Oh I know this is a bold statement but, I was at a seminar this week and the presenter talked about ‘want versus need’.  Now, this is really important to get your heads around when you want to end bad romance.

It’s the 21st century and women (yes and men) are struggling more than ever to find ‘someone special’.

Without a doubt, the meaning of romance has become more and more skewed over the past few decades, especially in the last 10 years since the whole internet dating site concept stopped being taboo and became a gazillion dollar phenomenon.

I’m not against the internet, it’s both a blessing and a curse and it’s brought financial freedom and more career opportunities to women.  Now however, as women are becoming more and more financially independent it begs the question “what do we actually need men for?”  

Historically, we needed men to provide us and our offspring with things like a dwelling, food and safety but, now we’re rocking independence Destiny’s Child style, because as well as buying our own diamond rings we can buy our own cars, houses, childcare and even sperm!

However, as our society has become more and more blatant, exposed and permissive, our DNA has not.  All our DNA wants us to do is further the human race. 

To produce offspring, that’s all!

All this slushy, mushy romance stuff is the bait, the peacock’s fanned tail-feathers, the baboon’s purple butt!  It’s the lure and the hook to make us get jiggy and get preggie!  

Our DNA wants us to produce healthy offspring and so will drown our brains and our lady areas with a veritable cocktail of hormones so enticing that if bottled, would put Stella Artois or Jack Daniels, probably both, out of business in a second!

Of course, this cocktail of hormones is not a guarantee of a fulfilling, long-lasting relationship, it’s simply telling your body –

“STRONG Mate not Soul Mate, go procreate”!

So of course, we need men to further the human race, that’s a given.

Why then, if we (generalising here that ‘we’ means humans in general: women, men, asexual, bi-sexual, homosexual etc, all people) regardless of whether we can produce babies or not, why do we want relationships?

That’s the DNA again.

It’s the ancient code written deep inside our cells which ensures the SURVIVAL of the offspring.  It’s our genetic blueprint to ensure the human race continues.

Because, when fending off sabre-toothed tigers and big bad bears, having Captain Caveman stand guard helped to keep the offspring (and the baby-makers/carers) safe.

Well, that’s the scientific reason anyway and in the absence of prehistoric creatures running amok in society (OK Donald Trump is the obvious exception), the reason we still want men is to share all the nice stuff with and have someone fight your corner with the nasty stuff!

One problem with our ancient DNA is that our coding doesn’t care if the father is a golf/football/car fanatic, workaholic, alcoholic, no-good, abusive, narcissistic, twisted bastard, the DNA just cares about getting you pregnant as many times as possible!

This is how good people end up in bad romance.

Our DNA can make us freeze when in fact we should fight or flee! 

Manipulative people use the bonding hormones experienced during intimacy (not just sex but words too) to control and keep people in their messed up world – that’s a whole other conversation!

Yes, we do want men…partners, not just to make babies, we want partners to snuggle with, to share promises and property with, to share hopes, dreams and tears with, what we want is that special someone, that one person who gets us. 

Oh yes, and for sex.  For most, sex is a boost, in healthy relationships sex and intimacy builds and maintains bonds.

So ladies, it’s safe to say we’ve gone WAY beyond our DNA’s genetic coding – 21st century pursuit of relationships is not about survival of the fittest anymore!

We’re entering an age of Emotional Intelligence and, if you didn’t already know this let me tell you EMOTIONS MATTER! 

No, the 21st century, independent, emotionally intelligent woman doesn’t NEED a man in her life…she WANTS one and that’s a whole other, very different, wonderful, loving, pure, frustrating, confusing emotion!

WANTING something is positive than NEEDING something.  When you see that NEED is about necessity and WANT is about choice, you open the door to so many more options and possibilities.

You NEED to eat, drink, sleep, go to the toilet, there’s not much choice in the matter.

Needing a partner is biological, wanting a partner is emotional – the two are often confused this means we place NEED expectations onto a WANT.

Here’s my example:  

A few years ago when my son was still quite young, I was studying my teaching degree AND holding down a job as a lecturer in the local college… cash poor, time poor, stress rich!

I was also trying to redecorate my entire house and make it into a home, this included doing the DIY myself because I couldn’t afford to pay someone.

On my one day off and armed with my power-tools I reluctantly set up the workbench and materials to begin cutting sheets of wood to box in some pipes in my sitting room.  I was dreading it, not enjoying it at all and I was in a hateful mood.

I could feel myself getting angrier and more frustrated trying work out the measurements of the wood and inside my head I screamed:

“WHEN AM I GOING TO MEET SOMEONE WHO’LL HELP ME WITH ALL THIS?”

Immediately, a calm, quiet voice said “When you’re ready Stephanie, when you’re ready”.  

I stopped in my tracks.  I’m not very religious (although I consider myself spiritual) but to me, that was God or an angel or perhaps it was my soul talking to me, the feeling was profound.

From that moment on I stopped being frustrated about being single, a single-parent and a single, working parent.  I calmly got on with the DIY that day and for the next 2 years, I even began to enjoy it.

I turned my house into a home, spent more quality time with my son and turned my energies to other things, like living my life!

The strangest part was my libido, which had raged for a few years, was suddenly quieted!  It didn’t disappear and I wasn’t off or against sex, I was simply not ruled by it anymore.

I realised that my libido had been driven by my NEED for a man to fix my life not to have another child. 

And I realised that I’d put up with some shitty behaviour and treatment from guys because of that ‘need’.

Letting go of the ‘need’ gave me more realistic expectations of what I WANT in a partner, in a relationship and ultimately, out of life.

This helped me to let go of some of the harmful expectations I had of myself.

I stopped punishing myself for NOT being the person some partners (family and friends too) had needed me to be: more coy, less coy, more feminine, more ‘normal’, too loud, too quiet, too honest, not honest enough!

I’d spent years dressing down, thinning down, dumbing down, calming down, being down (clinical depression is so…depressing!) and f***ing up.  

And I got criticised for not cheering up, not dressing up and f***ing up.  I shut up and put up with it because I thought I needed them!

Not NEEDING a man in my life gave me the space to grow and figure myself out – OK that’s an ongoing process but, I do know what my motivations are, what my values are and, most importantly, what I WANT out of life.  

Romance Coaching is SO much about changing your perspective, sometimes just a slight shift is all it takes to start walking down a different path, a path of your choosing, the path you WANT!

 

Q. What do you WANT, what do you really want?