Good enough for now is never that for very long. Change is the only constant for humanity. You’re both growing. The only question is whether you grow together or apart. In school and in work, perfectionism can be a terrible trap which holds you back from your true potential when a good enough job will do. But when it comes to people; friends, family, romantic interests, don’t ever settle for good enough for now. Be a perfectionist. Believe in unicorns and fairytales and the existence of true love.
More than that, live in such a way that you can look in the mirror everyday and find yourself capable of both giving and receiving that kind of love. It’s not easy. Convincing yourself that you deserve to be deeply and truly loved is one of the most difficult things you may ever do and even if you succeed, you might find yourself doing it all over again the next day. Every person on the planet has wondered this at some point but it’s a battle worth fighting. If you can hold out for the right people and take the initiative when they do come along, you’ll have a life of few regrets.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I keep coming across social media posts from men contemplating all the ways to placate the tyrant that is their female other half. The answer is simple. Be a man. Today’s post is for all those men facing the age old question, “what do women want.” As a 23 year old woman still at the beginning of an exciting career in the steel industry and currently flaunting the single life while on the lookout for Mr. Right, I feel confident in sharing my views on the subject. However, I think the best approach to this question is to examine the things that, in my experience, women definitely do not want.
Call me crazy but I don’t want a sensitive, new age man. I don’t want a mustached, Starbucks toting hipster. I don’t want a guy who wears more product in his hair than I do or one who takes ten minutes to properly situate his flat brimmed cap over that ridiculously coiffed hair. Baseball caps are fine but they better be on the right way. Trust me, you don’t look cool wearing it backwards. I don’t want my man to wear saggy jeans, ripped jeans, baggy jeans, skinny jeans. Honestly, am I the only one who thinks skinny jeans for men should be burned and outlawed? His nightly grooming routine shouldn’t take twice as long as mine and his favorite place to shop can’t be the vegan section at Whole Foods.
I’m not looking for a squeamish man, of the dirty dishes in the sink or of heading to the shooting range for some fire powered therapy. He should at least have an understanding of the shooting basics or else be willing to learn. He ought to be able to change a tire and shovel the driveway when it snows and be willing to don a collared shirt for date night.
Gentleman, it’s not rocket science. Be a man. Be helpful, capable and attentive. Shower her with little reminders of all the times that you were thinking about her as you went about your day and don’t be shy about volunteering to do the heavy lifting. Ultimately, what you do often matters far less than how it made her feel. In all likelihood, your wife or girlfriend is the farthest thing from a dainty, helpless, delicate flower which might lead you to believe that your assistance and attention are somewhat redundant. This is completely false. Just because she can handle most situations on her own doesn’t mean she wants to. Be a man and make her feel like the exquisite and terrifying ray of sunshine that she is.
In my experience there are three reasons that people say “I love you.”
Familial Love – Of course, there are exceptions to every rule but more often than not, you have no choice but to love the people you’re related to or the occasional life long friend. You’ll love them until the end of time, no question, but you don’t always like them. These are perhaps the only people on the planet who can repeatedly disappoint you while still claiming permanent real estate in your heart. They’re with you until the end whether you like it or not and even if you have trouble admitting it sometimes, you’ve never been able to picture your life without them and you don’t really want to.
Puppy Love – This is a monstrously inadequate term for one of the most powerful feelings a lot of people will ever have. This is the all-consuming thrill of a new relationship. There is a period of time when your partner can do no wrong. They are on your mind at all times and you wouldn’t have it any other way. This is when people start feeling compelled to say “I love you.” You’re experiencing feelings you’ve never felt before and in the moment, you don’t want to ever feel that way about anyone else. It feels right and good and makes you want to sing of your love from the mountain tops. You want the world to know that you are completely devoted to this person.
Committed Love – This is a conscious, active choice that you make every day, one that is often neither easy nor pleasant. People are flawed and if you spend enough time with one person, the rose colored glasses will fall away and you will see them as they truly are. To continue to choose them for and in spite of their flaws is, in my opinion, the mark of a successful relationship. Puppy love is wonderful and exciting but ultimately, if you can’t stand your ground on the bad days, the relationship is doomed to fail. Puppy love is saying “I love you” because it feels right. Committed love is saying “I love you” because you know it is right even when it doesn’t feel good.
What do you think? Why do people say I love you? Share your thoughts in the comments.