2758. Essentials of Successful Marriage — 09 Their Lenses Differ


Spouses view the future through different lenses.

He anticipates consequences and weighs them against how alterations necessary to his life will likely keep him satisfied with himself. Example: His car is wearing out. Nurse it a while longer? New car? Used one? Upsize it? Downsize it? Save on operating costs? Dip into savings? After balancing those inter-connections and -dependencies, he makes a decision that keeps him satisfied with himself that may or may not please his wife. If he is pushed to decide or disagreement ensues, he senses greater pressure to do it his way.

OTOH, she plans improvements, manages spousal interests, and anticipates consequences so that she, they, or their children gain some advantage. His car-buying plan becomes part of the new future she anticipates. If she can, she prefers to do it her way, more closely follow her own plans, and will usually argue even furiously to get her way.

If she can’t get her way but is convinced she’s right, she tries harder, learns to resent his resistance, or —if she’s smart enough—solicits his collaboration to work together. Example: Her car is wearing out. She long ago planted a seed with husband as to her preference; whether to drive a new one, a particular model, or to take cost consciousness to a new level to help promote other plans for their future together. Her sense of cooperation drives their decisions into collaboration and easier agreement for both sides. (It’s not in his nature to initiate cooperation or collaboration; it’s mostly up to her.)

In both cases, each spouse begins simple decision-making thoughts about the first to ID the issue being first with the solution. It’s normal, natural, and far too easily the beginning of competition and dispute resolution through argument to see who gets their way.

Because they view through different lenses, neither spouse is validated as being right and thereby the best decision maker. However, different lenses promote female adroitness, more cooperation, and more often end with collaboration, aka both sides pleased with the results.

29 Comments

Filed under Dear daughter, feminine, marriage, old school, The mind

29 responses to “2758. Essentials of Successful Marriage — 09 Their Lenses Differ

  1. prettybeans

    AAAAANNNNDDDD HE’S BAAAAACK! Welcome Sir! You have been sorely missed. I hope that you received all the wishes of health and strength from all around the world and that you’re feeling much much better.

  2. Stephanie

    Thank God you’re okay! We’ve been worried!

  3. Yay! Wisdom sorely missed and sorely needed.

    I am suffering from some confusion.

    This past weekend, the man at church invited me to his house for lunch with other friends–all of whom are well-acquainted with my admiration of him and challenges with him. The last time he did that was four years ago.

    Ostensibly a time of food, fun, and fellowship. And I did have a lot of fun (as did everyone else) and tried to lay down as much praise and admiration as I could according to time-honored rituals set forth here.

    This lunch came about because I texted him saying he was the only one who would understand my frustration with really stupid political things that have been recycled in the news since practically election day.

    He called me right up and said, “Thanks for reaching out. Sounds like you need to vent.” So we talked to each other about politics, family histories, food, gardening . . . eventually I had to cut things short due to expecting a gal friend to come over and help me with a decorating project. I said, “We’ll have to continue this some other time,” thinking it would be in another six months or a year due to his overloading his life with activities of every sort for a variety of reasons. But he said, “I’ve been thinking of inviting X and Y and you to lunch on Sunday. I haven’t hosted a lunch and enjoyed fellowship with people from church in a long time.” Well, knock me over with a feather.

    So, I’m not supposed to sell myself or directly criticize or demand or reveal too much; I’m supposed to sit tight, be mysterious, deflect, be indirect.

    And now I’m reading, “Her sense of cooperation drives their decisions into collaboration and easier agreement for both sides. (It’s not in his nature to initiate cooperation or collaboration; it’s mostly up to her.)”

    Of course this is written about a marriage, and the dynamics of a marriage mean a man no longer feels the urgent need to prove himself to his woman.

    But if I’m supposed to be the one who initiates cooperation or collaboration, or if I have that super-power to be used at the appropriate times, what have I been doing for four years, biding my time?

