Saturday, August 29, 2009

Revolutionary Man - Is She “The One?”

A great post on the difference between mature masculinity and immature masculinity in how men relate to women and relationships. Jayson really nails it in this post.

Is She “The One?”


At some point, most men ask the big question—Is She the One?

Since my first girlfriend at 17, I had been asking “is she the one?” with almost all my girlfriends. I even spent two years wondering if my wife was “the one.” This caused us both unnecessary suffering.

I do meet some men who report knowing “she’s the one” within minutes of meeting her. Not me.

I dated several women prior to meeting my wife, and many of them I thought might be the one, even though I had no interest in marriage at the time.

During my time dating these women, I often would torment myself with this “is she the one?” question. I would pick them apart, finding all of their faults. I made all of them wrong. Looking back, there was nothing wrong with these women, however, I was a pretty defended, idealistic guy with a very naïve view of love.

By focusing on what was “not perfect” with the women I dated, I could avoid taking responsibility for my own fear, unexplored blocks, and issues.

To understand this dynamic further, we have to understand what kind of love we are looking for.

Romantic Love, Perfect Love & Relative Love

Romantic Love

In general, we men tend to have a very young, boyish, romantic notion of relationship.

In the honeymoon phase of a new relationship, everything can be amazing. Fireworks, great sex, passion abound, lovey eye-gazing and more. But for most guys, this ends after a period of 1-6 months.

Then what? Because that feeling goes away, most men blame their girlfriend for the feeling going away. “I’m just not feeling it anymore.” “It was fun while it lasted.” “I think I love her, but I’m not in love with her,” and on and on.

So, these guys keep chasing that honeymoon, romantic feeling and have a hard time settling down with one woman.

For example, remember the movie Jerry McGuire?

Some men think that there is actually one person who will make them feel perfect—everything will be okay. “If I just find the right person, she will satisfy the longing inside, fill the void, and as Jerry McGuire said, “you complete me.”

Do you see that this is a trap?

You know you are in a kind of romantic love-state when you are overcome with an almost euphoric, drug-like feeling.

Romantic love is where we become infatuated with a woman when we hardly know anything about her. Essentially we fall in love with our projections of who we think she is, rather than who she actually is.

Not once did any of these relationships last for me.

Perfect Love

When we are in a romantic love zone, we taste the possibility of perfect love.

Pefect love or absolute love is a term coined by psychology and Buddhist author John Welwood. Welwood describes it as “the perfect love we can know in our heart.” In other words, perfect love is like the sun, radiating and penetrating—always there, on fire.

We are all capable of perfect love and when we experience it we feel like we are coming home. Perfect love is a bit more grounded and penetrating than romantic love. Perfect love is who we are at our core.

Perfect love wakes us up to what is possible in relationship with another person. This is what each of us longs for in every cell. We want this unconditioned love so badly we’d do anything for it. And when we experience it, we desperately attempt to hang on to the fleeting feeling.

But herein, is the trap. It is impossible for another human being to provide perfect love in an ongoing way.

Relative Love

Relative love is our ability to experience perfect love. Because we all have issues, wounds, and limitations in relationship to love, we remain clouded from consistently giving and receiving the perfect love that is always present.

Watch yourself in relationships. What patterns do you repeat? What ideas about love and women do you have? Do you ever get stuck and frustrated in intimate relationships? If so, that is relative love and it’s part of being human.

So why does this difference in love matter?

As Welwood states, “That is why it’s important to distinguish between absolute [perfect] and relative love–so we don’t go around seeking perfect love from imperfect situations.”

This is the great trap: In our society we are taught to believe that one person is supposed to meet our needs and make us happy so long as we both shall live. But let’s be honest. If you want to grow as a man and become stronger, more open, more whole, then having someone meet our every need probably isn’t best for you.

So, when you ask “Is she the one?” be honest about what you are expecting. Are you wanting perfect love from an imperfect person, which we all are?

Do you have any idea that it is possible to weather the storms and discover deeper and deeper love?

Once you begin to see the difference, you can make mature, conscious choices about the woman you are with.

Read the rest of this post.

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