Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be – Sonia Ricotti
To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through your attitude: ‘ You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself. – Jean Vanier
I have had this blog post brewing for some time now and then a series of events involving some of my girlfriends drove me to finally write it!
It all started when I was chatting to a very good friend of mine who I often go to for man advice when I need to ‘woman-up’! She is my friend who will tell me to stop waiting in for his phone call, stop wishing that something will happen that clearly won’t and instead helps me not to cave in and call him but to buck up and move on! If a guy is really interested he should be chasing me, right? She is the voice of reason and reality amongst my girlfriends, a no-nonsense, head-strong kind of girl and stunning with it. She is also single at them moment. Anyway, said feisty-friend was telling me about a conversation she and a girlfriend were having in a sauna at their local gym with some guys. Somehow the conversation turned to relationships (doesn’t it always) and one guy confidently admitted that he would ‘never’ approach my friend or her girlfriends as they were clearly confident and independent women who ‘owned their own cars, had good jobs and lived in their own places’! The guy’s mates then all heartely agreed concluding they would ‘look’ from a distance and ‘admire’ but never ‘approach’. My friend was not sure whether to be flattered or insulted but after reflection decided on the latter. What is with that? So a guy would not approach her due to the things in her life that are indicators of her achievement, success and ability in life??? When she challenged the guy (who of course grew increasingly intimidated at being questioned at all) he responded by saying ‘Well then what could I bring to the table if you have a good job, your own home and a car?’ Screwed up or what?! Duh! How about love, support, encouragement, companionship??
The more we discussed this, the more angry I became at this skewed idea men have about what a woman most wants in a relationship. I know there really are those women out there who want to be kept in Jimmy Choo shoes, Prada bags and dine weekly at The Ivy but really the majority of the women I know of all ages want to be loved, desired and cherished above all else – much more than any material provision. Yes it’s important, particularly if you’re at the family planning stage, to have a stable income of sorts and to know your man will step-up and do what is necessary to support your family financially (as will you when you can) but I don’t know many women that really essentially need a man to earn more than them as their number one requirement in a relationship.
Just a few short weeks after this conversation, a young man of just 23 was telling me about his desire (verging on desperation) to get married by 25 and have children by 28! He then told me about his brother who recently dated a beautiful woman who picked him up for their first date in a Bentley. After discovering that she and her friends earned upwards of £90K and she had a penthouse flat he swiftly dumped her and refused to see her again! I can understand a little intimidation at that level of social circle but to dump a girl and potentially miss out on a soul-mate due to her high-earnings when she was really very keen on him (so clearly the financial imbalance did not matter to her) is frankly prideful stupidity!
Less than a week later another singer friend posted this image on her FB wall dedicating it to all her single-singer-girlfriends who had been told they were intimidating by men just because of the job they do:
Her post was flooded with ‘likes’ and comments with women identifying with her frustration.
Then, in this week’s Grazia magazine ana article says Chloe Sevigny says she frightens men – but are they really intimidated by female breadwinners? In the article Chloe actually goes as far as saying her success equates ‘romance suicide’. Even more perplexing is that in the same article, writer Tony Parsons, says men always want to be the high earner and comments, ‘For if a man can’t be the bread-winner, then what exactly is the point of him?’ I’m just lost for words at this point!
So then, what is a successful, able and strong girl supposed to do? Dumb herself down in order to get a man???
I discussed this with a male friend who pointed out that men have been conditioned since the dawn of time to be the ‘provider’ and it’s hard to escape the pressure and conditioning of that. It’s a good point and I do appreciate and realise this. I even get how a man’s self-esteem is often intrinsically connected to his earnings – not necessarily that they have to be ‘high’ earnings but, that if he is struggling in this area he is often struggling in every area of his life due to feelings of inadequacy – something I feel does not affect women with quite the same force. However, I quipped back at my friend that many mindsets have existed since the dawn of time but have been challenged, evolved or even overturned as society progresses and changes! It’s 2012! We women can vote, we can choose to have a career or have a family or both at the same time and we are stronger and more confident. This is progress people! It is a mortal shame if the result of these breakthroughs mean we have to miss out in love, be alone or worse case scenario, not reach our full potential in all areas of life.
Surely there is another alternative or is it me that’s deluded? The alternative I had in mind was a man confident and secure enough to rejoice in my triumphs with me, to celebrate my victories and to spur me on to be all I can be to my highest potential. It goes without saying that this is also a woman’s role in a relationship – a partnership! Is this really not possible in 2012? Really? If so then what kind of progress have we really made?
