Friday, March 27, 2015
Relationships and What Women Really Want
So I had this dream. I was ......somewhere. Just standing there, as my dream began. And then I heard this young woman's voice. "Stop. You're hurting me," she said. It was coming from a space under a large piece of furniture and I thought what a strange place that was for a young couple to choose in which to "get it on". But her pleas continued and there was a note of panic growing in her voice, and some struggling sounds. I am tough and fearless in my dreams. I mean, I walk around naked sometimes and no one notices. In my dreams, mind you. Wouldn't Freud have a good time analyzing that?
So I started knocking on this big piece of furniture they were under, and I said, "Hey! YOU! GET OUT FROM UNDER THERE!" I mean, I was getting hacked off, big time. I kept it up till feet started sliding out towards me and it was this pretty little delicate flower of a girl that I just reached out and threw my arms around as soon as she was totally emerged. And then the culprit feet started coming out, too. I was too mad to think that he might beat up on me or shoot me with a gun, but he wouldn't have done that in my dreams, anyway. At least if he'd started out in that direction, it would've awakened me out of my sleep and that would be the end of my dream.
With the girl still in my grasp, I told this guy what a knuckle-dragging cretin he was being and how if he needed release so bad he had to hurt someone to get it, he might as well just go take a shower and get some satisfaction while he was in there. I mean, it's not like guys during their peak years don't do that sort of thing all the time.
It turned out that he was mostly a decent guy. Young, like she was, and they'd been dating. But he didn't have a clue about how to treat a woman, except from what he'd heard from other guys. And you know what THAT's like. So he and I sat down together and I talked to him frankly. That's the beauty of being old. You can be frank.
When we were finished, we were joined by some other people, might've been her family or his, or both, that was not clear. And we all drew chairs up around a big table. I think we must've been at some kind of resort or something. Everyone was friendly, unaware of how I got acquainted with the young couple, Hubs showed up, and I was over my mad spell. It turned out to be a nice dream.
And so I want today to address young men who are walking around out there without a clue, too worried about being seen "Lame", or "UnCool", or whatever it's called now, to ask questions of anyone they know, and to the young women who have relationships with them.
This is old great-grandma information. And no, it's not that out-of-date. People don't change. There are certain things that are hard-wired into human beings.
I've seen and heard many times, guys asking, "WHAT do women WANT???"
And I'm going to tell you.
All in the world a woman really wants, is to be loved by a man that she respects and admires. No, I'm not talking about the act itself, which men talk about amongst themselves in nasty terms that imply that a woman is just a receptacle in which to drop their load. I'm always puzzled by this attitude. If it's that mechanical, that impersonal, then why do they even need to bother a woman with it at all??
But we all know the male and female of our species think about sex in different ways. There's an old saying that goes, "Men give love to get sex and women give sex to get love". Oh, I know. Some women are different. It has always been that way, it's just that we are more accepting of it now than we have ever been, and so it has become more prevalent now than it has ever been. This type of woman makes a big deal about how aggressive she can be and sometimes she's managed to impersonalize it so that, initially, it means as little to her as it does to the guy. But in her mind, the act itself is more like a kind of an "interview". If it goes well and she finds other things about her new-found partner that are attractive, she may hope to see him again. She may hope to eventually build some sort of relationship with him. And that's one of the differences. What she may not understand is that, for a man, there are two kinds of sex. The woman a man hooks up with in a bar is just an object to him. He closes off his mind and his heart because of that. He may even be one of those guys who learned how to "pick up" a woman. Anytime some guy walks up to a group of women and zeroes in on one of them, compliments her, and then says something that would ordinarily be an insult to her is playing "The Game". For instance, he may say to her, "I've been admiring you for awhile, you are so beautiful". And then after he's gotten a positive response, he says something like, "It's just a shame you are so fat (or your teeth are so yellow, or you bite your nails, or your nose is so big", or something). There's something psychological in that technique that makes it work, otherwise the woman would realize she's just been insulted and she'd say, "Flake off, you JERK!" But instead she leaves the bar with him, not knowing that she's just that night's trophy that he will brag about to the guys tomorrow. I guess it's OK if she knows what's going on and she's been acting like "bait", and he's HER trophy too, that she will brag about to the girls the next day. If it's understood on both sides, no one gets hurt. I guess.
