I just had to write this, because I had to sit through Under the Tuscan Sun, again, about a woman with a new life in Italy. The character runs into the man of her dreams, but is set back, when he turns away from her because of a perceived lack of interest. In the end everything comes out perfect. My wife and daughter refer to this as a great chick flick. I call it Lord of the Wedding Rings – a high epic fantasy.
As a wide-open family, we discuss everything and I mean everything. Part of this is so we can talk about human nature, our weaknesses and the path towards self perfection. I try with all my heart to explain how some men truly feel and how the movies do not accurately reflect some of our thoughts. We are not all beasts obsessed with breasts and sex. Here are my points about men and romance that I tried to convey to my daughter:
- Men want to be great lovers. Let’s face it, women advertise with makeup and clothing that suggest they are more obsessed with sex than men. Men are also attracted to women with great attitudes and sense of humor. Yes we are physically attracted to gorgeous women with nice figures, but here’s another secret,
- Men are extremely jealous. We do not want to share the one we love with others. When we marry and make that lifelong commitment, we want a more conservative public appearance. We can’t stand it when the one we love has single male friends. Sorry, jealousy works both ways.
- We are not consumed by thoughts of women. I asked my wife and daughter about Twilight and why Bella was not concerned for her soul and the unhealthy obsession with Edward? I admit to reading all of book one and just a little of book two. I did this to gain perspective to be an effective male author. Men are more consumed by achieving goals. Unfortunately today many young men are too consumed with beating video games than much else. Who can end this? That’s right, you ladies can. One thing men can be consumed by is the number of lovers in a woman’s life. When our love life is not as we hoped for, we begin to think about what others might have done and if they are on your mind. Men, believe it or not, want a virgin not because of the sexual connotation of being the first, but of being the only. Anytime a woman comes on strong we are faced with extreme temptation and sometimes men fail.
- Men want a companion. We want someone who will exercise with us, engage in outdoor activities, etc. In return we give a portion of ourselves to your interest.
- Men want conversation and evaluation. Yes we love to talk, but not just about your emotions, fashions and home accessories all the time. I will freely admit my wife and I had marriage counseling. At the heart of the matter was communication and the expression of our deepest thoughts without having to go into defense mode. Men hate two things in the communication process – Silence and Criticism. Go back to the first item above. How can a man be a great lover if his mate is not communicating what she likes and dislikes? We men are not mind readers and we are not supplied with a “How to” manual. You’ve heard the term nagging of course. That is direct criticism. Instead of demeaning the man, uplift him with words of encouragement like, “I love how you pick up after yourself.” In turn, tell him that is what you want to hear as well.
- Men want to feel like a man. Ever notice how men change with fads? We are impressionable too. We shave our body hair, try a new hair style, shave our head, add tattoos, whatever it is we think women are attracted to at that moment in time. We have our own insecurities and doubts of self worth. For example, I tried desperately to learn Disco. Luckily for me my wife to be wasn’t into Disco. We want to feel as though we are strong for a purpose, to be the protector of our mate. Allowing us to feel this way keeps our ego and our body fit. Compliment a man on his exercise routine, pinch his buttocks every so often and he will return the compliments.
- A Tiger in the Bedroom. Do you recall My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the mother tells her daughter to be a tiger in the bedroom? That my readers is wisdom. Men are not looking for Porn Stars. We are easily visually stimulated, but we love an air of mystery. Need to gain our attention? Walk into the bedroom in new lingerie and I guarantee you will gain a man’s attention. In the movie Under The Tuscan Sun Diane Lane’s character goes home and revels in the sex she just had. Why not do this in front of the man? Why not tell him, “Wow you are a GREAT lover!” The guy would grin and think to himself, “Wow I really did it!” Refer back to number one above. We want to please our mate.
- Learn to say “NO.” Men do in fact respect women who set the limits. If you want to see a change in men, learn to respect yourself first.
- Men HATE being trapped. The absolute worst thing a woman can do to a man is to use sex as a means of commitment. We do figure this out eventually and deep resentment and anger will set in. You can live a lie by giving a man as much sex after the rings are exchanged, but we can figure this out as well. Go back to number 8.
- Have a Deeper Sense of Yourself. This week we watched together Life of Pi. I made the remark that I never recalled watching a flick where the woman was questioning the deep meanings of life and her role in it. Hopefully someone can lead me to a movie or book of similar nature. Recall how we like conversation? Engage in something that tells your mate who you are deep inside.
Why do men love Lord of the Rings? It is a a true man flick. Aragorn is the man we admire the most. He loves and loves deeply, not just protecting Arwen by leaving her, but the world around him and his fellow man. I truly miss the movies of our past where men and women displayed grace and mutual respect. Seems to me we are flooded with movies that are just nags, telling us of how bad we and life are.
Hopefully more movies and stories will be told that reveal the inner beauty of being man and woman, so that we can come to a point where we understand each other and work diligently for long and meaningful relationships. These are the ones I want to watch or read. It is said an author writes because he cannot find the stories that interest him. The Chosen One of Allivar is one of the stories I hope one day people will again want to read with a passion.
My wife and I have been married for 33 years. I’d lay down my life for her. She is my best friend and companion, my lover and my queen and I would do everything in my power for her happiness and well being. This just didn’t happen, it requires a hell of a lot of work with open and honest communication. I hope everyone is allowed to experience this kind of love and commitment. This is reality, not a fantasy, or a wish list of selfish demands, but the commitment of a real man, “I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
If you are looking for a good man, or to become a good man, set the standard of your expectations and be true to yourself first.
As always, your thoughts are appreciated.