I have had lots of advice over the years regarding men and relationships. The latest was from an 84-year-old professor of developmental psychology who told me that I should head to the city and have someone help me with my style because I'm attractive but could be more so, and that I need to get out of my workspace if I ever hope to meet someone. He has said this before, and I gave him my same answer: This is my work look, and if people don’t like it then that is their issue. I know I could give a better answer, and I’m assuming he means well, but he gives me flashbacks.
Other advice I have received was pretty much the same from whomever was giving it: Don’t be so smart because you intimidate the guys; You should smile more!; Go to church so you can meet people; You need to let the guy know that you need him for something that he can do for you. With all of that sterling advice, why do I still have questions?
I was in my favorite place to ponder this morning, that would be the shower, and I pondered a lot. It was a long shower. The preeminate theme over the years has been that I am intimidating because I don’t act like I need a guy for any of his skills. There is some truth to that. I could use a good carpenter, but other than that I can pretty much fend for myself. It may take me a little while to figure things out but I eventually get what I want done, done. Alternatively, I will hire someone to do it for me. Therefore, I started my musings with wondering why guys need to feel “needed” for more than their presence and the love and affection they can give.
Since all of the sages in my life tell me that men need to feel needed for a deed that only they can perform, I wondered if what they were looking for was appreciation. After all, people generally like to feel appreciated. Appreciation is good, but maybe not enough to build a life together. What happens when the magnificent deed becomes commonplace? This seems like it would put a lot of pressure on this poor guy to keep coming up with new deeds to perform. Hence, it has to be more than that. Could it be that boys are taught that deeds are how a man shows love and affection, and thus he must slay the proverbial dragon for his lady fair?
My musings then led me to ponder whether this need to be appreciated wasn’t just a well disguised need to be loved. If a man can only show affection by vanquishing mine enemies, so to speak, then dribbling oil down the fender of my car is a stark cry for affection. (Washing the oil off might have achieved the intended goal.)
Showing a need for love outright is very scary, this I know. I can’t see anyone doing it without a great deal of trust being built up first. Getting to that point can be tough if there are issues with incompatible approaches to the whole courtship thing. Honesty can cut through a lot of hurdles; it is way easier to run on a flat surface instead of jumping over snags in the path. Is honesty off-putting, if delivered with regard to feelings? I have found it helpful in other interpersonal relationships, and verbalizing is much easier to interpret than dropping hints. Hints, frankly, suck as they leave entirely too much to be interpreted. I just don't know how honest discourse works in romance as I am lacking experience in that department.
So, let’s go back to the topic of men needing to be “needed.” I think that, with the right man, a bit of oil on the fender wouldn’t be the end of the world. I would prefer to find a guy that thinks it’s the height of fun to vacuum and dust; I know they’re out there. Moreover, I honestly could use a good carpenter in my life. It’s a bit of a trick hanging a cupboard by myself and I really want a pocket door. Nonetheless, what I really need is an honest, open relationship. You wouldn’t believe how much I would appreciate just being able to be my whole self, and I would absolutely return the favor.