To the Women with the Wild Ones. ~ Hannah Brantley

Via Hannah Brantley on Mar 17, 2014

couple underwater

He will not always romance you, like they tell him to in movies.

He knows there are more important things. Things that he must focus on to be happy, so you will be happy. He has obsessions, passions, pursuits. You used to be his obsession, passion, pursuit. Then he caught you, and you thought he would keep pursuing you. Happily ever after.

He is not cheesy or corny with his words. He tells you things how they are. He tells you about things in yourself that need help, tweaking, and you cry because he is supposed to tell you that you are beautiful and perfect and a princess. He is supposed to buy you flowers, maybe chocolate, and tickets to Garth Brooks.

But when he tells you that you are radiant or kind, you know that no other words have burned with such sincerity.

He sends you articles about NASA and fire ants, and whatever else he finds interesting because he wants to better you and share himself in this way. He wants you to grow and learn alongside him. This is how he romances. Flowers are good and nice, but flowers die and chocolates are temporary. His wanting you to learn and be a better human woos you and wrings you.

And you think he is too hard on you. That he needs to be softer, gentler, because you are female and he is male. You think you deserve unending, undying love, caresses, attention.

But you are female: Woman. Why are you putting aside your dreams and pursuits for him, when there is a greater good?

Love and relationships are duality—never oneness.

He is wild. He will retreat and bend and sweat over things you don’t understand. He will not glance up when you walk in the room, though you have put on his favorite dress and tied up your hair.

You will stand in the doorway, leaning against the wooden frame, gazing at your lover so hopelessly lost in his other loves.

And if you are strong (which we all are not), you will smile and become full of his passion and fervency.

And if you are weak (which we all are not), a tear might slip down your cheek, onto your blue dress with the pearl-snap buttons, and you will so desperately want his fiery ambition to be released into you.

There is a part of him that you cannot have. It is his, and because it is his, you must have yours.

The part of your soul that is known, loved and accepted by you, and you alone. The spark, curiosity, life, and fire. Feed your unquenchable thirst with what touches your being with that delicate flame. You will find excuses and laundry will always seems more important, but it never is.

Never expect him to be whipped. He will never be at your beck and call. Remember, you are woman, and you can handle him, but you must never tame him.

Why were you attracted to him in the beginning? It is the same wildness. And it has hurt you so, but you must remember, if you are wise, you cultivate the same untamable nature, thrusting it into what you find good and worthy and authentic.

Be intuitive about how he loves you, not how you want to be loved. We are inclined to love others how we like to be loved. Find out how he is loved, and do so. Ask of him the same. His love may never be clear and smooth like glass. But his eyes will tell you, his touch will scream to you, and his tickles will lecture you of his love. You will doubt it, because that is not the way it happened when you went to go see the man and the woman fall in love on the screen.

Your love is not sensationalized, but real and raw and roughly hewn.

Be strong and delighted in someone so rare, understanding that conventional relationship advice may perhaps poison a bond so unique. Gather and contemplate what you value most. If it is yourself, dump him and find someone who thinks the same. You will probably end up eating frozen casseroles for dinner every night.

He should not think you are the utmost, the goal, the prize. He will lose himself. Do what you must to live simply and extraordinarily. You are his partner in crime and in good.

Unstoppable simpatico.

Fierce duality.

If you do what you do best, and come together and share those experiences, the richness and fulfillment surpasses the flowers, the notes, the chocolate, the words. Feel his very being; don’t let the mundane and unspoken words clash with how you feel things should be. Things should never be a certain way. They, like us, change.

We are sloppy, human, imperfect. There are those of us who were not made to feel like a princess, but a warrior. We are with the wild ones, and indeed, ourselves, are untamed.


Relephant reads:

All Good Things are Wild & Free. 

10 Things I Find Sexy in a Man (that Aren’t All About Sex).

How to Love a Girl Who Doesn’t Know How to Be Loved.


Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

     Editor: Jenna Penelle Lyons

     Photo: Pinterest 

About Hannah Brantley

Hannah Brantley is a personal chef and student of holistic health. She has a fascination for the compatibility of food, philosophy and aesthetics. She lives in Denver and can be found drinking coffee at any given time when she is not sleeping. Her other hobbies include swinging at the park, food styling, book clubs, and eating breakfast. You can connect with her via Instagram or Twitter (@hannah_brantley).


37 Responses to “To the Women with the Wild Ones. ~ Hannah Brantley”

  1. Debbie Lynn says:

    LOVE THIS !!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Elien says:

    God how I love this! Perfect words I wish I had written… 😉

  3. Hannah says:

    Absolutely, beautifully, amazing.