I don't have a lot of advice for people who pick each other up in a bar, other than, "Don't do that", because frankly, I don't think that's a good place to go if you're looking for someone you might be able to fall in love with. I don't think dressing suggestively is a good idea because you send the wrong messages and attract the very men who will objectify you. If you've got a great rack you don't have to bare 'em for guys to notice 'em. They have x-ray vision, and it's always touched up like those pictures in the girlie magazines are. So you're actually better off leaving your wares to the imagination.
And though I know it's often done, I think people who have casual sex have a lot harder time finding happiness and self-respect than those who don't. When I was a girl, the guys were only too happy to mess around with a girl who would do it with anyone. But rarely did they spend any money on her or take her anywhere but a back road somewhere. They had respect and admiration for the girl who hadn't experienced that part of life yet, and when they started thinking about "settling down", a girl like that was The Holy Grail. I mean, all the guys knew which girls those were, because they'd all "struck out" with them, and guys talk about things like this amongst themselves. The problem with girls "saving themselves for marriage" was that none of the guys did that. There were a lot of girls who were somewhere in between: they'd "gone steady" with someone, and been intimate, and then something didn't work out and they'd split up. You didn't find that girl out on a back road or in a motel with just anyone, though.
Lots of people meet on those dating services and I think there's good and bad about that. At least maybe most of those people are looking for relationships. I've seen where some guys put a comment on that says, "No fat chicks", and that just kind of tells you everything you need to know about them. I don't think there would be a point to women putting "No knuckle-dragging cretins" as her comment, because the thing about guys like that is that they don't see themselves the way women see them.
But let's say you are a couple that met at work, or at school, or any number of other places -- the grocery store, the gym, church, a 10-K race, a wedding -- places where people go for other reasons than "hooking up". Maybe you go for coffee and you start getting to know each other. This is a scenario in which the risks of being objectified are lower, but it can happen, depending on the situation. Maybe after you get to know each other better, one of you decides there's something about the other person that is a deal-breaker. Then you may decide that, well, at least you ought to get a little "bonus" for the time already invested before you break it off and go on your way, and that's when somebody gets objectified.
One of the big differences between men and women is that men simplify everything. For women there are lots of gray areas, and they see it all. They have their radar on allllll the time, and if the least little thing is off, they know it right away. Then they decide what it's worth. Do they ignore it because of other redeeming qualities? Do they confront it? Or is it a deal-breaker? I've often said that men don't know their relationship is in trouble till it's too late. For single men, that's when she says, "It's not you, it's ME." For married men, that's when they come home from work and their clothes and stuff is all out in the yard and the locks are changed. What both these things mean is that the issue is not even worth talking about now. You may not have known it, but you had your chance and blew it. She's done. Don't go away mad, just go away.
Men typically marry because they don't want somebody else to come along and take "their woman" away from them. Or because they want to start a family. Women typically marry because they're in love and they want to spend the rest of their lives WITH "their man". So you have your imbalance right there. Women are always complaining that they can't get their live-in boyfriend to commit, and why should he? He's getting everything he wants out of the relationship already. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? I realize it's too much to expect women today to "save themselves for marriage". But if I were a young woman today, I would certainly not continue an exclusive relationship with a man who was so concerned about losing his "freedom" that he would risk my exercising mine. And I certainly would not get pregnant. No, ladies, having a baby does not "cement a relationship". If it's shaky before the pregnancy, it'll break before the birth. And then you'll have a child to raise by yourself. Your man wasn't even ready to be a Husband, what makes you think he won't be scared spitless to be a Daddy?
