The past century has brought great changes for human lives – especially those of women. Unlike the days when the average adult life expectancy was fifty years or so, many now live well into their 80s and 90s. Women have realized that most will have several significant male relationships within this lifetime, and the antiquated ideal of living with one man forever is now elusive for most. Women fill half of the working jobs, and old roles of protector/provider have been blurred or disposed of.
The lives of men are also changing. In 2006, a small gender movement began in Japan. This movement has expanded and gained traction universally. Today, millions of young men are learning a new way to navigate the modern relationship, dating, and marriage scenes. With seventy percent unmarried, millennial men and women are looking for balance and equality in these arenas of life. These observations are relevant for many men, as they seek this harmony in their relationships with women.
- When entertaining at home, share responsibilities. No matter where each of you live, when eating or entertaining at home please share. Both couples should negotiate responsibilities such as washing dishes, cleaning, laundry, and taking out the trash. This is one way to establish fairness.
- He wants you to realize he has dreams. Getting to know each other’s dream is a perfect way to understand one another. His love and pursuit of a dream is important, and his desired future may no longer include marriage and children. He likely knows you have a dream. You might have had dreams of marriage and happiness since childhood? But his dreams probably did not include the wife and kids. If you enjoy his company, blow his mind by encouraging his dream and never shut it down.
- Please share equally.You and he are not growing money trees in the backyard. Please respect that each of you live in a world with financial constraints. You most likely have a budget, so if and when he asks to be with you on a date, be prepared to share the cost. This is called “planning ahead and being equal.”
- He wants you to be realistic. Be realistic in where to go on a date and what it should cost in order to enjoy one another’s company. Since both of you likely work, and each day is hectic, then enjoying him should not be work. Being with him should fit each of your respected budgets. Help make it joyous. Don’t make him work hard just to enjoy time with you.
- He owns his destiny.You’ve developed a network of family and friends. Don’t morally judge him, his manners, family, friends, or life path. Respect his independent chosen path even if it differs from your own. Like snowflakes, we are all individuals. If you don’t like the world that he’s chosen, then politely do not be around him.
- Develop honesty. Say what you mean, mean what you say — and don’t expect him to shower you in compliments, gifts, or jewelry. Speak up, don’t expect him to read your mind. Never ask him if you look fat or if you are pretty. Men dislike lying. He wants to be fair and honest. Be honest with him so he can be honest with you.
- It might be about sex. He wants sex, even though not all men are like this. He is programmed to want sex and feels great when he gets it. It is important to understand one another’s sexual expectations.
- He has abandoned antiquated ideas.He doesn’t want to own you or children because therein lies potential poverty and sometimes suicide for him. 70% of men 20 to 34 are unmarried. Likewise, you do not own his mind, body, or soul. Expect him to manage his life as he sees fit. He may enjoy the company of others. He may enjoy strip clubs with the boys. Never verbally or physically abuse him. Never shame or talk down to him. Never slap, hit, push, or throw things at him. Instead give him the kind of respect you want to receive. He should never hit you.
- He will call you if he wants to see you again.Each of you have been socially programmed. Don’t expect him to call and text you. If he does, then you know he enjoyed your company. Society has taught him to be nice to women. Society has told him to never emotionally or physically harm women, so if he had a bad time with you, he may not know how to tell you. Understand him.
- About expectations.Most men don’t like to talk about commitment. If he likes you, then he likes you. Requesting talks about ‘the relationship’ generally will turn him off. Speaking of ‘taking it to the next level’ is confusing to him. These discussions are oppressive and intended to place him into your prison. If you don’t feel his love or friendship then stop being around him. Make life simple.
- He is not a commitment-phobe and hates being pressured.Women and men are different. Men usually enjoy life at a natural pace. And today men want to relish this joy. It is easy to tell if he reciprocates your commitment to him. If you insist on full control of his fidelity and are not feeling you are not getting it, simply break up. You cannot own his body, mind, actions, and spirit.
- Have a realistic future together.In generations past, most people believed marriage would bring them great happiness. But today that belief is fading. Men are realizing that there are many potential dangers (legal, financial, physical, mental, and emotional) and hidden risks when men enter into marriage with women. It is time for him to adjust expectations to the harsh reality of the laws and biases that exist against him in marriage.
- Allow each to love.Love is important to you and he may love Jesus, God, Mohammad, Buddha, or the Native American sky spirit. He may adore family and friends. Don’t imprison the man you love by demanding sole ownership of his love.
- He wants you to be natural. Women have dozens of ways to modify their appearance. Try to show him your natural love of life. Show those genuine feelings. Let him see beyond the make-up, hair, and lip gloss. Allow your joy to radiate through the bumps and wrinkles. If he loves that part of you, then you will be happy.
By Tim Patten, the author of Why I Cheat: Men and Marriage