Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Relationship with Women

Image from The Conversation on Lifetime; Demi Moore, Arianna Huffington, & Amanda de Cadenet (How amazing does Demi look, btw?!)
I have always been fascinated by the relationship of women, whether it be the one I have with myself, my mother, best friend, female boss or the girl who is now dating my ex. The dynamics are so intriguing and so telling of what kind of women we are and how we see ourselves in the world. Relationships with men are often times a distraction from exploring that more important one that we have with ourselves.

Too often, women let that one relationship with her man take over 80% of her free time. There are more rewarding relationships out there than the ones that lead to marriage, ladies. Why is it that women shun themselves from developing such deep connections with their very own gender, and focus so much of their efforts in pursuit of trying to find that One? Love comes in many different forms, and The One isn't the only type of love, and it is not the most fulfilling. Big harsh fact of life here, but someone has to tell you. Some of you may doubt me now even, but you will experience it and see what I mean.

Here's what I know as a twenty something with a gaggle of girlfriends; life long girlfriends, girlfriends who have been single since they were born, serial monogamous, free spirits, and girlfriends who are married or divorced. (Yes, sadly in my twenties, I have girlfriends (some are younger than myself), who are now divorced. Symptomatically, it was because they had spent their entire twenties searching for the ideal soul mate in the ultimate suburban girl's quest for marriage and immerse their every waking moment, their whole life around the idea and that "soul mate.")

Wait a minute. We are only in our twenties. Are we supposed to know who we want to spend the rest of our lives with before we even know what our career path will be? Better yet, before we even know who the f*ck we are? No wonder why divorce rates are so high. And if you are one of my female readers reading this, and you are married or engaged, in about 4-5 years or less, half of you will be divorced. You won't even see it coming.

I digress. Here's what I know: I'm right at the point where my girlfriends have been mature enough to have a hold of some substantial relationships, lasting two or more years, but right now, those relationships are ending, just like everything that eventually run its course due to uninformed life decisions (or inexperience in general). Within the last couple of months, more than a handful of girl friends have emerged from their dark relationship caves and found the light of singledom to be a bit more glaring than they had remembered. Is this a coincidence that their "sure things" are imploding from the inside all around the same time? They've more or less reached out to me, with the new void that their ex has left, and all I can do is be benevolent with my time, despite the years of neglect. I tell them nicely, I will be there for you, but unlike a doormat, if you disappear on me again, I can't afford to invest any more of my precious time and energy. 

Olivia Wilde's conversation with Amanda de Cadenet explains her ongoing journey of self discovery after her divorce. The world opens up to you once you learn to be independent from that relationship [with a man].

Why is a relationship with females more rewarding? Because you don't owe each other anything, but to be honest with each other. Whatever we say to you, it won't be because we are trying to get into your pants (unless we are one of those). Once you take sex out of the equation, things are so much clearer.

Because she is as much of a reflection of you as how you treat her. Insecurity, jealousy, competitiveness are all natural in human beings, but when it is maliciously done to bring other women down, it is unhealthy. We have to ask ourselves why? Why can't I connect with other women, what stops me from seeing another beautiful strong woman them as a friend or mentor, rather than foe? Why is my immediate reaction to be on guard? Society has made it natural to attribute women as catty, and most of us are, or were growing up. The emphasize on our beauty and its correlation to our self-worth and oftentimes, success in the work place pits us against one another, naturally. But the truth is, when we support one another, we become stronger ourselves. We value ourselves more when we can see value and worth in other without letting it make us feel insufficient. Female relationships are hard, but everything worth while is.

Because we have been there, done that, have the same exact fears, hate the same body parts, and envy and compare what we lack to that supermodel as well. The comfort from knowing that you are not alone in your mild obsession for perfection and guilty pleasures...ah the bonding bliss.

Anyone will inherently acknowledge that the world in which women exist is a completely different one than of our male counterpart's. They say that it is the "men holding us down," when in actuality it's the women. We are more detrimental to our kind and we perpetrate slut-blaming more than men do.

By seeing each other as friends rather than foe, as sisters rather than competition, we can learn so much from one another. Female bonds are stronger than male bonds in we share more openly with each other. It can be a double edge sword. But when women bond together, our confidence in ourselves grow and men get away with less. Which leads me to my story:

Anecdotal
Let's imagine that there this very cohesive group of guys who have been friends since high school and college. They are decent enough; well mannered and polite, respectful and successful. Add to the group one or two ladies who have also been with the group of a long time, enjoy a status akin to a "bro" but not really because to the real bros she will always have a virginia (did that on purpose). They like to party together and when they do, they bring those of the opposite sex into the mix. The ladies though, come from all sorts of backgrounds and different groups. Most meet for the first time at these parties and have no pre-existing bond or interactions. This is how it is for a long time, there is a steady flow of ladies who come and go, but none long, or they disappear intermittently, but it is never long enough to form a friendship with one another. All is well, until we look closer. The guys freely fraternize with some of these girls, who from shame will disappear, never to be seen again; mission accomplished, boys. But then there will be instances where a lad will liaise with two girls (on different occasions, of course) who happen to be friends (first, question, who would hook up with her girl friend's crush? A guy would never to do that, so why is it like that for girls?). Or a girl and a guy will hook up for a consistent amount of time, and suddenly "fall out." What happens in a male dominated group is that the female's side is rarely ever heard, or the females do not bond together enough to denounce, so to speak, the guy's actions. There is power in number and when your actions get called out by more than one person, you have nothing to hide. So the boys continue on, sleeping with who they want, not caring for the consequences, because these girls are practically clawing at each other for their attention.

Sad scenario right? I'm afraid to tell you that this is one is based on true events.







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