The National Association for Divorced Women and Children What Women Wondered: Fresh Start After Divorce Newsletter Article
WHAT WOMEN WONDERED– William A. Lacey
From 2009 – 2010, I had the pleasure and great experience of co-hosting a unique weekly segment with Dottie Coffman on, The Dottie Coffman Show, WIMO Radio in Georgia.The segment was called, What Women Wonder.The idea was that we would provide a forum in which women could ask the questions they always wondered about men, love and relationships, and receive an answer from a man’s perspective.Each week I was assigned a different question or two from a female listener.I would answer the question(s) as thoughtfully as I could and then we’d open it up for discussion… or for an occasional ambush, depending on my answer.Ha!Sometimes we’d have live call-ins and other times female guests in the studio joined in the discussions. While we enjoyed some laughter in debating the lighter questions that women posed from an amusing curiosity about men, we had many thought provoking, heart-to-heart discussions on questions pertaining to serious issues or concerns that women had about men and their relationships.As a man, I must say, the show was an eye-opener for me and provided a terrific opportunity to learn more about women and their perspectives on love, life and relationships.
Note: (As I always disclaimed, I do not speak for all men but offer just one man’s opinion, with the exception that some answers were based on published surveys of men’s opinions.)
Following are a few of the most popular or pressing questions that women asked with notes from our discussions:
1)What are things that turn a man off when he is just getting know a woman on the first couple of dates?
This depends on the man and what they are looking for, certainly, but here are some general turn-offs; many of which are probably turn-offs for women, as well.
·Unloading all of your burdens and problems on the first dates
·Talking about all the guys who have done you wrong
·Talking at length about your last boyfriend or ex
·Interrogating a man about whether he’d be the same as the men in your past
·Reciting a litany of your pet peeves, rules and “must haves”
·Telling him or insisting on how he must be
In other words, slow it down.Take some time.Besides running the risk of overwhelming him, why confide in him so early?After all, you don’t really know the man and haven’t established whether you even trust him with all this personal detail about you. Also, beware that some men try to manipulate women by exploiting perceived vulnerabilities.Let him earn your trust first and observe how he treats and talks about others.
·Inappropriate attire and appearance for the place or circumstance of your date (Being too overtly sexy or being too casual and sloppy)
A prospect for a serious relationship wants to be physically attractive and accentuate the positive, certainly, but a man also admires the lady in a woman and her knowing what’s appropriate for an occasion.In looking ahead, perhaps consider whom he’d want to take home to meet the family.Also, many men rely on a woman’s good sense or taste to guide them in certain social settings.Some truly appreciate this in a partner.It can help them in business situations, too.
Of course there’s a balance to be struck with wanting to be physically appealing and attracting the type of man you truly desire.You don’t want to distract him as a billboard advertising sex when what you really want is a man to take the time to get to know you without making the wrong assumptions.You needn’t rush yourself into a relationship nor feel you need to hook him with your body.There’s a great woman inside and a good man looking for her.
2)How can a woman be sure there won’t be affairs in a relationship?
First I would say that there are no guarantees considering all the variables associated with people and relationships.Certainly there are exceptions to anything I or a great multitude of experts and counselors might advise, or to any rule of thumb about relationships.However, in general, I do believe that there are certain negative traits, attitudes, behaviors or elements of personal history that can serve as red flags for a woman, just as there are positive traits and attributes that a woman can look for in a man.These negatives and positives combined can help serve as a kind of compass by which to gauge the odds or risks of infidelity within a relationship with a man.
Let’s look at some of the negative signs, some of which may seem extreme or obvious but nonetheless are often overlooked or accepted:
·Pornography – Does he have a collection and is he insistent on keeping it? Does he spend time on internet pornography sites, and does he consider it harmless entertainment?
·History – Are you aware of his having cheated on others before you? Even if he says it is different with you…be forewarned.Was he cheating on someone else with you as you entered into your relationship with him?
·Mistrust - Do you catch him in lies about different things?Are there other reasons that cause you to doubt or mistrust him?
·Is he non-committal about the relationship?
·Does he consider monogamy a huge challenge, unrealistic or against human nature?
·Don Juan – Is he always flirting with the girls, exhibiting a wandering eye in your presence, and claiming it is harmless?
·Was he always running around with lots of women or picking up one-night-stands, and claims he’s ready to settle down?Or do you feel that you can get him to settle down and quote, “Be enough for him”?
