Sunday, February 20, 2011

Underneath it all

Every now and again, I pull myself from my world of paranormal romance and delve into a book with a little more oomph.  Something that makes me really think.  At the suggestion of a good friend, I found myself in a book that took a deep dive into being a woman, but also covered the basics of men.  For a few weeks now, my brain has kept coming back to this book and fundamentals it spoke of.

First, the woman.  According to the authors, there are three things that are at the core of every woman:

The need to be romanced
I assumed this meant flowers and candles, but it was more about feeling wanted and fought for - feeling desired and pursued.  Most women act like their own heroine - fighting their own battles and being the "strong, independent woman of the twenty-first century." But, if we're actually honest with ourselves, what we'd really like is for the men in our life to take away some of our control.  We want to be precious to them, to be treated in the way of medieval princesses of old. We might say we don't, but we all need those gestures that make us feel treasured. ('s no wonder romance novels exist!)

The need to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure.
We don't want to be "sweet" and "nice" women.  We want to be considered powerful and passionate.  We need to feel like the part we play in life is a vital one.  That we bring something important and necessary to the table.  We are not just here to make dinner.

The need to feel beautiful.
At the core of every woman is a little girl, twirling in her dress, asking someone if she looks pretty.  At first I had a hard time buying this one, but really, how often have you changed clothes 15 times before a night out with your girlfriends? How many of you married ladies described your wedding day as "feeling like a princess"?  We want to feel like we're shining from the inside out - not just made up, in our favorite heels and outfit pretty, but the girl the whole bar looks at as she walks through, but who only cares what one guy sees, pretty.  The one who looks radiant and happy, not just gorgeous.

Now, the men...they also have three core desires:

To have a battle to fight.
It starts with cowboys and indians as little boys and keeps going with UFC fight nights as grown men. Let's be honest though ladies, as much as we might not want to watch our men fight, every woman feels safer with a man she knows can - and will - defend her.  This also pertains to daily life.  How many times have you seen them hoot and holler in glory when they've conquered the installation of some gadget, or fixing the car you told them they should have just taken to the mechanic? It might have taken them four hours longer, but they won the battle.  A lot of times, our want for things to be efficient squashes their ability to "win the battle" and prove their worth.

To have adventure.
Not just in a "boys and their toys" way, but in a way that tests them.  Every day life does not ask the most of a man, he wants to be challenged.  It's why he wants a four-wheeler, a boat or a big truck.  He wants to go do something we consider stupid, so that he can tell his buddies about the adventure and how he won the battle.

To have a beauty to rescue.
A man wants, and needs, to offer his strength on the behalf of his woman.  He needs someone to fight his battle for and to share his adventure with.  Think of high school, maybe college, and a boyfriend you had back then.  Think of some of the utterly stupid things he might have done to impress you.  Even now, if you're married, when you've hit your breaking point, how fast does your husband jump to the rescue? All of the sudden your house is being cleaned, he's being a complete sweetheart and orders you to go do something for yourself.  You've finally given him a chance to rescue you.

I found it to be amazing how the core wants of both men and women lined up so very perfectly but once society norms are added into the picture, how many of these core needs are totally disregarded.  Women are taught to be independent, to not "need" men to do anything for them.  They are disenchanted by men who try to open doors or act at all chivalrous.  They take it as an insult or even worse, they don't even notice the man tried.  And then they wonder why they are considered cold and aloof.   So many women are ashamed of their emotions, of the fact that they do really want to be taken care of.  They are ashamed of many of the things really make us women.  It seems we are our own worst enemies.

My next challenge is going to be trying to recognize the areas of my life that I stray the furthest from myself.  I couldn't disagree with any of points made above - I do believe those three needs are real for most women and men.  And it seems like it's only fair for me to try and give hubs as much as I'm going to be asking for.  We'll see how this goes!

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