Row Your Own Canoe: Navigating Dating From a Place of Stability

Updated: Feb 9

Row Your Own Canoe

What is it about men that makes them so irresistible? Is it their dark eyes, the way their long hair caresses their forehead or the way the light hits their high cheekbones, just so? It’s a mystery, truly. One minute we love them, the next minute they are the most deplorable beings on the planet. Gum on our shoe, the stick in our hair(that’s totally a saying right?)

We can’t live with them and sometimes we can’t live without them. But our day to day lives can certainly improve without them being integral to that process. Here’s what I think, “Love many, trust a few, just make sure to row your own canoe.” Ok maybe I took that saying from a grandmother, not mine, but someone’s. But what it means is this. We are whole as is. We are perfectly capable of changing lightbulbs, paying bills, putting together Ikea furniture. Yes, that’s right, I said it, we can put together Ikea furniture, sans men.

Now let’s be fair here, we do enjoy their company, as we should. We should want them around, we should not need them. That is the difference and that is what is causing our dating lives, and society, to be such an imbalanced mess. When you seek from a place of need or lack, you are looking to fill a void, which limits your options greatly. You may become willing to overlook some small(or big) issues in their personality, lifestyle, or behavior, in exchange for something you perceive to need. So maybe he gets drunk and yells at you occasionally, but he knows how to change your oil and rotate your tires, so you keep him around. See the problem here?

We have to learn to stand more on our own two feet. Yes, it’s nice having them around, in more ways than one, but let’s keep that list short. If the list of reasons you want a man around, looks more like a handyman’s to do list, than a love letter, you’ve got a problem.

We do not need to enter into a relationship, knowing that we have the lower hand. That means, feeling like we have to give people a free pass, because we “need them”, especially when we aren’t afforded that courtesy back.

Society is tough enough on our sex, we are told to be pretty, be nice, have perfect skin, don’t have bodily functions or negative emotions, be sexually satisfied by any half ass attempt the man makes to please us. We have a lot to navigate as is, but to add the component of being dependent on someone, and they know it, well that’s just a circus full of fiery hoops, waiting to be jumped through.

Our relationships, as our society, have to become more balanced. When we are able to stand on our own two feet, without the assistance of another, we have a lot more options, in both life and the dating realm. Now, to be clear, we as humans are social beings, we like to have companionship and we are biologically programmed to have attachment objects, so wanting a man around, is not a bad inclination, wanting a man around to pay your bills, do your chores and fix your car, now we are getting into a problem territory. But, luckily, there’s a simple answer.

Build your own pyramid. What I mean by that is build your own solid foundation. Have a good group of friends, be centered on your goals, have your finances in line, have an actual handyman on speed dial. I’m not saying your life has to be perfect by any means, having your finances in line can mean you are actively paying off your debt, having your goals centered can mean you are working on that side hustle on weekends, whatever it looks like for you. But have your own life, because looking for someone to give it to you is only going to make the foundations of the relationship, as wobbly as your life pyramid.

The downside of that method also, is life is very unpredictable. People breakup, get divorced, die, run off with stewardesses, and a myriad of other mishaps. Meaning you can never depend on anything or anyone to fully support you, other than you. You are the only constant in your life. By building your own solid foundation, you can handle these mishaps. Your world won’t fall apart just because you and your boyfriend breakup, it will hurt for a while, you will fall back on your pyramid of support, and you will begin to build up from your foundation again. It’s a formula for success.

So in review, “love many, trust a few, just make sure to row your own canoe.” Row your canoe, build your pyramid, take whatever analogy you want, just make sure your life is put together and is great as is, no assembly required.

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