The operative word is ‘YOUR‘ man. Not a generic one size fits all advice. You want to love YOUR man with all his good, bad and ugly traits. His kindness and mean streaks. His generosity and tight fists. His pride and insecurities. His vitality and laziness. His love and withdrawal times.
This is a broad area to cover… but we can do it!
What a HUGE task . . . How would we ever be able to master getting inside another person’s head in order to be able to ascertain his needs, personality, desires and fears?
When you look at him, you see a reflection of yourself.
When he looks at you, he sees himself.
By what magic wand does this miracle happen you may ask?
Actually, it’s a simple concept. Not going to say it’s an overnight easy fix — but it’s the best concept available that explains ‘how to love your man’ that you’ll ever find.
Here’s how it works:
Let’s name you Cathy and you are come from a very wealthy, upscale, prominent family in Connecticut. Yeah, I know, not probable, but for this scenario, let’s pretend you do.
You’ve never lacked for anything in your life: The best clothes; eat at the best restaurants; drive whatever make of car you want; live in a dream house; access to money never an issue, etc.
You’re an extrovert navigating in the fast lane. You love people and company; love to party to rock music. Love to travel abroad embracing new cultures and making new friends; you love life to the full.
Here you go off to college and meet the superstar quarterback. He is fine. And for whatever reason, you two hit it off and begin dating.
You’re a great looking couple, and the envy of every girl on campus.
You two are very attracted to each other physically and are supportive of the other’s activities on campus. Also your physical attraction is so strong that you’re both jealous of the thought of dating others.
However, his background is the polar opposite of yours: John grew up poor in Alabama. He’s a good home boy. Loves fishing and hunting. And thrives on beer and country music. Often he spends time alone walking in the woods. He likes life slow and simple.
Because college is ripe with activities, you two share in many activities and he loves you because you are the life of the party. The opposite traits don’t seem to bear on your relationship. . . at this time.
All through college you are an “item” but like most couples, punctuated often by arguments and breakups. But you reason this is part and parcel for getting to know someone. There will always be ups and downs.
After graduation though, you want to get engaged or call off the relationship. John borrowed money for the ring…
Elaine, your best friend through college now, for the first time speaks up. She never thought this relationship would get serious enough to lead to marriage. It was just college good times, fun and games.
Wanting the best for her friend, Elaine sat down with Cathy to have a heart-to-heart talk. She questioned the all too many arguments and separations she and John encountered during the course of their college years. She related that she’d seen similar actions in her parent’s marriage that lead them to unhappiness and divorce.
Cathy’s parents chimed too explaining that while they loved John, they were a little hesitant because of some of their differences. But Cathy convinced them that the love between them was so strong, they would be able to weather all obstacles and workout many differences between them.
Ultimately her parents agreed to give their blessing to marriage, . . . but with one caveat . . . in a loving way they recommended premarital counseling that would enable them to learn more about each other. After all, what could that hurt . . .
Dr. Fitz Grant welcomed them into his office and suggested premarital tests.
What he found was troubling …
Examining their backgrounds gave many clues–Dr. Grant found too many non-complementary differences. As posted in other articles, opposites may attract, but should rarely if ever marry.
However what I want to stress here is WHY similarities are harder to come by today. And this is one huge advantage of listening to more mature, wise old ladies like me! . . . LOL
I grew up during the time when extended families and families grew up and in general stayed in the same community or nearby. People grew up with similar backgrounds economically, religiously, politically and emotionally. When two people dated and later married they came together with the strength of commonality. This commonality formed a vital core for their relationship.
Their differences, by and large, were few. Therefore working at their relationships was relatively easy.
You see, most marriages took place between two people who lived within blocks of each other. Whose families had known each other for many years. Similarities were the norm. Many were high-school sweethearts.
When war came everything changed. The men went to serve their country. Many women went off to work. Then after the war, many never returned to their home towns. They sought other lives which was their choice.
What happened, though, locations changed; but people and their roots remained intact, for the most part. There’s a saying, “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.”
Therefore when these individuals eventually met others and were drawn to them, the similarities between them were greatly reduced.
For relationships to work well, you must have a huge bank of similarities to pull from. If not, your relationship could become frail at a very rapid pace.
Because every difference you have requires negotiation and adaptation. One of you has to give a lot, or both of you have to give some, and in either case there is the need for a lot of change. This calls for couples to bend and adjust and if not, resentment and frustration raises its head leading to stress.
We all know the negative effects of stress. This stress then, over a period of time, threatens to destroy the relationship.
NOTE: If there are too many differences, you may not be able to survive all the strain involved in adapting to each other.
Yes, the good ole days: Similarities abounded then … dissimilarities abound today. That’s why you have to work so much harder to find the “right” partner today!
Of course, you can’t expect to know everything about a prospective partner ahead of time. However, you can eliminate a lot of the guesswork and risk before hand by assessing your differences closely BEFORE making the vow.
There are many aspects; I’ll touch on a couple here and yet others in upcoming posts.
Intelligence: Couples need to be in the same league intellectually. This isn’t the same as education because a lot of highly intelligent people have never gone to college. What this means is that both parties need to see things similarly and speak about them in similar ways.
Values: Especially spiritual values. If one is a Christian and the other a devout atheist; there could be trouble down the road. So find out other areas of ‘values’ that each of you hold dear to evaluate whether this is an agreeable issue between the two of you or not.
Expectation about roles: Do you both want to share domestic responsibilities … or not. Or do you both agree on the traditional role of breadwinner and stay at home wife? Make sure you’re VERY clear on how you expect these roles to play out. There is not right or wrong way—it’s what you two decide together as a couple.
A Personality Trait that makes Compromise Easy
It’s flexibility. When problems arise and you engage in a battle of differences of opinion, flexibility allows the couple to:
- Consider the differences
- Evaluate them
- Propose alternative solutions
- Resolve them
A lot of the frustrations and anxieties of making a relationship work can be reduced if the qualities that attract you to someone are not different from your own, be cautious. Psychological studies indicate that it’s crucial to find a partner who is a lot like you.
Bottom line: If initial attraction to someone is a lot different from you, that might seem appealing . . .
But, the most enduring and satisfying relationships are usually ones in which the partners are very much alike.
Which brings us to the question asked at the outset: How to love YOUR man?
There are at least fifty areas to consider; I will consider a few here and others in upcoming posts:
- You must know him, by knowing yourself
- Your intelligence must be on the same level
- Must agree on expected roles within the family arrangement
- Must agree on number of children to have
- Agree on parental child rearing
- Attitudes about cleanliness: Are you a perfectionist or slob
- Television viewing preferences
- Size and style of house
- Décor the home should be furnished in
- Do you have similar verbal skills and interests
- Can each express their deep feelings to each other
- Are you able to resolve conflicts
- Are you family and friends supportive of your relationship
The above are just a few considerations. Now at this point, marriage could be something to think about. If you know answers to the above and are in agreement, then you could very well be suited for each other.
On the other, if the above list could be problematic for the two of you, how flexible are you willing to extend yourself to make the differences work between you?
How to love your man is to KNOW your man and be in sync with his personality and life values. The more you are a like; the more you will know how to please him. The more you understand his thought patterns, the more your union will harmonize.
The more you are alike; the less conflict will enter your life. The more you are similar the less drama will ensure. The more love will rise to the top and stay there. And that’s what you want, isn’t it.
Share this article with family and friends because it just may help someone.
Until next time …
For further information on all subjects relating to love, dating and marriage, check out these pages and posts: