Someone asked me to do this for PPD, but I thought it would be interesting to post it here and get a female perspective. I don't know how many of you look at PPD, probably the bickering can get quite tiresome!
So it would be really interesting to know:
(a) if you agree or disagree with any of the 15 points raised;
(b) if you can think of anything on the list that I haven't included.
Oh, I've never posted here, so if I break any of the rules, please feel free to tell me off! I did read the FAQ!
1. Treat him with respect
I wrote a post about this previously, but the scenario of what I call 'The Hapless Male and The Competent Female' has become such a cultural cliché. Particularly in advertising, men are so often depicted as being buffoons. Which is a little harsh considering, as RP rightly points out, men do virtually all of the dangerous jobs. Would I choose to work on a building site, be a scaffolder, or get shot at in a war (leaving aside my criticisms of foreign policy for the sake of argument)? No, I would not! It's completely unreasonable to expect men to do this, and then laugh at them for being pathetic and belittle their interests and desires.
Yet this happens all the time. It's almost become a way for women to bond; let's all get together and bash our husbands! It's quite telling, and I believe an excellent rule, that you ban this on RPW. I would like to see the same on RP itself, I'd like to see less misogyny, less women bashing, and more positivity. But I digress...
When I think back to my mum and dad's relationship, my mum didn't treat him with sufficient respect and emasculated him. Perhaps this was partly because he was a rubbish husband and didn't deliver what women want from a relationship, whereas her current husband does. But my dad was a pretty special person. He was on the books of both professional cricket and football clubs. He got a double-first from one of England's top universities. He was the head of an English department, and a very esteemed teacher. Everything I am and everything I've achieved comes from him really, my values come from my mum.
So anyway...I've waffled on about that too much, but treat your man with basic respect. This is a really important one for me because I expect to be respected. It is not a good idea to disrespect me. If you treat me with respect, I will do everything I can to please you and make you happy.
2. Have your own interests
This is one of the most critical differences between a good guy and a bad guy. A good guy will encourage you to pursue your passions, encourage you to have a busy social life and see your friends and family a lot, and be proud of your every achievement. A bad guy will discourage you, or attempt to dissuade you. Always follow your own interests and passions, and always stay away from bad guys.
3. Listen to him
It's often said that men don't listen to women. And there's a lot of truth in this. But equally, I believe that women don't listen to men, possibly even more so. Communication should be a two-way street. And this ties into the next item on the list, which I believe is of critical importance.
4. Find out what is important to him and try to take an interest in it, even if it's not really your thing
I'm making my mum sound like a terrible person here, which couldn't be further from the truth because she's a wonderful person. But...she did something once that really bugged me, that sums this one up.
I was playing chess on the Internet, and I was never serious about playing chess, but I used to play quite a bit. And she started saying to me as I was playing (and thus distracting me as well) “don't you get bored playing chess all the time?”.
Yeah, I do, mum. That's why I play chess. I just play it so that I can bore myself. I actually hate the game, I'm just masochistic like that.
A common problem in relationships is that both parties fail to take the interests of the other seriously. It means so much if a woman takes the time to understand what matters to you, what you're passionate about, and values it, praises you for it, and takes an interest in it. I'm a writer, and it means a lot to me when a woman tells me that she respects what I've done in my career. I think all guys feel this way.
Let me give you an example. Check this video out:
This guy's wife lets him have a room in the house for his preposterously large retro video games collection. What a fucking woman! That is an extreme example, but that's what I call respecting someone else's interests.
5. Dress up
Quite simple...dress up sexy sometimes, without being prompted to do so. Both in private and in public. Doesn't really need any further explanation.
6. Do something specifically for him from time to time
It could be cooking a favourite meal, it could be, as I suggested above, dressing a certain way, it could be buying him something, it could be getting him tickets for an event...just show that you're thinking about him and care about him. Again, this is far more valuable when it's personalised. I remember my friend's girlfriend buying my friend a rare Sonic Youth album because she knew he really liked them and could never find it, and he appreciated that so much.
