Here it is: women are not angels. What does this mean? Maybe you’re like me, I use to think women required protecting. Required taking care of. Required the gentlest of touches lest I risk breaking her. I use to think all women were angels who only got upset when I did something wrong. Wow, how sexist was my opinion of women? I mean, was I looking to date real human beings or mermaids? A human being with life experience or a robot made to my liking? An impenetrable emotional core with an exceptionally vulnerable physical form? Geez, what was I thinking! Below I go through some thoughts: 1. STOP. WATCHING. KOREAN. DRAMA. 2. Protection. I’m not saying you shouldn’t protect her. Protect her as you would yourself, but she ought to learn to protect herself as well. Let her ask you for help when/if she needs you. We’re adults here, not mermaids fearful of pirate whalers o_O 3. Taking care of her. You definitely should take care of her, but she should take care of you as well. I’ve always heard the following: you shouldn’t ‘count’ who does what in a relationship. Um, hearing from people who have healthy long-term relationships their advice has been: you should definitely count and have a discussion to balance the relationship. Our cars alert us when our tires are low on pressure. The temperature of a car is constantly being gauged. Every day at work or in the office you’re gauging the situation. Every hour, the world is either in balance or out of balance. You’re not a pillow for her to rest on when she’s done battling the world or her car tires; you’re a human being deserving of love. You’re the cuddle-buddy and buddies of other kinds; not the teddy bear. As a Christian I’ve heard: love is patient, love is kind. How convenient, my love for her must be kind and patient but hers is what? As far as I know, that famous quote on love is directed at both men and women. Now, to be fair, if you’re going to have this discussion you have to be prepared for a discussion of how you might need to adjust and balance on your end. You may not like what you hear from her. So be calm and open-minded. Some things to consider:
a. Maybe she’s too busy right now in this season of her life to give you what you desire (e.g., listening to you, quality time, words of affection, doing the little things, etc.). That’s totally normal and you should be patient. But like all seasons: they end. When does this season end? Can you weather it? Do you have the right tools to weather the storm built up from not getting what you need? Give these thoughts honest feedback so you can be fair to yourself and to her. b. Maybe she simply never had to take care of someone else. It’s possible she’s dated men that catered to her until she got bored with them or they got bored with her. If she really likes you and you wholeheartedly like her, sit down and have a discussion. Before you do, write some things down as discussion reminders. This article by WebMD (page 3) is a good place to start: http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/7-relationship-problems-how-solve-them?page=3
4. She’s fragile. First question: are you a knight? You answer: yes or I could be. Second question: do you own a horse? Your answer: yes or I could someday. Third question: do you even know how to ride a horse. Your answer: yes or I saw a Groupon for horse riding lessons that I really wanted to take. Fourth question: when is the last time you rode a horse or are those instructors from the Groupon knights themselves? Your answer: where is this going? Nowhere. That’s what it’s like to date a woman (and for women, it’s what it’s like to date a man) who is in a fragile state of their lives. Some things to consider:
a. Do you have an existing friendship with her? If so, then be there for her as a friend as she goes through this period in her life. Some people have done well to get together when one person is vulnerable or fragile (e.g., from some personal loss or failure). My thought is: what’s the rush? Romance shouldn’t be a crutch for her. Romance should be shared. b. If you don’t have an existing friendship with her and you really like her, enough to want to give it a try, my thinking is: you’re either desperate or you’re infatuated with the thought that you might be that badass rescuer she’s never had and always wanted. You know, the one who slays the Octopus.
Additionally, as far as I know, Angels are NOT fragile. They fight demons. You can’t be fragile if you’re gonna fight demons. Think about it. 5. She’s only upset when I make her upset. Dude, as far as I know when Pandora opened her box both men and women were present in the world. From Christian perspective, she’s a sinner too. She may not (or she may) sin as you do, but she’s got sin. I’m not sure I want to get into a discussion of what happens when you meet a woman who is sinless…cause…well…wouldn’t it ‘take one to know one’ and if you’re not sinless then how could you know with certainty she is sinless? O_o I doubt I could recognize a sinless woman; I’m too cynical and sinful to know what she would look like. Back to the point: she’s not perfect. She is allowed to be upset, just like you are. You’re gonna do things that will upset her. She should be mature enough to not say things like: all men blah blah blah. She should be mature enough to recognize that you may not know that she’s upset by your actions or words and have the maturity to speak with you. Hopefully you’re mature enough at this stage to listen to her. Just like you shouldn’t say: all women PMS (seriously, don’t) or hold a grudge or think that letting it go means being patient and forgiving. Forgiveness comes AFTER you talk, find middle ground, and apologize oh and of course make up ;) Here is a good article to help you started on setting boundaries for yourself: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-twardowski/6-steps-to-setting-boundaries-in-relationships_b_6142248.html 6. She has “great” friendships. I didn’t use to care but these days I care very much that a women has close girl friends. Before I truly open up to her, I want to know a few things about her friendships- things I could only know by making time and putting in effort to get to know her friends.
a. How much do their opinions affect her? Are they advisers or her commanders? b. Do they talk down or belittle others? Or are they forgiving? c. How do they talk about men in their lives? Do they have healthy relationships with their fathers? Their brothers? Their boyfriends or husbands? This issue matters cause their fathers and/or brothers have been the most consistent male presences in their lives…it’s not unusual for their behaviors to affect her thinking. It’s human nature! d. Are they judgmental without giving thought to other perspectives? Good judges look at all angles and make a decision. Judging others is when one angle is used to judge an entire situation.
Conclusion: Look brotha, you’re not perfect. You’re likely some degree of egotistical, some degree of arrogance, some degree of immaturity. You are also likely some degree of wise, some degree of life experience, some degree of strong, some degree of emotional intelligence and emotional resilience, and some degree of attractiveness. The goal is to play with the thermostat to find the environment with which you are most comfortable. When you are comfortable, that’s when you are the most attractive as a whole human being, not just attractive in some way or unattractive because of one thing. Goodluck!