“I married a younger man. Five years younger than I am. I figure it is like this: if you can’t find a good man, raise one.” – Wanda Sykes
In a previous post, I had a bit of fun with the topic of “category men.” My theory was that within each age-range, men have something to offer — some redeeming quality that could make our lives more pleasant and entertaining.
There are the 30-somethings with a nice combination of a touch of maturity with usually some form of steady employment, yet are still young, hot, and energetic enough to add excitement to life.
The 40’s to 50’s men have the best potential for stability, loyalty and desire to please – like a puppy dog.
And our 60+ range can provide companionship, culture, and intelligent conversation.
Yes, they all have their attributes as well as their drawbacks. And yet it has struck me, in talking with other Real Women, and in my own experience, that there is one common thread, one element, that no matter the age, can be one of the main deciding factors between a Keeper and a Send-Him-to-the-Curber.
This one most-desired feature is startlingly simple. For those men out there who are reading this (yes, I know there are a few of you – even if you don’t want to admit that you are reading a blog titled “Real Women”) – take note of what I’m about to explain. Then tell your friends. Because this one easy thing can not only keep you in a steady, happy relationship, it could even get you lucky.
Ready? Here it is: we Real Women want and need a man who is there for us when we need him. We R.W.’s are strong, powerful, and self-reliant. Yet, as much as we hate to admit it, there are times we need support, encouragement, even – gasp – help. It can be even small gestures that help…. Men, if you can make us laugh when we are down or stressed, or convincingly tell us you love us or think we are beautiful even when we look like doo-doo, you get major points. But then take it to the next level and step up to the plate when we need you to, and you are golden.
One of my girlfriends recently had to have knee surgery. She was laid up and recuperating at home for several weeks. Her husband of many years pleasantly surprised her by kicking in to gear and making dinners, doing laundry, driving her to her P.T. appointments, and encouraging her during her healing. Bravo, well done.
There is one phrase, one question, men, that you can utter in our direction, and we women will swoon, our hearts will beat faster and you will immediately become more physically attractive in our eyes…seven simple words: “What can I do to help you?”. Wow. That’s hot.
Now, R.W.’s, I do throw out some caution here. Men (sorry guys) are simple creatures. The majority of them will not know to ask this question. They need direction. They need us to actually ask them for help, or tell them what to do. As exasperating as that may sound, they just aren’t wired like we are to naturally know what to do. My dear husband admitted this to me recently, even after all our years together, when he said “I can be stupid sometimes and not know enough to start dinner or get the laundry going. So I need you to tell me what you need me to do.”
We R.W.’s are horrible at asking for help. But guess what? As painful as it is to do, it works. During a stressful busy day, I asked my husband to run an important errand that I just couldn’t get to, and he did it. When I was too exhausted to deal with visiting a sick family member by myself, I asked him to come with me and he did. If I leave a note on the counter with instructions on how to start dinner, he will.
The funny thing is, if we have a man in our lives who will Step Up to the Plate when we need him to, we don’t really care if his hair is thinning, if he gains a few pounds, or if he leaves his socks in the living room. He doesn’t have to be the perfect “category man”. He just needs to be there for us. Well, and it helps if he smells good.