My dad asked me a little while ago what animal archetype I thought he was. I told him I really couldn’t answer that because I obviously don’t know him in a romantic sense but that I suspected he was a cave bear. My dad is the type that requires a lot of alone time or “me time” as he has always called it. He really can’t function without at least a few hours of solitude each and every day. He and my mum have also been forced to spend a lot of time apart over the years because of his work that often has him traveling out of state or country for many months on end. I know he struggles with the separations but his cave bear tendency, I’m sure, is what allows him to cope.
Bears are solitary creatures. In the springtime females put out a pheromone that attracts the males and after a few days of flirting, sniffing, neck biting, and wrestling – coitus eventually occurs. After this, the males unceremoniously return to their caves and the females go on to raise their children as single mums.
In my dating adventures I have come across a cave bear or two, myself. They can be really confusing animals because for as much as they love their space, they also love affection. Like teddy bears, cave bears really do love to be loved – but they are also a creature that must retreat. It’s just not in them to be glued to the hip of a mate. They can’t do it. Eventually they need to take some time out.
There are a few cave bears around, like my father, who can successfully commit to a long term relationship but in my experience this is the exception to the rule and the fact that my mum has been able to put up with my dad for all these (over thirty) years has to do with the fact that she is very easy going about his needing cave time.
In contrast to my dad, I find that most cave bears are the types that will have a lot of short term relationships or long term casual relationships over the course of their lives. Committed, long-term relationships are a struggle for them because they often feel smothered. Their alone time is like oxygen to them and if they feel they aren’t getting enough of it, they’ll ditch you – but not before giving you a taste of why bears are so feared by so many.
The iconic book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” is based on the theory that all men require this kind of alone time and that as women, it is important to respect them this. For cave bears, this is much more than a theory. It’s an absolute truth (x about a million).
If you try to follow a cave bear into his cave or if you sit at the edge of the cave waiting – hoping – for him to come out, he will only stay in there longer. You will only be creating an endless winter for yourself and you will probably freeze to death before you see him retreat from his hibernation and welcome you back with open arms.
If, though, you can allow your cave bear the freedom to hibernate for as long as he needs and in the meantime busy yourself with your own fabulous life, then there’s a good chance you’ll come to see more and more of his sweet teddy bear side and less of his aloof, retreating side – or worse, his vicious predator-side.
The important thing to remember is that there really isn’t a whole lot of interesting stuff happening in the cave, anyway. You might start to go on one of those thought chains that spiral out of control and have you convinced that the cave is full of all-night parties and beautiful women but in actuality it’s much more likely to be filled with Mountain Dew, Doritos, Play Station, the History Channel, cheap beer, lotion, tissues, etc. etc. etc. It’s really not any place you would want to be…
So cheer up, girlies! Don’t worry about your bears when they disappear into their caves. It’s all good and you’re way too amazing to be worrying about all of THAT!
Bye for now!!
ps – after writing this, I’m totally craving Doritos!
pps – I can’t beleive this crazy coincidence .. my mum just told me she sent my dad (who is away on a work assignment) ….. CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR!! How crazy is that!
More like this:
The Tape Worm Archetype
The Flying Fox Archetype
The Bower Bird Archetype