Monday, April 16, 2012

Befriending your Man

I've had a few conversations lately with women where we've had to acknowledge how hard it is to sometimes be a friend to our men.

Whether it's your boyfriend, your fiance, your husband, or just the guy you're currently interested in... we sometimes forget how to simply be their friend. All of a sudden things are more complicated and expectations are placed on them that, oftentimes, they can't meet or, worse yet, don't even know their 'supposed' to meet. 

Somehow, our (sometimes) former friendship fades into oblivion and we forget how to laugh at their jokes without wishing they would filter themselves, we forget how to enjoy hanging out at their house without noticing the mess around us, we forget how to go on a fun date with them without thinking it's the perfect time to bring up some unresolved argument. We nag, we blame, we find fault even in their attempts for good... and we make sure they know about it. 

Lately I've been aware that my friendships with all other males are a lot less complicated. But, the moment friendship turns into something more romantic...something changes. I remember just liking guys when I was single and having our friendship move from the plane of friendship to something.... different. Eye contact suddenly meant something special to me, I was always going through a list of pros and cons in my heads of if they were a good guy for me to truly set my sights on. I inevitably began to treat them a bit differently. 

And now, in a relationship, I'm aware of my struggle to simply be his friend sometimes. To enjoy him, to appreciate him, to do things with him, to not expect so much out of him. I feel like I've lost the ability to let him be himself...because I still have these expectations and ideals for what a man in a relationship is 'supposed' to be. 

It's a crock... and it isn't fair. 

I don't know if you can relate to this at all, but I'd encourage women everywhere to reevaluate your friendships with your men. Reevaluate whether or not you are being a good friend to him... or, are you being a selfish, nagging, blaming woman? Are you willing to do things with him that he enjoys, even if you have no interest in them? Are you willing to lay aside your expectations of what your perfect man is 'supposed' to be and let him be who he is? Might you ever believe that who is he could actually be better than who you want him to be? Better for you, even? 

They want to be our friend...they want to have fun with us and laugh with us and just enjoy being with us. They want to pursue us and to love us and to care for us. They just don't want to be told how to do to it. I don't blame them.. 

So, enjoy your man (or the guy you want to be your man) today. 
Be his friend. 
Do something with him that he likes, and don't complain or whine about it the whole time. Don't rub it in his face later when he doesn't do something with you that you enjoy. The point isn't to get something out of him for your sake... the point is to put his needs above yours. 

I think that when we're willing to set our impossible expectations to the side and just enjoy the simplicity that can come with true, deep friendship... we might just be much more content in our relationships (or friendships) than we ever thought we could be. 

Try it. 

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