Princess Girlfriend

6:00 PM

I forgot to daydream about dating. (And wedding colors.) So I didn't have too many preconceptions about how dating/courtship/wooing ought to work -- I just knew that I would never eat spaghetti in front of any interested male. Everything beyond that was fair game.

But I read blogs and heard stories and absorbed ideals that gradually emerge and cause problems. One of the biggest? Initiation.

A good guy, a solid guy, a guy destined to lead and cherish, initiated everything -- apparently. Not only in the initial, "Hey, girl, wanna go out with me?" but also in every subsequent date and fun thing and spiritual thing until the proposal itself. I got this impression that it was the guy's job to make the girl feel like a princess, that it was his job to cater to her every whim and fancy. The perfect guy held inexhaustible energy, humility and selflessness to spend all of his time wooing, pleasing and serving his girl. She possessed the right to demand almost anything to prove his love for her (backed by a father and a shotgun).

I exaggerate, but you get the idea -- the dating/engagement/wedding period seems wrapped around the girl's little finger. The wedding was not their day but her day. He initiated and planned everything to make her feel special. And I understand this probably stems a good deal from a girl's expectation that a man lead and a man's conscience that he provide for and cherish his lady.

Good so far.

But as I grow closer to the boy I love, I'm realizing that any relationship that centers more on one person than the other courts disaster. Because of my unknown preconceptions, I sometimes forget that my strong, selfless boy wants my attention too -- he wants to be cared for. He doesn't want to be the one to initiate every hug, every meeting, every special occasion, every reconciliation, every sweet word, every everything. Not because he's selfish or unwilling to dote on me (far from the truth) but because he's a human and he's 50% of a relationship and his needs and desires are just as important as mine.

Have you ever been in a friendship where you're the only one pulling the weight? You're the one initiating all the get-togethers, saying all the kind things, hunting down your friend in a crowd. Depending on how amazing the friend in question is (or how amazing you are), this might be only a slight annoyance -- but it's still nice, isn't it, to have that friend go out of her way to love you? Or how about when you're always stuck as the planner for the events or programs or projects -- people are more than willing to chip in once you've come up with the idea, but you know the responsibility to figure everything out and delegate rests on your shoulders alone. And you can do that, and it's fine -- sort of -- but when someone more capable partners alongside you and takes charge, it's an amazing feeling.

So too with really deep, really important, really loving relationships. It's so easy for me to sit back and watch my man run circles around me as he wins my heart instead of actively jumping into a beautiful moment for me by making it a beautiful moment for him. It's so easy to just receive love and attention instead of thinking how I can reciprocate.

But the truth is that I'm not a princess, and I'm not the center of the relationship, and I can't demand attention and affection due to my gender. That's not fair or loving. So I've been thinking about how to get one step ahead of him, think of things that make him feel special, that give him a break from having to initiate everything. It surprises him when I do (and makes him ridiculously happy). And I think it shows humility and true love for a man to allow someone else to take charge and initiate without an earthquake ripping through his manhood.

In short, I think a guy should make a girl feel like a princess, but a princess who uses her position to bestow greater love and care, not sit on cushions and wait for love to be brought to her on a silver platter.

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  1. AGREED. AGREED. AGREED. this has ALWAYS bugged me -- before we are "women" and "men", we are HUMANS, children of God, brothers and sisters in Christ, and we all have the same basic emotions, needs, and craving for love and affection (although, because of our genders, that may manifest itself in different ways). women (and men either!) should not be elevated to a "higher" position, if that makes sense. we are all equal. and we are all deserving of love.

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