Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Roles

I recently was reminded of the basic needs of men and women. Men need to feel important and needed (but don’t we all?) and women need to feel protected and cared for (but don’t we all?). So my question, or maybe my comment, is that if these are our basic needs why do we tend to be so independent and insecure all at the same time? I think it must have a lot to do with our subtle behaviors in a relationship. I used to think I didn’t care if a man got my door for me or not. But in the last few years I’ve realized how much I like it when a man gets my door for me, even the car door after arriving at the destination. I like to just sit there and slowly gather my things and wait expectantly for him to get my door – it gives me a little bit the feeling of being a princess. In fact when I get out of the car I find myself trying to do so more gracefully – like a princess I guess. I should point out, though, that when it’s a guy I don’t like and I don’t feel like he knows or respects me then it really bugs. I think the feeling of being cared for and protected is also why women take so well to cuddling and hand holding – those are actions of tenderness and gentle protection. It occurs to me, though, that a lot of these actions are just symbolic – not really necessary. I guess having gone through evolution we just maintain these sorts of customs because they still evoke the necessary emotion. But like other age old customs, they are sometimes lacking from our culture. I think a lot of women in my age range have a hard time knowing how to make a man feel important and needed when she’s had to develop such independence and self sufficiency. I don’t know if it’s been discussed on here or just in my real life, but it seems that learning one’s “role” as a woman is very important in having a successful romantic relationship. Not necessarily the damsel in distress role, but certainly the feminine nurturing respectful sort of role. Anyway, I’m still working on it. I don’t get a lot of feedback – maybe I should ask for more – so I’m never quite sure if I’m playing my role well or if I look like a child playing dress-up in mother’s shoes. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of trying to be something you’re not and realizing everyone can see through you. So out of fear I often don't even try - but without trying you make no progress. You see what I'm working on?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Um, why not just try being YOURSELF?

If you're trying to play-act a part rather than be your normal self, it'll only end up phony. If you're a nurturing person, be nurturing. Always have respect, whether you're nurturing or not. I'm just not getting why you think you have to be demure or something to get a man. That's just... dumb.

Leah said...

Anonymous - you make a good point. Sorry if my ramblings were unclear. I'm all for being yourself in every relationship. (Well except in the world of secret blogs, I guess, but that's just my face and name that's made up, not my inner self.) I think what I'm advocating is that we should work on being our best selves. Part of being my best self is making others feel good about themselves. When it feels like I'm playing dress-up (unnatural) then you're right, I'm probably not being true to myself - it's like all things, you need to find some balance. I just don't want to be content with myself if what I am is not my best self - I believe whole heartedly in self improvement. I think that was the point of my post. And since I'm not a fan of the phrase "get a man" (because it does sound like someone being phony) I'd like to add that playing my role as a woman (being my best self) is to fulfill divine destiny and be the daughter of God I know I am. I think the world is full of all sorts of misinformation and I think I sometimes do a poor job of being the beautiful women I am.

Scully said...

I think it has to do with tapping-in to your feminine self and expressing that. There's so much in the world that doesn't want us to be feminine, but I think expressing our femininity, which is a true part of ourselves, can attract and bring out the masculine self of the men we interact with. I know I've lead out by habit with more of my business (masculine) side with men I've wanted to date and it doesn't work.

Leah said...

Scully you put that perfectly! I think that's what I had in mind. Only with me, I tend to be smothering/over nurturing - the teacher side of me comes out. I like to keep in mind that we are whole people - not just our profession.

kleinhenzcrew said...

The most basic need is for us NOT to be alone! For a relationship to be successful, each person has to put the other's needs in front of their own. And this would work if BOTH people really did it. We wouldn't have to think of our own needs and be selfish if we were assured that someone else was going to worry about our needs for us. So in my house, my husband feels cared for when I make dinner. At my brother's house, he makes the dinner for his wife. It isn't about roles, it is about giving your partner what is most important to them, even if they can do it for themselves. It is about learning to be selfless and you can practice that in every relationship, in fact mothering and fathering require it. If you want to learn how to be a great partner, practice being a great friend, a great sister, a great daughter. And this may even require hand holding. I still hold my mother's hand, my daughter's hand, my husband's hand, all for different reasons, but all symbolizing the same thing- we belong together and I care about your needs. Self improvement is the key, we can all improve on putting others first.