It's counterintuitive, but it works!
Have you ever wondered how nasty women end up with gorgeous, wonderful men by their side? Many moons ago when I sat alone in my bed on a Friday night watching Waiting To Exhale and mumbling softly to myself like a crazy person, I frequently asked myself this question.
Years later, after reading more self-help books than I care to admit, going on lots of bad dates, completing a couple of years of grad school and eventually finding the love of my life, I discovered something about the human condition. Or maybe I should call it the "male mind." Normally, my clients pay me for this insight, and then they rebel against it! As odd as it seems, here is what I've discovered. Men like to feel like our heroes.
Here is the situation. We are beings that have evolved over millennia with certain innate attributes. Now, don't get all technical on me! If you believe we were created by a Divine Being, this theory still applies. Let's move on. This process, which led to men being larger than women on average, and not having to carry a child inside their bodies meant they had to go out and find food and shelter for the family. Women, gifted with the same intelligence, but physically handicapped in more ways than one during pregnancy, could assist with carrying the child, selecting non-poisonous berries, keeping a fire going for hours, nursing and raising the children, and possibly even dividing the hunt among the tribe. We don't know exactly how it all went down, but we know it was always a collaborative effort. In any case, men felt like heroes to their family for thousands of years.
However, as the much needed feminist movement blossomed in the 20th century, some of the gender roles became complicated. Once again, stay with me. Yes, it has been a confusing 100 years or so, but that's just a minuscule amount of time compared to thousands of years. We haven't yet become fully ready to interchange gender roles. Women are still carrying babies in their womb, and men are still watching her deliver that child. I don't know about you, but if I need to carry a 4x8 foot piece of plywood for a home repair, I call my husband to do it, or hire a man. That is frequently the case.
Here is why I say we as women should not be our best possible selves all the time. When I was a single mom, I learned to do home repairs. I can change the oil in my car, change a tire and tile my bathroom. I can also win a political argument or two. But should I always? I would be a hypocrite if I didn't admit something. In this era when my husband and I are equals, I still want him to admire me for my physical beauty. Yes, I've said it! I want him to think of me as beautiful too. So, why should I not give his ego a little boost by admiring and being grateful for his masculinity, his physical ability, his intelligence or his great choice in building materials for a fireplace? Even if I could manage without him, I want to make him feel that he is my hero.
See, it's not about being the best woman possible. It's about being the best life partner possible. Making the other person feel appreciated for what they bring to the relationship will make anyone smile. He can think I'm as smart and capable as Einstein, but if he thinks I'm a plain Jane or not too cute, and I know it? I don't want to be that woman.