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A man's perspective on intimate partner homicide.

The tone of most relationships may be summarised in two lines--one from a movie, another from a poem: "Can I be your slave, baby?" and "What do you want, my soul?" This pretty much comes down to what many people expect and wish to offer in a relationship. Women don't realise most men are too willing to be the slave or to offer their soul in a relationship in return for a sense of validation. I'm speaking as a man. Hear me out. A man indirectly asks his woman, "Am I a man, baby?" Can I be your slave?" Do I have what it takes? The basic question that he puts to her is, "Who am I?"

Two primary influences on our personalities and identities as far as relationships are concerned revolve around the commercialisation of love and blindly following tradition without asking ourselves why we do the things we do.

When we as men enter into a relationship with a woman it is not only with the view to finding a soul mate but also with the view to conforming to society's expectations of us. Should the man succeed in his pursuit, he is regarded as a warrior endowed with a sense of resolution and character--a modern-day Romeo dressed in Polo and Armani. "He knows what he wants ...!"

But does he know who he is?

The above distinction between seeking a soul mate and conforming to society's expectations become useful when we assess the substance and ultimately the value of the proposed relationship with a female or phrased differently, does he want a woman or a trophy?

Focusing on the substance of the relationship may aid the gallant Casanova in his quest to find a companion who may not only finish his sentences but who will also bring out the best in him. More importantly though focusing on the substance of the relationship as opposed to the formality of being in a relationship may assist him in detecting any warning signs from his latest conquest.

The substance of any relationship does not in any manner or fashion revolve around her physical appearance, whether he has amassed a great deal of wealth or not, whether she is someone who would boost his cool-rating in a company that reeks of testosterone and vulnerable egos.

No, my fellow warriors and princesses, the substance relates to a single question, "Will she bring out the best in me or will she turn my fragile and emasculated disposition into a funky Frankenstein?

But the first step in moving towards an answer to the question above unfortunately begins with us. Yes you, the guy reading this, I am talking to you. We cannot assess the potential harmful effects of any relationship without knowing who we are as individuals--our values and principles and not just our preferences will facilitate the above exercise to a great extent. We have to know what we stand for, what keeps us grounded and where we seek refuge when society condemns us for not playing by its rules.

The form of any entity/ institution is often more appealing because it is easier to imitate than to analyse the substance, i.e. to extract the potential benefit and to discard any detrimental or harmful component given our unique set of circumstances.

The same applies to relationships. As men we have to start with ourselves by finding out who we are as individuals distinct from our female companions. We first have to take a journey to our inner-soul towards finding our original identity and purpose in life. One might also say that his identity will hopefully be formed on or as a result of the specific journey, suggesting a continuous process of moulding a man's character into something that does not only seek to serve his physical needs.

The commercialisation or rather glamorisation of being in a relationship or how to get into a relationship has been imposed on both sexes with the view to eliminate any or all traces of original thought or behaviour and to replace it with a cognitive setup that can easily be manipulated through magazines like Men's Health or FHM, which rarely assist him in dealing with the complexity of this perilous journey.

"12 Steps on how to woo her" or "24 ways to rock his world" only serve to encourage a fragmented and wounded individual to engage in a superficial relationship that may eventually lead to an unhealthy emotional dependence.

The most intriguing aspect about being single and not being able to find a companion is that he is forced to deal with himself. Whereas men who tend to jump from one relationship to the next have no desire to do so; the singleguy has no other option but to deal with his mess.

Multiple relationships and infidelity do not only speak to a mess not dealt with but may also indicate that the individual who engages in that type of conduct, whether male or female, is wounded at some level that may require a great deal of healing.

"Passion killing" comes in where we as individuals, whether male or female seek to exploit that mess by offering a false sense of re-assurance to a wounded individual with the view to creating some emotional or psychological dependence.

My beautiful and determined sisters, gallivanting through the male psyche is an enterprise fraught with danger and uncertainty and perhaps something that should be conducted with utmost sincerity and caution.

My valiant brethren, a man grounded in himself has other passions and interests and will not necessarily be consumed by her overt gestures or subsequent lack thereof.

Get a life. Find out who you are (without FHM or Men's Health), what you're passionate about and how you can make the most of your life before offering yourself wholeheartedly to someone else.

If you want to be a slave, be a slave to yourself. If you want to give away your soul, give it back to yourself.

That golden thread that should define all our relationships "... do unto others as you would have them do unto you ..."--starts with discovering and loving yourself for who you are and not who society expects you to be.

Should you succeed in the above task, it will be easier to walk from a potentially disastrous relationship and should she decide to trade you for a better model/brand, hopefully your other passions will sustain you as you bravely continue on your journey.
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Title Annotation:Brother Namibia
Author:Manley, J.
Publication:Sister Namibia
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:6NAMI
Date:Mar 1, 2014
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