Love. That elusive beast. We all rejoice when we feel its surge. And fight it when it wanes.
Of course, women at least want to believe that rush of loving feelings will remain—forever. In the happily-ever-after vein. Prince Charming will always be that hero galloping in on a white steed (with which of course Freud had a field day, but we won’t get into that here!).
The thing that kills love doesn’t come via sledgehammer in the night. Oh, an “event” may surely provide the death knell, but once that smoke has dispersed, even if you didn’t pay attention, the signs were clearly there.
Hate when that happens.
But the thing that kills love quicker than dead is resentment. That’s how those oh-so-lovely feelings turn first to hurt, then anger, then to indifference—the true antithesis of love.
So how does our fair maiden keep that from happening (provided she’s with a prince and not a frog)?
I know, not very sexy.
But it’s the thing that fosters understanding. To be upfront with your emotions and needs and desires can sure cause feelings of vulnerability. Which isn’t a lot of fun at times. And to stand in the midst of it requires true courage.
If this list were about things our maiden wanted to know about our prince, it would be much longer.
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Men, though, are fairly simple beasts. It’s not that difficult to keep one happy. Just make sure he knows these 7 things:
- Will you be true?
I know, most women would hoot at this. “That’s not the first thing my man needs!” I hear a lot. Besides, they say, men think about sex 60 times per day (this number is continually changing via studies. Which I suspect results from any given man giving a different answer on any given day!). And he isn’t thinking about sex with me but with whatever cute girl walks into his line of vision!”
True. Men are wired that way. The propagation of the species and all of that.
Doesn’t discount, however, his need to know that you won’t stray.
A man’s most primary need is to attach to his mate. It all comes from his attachment to Mom, and no need to get all Freud here, but there’s a reason men call for their wives and mothers as they’re dying. It’s the number-one constant in his psyche.
So let him know you belong to him—however antiquated that feels.
- Do you respect him?
You always have to keep in mind the fragile male ego. I know—this isn’t terribly politically correct! But men, although straightforward enough once you understand them, grow up trying to find their place in the pecking order, and pursuing a sense of mastery that if disputed, causes doubts about their very manhood.
I know, right? Bless ‘em.
But do not discount the vital importance of this need in men to “feel like a man.” If he doesn’t feel respected, then he feels castrated. Which isn’t something you want to deal with! Five Keys for Understanding Men delves deeply into this subject, so just know that he needs respect. From you.
He needs to believe that you think him capable, the master of his ship, the captain of his troops.
- Does he please you?
Do you appreciate the little things he does? And to a man, these things are most likely different from what you’d think, or wish he would do. You might like some help in the kitchen, but he may or may not have a clue how to fit there.
Men show caring in ways odd to women’s thinking. But cleaning out the roof gutters may be his way of taking care of the homestead. Making sure your car’s oil is changed is his way to assuring you’ll be safe.
The trick is to discern the “odd” things he does and make him feel appreciated for doing so.
- Does he stir your chili?
Simply, men need to feel sexual prowess. Although they’re wired to breed everything that walks willingly by, and we often joke about the male of the species just wanting to get off, that’s only partly the story.
Men want to feel that their women are fulfilled. Not only so they don’t stray (see number 1), but because it bolsters that fragile ego.
He’s a man, by golly! His woman is satisfied. Which means his manhood is intact.
- Will you make him a sammich?
Or any food fit to eat. I know, I know, again, we’re in the liberated age, no? But we’re talking how men are, not how we want them to be (which is often a female psyche in a male body).
Again, men’s needs are fairly simple. Once he feels respected, appreciated, a manly man, he’s hungry. For food. And his woman fixing vittles for him fosters those feelings of attachment—his primary need.
Yep, sounds a lot like his attachment to Mom. And it is a carryover from that. But this is one you want to fight at your own peril, as the symbolism is as strong as the life force itself.
Just feed him.
- Can he go out and play with his friends?
Women often laugh about male friendships. While women bare to their friends their deepest dreams and desires, their emotions and fears, men ask, “How ‘bout them Cowboys!” as a method of communication.
Men’s friendships are just different from women’s, but not any less vital.
Surprising? Often it seems men have no friends, or none outside the “couple.” This is, however, a mistake.
Men need other men. They need to reconnect with their hierarchy of friends and acquaintances. It keeps them safe in the pecking order of life.
If they’re doing this around a ballgame rather than a bar, that’s all good, right? And even better, if they’re playing in some ballgame, that’s the jackpot as they can reestablish that sense of mastery too, and connect with their tribe, and be men.
- Do you love him?
Men rarely ask this. Women do, but men, not so much. The question itself implies some weakness, and showing that—even to you!—causes those feelings of castration again. Of not being manly enough.
So this is a question he needs answered in other ways. By your appreciation. By your desire. By your actions.
This is where you don’t make them guess!
This is where actions speak so much louder than words.
Yep, pretty simple beasts, these men. And it’s easy to rail at all the politically incorrect points here. And yep, these are politically incorrect.
Doesn’t make them any less true.
The old saying about pick your battles applies to all relationships. And yep, you can work to change your man on any of these issues. You’ll be going against his nature, though. And if you succeed on the outside, he may be very unhappy within.
Anybody who’s ever lived with an unhappy man would surely choose another way!
So, let him know you’re staying. That you think he’s cool. That you appreciate him mowing the lawn. That you want him. That you’ll feed him. That his playing basketball with his friends is a great thing.
All those things make him know he’s loved.