    I will say I have certainly learned a lot, an amazing incredible amount. I’ve had what amounts to an exorcism of the spirit of the age; I’ve had my eyes opened wide to the beauty of men and women as God designed us to be.

    So I don’t regret the past four years, but I am now baffled as to what circumstances have to be in place for me to initiate in matters of collaboration and cooperation . . . while, um, not initiating, giving anything away, raising a ruckus, whatever. While allowing the MAC to hold the reins and run the show. Which means he doesn’t initiate anything, uses business and family obligations as an often genuine excuse, yet complains because I never ask him to help with stuff or tell him about what’s going on in my life.

    Even if his cooperation on some project would make life better for me and give him a sense of purpose and accomplishment, why would I want to add to his load of crap and frustrate myself waiting for him to aggregate his fecal matter and really help me?

    Thanks, and welcome back.

    • Mary Wumths

      Men who are interested initiate pursuit of women. This gentleman is a friend zone type. I suggest putting an ad online dating to meet more men who are interested in initiating things with you.

      • Cocoa

        Hi Mary, reading your response I totally agree with your first sentence. They do pursue and pursue and progress to the next level. I learnt from here that they do it slowly too not to offend the girl and fear of rejection too.

        But can you please, or any other reader, explain to me what is meant by ‘*friend zone*’? I am not from the west but live there now so I am, most of the time puzzled by these things!

        So is it okay, acceptable for a guy to have multiple female friends while only pursuing another? Is it ok for this to take place if the man is married? As in go for a swim/walks/trips with women other than his partner/wife?

        I ask as a friend at work talks about her partner being out this night or that, walking with ‘a friend’!!

        Is it normal for a man to surround himself with various female friends for different reasons maybe?

        Welcome back sir Guy! 😀 Hope you are doing well. We surely missed you!!

        • Mary Wumths

          Dear Miss Cocoa,
          Friend zone means you see a person as a friend and have no attraction towards them as a romantic love interest.

          Usually when men are romantically interested in a lady they make the effort to invite the lady out for a meal in which he pays. The lady need only play her part which is to be a beautiful & mysterious creature to be adored and conquered. She is like a flower just sitting pretty attracting bees to her.

          • Cocoa

            Dear miss Mary, thank you very much for clarifying this to me.
            In that case, I guess, some wives are ok (I won’t be) with their husbands having a few femal friends in that zone, so long that there are no romantic feelings!!

            I also guess that a clever woman is able to identify which category she falls under…

            Not sure if you, other readers and sir Guy would agree with this: I do not believe in pure friendship between a man and a woman the same as pure friendship between man and man or woman and woman.

            Thanks again 😊

            Your Highness Cocoa,
            I agree with your last paragraph.
            Guy

            • Miss Gina

              I tend to agree, Lady Cocoa. I have a couple of male cousins and a male neighbor who were like brothers to me growing up. I consider them friends but always try to keep in mind that feelings can arise. I occasionally will talk to them on the phone for a few minutes or banter on social media with them. Yet out of respect for my husband and the wives of those who have them I would not make a plan to be alone with them. Though I would not be excessively concerned if a brief time occurred rarely in the natural course of things (for instance, if circumstances called for both to make a brief visit to a mutual relative or make a short trip to a store together.) I think our society is overly lax about such things. The problem occurs when the spouse or girlfriend allows such friendships but later finds herself jealous. Or when the man unexectedly finds his feelings growing for the friend during a strain on the marriage. There is an element that wants us to think boundaries are a bad thing, but as you well know, they are for our good.

            • I agree with you as well, Cocoa..

              There is a popular idea that it is possible to have friendship between single adult men and women who want romance but are too scared to pursue it.

              Somehow, in the feminist universe, this is theoretically a good thing because then the man and woman can be just “people” and don’t have to live up to the pressure of “stereotypes.”

              This idea is pure cow manure. It just creates confusion and frustration and anger, no matter how strongly the two parties insist that being friends is “just fine.”

