One of the most important lessons I learned growing up was that I don’t need a man, but it’s okay to want one.
No, this isn’t a man-hating blog post. I will be the first to say that I love men, well, I love my man. But he does not complete me. I complete myself.
Growing up I didn’t have a dad. I had one, but he lived across the world and we didn’t talk for many years. I was brought up by a single mom. I watched her do everything.
When I would go over to friends houses, I would see their dads doing the tasks that my mom would do. In those moments I would wonder why their mom wasn’t doing them instead. I would also feel embarrassed at the same time that my mom was doing something other girls moms didn’t do.
I remember bringing it up once and I was told: “That’s a man’s job”.
“That’s a man’s job” was a slap in the face and something that stuck with me for many years.
After that moment, I was determined that I needed a man to complete me. I needed a man to do those jobs for me. I would never feel embarrassed for myself like I felt for my mom because she had to do jobs meant for the man of the house.
I needed a man to follow. A man to take out the garbage and clean the car. A man to tell me what I was doing was good or bad. A man to put me in a woman’s place because I could only do some jobs. I needed a man for the rest.
With this mindset, I went searching for a man. I went searching in all the wrong places and I found all the wrong men.
Then, during my season of singleness after a long-term toxic relationship ended, it all became clear.
These jobs that were labeled for the man were jobs that I could do. Jobs that I did in the past, that I grew up watching my mom do. I had been brainwashed by this sexist notion that women were not capable of so much.
Then I learned:
Even though I didn’t need a man, it was okay to want one.
I wanted a man, but I didn’t want a man to do those tasks for me anymore. I simply wanted a man to love and be loved by. I was capable of doing those tasks myself.
I was capable of it all.
- Buying a car on my own
- Changing my tires
- Opening the door myself
- Paying for dinner
- Hanging pictures on the walls
- Shoveling snow
- cutting grass
- Making enough money to live off of
- Having a career
- Loving myself
I didn’t need to find a man who would make money to support me. I was independent. I can use tools, I can fix any issue that is created. I can kill my own spiders… (sorry little guys. I’ll try the catch and release from now on)
When I found my guy, I wasn’t searching. I wasn’t paying attention to that list we all make of “Things My Partner Needs To Have”. I knew I didn’t need a man anymore, but that it was okay to want one.
- I’ve learned that it’s okay to want to ask for advice from Matthew.
- I’ve learned that it’s okay to follow his lead.
- I’ve learned that it’s okay to ask him for help when needed.
- I’ve learned that it’s okay to let him buy dinner or open my door.
These things are okay because I know if Matthew wasn’t in the picture, I’d still be able to do them on my own. For so many years I thought I was incapable of these things and a man HAD to do them for me.
I don’t think there needs to be a separation of what is a man’s job or what is a female’s job within a relationship. Rather, I would like to see everyone more on a level playing field. I want girls to grow up thinking that it’s normal if they have a single mom doing everything for them. I was embarrassed that my mom had to do a man’s job. I was bullied because my family was one person less than others.
When others found out that my dad left, there were whispers about how my mom would be able to handle it without a man in the house.
She didn’t let it stop her with the tasks she had to do. She fixed our house. She worked to pay our bills. She built furniture with her bare hands. She killed the spiders. She took the garbage out. While it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t perfect, she got by without a man and taught me a valuable lesson when it comes to love.
I hope every little girl out there today knows that she is complete just the way she is.
I hope every woman out there today knows that she is complete just the way she is. And I hope that every man out there learns that independent women who can do everything on their own want love too. You shouldn’t be scared off or intimidated by the fact that we’d be fine without you.
No one needs another person to complete them. No one needs another person to handle the tasks that “they can’t do.”
We can do them.
You can do them.
Nothing is impossible. Hell, the word even says it itself IM-possible.