Me: So are you ready?
Client: Nah…I’ve already told you my life is full.
Me: You can’t make a bit of space for romance?
Client: Who has time? Between work, my band, and my friends.
Me: Don’t you feel like you are missing something?
Client: Not yet. When I do, I’ll let you know.
Having spent my youth in the 70s and 80s, I can’t relate to the young men and women of this generation.
In my day, girls were everything. We dressed in cool clothes for girls. We lifted weights for girls. We scored goals for girls. We spent all Saturday night chasing girls.
What else was there to do? Forget about the internet—we didn’t even have cellphones back then, or even cable TV.
Today, things are different. Young people have so many 1000s of options for how they want to spend their time. They can be perched at their desk at home on a Friday night, and yet be flying fighter planes around the world at the same time. Even for bookworms, who needs to meet real people at the public library when you have a Kindle on the nightstand?
And soon there will be the advent of the metaverse, a place where the only limits to our adventure will be in our minds. Incredible, and scary at the same time.
If we push further back, marriage served as a means to unite families. Children helped work and support the family. None of this is important to us today, as we don’t marry for the sake of status or politics and nobody expects their kids to help pay the bills.
So where does this leave “us?” Where does this leave our connection, our hearts, our personal relationships? Are these really still necessary? Can we just move beyond marriage? And, as a man, are women just a waste of time?
In truth, both men and women have already answered that question to a certain extent, with a silent “yes.” With our reduction of relationships to Tinder hookups, free sex, and open marriages, we are both already letting ourselves and the world know that women aren’t worth the time, commitment, loyalty, sacrifice, and love they deserve.
We have led women into a man’s world, where spontaneous pleasure, fun, adventure, and freedom reign. And the kicker is that we’ve done such a good job, they proudly stand by our sides, oblivious of their own plight, their own diminishment.
Yet, I maintain hope. As I watch both men and women express their discontent with the state of dating and marriage, something fascinating emerges. Out of the ashes, from the deep pain of discontent, I watch both men and women express their true desire to unite. As they share stories of hurt, confusion, and frustration, the answer to their heartstrings stands firm, staring at them in the face.
“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a help meet for him.”
~ Genesis 2:18
Oh boy, there I go, jumping the shark by bringing the Bible into this convo. And yes, it is true, I am a bit of a religious fanatic by any measure. However, bear with me for a moment.
The holy words above are important not just because Gd says so. They are important because the truth of those words is etched into the heart of every man and woman. No matter what “isms” we subscribe to, no matter how hard we fool ourselves, every man knows he is incomplete, less than, without a woman by his side. And for sure, every woman wants a man to boss around (I mean “help”), forever.
We are lucky, man and woman, that with good character, patience, commitment, and kindness, we can actually enjoy each other, love each other, and even like each other. But at the end of the day, we all know that we need each other, deeply. It is no coincidence that the world cannot survive without our most intimate unification, so of course, if we need to come together physically, we certainly need to come together emotionally and spiritually as well.
The other day, sitting on my bed, I was watching my wife tidy up her clothes, open the shades, and straighten her closet—behaviors I rarely engage in. As I was admiring her, I thought to myself that she was “nesting.” For a moment I thought we were so different, perhaps I was sharing my life with a different species (à la Men are from Mars…).
But one thing I wasn’t confused about is the inestimable value she has brought to my life, by my side for decades, not to mention gifting me with my children, my most prized possessions.
Are women a waste of time? No. But you are wasting her time if you don’t have one you’ve committed to, love, take responsibility for, and want to be with, forever.