…and whether that’s possible, if things seem to be breaking down.
I’ve always been quite big on lists. They’re a security blanket to reduce worries about forgetting to do ‘important stuff’. I used make so many, I had a list of my lists to remind me to look at them! These days I try only listing things I’m really likely to do, rather than all the things I think I should do.
Writers and readers on GMP are obviously also fond of lists too. So this is my contribution to the GMP List Archive. A catalogue of things that I think I need from a woman, if we’re to have a chance of growing a good relationship; assembled after many years of ‘research’(probably mostly unconscious at the time!) .
The woman who is right for me:
1. Appreciates my skills, and the things which are, for her, distinctively ‘masculine’ about me, and is happy to let me use them to support her (even if she and I both know she could do it all herself if she needed to); lets me ‘look after’ her and be her ‘hero’ occasionally!
2. Is clear about what she needs from me, in and out of bed, so I don’t have to second guess, and can feel sure I’m making her happy. Also knows that the less she pressures me to do what she wants, after giving me this information, probably the more I will want to do it. Accepts that I will show my love for her in my own way (although I try to adapt to what feels natural to her) even if it doesn’t always fit her expectations.
3. Does actually like men, and wants one in her life, to love and be loved by; and isn’t willing to settle for second best (which is exactly why she chose me!). Appreciates my particular way of feeling and communicating, rather than hoping I’ll change. Tells me what she likes about me, and what she thinks what could be improved, not what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ about me.
4. Makes me feel welcomed and accepted for who I am sexually; and open to exploring any ways of expressing that which work for both of us. Able to happily surrender to me, as well as to take the lead sometimes.
5. Trusts me…and expects the best of me; unless she’s been given any reason not to. And if that happens, will talk it over with me rather than ‘judge’ or give up on me. Believes that any pain I cause her is from ignorance or thoughtlessness, rather than indifference or intent.
6. Likes to feel feminine (as well as ‘female’) and attractive for me; and is happy for me to show my appreciation for that. At ease enough with herself not to feel in ‘power struggle’ with me or resent me, or assume that as a man I have all the social advantages and privilege.
7. Is happy to give me space when I need it; respects my need to act independently and be alone sometimes, and doesn’t take that personally.
8. Likes to tease and be teased, and share laughter (and tears) about the joys, pain and sometime foolishness of being who we are, and of being human. Willing to take responsibility for her ‘stuff’ and for any ways she may be unintentionally sabotaging the relationship. Never plays the ‘blame game’, and is willing to know/admit to her ‘Shadow’ side (the side that isn’t necessarily ‘nice’, that we all have); not afraid to say sorry; or to forgive.
9. Challenges me when she thinks I’m being stupid or talking garbage, and is patient if I need time to understand. Understands and cares about how I feel…not how she thinks I ought to feel. Is more interested in developing mutual empathy and understanding rather than ‘learning rules’
10. Considers both of us (as ‘man and woman’, and as persons) to be equal and different; able to accept and enjoy our gender differences, similarities and mutual attraction. Confident enough not to resent me for being a man, even though society may not always treat us both equally.
Bonus 11. Is ready to adapt her life to include me (and expects vice versa)
It’s not that I use this as a checklist when I meet someone, to see if they’re ‘suitable’ or not. At that stage it’s all about instinct and feelings, of course. But I have found that if at some point there’s a feeling that ‘something’s wrong’, a quick scan through reminds me of what’s important to me, especially if strong emotions are clouding things; can point out if any missing ‘essential’ is the root cause (and maybe highlight what is less important and can be let go of) and what if anything I can do to help the relationship survive and thrive.
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