As much as I might get schooled for saying this, I’m going ahead and saying it anyway. Every individual—man or woman—is a better person when they’re with someone. Blame it on Socrates theory of soul mates, or just plain bias; but, when two people are together, as one, they’re a lot better at managing everything and everyone in their lives, including their own selves. It’s like having a mirror with you constantly, to reflect your thoughts, feelings and actions. That’s why we’re just nicer people when we’re in relationships, provided, of course it’s with the right person. And while
I don’t know how much I can speak for men, when it comes to women, these are the least that we’re looking for when we agree to be in a relationship with you. No, it’s not your money; it’s not you staying away from the other women in the world, nor has it got anything to do with sex… not entirely, anyway. You see, relationships have more to do with connections of the heart and the mind, and how two people translate these in reality. Again, don’t think of this as a rule book to dealing with women. Instead, consider this a guide to establishing healthy relationships where women don’t nag, or obsess and men (you) don’t anger and leave.
1. An Innate Closeness
Being close can mean different things at different times. It’s physical; it’s emotional; it’s also mental. But, were you to combine all three aspects, you reach a level of closeness that is transcendental. You don’t need to be in the same room to feel that closeness. Yet, when you are in the same room, the energy between you is strong enough to interfere with anyone else in the same room. You want to be close, in every way. From eyeing her from across the room to holding her close, just because you can’t seem to want it any other way—that’s just how close it gets. And that isn’t even the closest you are.
2. Signs Of Certainty
She needs to know, for sure. She needs to be certain about your intentions, or the lack thereof. What do you intend to happen between the two of you? Do you have an agenda up your sleeve? Do you want to see where things go, or do you want something more concrete? Do you see a future with her or is it just something that gets you through the moment? Whatever it may be, she wants to know so that she isn’t wasting her affections on someone and something that isn’t even going to materialize in the first place. Certainty and stability are often interchangeable in a woman’s head for the simple reason that the two terms do work in direct correlation of each other. There is no stability if there isn’t any certainty, and vice versa.
3. Clarity Of Thought
Certainty translates to clarity, eventually. If you’re certain about someone or something, you’ll be clear about it in your thoughts, words and actions. Simply put, it will translate in your behavior. What is clarity? I feel the need to pose this question because a lot of times people are unclear… see what I did there? Being clear is about knowing the importance of a person in your life and making a point to show it to them, in any way you know. Sometimes, it requires talking it out; other times, it’s more about doing something. When you’re clear in your head about a person, you will instinctively show it.
4. Courage To Act
Which brings me to my next point—acting on that clarity. Many times, in relationships, we fail to act—on impulse, instinct, emotion; call it whatever you want. And it is this failure to act that is one of the main reasons why we have something called ‘almost relationships’ today. Either out of sheer convenience, availability of options, or fear of rejection, we often choose not to act on a particular feeling; even if in that moment, it may seem like the right thing to do. Soon the moment passes, and with it, the will to act. In relationships, actions always speak louder than words; even though most times, words are just as, if not more, required. And there needs to be a synchronisation between your words and the actions. You can’t do one thing and then, say something completely contradictory. Confusion leads to doubt. And that is never a good thing.
5. Constant Communication
Humans are communicators, each one of us. We may have different means of communication—some talk, others listen; yet others find ways to communicate without really saying much. The point is that you get the point across and do so before it’s too late. And there is always such a thing as too little, too late. While relationships and connections are all about the timing in two people’s lives, it doesn’t take too long for that time to pass you by and then, you’re left crying at a chance lost out. Communication is the difference between ‘What if’ and ‘Hell yeah’! Figure out a way to say all that you’ve got to and do it in the moment, before it’s lost.
6. Gentleness Of Touch
People underestimate the power of being gentle. In fact, the quality, itself is one of the most underused and more often than not, underappreciated of all. Why do we fail to see how gentle another human being is when it’s one of the most important determinants in a strong relationship? Being gentle is never the same as being weak. In fact, it’s one of the silent strengths an individual has. And if a woman notices and cherishes that about you, it’s because she knows the importance of that quality in a man. So often, men are obsessed with being brutish and whatever the hell constitutes as “manly” that they forget to be human and gentle with another. In my God-honest opinion, it is gentleness, at its very core, that differentiates a man from a boy.
