Last week I posted Why Women Love Gilbert Blythe and Why Guys Need to Pay Attention. It was a lot of fun to write and I’ve enjoyed the response to it.
Before I posted it, I wanted a guy’s opinion – someone who could read it without any prior knowledge of Anne of Green Gables and make sure that I was being fair in my assessments. So I let the BF read it. He said that it was good! Yay! But then reminded me of something: it’s not just on the guys to be upright dudes – girls have to pull their weight too.
Ladies, we talk about, dream about, and wait for our knights in shining armor, our Prince Charming, our Darcy, Knightley, or Wentworth. We wonder where our Boaz is and why is God making us stay single for so long!?!?!
We want a guy like Gilbert Blythe. But have you ever stopped to consider if a guy like Gil would want you?
So I decided to write a list for the girls. I’m not a relationship expert but I think there are some things that we girls need to understand or remember, otherwise, we won’t deserve the guy we want. It’s not an extensive list because that would probably look more like a book. These are just a few things that got me thinking and maybe it’ll do the same for you too!
Here we go!
1. You’re not always right.
I have a confession to make: my family calls me a know-it-all because I have a hard time listening. *sigh* I’m not proud of it and I wish I could deny it but…I like being right. There, I said it. This may seem rather elementary but it’s worth pointing out because knowing something in our heads isn’t always enough – translation into life is where it matters.
So listen up: YOU’RE NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. Sometimes we need to just shut up and listen every once and again. And again. And again. As women, we like to make a point and sometimes, we come in with that bullet point list of why we’re right. But just because you have something to say and it sounds right in your head doesn’t always mean it has to be said. Think before you speak. It’s a hard thing to learn but it’s a necessity for maturity. We’ve all been in the presence of people who’ve stuck their foot in their mouths and we’ve all probably done it ourselves one too many times. It’s not cool.
I get it, it’s hard – I’m a chatterbox who’s majoring in Communications! But believe me, you’ll get more done in your relationships when you listen with open ears, an open mind, and an open heart. The man of your dreams deserves someone he can communicate openly with, who will take him seriously, and will work together with him to solve problems as a team and love all the great things he has to offer.
2. He’s not here to fix all your problems.
You may have seen this woman before. She’s the woman that got into a relationship with a guy because, for whatever reason, she needed him to fix all her problems.
Maybe you’ve been that woman. Maybe you are now.
Ladies. No man is going to fix all your problems. That’s between you and God.
If you rely on a man to fix your emotional issues, you’re going to fall apart when he fails to empathize the way you want him to. If you rely on a man to fix your abuse issues, you’re going to fall apart when he has a season of weakness. If you rely on a man to fix your spiritual issues, you’re going to fall apart when he messes up. If you rely on a man to fix your trust issues, you’re going to fall apart when he betrays you. If you rely on a man to fix your self-esteem issues, you’re going to fall apart when he forgets to compliment your new haircut or the success of your project. If you rely on a man to fix your financial problems, you’re going to fall apart when he’s struggling to find work.
No man is perfect and he is going to fail you somehow, sometime just as you’re going to fail him. You have to be a whole enough person to be able to understand that and not put that kind of pressure on him. You’re sense of worth can’t be built on a man – that is not a solid foundation and never will be. Sure, relationships are about being supportive and working together and being emotionally available and all that wonderful stuff but there are things in your life that you can’t expect a guy to fix.
Pain is for real and there is a lot of it out there. If you have hurt or anger in your life that you haven’t dealt with, simply having a man isn’t going to fix that. That’s where prayer and counseling come in, that’s when you join a support group or take time away to recover and deal with what’s going on. A man isn’t a fix-it-all and he doesn’t deserve to be.
Your dream man deserves a woman who is doing everything she can to be a whole person and not waiting around for a guy to sweep up all the pieces and figure out how to put them together. Are we talking perfection with every hair in place, lipstick un-smudged and nails manicured? No. I’m talking about a woman who knows what her weaknesses are, knows the areas where she’s struggling, is honest about her needs and does the necessary work to grow, mature, and progress.
Life is messy, it’s hard and it’s painful but a man doesn’t deserve to clean up a mess in your life if you’re not willing to get a bucket and a mop yourself.
3. He needs your respect.
We want a man to be this that and the other for us. We want manly-man who will work hard, solve problems, take the high road, be romantic, wear a clean shirt, spoil us, and tell us we’re beautiful every now and again…
we come short on the respect.
Men need respect. That’s how they’re wired. And I’m not here to talk about gender roles and argue about whether or not men and women are essentially the same, and all that, this isn’t the post. All I’m saying is that men need respect.
Well, duh, Elyssa! Everyone needs respect.
Okay, yeah, so you agree with me. Men need respect and in the context of this post, we’ll keep it here.
Don’t throw him under the bus in front of people. Don’t constantly question his judgement calls. If you have a question, ask him about it later and don’t make him look a fool in public. This goes back to being right all the time. If something is truly concerning, then address it at an appropriate time and be open to conversation. But needlessly arguing in front of people because you have something to say isn’t respectful. Constantly correcting him isn’t respectful. Constantly questioning him isn’t respectful.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying keep your mouth shut at all times and never have an opinion. And I’m not saying agree with everything he says or does. But have enough respect for the guy in your life to think before you speak and listen to what he has to say. You don’t want to be known as the girlfriend or wife who’s constantly harping on her man, who’s giving all the directions and never let’s him get a word in edgewise. And you don’t want to be the girlfriend or wife that’s constantly rolling her eyes and making snide remarks about whatever ‘dumb’ thing he just said or did. You can’t expect to win a strong man and have a successful relationship while you emasculate him, it just doesn’t work like that.
The man of your dreams deserves the woman who is going to stand beside him, not in front of him or behind him. A woman who values his opinion. He’s not going to get it right all the time and he knows that but he deserves a woman who will be there even when everything comes crashing down and instead of saying, “I told you so!” she says, “It’s alright, baby, we’ll do better next time.”
4. He deserves your very best.
Every woman deserves a guy who will treat her like the wonderful she is, yeah? Well every guy deserves a woman who will treat him like the wonderful person he is. This is basic but it’s worth mentioning.
Ladies, he deserves your best. I’m not talking about always having your hair and make up done whenever you see him. I’m not talking about always having dinner on the table when he gets home. If you can manage that, great, but that’s not necessarily what I’m talking about. I’m talking about your approach.
We often put our best foot forward for people outside our homes and then kind of let things drag when we get behind closed doors. I’m still kind of in that stage with the BF. We’re just dating so a lot of that best-foot-foward stuff is still there. But it’s been several months now and he’s seen Elyssa get upset, he’s seen her cry, he’s seen her frustrated, fed up, and irritated, fall behind schedule, be late for appointments, and go around without hair done or makeup applied. And he’s still here.
We definitely need to be real with one another but I think that when it comes to the relationships that we hold dear, we should take better care to be our best for those people. We put on our best selves for strangers because of what we’ll get from them: acceptance, service, business, friendship, etc. We should offer our best selves for those we care about because they deserve it. It’s not about being fake. It’s about an honesty that says, “This is who I am, it’s not all beautiful, but I’m going to give you the best of what I have.”
A good guy will get that and accept that and love that. The man of your dreams deserves the best of what you have and as the years go by and you grow and mature as a person, that best will just keep getting better.
So what do you think? Are there things you wish girls understood? Maybe not about relationships but life in general. Sometimes we get so focused on what we need, want, and deserve that we forget that other people rightfully need, want and deserve things from us too.
Let me know in the comments, I’d love your thoughts!