So a few days have passed and I have been stewing about this ‘what can a man bring to a table that already has a breadwinner sitting at the head of said table‘ thing. (When I say breadwinner here, I mean, provider of all the family’s needs, not necessarily only financial support.)
I can give you a list of single women in my life who are breadwinners and they’re doing a damn good job too! Almost all of these single women are looking for a partner. Hmmmm…the questions are:
Where is the line between being head of a house and being a woman? Does there have to be line? Can we do both? Are those two roles mutually exclusive?
Think about this. As a single woman, you meet a guy, you get to know him. You tell him that you have a job, you pay your bills, you are raising a child/children, you have a car, you have friends, you have responsibilities. Do you think he thinks that you need him? He knows that his job is to get your attention, so that he can be on the roster too. I think it’s up to you, if you like him, to show him that while, yes, you are Superwoman, you know how to be a regular woman too…more specifically, HIS regular woman.
In my post-divorce dating, which is NOT extensive by any means, I had a good experience with a man I was dating. It was clear to him from the beginning that I had my life together, and it was clear to me from the beginning that he intended to be part of it.
I remember one time we were going on a date in the city, and I was driving. I usually gas up for the week, so on the way downtown, I swung by the gas station. He offered to pay for my gas. Not just $20 to get us there and back, but to fill it up. I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. Why would or should he pay for my gas?! I laughed it off and I told him no. He insisted, then I seriously told him no. Then he said, “Alright, then I’ll pump the gas.” So he did and I really appreciated it.
What I was telling him was:
a. I can pay my own bills.
b. I want him to be part of my life, not sitting as a passenger, but as an active participant.
c. There is room for him in even the routine, mundane things.
d. Sure, I can do it myself, but I acknowledge that he is part of the team and I can step back and let him take a role in it!
What he was telling me was:
a. I want to take care of you.
b. I know you have your own life but I want to be a part of it.
c. I can be patient and let you show me where your boundaries are.
d. You can pay for your gas today, but you now know that it’s something I’m willing to do if you let me.
A man, a real man, wants to take care of his woman, even if she can take care of herself. Then I guess that a woman has to let him be that man and let him take care of her in a way that she is comfortable. I think, that’s where things go sideways sometimes. Maybe sometimes the man will expect her to be a woman right away and when she doesn’t fit his expectation, he’ll find her controlling and inflexible. Maybe sometimes the Superwoman will forget that he wants to be part of her life too and might make him redundant and have him sitting on the sidelines while she carries on with the business of things. In a perfect world, the two people deciding to embark on this journey will try to compromise and work together.
Sigh…it’s very tricky! Finding a good man is hard enough as it is and then you have to deal with all these nuances!?
Anyway, long story short about what I’ve learned from writing this:
If/When I do find a partner, there is room for him in my life for him and I have to remember to show him that. I’ll remember what it’s like to just be a woman and he’ll remind me what it’s like to have a man in my life.
Hmmm….I don’t know if I’ve explained this properly or if I’ve just botched the whole thing…
p.s. This is such a loaded topic for me! It wasn’t easy for me to write this and even now, I’m not 100% convinced this is publish-able, but I’m releasing it into the world! Good, bad or ugly!