  4. Kenny says:

    Sigh. Romantic. Sweet, but fantasy. And unfortunately many vulnerable woman take these writings as somehow illustrative of actual relationships.

    As a psychologist who’s been married for 25+ years! I’d venture to say that almost none (including this writer) – if any – have been in a relationship of 10 years or more, most not even of 5 years.

    These sentiments have nothing to do with the love, compassion and wisdom generated in healthy intimate relationships, and present an ideal (?!!) that is counter to relationships of genuine love and meaning.

    • Bhagavati says:

      There seems to be a profound misunderstanding about what makes a relationship valuable. You seem to value most the period of time a couple is together.

      The writer values something entirely different that, as far as I understand it, may not even have to do with *relationship* in the classic sense – yet is a bond nonetheless.

      But that may be just my own personally filtered (mis)interpretation of the article.

    • Helmut says:

      Hi, as a psychologist you are probably familiar with David Schnarch's book 'Passionate Marriage', the relationship bible in my eyes. This article boils down David's main point of creating/sustaining a healthy relationship: Differentiation. Two people working on their own happiness, passion, love first and so create happiness, passion, love in their relationship.

  5. Frank says:

    I can see nothing of "fantasy" here; it seems to me Kenny missed the major themes the author covers…while also exposing himself as one of the people the she'd be wary of taking advice from. The post isn't about romance (quite the contrary), it just happens to to be written whimsically, and I believe Kenny misunderstood this for the former.

  6. missmolly72 says:

    I needed this, thank you. Very timely.

  7. Claire says:

    Nice way to spin it…..It seems like this article justifies/rationalizes 'settling' in a relationship :(

    • Pulseguy says:

      Never settle, Claire. I'm with you. Continue to move from relationship to relationship. Seriously! Sooner or later Brad Pitt will find you irresistibly attractive and be able to read your every thought and emotion, and then fulfill your every wish. What could be better. And, it is inevitable. And, as the decades roll on, just remember, sooner or later you will get everything you need and want.

      • AnotherWildOne says:

        This made me chuckle. Oh the fantastical romantic ideals that we hold…how far removed from reality and that is exactly where we fail.

  8. vitalbeing says:

    Oh this was just lovely. Thank you!

  9. omnidk says:

    An honorable dose of realness :) never mind the comment about settling, to settle down is to build solid.

    This sentence is worthy of immortalization: "Things should never be a certain way." (idealism is a futile trap)

    In all the folly of the modern movements, it's good to see some true heart and solid connection.

  10. @AliciaSoret says:

    I really really love this. :) Thank you! I have a wild one, and we are going on 8 years this year. Stronger than ever. #love #dali

  11. Kristen says:

    There is a great deal of difference between intimacy and physical proximity. One doesn’t have to be with someone every waking moment in order to know that they share a close, communicative, emotionally transformative relationship. I think some people assume that it isn’t love unless you want to spend every second of the day together, and that if you don’t, then the relationship isn’t real or deep. Every relationship is different and true love is made, not happened upon.

  12. Aura says:

    I agree on a lot of things in this article, but to be honest I feel annoyed( trying no to feel this way:):) but this is just another variation of then media ( flowers, chocolate …) article to tell me how I should love… here is so much -''do this , don't do that, think this then don't think that….'' are you an expert? …. anyway , thanks for sharing! Peace!!!!:):)

  13. Regina says:

    These are the kind of thoughts that kept me in a very unhealthy relationship for years, and I hope any young women happening to read this do not for a second take these kind of ideas as realistic. Because believe me, it isn't.

    "He is wild. He will retreat and bend and sweat over things you don’t understand. He will not glance up when you walk in the room, though you have put on his favorite dress and tied up your hair.
    You will stand in the doorway, leaning against the wooden frame, gazing at your lover so hopelessly lost in his other loves.
    And if you are strong (which we all are not), you will smile and become full of his passion and fervency."

    If dude ignores you when you are putting in effort for him, then he is AN ASSHOLE, PERIOD.

    It is certainly not "strength" to ignore your own needs and try to change who you are for him.

    "Be strong and delighted in someone so rare, understanding that conventional relationship advice may perhaps poison a bond so unique."

    Don't take advice from the older and the wiser? When someone with a lot more life experience than you is like HEY BY THE WAY THIS GUY IS A TOTAL LOSER, you should probably take that into consideration.

