Friday, November 16, 2012
Compatibility: A Foundation for Relationships
Here's the important thing. Why in the hell do we women run around trying to figure out how to "keep him", "melt his heart", "make him love us" or whatever the hell the latest expert tells us we should be doing to be loved? Men don't run around trying to figure out how to keep us, melt our hearts, make us love them, etc. Seriously, I'm so tired of society telling us we have to unlock his heart and make him see how amazing we are. If he can't see it, perhaps he doesn't deserve us.
Now there's an idea. Let's make him prove he deserves us. Now, I know that's not really fair either. But, indulge me for one minute here. Imagine if we felt confident that he'd never leave, so we quit treating him like he has one foot out the door. What if we decided our needs and wants were as important as his. What if we quit feeding men's egos by clinging so desperately to making a relationship work. What if we stopped being so terrified he'll find something better if we don't keep him hooked. What if we just trusted he's in the relationship because he wants to be. What if we just decided to love both the other person and ourselves enough to want everyone to be happy even if the relationship doesn't work out.
Strong relationships are based on not only love but compatibility. Now, I have to admit, I used to think love trumped compatibility, but I've come to understand how important compatibility really is as my husband and I have spent long hours discussing the importance of compatibility.
When two people are compatible, they bridge those gaps between them without the need for manipulation. No deception is necessary to "keep" the relationship. Compatibility doesn't mean two people are mirror images of one another. In fact, it doesn't necessarily mean they even have the same interests. It means their personalities are compatible, their values are compatible, their life goals are compatible, their needs are compatible, and when something arises that isn't compatible, they work together to figure out how to handle it.
So if you find yourself looking for ways to keep him "hooked" maybe it's time to reassess and figure out if the relationship is fulfilling or if you're trying to make something work that just doesn't have a foundation to build on...
As a fiction writer, I'm loathe to admit this, but the stories we write often perpetuate this ideology that keeps women from standing firm in their strength and realizing their full power for the sake of "hooking" him and/or "keeping" him. This hearkens back to my recent post about how strong women are so often portrayed as needing to be saved from themselves by the strong handsome man whose love seems elusive. I'll admit it makes for great fiction, but it makes for miserable lives.
Perhaps its time to just treat one another like human beings and stop letting all these "experts" tell us they hold the key to our happiness...
T. L. Cooper grew up on a farm in Tollesboro, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Kentucky University. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her published work includes a novel, All She Ever Wanted, five books of poetry, and a book of short stories. When not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, creating plant-based recipes, and traveling. Currently, she resides in Albany, Oregon.