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Warriors Meet Their Match...

There was this entire “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” trend when I was growing up. I remember a book coming out and the author being seen as some quintessential couple whisperer. I’m sure there were many salient points in the philosophy since it’s mere fact men and women are on a cellular and structural level VERY different. Still, we in this #TotalWarrior tribe, are other level. We harken from a homeland called Parts Unknown. For this reason we may speak a language entirely different as we communicate in relationships. Even the strongest-minded Warriors might find ever evolving roles difficult to decipher... Fear not great Warrior Tribe; I am here to open the lines to ultimate communication. The idea for the next couple blogs came from a conversation I was having with Mattie in the car. She will be 16, Indiana 18 come December. I have a strict rule of no dating until 16 and then only with special permission and guidelines. Although HHH offered warning videos made by WWE Superstars to play for possible suitors (is that the most amazing thing in the world 😂?). I’m not worried about handling boys. I make up for what I lack in size with ammo (KIDDING...maybe). Truth be told, I am confident because of the girls I raised who know their priceless worth. As such they don’t long for “approval” from any random, outside source. Indy and Mattie have heard “boys are not a goal” since their earliest days. Both Warrior Girls have pursued lofty goals for futures all their OWN. I’ve always maintained open communication with my children about every aspect of their lives. I have shown them ways I erred and how their #EVOLUTION can avoid my muck. One of the things I did well in life was choose their father. Unconsciously I leapfrogged even my “wants” with an ULTIMATE desire: to choose a man who would be “the best gift I ever gave my children”. Warrior really was. Although the girls lost him way too soon they do not have holes in their hearts because he loved them so well. To me, this is a powerful victory! It’ll be five years we lost him and alongside the girls I’ve grown up too. I was 21, on the cusp of 22 when I met their dad. I was not a fully formed woman in any way. Warrior was a loud, powerful presence and as such I adapted to make space for myself in every room he filled. I put my ambition on a shelf to take care of his every need. I do not regret this but I would not want it as my girls evolve. I want for them to occupy a room without tiptoeing. I believe THAT balance can only be reached by knowing one’s OWN desires and voice. A person must be clear on their ideas and boundaries to make a peaceable partnership. A true Warrior understands and respects the power of attracting an actual MATCH!! I want to preface this next part with a disclaimer: I am an absolutely HUGE fan of men and all their sweetness. I always tell my single and married friends men are the easiest to please! Men are the single layer to our female seven layer dip. There’s not a lot you cannot repair with a good, healthy warrior man and those are the only ones worth knowing. This does not cover abusive or toxic men, because, by definition, they do not belong to our Warrior Tribe. Choosing a Warrior (be it male or female)as your mate is the foundation of a solid life. This being said...where have the Warriors gone; and please, before the comment (and lazy excuse) gets uttered on “feminism” I call bulls^*#. There are strong, sweet, smart, powerful ladies if you are willing to look. So on all accounts let’s only hold the mirror to ourselves and tribe to ask where did things take a horrible turn? <*Back to the conversation with Mattie*> We were recalling a story I’d told of Warrior chasing a man out of the gym after I recognized he was the dude who had tried to recruit me after a fitness competition. The guy left me with a creepy gut feeling that was later proven correct as authorities uncovered a human trafficking situation in Arizona. I remember watching Warrior run from the back of our gym, bust through glass front doors, calves flexing above white otomix wrestling shoes. I watched in stunned awe never having seen a human being his size move so quickly, overtake another, and deliver a message in such quick measure. When he walked back through the doors his eyes looked wild but he was otherwise composed. “He won’t be back” was his only comment. Mattie said, “...boys today aren’t that protective over girls. I cannot imagine any of them being as protective as daddy was over you.” . She continued, “...and you know how daddy chased you until you finally went out with him? Boys don’t do that anymore, they don’t fight to get the good girl, they swipe right or left and settle on whatever’s easiest.” *GULP* The best, truest, most treasured things in life are never, ever “the easiest”. Is what Mattie said true? Has “easy” replaced quality control? Has the “getting” without any challenge led to the loss of a true and challenging, cannot live without you “match”? I thought about my OWN interactions with men of this new era and wondered what is it that has gone wrong on both sides? Warrior Women...Have we decided that phrase I detest “one of the boys” is for us? Dear Lord, to use a throw back phrase, press rewind if we have. Again, I love women. I am a woman’s woman. I never trust a girl who says, “I’m one of the boys”. Men might think this is “cute” but it’s not. It’s code for “I can’t get along with women” which should be a red flag. The ability to be a good friend and have good female friends is a telling skill. You don’t need a ton of same sex friends, but if you don’t have at least two who would absolutely DIE for you; the muck is squarely upon you. This personal inventory means YOU have not extended YOURSELF in a selfless way to be a friend to others. This is a repairable issue so if you see yourself in these words...go be a friend. It’s the greatest gift you give