October 23, 2022

How to Choose a Lover: Advice from “Women who Run with the Wolves.”


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When I was in my late teens, my understanding of finding a mate or lover was jumbled with plenty of hormone surges.

My formula was: attractive, beddable, humorous, and wanted a solid relationship.

By 24, I was ready for the whole fairy tale that included a small but definitive bougie wedding, house purchase, children, and financial security. I fell in love with someone who made me laugh and locked it all down. Life had begun.

Mind you this was in the early 80s and people were coupling up much sooner than we do now. I don’t regret the trajectory at all; I was a young mother, which meant I headed quite early into new adventures once my daughters were on their own, off to college and Europe, straight out of secondary school.

According to my Catholic parents, the absolute heathen (their word) I had chosen for a soul mate was not ideal. The neighborhood tailor’s son who was studying to be a lawyer would have suited better, pardon the pun, but I was horny and this son-of-a-tailor wasn’t quite my fantasy lover. True story.

Looking back, I see how my aspirations, “formula,” and absolute lack of life experience—not to mention I had barely a clue about who I was either—was a recipe for impending disaster.

Here’s another way to do it:

“The way to maintain one’s connection to the wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want. This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the choice of mates and lovers. A lover cannot be chosen a la smorgasbord. A lover has to be chosen from soul-craving. To choose just because something mouthwatering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-self. And that is what the intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves

Now I wouldn’t say that I can really blame myself for knowing, or not knowing, what I was doing back then. We’re at where we’re at, and life unfolded just as it was meant to. However, with age and experience, I see that “what beckoned” was definitely my overarching mantra. Parts of it was my soul call I believe, predominantly for family and stability. Given my turbulent childhood, that was certainly a priority.

We expect a lot more from love now, and I have written quite a few articles and three books exploring, de-constructing, and romanticizing relationships.

If our soul call is for a partner who brings out our wild, our adventure, it may come through someone who beckoned—who’s also exploring that within themselves. Sometimes that is the person who helps us see exactly who we are through not matching us perfectly and who becomes a constant teacher. Soul call can also lead us through a less-than-straight path, as many of us have experienced.

I did have a soul hunger for particular things in my youth.

Intuition did lead me to my first love, and that is another longer story. But I certainly did smorgasbord for a while. The direct messenger of my soul at the time was a lot more silent than she is now.

Perhaps if we act from a little of both—soulful intuition and seeking—what beckons?

What do you think?


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