Leonard Cohen: You Don’t Need A Man

A friend who’s also got a bad history with men and who is also taking a break from dating to sort out the common denominator in every failed relationship–herself–told me she’s got faulty wiring when it comes to relationships. For instance, in her last relationship before her current self-imposed drought, she met the guy on Friday and he moved in the following Tuesday. This ridiculously intense pace feels normal to her so a relationship which accelerates at a healthy pace…well, it just doesn’t happen.

And every healthy relationship must accelerate at a healthy pace. That means you get to know one another slowly and build up trust as you take your time revealing incremental amounts of information about yourself and he does the same. You don’t begin sleeping with someone on the first date and then spend every waking moment with them until you move in together a week, a month or even a year later. Nor do you wait by the phone and take whatever little time he gives you and let him dictate the terms. I’ve been involved in both of these scenarios and both of them are sick, even psychopathic.

I was suffering from the delusion that I was incomplete without a male in my life. Even if we were just using each other for sex I couldn’t consider existing without one, or better yet, three. I thought three was a good number of men to keep around, you know, so I’d never have to be alone. I am shocked to think that I am the same person who could sleep with one man one night and another the next. Of course, I’m not that person anymore and I don’t regret my past because it’s brought me to where I am now… to an understanding that I am complete on my own and that life is rich and fulfilling and, so far, much better than when I thought I had to have men in my life to feel alive.

Why Don’t You Try (lyrics by Leonard Cohen)

Why don’t you try to do without him?
Why don’t you try to live alone?
Do you really need his hands for your passion?
Do you really need his heart for your throne?

Do you need his labor for your baby?
Do you need his beast for the bone?
Do you need to hold a leash to be a lady?
I know that you can make it, make it on your own

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