              I do believe I have genuine male friends. They are the husbands of women who have been treasured friends for years. They are the brothers I never had growing up, and my women friends are willing to let me borrow them when I need things fixed or hauled around. And this works because all of us respect each other and take each others’ values seriously.

            • Cocoa

              I am really glad and grateful about your agreement on this. Growing abroad in a make dominant society this is not acceptable and always look at as “what’s going on between these two”, period.

              I just need to understand then why my female friend (a dear friend) thinks it is ok for this male colleague to walk with me on consistent basis, whether to walk me to my car or close to where I live?! It’s been going on for quite a while. I never ever asked for the company, he always does. I am utterly confused! I have separated from my husband after 22 years (separation is completely biblical I just can’t type the reason, it’s like a sharp object through my heart).

              My friend a feminist I believe but not sure see that there is nothing wrong with that at all and that my up bringing is the reason in my discomfort.

              If you, based on the above responses tell me what your thoughts I would be utterly grateful.

              • Lady Cocoa,

                If you have a woman friend who operates according to feminist and not feminine principles, she probably thinks it’s OK for a male colleague to pay attention to you even if you have not asked for it.

                Your male colleague may think that, since you are separated, you are an easy target for his attention. He may think that, if he is nice to you, you will be very grateful and very happy to be his girlfriend.

                If that is NOT what you want, you probably need to tell both your friend and your colleague that you just want to be left alone until you get a lot of issues sorted out. It may be uncomfortable to say that, but they should not just assume that you have the same values and goals that they have.

              • Meow Meow

                Cocoa, the question is really up to you, do you want or appreciate his “assistance” or not? Your colleague likely feels he’s doing what he can to be of help to you and has some concern for you…..because he cares about you, in some way. (And yes, he may be attracted to you and this is his quiet way of being helpful to you in hopes you will consider him as a suitor one day….) It seems “OK” to me, as an American, that he is being (gasp) chivalrous…doing the “Right Thing” by walking you to your car. There are very few American men who would do this anymore. Letting women fend for themselves is the order of the day.
                However, it seems you will need to clarify to him if this “help” is unwanted. If you don’t want him to walk with you or it brings on feelings of discomfort or obligation, tell him, “I’m so sorry, but I’d rather go by myself”, or you can grab a female friend to go with you, etc. True he may be offended, but a good man will respect your feelings if you make them clear. If on the other hand you appreciate his walk with you simply thank him and say goodbye.

                The reason your female friend may see it as “OK” for him to walk with you is that in American culture it is (was?) thought of as a good thing that men are chivalrous and protective of the physically weaker sex and can be a sign of good manners only. He may (or may NOT) have romantic feelings for you in addition to that. For some men, even a gay or married man, its simply a matter of pride that they would not let a vulnerable colleague walk alone and encounter potential danger on their way to home or car. What you think is going on here and how you feel about it is more important than whatever a friend thinks

                Also, men may well show their attention even if you haven’t asked for it, as it is in their nature to pursue and display interest, but how you react to it is your decision and your right.

              • Cocoa

                Thanks ladies! That’s why I was asking – so if it was possible to have *just* friendship between us then that’s fine, why not. But it can or may quite possibly turn into something else which I am by no means ready for or up to.

                I tend to withdraw and disappear as I sense there is something more. However, the man is very patient and consistent. He would leave me alone for a bit but on particular days he asks what time I am leaving. Now this could be up to an hour, 15 minutes or 3 hours. He is always happy to wait.

                I am separated yes (I had to leave home) but I haven’t applied for divorce yet. I have not recovered emotionally or mentally.

                Just a note: this man was exactly with the same consistency and pursuant even before I separated. I didn’t mention the separation to him or anyone really till about 8 months after (I felt small, broken and somewhat embarrassed that my marriage failed!)

                This walking me business is going on for at least 3 years!

  4. CartieB

    Hi Sir Guy,

    I am very happy to hear you’re feeling better. Welcome back. Your presence was missed. Praying for your speedy recovery!

    I’ve been reading your blog and searching for certain keywords with no luck on how to handle my situation. Would you mind helping me? Open to feedback from the men and women who read this blog!

