People have always loved a good romance story. But for most of the past, our ancestors did not try and live in one.
Choosing a mate based on romantic love is a relatively new idea. The idea that one person would be your everything: best friend, emotionally attuned, lover, domestic partner, financial equal, caregiver, co-parent and bedmate… is something that has only emerged in the last 70 years since we moved from survival to thriving.
In her book, Marriage, A History Stephanie Coontz explains that traditionally, marriage was never about romance but rather building community, consolidating resources, the division of labour, forging political alliances, producing children and organising inheritance rights.
WORTHY OF LOVE
In patriarchal societies, women have always been subject to being chosen for love. When our femaleness is shaped by being deemed worthy of love it can have a hugely detrimental impact on our quality of life.
When we owe so much of our survival and self worth to our relationship, we must hold onto it at all costs. This makes us blind or powerless to address inequality. We are conditioned to believe that sacrifice and servitude are feminine virtues and we become numb to the ways in which our needs are not being met.
We become exhausted as we carry the weight of the emotional, social, domestic and invisible labour whilst internalising the shame that we are not thriving. And yet, this is not a death sentence, it’s an opportunity.
ONE STOP SHOP
Romantic relationships were never intended to be a one-stop shop for getting all your needs met. What used to take a village, now we expect one person to do which makes marriage fragile and heavy. We are somewhere between the traditions of yesteryear and a new understanding of emotional wellbeing and that means relationships are in flux.
ALIGNMENT IS THE KEY
Just like with style, I believe the best way to approach relationships is by knowing your own values and identity and being empowered to make aligned decisions. When we take responsibility for getting our own needs met in a healthy way, we get to steer our own ship. For me, this may mean my relationship looks different than other people but this is how I position myself to thrive and if I am thriving, everyone else in my sphere benefits.
For the first time in history, women are uniquely positioned to create huge social change, to steer public policy and law for the greater good of all. But in order to lead well, we need to master self leadership. This requires a deep understanding of ourselves and radically aligned action.
If you want direction on how to navigate modern relationships and thrive in your calling, BOOK A STRATEGY CALL TODAY and find out how we can work together.