Men are guardians of boundaries. A mature man knows how to open a woman’s boundaries by opening his own.
A mature man respects a woman in two ways: by crossing (his own!) boundaries and gathering the courage to “pursue” her stronger than he would otherwise allow himself — but also without violence!
Man’s integrity manifest in his actions being in line with his expressed intentions. He does what he says. When he loves a woman, he communicates this sensually, and he skillfully responds to her response signals — he reads these signals wisely and adapts his behavior to what he’s perceiving.
The woman can make his journey easier by being honest in her response signals and not too strict! (Young) men are afraid of the female’s “no” (even when it’s just the men misinterpreting the response signals!). If the men hear “no” three times, they already think it’s all over. But the woman may have just noticed them.
Very determined men, on the other hand, push and push until they reach their goal and “conquer” her. The “nos” only encourage them. Sometimes a woman is won over with integrity, but sometimes not. The worst is when the expressed intentions turn out to be false, but the two of them still end up in a relationship. The man slips into unchangeable routines, while the woman, to make it easier for herself, resorts to incessantly changing.
As one of the maxims of marriage mathematics says, “She would like him to change, but she doesn’t. He would like her not to change, but she does.”
What a shame that what we’re taught in school is so far from what’s most crucial in our lives: the science of relationships. Not only do they not teach us this; they avoid teaching it — it is taboo and shrouded in shame. Learning this is supposed to come by itself when we grow up. As teenagers, we learn about intimacy secretively, deeply uncertain whether what we are doing is right.
Mature relationships become a kind of utopia that only “experts” may talk about from some kind of pedestal of perfection, while we, ordinary people sink into shame and depression because we are doomed to mistakes and defeats. What a pity, really.
We spend so much money to keep running away from ourselves and we’re utterly terrified of meeting love — love without jealousy and envy, without fear and shame. Instead of exalting ourselves, we humiliate ourselves.
A man shows his maturity by setting boundaries with his lust, jealousy, anger … his fairness, understanding, determination … how he shows attention, tenderness, and sometimes hits the table with his fist. Not to make it about himself, but because he cares about her, or for them: for his family and for life.
When the man holds his boundaries, he helps the woman hold hers. As the man keeps the boundaries of a safe space, the woman can relax within them and her response signals become consistent. She doesn’t have to escape into change. She can trust that the man will change when needed and in that change, there’s much for himself too.
It is a mistake to expect the woman to set boundaries to the man when he pursues her. The man should set boundaries to himself. Men should learn how to do this from each other more than anything else. Men who are aware of their own boundaries and pursue women with pure intentions — I think we need more such men with integrity; the more of them, the better our society will be.
Quasi-feminist misandry (hatred of men) and the struggle for equality by castrating masculinity and stretching the spectrum of “genders” alienates us from our evolutionary and biological reality. The brave new world where boundaries are set by “women” in the name of some kind of “nongenderness” is perhaps preparing us for the future rule of machines? Who would know …
Here, too, it is the task of men to set boundaries and not surrender humanity to either machines or misandry. As I write this, it strikes me that avarice is the direst expression of perverted masculinity. Due to avarice, the dominant image of success in our society is irresponsible people that don’t set boundaries but instead accumulate billions. Those who don’t set boundaries are our role models. Such a “success” narrative destroys us.
Ultimately, women’s struggle for equality turns into striving to become like them — infinitely rich and arrogant.
In this case, men should be the ones to hit the table with their fists and set boundaries for themselves, be firm in their masculinity, and stand up for the values of life, beauty, wisdom, not for egotism, infinite growth, and grandeur. If men can do this, the women’s drive for illusory “equality” might dissipate and make it easier for them to relax in the safe space of trusting men’s integrity.
I don’t know if all this is merely a utopia. I don’t know are these not just empty words. All I know is that setting boundaries to myself enriched my relationships a lot and revealed new layers of simple joy in those little everyday things that our lives are made of.