Do I need a man? I heard a commercial on the radio for a new talk show. One line stood out to me in a snippet of interviews. I have no idea who it was, but she said (and I’m paraphrasing), “when I got divorced, I found I needed men to help me find my way back to myself.” That line has been sort of reverberating around in my head for the past couple of days. I’ve been trying to figure out if it was true for me or not.
As an independent woman, I think my first inclination is to say; wait, I don’t need a man for anything. I only want a man for things. However, the more I think about it, the more I feel a connection to those words. There are some men in my life that I really needed to go through in order to know what I wanted, what I needed, and what I deserved. Then, ultimately when I found all of those things in someone, I needed to be able to let him heal some things in me that I could not heal on my own.
Let’s start with the first guy I fell for. He may have been the first guy I genuinely fell for my whole life. But looking back, I fell for a game. He was well versed in keeping women’s attention and he thrived on it. We never dated, but we talked all the time. We talked about random things, sometimes nothing exciting at all. But he was who I wanted to talk to. I was hooked on the conversation. And he really talked to me. It was something I hadn’t had in my marriage. So, what I learned from that is that I needed someone who would talk to me. Someone who would be my go-to person. That is the positive that I learned, and I won’t even delve into the negative.
Next was the guy who was amazing in bed. He wasn’t just amazing in bed though, he was genuinely attracted to me and could not get enough. That was important because it was something else lacking in my marriage. I needed to know that someone could see me like that. Because I saw myself primarily as a mother, then as the ex-wife of a man who never wanted me, and never as an attractive woman. I also learned in a successful relationship, sex is a very important part of the foundation for me.
Lastly, was the man who treated me like a princess. He was older than me and very kind. At first he lavished attention, time, and gifts. He always opened my car door and treated me with respect. He made me feel beautiful and taken care of. It didn’t work out, but it was a mostly positive experience. He taught me that I deserve those things because I’m willing to give them.
So I learned all of those things that I wanted in a relationship by dating men. So, it was true for me, I did need men to help me realize things about myself. There were other men, my ex-husband, one narcissistic nightmare, and various others along the way, but I am choosing to focus on the good I learned from them and not the negative, though I learned many cautionary tales. They molded me as well, but I am afraid not necessarily in good ways, except maybe to make me stronger and wiser.
I learned I need meaningful conversation and a lot of it. I learned that sex and feeling attractive is huge for me and has to be solid. And I learned that I want to be treated well, maybe not over the top, but some chivalry is very much appreciated. And then I knew I needed those things to have a successful relationship. And then I met someone who gave me all three.
Stronger Than Yesterday,