Twos-Day: Realistic Love

ImageHey, ladies! Make a list right now. That’s right-go grab a pen & paper.
Make a list of the 10 qualities you absolutely must find in your “dream guy.”

Read your list very carefully. If your qualities sound like they may be describing your best girl friend (sweet, sensitive, watches romantic movies with you), you might want to refocus and truly prioritize. Or, if your list includes your man building you your dream house, ripping off his shirt regularly, kissing you in the rain daily, or climbing a ferris wheel for you, you might be describing Noah from The Notebook.

You might just need to rip that list and start over.

Listen: I’m not saying that men won’t or can’t be sensitive, sweet, caring, or romantic. Most wonderful men in this world have all of those qualities. However, our culture has placed extremely unrealistic and unfair expectations on men. We feel entitled to the “fairytale.” We believe that we deserve prince charming 100% of the time. We are told to settle for nothing less than perfect romance every single day.

Each Tuesday for Twos-Day (since scripture tells us that two are better than one), I am interviewing women of wisdom in my life to talk about healthy relationships. Today, I talked to my dear friend and mentor, Rachel Z. Davis. Here is what she had to say on the topic of realistic expectations:

“It is culture and all the rom-com movies and Disney fairytale endings that tell me as a woman I am entitled to be loved the way I want. Truthfully though, many of us want our husbands to love us the way a woman loves. That is simply unfair. It also sets our men up to fail 99.999 % of the time. Men are men. Women are women. We each love differently and each have different needs. Women need to feel loved, men need to feel respected.”

When we place unrealistic expectations on men, we are setting them up for failure. It was crucial for me to get amazing girl friends in my life, that way my fiance doesn’t have the pressure of having to be my best gal pal and boy at the same time.

Also, real love centered around God is beautiful. Your story with whatever godly man you end up with will be far more exciting than any Nicholas Sparks novel. If you are currently in a relationship, men want to show us more love the more they feel respected. Don’t set him up for failure. Encourage him. Tell him what you love about him. Praise him when he does something right. Don’t point out flaws, faults, and shortcomings. As women, we are fixers. We love to point out everything that isn’t perfect. This is something I am working on and always will be. Telling a man that he is disappointing you isn’t going to make him any more excited to buy you flowers.

If you are single, instead of praying for the perfect man, be in prayer that God will prepare your heart for a relationship. God had a lot of mending to do in my life before I was in a healthy enough place to be engaged to the man of my dreams.

If you are in a relationship and feel tempted to complain to your significant other or tell him what you wish he were doing, I encourage you to take that complaint to God in prayer. Think on it. Pray on it. And in the midst of the struggle, I challenge you to build your man up even more. Encourage him and remind yourself of all the wonderful qualities he has.

Prioritize your “must have” list…and remember that if you are with a godly man who loves Jesus, every little flaw or irritation is worth overlooking.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Minjonet says:

    Thanks for posting! Very thought-provoking. I wrote a kind of response blog here:
    http://chezlavande.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/loving-the-one-youre-with/

  2. Melissa says:

    Such a good word! I remember years ago being involved in a circle of friends who read Christian romance novels. Ironic how we all started complaining about our husbands. I stopped reading them, and encouraged the others to do the same, which they did. 10 years later we are all still married, most for 20 years or more. Unrealistic expectations lead to thoughts of discontent. I have a longtime friend, who taught me to make a list of everything great about my husband when we are going through a rough patch. She does this as well. She always starts with, “He took a shower today.” We Lol when we talk about our lists, because sometimes you just gotta start small, and be grateful. In time, the roses return. Always. Thanks for being an advocate for godly men! They most certainly are not girlfriends.

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