    Does a man walk away from his 1+year investment after an ultimatum? I let stress get the better of me and I issued an ultimatum. I wanted a ring after a certain time. That time has not passed but the stress has so I apologized for my behavior in addition to working with his timeline moving forward. My hope is to get the relationship back on track. No word since my apology but we haven’t been talking as a result of the ultimatum for three weeks now. The only thing I can do is wait at this point but I am wondering if all is lost. Thanks everyone for your time and feedback!

    Your Highness CartieB,

    Only time will tell if all is lost, but you should proceed as if it is. Forget him and move on. You will look better if you have to be re-won for who you are to him rather than who you are for yourself. IOW, you will look better to him if you accept his dumping as deserved.

    Edith Mcklveen immediately below describes the effects of your ultimatum better than I can.

    Guy

    • Men do not like to be pressured, period. The only thing you can do, based on my understanding of this blog, is back waaaaaay off.

      You’ve apologized. Now leave him to decide: Can he trust you not to get in his face and make him feel attacked and criticized? Aside from the fact that you acted like a ball-buster, have you got more to offer than any other woman he knows?

      Also, are you living with him? You know the old saying, “Why should a man buy the cow when he can get the milk for free?” If you started your relationship telling him that marriage didn’t matter, that love is enough, or whatever, you basically lied to him, right?

      A bedrock truth of this blog is that sex with a man will not bond him to a woman. He will enjoy it as long as it’s easy to get, but if suddenly, after easy access, he hears, “Time for a wedding,” he will, unless circumstances are very unusual, go looking for someone else who gives him what he wants with less hassle.

      Your Highness, Edith Mcklveen,
      A very well described analysis with sterling advice. Thanks.
      Guy

      • CartieB

        Hi Edith and Sir Guy,

        Thanks so much for your replies. The relationship is back on track at the moment but I have to get super busy. I made a mistake that should not have been made given how long I’ve been reading this blog and others. Or maybe it was a mistake that needed to be made in order to cement a lesson, never pressure men. I do believe I have way more to offer than any other women since we aren’t having sex and he agreed to wait until marriage. He said my apology meant a lot to him.

        @Edith,
        You mentioned you’re not getting as many hits on your profile as you would like. What kind of pictures do you have posted up? I would suggest two photos. One should be you in a figure hugging dress in a bright color, your face tastefully painted, and a big smile! The other should be a face shot from the shoulders up with you looking very glamourous. Get on as many dating sites as possible: Tinder, OkCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, ChristianMingle, The League, and JSwipe. Dating is very much like finding a job, you have to keep at it until you get the offer.

  5. In the past several years, as I may have said elsewhere, I have tried eHarmony, Match, Christian Mingle, Christian Café, and (most recently) Sovereign Grace Singles.

    Dating websites are not, as far as I can tell, set up to help out women who want to do it Sir Guy’s way.

    You have to fill out a detailed and intrusive questionnaire. My favorite question so far: “What have you learned from your past dating experience?” So you go into the game as a seller with no mystery. Bad thing number one.

    You are then blithely encouraged to check out possible matches and send a message to those who interest you. That’s called initiating. How can a woman know if a man is genuinely interested in her if she is the one initiating? So the whole, “hey, reach out to your potential soul mate,” is bad thing number two.

    And then there is the problem of guys who, because of failures in relationships, present themselves as (of course) being a great guy (and they may actually be) who wants to give the right woman the world.

    They don’t want to look as bad as they think they are because of their perceived inadequacies. They want, in their own eyes to be that white knight on a horse. And yet, when women respond, these men find one reason after another to reject them. And then the problem is not that they lack confidence, it’s that there are no truly good women in the world.

    That’s bad thing number three.

    So, Mary Wumths, given these realities for Baby Boomers on dating websites, tell me exactly how I can find Mr. Good Enough, or a couple, or three?

