Yes, but what do YOU bring?

Yes, but what do YOU bring?

A couple of years ago a friend of mine pissed me off something fierce. We were close, growing closer, and had more than a mild flirtation (from 1,000 miles away).
Periodically I’d entertain thoughts of Could he be The One? and I had little doubt he wondered the same. But we were friends first and foremost, and neither of us was open to a long-distance relationship.

We talked and texted often, sometimes falling into stretches of every day, even multiple times a day. An older man, he had little patience for the context and tone traps of texting; if there was even the slightest head tilt or confusion the phone would ring in my hand or he would text:

Call me now, please.

You’ve never seen anyone press dial as fast as I did.

It was during one of our mid-afternoon phone chats when he dropped the bomb. No anger, no animosity, nothing mean or hateful at all. I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but at one point it skirted, largely unspoken, along the edges of what-it-would-be-like-if-we-were-together.

A lot would need to change. As it stands, we’re not compatible.

Sorry, what was that?

You’re amazing. But you’re not my type.

Uh… exsqueeze me? Call me crazy, but if I’m not your type why do we talk all the damn time? And why do I get butterflies in my stomach when you get all demandy? That doesn’t happen unless I know the feeling is mutual. It just doesn’t.

Had I been misreading… everything??

I have a lot to offer a woman. Not everything, but a lot. And I want someone who can offer the same, someone who’s in great shape. You can’t expect from others what you yourself don’t give.

He wasn’t talking about my body. Well, he was, but that wasn’t all he was referring to. He was talking about wholeness. Balance. Not expecting what you yourself don’t offer.

He was talking about the exchange of power that can only take place when you have power to exchange.

Well, shit. I couldn’t argue with that.
Oh, wait! Of course, I could. I’ve found I can argue most things, and so I did. Why was he so superficial? What about all of the great things I did have to offer? What about the Fabulous Factor, as in I’m so fucking fabulous that all of the other stuff doesn’t really matter because I’m so fabulous. Right??


He suggested, very calmly and coolly, that since I wasn’t in the best shape it was unrealistic to expect a potential partner to be in the kind of shape I desired in a man. Physical shape, emotional shape, financial shape - it didn’t matter. Because it all mattered. Would the type of man I want - possibly expect - want me? That was his question, and I hated him for asking it, for even thinking it.

And I was angry and upset that my answer was ‘no.’

Yes, people often fall for someone and scream ‘I love you exactly how you are!’ from the rooftops. They regale us with tales of how we are all unique and perfect in our imperfections. I mean, that’s what makes us human, right? We’ve all seen the feel-good posters - the beautiful sunsets or silhouetted couples, the text flowery and inspiring. And the message - You’re perfect!! We’re all perfect!! - is glorious and beautiful and uplifting.

And completely unrealistic.

As some of you may be right now, I was furious when he told me what an undeserving loser I was. (Okay, those weren’t his words; but it’s what I heard in that moment.) What do you mean I can only expect to get back what I put forth? I’m cute as hell! I’m funny as fuck!! Bring that, you-

But I had to take a closer look at what he’d said. And, more importantly, I had to look into why it upset me so much. And it turns out, like with most things to which I react strongly, his words held more than a smidgen of truth.

So, I did a little exercise that I’m going to share. I call it:

What the Type of Man I’d be interested in Would be Interested In

(Ok, I’ll work on the title later.)

Let’s take a look at the type of man I’d like to have for my very own:

He’s Physically Healthy

He falls somewhere on the scale between ‘could lose a few’ to ‘athletic.’ Simply going with ‘fit’ covers most bases. He values his health and plans to be around a while. He’s not a gym rat, but he’s happy with his body and what it can do. He works out fairly regularly, but it’s typically a morning run or chopping wood. (He owns many flannels, this man. And he has calluses.) He’s perfectly happy to vegetate near-lifeless on the couch every so often, but he’s more likely to throw on some sneakers and head out into that great thing we call Life. I fantasize that he wants to go shopping, but if I’m being honest with myself (and isn’t that what this exercise is all about?) it’s probably not that. Maybe a bookstore and jaunt around town. There might be beer at some point. Probably.

What would this man like to see - physically - in a woman? What would turn his head? What would make his heart race? What about that woman - how she uses and cares for her body - would make him think ‘I want to be with her’? And, more importantly, am I doing those things?

