That I just don’t seem to be.

Strong, independent and self-sufficient. One who knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. One who’s not afraid to be alone. One who doesn’t need a man to feel complete…

Those were his words. Then, he looked at me smiling. He’s from a Middle East country, but that’s only a detail. Or, maybe, it’s my way to justify his need to create a stereotype about the “Occidental woman”. I looked away, not knowing how to answer without being defensive.

And you don’t fit the profile. That’s wonderful about you!

Is it?

Long time ago (14 years) I was taking one of my (too many πŸ™‚ ) exams to become a psychologist. I was 23 back then, very in love with my fiance (our wedding was in a few weeks after that exam). I started to talk to a group of people, all around 35-40 years old. I was the “baby” and, once I told them about my wedding…let’s just say that they shared their experience and wisdom about marriage πŸ™‚

There was a lady (she was 37, just like I am now) who told me something about “keeping the leash short”. I looked at her with big eyes (the rest of the group started to laugh seeing me so confused) so she explained better.

Oh dear…you have to remember that you are the boss. You make the rules. And if he doesn’t obey, you simply punish him. No sex till he does what you say! That’s how my marriage works.

I was…stunned so I said something like “but that’s so unfair…I can’t do this to him…to us” so they just laughed harder. And, to make it complete, I even stumbled and fell on my way out.

Years later, once she became a counselor, she divorced. But that’s only a coincidence (right?).

Now…returning to my friend and his stereotypes…I already had a speech in my mind about the danger of judging and generalizing and about our tendency to see our values above others…But it wasn’t the case. That wouldn’t have changed anything. So I just spoke from my heart.

I told him that love is a dance. It’s about being in harmony with your partner. About synchronizing the steps even if, sometimes, you need to take a step back…This dance, this love it’s what gives us a feeling of “being complete”.

I reminded him that no one “controls” the rhythm of the dance and no one can dance alone if we’re talking about a love song.

Then, I opened my heart, telling him about that lonely moment when you’re there, on the dance floor…but he got tired. So you’re learning to be strong, even when you miss his arms around you. You learn to be independent, to walk away, to smile in the rain.

He invited me to dance and I politely said no…

He understood.

This western type of woman…me…is still dancing in her heart. And she’s still in love.

 

 

3 thoughts on “This western type of woman…

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