    • msarianne

      Lady Edith,
      I think what Lady Mary means is that this man is not very interested in pursuing you and perhaps you should seek other options.
      I will advise, and this is what I would do, look amazing but keep your distance. Make him come to you each time. By amazing I mean…be a knockout-all the time. Who knows? You may attract other gentlemen and increase your chances with him and others. Above all be sweet and patient, nothing scares a man away quicker than desperation. Not that you are, but it’s so easy to go there.
      Best wishes!

      • After posting on a number of dating websites and getting zero responses from men who would fit my definition of good enough, I don’t know what other options there are.

        After telling all my married friends that I am interested in meeting someone and being introduced to zero men (let alone any man who would fit my definition of good enough), I don’t know what other options there are.

        I joined a gym a couple of years ago where the only guy near my age during the hours I could go was the gay yoga instructor.

        I go out to lunch on a regular basis with church friends; some members of this group are married couples, and some are divorced women. Haven’t noticed any eligible single men of my age looking in my direction while my friends and I are chowing down.

        The point is that if I thought there were any other man with half of this particular man’s genuinely worthy qualities, and if I thought there could be even half a chance that another guy would have the confidence and playfulness to approach me, I would be happy, happy, happy to seek other options.

        But I can’t have other options if there are no other men around, right?

        I realize that it is useless to pine after someone who has wonderful qualities, really truly wonderful qualities, but who is stuck in a sense of failure and is unwilling to deal with the inevitable challenges of life with another flawed human being.

        You say who knows? I know. I for sure know. Baby Boomer men of stellar character and high ideals who are available for marriage and who are emotionally healthy don’t apparently exist.

        I can’t attract what doesn’t exist.

        I can make my life much easier and more pleasant by being grateful and having plenty of pretty time, but if there are no available, healthy, interested men, then I can be a knockout, but I will end up buried with a grave marker: “She was so sweet and patient, and then she dropped dead.”

        What kind of life is that?

        • msarianne

          Lady Edith,
          I see plenty of older men at breakfast alone where I live. Do you ever go alone? Whenever I do I get noticed. I recently met a nice man while alone. Maybe something to try. Also look into joining a group where men congregate such as a hobby club of some type. Just ideas. It is definitely harder to find a mate as we age.

    • Mary Wumths

      If online dating doesn’t yield potential suitors I suggest speed dating and singles events. Also look for male dominated events like sports bars, golf ranges, civic clubs like Kiwanis, rotary, lion, elks, retirement seminars, financial planning seminars, compute shows, gun club, hunting club, etc. Singles bible studies if you are religious.

      • Miss Gina

        Great suggestions above. Other possibilities include travel esp in groups or with a lot of people in close quarters (bus and train tours domestic or int’l, cruises), church activities at other churches that are open to anyone, book clubs, dance classes, local history groups/sites, local classes/lectures/concerts (at library, college, parks, etc.). Yes, try going alone and even standing out for it. Men are sometimes reluctant to approach a woman they like if they think they will have to deal with one or more that is not of interest.

        • I do go to a variety of events when they are free. Lots of men and their wives. Lots of older women and their girlfriends.

          I do not currently go out to eat anywhere by myself or with my trusty friends because I cannot afford to. I cannot afford to go to concerts, plays, seminars, or other events that have a price tag. I certainly cannot afford the cost of any kind of tour.

          In the past year, I have had to spend a lot of money on home repairs, and I expect to spend more. Eight hundred possibly on my chimney. Just had to spend $400.00 for a plane ticket to go at my sister’s urging so we can (after only three years) inter my mother’s ashes. Just had to spend $500 on my cats.

          There are no, as in zero, Bible studies for singles in my area that go beyond young people who have not yet been disillusioned by life.

          There are certainly no speed dating events for Christians my age. The Christian mentality I have had to deal with my whole life is the one that says, if you are not married by age 25, you obviously are meant to be a missionary; if you are not married by age 40, there is something wrong with you; it is a sin to do anything other than sit on your hands and wait for God to drop your mate in your lap.