    As in all things, balance is important. I just feel like the title of this ill-conceived "advice" should be "How to Convince Yourself You are Happy Being Devalued in a Relationship." Which is what I tried to do for a long time, and I certainly did find my partner "lost in his other loves" which, namely, was getting laid on the side. Of course it's a good thing to have independent interests, but never at the expense of one partner feeling like their needs aren't being met. It's just bullshit to see so positive a spin put on such unhealthy behavior as a woman (OR a man) being called "weak" because they expect some sort of recognition or appreciation from their partner.

    This article was linked from another article about "loving wild women," a less offensive but still unrealistic piece of masturbatory relationship nonsense – No matter which gender dynamic we are talking about, if it doesn't feel healthy for you, it isn't.

    I have never in my life left a comment on an internet article, much less a negative one, but this hit so close to home that I couldn't' keep quiet. My outrage comes from thinking someone less experienced would take this thing to heart and waste years of their life, as I did, from this sort of thinking. I thought the EXACT same things in my past. Spoiler Alert: I was in an emotionally abusive relationship.

    I am sure, as with everything, that this kind of dynamic would work for some people. But to give the impression that if you are "weak" because you feel like crying due to your partner's behavior and that that is somehow the "wrong" way to go about looking at the situation is shockingly irresponsible. I can see how you might conceivably have been trying to empower women, but in that case this article is just poorly written.

    To the author of this article, or to the website that published it, I mean no attack on personal character. But I do seriously beg you to take this article down.

    • Cathleen says:

      Regina, I agree with you wholeheartedly and was trying to formulate the words, I wouldn't change a thing about yours, so just say Well Done!

    • Natalie says:

      I have to disagree with you. While I can see where you are coming from, there are passionate, sometimes oblivious men with less than perfect relationship skills who are nonetheless loving and well-intentioned. "If dude ignores you when you are putting in effort for him, then he" may just be a man who is caught up in something at that moment. Have we not all experienced this? It happens. Give him a break. It's obvious this struck a personal chord with you, but I am in a relationship like this, and I am not being abused. There are times when he is hard on me, and there are times when he cherishes me. And it's similar with me. I project on him. I punish him. I am hard on him. Neither of us is perfect. And ALWAYS I see him trying his best to be a good man and a good partner. Maybe he fails sometimes, but don't we all.

    • Pati says:

      Regina, I didn't realize how much I needed to read your comment until I did. Thank you. Simply put, if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. No need to idealize it or add meaning to feeling unappreciated. If he is my Prince, i NEED to be the Princess.

    • Ellie says:

      Thank you, Regina! That was exactly how I was feeling, but like another commenter, I couldn't find the right words.

    • Nancy Darkes-Stiles says:

      I was in this relationship for 19 years..then he passed from cancer… I will made me totally independent..which is a great thing …but all that I think of ate the years I wasted being with a man who I always came secondary to..,but like I said .. I was used to never getting flowers or attention..Si I did learn a huge life lesson anyway and will never be overwhelmed by knowing how to do everything…but I am already used to the loneliness if that’s a plus… I actually prefer to be alone …not actually be alone but live alone ..that is what that kind of man did for me…

  14. Amy E says:

    The world is a rough, tough place. Shouldn't your partner and your home be an oasis, apart from the abrupt harshness of reality?

  15. Smaro D. says:

    I don't want any man to fix me or make me a better person. I want my man to love me for who i am and be there for me and stand next to me.If I want to be a better person i do it myself, it is not his job. Don't confuse love with manipulation and patronising. And acceptance should be both ways. Apologize for my english :)

  16. Disbelieving says:

    Seriously, ladies, Peter Pan boys (of all ages) are fun for a fling, and that’s why you were attracted. But please be careful not to hand your heart to a man who doesn’t want a serious relationship involving real intimacy, unless you want exactly this kind of treatment. (And if you do, possibly consider therapy.)

    The problem with this article is that it ignores, or the author has not yet experienced, the flip side of being with “that guy.” It’s being left waiting on the street or in a restaurant or ————– (fill in the blank) when he forgets, or just can’t get it together to meet you when he said he would. It’s standing by being ignored while he chats up someone that catches his attention. And I don’t mean a normal conversation with someone else that can also include you because you’re a part of things and you, too, have a valid voice, I mean the kind where you’re shut entirely out and any attempt to join in is turned upon you if you are some insignificant insect who is rudely butting in, and when you resent that, becomes an accusation of jealousy. It’s being constantly shown – not told – that would be too direct – but full-on-passive-aggressively shown – that he has plenty of other ladies who are more than willing to hang with him, and more, so don’t complain or he’ll be delighted to go hang, or more, with them instead.

