Great Relationship Advice That I Learned From (Gasp) Men10/06/2010
[ Editors Note : This blog is reposted from AlovelyDai a member of our blog network. Dai regularly...
[Editors Note: This blog is reposted from AlovelyDai a member of our blog network. Dai regularly writes incredible pieces on her blog, so be sure to visit.]
The craziest thing about relationships is that we (women) think we've cornered the market on them as if we're in them alone. We believe that we have all the answers like we invented love and all would be just fine if they (men) would only do what we say listen. I used to think this too. My girlfriends came to me with their own issues and I would listen & give answers. Then one day I realized that my answers were gifted to me by the lessons I learned from *gasp* men. I watched the premiere episode of LaLa's Full Court Wedding on Vh1 and one of her good friends singer/actor Tyrese gave her some advice about going from a girlfriend to a wife. While I'll hold my opinion to another post it got me thinking about all the wonderful insight I've learned from men. Here's a few. And if you haven't seen this episode click here.
1. Keep Your Business Personal
I was dating my favorite ex boyfriend and we had a quarrel. It was pretty minor by my account. So minor that I didn't think it was big deal to update a girlfriend about it. So I call her up & I'm all "Girl...you know what he did" blah blah blah. I don' recall how he found out but he none too pleased. To him it didn't matter if he slapped me or left the toilet seat up it was our business. Furthermore, he would feel "less than" during the next time he encountered said girlfriend. None of this made any sense to me. I always talk to my girls. His point was that if the situation was reversed I would never want any of his friends to view me as "that bytch" and he didn't want my friends to view him in an "ain't shyt" light. It makes perfect sense. In our need to vent and bond with our girlfriends we often over share the goings on in our relationships. And let's be honest, it's not always positive. Do pay attention to what you say about your mate. Also remember that when the issue is corrected & you're all lovey dovey again your girlfriend will still have an active tally of all your man has done wrong. You don't want that.
2. Speaking of Girlfriends...Men Are Not Your Girlfriends
My hubby knows if he sets up a question I will knock that mofo down. I'll give him a power point presentation complete with handouts on whatever he asks me. That said I only do this when he asks me. For example: "Hey babe, did you see that La La show last night?" Me: "Sure did." Hubby: "Whatcha think?" Me: "Well clearly we can ascertain from just this 22 minute episode that Carmelo was not the only one with commitment issues. The girl can't even commit to the damn $8000 Vera Wang that she already purchased...& let me tell you about Tyrese..." See how this works. LOL! For the record my hubby would never ask me this question which is why I have girlfriends & tweeties. I speak EPSNease to the hubby. I leave the celeb debates & other tomfoolery for my GFs.
3. And When You're Ready to Talk...Talk. Men Are Not Mind Readers
Oh how I'd love to sigh, pout, or stomp my way into what I need. I would channel my inner 2 year old and totally get everything. I'd be the best 2 year old ever! But alas I am a grown woman who is capable of words and putting them together and thus must use them. This is tough when you want your mate to understand you. Rewind. This is tough when you think your mate should already know what's wrong. They usually don't. And if they do, they don't understand. And if they understand, they don't know how to fix it. And if they know how to fix it, they are women mind readers. And men are not mind readers. My yummy hubby had to school me one day when I was giving him my patented silent treatment. This man got all kinds of frustrated with me, looked me deep in my soul, and said, "Babe, I can not read your mind. If something's wrong you gotta tell me." Wow! The heavens opened and the angels started singing. Then I understood not only does he not know what's wrong he doesn't even know something is wrong. Talk about a breakthrough. Once I gave in to the idea that he really wasn't paying attention needed me to explain my perspective it changed the way I communicated with him.
4. And While You're Communicating...Leave The Drama For the Stage
Funny story. My favorite ex boyfriend & I were on the phone chatting about something & he pissed me off. I hung up on him. Then I stared at the phone waiting for it to ring. When it didn't I called him back like, "Why didn't you call me back?" And he said, "Um, because you hung up on me." LOL! I laugh because for years before him in a very unhealthy relationship with another ex this was how we functioned. Screaming took the place of talking, name calling replaced love & respect & threatening to leave or actually leaving followed by 808s & heartbreak was simply the way we were. I thought everyone's relationship was like this. What? You don't throw things & punch walls to make a point? Hmm. Well good for you. I did. That is until I met someone who would not tolerate my behavior or excuse it as normal. After a while it all feels like one big Eminem & Rihanna song and that's not good for anyone. You will get angry. You may want to pluck every single one of his toe nails out one by one but that's no way to make a point. Didn't Sister Mary J Blige teach us how to have no more drama?
5. And Then Keep Your Balance...Remember to Do You
Once again this lesson comes from my favorite ex boyfriend. He was a single dad, worked full time, & was in school full time, yet still made time for himself. While I was always giving, depleting, and consequently exhausted, he was taking a nap. While I struggled to make time for my family & my girls he had a penciled in night with the fellas. He read books while I flipped hastily through magazines. Some of us think this is selfish behavior. I disagree. I think it's completely self less. Why? Because he was balanced. In fact most men I know are awesome at this. They work hard & most of them play harder. So what if the dishes pile up. So what if the clean clothes never make it to the drawer. No one will remember how great you were completing mundane tasks but they will remember how exhausted you look not enjoying life. So do you! Go out. Read that book. Take that class. Rest.
And now that you're resting what other lessons or advice have you received from men?
The floor is open.