Some of this is that I grew up in a household that was non-traditional in some ways. Yes, I grew up in a family with a mother and a father, 2 kids, a dog and a cat. However, my mother was not a typical woman. She was uber intelligent, strong-willed, and was intensely the head of household. The rest of us lived in her world. My father treated my mother as an equal with respect and admiration. Everyone had privacy and free reign to live their lives as they saw fit.
This situation is contrary to what I have experienced in heterosexual relationships I've been in. My main lesson here is that love does not imply ownership. How do you get someone to leave you alone in a club? The most effective is to say "I have a boyfriend," It means I'm taken. This language implies that you are owned by a man. Most of the time I have found that when someone says, "I love you," what they are actually saying is, "I want you to need me," or "I want to own and keep you as part of my world." Yet, what is also implied with this language is that the woman is to fit within his world and accommodate him as a kept entity within those confines, but he does not also want to bend, change, and develop in ways that will equally fit within her world. The patriarchal tradition of the woman changing her name is a good example of this idea.
It's a slippery slope, giving up things. You have to decide where is too much? One night of not enough sleep? A little too much out of this or that budget? Getting your feelings hurt? Where does it end?
I'm a person with varying tastes. I enjoy a lot of experiences. I can enjoy things I have in common with someone and therefore am pretty flexible and accommodating. However, when I get to places where I cannot compromise, since I jive well with so many other phenomenon, it is seen as a rejection and a lack of commitment. In a way it is as if part of my world does not fully fit within someone else's. Imagine a Venn diagram here. There are plenty of overlapping areas, yet, my world/personality cannot be subsumed into someone else's. I'm completely okay with maintaining my personality, friends and interests that vary from someone else's. However, that doesn't seem to be acceptable in a heterosexual relationship.
The goddess Artemis is called the Virgin Huntress. Virgin in this context is not one who has not had sex, but a woman who is not owned by a man. She is beholden to no man. Can I maintain full individuality and person-hood and also experience relationship? Is conjunctio only possible by the losing of one's self-hood to the will of another? Can it be a joint effort like the concerted efforts of a canoe or tandem bicycle rather than a 2 headed monster joined at the hip?
Lilith wanted joining her way. She wanted to be on top at times. She had desires and she communicated them. Adam couldn't handle this other creature so God made him a new partner that was created from his rib. Eve was made as a small part of Adam rather than as a separate person. In this way I am a child of Lilith. I demand better and refuse to lose my self-hood to be subsumed by a man's world. I say this unapologetically.
What do I want from romantic love? Someone to chat with over coffee, and hug at night. Someone to share my pondering with on the great mysteries of life. Someone to help each other be healthy and be successful. Someone who sees me and knows me and can say when I'm not myself. I don't want someone to create an "us against the world" attitude with, but I joining of forces and power, life energy---an amalgamation and synthesis that creates a new 3rd force to send out into the world.
It's time for me to read All About Love by Bell Hooks again.