The Problem with the Pedestal (New Weekly Romance Series)
Updated: May 16, 2019
Hello and welcome back to our mid-week blog post!
Today I am reporting in from the parking lot of our county jail and courthouse. Am I being arraigned? No... just waiting for my husband to finish up with some court appearances for work. After this, we're going to be on our way to the city for a lunch with my Grandfather. I always say "it's the simple joys," and today, I truly feel that. These kind of days are my FAVORITE: food, family, and quiet drives.
So before he comes back, I thought I would pop onto the blog to let you know that it's time for a new series! I get a lot of questions about relationships and men. I don't have time to answer every Direct Message in detail, so I thought I would aim my energy towards some blog posts that hundreds of people can read instead of just one person.
So the new series? ALL ABOUT ROMANCE! We're talking relationships, love, men, dating, and so much more. For the next few weeks, we're going to be downloading all the juicy bits and pieces of my perspective on relationships.
So to kick things off, I wanted to talk about an issue that I have experience with: the pedestal, love triangles, and why your relationship might have a "power imbalance."
Let's begin by talking about "The Pedestal."
So what is the pedestal? This phenomenon happens when one partner idolizes the other person so much that they create an unequal dynamic. One person holds all the cards while the other person is scrambling around trying to win, attain, or keep the affection of their "idol."
In contrast, a healthy relationship is one where both partners can stand up for themselves, express their issues, and challenge the other person. There is no "walking on eggshells." Instead, these people have mutual trust, security, and attraction, built upon a foundation of equal levels of interest and respect. You don't have to constantly wonder if he's losing interest... and you don't have to wonder why your partner's constant dependence is starting to bother you.
Too many of us have found ourselves waving hello to our unattainable, unavailable, and uninterested crush swinging their feet and enjoying the view from the pedestal WE built.
In contrast, the woman on a pedestal is a woman who cannot be disagreed with. This inevitably causes irreparable harm to her relationships, not just with the man who put her on the pedestal, but also with her friends, family, and adult children. Any time someone steps out on her and disagrees, they will be met with scorn, control, and complete frustration.
Do not let this be you.
If you dislike a man because he is willing to disagree with you... that's a problem. If he's cruel, abusive, or rude in the way he disagrees, now that's fine to step away, but if you find yourself in relationships where it is intolerable to have someone disagree with you, then I sincerely urge you to reevaluate your priorities and think about true equality in relationships.
There is something incredibly attractive about a man who is willing to CHALLENGE you. Now of course, there is a difference between a man challenging you and a man abusing you: one is complete domination, while the other is the act of meeting an equal opponent in the ring. Marriage should be about two equal partners, joining together with mutual respect and admiration, and even mutual accountability, where some challenge and conflict is welcome.
The pedestal is a curse in disguise. It may seem like the ultimate power and excitement to have a man fawn at your feet, but in reality, this dynamic will only result in the creation of a tyrant and the ultimate demise of your ability to handle criticism, conflict, or a challenging opponent.
Now, let's flip it around: if you're always interested in men who are uninterested in you, you might have deeper issues. When we seek out these types of relationships, despite their failure-pattern, it's often to "make up for" a lost relationship with an unavailable or disinterested parent.
Many of us fall into the trap of modeling our romantic relationships after the familiar childhood dynamic of always trying to win someone's approval. We are comfortable within unequal dynamics where one person is more invested in the relationship than the other person. This can often leave you exhausted, worn out, and questioning why it seems like you always love your partner more than they love you. OR, you could find yourself constantly fawning over men who never even give you the time of day in the first place!
Now, this isn't because all men are trash. It's because you're choosing a trashy dynamic that puts you in the WEAK spot.
The pedestal often allows unhealthy people to THRIVE. They get to have someone at their fingertips to fully take advantage of. This is where we see men abusing their wives, and girlfriends openly cheating on their boyfriends. But we also need to remember that not everyone on a pedestal is a bad person; sometimes we enable people by refusing to challenge them, upset them, or do anything that might mean they would take their affection away from us.
But regardless of whether the person on the pedestal is a habitual abuser, or just a normal person growing too big for their britches, those relationships are a bad idea. If you're constantly dating people like this, it might be a sign that you value the unattainable, the uninterested, and the unavailable.
Have you ever asked, "why isn't that unattainable guy interested in you?" Is it because you're not as pretty as the other girl? Probably not.
It all has to do with your perception of yourself in relation to your crush. If you treat them like they're unattainable, they can SENSE that. If you would do anything, drop anything, and give over your time for anything they need, they can sense that. Now it's not wrong to be helpful, loving, and available, but if you're the only one doing those things in a dynamic, it's time to reevaluate.
Have you ever wondered why your undying crush only started liking you back once you were taken by someone else?
It's because they realized that they were no longer on your PEDESTAL. People don't like to date and marry people who idolize them because there is no respect there. Once you move on in your life, perhaps enter a different relationship, that person you idolized might come running because they know they have lost your affection.
You see, when we idolize people, they can intrinsically sense it, and quite often they will take advantage of this unrequited affection. They know that they can push us and hurt us, and we will still be there for them. This is why putting your boyfriend on a pedestal might result in him mistreating you, and you unable to leave.
But for those of us who want to finally have a good relationship built on mutual trust and security, it might be time to look for a partner that we can equally respect, admire, and challenge.
The pedestal doesn't work if you're the one on it, or if you're the one who built it.
Now, I'm not a Sex and the City viewer, but even I know that Mr. Big was able to pull Carrie along for so long because she idolized him. She wanted his affection more than anything, and would compromise everything to get it.
Unfortunately for Carrie, Big knew this and took advantage of her.
Don't do that. If you feel like a guy is too good for you, then stay away and focus on being around people who bring out the best in you and who make you feel comfortable. Don't replicate the unhealthy dynamics from your childhood.
Remember; the pedestal is very different from unconditional love. Unconditional love is when someone accepts you, challenges you, stands up FOR you, and stands up AGAINST you. That love has your best interests at heart and is truly a beautiful thing.
Be mindful of this, or just like Carrie, you might find years of your life disappear as you wait for that unattainable man to reenter your life and swoop you up.
The issue here is the pedestal in general, whether you put your boyfriend on it, or whether you want to climb up on it: it's not good. It's just not healthy for one person to hold all the cards in a relationship, able to get away with any behavior and to have no standards from the other person.
Choose dynamics filled with mutual respect, appreciation, and even admiration. My husband clearly admires me and loves me, but he does not idolize me. Just yesterday he challenged my attitude on something, and it was a little surprising, but I appreciate it because it keeps my attitude in check. He is able to be tender, caring, encouraging, and loving, while also not being afraid to tease me, call me out on my bad attitudes and problems, and challenge me.
I wish this for all of you, and I hope you can reevaluate your life. Do you seek out unequal relationships? Do you build pedestals for men? Are you sitting on one yourself?
So many questions to ask. I hope you enjoyed this read and enjoy your evening my loves.