In mid-April, I had written an essay about a “Grati’s Husband/Spouse/Partner Owner’s Manual for Women”– https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/gratis-husbandspousepartner-owners-manual-41112-gratiana-lovelace-post-164/ It was a facetious look at what makes our men tick–and not the Lyme disease variety–and the foibles of understanding men in general from a woman’s perspective and experiences (mine, limited though it may be).
So today, I offer the companion essay for men about what makes women tick–and it is not always our biological or chronological clock–via my “Wife/Spouse/Partner Owner’s Manual A to Z” [(1) right] graphic (facetious alert!)–and what are at least my suggested basic tenets and operating principles from a relationship standpoint as a woman in the essay below.
Now ladies, I’m not intending to divulge all of our secrets–there has to be some mystery about us–and I don’t want to lose my sisterhood card. But most men seem to be basically clueless and they need a refresher–or an initial training to begin with.
So, fellas, I offer you some suggestions in this essay related finding your way to being in a romantic exclusive/monogamous relationship with a woman–with the disclaimer that these are just my observations and I am no expert:
RESPECT–the Aretha Franklin variety–is a mutual two way street in healthy nurturing relationships, and the lynchpin of loving relationships. Here is a music video with lyrics by caitlynsorox of Ms. Franklin singing the song “Respect” [(2) below] to emphasize my point and start us off right:
There are several “codes of conduct” or “rules of engagement” that apply to romantic relationships. “Treat people how you wish to be treated by others” is a good example of these–assuming you want to be treated courteously, you want to be valued, you want people to consider your feelings and wishes (you want people to include you in decisions), and you want to be loved, etc. This is not an all encompassing or inclusive list of guidelines, but they are a good starting point. So fella’s, let’s “unpack” this notion of respect and codes of conduct for you:
- Treat women courteously–especially your current or intended love partner. This can include (in no particular order):
a. being on time for dates, calling if you will be late (but not being late is essential); and don’t cancel a date at the last minute; our time is valuable and we have often taken longer to get ready for our date than you have (so don’t make us feel like we have wasted our time on you);
b. line up our next date before this date is finished if you’re interested in seeing us again; you should have at least 3 to 5 dates with someone before you check them off your potentials list because some people take a while to warm up to you (especially if you take a while to warm up to other people);
c. in that same vein of getting to know someone, listen more than you speak–my hubby didn’t let me get a word in edgewise our first several dates because he chatted like a magpie. Ha! So although I was getting to know a lot about him from what he told me, he wasn’t really getting to know much about me. But of course, we broke the ice conversationally and I participated in our discussion on our early dates–mostly while he was chewing his food. Ha!
d. And of course, open the door for us, push our chair in for us, don’t talk on or text with your cell phone when you’re with us (give us your undivided attention), etc. To help with that undivided attention, do you like the graphic of the “Three Graces”? [(3) right]
e. Lavish gifts are inappropriate in the early stages of a relationship–and are not necessarily needed ever. Sorry to any gals out there who love to get trinkets. But the value of a relationship cannot and should not be judged by how much is spent on each other. However, thoughtfulness, consideration, and quality and quantity time spent together are key–my hubby will give me a single rose at special times and he fills his birthday, anniversary, and valentines cards to me with X’s (kisses) and O’s (hugs). Sighhhhhhh!
- Let your current or intended relational partner know that you value them, above all others:
a. Praise usually works–compliment us about our opinions, our goals and aspirations, and actions either professionally or with our community service;
b. You may compliment us generally (nice dress, lovely scent, sweet smile), but refrain from specific appearance comments until you know us better. If a woman is stunningly beautiful, you’re probably not dating her–few men are that lucky. And frankly, stunningly handsome guys aren’t always the best pick for women–because they might be too into themselves. The phrase “high maintenance” comes to mind. But your beloved is beautiful to you–as you are handsome to them.
c. And never ever criticize–no one wants or needs constructive criticism. And if you think your lady friend needs to change then maybe you are the one who needs to change your perceptions. So, learn to appreciate her smile, her sense of humor, her kindness, her intelligence, her caring, her loyalty, and her striving for excellence, etc.–she will be a good role model for you.
- Consider her feelings and wishes and include her in decision making:
a. Did you choose the restaurant you take your date to because you like their peanuts and you can throw the shells on the floor? tsk tsk When you invite someone out on a date, you want to make sure “she” has a good time. So, just ask her what she likes and plan accordingly. You’re not psychic–nor is she.
b. Also avoid a restaurant that has a drive through option. Dates don’t have to be expensive, but they should have some thought behind them. So no restaurants where you choose your entrée by its number, either.
c. Also avoid sports bars and other noisy locations for dates. You can’t hear each other talk. And the give and take of conversation is the main currency of relationship development.
d. And if you are seeing a movie or a play after dinner, then include her in that decision as well. There is nothing worse than sitting through two hours of a play or movie with an uninteresting topic or premise, foul language, scantily clad actors (usually the women’s breasts are on display), etc. That will dampen your evening and your future prospects right there. I don’t want to see violence and actors (male or female) in “sex scenes”–I prefer love scenes that are tender and romantic, and not an instruction manual. And in return, I won’t make you sit through Jane Austen movies.