·Do you feel you had to use a lot of sexiness to entice him into a relationship?
·Does he have general hostility toward women or put you down publicly or privately? Does he have a disrespectful edge or do you feel sincerely respected by him?
·Does he possess a lack of interest in your intellectual abilities and talents, or those of women in general?
·Have you observed disrespectful or abusive behavior toward women by other men in his family?
·Is there a mutual interest in keeping the spark alive?
Now let’s consider some of the positives to look for:
·He thinks of you and likes you with him.He even asks you to come along on errands.
·Grant it, many of us men aren’t chatty…but he confides in you and asks your opinions, especially on significant matters.
·He enjoys a friendship as well as a romance with you.
·He desires and enjoys your affection…not just sex…but affection.There’s a difference and a real warmth and bond associated with affection and affectionate gestures.
·He expresses his affection for you and does it often and easily.
·He’s attentive and displays that he has your best interest always at heart. He has your back.
·He recognizes when others “blow a good thing” or treat a woman poorly and expresses his disdain.
·Important!He treats other women respectfully, regardless of age.
·He’s loyal to others and acts ethically in other matters.
“ Love measures our stature: the more we love, the bigger we are.There is no smaller package in all the world than that of a man all wrapped up in himself.” –W.S. Coffin, Jr.
Hold out for a big man with a big heart and strong character, ladies.
3)Why do men feel they need to fix everything when I simply want to be heard?
I found this to be a very good question, as it implies a considerable difference in our mindsets.
·First off, men just plain like to fix things.If it is broken we’ll glue it back together.If not working correctly, we’ll take it apart and reassemble it.
·In general but not always, it is in our (men’s) nature to take action rather than ruminate long about a problem. In part this is because many of us tend to be less interested in experiencing feelings associated with a problem than simply resolving or removing it.This may be partially attributed to an innate difference in our nature, in how boys are raised, and in our modeling after male role models.
·Developmental studies in early childhood have demonstrated differences in how males and females generally approach problems.In studies involving toddlers, the difference in how boys and girls responded to an obstacle (a small gate or screen partition) being put in front of them, separating them from a person or object they wanted, clearly indicated an innate difference.Whereas girls would cry and approach and then withdraw from the partition, boys would start right in with pushing against the partition, trying to knock it down, then they’d attempt to climb over it.
·Amongst themselves, men mostly commiserate differently and more simply than women.Expressions of compassion and support are more basic, “That really stinks, man…what are ya gonna do about it?Forget about it! Get rid of it! Here, let me buy you a drink.”
·Because of these differences some men may not know what to do with the feelings or outpouring of emotions that a woman may have over a problem other than to try and fix whatever is upsetting her. Her unhappiness makes him anxious and thus he tries to find a quick remedy.
·In relationships most men genuinely wish to be considered a white knight riding to their woman’s rescue when she’s in distress.
·We may assume that if we remove your problem you will be happy and we will be your hero.Thus both of us will feel good.
Some men are better than others in picking up on their cues.Many may miss the fact that what a woman may want, instead, is to be listened to, comforted, supported, or empathized with.You might just want him to put a caring arm around you and hold you, or weigh options with you.Or merely help you blow off steam.
So how do you get through to him?Honest communication is a good place to start.
·Tell him something’s troubling you or that it’s been a bad day but what you really could use is a good hug and to sit down awhile with him.
·Or “I’d really love to just tell you about it.”
·Perhaps tell him that you like it when he just holds you sometimes and hears you out and/or shares his perspective on a matter.
·Be sure to tell him if it helped to sit and talk or snuggle up a while.He’ll feel appreciated and good about it and come to realize he can be of actual help without necessarily trying to fix or rid you of a problem.
4)Why won’t men stop and ask for directions?
I’ll let you in a little secret, ladies…we do…just not when you’re around.Why?
·We don’t want some other guy bailing us out in front of you.
·We don’t want the other guy to look cooler or smarter.
·We don’t want to give up our man power before you.
·We believe we were descended from warriors, hunters and explorers.As such, we feel we were born with an innate and very keen sense of direction.
·If we’ve ever been anywhere, at least once, and even if it was 15 years ago and the landmarks have all changed, we expect to be able to pick up the trail again.
·The smarter and less insecure among us used to consult a map in advance and chart his course with great care and detail.
