already standing on the ground

"A equal partnership based on mutual respect" used to sound boring and unromantic to me.

Then I endured a relationship where that wasn't the case, where it became clear over time that no matter how smart or accomplished I was, I would never be admitted into the Special Super Secret Man Clubhouse. For years I was sore hearted about it, thinking that somehow the deficiency was in me-- that if only I had been somehow better read or more attractive or cooler I would have been admitted to real emotional intimacy with the guy.

When I moved from Texas to Virginia, one cultural difference that blew my mind was that some men-- including Peter-- actually respected women as their equals. This was not just lip service to the idea-- Peter actually considers me an equal, an intellectual peer. He asks for my input on things. Our emotional intimacy involves us sharing our whole selves with one another, not only a particular part reserved for the opposite sex. There's not this tiered arrangement where my relationship with him is secondary to his pursuit of some Aristotelian ideal of a Manly Friendship.

We are not only spouses and lovers, we are truly partners and best friends. And that's the most romantic thing I've ever known.

6 comments:

M. Robert Turnage said...

Is this a response to the Sandra Tsing Loh article or revisiting trauma from Texas?

Recovering Sociopath said...

Trauma.

Which Tsing Loh article?

Kimberly said...

I won't bore everyone with my dating history. Suffice it to say that there was quite a sequence of dating men that were "onion-like". I thought it quite deep of them to make me peel away layers to "discover" who they really were. Most times, the discovery was that there was really nothing but the top hard crusty layer.

And then I was criticized for wanting something they couldn't give.

So, ok. By the time I was in my mid-30s I figured out that I needed to look for someone who had the qualities I wanted and who made them apparent. Complete paradigm shift.

But, I met my husband, thankfully, when I was in the good place. YEAH!! Took a surprisingly long time, though.

Veronica Mitchell said...

Yep.

Katina said...

Hi there. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I was pretty fired up after reading Pensieve's article, and I think I may have gotten carried away in my response (which was more of a blog entry in itself than a comment!) By the way, in response to your comment to me about attachment parenting, I don't think any of us have it figured out. We just do what works for us and our kids.

Stacey said...

Agree!

Just had a sweet conversation with my (Texan) husband about this very subject last night. I already know that he respects me and cares about my thoughts/opinions/values. It still meant a lot to hear him say that, as much as he appreciates the community of men around him, the first person he want to bounce ideas off of and receive insight from is his wife. He also restated how much he appreciates that I choose to stay home with our babies when I could do so many other things that would appear more prestigious or "fulfilling".

I got me a good one.