So now, if you're a man and you're in a serious relationship with a woman, or maybe you're married, why does she keep having these "fits"? You never know what she's going to be like. Some casual thing you say may just set her off. Or she's not talking to you and you can't figure out what you've done. Or she IS talking to you, in fact she's slamming things around, and you think that's even worse. Trust me, your relationship is more at risk when she's NOT talking to you, because that's the point where she sees no point in it. She's been there, done that, and nothing's changed, because you've just weathered the storm and then turned on the charm and the issue is still there, bubbling. Trust me, it will come up again. And again. And again. Because women save things up, and then something comes up that is the "straw that broke the camel's back", and you're standing there, not knowing what the hell has happened. Hold her close, if she'll let you, and say, "Baby, please tell me what I've done...." Then deal with it. Talk about it. Negotiate and come to an agreement, so that you don't have to keep getting in trouble for the same things, over and over again. You'll thank me later.
It has often been said, "Happy Wife, Happy Life". And that is true. It has also been said, by many old-timer married men, "Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be happy?" Of course we cannot omit, "If Mama ain't happy, Ain't NOBODY happy!"
The way you make a woman happy is to make her feel loved. The way to make a woman value the fact that you love her is to gain her respect. If she doesn't respect you, admire you, then it really doesn't matter how much you love and admire her. You might as well be some creep lurking around her house, peering in her windows.
The way you gain a woman's respect is not through fear. There is an old fable about the sun and the wind getting into an argument about who was more powerful. So it was proposed that they have a contest on a man they saw walking on the earth, to see which one of them could get his coat off him first. The wind went first, and it blew and blew. The harder the gusts, the tighter the man drew his coat around him. Then it was the sun's turn. The sun smiled upon the man, and sent it's warm rays in his direction. The man took off his coat.
Show me a man who beats his wife and I will show you a man who has been abused or has watched his father abuse his mother during his childhood. The chain continues on but it can and must be broken. I had a dear friend, years ago, whose husband drank. And when he was drunk, he would beat her. Later, he would beg her forgiveness and buy her gifts and say it'd never happen again, but it always did. And finally, she decided she'd had enough. The next incident was a big surprise for John. He had her by the throat and she reached around for something with which to protect herself. It was the telephone. This was back in the day when telephones were kinda substantial. She beat him with that telephone, broke it, in fact, and had to take him to the Emergency Room. The next time, what she grabbed was a hand-tooled leather belt with a big round buckle. He went to the Emergency Room again. And John never hurt Sarah again. Willy Nelson, the country singer, told of a time when his first wife, whom he had repeatedly beaten while drunk, waited patiently till he went to sleep. She carefully folded the sheet he was laying on over him and sewed the edges together. She had the car running and the children in it. And then she beat him with a broom handle and walked out. When Hubs and I were young marrieds, there were a couple of times when he would raise his hand to me like he was going to hit me, during an argument. And I would look him right in the eye and say to him, "If you hit me, you'd better kill me with the first blow because I'm coming back up fighting!" Hubs and I have not had a smooth marriage, but we have never, ever, struck each other. I realize there are a lot of unstable people out there and in each one of these situations there could have been risk involved in which somebody could've wound up shot or knifed. So you have to know your assailant, is what I'm saying. Or not care anymore.
The way a man gains his woman's respect is to be a man worthy of respect, at home and in his community. Be kind, and considerate of your woman's feelings. Never lie to her. If you lie to your woman and get caught in it, she will never believe you 100% again. This might be real important later. Don't have affairs. It is NOT true that if you love your spouse enough you will never be attracted to anyone else. It IS true that if you love your spouse enough you will not act on those impulses. Recognize what an insult and breach of trust infidelity is. If you are so enamored with someone else, do the honorable thing and get your freedom first. If you have a past history, don't tell her about it unless she wants to know. (And ladies, truly, you won't want to know this stuff that happened before you came along. It's nice to know who his old girlfriends are, though, if they live in your area.) If you have a friend who is a woman, and your wife tells you she's uncomfortable with that, then cool the friendship. Who's more important here, your wife or your friend? Get some guy friends, for heaven's sake! Women friends have this mysterious way of becoming a lot closer to a married man than is appropriate, before the man even knows what's happening. It usually starts when they comfort him as he relates the latest argument he's had with the wife, and goes downhill from there. "We never meant to hurt you," is what is said after the damage is done.
