Men Are Too Fearful, and Women Too Idealistic
Love wasn’t always so complicated. Before the idea of romantic love became entrenched in Western culture, men and women had more stable relationships. Today, however, we debate within two paradoxical realities: on one hand, the majority wants to find that one amazing person who will mark a before and an after in their love lives; on the other, also the majority, exempt themselves from the idea of “true love.”
In other words, many people want the benefits of love, but they don’t want to pay the price. These fanciful notions can be seen in both men and women. However, men experience them in one way, while women do so in a different way.
“Love isn’t just wanting someone, it’s understanding them.”
Most men aren’t aware of their fear of love. Almost all choose to be disinterested in the subject, to go through the relationship without taking the time to say “what beautiful eyes you have,” or to be cynical about affection. Women, on the other hand, are usually experts in first idealizing, and later devaluing the men they build relationships with.
Men and their fears
Most men’s biggest fear is commitment. Although the word seems very clear, it actually has multiple meanings. Everybody understands commitment in a different way.
Some think that commitment means giving the woman too many expectations, so they watch every step they take in the relationship carefully. Others think that commitment happens when they open their heart and show the woman what they carry inside. Still others think that being committed is when the relationship lasts beyond a certain period of time. Every man’s fear takes its own form depending on how they feel.
From the point of view of Dr. Juan David Nasio, a well-known Argentine psychoanalyst who lives in Paris, all those fears come from a single source: the fear of letting down or “betraying” their mothers. Deep down in their unconscious, they’re committed for life to the idea that only their mother deserves their undying love, and that they’re incapable of experiencing this feeling for other women.
This is the root of their fear, which many express by saying that “something is missing” in the women they date. These men go from one failed relationship to another. If they were to thoroughly review what usually happens, they’d find that they’re the ones to blame for sabotaging the opportunity to build a real relationship with their carelessness, lack of sensitivity, or need for control. And afterwards, they complain that no woman is capable of meeting their standards.
Women and their idealizations
Many women also build their own fantasy castles where they play princess. There, they create stories of implausible love, in which the only man who can be their “prince” is the one who can deal with their neuroses and insecurities. They want some sort of “courtly gentleman” who can give them the feeling of security that they’re missing and protect them from the difficulties of life.
Most women would say no, they see themselves as modern, independent women. However, they go through life bouncing from relationship to relationship.
Every time one relationship ends, they tell themselves that “men aren’t worth it,” or that they feel disappointed with that man because he wasn’t how he seemed at first. But deep down, they long for a man who will act like a woman. They struggle to understand that the opposite sex is just that: the opposite.
If they dug a little deeper, they would discover that their disappointment in and devaluation of men comes from feeling cheated out of their fantasies. Men don’t treat them like the princesses or queens that they are.
Maybe men get sick of their fickleness. Maybe they don’t see them as real women, or don’t protect them like spoiled children. Maybe they don’t behave like the knights in shining armor that they should be. Their mistake is being men of flesh and bone, not princes.
Fantasy and reality
Love isn’t easy. Neither is letting yourself be loved. But it becomes impossible when the people in the relationship cling to their childish fantasies and refuse to give them up. They turn love into an impossible feat.
They become incapable of appreciating and valuing all the contradictions that make us human. The other person should accept these contradictions, without trying to change them, if they are truly in love.