4 Pillars of L.O.V.E.
Then I read Cameron Teone's post about "The Door Test" from the movie, A Bronx Tale.
This article is all about Contribution. How we enhance and enrich the life of our partner. What we bring to the table.
"Sometimes, people tend to think of contribution in financial terms but that’s really a myopic scope of looking at things."
I'll say. To me these two concepts go hand-in-hand: Contribution and L.O.V.E. In fact, the "4 Pillars of Love" is precisely my relationship "Door Test" (as it is designed to be):
"If one pillar is missing or deficient, the structure collapses, and there is no love. If the pillars are not mutual (supported by both man and woman) and sustainable (able to endure for years), there is no love."
Read that again... because this IS the "Door Test"... all four pillars or it's a dealbreaker.
Having met the first woman that I'm considering committing to long term, according to my deliberate Life Design, let's examine the pillars:
Lust -- We've determined that we have a very powerful sexual attraction. There's connection, intimacy, and an incredibly strong sexual desire. We are on the same page about several key things including: The idea that you know a lover is going to be sexually compatible before you have sex, the power of delayed sexual gratification in enhancing intimacy, and the desire to explore what it means to have commitment without sexual exclusivity.
Obligation -- This means several things including a mutual commitment to watch each other’s back, to defend each other, to speak well of each other, to be there for each other in difficult times, to consider each other in all major decisions, to be responsive to each other, to follow through consistently on promises to each other, to challenge and comfort each other, to learn and teach together, and to put each other first above all else and everybody else.
Veracity -- Veracity is truth. We have a commitment to communicate the truth to each other — about our feelings, thoughts, beliefs, preference, intentions, agendas, and actions. And I believe we will sustainably, willingly and frequently remain truthful to each other.
Now, I know I will have no problem contributing all the above to our relationship. I happily make this my life goal. I feel like these 3 pillars are rock solid. But that is not enough.
Unfortunately, we are facing disagreement on the pillar of Equality.
Equality -- "Equality is the antithesis of entitlement. Equality means that neither man nor woman is treated better or regarded more highly than the other, period. With equality, neither partner has rights or privileges superior to those of the other."
I put that one up word for word.
And although it is going to hurt, I am going to have to let this woman go.
You see, she believes in entitlement. She believes that I am supposed to provide for her.
I can't get with that.
Now, I am more than happy to financially contribute to our relationship. I am more than happy to assist in providing for any children we may bring into the world.
But this is not what she's talking about. She's talking about selfish antiquarian ideas like, "You're the man, you're supposed to pay for dinner."
This is not a relationship based on equality, reciprocity, or mutual respect.
Unfortunately, this is not a peer relationship.
Putting entitlement above equality is a very disempowering choice.
Now, this is a very intelligent, highly educated, socially savvy, self-actualizing woman. I think our compatibility is off the charts in term of creativity, sexuality, hopes and dreams, compassion, authenticity, and an alignment of purpose in life. She knows that a lot of the traditional views of dating, relationships, and sexuality are not for us.
It's just this one area that our expectations aren't aligned.
But it is a big one.
I chose to see my mate as an equal. Deferential treatment is old-fashioned nonsense.
I know myself well at an emotional level. I can articulate what I desire in a dream woman. I know my core needs, and equality is one of them.
I want to take on lifetime commitment once, and get it right. I'm not in a rush to get her in bed, so I can just sit back, challenge her, observe her, and determine compatibility.
I know I will never land my dream woman by catering to pedestal-based expectations.
The search for my dream woman is a conscious one. I know what I'll accept and what I won't. Gender based entitlement, I will not accept.
Entering a peer based relationship is a core need. Mutual pursuit is a core need. Mutual contribution to a shared life purpose is a core need. Lustful sex is a core need. Obligation and commitment is a core need. Veracity and truth is a core need.
And equality is a core need.
Required reading for anyone that believes in relationship equality:
The Mart of Seduction