I've been attempting to write a Science Fiction book for the last five years or so about a race of beings that have been living among humans undetected since humans have existed. The premise is that in order to prevent their race from becoming extinct, they create a human cross-breeding program that goes awry.
I've written five first drafts of the first ten chapters. I've tried telling the story in many ways and finally I figured out how I need to tell it. This epiphany came when I started reflecting on romantic relationships – what went wrong, what worked, and how to sustain them.
A good story needs chemistry to sustain the reader, just like a romantic relationship needs chemistry to maintain it. I started researching what to do when a romantic relationship has either lost its chemistry, or never really had it. I found a good article about what to do when you're in relationship with no chemistry, but it didn't really explain why it happens. Certainly there are some biological reasons why people have chemistry, but I wanted to additionally understand what causes a partner to continue to pursue someone from a psychological perspective.
I think fairytales hold a lot of insight into this phenomenon. The knight and his maiden are a perfect example of our biological and psychological needs in a relationship. I'm going to explain my thoughts using a heterosexual relationship as the basis, but it can be applied to homosexual ones if you apply it to dominant and submissive roles instead of gender.
The knight longs for someone to save; it's his purpose. The maiden longs for someone to save her. This storyline has been written in fairytales for centuries and it can be traced back to our beginnings when the cave men were the protectors and the females they rescued, their mates.
In modern times women have become self-sufficient, and this has changed the chemistry between the sexes significantly. What does a knight have to offer a maiden that doesn't need to be rescued? This is where things break down psychologically and goes against our ancestral programming and basic biological makeup.
Because the maiden doesn't need to be rescued, the knight becomes complacent, depressed, and resentful. This is where the term "chivalry is dead" comes into play. The maiden still wants to be rescued but can't show it, because that would make her vulnerable. The maiden needs to be vulnerable so she can attract the knight to come to her aid. She becomes exhausted constantly having to save herself, and unable to ask for help. She becomes bitter, resentful, and cruel. This is is what is happening to us psychologically, but perhaps on a subconscious level.
Ladies we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to attract the right partner. It means understanding that our romantic partner will need to have meaningful work within our relationship to keep him satisfied. It doesn't mean not being strong, but perhaps finding strength in our vulnerability. Being receptive to his outstretched hand instead of insisting we do everything ourselves.
Gentlemen we need you to look for ways to rescue us, too. We don't want to do it all. We want your help. It doesn't mean dominating us, but continuing to see us as in need of your loving support and tenderness.