There are certain men who crave adventure in their relationships and also in their lives. This is the craving to be challenged, grow and become all they are capable of. For some the call comes in connection to work, sports or feats of daring; others hear it in relationship to women, who they see as their primary challenge. This need for adventure in relationship can manifest in various ways.
Some men are drawn to disturbed and disturbing women. They find this exciting and stimulating, despite the difficulties that come along. Also, they can then use this as an excuse for not staying too long. This kind of relationship protects them from intimacy. It also protects them from having to focus upon themselves.
Others crave relationships where the sexual chemistry is intense. “From the day I moved in it we were making love morning, noon and night”, John said. “I felt powerful and on the edge. But, when that started to wane, there was nothing else left. She was just an ordinary person and I was just an ordinary guy as well. I kept trying to change the situation, to get her to lose some weight and become exciting like she used to be. That backfired. Before long I was gone.”
For many men (and also women), there is a deep, inbred belief that the other person is the source of their excitement and must keep it going, or change for them. They view the person as an object to keep the excitement high.This represents a profound misunderstanding about the nature of adventure. True adventure comes from facing challenges that causes a person to grow. It is based upon a deep-seated mutual respect for who the person really is and who you are as well.
John’s initial excitement always turned into a low. He was using adventure in relationships to hide from the underlying sadness he carried inside. As Erich Fromm says in The Art of Loving, if a person is attached to another person because they cannot feel good and alive on their own, the relationship may be a lifesaver, but the relationship is not one of love.
For others adventure means having lots of women, not staying long with any of them. When Warren was asked what made do this he said, “Well, I had the wanderlust and the grass was always greener somewhere else. But I never left for anyone else. I always knew there were plenty of women out there waiting for me.”
Having all those different woman was a thrill for him. Each woman touched off something new within. “When you meet a new person, you’re entering a whole new world” he said. “And when you’re on the chase and there’s a new person, there’s a lot of passion involved. You don’t get that in a marriage. Those are nice things to experience – you feel vital and alive and men long for that.”
For Warren, his single life and sexual freedom was life giving, loving. When he left he didn’t see himself as leaving the women, but enjoying them fully and then moving on. He never approached them looking for a longer term commitment. The relationship just was what it was.
When asked what made him commit in a relationship and feel good being there, he said, “A woman really has to be her own person and not too needy. I don’t get off on the fact that the woman is dependent upon me. Also when a woman gives too much approval, goes along with everything I want, I feel stifled and want to go. In a way they are saying, look at all I am doing for you; you have to do the same in return. They give no breathing room.”
It is important for both women and men to be aware if the person they are with craves adventure or if they do. Below are some guidelines on how to handle it:
Be yourself. Don’t change to please them. It never works. Realize that when this man is restless, bored, pr needs space to explore, it’s his need for adventure, not a rejection of who you are. Listen carefully if a man tells you to back off. These men mean it. Keep yourself interesting and challenging.You need growth and adventure, too. When the time comes to go, let him go graciously. Holding on only backfires.
Make sure you choose a woman who can respect your need for adventure and is not looking for security in the relationship. Find women who are challenging to you in positive ways. A woman who is constantly growing can be a source of ongoing stimulation. Realize that there are many aspects of life that can be changed and renewed. It doesn’t always have to be your partner. Changing one partner for another can be a camouflage for real change. The greatest adventure is finding out who you truly are, and living from your highest values. The thrill of this discovery never wears thin.