A man can send out signals that he is not interested in dalliances with women by working in mention of his wife when he has conversations with other women. We had a carpenter who worked on our house on Osage who, the instant a woman engaged him in a conversation, found a way to mention his wife. I remember thinking how lucky his wife was, to have such a devoted husband. He obviously was a wise man who knew how much better it was to side-step trouble before it happens than to get himself into an awkward situation. Of course, him being a carpenter made him easy prey for lonely housewives.
You, whether husband or wife, also shouldn't share your intimate relationship details with a friend that is a member of the opposite sex. It is a breach of trust. Not to mention some pretty high-powered ammo if that friend has a secret agenda.
Men, if you have been guilty of infidelity, don't lie. Don't try to shift the blame. You made the decision, the burden is yours, so man up. If your wife forgives you and the two of you decide to try to work things out, LET HER VENT. Go with her to a counselor if need be. Don't let it bubble inside her until it has cooked away all the love and respect she ever had for you. And ladies, please understand that a single one-night stand is not a threat to your marriage. Think of it as an accidental bodily function. A string of them is dangerous, even if it's with different women each time, so the first infraction needs to be dealt with with such harshness that it's what he'll think about the next time he's tempted. But if that doesn't work, it might be a sign of a much deeper problem and you'll need to make a decision as to whether you can live with that or not. And then there is the long-time affair with one woman. He might actually love both of you and in that event, it's pretty complicated.
It also needs to be understood by the married couple that there is such a thing as a predatory woman. This woman may have many reasons other than the obvious. She may have no real desire for the married man at all. She may know the wife and have a desire to "knock her off her pedestal", or bring her pain and sadness out of jealousy. She may be compensating for some hurt she has experienced in her past. She may be making a practice of having sex with married men because she thinks they are "safe". Or she may be desperately trying to trap an unsuspecting man into an exclusive relationship by ruining his marriage, especially if there is wealth or notoriety involved. In which case, she will not be dispatched easily. And if she's a potential "trophy wife", you might as well just throw in the towel now. When you deal with a predatory woman, it can be easy, or pretty messy, you never know. Because women are complicated, and sometimes even THEY don't know why they do the things they do.
I realize a lot of the things I've said here applies to conventional relationships. I know very little about alternative lifestyles and therefore I am not qualified to give advice in that regard. And I do realize that sometimes the person having affairs is the wife. Wives have affairs for pretty much the same reasons as husbands do, and there are predatory males, as well. It's a shame the predatory male and female can't pair up and then they'd be too busy to bother with married couples.... But mostly, if the wife feels well loved and she loves, respects and admires her husband, she has better sense than to destroy a good thing. And most men have some kind of "code of honor" amongst themselves where they don't mess with some other guy's woman. I think mostly it's because it's liable to get them punched in the face.
And how do you make your spouse feel loved, you ask? Well, think about what would make you feel loved. It doesn't hurt to say it, you know. Women need to hear the words, and men get tired of saying them, I think. I worked with a woman who made a habit of putting little love notes in her husband's lunch bag. I've found most men to be a little embarrassed about that. One valentine's day I slipped down where Hubs worked and put a basket of his favorite treats on the seat, then decorated his truck with hearts. I guess I was doing ok with the basket, just not all the rest. He wiped it all off before he headed for home and never spoke of it. But what makes Hubs feel good is when I tell him how much I appreciate all the things he so willingly does for me and how I admire the abilities that he has, and how much I depend on and need him. Men love to be needed. When I walk past him I reach out and touch or hug him and you know, touch is an important thing. So are hugs. Like I mentioned before, our marriage is an old one, it'll be 50 years in 2017, if we're both still around by then, and it's bent up and rusted in certain places like an old 1967 pick-up would be. We've had a couple of wrecks and limped along on our spare more times than I want to remember. I wish someone had told us all this when we were young, some of the things that happened to us have changed forever how we felt about each other. But as I look around me, I see couples our age who just do not seem to like each other at all anymore, or maybe there's just one of them left, and I think that's sad. Yes, mistakes have been made, but for the most part they've been atoned for and forgiven. Hurts and resentments have been given to God to sort out.
Recommended reading? Two books, reasonably priced, on Amazon. Love Life For Every Married Couple, by Ed Wheat. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (good info if you can put up with the cutesey stuff) by John Gray.
Be happy. Hugs xoxoxo