          I am not even remotely interested in dating a man who is not a Christian. That’s big trouble waiting to happen.

          I participate in a ministry that hosts a Bible study in a nursing home, the attendees of which are all women. I am about twenty to twenty-five years away from that lifestyle.

          Went to a yoga class recently at the urging of a friend who goes with her daughter (she is a single mom). It was all millennials.

          I am a volunteer ESL tutor, and I recently discovered that the charter school where one of my students’ kids goes is always looking for volunteers for various things. It’s definitely a worthwhile place to volunteer, and there may be some divorced or widowed grandfathers doing the same, but most of the students come from backgrounds where there is little male involvement.

          A friend at church who is widowed and looking told me about a Christian dating website that she thinks is very good. I signed up and got a friend request from a guy who is about six inches shorter than me, who lives downstate, and who does not want to relocate because of his grandchildren.

          Tomorrow a group from my church of all ages and very few singles will be going to the first baseball game of the season for the local team. I plan to dress pretty and sit tall and smile if anybody smiles at me.

          One thing that is pretty depressing about trying to find a Baby Boomer mate is that, because Boomers by and large have taken crappy care of themselves, we are all apparently dropping like flies about twenty or thirty years earlier than our parents’ generation.

          In the past week, a high school classmate, who himself is recovering from open heart surgery, posted the obituaries of three men either from my class or from my hometown.

          When I consider all of that, the man at church looks very good.

          I have come to the conclusion that, if another year of mystery, indirection, pretty time, and ego-boosting does nothing, then I am willing to take it as God’s sign that I am meant to live and die alone. Of course, because God is good and cares for me, that is not the worst thing in the world, but it is certainly better than endless throwing myself out there only to land with a resounding splat each time.

  6. Mary Wumths

    As for online dating you don’t need to answer every question to put up an ad. You do not initiate messages you simply reply to men who contact you first. I met my hubby online dating and you can read my story on my site at http://marywumths.blogspot.com/

    Your Highness Mary Wumths,
    Your story is interesting and your experience with The Rules very readable. Thanks.
    Guy

    • You’re right. I am still, at my age, hamstrung by the idea that, in order to get into a “club” I want to get into, I have to obey a certain set of rules perfectly and anticipate objections.

      I was a rather rebellious, distracted kid who always piped up when things didn’t make sense. As a result, I got dinged a lot by authority figures and ostracized by my goody-goody peers.

      Intellectually, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that following most social rules I was taught is a useless activity, but my inner child is still for some reason desperate to be accepted by people who are nit-picky rule-followers.

      The thing about texting for me is that it is the most powerful means by which I can send messages of respect and praise. The type of texting that would be typically “female” is not for me. You know, things like, “What are you thinking about? Do you miss me? Why didn’t you reply to my last message? What did you bring for lunch? Look at this photo of my co-worker’s engagement ring, isn’t it gorgeous?” I personally hate getting texts every five minutes, whatever the topic.

      I can think of no better tool for building up a man’s ego than sending any kind of message that says, indirectly of course, “You are infinitely worthy of respect when it comes to intellect, appearance, sense of humor, kindness, creativity, loyalty, hard work, and a desire to serve God.”

      In my current situation, when I say it, it’s not flattery; it’s really true. It’s not unearned praise by any means, and even though I’m not getting the response I wish for, I think it’s important to continue.

      BUT! I certainly would not do anything like that with someone I was just getting to know. Oh, never.