- Let her know if you are beginning to have tender loving feelings for her–for more than just for tonight.
a. My gal pals who are still in the dating scene–or who have stepped back from it for a breather–tell me that guys only want sex. tsk tsk again. Women aren’t about instant gratification, fellas. And if they are, they don’t need you for that. I’m just telling it like it is–tough love. On the other hand, romantic love is about sharing your life with your soul mate–warts and all (or farts and all as the case may be for some husbands, unfortunately). And that love grows and deepens gradually over time. As well as passion becoming more heated over time–practice makes purrrrrfect I always say. Ha!
b. In general, views about sex are a short term versus long term issue. Do you want to have to continually seek out someone new to have sex with–and all the energy, time, and money that costs–along with wasting your efforts when you are unsuccessful? And let’s face it, if you are reading this essay, you feel that you could use a pointer or two. Or, do you want to have a loving romantic partner with whom you can share and give pleasures as much as you mutually wish in a fulfilling, committed, and monogamous relationship over time? This is a no brainer, fellas. Door #2.
c. These are not trick questions. Think of a marriage license as being better than a hunting license for whatever poor fish or animal you’re chasing–and not catching, hopefully. There is nothing better than hot married sex–which I refer to as making love. True, my husband is my only lover–and I don’t have comparison statistics. I know, I’m quaint in this day and age–the sexual revolution completely passed me by, by my choice. *wave* But my hubby and I are still deeply in love with each other–probably more so–after being happily together as a couple for 24 years come June 2012, and very happily married for 22.5 years.
d. And three primly typed observations about lovemaking from me to you fellas:
1) There is much to be said for steamy kisses and restrained caresses that leave you breathlessly panting for more. You should take every opportunity to explore and enjoy kissing. Kissing and no more with your beloved is exquisitely sensuous, tender, adoring, and passionate. Anticipation of future intimacies is half the fun. And the most romantic scene of all time for me is the tender ending train station kissing scene in the BBC’s 2004 production of Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North & South” [(4) right]. If a man is tender and loving and kisses like that? Sighhhhhhh!
2) How do you know if your relationship has progressed to the point of possibly making love with each other? After you have met each others’ families and survived the gauntlet of inquisitive and intrusive questioning–such as are you having sex? Remember that Grandparents’ and parents’ question censor buttons get turned off at a certain age. So if you are squeamish and don’t want to have to answer that question, then wait to make love. After you have had the responsible sex talk with each other–condoms, unplanned pregnancy prevention, etc. And who knows, maybe after you’re engaged or even after you’re married. Making love with someone is not a test run to see if you are sexually “compatible”–that develops over time.
3) Comfort is key–there should only be one thing that is hard in a romantic interlude/tryst–and it is not the furniture. Forget the table, stairs, swing, marble countertop, etc. And be leery of satin sheets if traction is an issue for you.
4) And I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, the best aphrodisiac for a loving relationship and lovemaking is daily and hourly being caring and considerate of your love partner and their wishes–both in and out of bed.
- Women are a great networking resource for dating–Even if you don’t become a romantic couple with some women you date, they might become your friend (and maybe she has a friend that she might fix you up with). So don’t ignore the real networking benefits of dating–never burn your bridges.
In conclusion, here is a Glee music video of relational angst–to hopefully avoid–in a video by Christian Von Rappard titled “Glee – Rumour Has It / Someone Like You (Full Performance) (Official Music Video) [(5) below]:
P.S. Feel free to tack this essay to the refrigerator door for your hubby/spouse/partner to see.
P.S. Coming soon: “Tips for Rejuvenating Your Relationship”
(1) Wife/Spouse/Partner Owner’s Manual graphic created using MS Office Clip Art found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=women&ctt=1#ai:MP900437392|mt:2|
(2) Music video with lyrics by caitlynsorox of Aretha Franklin singing the song “Respect”
(3) Image of Three Graces sculpture at the Louvre was found at http://public-domain-photos.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/The-Three-Graces-Borghese-Collection-marble-sculpture-Louvre.jpg; for more information about the Three Graces symbolism, visit http://www.public-domain-photos.org/tag/the-three-graces
(4) Image (brightened) of John Thornton (portrayed by Richard Armitage) kissing Margaret Hale (portrayed by Daniela Denby-Ashe) is from the BBC’s 2004 production of Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North & South”, episode 4 (Pix 340) and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode4/slides/ns4-340.html
(5) Glee music video of relational angst–to hopefully avoid–in a video by Christian Von Rappard titled “Glee – Rumour Has It / Someone Like You (Full Performance) (Official Music Video) was found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnY93SrEyv8&feature=related