A funny thing about taking care of each other is that it generally requires each other. A medical doctor is not going to get very far without the cooperation of the patient. An intimate relationship is not going to get very far without the cooperation of both parties (or all the parties—insert your own joke/interpretation here).
As I’ve written here many times before, we suck at intimacy. We suck at relationships for the most part. We don’t have to, at least I don’t think so, but we seem to do so regardless of what I or anyone else thinks or feels.
Warning, tirade is approaching, but I’ll try and balance the outburst.
The world is not the way it is just because of men—women have at least as much responsibility for the mess as men do. On some days, I think women contribute even more to the mess, they just do so more quietly. It’s sort of like the difference between externalizing and internalizing disorders—both are disorders, but that which is externalized tends to be more obvious and to get more attention. However, just because something gets attention doesn’t mean it’s the real problem.
Men are easy to blame, because they are obvious. But women misrepresent reality with at least equal contribution. At least! But women can be so sweet at times that their misrepresentations are missed entirely.
Okay, on a personal level, I’m working with a small sample size, but professionally I do teach and it’s mostly women in those classes (women are more likely to pursue an education overall, and certainly in psychology). And when it comes to nurturing, I’m not talking about parent/child relationships when I describe my personal or professional observations—my children and I care for and are value-added when it comes to each other, and we’re not the only family like that. And I’m also not including nurturing when it comes to babies, puppies, kittens, etc.—those little beings will evoke all kinds of nurturing. Good, they need it. But so do adults.
Here’s how it looks to me: Men try to be tough, women try to be soft. It’s bullshit in both cases. Men are not so tough, women are not so soft. Yet that’s our marketing strategy? Talk about misrepresenting reality, and from the opening gate. We’d be better off just saying we want to have sex and what kind and in what way. We’d be better off just saying we want to be taken care of and how. And we’d be better off saying either yes or no and getting on with it. But we’re almighty conquerors—we’ve got to have one up on each other. That’s not tough or soft, it’s a misrepresentation of reality.
Maybe I’m not getting reality, right? Maybe I’m just whining, right?
Wrong. Here’s why I think our behaviors misrepresent reality: It’s because we made the bullshit relationships up in the first place, those relationships do not mimic the reality of caring, which we supposedly espouse, they misrepresent what we espouse. We actually care that we remain aloof, protected from risking it all in true intimacy. Yet we pine for intimacy. As I said: It’s bullshit. And this state of affairs continues to astound me—I always figured that when it came to intimacy, men, including myself, would be the problem. To discover that females would also have massive trouble is of little consolation. Personally, I need the help to surrender to an intimate relationship that does not involve family or newborns. To find out women do as well, well that’s a quandary.
I guess I’ll have to be tough even though I don’t feel so tough—especially after all this time. I guess that I have no choice, which is the definition of being tough I suppose: Having to stick with it, whether I like it or not.
I really guess both men and women have to be both tough and soft. And I think we should commence immediately. After all, if it’s love, why wouldn’t we? I can only think of one reason, because we embrace fear over love. I’m not talking down here, it’s a tough choice for Purgatorians to make.
Maybe that’s why we’re Purgatorians. Maybe we’ll shift when we embrace love over fear. In the meantime, Purgatorian or not, I’m going to speak up about our choice—and that I can’t make the shift alone that I know of. That’s the beauty and the weirdness about it all. As for the reality—what do you all think, fear is the ultimate reality? No way—and that’s why we’re not being realistic.