yourself. As a woman you are not one of the boys, you are one of us...choose to be a good member of our tribe! There’s not a thing a woman cannot do. I’ve had my feet to the fire four plus years and risen like a Phoenix from some pretty deep ashes without a net. I have been helped and mentored by wonderful women but also very enthusiastically and unwaveringly by amazing men. I love and admire the swagger of good men. I love the inherent vulnerability of these men. I adore old fashion work ethic, honesty, and integrity. I am also an enormous fan of chivalry; I love when a gentleman simply opens my door! This is where things get murky and perhaps off course with men and women’s expectations and experience today. We can all define for ourselves what matches respect in our life. Manners are my kryptonite; they make me melt. Of course I “can open the door myself” but I say, unashamedly, I find it lovely when a man extends me such courtesy. My warrior girls mirror what they have seen from me since birth. We all say, “you are a true gentleman” to anyone who holds the door or exhibits chivalrous respect. More and more this comment is met with a look of shock or reply in guarded joke about “chivalry not being dead”. This makes me sad. I obviously do not speak for all warrior women from Parts Unknown but I have a voice to begin this conversation. I am a woman who wants for my girls chivalry; not because they are helpless but because they are respected. I expect them to live up to this respect by exhibiting their graciousness. This is not a call to submission; it’s making a match. Every single time my late husband scraped the ice from my windshield or warmed my car *that always had a full tank of gas* I’d say, “you’re so big and strong.”. He’d laugh but his eyes said he loved it. We gave, we received, and we each, in a million different ways, simply gave thanks. It’s not stature that makes a man a warrior. This moniker is earned by the size of his heart and earnest desire to find a partner his equal. I could do all the things Warrior “did” for me, christ, I do them now, and then some. I just recognized as a man he found value in being a man by respecting the girls and me as Warrior Queens. Is that such a terrible thing? Warrior Women, if the match you want is a Warrior they have to be willing to sharpen weapons to win your hand and you must let them!! I’m not suggesting “games” be played. I’m saying it has always been a woman’s place in civilized society to set standards. There’s a lot of beautiful, divine female power in being the gateway as well as the gatekeeper. It’s not anti feminist IN ANY WAY to embrace your femininity. I imagine in any civilization, from the beginning of time, without a call to arms and victory of the fairest maiden’s hand, men become lazy in pursuit. Deny it all; correct me...I’m game, but by nature good men respect that which demands it. We from Parts Unknown are on a spectrum and as such live our OWN authentic truth. I’m not suggesting anything to ruffle feathers. I’m simply asking aloud as part of my own self reflection. I get a lot of #AskDana queries on finding an “ultimate match”. A match, by definition, is a reflection of one’s strengths and self awareness in seeking a perfect complement. Warrior Men, come out of hibernation. If you were raised to open a door, pull out a chair, call when you say you will, bring flowers, pay for the date, be faithful, expect in return your partner be true, BE THAT GUY!!! I’ve watched men I thought had it “together” choose women who didn’t simply because they didn’t want to be eclipsed. Ugh. That’s a sad, lonely reflection of one’s self. No Warrior becomes “more” by choosing “less”. My favorite men always say of their mate,”She is way out of my league.”. I think that is the most charming and endearing compliment of all!! Choose better, not easy. Want more. My faith of “more” was reaffirmed last week in the parking lot of my Santa Fe, NM Albertsons. I was pushing the basket with a case of favorite mineral water perched precariously on the bottom. I hit a bump and that Topo Chico crashed to the ground, slowed only slightly by my pointy shin bone and big toe. Glass broke, Bubbles flew, and I cursed until I saw flying across the parking lot a young man who recalled the spirit of my late husband’s run. He scooped up the case so I’d not cut myself on the bottle fragments and said with command belying his age, “if one of you will follow me back into the store I’ll get a new case.”. I was putting the other groceries into my trunk when I glanced up expecting to see Mattie with that new case. Instead I smiled at an entirely unexpected snapshot. Although Mattie is strong and perfectly capable of carrying far bigger and heavier boxes this young man didn’t want her to. That’s not taking power away; that’s being raised to respect the strength of women and match their strength with your OWN. I shook this young man’s hand and asked his name. As we pulled away I called the store to praise Brian; as an employee and chivalrous young man. I hung up and looked at my warrior girl with a wink saying, “look at that...there are still the rare ones willing to run.”. Let’s all be willing to run!!! I believe you will never have the partner you want without being that partner yourself. I believe you must bring your OWN authentic swagger, stride and strut to this dance called life. I believe you must be brave enough to seek a true match and not just ease. I believe the scariest thing in the world is being willing to open your heart to the possibility it might break. I believe a REAL WARRIOR takes the hand of another to twirl around the dance floor knowing life is too short for an empty dance card. I believe the language of love is universal and it’s anything but “easy”. I believe in the juxtaposition of vulnerability and strength and in the magic of nervously asking a potential perfect match for that very first dance...ALWAYS!! xo💜d  

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