Seventh step: Another goal of courtship is to enable her man to walk himself to the altar. While it’s figurative, her job recognizes what he is going through and not interrupt his process. She captures him as her potential groom, but he captures himself for marriage. (I’m not sure a man’s true love emerges, if he does not go through this process, but that’s for future development.)
She looks at the brighter side of marriage and sees nothing but joy. He is quite different. He loves differently, and he assesses the reality of marriage, but only if he’s about to commit to loving a woman. (Otherwise, his mind is in neutral about it except for tips he picks up from buddies and witnesses in society.)
A man’s love is the product of his devotion to one woman, self-respecting devotion to himself, and responsibility he accepts for providing, protecting, producing, and problem solving for her. Yes, devotion to his sense of duty is primary to his love. If he can’t deliver on his obligations as he expects, his love must not be enough for marriage.
He ponders. Is he willing to take on new responsibility with the potential for pleasure, convenience, emotional connections, sex, disruptions, and problems of unknown origin and extent? Is she worth it? Of course she is, or he wouldn’t have gotten this far in decision making. But can his sense of duty adequately confirm his devotion to her, back up with actions the words that he used to win her? He continues to ponder.
Nevertheless, his love isn’t true love until he models his present life with her in marriage. Something like this. First, he can’t do without her, it’s his requirement. Second, he can ‘own’ her, she’s submissive in spirit. Third, he can accept being responsible for whatever combines to produce them as couple with a life together.
His true love results from both his masculine persona and his devotion. His duty is to himself and to living his devotion to her. Not ‘us’ as women prefer, but her.
His true love looks like this: He has obligations to both of them. He to perform well doing his duty. She will do well in response to his sense of duty, devotion, respect, and in that order too (although I doubt the order is a conscious thought).
To him, his worst failure of love is to fall short in his sense of duty, to fail in his dedication to do right as he determines that right and which includes his devotion to her. (A powerful position that discourages cheating, does it not?) Such a failure adversely impacts his sense of significance, which makes it all the worse for him and helps motivate him strongly to prevent such a failure.(Women fail to recognize the abiding role of fear in the male psyche, because men suffer it in background.)
His second failure of love is to lose his devotion to her, which results from the fading of her likeability or loyalty to him. IOW, she changed too much from the woman that was his bride. His third failure of love arises out her losing his respect, again, most likely she changed too much but perhaps in other ways. (I personally know of a bride changing into a different woman on her wedding night.)
He decides they will marry. Sacrificing his independence, he expects satisfaction from the swap with a great win out of marriage that goes far beyond conquest. He expects satisfaction that he has done right and well. Her uplifting love helps.
His march to the altar transpires amid all that above.
- He seeks to conquer her soon after they meet. She refuses. He tries harder. She refuses. He looks for weaknesses to facilitate conquest, she refuses.
- While continuing to look for weaknesses in background mode, he associates with her and spots qualities that he can admire. They become virtues to him. Courtship continues along that line and her virtues pile up. Soon she appears fascinating with so many virtues, and the hook goes in his mouth. Conquest becomes less of a priority. Fascination compounds into promise for improving his present life by having her alongside.
- By the time he decides that she is the one for him, his original goal of conquest morphs into something less critical. It is good for her, because sex—first time or later—neither bonds him as she expects nor holds a man in marriage. Whereas, finding more and more virtues makes her more appealing as a virtuous woman, which all men hope to marry.
- When her promise as wife exceeds loss of his independence, hook is set, and he proposes. She reels him in with acceptance. He begs off and suggests she knows what to do, so she and mother can plan the wedding. He will meet her at the altar. Men have little or no interest in planning such an event, and she does not do all that well to get him intimately involved. Guest list, yes, but not much more. (I don’t mean to deal men out, just that they by nature mostly have a preference to leave important female things to women.)
- That is how she wins in the end, provided she does not interrupt the process that he undergoes in his own mind. He is primarily a thinker, and she needs to stay clear except to participate as invited into his dream analysis process. The wedding excepted, what he figures is best for him is best for both him and her. She needs to make herself more likeable and loyal without trying to facilitate his thought processes.
In the final analysis, a man’s premarital decisions are about satisfying himself that he can deliver on his obligations to do right by them as couple, do right by her with his devotion, and do right as possible with what she expects. It is a man’s true love, that keeps him from stumbling down both the figurative and literal aisle.
Next: Some tips to stay out of his decision making process and facilitate his decision to walk down the aisle.