Over the past three years since I got divorced, it is by far THE most popular statement I've heard from women: "I don't need a man." And it's been said with passion. Power. Ownership. As if it's been EARNED.
And I've heard it all over the place: from dinners with girlfriends... to dating sites... to my website for divorced women. Hell, I've even said it myself.
Well today, I've had enough -- I'm calling bullshit on it. For I think we are not just lying to ourselves when we say it, we're spitting on men, whether consciously or unconsciously.
Sure, maybe right now isn't the time when you feel you need a man in your life. Maybe you're hurt. Maybe he cheated on you. Maybe your life is under major reconstruction. Maybe you're learning to be happy on your own for the first time in your life, which is positive, healthy stuff, for sure!
But that's what we should be saying out loud and to ourselves then: "I'm learning to be happy on my own." Not, "I don't need a man." They don't mean the same thing. And something unhealed lies beneath the surface of that yucky catch phrase; it has nothing to do with us women being strong and powerful. It's anger. It's grief. It's a lack of trust. Or any combination of the above.
Imagine, for a moment, if the tables were turned -- that men were the ones announcing, "I don't need a woman." I'd find it startling -- hurtful. Even demeaning. So why is it OK that we do it? Language is a powerful thing... and I think we've crossed the line.
Oh I know we are powerful women. I know we can do it all without a man -- careers, family, friends, travel. And we've proven that. But let me ask you something: that part of you that insists you don't NEED a man, what's its beef with? Is it disgusted by the idea of a loving, intimate, respectful relationship with one person? Is it annoyed with the mere idea of connecting, sharing, openly communicating and being heard by a special man?
Cause I'm going to wager your answers are no. Plus I'm going to remind you that every woman AND man, needs to loved and share their love with a partner... or two...or 10. For it's in our human design, our physicality, our hearts, and souls -- and it's a beautiful thing, this need -- not something we should be denying or stomping on.
And there's some deep-rooted part of us, no matter how we try to repress it, that knows we're lying to ourselves by proclaiming otherwise.
(Would love to hear the thoughts of men around this topic, too.)