Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Like A Fish Needs A Bicycle

In my browsing, I came across a blog called This fish needs a bicycle. She's named it that in contrast to the famous quote "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." I read her blurb about what her blog is about, and it's got me thinking. Here's the description:

It's lovely to be a feminist and all. I have gotten in plenty a tizzy over the
inequity of the female role in this bizarre universe. Have even tried out the
independent, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" track, and been
quite good at it. Eventually, however, I settled upon this conclusion: This fish
needs a bicycle. If not for comfort, at least for entertainment's sake. This is
not about man-chasing or desperation. It is rarely even about dating. It's about
me deciding that I can be well-educated, independent and happy and still see the
need for someone else in my life. That's not desperate; that's real.

Well this fish needs a bicycle, too. And like her, it's not about being desperate, either. It's about the need to know someone and be known. I think she's hit it on the head when she says that no matter what she accomplishes on her own: education, independence, happiness, etc, she still needs someone else in her life. There is still a need we all have for connection with another human being. We weren't designed to live in isolation.

Over the last few years I've been learning a lot about that particular need. There is this desire I think most of us have to know someone on a deeper level than just the regular surface-level topics of conversation. And even more than that is the desire to be known on that same level. Of course, that kind of intimacy and trust takes time to build up. Obviously in a marriage, or even in a longer-term dating relationship, a person's spouse would be that primary deep relationship. But does that leave us single people hanging?

I don't think so.

As I've been learning more about myself (or maybe, more accurately, trying to figure myself out) I've been seeing how I've been trying to go about fulfilling that need. Some ways have been good. Other ways have been misdirected, and left me feeling particularly unfulfilled. The areas that have been amazing as far as filling that need to know and be known have been relationships with close girlfriends. With these people, I can truly be myself, and I'm not afraid to share not only the good moments in life, but the things I struggle with, too. I don't have to put on a face and pretend that everything is all right. I can talk about those parts of my character that I don't particularly like, too, or about my screw-ups, and not feel like I'm being judged by them. They are also people who will encourage me, and who will help me to see things about myself that I didn't know before. And most importantly, these are people who will pray with me and for me, and keep me accountable in areas in which I need or want accountability. I also strive to be that kind of a friend for them. In the absence of a spouse, I can be absolutely content with my life as it is because of relationships like these.

Of course, I also think that it's not fair to a man to expect to find total fulfillment of this need (or totally fulfillment in general!) in him alone. So often people think that marriage will make us complete, then are disappointed when they find out that it isn't so. I'm just trying to figure out what it means to be a complete person BEFORE I get married.

Thanks to all my bicycles out there! I couldn't do it without you!

1 comment:

waybar said...

I have been married for 27 yrs. to a wonderful man. He is a great husband. However, my girlfriends are exactly how you describe them. They fill a need that my husband cannot. I was just thinking about the advice they have given me over the years. I am so grateful for their experience.
Thank God you have friends like that! Many people do not.