On my mind this morning is a scenario many of my male friends will recognize. You meet a woman. She’s in a vulnerable space. Maybe you are too, or less so, or less consciously so.
You feel protective of her, of her hurt, and perhaps toward the men she’s had difficulties with. And there’s chemistry. Maybe you put it off at first; you know she’s vulnerable. But before long, you become involved sexually.
But it’s not really working out. Soon you pull away. You’re both a little disoriented. And she’s hurt.
They say there are sheep, there are wolves, and there are sheep-dogs. Most men I’m close to ultimately count themselves among the sheep-dogs. And when a woman accuses us of behaving like a wolf, or even just being insufficiently caring, it raises feelings.
The more I think about this dynamic, the less convinced I am that anyone is truly a victim. Sometimes in relationships there are real victims. Many times, there are not.
Yet we sense we could have handled things better. That we could have navigated our own needs, and desires, and our genuine wish to care and be cared for, in a way that would have created a more consistently happy outcome.
The experience seems archetypal enough to have touched all our lives at one time or another. I’d love to connect with my male friends around this topic, especially in person, if you live in Austin.
If you’re interested, shoot me a message. Maybe we could arrange a gathering. Or just meet for lunch or a walk.