    I had to actually resist the urge to gag while reading through this, because I once dated a confirmed musician, a guy very attached to the idea that as a musician he couldn’t have the love that he wanted because he had to be that kind of guy. And believe me, he wanted love. He suffered because he couldn’t allow himself to go with it or trust another person enough to show them the inside of his convoluted world. But nobody with a fully developed sense of dignity would allow themselves to be treated that way. And now, I can’t even be his friend, which is what I really wanted to be in the first place before getting sucked in by a full-on initial attack of courting and charm that withered and died when we really started getting to know each other. I just can’t bear to be around someone who has treated me that way. SO sad.

    (Don’t get too excited, I’m not tarring all musicians with the same brush – only the ones who think they must be such bad boys because they play an instrument, or sing, or even work with a band.)

    But it’s even sadder when these guys take women down with them, women who may not yet have full grasp of their own power and worth. It’s a lesson lots of women may learn the hard way. I hope at least a few read my words and those of the other commentators who had sensible things to say about this article, and spare themselves the pain.

  17. Anonny says:

    I know what kind of guy she's talking about. Maybe you have to have met one who innocently acts in the exact way she described, and in that case you just know that he's just like that. I have and it's amazingly frustrating if you don't come to terms with viewing love/affection from his perspective. You want the words, but he generally stays away from expressing emotion because he's just not a very outwardly feely, demonstrative guy. Now I do feel somewhat ashamed for being disillusioned by the movies; guilty as charged. Perhaps if you're just looking for affirmation of his feelings, try open communication and just ask/voice your concerns.

    Feeling sorry for yourself and thinking that it's not enough isn't the right approach. I am in agreement with the author's sentiment. A relationship is about give and take, and if the guy is a "Wild One", the woman can't realistically expect the attention she might have gotten from a more naturally "affectionate" man.

    If you know about MBTI types, what came to my mind while reading this was the INTP male. If you're looking for "stronger" displays of affection, that is, displays of affection deemed by society to be meaningful (like flowers, chocolate, and frequent words of love), search for an SF or maybe even NF type. They're much more common anyways.

  18. Anonny says:

    I know what kind of guy she's talking about. Maybe you have to have met one who innocently acts in the exact way she described, and in that case you just know that he's just like that. I have and it's amazingly frustrating if you don't come to terms with viewing love/affection from his perspective. You want the words, but he generally stays away from expressing emotion because he's just not a very outwardly feely, demonstrative guy. Now I do feel somewhat ashamed for being disillusioned by the movies

  19. elizabeth says:

    love what Regina said. I was also in this kind of "relationship" It's almost iike you're not even in one, because only one wants to actually relate. I can't even believe this horseshit was published here

  20. mollyg912 says:

    So much yes, thank you for this.

  21. CA Walters says:

    I am that man. I love with deep passion, fiercly loving my woman, deep from my soul, but that same passion burns for other things as well. I have wanted to grow with my lover, not surpass her and leave her bewildered wondering where I went… she was the flame that always brought our love back in focus. She didn't understand the nature of a warrior or a Wildman, sadly. You can't alter the nature of someone who is driven, but you can enjoy more passion than some soft joe would give, even if its passion that's spread along the path of life and not solely focused on her. Her desire for all the Wildmans passion will only kill what she loves about him if he focuses only on her. Then the love of both will die, I know, because that's what happened to my lover and I. As far as people, I only had eyes for her, but the other things that drew my attention away were more than she could handle.
    The story wasn't about an abusive relationship but was a lesson in recognizing that the love is still there even when the focus is divided.

  22. Sandwich Shoppe says:

    Keep watching, keep learning, keep writing, keep loving, keep feeling. Never stop. Positively brilliant.

  23. Nancy says:

    While reading this article I couldn't help but think of the relationship I am in now. He doesn't look at me, he feels that he's the man and no woman has the right to tame him. I used to stand by the doorway looking at him lovingly. Then I woke up. It is NOT selfish, it is not ALL about me, to want to be looked at , to want him to gaze lovingly at me. It's human nature. Appreciate that he is untamed? I don't appreciate that he cheated on me and in his words "I have a right to see whom I would like because I am a man". Bullshit. Whipped? A real man respects a woman, gives attention to a woman, if married to her puts her above all others. That's not whipped. That is a good, healthy, loving, human being. I'd like to save this article for my daughter to read when she's older. Hopefully she will have learned what is equal in a relationship, that it will take work-by both and that no it's not all candy and flowers. This article will tell her how some women are
    Willing to give up there wants and needs so the man they adore can stay "wild". Sure she'll learn to do for herself-she'll have to-he doesn't see her. Please, both men and women, love each other by showing it and saying it -just because he tickles you-doesn't mean he loves you. Unless, of course, your a mind reader. A man who doesn't bother to look up at you when you enter a room-couldn't be bothered period.