Comments please – from BOTH sexes!
The advantage of being single, having been in a relationship, is you can sit back and analyse and critique every other relationship you observe smugly seeing and stating where they’re going wrong. It is utterly amazing how clearly you can see the mistakes of ‘other’ people: How she nags him for all his short-comings but doesn’t praise his efforts, how he is distracted and unattentive to the small but important things to her, how she is clingy and smothering forcing him away and how he forgets to not take her for granted – each trait and issue perpertuating the other’s insecurity and fear! Suddenly you see what’s really important in a relationshp and all the millions upon millions of things that just really don’t matter. I sometimes want to stand between couples arguing on the station platform and say to the guy, ‘Look, just say sorry mate and mean it’ and to the girl, ‘Accept his apology wholeheartedly. Right, now both of you go enjoy your day and enjoy each other.’
There is so much that doesn’t matter that we make matter in life and especially in relationships. It’s true small issues left unattended can fester and grow into ugly explosions but the point is to not let them – just simply let them go. If you are fortunate enough to have found your special someone then please, for the love of love, hold on to them with all your might. Appreciate them, cherish them, desire them, need them, love them and most of all, Tell them!
From my smug observations here is some advice which might just make things a little easier in love for some:
Young Stallion Man – You may think you have all the time in the world and all the choice in the world. The reality is by time you’ve realised the ‘perfect’ woman does not exist you’ll be remembering all the ‘perfect for yous’ you passed up in order to keep your options open. When you meet someone special, recognise it and hold on to her.
Young Christian Girl (desperate to get married) – In contrast to YSM (see above) you may not have all the time in the world but you have way more than you’re thinking girlfriend. Take your time! Don’t marry the first man you think you love before your teens are even out and before you’ve grown into the woman you’re going to be – The one that knows what she really wants in life and in a man.
Male or female bored in your marriage – Look at your partner with the eyes of your youth. Many a girl/boy may turn your head and sometimes seem a more exciting option but can they really know you, love you, understand you like the person that stands before you and has journeyed with you thus far? Cherish them and spice things up a bit!!
Heart-broken girl – dare to hope.
Heart-broken boy – dare to trust.
Guys, if you’ve been a twat: Two things (after you’ve apologised of course) 1) Make her laugh 2) make her feel beautiful = sorted!
Girls, if he’s been a twat: 1) Let it go – don’t be in a moody for days 2) Give him space and smile – have fun and stop worrying!
Guys, if she’s being possessive, recognise she’s insecure so when you’re with her have your full attention on her – she’ll be much more freeing next time you want to go out.
Girls, if you’re feeling insecure recognise it could be your issue and not to do with anything he is or isn’t doing – it doesn’t always mean he doesn’t love you.
A key to relationships is to understand that ultimately girls want to be loved and guys want to be respected.
Open and honest communication is the route to breakthrough and always putting the other one first. And remember, NEVER take your soul-mate for granted they don’t come by very often. And that’s it. Simple eh?
There are we all feeling better now? That’s just about put the world to right and now I’m off to buy myself some Lindt balls and white roses – my faves 🙂
A pro-crastinator that is!!! : /
Ok so I’ve had a really s**t couple of weeks what with running out of money 4 days after pay day, nursery fees almost bouncing, having a sick little boy who was up most nights (grrrr!) and finding out a previous so-called ‘friend’ is not just spreading gossip about me, but lies!!! (I must admit this last one particularly floored me – I truly don’t understand why someone would do that at all). So, I let it all get on top of me for a couple of weeks and felt myself slightly retreat back into that slimy hole I’d finally managed to begin to haul myself out of. You see, although it’s pretty dark in ‘said hole’ it morbidly feels safe and secure in there. Of course it’s all illusion. It’s the trap we fall for as in actual fact it’s a slippery slope which leads all the way to nowhere – and fast!
I realised I had to write about this to be faithful to the warts and all mission of this blog (so far mainly warts, bad and ugly – hoping to have some ‘good’ to feedback soon!). I also realised these ‘setbacks’ were just that – setbacks. They aimed to mess up my footing and I’m sure many can identify with just when you finally feel brave enough to dream something or take a teeny-tiny pontipine step (that one’s for all the mum’s who read this!) then something tries to whisper to you that you just can’t do it and what on earth were you thinking you could for anyway!! Well, in the interests of keeping this clean – stuff that! I am going to make a difference, I am going to encourage and inspire women like me who do have a dream that deserves to be fulfilled and I am going to stop feeling sorry for myself, ignore tiredness and give up being such a professional procrastinator!!
