He wants to grow, learn and improve. He really does!
I'm a man. And as audacious as it sounds, I'm going to tell you how to be a good woman. Specifically, I'm talking about what it means in an intimate relationship to be a good woman for your man.
I don't offer these opinions based on what I want as a man necessarily, but instead on what I need from a woman.
I know what I need because I have a good woman. What makes her good isn't that she keeps me happy and always gives me what I want; rather, it's because I've grown stronger and more capable, and feel more fulfilled as a man than in my entire life before we met. And so it's in this article that I "reverse engineer" the special qualities she brings to the relationship and share them with you.
Perhaps I should have mentioned that when I talk of being "a good woman for your man," I'm assuming that he's a good man. He wants to grow, learn and improve. He doesn't want to hide from his weaknesses and is dedicated to serving those he loves.
If your man doesn't fit this description, then what I'm going to suggest from here will either turn him into a good man, or send him running back to mommy. Either way, you win.
1. A woman with high standards.
There's that old saying that relationship is about sacrifice. This is BS. While you may have to compromise in certain areas, your standards are not one of them. You can make them higher, but never lower. If you're having to lower your expectations with regards to what you want in your relationship, then you are setting yourself up for dissatisfaction in the long-run and you are not giving him the impetus to rise up.
There's nothing wrong with managing your expectations while you give your man space to grow. But you have to make it known that you've set the bar lower on the basis that you will be raising it incrementally to the level that you really want it at, because you know he has it in him.
2. A woman who's grateful.
There's one thing about having high standards: you have to balance out your expectations with appreciation. The secret to unhappiness is when your expectations outweigh your level of appreciation in life. Any naturally happy person you've ever met, I can guarantee, practices appreciation whether they realize it or not.
So for your own sake, take time every day to meditate on or physically note down things you are grateful for. And for your relationship's sake, make some of those things based on your man. Find qualities in him that you appreciate every day, and express them to him. Because just like you, he thrives off of praise. And positive reinforcement will only bring more of those qualities out from him and which he will deliver to you.
3. A woman who won't stand for his sh*t.
We all have sh*t — aspects of our personality that are a pain in the ass for the people closest to us. These are normally insecurities in ourselves that we try to make other people wrong for. Your man has these and you will not be helping him by dancing around them. Never walk on eggshells.
If somebody has insecurities, you should feel compassion because insecure is a terrible place to be. But you will also not be helping that person if you give strength to those insecurities by letting them weaken you, too. In a heartfelt way, you must set a boundary at times when you are being made wrong but know you have done nothing wrong.
Call him out on his sh*t, but with love. It's then up to him, if he's a good man, to own his sh*t.
4. A woman who owns HER sh*t.
Sorry. Yeah, it goes both ways. But this isn't just about not giving your man a hard time because you have insecurities. This is about your own journey and self-development. Your intimate relationships are the ultimate way to highlight areas that you need to work on. I repeat, that YOU need to work on.
Sure, he's not perfect and has wronged you at times. But you know there are upsets that were all you.
This is your opportunity to look at your own sh*t and address those issues that he can never help you with. Remember, in relationships one partner can never directly heal the other's wounds, but they sure can trigger them! And that in its own way is a gift.
5. A woman who has her own identity outside of the relationship.
It's healthy to need your man for certain things. Like support, sex, love and connection. But what you shouldn't need him for is identity.
One of the biggest giveaways that a woman has lost herself in a relationship (or had never found herself to begin with) is that she has no hobbies, interests or passions. She instead tries to find herself in the relationship and unknowingly is making him responsible for her sense of self. Not only is this an impossible expectation to put on someone else, it's downright unsexy.
And a good man wants a woman who is whole and independent all by herself. He loves and wants her for this uniqueness which is expressed through her "things."
6. A woman who can be vulnerable.
A major part of relationship is expressing needs, likes and dislikes. Unfortunately, these expressions also carry with them the inherent risk of upsetting our partners and are open to all kinds of misinterpretation.
When we feel like we're not making the other happy, it triggers our about-to-be-abandoned alarm and we close up. Instinctively knowing this, what you most likely do — just like 99 percent of everyone else out there — is close up first. And the expression of a need comes out more like a highlighting of your man's inadequacy. Needless to say, this won't get you very far.
