What I Admire & Appreciate About Men
I’ll admit that for a couple of years post-divorce, I wrote most of the male species off as knobs.
Luckily, the healing hands of time, combined with lots of inner work and formal training in gender differences with Dr. John Gray, dulled my anger and allowed a renewed level of appreciation and respect to flourish.
These are some of the things I really notice and admire about men today. I hope they help warm your heart on your pathway to recovery.
The strength of the male body
If you’ve ever had to carry a couch down a set of stairs or lift an appliance into the back of a truck, you’ve probably come face to face with the realization that this would have been much easier for a man to do than you. I know I have — many times over the past six years since I got divorced.
Now I’m not trying to take away from the women who are, in fact, as strong as men, nor those who use smarts and creativity to get such tasks done. But the simple fact is that men’s bodies are designed for strength in a way ours aren’t – with their beautiful arms, powerful shoulders and backs, not to mention their strong legs and firm butts that can squat my body weight plus some with such ease. Sigh. I am grateful for the majesty of their design.
Their bodies at work in the workforce
Again, I’m not saying women can’t nor shouldn’t do the following jobs too – but when I see men hanging from skyscrapers washing windows, or road crews of men slaving away in ghastly weather conditions, I give pause and think, “Thank God for men.” Cause I would never want to do these kinds of jobs. Ever. Could I do them? Sure. But again, I don’t want to. And I even take my gratitude so far as to imagine how, in the bigger picture of time and life, great edifices and cities have been built on the sweat and toil of men’s muscles.
Chivalrous acts and gestures
Though some argue that chivalry is dead, I still see it all around me, even in its less blatant forms. I now understand that when a man reaches out to carry a bag a woman is holding, it’s not meant to say, “You’re too weak to carry this.” It’s his heart-warming way of showing her he cares; that he wants to take care of her. Thus, when I see a man giving a woman his jacket, or rushing up to a counter to grab her coffee for her, or offering his elbow or hand as they walk, I can’t help but think back on all the times I took it for granted. I didn’t give it ENOUGH credit. But now, I see the ways in which men to “take care” of women as a most beautiful thing.
Obviously men don’t have to protect us from saber tooth tigers anymore. But I still give pause to appreciate the protective moves and gestures men make towards women – it’s such an ingrained part of their nature, and a beautiful one at that. Whether it’s steering a woman out of ‘harm’s way’ as they walk through crowds, or shooting his arm out to grab the door so it doesn’t bonk her on the way through it, I love how men naturally monitor the world around them and ensure their women are comfortable and safe. It’s funny how often I now observe men shooting other men dirty looks, too – looks that their women aren’t even aware of. Like if some guy was checking her out, or cut her off, almost elbowed her, or got too close. What’s not to love about that?
The simplicity of men’s thinking used to make me nuts: how they are so single task oriented; and how uncreative and “undeep” they seemed in their day to day lives. Even when I started online dating, their written profiles made me roll my eyes: Really? They were like clones, all saying they enjoyed working, having a beer on a patio, watching a game on TV, and of course, having sex.
But now I see how this simplicity really fits well with women’s more complicated and big picture thinking; how it can be perceived as easy-going and accommodating, verses lazy or incapable. With men, you usually get what you see; they want and need and are what they say, plain and simply; no need to look too deep. Quite honestly, if I had a partner who had a mindset more similar to mine – which I often claimed I wanted – I think it would make me MORE nuts.
There’s no looking for hidden meaning and agenda with men – they come right out and tell you what they want, whether it’s sex, a run, alone time, or giant BLT sandwich. There’s no dancing around, no need for decoding, no long track through a conversation to get to the point of it. And I love it. In fact, in many ways, I’ve become more male-like in this respect because I’ve gotten tired of listening to myself both out loud and in my head. My appreciation of men’s directness has helped me become more direct and a better communicator with them; to speak their language.
Men’s need to problem-solve
It used to make me crazy when I’d be attempting to vent or have a deep conversation with my ex-husband, only for him to jump in at the end with a one-lined comment on what I needed to do to “fix” it. Usually I judged his comments as rude/ thoughtless; I thought there was no way he could actually be hearing me to synopsize and offer resolutions so quickly.
Today, I understand and appreciate how men’s brains are different to women’s – and theirs are wired to solve problems at all times. So when other men today attempt to do the same as my ex once did, I know that is their genuine attempt to help. I also know that if I need them just to listen, I need to come right out and tell them so. Men don’t need to ‘talk around’ issues in the way women do in order to exhaust all possibilities and feel better. They’re trying to help in the best ways they know how.
Their attraction to “toys” and things that make noise
I always knew that many men are attracted to cars, toys and things that go boom. But I never thought twice about actually appreciated this about them. It just tolerated it, shoulder shrugged it, in many ways, considered it silly.
But now, when I see men huddling around to examine cars or discuss other big toys, I genuinely smile. Maybe it’s in part because today my sons are tweens and I’ve witnessed how they love to do things fast, hard, make things blow up and examine how things run. Maybe it’s also because I’ve had many car issues over the past six years that I’ve been clueless how to fix. All I can say is that when I watch my neighbors’ husbands outside on weekends tinkering with cars, boats, trailers, and anything mechanical, I am endeared by the sight of them.
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