Instead of believing everything is against us, let’s challenge ourselves to believe everything is ‘for’ us. One of my all time fave ‘dream’ quotes is from ‘The Alchemist’ when author Paulo Coelho says:
‘And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’
Can I get an Amen?!!!
P.S Please join the ‘More than a Woman/More than a Mum’ Facebook group as I’ll be posting some research questions and some tips for getting you on your way to your dreams in return this week! Hold me to it!!!
P.P.S and ‘Like’ the More than a Mum facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/morethanamum
It’s funny how we change how we introduce ourselves depending on the audience. For example, at home I’m a mum. At work, a radio producer and presenter. Often at weekends, a singer! sounds exciting doesn’t it? Well actually it’s pretty exhausting and I often feel I’m not doing any of these things to my best ability. In fact I can sometimes feel a bit of a fraud in each of the roles.
Singing was my ‘old’ life (the fact that I refer to it as my ‘old’ life says a lot!). My son has just turned 2 and now when I gig I’m calculating how much sleep I’ll get by time I’m home before he wakes up – sometimes at 5.30am! It can feel like I’m ‘playing’ at my old life. “Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be a singer!” And my confidence has taken a huge hit in this area as a result.
At work I squeeze a week’s work into 3 days in the office and 1 day from home (with a toddler pestering me to look at planes on YouTube on my laptop and begging me to play cars). On tired days all acting skills are summoned into play when live on air to deliver the cheery, carefree duty of a presenter.
At home, I’m just ‘mummy’. ‘Just’ of course, does the role a disservice as this newest occupation has become my most life-transforming, mind-altering and important one I have ever encountered. It dominates, or at least permeates, everything else I do or think. Yet, I still fear sometimes that it also suffers in my desire to retain a sense of self somehow. However, there is no kidding myself (as I did during pregnancy) that this is undoubtedly the job I want to make the most success of.
The underlying failure of all this is that my son’s father and I split up when he was barely a year old and the bitter battle to extract oneself, move on and co-parent (ha!) ensues.
I’m starting this blog because I’m going to start taking back control of my life. sorting myself out, recovering from life’s blows and get some healing along the way. I want to feel worthy again. To rediscover lost talents. To believe they even exist. To be a successful, inspiration to my son – not a battered, under-confident victim to circumstances.
I’ve dreamed of starting my own business for a long time and I’m going to turn this into a reality.
I am passionate about seeing people believe, and therefore achieve, their dreams. everyone who knew me at healthier times knows this as I was always banging on about it. I get such a thrill seeing others dare to delve into their secret dreams, the ones they long-buried in childhood, and then begin first to think it, then write it down, then speak it out loud, then believe it and finally live it!
But how can I do this for others if I don’t first do it for myself? I believe every now and then you have to do something that scares you to remind yourself you’re alive and basically to give yourself a good kick up the bum! So I’ve decided to report on my process and progress. publically, online, warts and all! The failures along with the successes, the embarrassments along with the triumphs. I’m hoping I can encourage others along the way (especially mum’s who I have a particular heart for now) and anyone who wants to dare to dream. I also hope to gain some valuable research along the way to aid my business ideas.
So if you’re in – interested in learning from my mistakes, watching me fall flat on my face or to gain a little inspiration – why not jump on for the ride and sign up to follow my progress.
(A mum. A woman. A dreamer.)
This year I am reverting to my old surname ‘Andrews’ so I will be blogging from this account instead!
I’m really hoping this will be the year I move on into freedom and I’m really trying to have the right positove attitude to get off to a good start and as they say to ‘start as I mean to carry on’. So I’m setting some New Year’s resolutions for the first time in years…
Things I’m going to do in 2012…
- Pick up a guitar and start learning to play again
- Get fit and get my body back – Zumba baby!
- Get some articles published
- Write some songs
- Have regular singing lessons with my sis
- Have some…no, LOTS of FUN!!!!!!
This year I am taking my new year’s resolutions very seriously. I never usually do as I think they set us up for inevitable failure but, this year I am really going to do EVERYTHING on this list especially the fun part.
I am going to aim to smile at every possible opportunity, laugh often and dance daily (well maybe weekly – let’s keep it realistic!)