Where’s the guy?
I had the pleasure of teaching a workshop for the Romance Writers of Australia last month (such a wonderful experience) and at one point a participant asked “when does the guy come in?” The more I thought about it, I realized, that is a really significant question. The Virgin’s journey is about knowing yourself and being yourself. That’s a lot of self. There doesn’t actually have to be a man. Gasp! But it is the love based world and more often than not there is someone to inspire the Virgin or to see her true self and create space for her in the kingdom out of love. The Hero plays a supporting role. There is an idea to turn your world upside down.
You could say that the Virgin plays the same role in the Hero story. People have actually complained about this for decades. The hero story, which dominates North American story telling, is all about the hero saving the day and the Virgin’s only role is to stand around being helpless. Often we boost the female role in the hero story by developing her plight or making her a heroine. Maybe the point is that a Hero story is about knowing you can push back fear and save the day, building your confidence as an individual in the world. The VIrgin story is about looking inside yourself and awakening to your unique gift and bringing it to the world. They are both individuating and are blessed with the support of their counterpart.
It is also possible to make the love interest a major driving force in the Virgin story. Sometimes the male character is also on a Virgin’s journey, which can be an interesting way to incorporate a love interest. Just having the guy in the story generates the world of love and makes it enjoyable.
Knowing yourself and brining your authentic self to life is a fundamental part of any relationship. Not doing this actually creates a compelling obstacle to love. A person has to have a connection to their authentic self before she can be recognized by her soulmate. Often we are so busy pleasing others, or trying to be the perfect version of what is desirable that we are disconnected from our unique way of being in the world. It makes it impossible to really connect with another person.
In other situations a person may have a connection to who they are but they don’t feel the boundary between themself and other people. This leads them to isolate themsleves in order to preserve themselves. Ironically when you own your boundaries you can afford to let people in more. She must love herself before she can love another.
And finally the Virgin has to actually get out of the house and into life before she has any chance of meeting love. Sometimes we are so disconnected from our intrinsic right to be happy and do things for ourself we spend all our energy in a supporting background role, servicing others.
So even though a VIrgin story is not about finding a life mate, it is about engaging in the love based world and taking up your power to be all that you can be. This journey is often supported by the love of another.