Femininity “touches” man’s virility; masculinity, in its turn, “excites” woman’s femininity. What is manhood? One might say: it is a way of being of the man that is disappearing. What is femininity? One might say: that behavior of women that feminism has adulterated, polluted and sometimes made to disappear.
Virility is a set of qualities, attitudes, and behaviors that cannot be defined. It is courage, resolution, touchiness, sincerity that has a cost, strong religiosity, ability to listen, beauty, mystery, generosity, and rationality.
Femininity is a set of qualities, attitudes, and behaviors that constitute women’s womanhood. It is beauty, delicacy, finesse, intuition, ability to prevent, harmony, refined sentiments, silent communication, ability to take care of everything, feelings, intense religiosity.
The appearance of a woman full of femininity shakes the man who is full of virility and the other way around. At the level of a crush, which blooms in adolescence, strengthens and matures in youth, and overcomes aging if preserved and cultivated; yet, it is lower in those who defile it. Its function is to distance the teenager from himself, no deep bonds are born between the partners.
It is the next step with respect to the physiological level: emotional involvement comes into play here. It is the discovery of the beauty and charm of the other. The woman strikes, excites the man, and the other way around: the person is pushed to break away from him/herself, as the beloved is recognized other than the Self.
The meaning of the erotic stage is not the one given to pornography, which indicates the degradation of humanity; in this case, the two feel shaken by something beautiful and attractive, in mutual respect. The so-called crush happens, the person becomes like the other’s prisoner. The desire to be liked by the beloved to obtain their affection and esteem. At this stage, the utilitarian dimension, like the physiological, is no longer the dominant; the partner is no longer merely a tool to be used. What matter is to receive affection. The aim of giving is to receive and tension may weaken a person’s inner freedom and strain towards values. The two complement each other; each one needs the other. This level alone is not enough, it must evolve.
When there is a crush, there are many dangers that may prevent the subject from meeting the other’s self, but they remain moved, fascinated, caught, and you have to wait for the crush to pass, for the two of them to become part of a conscious relationship, conscious and rational, and then begin to build something.
We might say that this level corresponds to Erikson’s fifth developmental stage, because it touches the issue of identity and inner journey to become fully ourselves. What are the elements that help us to move from the initial fascination to a journey of learning to know each other, that is, from a crash to a love relationship? Father Benzi offers some advice to those who want to build love:
- you must not be worried about keeping the other next to you, because when you are full of concern of losing the other, it is easy not to be sincere, you enter a state of anxiety that distorts the simplicity of the relationship;
- if the Lord calls you, certainly you will go forward with him or her, but it could be also something else;
- be honest and straightforward, show yourself for who you are, without wearing masks to be acceptable to the other;
- take care of yourself, but do not be concerned about outward beauty too much, every person has their own beauty, God cannot have created bad things;
- be full of charity care, sincerity, but not in order to please the other, because this way you sell yourself, you prostitute yourself, but because God calls you to be a complete, perfect, and full person;
- “be perfect like your Father in heaven” (Mt 5, 48); take this opportunity to work more inside yourself, to build yourself better, to be all good without evil, it is a step closer to sainthood;
- the essential condition is not to worry about the way you appear, but to be more and more yourself, in inner growth, in great freedom and simplicity, not to keep him or her, but because this is the right thing to do, it is an opportunity to explode in life.
Thus the other will feel free. In fact, when the partner feels possessed, as it were, and feels that you are afraid of losing them, it is precisely when your fears come true. Of course, it is understandable that this fear may exist, especially in the first steps towards love, but it does not determine actions and choices, which must be guided by authenticity.