7. Recognise when he's stressed and tired
There is a story here that illustrates points 4, 5 and 6. When I was dating a woman some years ago, I had to go away working somewhere, and then I had a long train journey and didn't get back until late on Friday evening. When I got in and walked through the door, she was waiting for me, and she was dressed as a bunny girl. And she was in a really flirtatious mood all evening, and she called me Mr. Browning all evening (well, she actually called me my real name) and she cooked for me and looked after me, and it was the most thoughtful and sexiest thing that anyone has ever done for me. She got plenty in return, trust me.
I found this video that underlines this theme:
I have seen my mum's husband's daughter with her husband, and she is so bloody unreasonable. I've seen more equal relationships on a cotton plantation in Alabama before slavery was banned! He works his balls off, and all she does is set him new tasks to do. Of course, it is partly his fault for being supplicating and going along with it. But try to be reasonable and don't be a slave driver!
8. Share some interests
I like being with a woman who is different from me, as it's nice to learn from your partner and embrace things that you wouldn't otherwise. But, ideally, you should have some interests that you can share. If these don't come along easily, both parties should be responsible for trying to think of activities that can be done together.
9. Closeness and intimacy
Men are all about pussy and fucking and orgasms, and we don't enjoy all those girly things like closeness and intimacy, right? Wrong. There is nothing I love more than to hold a woman. I love spooning in particular. I love to hold someone close to me. I love kissing. This is of absolutely essential importance to me in a sustained relationship. I'm sure most guys would agree with that.
10. Flirt with him
Just because we've attracted you, fucked you numerous times, and fathered children with you, it doesn't mean that we want you to stop flirting with us. We go through fucking hell in some cases to find a woman who finds us sexy. We never tire of being flirted with, or being made to feel sexy and masculine. So don't stop doing it. Ever.
11. Make an effort in bed
Some men are shit in bed. However, most men absolutely want to please their partners, and we love it when you orgasm. Don't be all about yourself, though, give something back. That doesn't mean do things that you don't want to do, but it means that his pleasure should be as importance as yours.
And I would add to that, tell him that it was good (or if it wasn't good, try to give him pointers). I remember one girl I slept with when I was much younger, it was a weird thing, but I could just make her cum so easily. We had a real chemistry, it was weird. But I remember one time I was with her, after we'd finished she looked in my eyes and said “well...that was a bloody good shag”. That means a lot.
12. Initiate sex occasionally
A savvy guy knows it is his responsibility to initiate sex. But we honestly don't mind you doing it sometimes! We like to feel that you desire us too! Don't be scared to initiate sex, even if it's only 10% of the time that you actually have sex. This will be appreciated.
13. Don't make him play unreasonable guessing games
There is a joke in The Simpsons about this:
When a woman says nothing's wrong, that means everything's wrong. And when a woman says everything's wrong, that means everything's wrong. And when a woman says something's not funny, you'd better not laugh your ass off!
I understand that men have to use social intuition in order to understand women and satisfy them, but acting like a bitch over some perceived misdemeanour, slight or failing is not reasonable behaviour. If he's done something wrong, there really is little or no excuse for not simply telling him what's wrong, instead of expecting him to guess and creating a horrible atmosphere for no good reason.
14. Keep yourself in shape
Pretty straightforward, take pride in your appearance and don't let yourself go. This should apply to both parties.
15. Always be yourself
Whenever I've seen Cosmopolitan or other similar women's magazines, there is always some bullshit article in there about how you have to act to keep your man, or some other such shite.
Women don't have to do anything to make us like you. We already like you. You have no idea how much we like you. Thank God that you will never truly understand this!
If we're with you, it means that we like you. You don't have to change your personality, character, or significantly alter your behaviour, except for showing some basic consideration. Again, this would be another be another red flag of a bad guy; he will try to fundamentally change you. A good guy will always cherish you for who you are, if you treat him with respect.
Always be true to yourself. Always be yourself.