What A Man Wants From A Woman
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by Dan Bode. He lives in Sacramento, California and blogs at Thoughts of Dan. It’s beautiful, and challenging. This is also the last week of posts from men, so if you’d like to share your story on learning to set boundaries, go ahead and submit it for the upcoming month! – Lauren
What men want from women will always be a much debated topic, as will what women want from men – but we can still talk about it.
One thing I believe is almost universally true is this: You can easily overwhelm us, and we fear being overwhelmed.
Our society has taught us all that we each have certain roles and limitations within a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Men are supposed to be strong, solid and relatively unemotional – and women are supposed to need protection, love and understanding.
Society screwed us all up pretty well there.
When men display emotion it is viewed as a weakness, and for women to display strength is offensive. These are changing, but still widely held viewpoints if you sit back and observe how it is actually played out in daily life.
On top of all this we add the dimension of Love, and the myriad definitions of it that each of us has, and everything gets mixed up!
I’m a single man of 51. My wife died a few months ago, and I am discovering completely different aspects of love that I never would have imagined before. I didn’t want that relationship to end so I still had the desire for love when she died.
First of all, let’s get something straight right now: being single does not mean you are incomplete. Being single does not mean we are a bunch of “half-persons” running around searching for our other half so we can be “whole.” God made us complete in Himself so we don’t have to be in a “relationship” to be a finished product. That being said we have to acknowledge that God made us to be social beings, and “in relationship” with other people.
Being successful in a relationship requires what we have been trained to minimize: Commitment.
When we enter a relationship, we most often approach it from a dating standpoint. Which means we’ve put the romantic aspect on it from the start before we even really know anything about the other person. We put our best face forward, and don’t let the other person see who we really are until we figure they like us enough that they’ll be ok with our faults.
What we should do is let the relationship start as a friendship and be honest about who we are. Instead, we risk a greater sense of rejection when you discover the person you think you have fallen in love with doesn’t like who you truly are after all. Or your own disappointment when you find out that honestly? You can’t stand him.
We are all taught to treat relationships as temporary. Like clothes you try on to see if they fit just right, and then toss on the floor of the dressing room when they don’t conform to our ideal. We have to understand that we cannot enter into a relationship with the intention of “changing him/her.” The only ones who can change a person are God and themselves. Anyone else who tries will be met with abject failure.
This is the opposite of what we are called to do in a relationship. Love and relationship are all about one thing: commitment to the person as you know them to be.
Men as a general rule have learned to be afraid of commitment. The rate of fatherless children is higher now than it has ever been, so the example men have grown up with is one absent of any male commitment at all. This isn’t an excuse at all; it’s just the way it is.
As much as men might fear a committed relationship, we also realize at some level that this commitment is well worth it.
Love, as God created it, is meant to endure. My wife died, but our love did not. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul says that “Love never fails.” He’s right.
Love doesn’t fail – we do.
We insist on putting human limitations on the gifts of God and insist that we can’t maintain the standards He has set. The truth is that love endures our human limitations.
Love, as God created it, is not meant to meet my own needs. It would not survive any conflict if it was. Love and forgiveness go hand in hand so that we can each forgive the truths that we try so desperately to hide from each other.
Maybe this is stuff I just wish I could tell my younger self, I don’t know. But it is what I know now, and what I will live by and teach with every opportunity that comes my way.
So as a man, what would I like to see in a woman?
Someone who sees herself as valued already, and isn’t afraid of being honest about who she is.
Someone who isn’t afraid to insist on being treated fairly, and treat him fairly in turn.
Someone who will allow a man to show his emotions without fear, because the comforting circle of the arms of a woman who loves him is a powerful thing – whether he will ever admit it or not.
Love requires Forgiveness.
When we participate in romance we are living out our fantasies of being in love with our perfect match – but since no one is perfect we have to apply Grace to cover the others faults and fall in love again with this person who, while not nearly perfect, is indeed our perfect match.
What does a man really want?
He wants a beautiful woman, but not the beautiful woman you might think.
If you as a woman wish to see beauty then go and take off the makeup. Look in the mirror. This is the face of beauty, but you must learn to see it in yourself. See yourself without the blinders of this world’s definition. See yourself as God intended you to be. Act as though you are as beautiful as anyone else around you. The man who recognizes that beauty in you is the one who knows what he wants and will strive to meet your needs with what he has to offer you. (There is a caveat to this whole argument: many men in today’s society are completely blind to true beauty, but you’re better off ignoring them. That man will only cause you pain.)
As hard as it is, please be patient with us.
You will find each other when you are supposed to.
Because in the end, what a man wants isn’t nearly as important as who you are meant to be.
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