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“Together or separate?” I heard the waiter ask

February 24, 2024


Just a few minutes ago the couple next to us had paid their bill.

First the dude reached for his wallet and once his part was covered he passed the bill to “his” woman.

She reached for her purse and paid whatever was left, they stood up and left.

You could conjure way more sparks out of wet noodles than from whatever ‘relationship’ they had going on.

Through their meal he would timidly touch, kiss and hug her..

His every move a little too cautious and calculated..

The kind of caution that is more about his fear and feelings of inadequacy than about his desire to care for her.

She looked like she hadn’t slept in weeks..

Clenched-jaw, distracted foggy gaze and closed off, hanging shoulders: The body language of a miserable woman.

A woman whose fear of loneliness was perhaps bigger than her fear of losing herself, so she let her beauty be drained down the toilet in a relationship where she ended up both losing herself and feeling alone anyway..

Nothing sucks more than feeling “alone” when together.

This was the 2nd day of my wife’s first time in Toronto so she asked me what was going on..

She couldn’t compute that a man was asking his woman to split up the bill on a date he had taken her on..

I told her that in North America and “modern” countries this is common. Couples split the bills, their dates, their chores..

Everything is carefully negotiated.

“I am willing to give you just as much as you’re willing to give me..” being at the core of the issue..

Generosity (of love, kindness, actions and care) is non-existent in most relationships.

There’s no relating, mostly transacting – I explained to her.

“So, together or separate?..” The waiter insisted.

I looked at my wife’s eyes with a mischievous smile on my face..

“Separate…” I said.

To what she laughed and quickly followed up with

“Yes, separate please.. My husband would like to pay twice. 😂

We all laughed.

I knew.

She knew.

The waiter knew.

He brought one bill, I paid.

End of story.

Men who complain about “having to” pay are men who refuse to ‘own’ their woman.

Men who do not understand that women want to be owned, deeply.

But not owned in an objectifying kind of way..

“Owned” as in a “fully included as an extension of..” kind of way.

“Owned” as a deep sense of presence and involvement.

Women want to feel included and cared for deeply by their partners, as if they were an extension of them.

Unfortunately most men only care deeply about that which is “theirs”.

It’s rare to find someone willing to mown their neighbour’s lawn or to take another’s kids to school..

But “Their car”, “THEIR money”, “their job”…

Damn.. even THEIR favourite sports team!

They all rank high on his list of priorities.

Priorities he doesn’t hesitate investing time, attention, emotion, energy and planning into.

But speak out loud about a “man owning a woman” and the whole world loses it.

Ownership, at a soul level, frees a man.

It gives him purpose.

Someone to care for deeply.

Someone to protect.

Someone to practice being one with.

A good enough reason to escape the cycles of narcissistic self-gratification, juvenile behaviours..

(btw If the word “ownership” hurts you, switch it for “complete involvement and inclusion.”)

But most women I’ve worked with who are in painful marriages share the same grief:

They do not feel owned by their husband.

Meaning, they do not feel included, cared for, protected.

Proactively attended to in the way he would something or someone that was high on his list of priorities.

And it goes beyond that..

She often doesn’t feel desire for him..

And when it happens it’s like wet noodles.

Or a transactional at best.

One more negotiated chore because.. “being a good wife” you. know?

The truth is that we are all aching to become one.

This is at the source of the life that we are and the goal of every spiritual path!

Romantic relationships are a powerful container where we get to practice including each other as an extension of ourselves:

“Owning and being owned by each other.”

Being devoted to our beloved..

and simultaneously worshipped by them.

Big words!

Loving and being loved.

“Together or separate?”

A question about the state of your hearts, not your meal.

Answer carefully.