So much to learn, so little time to learn it, right? That’s what I’m here for my friends. I love to read. Anything I can get my hands on, I will probably read it. I’ve previously mentioned my deep love of learning. These last few years my learning has been focused on relationships and psychology. I am absolutely fascinated by the way humans interact and react to life and its varying situations. In all of my study, I’ve found several common themes which I would like to share with you.
In a previous post I summarized a few books that I felt helpful in both acquiring and maintaining a healthy relationship. This relationship can be with a spouse, significant other, family members, or other friends really. The relationships I have focused on most are that of dating and marriage but I’ve learned that obtaining a basic understanding of the human race is what really makes a difference in ALL relationships.
My recent studies have included some books that I did not mention in my previous post so I would like to reiterate a few suggestions as well as to build upon those so as to help us all to be our most happy selves while we interact with the rest of the human race. (PMS excluded because I’m pretty sure there is no answer to the unruly behavior which may be caused as a result of such a malady other than several days isolation from the rest of the world!)
My most recent study has been in a book called, “Fascinating Womanhood.” A good friend suggested it and while it is geared to the married part of the population, I have found it quite beneficial in my dating efforts as well as my stored knowledge for later use.
Speaking of dating though, for those in my situation, she does have a book called, “The Fascinating Girl” which is apparently geared more toward that phase of life. I just wish she knew that I am still a woman…even though I happen to still be dating at 33. Despite this, she has some great suggestions that will hopefully be enlightening to many and helpful to all.
Before jumping into any relationship advice, the author, Helen Andelin, suggests the need to love yourself. We talked about that last month. She is the one who suggested making a list of 25 things that you love about yourself. When you learn to love yourself, it will be easier for others to do the same in your behalf. Next, she lists the qualities men look for in a woman. There are two kinds of qualities according to Andelin. These are angelic qualities and human qualities.
Angelic qualities include:
1. Understands men
2. Has inner happiness
3. Has a worthy character
4. Is a Domestic Goddess
These she suggests, bring a man peace and happiness.
1. Is Feminine
2. Radiates Happiness
3. Has Radiant Health
4. Is Childlike
These apparently “fascinate, amuse, enchant, and arouse a tender desire to protect and shelter.” To me these are nothing necessarily new. Sometimes we roll our eyes at them but really, I believe she is just saying that men like women who are women. Nothing too incredibly complicated about that.
My studies in the book so far have been in the understanding men section. This seems to be the life-long quest of all females anyway right? I’ve read “Men are from Mars Women are from Venus” and many others just to try and obtain a small understanding of these somewhat alien creatures from time to time. We are no exception though. They are just as baffled by us as we are them. The more we can do to understand each other however, the happier and more loved and at peace we all will be.
Andelin’s first suggestion in this section, and probably the most reiterated, is that women should accept men exactly as they are. More specifically, if you have a man, accept all of him and stop trying to change him. It’s not your job. Realize that we all have faults and if you’ve chosen a life time companion, you have chosen him as he is, not to change him. I love one quote from the book which states, “Acceptance is a happy state of mind when you realize that your responsibility is not in making him over but in appreciating him for the man he is.” She also says, “Stop worrying about his faults and look to his better side.”
Along with acceptance, remember to appreciate your man. Andelin said it best; “Express your appreciation daily, and do it over and over again.” Good insight. And for those who really can’t find anything to appreciate, she also quotes the German author Goethe who said, “If you treat a man as he is, he will stay as he is, but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become that bigger and better man.”
Next on the list is admiration. “The center of a woman’s happiness in marriage is to be loved-but the center of a man’s is to be admired.” “As she gives him admiration, he returns love.” There is a difference between this and appreciation. “You appreciate a man for his true worth, and what he does for you, whereas you admire him for his manliness.” If this is hard, remember that you once did…and try to remember why. Sometimes I think that we get really caught up in life and the things we are doing, and struggles we are having, and we forget those things that brought us together in the first place. Find ways often to not only admire your man, but to let him know that you do.
Other helpful advice from this insightful book suggests making your man number one, defining your roles (masculine and feminine…this is VERY important), and making the man the leader. “A man needs to function, feel needed, and excel women in his role as the guide, or leader.“ She says to “remember: It’s better to let a man have his way and fail than to stand in his way and make him feel thwarted.” Trust him. Let him protect you. Give him your full confidence. From past studies, this is one of the top things that men need from women. Let him be your man. I’m as independent as anyone (I’m in my mid 30’s and still single…kind of a necessity) but I do my best to let the guys I date know that I appreciate their support, I thank them for being gentlemen, and I find ways to allow them to feel that they are taking care of me in some way or another. So far, it has seemed to go over pretty well.
I have not nearly finished the book but I thought this was a good start. It reminds me a lot of the many other books I have read about relationships. It all comes down to the basic idea that men have simple needs. When you take care of their basic needs they are much more likely to give you everything you need, desire, and more. Who doesn’t want a relationship like that??