      • Femme

        Dear Sir Guy
        Like everyone else on this site I’m thrilled to find out you are back.
        I just wanted to say to Lady Edith that reading your comments makes me think you might go about dating and finding a partner in a somewhat desperate way. I’m really sorry if I sound offensive…I think praising a man for his general good qualities if he hasn’t done much to win YOU in particular over seems kind of counterproductive to me… If you praise him to get something in return (for example a favourable response or praise), it could perhaps feel like pressure to him.
        I think sometimes things happen when we least expect them and therefore are relaxed and just being ourselves.
        I don’t date at the moment for various reasons but try to use every interaction with men as a learning experience.
        A funny thing happened at work a few days ago.
        A visitor came to see one of our directores. She was in a meeting so I offered the man a drink as I normally do and asked him to wait till the meeting was over. He was sitting near my desk for a good 15 mins, waiting, during which I just went about my business. Finally the director came and they both went to another meeting room.
        Half an hour later the man was on his way back. Normally people barely acknowledge me when they are leaving – this man came over very deliberately, said ” I just wanted to say you would make a lovely wife”, smiled and left. It was really weird and funny at the same time, given that I have been for some time trying to transform myself into exactly that – a potential lovely wife for the right man. I was quite surprised men still think of marriage (given our hook up culture) and that it took him 15 mins to reach that conclusion. I will never know what exactly made him make that comment but I can’t help thinking that, as women, all we can do really is be our best selves and hope maybe some guy will like us enough to find us worthwile.
        But if not, at least we are the best we can be. All I can say is, since I started reading this blog I have come to like myself a bit more. It’s a very slow process but I now realise it’s really important. A man can’t like us for us. We have to do that job ourselves. Thank you, Sir Guy, for getting through to me in this respect.

        • Lady Femme, I think your observation is *quite accurate* about me approaching finding a life partner with some sense of desperation.

          I don’t think it would be wrong for someone to say that this *whole blog* exists because of *some* degree of desperation and frustration on the part of a number of women.

          Women who are able to approach male-female relationships with real confidence and assurance don’t need this blog, do they?

          They are meeting Mr. Good Enough, dating, getting a ring, getting married, and dealing with their marriages while a whole lot of other women are trying, and trying, and trying to do the same . . . and not getting there.

          I am a Baby Boomer who soaked up a lot of feminist ideas in high school and college. I set out to apply them in my life NOT because I hated men and wanted women to rule the universe. I wanted to have the best, healthiest, most enjoyable relationship with men in general, and hopefully one man in particular. And when my efforts failed over and over, I began to see myself as worthless, not good enough, even stupid.

          But I couldn’t stand living with that view of myself. So I began to blame men. Men were too stupid to realize how great I was. And if I could just get them to stop being stupid men and start being more like . . . me! Then life would be just peachy.

          And the more I pursued that line of thinking, the worse things got.

          Fast forward to today, and now that I understand the damage done to my generation by feminism, especially regarding human intimacy, I do feel as if I have to make up for lost time.

          I am conflicted in my situation. On the one hand, there is a part of me that (even at my age) wants some sort of girly Cinderella fantasy to unfold in my life. And the reality is that, if I use the “tips and tricks” so clearly laid out by Sir Guy, and if I sit tight, I can probably get some decent guy to give me what *I* want.

          The conflict comes in when I consider that, from the point of view of my Christian faith, life is not about me getting what I want. It is not about me finding a man to serve me hand and foot. Life is about men and women loving and serving God and loving and serving each other.

          If I *only* show a man admiration and respect in exchange for his giving me what I *want* . . . that reduces human intimacy to the level of dog training. Men are not women, but men are not dogs.

          It strikes me that, in the moments where I have been most desperate in a relationship, it has been because my attitude has been, and my words and actions have said, “I won’t be happy until you give me what I want. I will do what it takes to boost your ego and flatter you and make you think the world revolves around you, but I won’t give you a moment’s peace until you give me what I want.”

          It’s not all about me. It’s not all about “him” (whoever he may turn out to be). It’s all about men and women each being able to recognize and value and support the good things that God has placed in each sex.

          I would love the man at church to wake up tomorrow and realize that I am an answer to prayer. I have already told him I don’t feel sorry for him when he says he’s lonely . . . because he was stupid enough to reject me.

          He tells me about going to the movies with a female co-worker he would never seriously date . . . and about going to the movies with a community college professor whose political views were diametrically opposed to his.

          He says, in my presence, to other people, how hard it is to find someone.