  24. Kevin says:

    This is one style of relationship, and like others has its potential pitfalls. All types of relationships can be performed poorly. This style of relationship might work for you, it might now. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. Don’t abuse yourself or let yourself be abused, if you can help it. Find a relationship that works for you. I like the type of relationship the author describes. I also don’t want to abuse anyone. I will only partner with someone if they also maintain a high level of independent passion, because that way I know they will understand this part of myself and will not abuse themselves resenting my way of loving.

    Find what works for you.

  25. dupajasiu says:

    Relationship is a verb. As most facts are. The meaning of it is being the means, one other more even though unlike anything. Enjoying it might be a side effect. As well as not. Have a bite and say to yourself if you like it. Then kindly give everyone a break and proceed per your liking. There is no issue here to discuss whatsoever.

    It is educating to read what you are all thinking about being (together), yet scarry; makes me silently scream in repulsion and perverse amusement of your (and my own) shortsightedness. As any depiction which appears (to me) to be close to facts this all is just an ugly abomination. I’m adding my share of taint here too, sadly. Man, are we destined to fail to say what cannot be, and trying to we can only spoil it. Please don’t.

  26. Allie Seymour says:

    This article, just like any other, is trying to make a point. Loving a wild man, a man who is his own first and foremost before anyone else’s, can be the most rewarding as well as difficult type of love. It’s a balance, it’s okay if he doesn’t notice your dress because he’s writing his novel and right now that novel is the most important thing. You will not always be the most important aspect of his life. And he should not always be the most important aspect of yours. Being your own best friend and loving yourself is key and essential in any relationship. We’ve been convinced to believe that to love someone means to give yourself up fully to another human being, for it to be true it must be unconditional and undying. This false idea of love is simply a fantasy, and it’s so because it would be rather easy to never have to love yourself, to instead have someone love all of your ugly bits for you. To have someone else accept them so you feel you don’t have to change them. This is not reality, and this is not what a relationship is about. The most beautiful and fulfilling relationships are those that challange yourself. The author isn’t saying that the wild one’s can’t love you deeply and passionately, they can, and they will, and when they do, it will be real and authentic. These men are the men that will wake up at six in the morning and go get your car for you so you don’t have to walk in the rain. These men are selfish, which is beautiful. Because we should all be selfish. To some extent. It’s a balance and it’s hard and scary to admit that maybe the person you’re with won’t always put you first. But it’s beautiful and rewarding and it’s going to force yourself to cultivate your own existence, instead of existing within someone else.

  27. Tonia says:


    He works offshore now and since working offshore, it has hardened him in a way. Before working offshore and sleeping in the same bed at night, he was quick to call me beautiful often and put his arms around me. He would tell me I looked nice or would pay me some kind of compliment. He would sit beside me even though we had a couch and love seat in our apartment. Then he started working offshore and he became more distant, I don’t know if it is because he is gone 2/3 of the year now and he kind of emotionally shut down because he misses his family when he’s out there, and he can’t quite turn that all the way back on when he’s home for a week at a time every 3rd week. It could be the way all of the men talk about women while out there (I’ve heard PLENTY of stories from him how they talk about women, I know he wouldn’t talk about women to that degree, but I believe their words get to him) I don’t know. I just know he is more hardened than he used to be. That being said, I know he doesn’t love me any less than before, I know he’s never cheated and never will. I know he loves me more than what he did years ago before he started working offshore. He just can’t show it and tell me like he used to. Now it’s kind of forced. And honeslty I think it’s a mental block, having to be gone and in one mindset and come home and have a totally different mind set and the coping between them. He works his ass off for our family, as do I, he just makes the most money between the 2 of us. We have a nice house and furniture, decent vehicles……..I work 40+ hours the one week he’s home…..and this article describes my husband. I don’t want to change who he is, and I know romance doesn’t exist in the romance book sense (that’s why I read and watch fantasy/scifi) I know the real romantics don’t exist and I have come to terms with that, the only thing I would change is….to be softer when he is home to me and our 10 year old daughter. To look up, to pay attention, to say the words I want to hear from your lips. Because you’re only home 1/3 of the year and I work most of those days.

    But being this hardened person doesn’t mean the man doesn’t love you to the extent of his abilities. I believe when a man is like this, he’s been through hell in his life, he’s going through a hell you aren’t aware of, or he can’t cope with something. Or maybe a little bit of all of the above. But it doesn’t mean there is no love.

Leave a Reply