It wasn’t that this woman made it obvious that she is interested in him, quite the opposite really, as he could feel how settled she was within herself. He’s not even thinking about sex, that is not his focus, which is different to all the women he has previously dated. But still she is on his mind and after spending more time with her a friendship develops.
Still the man is not fixated on having sex, he just enjoys her company immensely and looks forward to the next time they meet, completely open about what may or may not unfold. There doesn’t seem to be any attachment to what will happen; he is surprised by this, but he doesn’t give it another thought; this process feels perfectly normal somehow and he’s happy to go along with it.
The above scenario is perhaps not as common as we would like to think.
More often it goes like this - a man sees a woman, he is immediately attracted to her, he works out how he might connect with her and his thoughts are already racing ahead to having sex and possibly not a lot more than that. He can feel the excitement around that happening and this is all before he has even spoken to her. She fits his picture of what a woman for him should look like – facial features, feet or hands, hair, her body shape, clothing, etc. All the women he has dated in the past look something like her, but there has always been something that didn’t work out and that’s why he’s looking around again.
It is a generalisation, but this is the common mindset of a man who is looking for his next partner and we can ask, how many men are still married to the woman who fits his pictures? As in, he was very attracted to her when they first got together; there was excitement, but over the years maybe the excitement has waned and what is left might now feel awful, certainly less than the envisaged picture. It is possible to drown out that awful feeling with alcohol and other drugs, caffeine, work, sport, excessive food (heavy in dairy, gluten, sugar), etc. possibly in combination with zoning out on TV or computer screens.
We can break it down to how the A.P.E. man sees women – A.P.E. being an acronym for characteristics that are based on what a man is seeking, rather than the love and tenderness he could be sharing with a woman. It sounds primitive, and it is, and this is not the fault of any one man but of a way of being that has been engendered through family, society and other influences that have knocked out of him the innate love and sensitivity that he naturally has, and always had within. As we will see, men have been duped. This is how it goes:
A = Attraction
Without talking to a woman, just her appearance is enough for him to feel she is who he wants. He wants her and before having sex with her, he is imagining what it will be like, the shape of her body, the relief, the high of ‘great’ sex, the feel of her body and everything else that could be imagined, it stays with him, all the different connotations of being together are there, permeating most of his thoughts. There is a movement outside of himself towards her, he is not himself and he is oblivious to this as it takes him over completely.
P = Pictures
It is almost like having a collection of photos of what being with this woman will mean – sleeping with her, living with her, meeting her family, meeting his family, going out socially, what his mates will think, living together, having children (or not), etc. These pictures are fixed beliefs, ‘boxes’ that this new woman must fit into. He has been through all of this before, but this new woman will be different, even though he is going about it in the same way! The pictures of how it will be are projected on to men, they are fillers for the lack of intimacy that men use to resist being truly intimate, an intimacy and transparency we resist because of our unresolved hurts and the false belief that we need to protect ourselves.
E = Excitement
This can be the anticipation of having sex for the first time with her and this excitement may be there for some time thereafter and could stay or slowly dissolve into being a function he likes but means nothing. Sex gives a momentary relief from the emptiness he feels inside and even though he knows it can never fulfil him, he persists. There is also excitement about all the things he has already imagined that they will do together. Excitement doesn’t last as it is always dependent upon something outside of ourselves, which can never fulfil us and so most, if not all of the relationships will become a function of sorts, and the reason they are together is lost in the day-to-day doing of life.
What if Attraction, Pictures and Excitement are not actually true?
What if these are all based on a man’s constructed beliefs about how life should be and these beliefs are from unresolved hurts, holding on to old patterns, all the misinformation and false perceptions his parents and society modelled to him?
How much of the Attraction, Pictures and Excitement come from the man’s use of porn?
These are questions I have been pondering as I enter my older years. We know that all of this is not exclusive to men and it is not absolute as there are many variations on how all of this plays out, but the end result is the same: men and women end up in arrangements that are all about being comfortable together but there is no true connection or evolution, just function and angst. This sexual energy based on looks, beliefs and ideals has been a false truth for many generations. These types of arrangements allow abuse, emotional manipulation, fighting, deception, disconnected sex and much more that is in the name of ‘love’, but nothing could be further from the truth. No deeper understanding is sought, much is not discussed, which creates a disconnection between the two, resentments build and solidify into bitterness and misery.
What if there is a deeper way to connect to the essence of another person, where their beauty, physical shape, clothing, job, status, car, house, etc. has nothing to do with coming together? The opening paragraphs show this is more than a possibility.
Can we, as men, become aware of and respond to the pull to be with someone because it is an alignment to what is true? Are we ready to connect with the essence of another who is our equal? Are we willing to not allow anything that is not love into the relationship? Consider a forever deepening relationship with another where transparency is not just given lip service, but showing each other all of who we are in full is a normal part of everyday. We are genuinely turned on by a gesture or something very beautiful in our partner, which then becomes sexy, but there is no need or sought relief, just a feeling to connect and deepen in the truth of who we are.
Physically making love is an extension of our every movement throughout the day together in the harmony of being one.
This way of living is then taken into all our lives, with every relationship, meeting, discussion, interactions at work, etc. We can feel the purpose of being together, which is so much bigger than our physical selves. This is the reflection back to everyone of what relationship is truly about.
Mark P., Australia
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