquette), then I would end this with a strong close (and about 600 words ago), but I’m just so sincerely perplexed by this obvious commonality that so many of us seem to share, that all I can keep asking is “Why?” No. I don’t want anyone else to go all Dr. Phil on my ass. I just needed to ask “why” this week.
Do you ever ask that?
Does anyone truly have the answer?