Listen To The Man: 10 Love Lessons From My Dad
Every year as Father’s Day approaches, I start to think about all the things my father has taught me or shown me over the years. It’s a lot. And the older I get the more I realize even when my father wasn’t speaking directly to me, he was showing me, my sister and my mother things by the way he lived his life. This year I’ve been thinking about the love lessons my father’s shared over the years. Typically, we think about women, our mothers, teaching us about the ins and outs of relationships; but I know in my house my father has shared just as much wisdom.
You shouldn’t have to prove your worth to anyone
Not too long ago, my aunt felt inspired to call a boy that I was interested in to tell him that if he didn’t want to miss out, he should make a move. I’m sure this seems weird and out of pocket to some of you; but I have a very “hands on” type of family. Anyway, when my dad learned of this conversation, he was heated. Not so much that my aunt had involved herself in my relationship, but that she tried to argue a case for me. My dad let me know then, as he had several times before, if a man can’t see your worth, as hard as it may be to accept, that’s more a reflection of him and not you. Instead of trying to convince him to see the light, let him experience the darkness and see if he gets it together. Perhaps I extended the metaphor too far but hopefully you know what I mean.
If you adhere to your standards, men will respect you…
The sucky part about this lesson is that “respect you” doesn’t mean he’ll want to wife you. He just might decide that you’re too much for him to handle right now or ever, for that matter. But even as he’s walking out of your door, he’ll respect you. It’s a small consolation prize if you wanted the man himself but being single and respected is better than being treated like dog sh!t in a relationship.
Men are just as sensitive–if not more so– than women
Don’t believe the hype, don’t sip the Kool-Aid or subscribe to the lies. Society and men themselves would love to have us believe that because they are physically stronger than us, they are emotionally and psychologically stronger as well. If you’ve been around a man for more than 10 minutes, you’ll pick up on this little secret. Men love to call their feelings “pride” or “ego” but in actuality they’re insecurities and fears just like we have. The only difference is they don’t talk about theirs as much, which is a blessing and a curse.
Men are more concerned about sex than we’ll ever understand
I remember when I was around 10 or 12 my dad tried to warn me about the changes that were going to take place with the boys around me. In addition to letting me know I had to stop thinking that I could “take” (as in fight) all of the little knuckleheads around me, my dad also let me know that sex was going to begin to dominate their every waking thought. I heard him; but even today, I’m still amazed at the lengths men will go, the lies they’ll tell and really the lives they’ll ruin just to get some. My Dad tried to tell me just how deep it goes for them, but I’m sure words don’t even begin to describe that level of thirst.
You’ve got to know when to walk away
More times than not when I come to my dad with a relationship issue, his advice is for me to peace out. A lot of times, that’s not what I’m trying to hear but I listen anyway. And while the ultimate decision is mine, over the years I’ve learned what I can tolerate and what warrants a “walk away” for my own standards.
Relationships take work
Watching my parents’ marriage for as long as I’ve been alive, I realize not only how awesome it is to have someone to share your life with, but also how much work it really takes to make a healthy relationship last. Constantly keeping that person’s feelings and needs in mind as you try to live your life is work indeed. I want to eventually be married just like the next person, but when I think about how much effort it takes to be married, I’m content to live this single life for a good a few more years.
If he doesn’t make time for you, he’s not that into you
For whatever reason, my father has always sugar coated stuff with my younger sister and been very blunt with me. The he’s just not into you like you think he is, has been another hard pill to swallow. I’ve rationalized this one more times than I’d like to remember but it’s very simple. If words and actions don’t align, believe what he does and not what he says.
She who can do the hard thing, must.
Recently, I had to end a relationship and I was NOT looking forward to it, so I was essentially putting it off. It wasn’t until I had a conversation with my father that he reminded me that life is full of hard decisions and conversations but I was equipped to handle it. Better to suffer a little awkwardness and inconvenience than to lead someone on or hurt their feelings.
It’s important to support your partner’s goals
In my parents’ relationship I’ve noticed time and time again that my mom is the dreamer. She always has an idea, a new way to do things, a new business venture something. And my dad is the problem solver. My mom might not always know the exact steps to get things done but my dad, even if he didn’t see how things were going to pan out was there to help her see her dreams come to fruition. And in return, when it was time for my dad to step out and do his own thing, my mom was equally supportive.