There’s no formula for being a good man or woman. Of course some traits are universal. Don’t be selfish, don’t lie, treat him or her like you want someone to treat your son or daughter. We can all agree that those general concepts make for healthier relationships. On the other hand what I’ve been reading a lot of lately is men telling women the following.
“Don’t give husband benefits to boyfriends.” I think that is a dangerous and costly way to look at a relationship. I spoke to a woman last night and we had a conversation about this. Giving someone 100% as their girlfriend doesn’t mean you’re giving them “wife benefits.” It means you’re giving your all because you need to see if this is really what both of you want.
I asked her simply, “Have you seriously dated anyone since your divorce?” Her response was something to this extent and I’m paraphrasing. “I have dated and they were all serious because if you don’t give 100% how can you expect a man to? This notion that you shouldn’t give your boyfriend husband treatment is crazy to me. If I go to his house and his fridge is a mess I’ll clean it out. If I’m spending the night I’ll buy better sheets. If he has a business and I see him working hard I’ll help him build it. You may call it treating him like my husband; I call it building a relationship and once I give my all and I see he isn’t ready for that or not giving his I can walk away with no regrets. I’m not saying we play house or do this indefinitely but I’m saying it works for me”
Often times when I write I try and be impartial but with this conversation I found myself agreeing with her logic because it’s a mindset I share. Do you know why they call it a courtship? It’s not only because the man is courting the woman but it’s also so that they can see what each other like, if they mesh. By giving all of yourself you aren’t really losing anything because it’s better than giving 50% and hoping that he or she knows there’s a prize at the end of the rainbow.
Another aspect we touched on is finances; because of her appearance a lot of men think that it’s about the money. “They see the car I drive or where I live and feel like, “She must be having a man take care of her,” not knowing that everything I have I worked for. I’ve dated guys that made six figures and were selfish and flashy and I’ve dated men that make twenty thousand and would give me their last. I make good money. Give me a man that makes 35k a year and it’s our 35k over a man that makes 250k and he’s selfish. I don’t mistake frugal with cheap or selfish by the way. If you’re saving and have a plan; you don’t have to wine and dine and spoil me but if you can spend your resources on everything but me. Then I have a problem.”
Standards. Standards are different for every woman. Some women ask very little and some ask a lot. In her case it’s a mix but a mix that works for her. “If you can get up and be at meetings with your clients 45 minutes before they start. If you can make it to the airport and to the gym and be this man that’s constantly impressive you need to be impressive for me also. Don’t show up late or cancel dates and constantly expect me to understand when you never do that for other aspects of your life.”
If there’s anything I want people to get from this article and this conversation it’s this. There is nothing the matter with seeing clothes in a basket and asking him if they are clean and folding them. It doesn’t make you naive or silly to look in his fridge and see beer, takeout and something that used to be an apple in the back and saying, “Let me get this man some groceries or cook him a real meal.” If I’m outside and you show up and I hear your brakes or see your car is dirty, It’s not treating you like my wife to wash it or to check and see if your brake pads are stripped. It’s treating you like someone that’s important to me. This concept that we shouldn’t “Give boyfriends/ girlfriends husband/wife treatment is implying that being giving and selfless has to be reserved for a ring.
– Demez F. White