Being Valued, Being Wooed: a letter to Madi

Being Valued Being Wooed

A co-worker once wistfully told me she’d married her husband because he picked her up at the airport, holding a bouquet of balloons and an engagement ring.

small heart and key“What else could I do?” she asked.

The surprise proposal made her completely forget that a week before, when she was knocked out by a miserable cold, he’d expected her to join him for happy hour with his colleagues so he’d have a ride home. A familiar sort of selfish request, with no regard for her health, or for that matter, safety.

Now this man was handsome, charming, smart, and from time to time successful, but all in all, he was no catch. I later learned she finally left him, taking their two kids and accepting full custody, knowing she’d never get a dime from him for any part of their life together. She got tired of being second best. But it took a long, long time.

Madi, you asked us how you’ll know how a man is going to treat you after you’re married. I guess, in a way, you don’t. But there are clues. Clearly, if he doesn’t treat you the right way now, get out. It isn’t going to get better. If he seems to be trying too hard to get you to like him, give it some careful thought. There should be more than that.

The best advice I can give you is this: Never, ever forget the foundational importance of being valued. If being with that person makes you feel free to express who you are, even to fail, you’re on the right path. It may or may not end up leading where you want it to go, but remember that path.

There’s settling for less-than-perfect, which you have to do, and there’s settling for hell-on-earth, which you should never do.

I have a close friend who for years knew she wanted to be married and have a family. She surefire wasn’t going to settle, though. It took her a long time and frankly, some good therapy, to get to a point where she was ready to meet the right man.

Cupid be true Sky background © Pakhnyushchyy - DollarPhotoClub

I remember finally, long into this, she called me and said, “I feel like I’m in the right place now, but I’m not even meeting men. At least before I could always meet bad ones.”

I told her, “Your outside hasn’t completely caught up with your inside yet. You know what you want and you’re sending out signals to the wrong guys saying, ‘go away.’ You just haven’t started sending out signals to the right guys saying, ‘Well, hello there.’ ”

Okay, I didn’t say “Well, hello there.” But that was the gist of what I said and it struck a chord with her. In fact, she told me later it meant a lot.

You can guess the rest. She met her husband shortly after that and now they have two kids, a boy and a girl. She didn’t settle. It took a long time, longer than most, but if she’d gotten married before that, she would have settled, because that was the way it worked in her life.

Madi, you were wise to ask us this question. Listen to the other ladies; they have a lot more experience than I do. There’s wisdom in the words of many.

Image Credits: (Hearts as Balloons) ©Andreka Photography – Fotolia.com (Key to my Heart) © GraphicStock.com; (Sky background) © Pakhnyushchyy – stock.adobe.com

Hey, Cupid! Over here! I SAID OVER HERE!

On occasion well-meaning friends will say, “I just don’t understand why you’ve never gotten married. You’re so blahdadeblah and blahblah!” Come to think of it, it’s almost always my newer friends who say this…hmmm…

Cupid's StruckWell, yes, I am all those things, but I’m also something else: really slow on the uptake. Always have been. I do not pick up on clues from or about men, and since I don’t, I’ve never had any experience in responding to them. My imagination doesn’t even go there.

I need a good wing man, but typically those who might fill that role are so stunned or amused by my oblivion they don’t step up.

I’ve been chatting with a really nice man at my church lately. Nice, good looking, successful. (You don’t know how remarkable it is I’m aware of all those things and their “value.”) Today, it’s quite possible he threw out the hook for going out to lunch after the service. I just stared at it. In all fairness, it’s been a long dry spell.

As he was walking away, I cried out inside. Bad enough I missed my chance, but it probably stung for him, and looked like rejection.

It wasn’t. It was sheer stupidity on my part.

This comes close on the heels of meeting a man who, as it happens, was also introduced to a friend of mine several months before (not for a set-up or anything, just in the course of the day). I mentioned to her I’d talked to him for a little while (it actually was a long while), and her eyes lit up.

“What?” I asked.

“He’s a good-looking man,” she said, with a raised eyebrow and knowing nod.

He is? I thought about it, and darn if she wasn’t right. Now, we all know the relative value of looks in a relationship, so it’s important to note this guy is pretty nice, too. Charming. I did notice that, although it had taken some time to register.

I had had plenty of time to flirt with him, but it’s just as well THAT didn’t happen. Like I said, those skills are not highly refined. I might end up looking like a sad character on a popular sitcom.

I have before. I know, we all have. But for most it ends up alright and another stage of relationship mortification begins.

It’s more likely than not I’ll never see that second man again, and I have no idea if the first man can be convinced it was me, not him. Sounds like a line.

So Cupid, a little extra help here. You’ve been doing pretty good, is it too much to ask for another chance with someone of the same ilk?

Hey, you little fat-cheeked pixie, don’t just fly away! Get back here! NOW! DAMMIT CUPID! Okay. Be that way.

Uh, yes, oblivion perhaps isn’t the only thing keeping the men away.

Cupid Take Aim
Wait, wait, before you shoot that arrow…must love cats!  I’m not giving up Walter and Mimi!

 

 

Image Credits: (Clouds) © Pakhnyushchyy – Fotolia; (Heart Background) © karandaev – Fotolia; (Cupids) © vectorartisfree.com