The other night I was out with a few girl friends and the topic of husbands came up. These are women that I socialize with often both with and without our families. A specific couple we all know came up and we were talking about how they just SEEM so in love- truly what fairy tales mean by happily ever after. What was interesting was that we all had different reasons to think they were truly in love. For instance one woman said that it seemed he really loved her because when they sat together he always put his arm around her. I thought they were truly in love because they make it a point to go running together- and he keeps pace with her. Later that night I was thinking about that conversation. I realized that what I, as a woman observer, characterized as true love was because he treats her in a way that shows he cherishes and adores her.
As I thought about that I had this realization (WARNING: sweeping generalizations ahead) women I think define love as being cherished and adored while I think men would define love as appreciation and admiration.
Cherish –verb (used with object)
1. to hold or treat as dear; feel love for: to cherish one's native land.
2. to care for tenderly; nurture: to cherish a child.
3. to cling fondly or inveterately to
Adore- –verb (used with object)
2. to pay divine honor to; worship3. to like or admire very much
1. to be grateful or thankful for:
–verb (used with object)
2. to value or regard highly; place a high estimate on
3. to be fully concious of; be aware of; detect
Admire–verb (used with object)
1. to regard with wonder, pleasure, or approval.
(Definitions courtesy of Dictionary.com)
I think that many times women- partially because of our nature to nurture and partly in attempt to receive the kind of "love" we desire- tend to treat men the way we want to be treated. In this case the Golden Rule is not necessarily applicable. The currency is not fully appreciated by the receiver. I won't go into detail because there are several people (actually qualified professionals) who have offered legitimate advice concerning this (See "The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman).
My point is that when we acknowledge that men and women feel loved differently and try and show them love in a way that they are most receptive we get closer to happily ever after. Let me share a few examples I have recently observed:
One of the same girlfriends from the other night was sharing how she had mentioned to her then-boyfriend (now husband) that she wanted her future husband to propose to her in Spanish. Time passed and when he decided to propose to her he took a Spanish Poetry class, wrote her a beautiful poem in Spanish and then proposed in Spanish. Literally, when she told us this story every woman there swooned.
At the same event where the previous story mentioned was told the husbands of all the wives were sitting about 2 feet away. In an interesting coincidence the husbands all speak Spanish. The wives began talking about how romantic it is when their husbands speak Spanish-whether intentional or not. (My husband can be reading a grocery list in Spanish and it makes my knees weak). Later that week one of the husbands sends a text to his wife saying "Te amo". When she mentioned that again I swooned. How romantic that he heard us talking about it, filed it away and then executed the gesture without a nag or even direct mention?!
I wish I had some great event where I was a love Rock-Star and was able to be uber-romantic in a way my husband truly appreciated. But now with this realization maybe I can find a way to make sure J.Crew really feels loved because I know he's my happily ever after.