So last week we discussed tips and suggestions for women to keep her man (and the relationship) running in tip top shape. And, as promised, this week we are going to turn the table and give the guys some help. Now I will admit I felt a little nervous about using the same title; Owner’s Manual. There are quite a lot of hurtful and damaging things said in regards to men treating women like property. I absolutely do not want to contribute to this stereotypical objectification (those are two very long words) of women. But I trust you. And I hope you trust me and know my heart. This is just meant to be entertaining and insightful. So in keeping with last week’s theme, let’s explore the ways a man can fine tune the relationship with his lady.
Let me first start with this….. I am not going on record as saying that women are more complicated than men. But I will admit there are multiple varieties of women. And layers to those multiple varieties. And by-products to the layers to those multiple varieties. And…. Well, you get my point. Women can present a challenge at times for men. But that’s a good thing. Most men love challenges. So, in theory, it is a win-win. Especially for the guy who has a chance to read the manual first.
Never, under any circumstances, answer “Yes”, if your girl asks “Do I look fat in this? Or any other deviation or rewording of this question. In fact, this is not an actual question. Here’s a secret. Women sometimes talk in code. Ok, maybe that isn’t a secret. And it certainly isn’t fair, but I promise we do not intentionally do it to irritate you. You do not need to answer this because we already know the answer. We have mirrors; lots of them, and eyes. We know exactly what we look like. What we want is for you to tell us that even with the weight, wrinkles, gray hair, last season’s clothes, or a host of other reasons, that you still find us attractive. Desirable. Hot. My hope is you truly do think all of those things. So just tell her she looks amazing. (You may have to say it twice.)
Here is one other example of code. When she asks if you want to go with her to a dinner/wedding/party with/for her family; again this isn’t a question. It signifies one of two things. It either means she wants to go and is politely requesting your presence, disguised as an inquiry. OR….she doesn’t want to go and is silently pleading with you to come up with an excuse to miss it. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with which one it is. You gotta figure that one out on your own.
So assuming you answered correctly to the dinner party question/request, this will come into play next. Most likely you do not need a lot of time to get ready, even for an ‘event’. We, on the other hand, require a slightly longer assembly time. Just picking out the ensemble is time-consuming all by itself. Then throw in hair, makeup, accessories. Please do not rush us. Or worse, try to help us or offer suggestions. We’ve had this routine for years and are not about to adjust it now. Just sit back, relax, watch the news, the game or check Facebook. I promise when you see the finished product you will forget the time involved and be blown away.
The biggest needs for a woman are to be loved, cherished and feel secure. Now each woman has a different barometer of how she measures these. Again, this is up to you and great communication to figure out her love language and learn to speak it fluently. If you install daily doses of affirmation, attention and commitment, all of the pieces will fit together to form a strong and lasting bond.
After you have successfully introduced the necessary components to start a great relationship foundation, you can move on to different projects. Like installing the new garage opener, fixing the leaking faucet, hanging the light fixture. And we don’t care if you do it, or just have it done. But we love it when you handle the tasks that make our life run smoother. This absolutely registers on our love radar.
Here is one other piece of advice. Your lady does not need or intend for you to fix everything in her life. Sometimes she just wants you to listen. I know that your love for her and desire to solve problems puts your mind into gear when she starts to share her struggles with you. And if she specifically asks you for help; then absolutely, run into the fire for her. But if she just needs a hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on; simply offer that. It truly is almost always enough.
Here are meat and potatoes of this manual. While many have said there are only a few basic requirements to make a man happy; it isn’t quite so easy with us. Not because we are difficult. No, not at all. But because we are all unique. We are artists, teachers, caregivers, organizers, leaders. We might be introverts, extroverts, constantly on the move, or mainly chill. We are strong, loving, smart and efficient. We are actually capable of maintaining ourselves because most of us have had to from time to time. So when we meet a man and allow ourselves to let him in our world, we don’t need empty promises or lofty statements. We need to believe you understand and appreciate each of us as a pure and rare individual. We want you. Your time to invest in us. Your commitment to stay with us.
Now, the occasional randomly sent flowers or special dinner is always appreciated. We will also gladly accept tiny boxes on any day of the year. But what moves our heart every time, is simply being with you. Breakfast in bed. A walk (or run) in the park. Curled up on the couch. Hiking up a mountain. A drive in the city. The activities we started out doing with you, we still desire. We are not hard to figure out. You just need to listen. With your heart. What makes her excited? When is she laughing? Where does she feel safe? How does she relax? Learn these truths about your woman and she will reward you in ways you cannot begin to imagine.
Do not try this under any circumstance. Trust me on this.
Even with the best maintenance and highest quality parts, sometimes there is still a breakdown. Often women having to start over in this stage of life have been badly hurt and suffered emotional damage. They may be distrustful and wary. And while it is certainly unfair to make you pay for another’s mistakes, if you are committed to restoring her faith, then stay the course. She obviously saw something in you that offered her hope again for love. She may need reassurance from time to time, but please do not view that has an attack on your credibility. Just hold her through the confusion and pain and be there standing beside her when the sun shines again.
Just as I mentioned in the last week’s post, some people are just not ready and some relationships just do not last. Guys, if you truly believe that you are following these basic guidelines and your girl does not appreciate or respect you; you have the wrong girl. There are still many of us out here that can recognize a good man and know how to treat him. (They read last week’s post.)
Do not sell yourself short or settle just to keep from being alone. For all the time and energy and love that you have to offer, it should only be invested in someone willing to reciprocate.
Ok, guys and gals; that’s all I have. I hope within the last two weeks there have been a few nuggets of wisdom. There is no way in two little blog posts to cover all the different types men and women and relationships. Trust me, I know how challenging it can be. And finding someone to journey this life with is only the beginning. There are many things we need to learn and keep learning every day. Life and love are about growth. But having a hand to hold and smiling eyes to look into make it all worth it.
Keep up the good work my friends!
Always Remember To Hope With Abandon
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J. Hope Suis is an inspirational writer with over 30 years of experience in single-parenting, dating, relationships, and a phrase she coined as “Solitary Refinement”, which is simply a season of being single to grow and develop as an individual. Her new book, Mid-Life Joyride, is a light-hearted [...]