Traditionally, men were the breadwinners and women stayed home to take care of the home and children. Gender roles were clear and as long as each partner fulfilled their role, there was harmony in the relationship. So does the modern woman still need a man?
Women today are more educated than ever before, but are we necessarily wiser? We are more privileged than any generation before us, yet we seem to find it difficult to sustain happy, healthy relationships. There are talks and workshops and support groups available for women empowerment and the majority of western women have discarded the aprons, perfectly coiffed hair and immaculately kept homes for a career, success and independence.
While the traditional woman looked for a man who was strong, responsible and a good provider; women today are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. So does the modern woman even need a man? Of course we do! Every person, woman or man, wants to feel the special bond with one person that you sincerely love and adore. We want to navigate life with someone who can share the happy times and be present for us during the challenging times.
So why then do so many smart, independent, successful women find themselves alone? Could it be that we lost sight that feminism is about an EQUAL right to education and opportunities and have become extreme in our expectations of men? Extreme feminist groups tear men down while building women up. We talk about the “battle” of the sexes. We cannot put men down and expect them to do better. We also cannot expect the man of today to pay for the sins of all men of the past.
A woman caught her boyfriend in a car with another woman. She confronted him and as he got out of the car to talk to her; she ran him over with her car. The video was posted online and hundreds of women responded by applauding her behaviour. Most said that he got what he deserved. Some suggested that they would do a lot worse if their partners cheated. As hurtful as it is to be cheated on; can we honestly condone running a man over with your car? If a man did this to a woman, would we applaud his behaviour?
So perhaps it time we looked at relationships in a whole new light. While the traditional roles are no longer acceptable, it seems that the “masculine” modern woman is also not an option.
My challenge to every strong, successful woman that is alone, is to be brave enough to ask yourself the deeper questions. Am I so powerful that I’ve lost touch with my feminine side? A man does not want to be in a relationship with one of his “buddies”. Have you created such a comfortable, independent life that there’s no room for a man? Will he feel that he’s not needed in your presence? Do you want to pay the bill even when he’s asked you out on a date? Do you do it because you don’t want to “owe” him or because you want to show that you can take care of yourself? Do you often say to your friends that there aren’t any good men left? Are you so extreme that you have to display your sexuality? Promiscuity may get a man’s attention, but it doesn’t get his heart.
If any of this resonates with you then it’s time to find a balance. Relationships today, the successful ones at least, are about partnerships. There is an equal exchange of energy. If we have high expectations, it’s because we have a lot to give. We want someone who complements us. Masculine energy finds feminine energy attractive.
Two partners in a business are not identical. One may be the innovator and the other may be the marketer or the face of the business. They complement each other and work together to create a successful business. Likewise, in a relationship, a partnership does not mean that everything has to be exactly the same. If one contributes more financially; perhaps the other contributes more with time for the home and family. One may be a good cook and perhaps the other is great at gardening. If together you can create more than you can each create on your own; then that’s a great partnership. We need to create win-win partnerships; not win-lose. When both partners feels needed, acknowledged, loved and respected; then the relationship and the individuals can flourish.
Kas Naidoo – Relationship Coach and Matchmaker