When it comes to dating and relationships, it’s difficult to say we should want something from someone. I believe that building a relationship with someone is most effective when both teammates are willing to give as much as each other. If this is the general philosophy, there will be no need to ‘want’ anything, because both are constantly receiving by simple virtue of their partner’s nature.
Discussing wants also obviously varies from person to person. Some want more or less affection from others, more or less independence, more or less of anything.
Keeping in mind that I am not the type to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t want, I do believe that there is one thing that every single woman on this planet should want from a man:
Giving respect is the first step to both solving societal issues such as harassment and abuse, as well as the cornerstone of building a healthy relationship with someone. If we want to love a person, we must first respect them – without one, the other cannot truly exist.
A man who truly respects a woman would never abuse her. Never insult her. Never discourage her. Never talk badly to her or about her, and never allow anyone else to do so either. A man who respects any human, regardless of gender, would never do these things to them. But as we know, there is a long way to go before we can lay this argument to rest.
People will always have rebuttals to issues like this and say that women need to respect men too, which obviously I agree with. But by bringing an argument like that into the conversation is entering a discussion about apples and saying “Hey, what about oranges?”
We are not discussing oranges here. That is for another time and another place.
This is about apples. This is about the fact that if men truly respected women as equals, then the societal issues we face today would be nonexistent. Furthermore, if we truly respected our significant others in relationships we would not have rape, domestic abuse (emotional or physical), or cheating. Those are not things you do to someone you respect.
Respect is essential in all areas of life. In the workplace, in public, in relationships.
If you think this isn’t an issue, ask yourself why women feel the need to tell men they have a boyfriend or to bring a guy out with them in order to not get hit on? It’s because men typically respect other men more than they respect women. The word “No” is not enough. They will keep trying and trying until the thought or presence of another man enters the equation. And, for some, even that isn’t enough.
If you think this isn’t an issue, talk to any woman about how she feels about walking home alone at night. Then, ask her if she would feel more comfortable with a man beside her.
If you think this is an issue, ask yourself if you as a man would feel comfortable letting your girlfriend, wife, sister, mother, or female friend walking home alone at night, or if you would rather be with them. Why? To protect them against female attackers? Doubtful.
Now, ask if you would still feel the same way if every single man on the planet truly respected women as equals. My guess is, this discussion would not make sense in a society where that was true.
So when it comes to happy relationships, a happier, fairer, and more equal society – I think this is one gift we need to give more of to each other. Will it solve all of the world’s problems? Of course not, but remember, we are talking about apples here.
It is always important to keep in mind, though, that respect is a two way street. It is not simply given or handed out like Halloween candy – it is something to be earned, not demanded. Women cannot run around simply telling men to respect them because they happen to be female. We as men do not just get each other’s respect without earning it, and neither will women.
All people should be treated with respect, but that is different than inherently respecting who they are at their very core – that type of genuine feeling is what is required in order to be the root of treating and loving each other better than we are.
It is a man’s job to respect women, but it is a woman’s job to give him something to respect.
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