He’s Emotionally Healthy

He may have a history of who-even-knows-what, maybe not. But he’s sound enough to have dealt with whatever blows life threw his way, and he carries the tools to deal with any potential curve balls. He’s caring and understands that people are in different places and stages, possibly dealing with past (even current) traumas and grief, so he’s supportive when someone is actively dealing with their own carry-on luggage. But he’s not a psychiatrist. (I mean, he could be, but even if he is he’s not your psychiatrist.) And while he’s caring and supportive when life launches a grenade, he’s not in someone’s life to fix them.

What would this man like to see - emotionally - in a woman? What would make him shake his head in wonder and amazement, thinking ‘She’s got her stuff together’ or ‘It’s amazing how she handles life - I want to be with someone like that.’ Am I in that place? Have I dealt with things I need to deal with? Is the me I’m giving to someone healthy and whole, or am I hoping he - whoever he is - will provide a salve I cannot provide for myself?

He’s Financially Secure

He may have stumbled here and there, perhaps changing careers a time or two. But he knows himself: what he wants, what he’s capable of, and where he’s going. And he values his ability to create and sustain a life that feeds him and his loved ones - literally and figuratively.

What would this man like to see - financially - in a woman? What would make him say ‘She doesn’t need me, and that makes me want her even more? Am I taking care of myself - not just getting by, but really taking care of business? Am I responsible with money - planning for my future, or at the very least not being wasteful or irresponsible? Are my bills paid? If they’re not, have I made arrangements or established a plan, or am I running and hiding and hoping for someone to come along and save me from myself?

He Has a Life

He has friends, hobbies, and a life outside his love relationship. His partner is a priority, but more than anyone thing he values balance. He knows he cannot be his best self - for her or anyone - without the Other Things that contribute to his personality and sense of worth: his friends, his family, and the things he likes to do that make him feel good as a person.

What would this man like to see in a woman? Is this a man who wants to be the sole focus of someone’s life to the exclusion of most (all??) other things? Or is this a man who finds value in someone who’s crafted a life for herself, someone who is creative and interesting and passionate about her world?

Devoting your entire life to a partner may sound beautiful and ideal, but when the dishes are done and the mattress stops squeaking, what will you talk about? When you meet his friends or family or colleagues and they ask what you do, what your interests are, what will you tell them? Is your speech littered with ‘I need to’ and ‘I should,’ or can you confidently say ‘I am’ and ‘I did’? The man I want will be proud of my interests and accomplishments because they foster a sense of accomplishment in his having me. 

Bottom line: If I am happy and whole in my life, it will be a life he wants to be a part of.

He’s Dominant

He’s a dominant man - not a savior. He understands and truly believes, that a partnership with this type of dynamic requires two strong people. He’s drawn to lead - he always has been - but he wants to lead a woman worthy of being led by him. He may ultimately manage most - all? - aspects of her life, but before that can happen he needs to find a woman with a life worth managing. Can he help you achieve your goals? Absolutely! But if you’re sitting around* waiting for him to come along and whip you into shape, the life you’re offering is not worth his time and attention.

* Alternate title: Are you sure you’re submissive? Maybe you’re just lazy.

As a girlfriend of mine stated so perfectly, 

“Some women want James Bond, but God forbid they are expected to offer their best self. They want a James Bond who will make them their best self. But no man worth his salt is desperate for a project.”

You can’t expect from others what you yourself don’t give.

I was angry and upset with my friend for saying what he did. But his words hit me square in my (pathetically undeveloped) core, and his words led to the changes I made then - and continue to make today. I’m not perfect - far from it. And what does that even mean, really? But love it or hate it, I recognized a hard truth in his words. I want a lot. I have so much to give, and I’m not willing to settle for less than my own personal ideal. 

Wouldn’t I want at least that for him? 

If you’re seeking, please ask yourself the hard questions - and answer them honestly:

• Do I make excuses for things I’m unwilling to tackle?
• Do I say ‘can’t’ when I really mean ‘won’t’?
• Am I offering a fixer-upper - or something he’d be honored to own?
• Am I using my submissiveness as an excuse for stagnancy, or am I capable and willing and actually offering the same quality I want to receive?

Would a man you’d choose… choose you?

Written by subgirlygirl on Tumblr

Posted By Sub Girly Girl

Updated : 4th December 2021 | Words : 1858 | Views : 1419

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