7. Patience To Understand
Women can be complex and confusing creatures of what I like to call ‘mis-habit’—it’s not exactly a habit as much as it’s a pattern that women will ever so often deviate from, mostly if and when they’re afraid, or upset but don’t know how to show it. And heart of heart, women know this. We know how we sometimes lead you on, confuse you, push you away and then pull you back in, all the while trying not to do any of it. All they want is for you to be patient in your understanding of them. We can erupt, very much like a volcano, about the tiniest of things and cry at the drop of a hat when you’re least expecting it. All the while, we’re just trying to remain unfazed and ‘normal’ so we don’t scare you away. We women have a terrible habit of digging up and equating everything with and to past experience. And so, obviously, you get pitted against an ex who isn’t even in the picture anymore, or get snubbed off because of something someone did some trillions of years ago that still hurts. What every woman really needs is for a man to be patient with her. She’ll come around; she always does.
8. A Sense Of Control
Aside from the whole feminism debate—and I’m all for it—women do like men who can and do take control in relationships. Don’t confuse this with what you do in bed; two very different things. This doesn’t even mean picking up the tab on dates; although every so often, you should offer to do that, too (again, this has nothing to do with feminism, but more to do with relationship dynamics). What this means is that you understand that her indecisiveness requires that you step up and take the reins; even if it’s just to sit her down and tell her that she needs to make the decision in a particular situation. You still need to sit her down and drive that sense in to her. Yes, women are the more sensible ones, in most cases. But, sometimes, her senses lie in not knowing what to do next. Sometimes, she’s just worried about taking a step because she’s afraid of the consequences; even if she knows it’s the right thing to do. You need to take charge and tell her to get on with it anyway. Be the pillar she needs you to be.
9. Mutual Respect
Again, it’s one of the most underrated and under-observed things about two people in a relationship. Having respect for one another goes beyond just literal terms here. It’s about respecting boundaries in relationships. It’s about your partner having an opinion about something and you respecting it enough to not want to manipulate your way through. It can be as simple as where the two of you stand on some sort of sexual act, or as complex as deciding what the next step in your relationship is. It’s about respecting each other’s personal spaces, as well as mental stamina. It’s about not testing the limits just to see how far you can push her before she breaks. It’s about understanding, that her, being okay with your lady-friends does not mean you can flirt, or eye just about whoever you want; that her giving you the nod to be open does not mean you toy with her and treat her as an option. It’s as simple as respecting that she may not like alcohol and may like to sleep on the right side. And it goes the vice versa, here.
10. Deeper Understanding
Naturally, respect translates to understanding. It’s a relationship of coexistence. One cannot exist without the other, simple. Yes, she’s complex and difficult and sometimes, she really makes you want to pull your hair, jump off a building or just kill her with a pillow. But, take a moment to really understand why she is doing, saying, or acting the way that she is. There is always a reason, however deep-seated it may be. And most times, women don’t speak up about their reasons out of fear, or prior knowledge that you’re not even going to be open to listening, let alone understanding. Understanding her reasons will be the difference between a dialogue and an argument, something that is always better avoided because it leaves both of you in a bad place. And that is not the purpose of your relationship. True that she might not even make sense to you most times; but, try and see it from her point of view, even if it’s the hardest thing to do. Let her know that you’re open to understanding and she will give in to you.
11. Freedom To Be
The freedom to just be is one of the most prized things you can ever give to a woman who is in a relationship with you. It’s not about allowing her to be herself. It’s much more. It’s about allowing her to just be. There is a reason why we call ourselves human beings. The word ‘being’ entails so much more than it is made out to be. It’s about a deeper sense of purpose that has nothing to do with changing the world. Being is about accepting situations and people as they are and understanding that some things are beyond control; it’s about ceasing to worry about things that cannot be controlled; it’s about giving in to the incidence that is life and letting destiny work its magic. That’s what being is. And not everyone can do that. When you let her really be, she will be the happy person both of you deserve; and so will you.
12. The Art Of Consistency
Of all the things that modern life offers, consistency remains the rarest find. Do you know how difficult it is to find someone and something that is consistent? In a day and age where even the internet connection on your phone fails to follow through, the human mind is a whole other ball game. Don’t ever confuse, or equate predictability with boredom. Au contraire, being a predictable individual is one of the most foolproof forms of loyalty. Consistency means you will follow through and in case you can’t for some external, unforeseen reason(s), you will make that known. Consistency means you will be standing at the end of the road every day, for the rest of your life, for her; and she for you. Consistency means not giving up; not giving in; and continuously clawing through the many walls she keeps trying to build around. Consistency means wiping her tears and making up with her when you’re 80-years-old, the exact same way that you did when you were 30.