When does the purr turn into a growl? The answer usually is after the honeymoon, when the couple moves from the courtship or romantic phase to a real object relationship. One can infer that a female’s comfort level with commitment allows other components of her personality to emerge. The man, however, frequently feels locked in by commitment. These characteristics are not always sex linked, a woman may also feel locked in as well, to a varying degree.

As the social sophistications and allowances of the romantic phase tend to give way to conflict, the couple regresses to bouts of developmental fixation points. In reality, who we are, and how we behave affect the fate of any lasting relationship. This is what a man fears. He believes deep down that he will be expected to gratify the needs and expectations of his partner while being fiercely criticized for falling short, an unfair barter, for his now stolen autonomy.

Some men yearn to escape. They daily fantasize departing to a mountain-top apartment, set just below the clouds, with a grand view of the horizon. A young man, currently a friend of mine, rents a spacious loft-sized condo on the 72nd floor of a high rise overlooking the East River. On a clear evening, he could recline on his balcony and enjoy a breath-taking sight of microscopic cars dashing along a starry lit Tri-Borough Bridge. Snuggled just west of Central Park, no matter the dashing location, one problem remained: high above civilization, he couldn’t spot any people.

One winter afternoon, a chill took over Central Park, freezing it into a Greenland like mirage, resembling wonder-land. The man, feeling a bit tired and empty, decides to exchange the beautiful, yet lonely apartment, for an equally attractive blonde bomb-shell, with blue eyes fierce enough to pierce his ailing heart. A Book is tough to judge by its cover, and although a femme fatale, this woman’s heart was cool and removed, making her emotions hard to impact.

Got thoughts or opinions on this topic? A helpful anecdote you want to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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