Australian Rock Band SkyHook's held number ONE for a week on 1973. The Countdown Classic song "All My Friends Are Getting Married" laments over days past where his friends were single.
Pining for his mates and saluting the freedom of singledom, lead vocalist "Shirley" Straun fears change and chringes at the idea of a mature relationship, seeing at as having little to offer except "growing old" and "doing what they're told".
Representing the old paradigm male, Straun is dismayed by the idea of entrapment and loosing his masculinity and freedom.
According to Spiritual Educator and author of " Intimate Communion" and a bunch of other fabulous books on masculine and feminine paradigms, David Deida , explains there are 3 stages of masculine psycho-emotional development. Skyhooks number one hit is a reflection of the first stage of development for men. Stage one is motivated by fear. The other two stages engage in a more conscious nexus of behaviours.
So why go beyond ourselves in relationship?
Why risk loosing autonomy (mans greatest fear) and potential rejection (woman greatest fear)?
Because we grow and evolve by being shown ourselves through our "other".
When we find a human worth committing to and building a life with, it can be challenging to communicate well, understand each others needs and desires and, if it does goes pear shaped - release them and self support .
Its equally confronting to release the idea or "dream" of the ideal partnership. Osho identified this fantasy bond as an illusion. A mind manufactured concept of what the long term relationship was to you both and who you were in it. This is spiritual GOLD - our soul's wake up out of the unconscious lull of conditional slumber. 'You play this role for me and I'll be that role for you' game that echoes of the patriarchal paradigm of fixed roles with no consideration of one or both parties changing or growing. Second stage masculine occurs when he is willing to witness her in her changing light and asks the same of her. Its still contractual but at least it got some stretch and awareness.
A dear friend of mine has recently separated from his wife of over 22 years. He's rolled through the classic stages of shock, denial, anger, bargaining and grief.
Initially overwhelmed by her withdrawal and absence, he tried to replace her........ that simply didn't work.
Now, after adjusting to the freedoms of singlehood he's settled into a social life that includes some romance, but he's not one to partake in dating sites or set ups, preferring to allow chance meetings through mutual friends and connections to occur naturally.
It's been quite the process of letting go of what was and accepting what now is.
The gap between what was and what is is where he suffered most - horribly in fact. We all suffer in betwixt these two. Until we become present we will suffer, whether its during a break up or another crisis, we suffer - lurching backward into the past "what could I have done differently". "if only..." or scrambling for the future - I want to be in a relationship again now.
It's not until we walk our heart's tightrope alone, here and now that we can truly move forward. Until we take stock, we will simply repeat the same ole patterns.
If we stay, we can face ourselves. Blaming or projecting onto our partner is simply a rejection of some part of yourself you haven't accepted yet. Accepting and being vulnerable around your own faults is easier said than done but possible and potentially the way forward to greater freedom and intimacy. Women want intimacy and men desire freedom. Our masculine desires autonomy and our feminine wants to be honoured and fulfilled - he's emptying while she's filling up..... oh the irony and also the compliment to each other if understood in relationship.
Healing from break ups is a process. Why are so many long term partnerships suffering unnecessarily and splitting up when there seems no other way forward for one of the partners in the relationship.
There are changes needed to keep feeding the relationship and a lot has to do with changing and deepening the bonds of intimacy. We all at our core crave it, yet it scares the crap out of us. To be truly seen is scary. It involves trust, boundaries, communication and owning our mistakes.
This is where practices can help bridge the gap before a relationship completely falls apart.
One of the main reasons women pull away as the kids get older is they desire more autonomy and ironically more intimacy.
"In to me I see " - INTIMACY. Going inward seems the most unlikely of places to find intimacy - we are taught not to by western culture.
Going inward usually takes a major crisis, a marriage split or major illness.
It is one way to deepen our sense of self and release ourselves and our partner from outdated patterns of behaviour, relating and communication.
We are a heady bunch of humans in this contemporary world. There as many things to distract us from going in as there are seconds in the day but the key is choosing designated times per week and practices to allow stillness and rest to nurture our nervous systems and slow our mind talk down. In this place of as Redfield calls it "drift time" we have an opportunity to take ourselves out of the habits of thinking and back into experiencing.
When we experience we feel and boy can that be tough but if we want to get to know and accept who we are individually and in our relationships it's the gateway to honest relating.
Four ways to create more intimacy in our relationship:
1. designate time each day to slow down and rest and bring full attention to our breath and body sensations.
2. Give ourselves and our partner regular permission to have adventures without us and then return back into the folds of the relationship. Trust and communication is key.
3. Catch ourselves when we are going back into old worn out mental habits including blaming our partner. Forgiveness and acceptance change the way we relate by opening our hearts.
4. Create designated time to simply be together without going through the to do list.
If a woman is unhappy with her sex life but doesn't know how to change it then try this simple technique of lying with your partner and belly breathing together with out talking or having an agenda - make love to each other by simply being present. Perhaps even agree to take an expectation of sexual intercourse off the agenda so both parties can relax their nervous systems and rest together. I'm not talking about sleep but conscious rest. We simply do not rest enough.
Deepening Intimacy is a path of commitment for both parties. If one partner is simply not interested in taking the relationship in a different direction then no amount of counselling or talking will be effective. There is little room to patch things up in this kind of scenario. Growing apart can create opportunity for growth and a newly strengthened relationship with the help of courage, self responsibility and communication.
Eve Perez talks in her book " Mating in Captivity" about stoking the fires of desire by creating more absences and returns . So perhaps its about abit of everything, freedom, trust, spontaneity and the courage to be seen and loved exactly as we are.Let the unknown be the new order and see how fresh and new things are - women want that.