July 1, 2011

The List ;-)

Sandi and I had a very interesting conversation last night. Before I get into the discussion, it would probably help to give a bit of background on our friendship.

I have known Sandi for eleven years. We worked together back then for a couple of years and we became Best Friends. In 2001, she was going through her second divorce when I was getting ready to leave my first husband. She held me up in more ways than I thought possible. She literally held my hand through the whole process, from driving me to get the paperwork, to going with my ex and I the day we filed together. There is no truer friend, and I am glad our careers brought us back together again.

We talk about EVERYTHING. We each have four kids growing into adults with their own lives, we have each been married three times, and we have worked at the same place with the same people for years. Nothing is off limits for our discussions. She is smart and strong like me, and we have been known to discuss philosophical subjects, politics, and Sociology as easily as we discuss relationships. Last night the topic was men.

We started with moody, brooding men who need to disappear into their private space and be left alone. We discussed the dynamics of men and women coming at a relationship from totally different points of view. And, finally, we discussed women being stronger than their man. The last one we are both quite familiar with. We have both been emotionally and intellectually stronger than most of our husbands. I say most because her current husband, John, is definitely intelligent. 

Our discussion revolved around the fact that women need to feel desired. If a man makes no effort to show her his affection and take an active interest in HER life and HER needs, then she does not need to wait around for him. It's ok to let him do his thing and she can go on and do hers. They can compare notes at the end of the day. The problem is when the relationship becomes one-sided. When it is mostly about him and his interests and his needs, and she is supposed to be along for the ride. 

Women want to feel valued and appreciated the same as men do. They want to feel respected and cared for the same way they respect and care for their men. If things start getting lop-sided, and she feels she is doing all of the work, then she begins to pay more attention when someone else pays her a compliment, or sends her a hello. This is where insecurities on both sides can lead to damaging consequences.

As every conversation does when two women are speaking about men, the topic moved deeper into the emotional side of relationships. No matter how new or how lasting the relationship is, women expect constant reassurances that their man has affectionate feelings for them. We want to be held, kissed softly on the lips, caressed while cuddling on the couch. Some men just aren't comfortable with these things, but they are vital to creating a connection between the two. Even when neither party feels much of a connection due to routine or the lack of intimacy for whatever reason, women still need to feel physically wanted. 

If every time a woman comes home to her man, or visits him, he doesn't bother to greet her with a hug and a kiss, or some show of affection, she will eventually feel like he didn't really want to see her at all. In a man's mind, he may feel that the fact they are both there at the same time, in the same place should show her he wants to be with her, but that means nothing more to a woman than he had nowhere else to be right now. 

It was probably about here that Sandi and I laughed that after all of these years we are still having the same discussions about men. I told her about the endless threads on a forum I frequent where men and women have the same discussions over and over, never really learning anything about each other at all. What seems obvious to one gender baffles the other, and vice versa. Many people have attempted to write "rules" for dating, or relationships, but humans still act stupid after all of these years.

Men still don't get that they need to pull their weight if any kind of progress is going to be made. Women still don't get that everything is obvious to them and nothing is obvious to men. LOL So, in an effort to clarify the rules, we made a list. Uh-oh! No, it's really not that bad. It is simply the way to a woman's heart so that she can overlook his many flaws and keep being the fabulous partner he needs her to be.

1. Act like you miss her once in a while.

2. Actively show an interest in HER life and what's going on in her world these days.

3. Hugs and kisses. Lots of affection.

4. Show her appreciation for the things she does for you.

5. Go out of your way once in a while to see her. 

6. Take an interest in her activities. You don't have to DO what she does, but at least encourage her to talk about it and share with you.

7. Surprise her once in a while.

8. Tell her she is beautiful. No matter how good a woman looks, she is never told this very often in her life. It is amazing how fast a guy can win her over if he does this one simple thing.

9. Call her just because you want to hear her voice. These days, it is too easy to get caught up in texting and emailing. An occasional phone call can move mountains.

10. Do these things because you truly desire to keep her in your life, not because you think you have to do them. She will know the difference.

Women want to know what a man's list would be. However, we are not afraid to do a little research and find out. That was the next topic we discussed, but I'll save that for another post...

Now, how do we get this list widely circulated?? LOL

Mars and Venus~

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