          And yet he will not allow me to fade into the woodwork. Every time I think, “Okay, we’re all moving on, dealing with life . . .” there he is in my face.

          Why would I continue to find reasons to be supportive and encouraging to him when he is clearly ambivalent, dysfunctional, and dishonest with himself and me about what he wants in life?

          Because, when push comes to shove, he has not been “generally” a good guy in my life. Despite some real problems that he has, he has been in some specific ways, a really good guy, really helpful, really there for me at times when I least expected him to be.

          He has in some ways, been an entirely self-absorbed egotistical baby, but in some surprising ways, he has been a truly really good guy, a guy who needs, if anything, MORE praise and admiration, not less.

          I get that he isn’t capable of being some really cool Prince Charming, though a lot of what he says and does clearly sends the message that he wants to be thought of that way. I am not capable of being Cinderella.

          We are both incapable of being someone’s ultimate romantic fantasy.

          But seriously, truly seriously, whatever God has in mind for his life (will he come to terms with his problems and find a new source of confidence and hope for his life? Will he choose to keep his heart safe and spend the rest of his life avoiding emotional risk?) . . . he is admirable, worthy of respect.

          As crapped-up as his life is, if you knew him, really knew him, you would envy me my problem relationship.

          Right now, he can interpret my interactions, my comments, my encouragement however he wants. Respond, not respond, get freaked out, stop talking to me. Whatever.

          I obviously have to stop letting myself be jerked around by what might be “possible” between us at the moment or in the future.

          But I don’t see how my willingness to recognize his worth can, in the grand scheme of things, ever be “counterproductive.”

          Broken as he is, he is a man worthy of every good thing I can say about him.

    • Mary Wumths

      Thank you Sir Guy, I learned much from your site and was glad to discover your blog while dating my hubby. We dated for a year no sex and you are absolutely right that no sex breeds respect. He said he never respected any woman as much as he did me and I believe a large part of the reason why is no sex before marriage. It has been a blessing to receive your wisdom to apply in my life.

  7. Thanks to a few well-chosen and well-timed words from Sir Guy, I have made changes to my picture and profile that show up on this blog and others powered by WordPress (and that includes the dating website I recently joined.

    I would appreciate feedback.

    What Sir Guy said gave me a big “aha” moment, which is basically this . . .

    Women communicate by talking. And women generally derive a lot of pleasure and encouragement from talking with women friends. And right from the get-go, women tend to tell each other everything about everything, all the cards are laid on the table. History, thoughts, feelings, disappointments, successes, fears, hobbies, shoe sizes, bra sizes, whatever.

    “Here I am in living color and in detail, what do you think?” And women tell each other what they think and add to it. And at its best, female conversations are all very chatty and comfy.

    I have gone on dating websites with a model of friendly, comfortable conversation that is a female model.

    “Hello, potential romantic partner. This is who I am in detail, not only because openness and vulnerability are my “thing,” but because I don’t want to be accused of false advertising. So let me tell you all the wonderful things about me.”

    I realized just yesterday that men don’t want full, honest, open, detailed disclosure of who a woman is. At least not in a dating website profile, and not in gobs of words.

    Men want to know who a woman is in terms of how she will interact with men. Not how she feels l about men in general or in specific. Not details of her past relationships or all the life lessons she’s learned from dating men.

    Outside of wondering about sex, men want to know: “Okay, lady, what manly behaviors do you appreciate, admire, support? If a man treats you well, busts his hump to add value to your life, and adds to your status in the eyes of your friends and family, how are you going to respond? Are you going to make me glad I made the effort, or are you going to make me regret it?”

    Basically, for men it’s, “Okay, enough about you, now you tell me what you think about me.”

    I am neither a fluff-kitten nor a sex-bomb, but I am a woman, and I do want men to know that I am feminine and pro-masculine. But my approach to dating profiles has been to as if I’m introducing myself to a potential BFF, not a potential love interest. I have a lifetime of feminist-influenced habits to overcome; how I introduce myself to men is one to add to the list.

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