Love

Relationships Only Work If The Man Is The More Interested Of The Two

Photo: stockfour / Shutterstock  
couple touching their foreheads together

Editor's Note: This is a part of YourTango's Opinion section where individual authors can provide varying perspectives for wide-ranging political, social, and personal commentary on issues.

If you want to get successful at business, look at those who already nailed it, watch, and learn their strategies and habits, and attitude. If you want to get good at running, take advice from runners who have already gone through it all. There are great lessons in someone else’s success, and even if not all of them can be applied to your life, the main points will be something to learn from.

Similarly, when it comes to relationships, we can learn a lot from those around us who made them. Those friends who are still together after everyone else already divorced, those that managed to keep the fire, and those who still talk kindly to each other even after an argument.

There are only a few basic notions that need to click in a relationship, the rest is commitment and hard work from both parties.

RELATED: Mom Accuses Ex's New Girlfriend Of Being 'Obsessed' With Her Daughter After Seeing Her Social Media

But there is one more thing I noticed, observing the well-functioning couples around me — in my family, and among my friends. Although the sample I am looking at is far from complete, what I observed is that in each (cisHet) relationship that is successful and has the potential to last forever, it’s always the man who is more interested.

It’s not that the women aren’t, they are too, but there is a slight imbalance between the two. And this imbalance has been there from the first second.

In the relationships I see thriving, it was always the guy wanting it more, it was him pursuing, him wanting to commit, him wanting to get married and have kids and settle down forever. These are the guys who talk about their wives as “my beautiful wife”, and “love of my life” instead of calling them wifey and my partner.

These are the guys who are proud of what she accomplishes. These are the guys who stand up to their mothers and prioritize family over their friends. The guys who love more.

Traditional relationship roles

Even my feminist friends, those who deeply believe in equality and demand it from their partner and from everyone around — them in their relationship are going for the traditionally more feminine role. The one to be taken care of — now not financially but emotionally. The one that receives — and not only provides. The one that likes to give over the driving seat in their romantic lives — as they are making enough decisions in the professional ones.

This caters to the masculine needs of men, to be in control, to show they can provide, and to take care of the one they love.

The strange thing here is that this should be the normal setup in every relationship, this kind of equality and balance. Yet if the man is not as committed to it as the woman, the woman will be perceived as bossy, needy, and controlling. It takes a man in love to understand that his girlfriend is not emasculating him but is participating in the relationship with thoughts, decisions, and conversations.

Men are willing to grow — but not for everyone.

There have been quite a few studies recently that single men have a hard time keeping up with single women. The latter are healing their traumas and traumas of generations, they work on themselves, they go to therapy, they learn to communicate assertively — and they don’t need a man but want a partner. Women go through self-development for themselves.

Men (not all men, but most) usually go through self-development when it comes to business and productivity, not relationships.

They often fail to acknowledge that they would need healing or therapy, so they fall into the routine of looking for external approval from different sources — such as binge-dating. Unless they find someone that they are really interested in (in love or even obsessed with) they wouldn’t change even for their committed partner, as they get the necessary feedback and they don’t push themselves further — from an emotional maturity point of view.

RELATED: 'My Boyfriend Is Cheating On Me With An 18-Year-Old & I Don't Know How To Respond'

Relationships need growth, from both parties, especially because women tend to grow and men need to keep up. If the man is unwilling, the woman will quickly outgrow him and the conflicts will never stop.

Men are willing to listen — but not to everyone

Why do you think there is a saying that there is no one on earth paying more attention to you than the man who hasn’t yet had sex with you? Because there is an unquenched thirst from his side that makes him want more, know more, and hear more. And it’s a really great feeling.

This doesn’t necessarily go away after the first sexual encounter, but this wanting and incessant attention only stays if the man is really interested, and more interested than the woman. It probably helps too, if she is out of his league a bit. It is not about women playing hot and cold — but guess what, they do it to keep him wanting more, otherwise he leaves or disappears.

But if he wants, he listens. If he cares, he asks those questions. If he wants to be in her life, he is making her a priority. They will listen, and they will pay attention — but in the long run only if they are more in love.

The thrill of the chase

My theory is that it is because of the thrill of the chase, the appeal of the uncertain and unattainable — even within a committed relationship. Being afraid to lose someone is the biggest motivator to better yourself, listen and pay attention. Being scared to fall out of the good graces of someone you are invested in can stop you from being ignorant and uncaring.

If they are too comfortable and getting everything they need without having to fight for it (there are different ways to fight, not only chasing) the value decreases, and their interest wanes.

RELATED: Woman Learns Her Boyfriend Of 2 Years Has Kids After He Tries To Move Them In & Make Her Care For Them

And this is when women get too clingy. This is when we are labeled needy. This is when we get ghosted. And this is exactly why a lot of women play too hard to get. This is why we play hot and cold. Because if you give everything without men having to achieve it, they just lose interest and jump to the next subject which is more of a challenge.

Might be a blanket statement, but men only go out of their way to learn the other’s love language, and their ways of preferred being if they care enough to. They only commit if they are interested enough. It’s not good or bad, it just is.

And yes, not all men. I am pretty sure that there are a few exceptions — and pretty sure they are taken and happy in their relationship, where they build a brilliant life with a woman they are still madly in love with — more than she is in love with them.

If there is anything to take away from this, is that for women, it is beneficial to look for a slight emotional imbalance in the relationship, and find a guy who is more invested than they are. A guy who loves more. From the get-go.

Men feel more alive and willing to do more if they have to face a challenge. If they are in love. If they have to fight for the woman.

The problem is that women also want to feel alive, and madly in love. They want to give everything. And that chemistry and those fireworks… aah. But my opinion is, that a woman can grow to love a man who she only likes, but a man can only commit to a woman if he is obsessed enough from the very first minute.

It’s not fair. But it’s good to know.

[Disclaimer: I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings with anything I write. I do reserve the right though to have my opinion, and it’s fine if you don’t agree.]

RELATED: My Ex Left Me Before The Tombstone Was On Our Stillborn Son's Grave

Zita Fontaine is a writer and sociologist, passionate about human relationships, motivations, and inner drives.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.