December 13, 2014:

What's the origin of my instinct to protect one woman?

I reject and am offended by culturally dominant stereotypes of gender roles. Men are not from Mars, women are not from Venus. Men and women are all from Earth, and anyone who imagines otherwise is doomed to a lifetime of miscommunication, failed relationships, and loneliness.

Yet I recognize the deep drive inside myself to shelter and protect my mate.

Is it a genetically-coded imperative to defend the child-bearers, in the way some male primates will fight and die to shield females from predators?

Is it an unconscious radar for dependency? - some insecure nerve-ending that needs a non-equal?

Is it my version of the Mirror Phase? - seeking someone who needs help and will help me in return?

Or is it ultimately the deepest definition of adulthood: to give, because I can?

Granted all motives are complex: multivalent, overdetermined. I believe my profoundest instinct is for partnership - the hope for reciprocity. To protect and be protected, to shelter and be sheltered, to support and be supported. Nesting, the way grownups of most mammalian species do. To build a home, after so much wandering.