I sat down with him to listen to this Adam and Eve story. It’s always interesting how when we listen to other people’s stories and drama, we tend to see things in black and white more than we think they do. In any event, if you’re the one in a relationship, you tend to wear a darker shade of goggles than those who are looking at the relationship from outside. That’s just part of human nature, because we are emotionally and physically entangled with the other person – experiencing with them is not the same as hearing about it. So I had a chance to listen to his side, and her side through him.
Her story: she is a woman who likes the finer things in life; being classy is something that is important to her and she wants those around her to be conversant with and exude class. She can’t necessarily afford all these finer things in life but wants to be with a man who can make her afford these things; he should be able to stand tall on his wallet and see beyond the average. She knows about the 80%-20% rule; she recognizes when she has found the 80% but if the 80% Adam is not also a knight in shining Hummer, then it’s definitely a problem for her. She also realizes that he who comes with the 20% may not necessarily treat her well – he may just avail the 20% and somehow assume that vicariously, the 20% will work itself into 80%.
His story: he’s a man chasing purpose in his life. He’s smart, has been employed before but left his job to pursue a dream of his, purpose and fulfillment of being. He’s just starting the journey but so far so good; he’s not calling himself a millionaire yet, but he’s not counting either. He makes ends meet, he gets by financially but personally, he’s growing and liking the fruits of his journey. He’s had what some would call a simple start to life and as time goes by, he learns the difference between the simple and finer things in life; however, he’s not concerned about needing to know and needing to be seen to know the finer things in life. To him, these are things that suit some and one gets to know them progressively; there is no race to the finish line and nothing to be ashamed of.
Their story: they really, really like each other. OK, they love each other. Beneath their relationship is a foundation of friendship. They are close; one can even say close friends. They know each other very well; if one went into a coma or some sort of memory lapse, the other would almost perfectly speak for him/her. They have shared some of their innermost secrets and know each other’s weaknesses. The thing is, they have dated but then they broke up but continued to have this friendship. They speak on the phone each day; meet up regularly and even visit with each other’s families. Friends and family think they are just meant to be together. In fact, it’s almost like they were together but just without the label saying “We are……….”. They cheer each other up; they cherish each other. They are everything but together. Why you may ask?
He’s been a good boyfriend and friend to her; he surprises her; does things to lift her spirits when she’s down, his acts are chivalrous and gives her what she needs. She realizes that he is a good man; he gives her with an open heart within his means; gives her what she needs. But she wants more. She wants the 20% – she wants him to stand tall on his wallet and be counted as a man who knows and appreciates class. When he says that maybe they cannot be together, she’s scared. She wants to have him but she doesn’t want to commit to him; she doesn’t want to lose the 80% either.
He knows what his potential is and he knows the purpose he is chasing in life. He’s had the Benjamins, he knows they can come and go; he knows that his worth today is not his worth tomorrow. He provides for her the best he can but he has his principles of purpose.
Now, when I listened to all this, I thought about how sometimes we want to have our cake and eat it. When we find the 80% (depending on what the 80% constitutes for an Eve or Adam), we want to hold on to it whilst still looking for the mirage of 80+20%. We hold on to it because as time goes by, we don’t want to have missed this boat in case the big ship doesn’t come along.
I thought about reading about the three Ps in men’s kind of love – the ability to profess, to provide and to protect. I thought about how the Adam in this case had professed (yes, he did!), how he protected (OK, I didn’t see him fight any lions but he did) and how he provided; out of these three Ps, his ‘provide’ wasn’t rated up to scale. It made me think how sometimes we balance our needs and wants in our relationships and how I always feel that it is worrying if your needs are provided for but your desire for your wants are not met and that tips the scales. I asked myself if this Adam’s ego was bruised – I am not a man but I am told that when a man’s ability to provide is questioned, it is like shooting an arrow to the ego – and we can all imagine how it feels when the arrow is pulled out. At this point, I felt that he should just walk away from the relationship. If she wouldn’t accept him now for all that he is and his potential, then she should just let him go. Yes, deep feelings run through their veins like blood and they feel like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that come almost perfectly together except for a few pieces but my take was that these missing pieces were fundamental ones.
A week after we talked, she told him that she was thinking of getting back together with him. In fact, more recently, she’d become more supportive of the pursuit of his dream and was thinking more and more of a future together. In reality, they behaved like a couple only that they were not carrying a label she was not ready to commit to the tag of a couple; not without the 20%. But she pingponged right back after a couple of weeks and said she wasn’t really sure about it.
I thought about the posts we have written before about what loving someone and being together means – about respect, about fairness for each other’s feelings, about what Adams and what Eves want from relationships; about looking in the mirror; about how women and men should treat each other. I thought about how sometimes we (mostly Eves) get lost chasing a lottery ticket when we already have a jackpot and I thought about how this Adam deserved better. Surely he deserved better.
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