The intercession of modern technology…Saved by the beep!
But alas, ladies, modern technology has dulled and practically rendered extinct those once remarkable and innate male senses of direction.Yes, the little marvel, the GPS has saved the day by sparing we men the unspeakable embarrassment of having to give in and ask for directions, while relieving you ladies from all the irritation, angst and wasted time of circling aimlessly with your man at the helm in search of your destination.Plus the GPS affords any man a certain “cool factor”.
You see, any man’s car becomes the Bond 007 car with the GPS.All we need do is install a GPS with a voice guidance option and select the English lady’s voice.Lastly, although we really don’t need a GPS, we do really enjoy a good gadget!
- by William A. Lacey
The National Association for Divorced Women and Children Heart-to-Heart Connection: Fresh Start After Divorce Newsletter Article
IS A TRUE HEART-TO-HEART CONNECTION REALLY POSSIBLE? Yes it is!
Following are three keys to avoiding another empty, painful and unfulfilling relationship.
Granted, we may never find the perfect person, because no human being is truly perfect.We all have our flaws, habits and idiosyncrasies.However, we stand a better chance of finding the rightperson if we take time to:
1)Know Our Own Heart
2)See With Our Heart
3)Be True to Our Heart
Knowing Our Own Heart: To know our heart requires ourtaking timefor some honest introspection as we search our heart to determine the following:
·What does my heart really desire in life and love?
·What was it that I didn’t see before, overlooked, or accepted in the past that led to my heart-break?
·What type of person, attributes and values do I really respect?
·What types of behaviors and attitudes upset or turn me off?
·How do I want to be seen and treated in a relationship?
·What would make me feel loved, cared for, and secure in a relationship?
·What does my heart fear in a relationship?
·What do I want to be able to give in a relationship?
Perhaps, now we know what we really want. So how do we find it? We find it by looking with our hearts, and not just our eyes, to what is within another.That is where we’ll find what is truly essential.
Seeing With Our Heart: With the eyes we merely observe others.The eyes can only like or become infatuated by what they see on the surface.To love requires knowing, which in turn requires looking with our hearts to what is essential within another, that being the heart, soul, personality and values.When we leap into a relationship based only on what we see with our eyes, we miss what’s essential for attaining real love.By missing out on discovering the person within, we risk learning too late, after much heartache, resentment or strife, that this was not the right person for us.
·Take time allow the other person to reveal them self to you and then allow your heart time to have a good look.
·Just because a person’s attractive on the outside doesn’t mean you’ll find an equally attractive person on the inside.Sometimes what’s found within is quite opposite.
·Conversely, a person who may at first appear plain to you on the outside can become a most beautiful and desirous person when you allow your heart to discover the wonderful person within. (This person makes you feel good, alive and loved.)
·Remember, while physical chemistry is a key ingredient to romance, physical novelty and excitement naturally wane somewhat with time and age.What lasts in a loving relationship is the intimate and nurturing bond of hearts and spirits.
Of course, a person cannot become truly known to you or your heart unless they are willing and able to be open and honest in revealing them self to you.If they are not, then you should consider moving on sooner rather than later.It is better to cut your losses, while there’s less to lose and little harm done, than to endure another bitter, empty and painful relationship.
So, too, must we not allow fear of rejection to prevent us from being sincere in how we present ourselves to others.After all, it does no good if we don’t allow the other person to also know our heart.For that person can never come to love what they’ll never know, that being whom we really are.
Being True to Our Heart: Ultimately, we are responsible for our own hearts and happiness.What we do with our hearts is always our choice, as is what we subject ourselves to in a relationship.
To determine if we’re being true to our hearts, we might ask ourselves the following:
·Am I able to become comfortable opening up with this person?
·Do they open up to me?
·Is my heart or inner being sensing “red flags”?
·Am I finding within them the qualities, values, and traits that are important to me?
·Is their heart and inner being proving to be endearing or turning me off?
·Am I feeling more or less secure with this person?
·Do I actually enjoy their company and not just sex?
·Are we both developing a genuine affection and concern for one another?
·Am I settling for someone I don’t genuinely respect, have doubts about, or do not trust?
Give yourself time to calm the physical adrenalin.Then try to see and listen with your heart to determine how you really feel inside.
In summing up, true love grows from within and develops from the heart-to-heart connection that is made when we come to know another by having looked with our heart.