Monday, January 21, 2013

The Flip Side

I've been working on this post for days (well, years really). It's the flip side to the response of "where have all the good men gone?". I've written and rewritten it, but it's not coming out at all how I feel I want it to be. What keeps coming out are "man hating" statements, and that's not what I want, nor is it really how I feel. However, I do want to address the other side of this issue. I placed a lot of the responsibility on women in my response previously, but there is plenty that men are doing that create this idea that there are no more "good men" out there. Instead of the pages-long post that I was originally typing, I've decided to keep it short (relatively speaking) and to the point and let you know what we want. These points are in part based on my ideas, opinions and experiences, but they also include the ideas, opinions and experiences of many of my friends (all female). As with that other post, I'm sure this goes both ways (and women, step up to the plate, would you?? Give the guys a hand...), but we're women, and we want good men. So, gentlemen, please pay attention (note: some of these are geared toward men in, or who want to be in, relationships, but some are just good advice for all human beings).

1. Treat her how she deserves to be treated. She is not an object or a toy. She is a daughter of God. She is a princess. She's her daddy's little girl (as much as she may try to deny it). She deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. She desrves the best from you.
2. Make her your priority.We all have busy lives and a lot to keep track of, but if you want to keep her in yours, she has to come first. I don't know of a single woman who wants to be an afterthought. There may be things that together you have to be on the same page on to make this work, but don't hesitate to put her on top of your list.
3. Do the little things.A call in the middle of the day just to say hi. A note dropped in the mail (just like the olden days...haha). Perhaps a surprise visit to drop in and let her know you were thinking of her.
4. Don't underestimate the power of compliments.You may not be used to giving them, but give her a sincere compliment. Notice a haircut or a nice outfit. If she does something that makes you exceptionally happy, let her know. But don't forget, be sincere (also, practice makes perfect).
5. Make your affection consistent with your committment. If you're not prepared to marry her, don't kiss her like you are. If you're not sure about what you want from your relationship, or you just need time, don't go giving affection just because it feels good. Reference item'll both be happy you did.
6. Don't assume she knows you love her. Sorry, if we don't hear it from you and we don't see it reflected in your actions, we DO NOT think you love us. Reference all other items and tell her you love her.
7. Be willing to sacrifice for her. It could be your time, it could be money. It could be your favorite show or sporting event, but don't forget she is most important to you (and if she isn't, perhaps you shouldn't be dating her). In my series of "first dates" (because there weren't seconds or more) in Provo, I only had one guy actually come and pick me up, and with the exception of the same guy, I paid for myself. I'm not saying that you can't split costs or take turns (in fact I sort of prefer that - it make me feel like I'm not taking advantage of the guy), but seriously men, on the first date - ESPECIALLY IF YOU ASKED, plan ahead and pay for her. In one instance I paid $5 for myself. You may say, "it was only $5", but what I felt was "I'm not even worth $5".
8. Take interest in her. Everyone has different interests, and in your relationship you may enjoy few of the same things. It doesn't mean you can't take an interest. I had never watched football until last year. Thanks to the interest of the man I was dating, not only did I start watching football, I found that I even enjoyed it. I still may not know everything that is happening in the game, but I enjoy watching it now. Like me, you may find your own new interest in taking interest in the hobbies and activities of the person you are dating. Perhaps she plays music; listen to her practice or perform. Perhaps she is working on a project; be there when she presents it. Perhaps she is insterested in joining the circus...just kidding, but you get the idea. Remember, there are two people in your relationship - it's not all about you.
9. Expect and accept nothing less than the best. This one is self explanatory. You are a son of God! Really, you are!! And you too deserve the best, just like she does. Rise to your potential. Expand the horizons and be who you were meant to be. If you have found someone who helps you be this person and you can do the same for her...consider yourself blessed and do everything to make it work!
10. Let go of the past. Stop comparing her to the "exes" in your life. She will never be that person. You may have been hurt by someone, or by mulitple people, but it doesn't mean the woman you are with now is the same. Sure, we all have people we benchmark others by, but when it comes to the woman you are dating, she becomes that benchmark and all others fall by the wayside. And if the exes (either wives or girlfriends) have to be a part of your life due to circumstance, reference #6. Women are already hard on themselves and at times are insecure (I know you never knew that). Make sure she knows you love her, that she is  the best thing that could have happened to you, that you want her in your life. And if you don't feel that way, maybe you shouldn't be dating her.

This is just a good starting point, and again, I think it applies to both men and women. As I typed this list I've looked at a couple that I want to do better so that in the future when the opportunity presents itself again, I'm a better girlfriend and hopefully one day, wife. I'm sure I haven't made it easy on anyone, but with a little work, I can be better.

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