I really do want to see men and women in intimate and satisfying relationships. While the marriage contract is a terrible business arrangement, men and women can be committed to each other, regardless, and be very happy. I want men and women to actually respect each other in the context of intimate relationships. I find it wonderful to see an elderly man and woman walking together and holding hands.
Just call me an old softy.
The challenge lies in breaking down the social expectations which sabotage relationships even before they begin. Both men and women too often yield to those social expecations because they think it’s the right thing to do when, in fact, the contemporary social expectations of the past two generations have been poison for marriage and relationships.
I am not advocating returning to the past. I merely wish to open some eyes and point out that for many social expectations there is at least one negative unintended consequence that results in relationship fallout.
Social Expectation: All men are boobs.
Relationship Fallout: A man’s needs and desires are not to be taken seriously.
Social Expectation: Women can have it all.
Relationship Fallout: Stressful, hectic lives where the relationship is low on the priority list. See also the divorce fantasy.
Social Expectation: Men should be more expressive emotionally.
Relationship Fallout: Loss of respect by women. The feminine is attracted to the masculine.
Social Expectation: Women must be more masculine emotionally to be strong and independent in her career.
Relationship Fallout: That masculine strength is brought home and into the relationship leading to conflict and loss of desire.
Social Expectation: The Knight in Shining Armor will rescue me and I will live happily ever after. I can only date the most attractive women even though I have little to offer.
Relationship Fallout: Unrealistic and therefore unfulfilled expectations.
For both men and women, I urge you to ask yourself the following question in your dating and relationship-seeking endeavors: “Am I doing this only because I’m expected to?”
For many years, I fell in line with the social expectations. It cost me a marriage. I’m not making those mistakes again. I’m also completely ignoring the conventional wisdom about dating and relationships. The conventional wisdom is horribly wrong and the statistics bear it out.
The following generations have it much, much worse.