As a single man, I can tell you very simply that relationships are for the weak. Everyone who is in a relationship that lasts is someone who makes amazing compromises for the sake of someone else because they need the other person. No relationship lasts unless it has this imbalance of power.
The magic is that this applies to both people in the relationship.
That is the thing about love. We seek someone else so that we can feel strong. At least I do and if you feel differently please let me know. I want a woman who needs me to protect her. Sometimes that means physically, but more often than not, I want a woman who needs encouragement and a defense against the slings and arrows of the modern world. It makes me feel like a big strong man to help a lady out. Yeah, it is that sexist and simple. I want a woman who is weak and fragile and easily broken.
At the same, I want a woman whom I can come home to and lay my head in her lap and be miserable. I want her to lay her hand on my neck and gently rub my back as I just feel horrible about all the things I failed at. I want a woman who is going to yell at me and make me go out with her. I want a woman who will drag me, kicking and screaming, to the beach and not whine if I just read a book there. I hate going to the beach just as much as I love reading at the beach. I want a woman who will manipulate me into going on vacations and long weekend getaways because I love them only after I get there. I even explained to my ex-wife how to easily manipulate me into such trips.
See, that is the thing about a partnership of any kind. We do not enter into partnerships unless we get something out of them. And when we are enriched by a partnership, it is because we lack something that the partner provides. I gain strength through two very simple and extremely common mechanisms. I become stronger when someone I am invested in requires strength. I become stronger when someone I respect tells me I have strength. I don’t become weaker by these, and the fact that this makes me stronger does not mean I am weak without it. It means I have weaknesses and the strength to admit and address them. Fortitude, endurance and courage are not about living without fear or weakness. They are about living in spite of them. Not about disregarding them, but facing them.
Reinforcing things to make them stronger relies on discovering and exposing weaknesses. This is why everyone talks about love and “being vulnerable.” It really is very simple. We all have weaknesses and there is always someone out there with strengths to help with yours. The trick is to find someone that you can help as well. The moment you find them, make them a friend or a lover. If you are useless to them, let them be an inspiration and let them alone.