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Last week when I read “The Ridiculous Fantasy of a ‘No Drama’ Relationship,” a phenomenal opinion piece by Laura Hilgers. I was embarrassed by how much I could relate.
I was married before online dating was a thing. But it seems like heterosexual men are three times more likely than heterosexual women to use the phrases “no drama” or “drama-free” in their online dating profiles.
We know that this is not just an online dating thing. I’m sure many of us can relate to the fantasy of finding a relationship that is drama free. Now, to be clear, there is such a thing as co-dependency and too much drama. But that’s not what Hilgers is talking about. Here is what she says:
I understand that people want joy, laughter and happiness in their relationships. I want that too. But when heterosexual men say they’re looking for something “drama-free,” I suspect they want something that doesn’t exist: a problem-free partnership with someone who has no life experience. Are they looking for a woman who never gets angry or afraid or sad, who never worries about her family or struggles in her job? Who would want to be with such a person?
Feelings and drama are not the same thing. Too many of us don’t even know how to be with our own feelings. So we lack the capacity to be with the feelings of the women in our lives. adrienne names it:
You aren’t encouraged to feel your feelings. in fact, the opposite is the case. you are told it isn’t manly to cry, to need comfort, to feel longing. you are ridiculed for emotions that aren’t weaponized, for gentleness, for what is categorized as feminine behavior.
What is it that comes up for you when you contend with someone’s feelings? What happens to you when a woman expresses her feelings around you or to you?
I know that I have often felt blamed when a woman in my life is expressing strong emotions. I have felt like her having a full human experience is somehow a problem for me to solve, or for me to get out of.
I have had to develop the capacity to be with people’s feelings. And the most important work I can do to continue building this strength is to learn to be with the breadth of my own feelings. With the full spectrum of my human emotions.
adrienne invites us to
practice finding something other than women to blame for your feelings. consider that your own behavior might be responsible for the hardships you are currently experiencing.
We have a lot of growing to do. Let’s continue to support each other.
I’m looking forward to being with you next week. Make sure you keep going back to adrienne’s piece. Sign up for call info. Feel free to invite others.