One of the bravest things you can do in life is be vulnerable. When you express, you translate what your heart is really telling you. Accusing him of not appreciating you will only make him feel victimized (especially if you're wrong). Instead, expressing that you need to feel how much you mean to him, because you're scared that you don't have the place in his heart that you would like, is scary.
But if you can express yourself like this, you will melt his big manly heart. Only a truly psychopathic man can get angry at or reject the wide open and vulnerable heart of a woman.
And by the way, I know how much it turns you on when you can vent everything you feel and your man stands there with unfettered presence, completely unfazed in his loving, where nothing you can do or say could hurt him or make him hurt you. A good man will strive towards being capable of this. But then real life has to go and spoil everything. In reality, you both have to make an effort in the way you communicate in times of upset.
7. A woman who embraces her sexuality.
I have news for you: Men like to have deep and dirty sex with bad girls. We're just afraid to marry them because we associate a sexually liberated woman with drama and general "wrongness." This isn't your fault (it's society's and religion's fault, but that's for another blog). And you females can be just as brainwashed as men. Slut-shaming comes from both genders.
A strong man isn't scared of a wild woman. And he doesn't judge her for her past and instead embraces it. And a good woman will be interested only in such a man and will not judge herself nor fear her own wildness.
This was a huge area of growth for me. For various cultural and personal reasons, I had the irrational and unconscious belief that a woman was somehow wrong for having any kind of sexual experience with anyone other than me. But the same didn't apply to me. It's the classic paradigm of wanting a virgin and a slut all in the same person.
Enter, my woman, who had a bit of experience in the boy department prior to meeting me. It was only through her being a sexually liberated woman that I was able to challenge my programming and completely turn it around.
A good woman wants a man who appreciates all the experience she brings to the relationship. My girl wasn't born with the skills he has, she had practice! And this is something a good man (and woman) will embrace and maybe even celebrate.
8. A woman who never stops flirting with her man.
The masculine male is attracted to the feminine. Flirting is simply the non-physical play between the masculine and feminine in two people; just as the polar ends of two magnets are drawn to each other.
Flirting helps to strengthen your feminine and deepen your sexuality. Which is why the ultimate foreplay happens over the course of an entire day where you are texting each other naughty messages, leading to amazing sex later that night.
Flirting with your man then is essential for passion to flow in the relationship. But owning your femininity shouldn't exist only there. Being in her feminine is something a woman does for herself and by herself also.
Does this mean flirting throughout the day with other masculine men? Maybe. It depends on what your exact definition of flirting is and the rules around this type of things must be established between the two of you.
But the bottom line is that being open in your femininity and receptive to the masculine is a place where a good woman always returns to — it allows her to thrive as a feminine woman, to feel sexy. She then brings this home to her man.
9. A woman who submits to him — because she chooses to, not because she has to.
A strong man wants a strong woman. He also wants to feel her surrender to him at times. Submit, even. And a strong woman does this, but out of choice, not because she thinks she has to. Because she too wants to feel taken at times, but only by a man who she has a deep trust for. A trust that he has earned.
But still, as much as he may be a trustworthy man and you may have a desire to relax into a feminine state of surrender, you're probably one of the many women out there who have worked hard to be a free and independent woman. And there may be a little voice telling you to keep that guard up, to not show "weakness."
Women really don't need men any more in the classical sense. They can provide for themselves completely. And yet what this means for women in the larger sense is that they need men more than ever. Specifically, they need a masculine presence in their lives other than the one they have developed themselves to get ahead in work and life.
One of the positive things to come out of the Fifty Shades phenomena, is that it's started to put the word out there that those feelings of wanting to be completely wanted, ravished and "owned" even, are OK. And while Mr. Grey is essentially abusive, there are healthy ways to play with these dynamics in relationship. Learning to relax into a ball of feminine bliss in his presence doesn't have to have anything to do with sex necessarily, let alone BDSM sex (although it's perhaps the ultimate expression of submission).
If you're struggling to let that guard down, start small by allowing yourself to completely relax into him while you watch a movie. In sex, remember that most men also have a little voice in their head telling them not to act on all of their baser instincts. If you would actually like him to do that thing, tell him.
If your man is a good man, you should know that you can expect him to also have high standards and healthy boundaries. You can expect him to call you out on any areas of weakness you may have.
And what I suggest to you in order to make him stronger, he'll be doing right back at you. With all his heart.