Besides all of the ways we are set up to have unhealthy relationships with our self by the dysfunctional cultures and role models we grew up with - we are also set up by our genetic species programming. The survival programming that may have been necessary in the days of the early Homo Sapiens cavemen can really get in the way of healthy relationships today.
In order for the human race to survive in a hostile environment where living past the age of 30 was considered quite old, it was necessary to propagate the race as quickly as possible. One of Mother Natures ways of ensuring that this would happen was to give teenage males of the species a very strong sex drive that was aroused by the female body - most any female body - rather than to primarily seek strong emotional attachment to one female. This was because of the high mortality rate - both through death in childbirth of females and death through various means of the men - that caused a need to take on new and/or additional mates very soon to insure survival. It was necessary that the men be willing to copulate with (and thus also agree to protect and provide for) whomever needed a mate.
Women, on the other hand, in order to try to ensure protection and sustenance for themselves and their children during the vulnerable times of pregnancy and after childbirth were programmed to desire to bond with one man to produce children and then to protect and provide for her and her children. Women were capable of, and did, hunt and provide protection for the clan during the times that they were not physically vulnerable due to pregnancy, childbirth, and early child rearing - it was during those months of vulnerability in a harsh environment that women needed a protector and provider.
This genetic programming, that is thousands of years out of date and unnecessary, is now a source of conflict and misunderstanding between the genders. This is exacerbated by a couple of other factors.
1. Teenagers as a subculture in society have not even existed until recently. Until only a generation or two ago teenagers of 13, 14, and 15 were married and on their own as young adults. The addition of the teenage years to the period of childhood rather than adulthood is a very recent phenomena in society. These years of raging hormones (and resultant emotional volatility) with no acceptable outlet has added new emotional trauma to the process of growing up.
2. An unfortunate consequence of life in an emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional society, that is based on beliefs that deny men the full range of their emotional being, is that the great majority of men are emotionally immature in their relationships, not only to women, but also to other men. Most men - in terms of how they view and relate to females - are stuck in a horny teenager place that I call: the "Horndog" [a previously uncharted archetype that Jung missed. ;-)]
It is very important for men to start being able to set boundaries with the "horndog", with the horny teenager inside them. In order to have a chance for healthy relationship and emotional intimacy it is vital to stop letting the horny teenager be in control of our choices in romantic relationships (this is just as true for same sex relationships as heterosexual ones) or influence how we relate with women in general. This horny teenager within is not bad or wrong or shameful - it is a normal, natural result of growing up in the dysfunctional societies we grew up in. What is dysfunctional, and can sometimes lead to behavior to be ashamed of, is to allow that male animal lust to run the show. In order to be a mature, adult - a Real Man - it is vital to be conscious and emotionally honest enough to not allow the attitudes we developed as horny teenagers to dictate how we treat women today.
One of the archetypes for women is the maiden - a romantic teenager who believes in fairy tales and daydreams that "her Prince will come." This maiden is, of course, one level of the romantic within.
The genetic human programming can set up a woman to keep a man around for the illusion of having a male protector and supporter. I have worked with many women who not only didn't need to be protected and supported by a man, but they in fact were providing the bulk of the support for the man. In the inner work the "maiden within" is the part of themselves that women can set a boundary with so that they do not unconsciously buy into the set up of believing that they have to have a man in their life to be OK. That certainly doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with having a relationship with a man or that the Prince isn't going to show up (he will definitely have issues to work through however.) The point is to be conscious about our choices. If we are reacting unconsciously to subconscious or genetic programming then we are giving power away and not owning our choices.