Jessica prompted this post when she asked: “Other than gratitude…how does a woman show respect for a man?” Many posts address respect after marriage, so this is mostly for singles.
I had two short and one lengthy reaction. First, men don’t seek respect as women know it. They seek whatever confirms their self-respect. The difference is big.
Second, one doesn’t think about ‘showing respect’ for a man. One has it or not, and it shows in their attitude, which flows out of their heart.
My third response is more complex. Women can generate respect for men or a man in many ways. To do so, they should:
♥ Respect men by doing what feminists condemn, so women might try the opposite of what feminists preach. (For example, see Dark Side of Feminism posts in CONTENTS page.)
♥ Exploit their natural female preference for indirectness and abandon whatever they may have picked up of the male preference for directness. Men prefer to figure things out compared to having them presented on a platter. However, indirectness requires patience and fails under ‘right now’ pressures.
♥ Recognize his dominance as dependable. It’s his nature, however much he reveals, and women can’t change it. By exploiting his dominance, a woman shows respect. If his dominance offends or appears unacceptable, then dump him.
♥ Identify domains in their relationship that the man claims as his responsibility. Don’t interfere there. Accept his leadership in those domains, and identify the domains left for her sterling leadership. Clarify responsibilities to eliminate confusion and conflict. (Women are the relationship expert and best qualified to accomplish this latter task. Honor his various roles, and it adds to his self-respect. He earned it.)
♥ Rely on him as important before marriage and vital afterward. He sees his role as producer, provider, protector, and problem solver. Her endorsements show respect.
♥ Act independent and free of him before marriage. The harder a male works to capture a female, the more his self-respect grows with each step of progress.
♥ Act dependent on and beholden to him after marriage. Monogamous devotion and dependency on him shows respect. He no longer expects to have to earn it, because he earned the max before he married her. After marriage, her gratefulness for who he is and what he does is the indirect reflection of respect that he expects.
♥ Compete with him before marriage but cooperate afterward. This role reversal is critical to catching and keeping a man. By her affirming and filling both roles, she broadcasts respect for him.
♥ Rely not on gratitude. It has limited effects, because men don’t need it like women do. Too eager expressions of gratefulness appear phony, and women try too hard and do this much of the time.
♥ Acknowledge this: She will know how to respect a man, after she learns how to keep one.
If she thinks about showing respect, she probably does wrong. She’s trying too hard. Showing respect reflects automatically from her attitude—that is, from her heart—and not from her mind.