I have spent a lifetime getting to know women on an intimate level. Growing up, I was the only man in a household full of this mysterious and fascinating gender, under the care of my mother, two older sisters, aunts, and grandmothers. Women with an overwhelming desire to share with me everything that happens to the female anatomy and mind. Things most adult men twice my age still know nothing about. (Whether or not this has done more damage than good is still up for debate.) My first childhood friend was the girl on my block who lived two doors down, and I consider my oldest sister, Julie, one of my best friends today.
I’ve been in serious relationships, and on my fair share of first dates, second dates, disaster dates, and she-gave-me-a-phone-number-with-only-six-digits dates.
Throughout all of this, I have learned a thing or two about how to survive as a proper gentleman, to give a woman what she wants, as well as discover the things I hope the woman I spend the rest of my life with sees in herself.
When it comes to writing a guide for this type of woman, I don’t have all the answers. I’ve just got a few good ideas, and a few things I wish all women knew about themselves.
Like the idea that men weren’t created so you could find out who you are. We don’t hold your identity.
That you know we want to love you and support you, share your dreams and take care of you; protect who you are.
That knowing who you are is why we are attracted to you.
We want you to be the woman who knows that every single morning she gets out of bed, God is smiling down on her because He. Is. Satisfied.
A gentleman is looking for a woman that can come along beside him, and together the two of you can become better than you ever could have been on your own.
This is the kind of woman that fills a good man with the commodity of promise, and provides him with enough strength to tear down an entire city for you; enough love to lay down and die for you…
Originally, Max asked me to help collaborate on writing a woman’s version of A Gentleman’s Guide to the 21st Century. And being a woman, what I heard was, “Hey Lauren, can you write a guide on dating for women?” Because honestly, isn’t that the whole point of you reading something like that? To learn how to con men into thinking that you are sexy, mysterious, confident, independent, and don’t even own concealer? How to not puke emotions and estrogen all over his hopefully-nice shirt at dinner on Friday night? Then I thought, “Well, wait. Max could have written that on his own. Men are great at telling us how to drip sex appeal, and when it’s much more diplomatic to keep our hearts a mile away from our lips.”
So why was he really asking me to write this? I’ll tell you. And it’s going to mess up your world. It’s the exact opposite of what you’ve been believing since those five minutes after your first break up, or since the day your father walked out on your mother.
He asked me to write this because good men want good women.
The part that’s going to mess you up in that statement isn’t that good men want good women. It’s that good men exist.
The next part of that statement that’s getting to you, is some of you don’t know if you are a good woman anymore. And in that, lies the worst part.
When we stop believing that good men exist, we lose the desire to be good women. It’s incredible how this works. When God created us, He built in some sort of self-betterment gene that’s triggered when another human being desires us. I’m just as aware as you are that we’ve been programmed since Day One to not need men, to not care what anyone thinks of us, to make decisions utterly devoid of others, to “just do you.” But do you catch the contradiction in this? The same world that’s telling you to not care what a man thinks is the same world telling you how to make a man want you. The same world that’s telling you good men don’t exist, is the same world telling you that you won’t be happy until you have one. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you identify a lie.
When the supposed-truths counteract, it isn’t the truth.
I’m going to point out here that the definition of counteract is, “ to sabotage, destroy or hinder; to defeat, to frustrate, or nullify the effects of a previous action.”
Women, when you believe that you will be unhappy until you meet a good man, and simultaneously believe that good men do not exist, you sabotage yourself. You frustrate yourself. You hinder and are hindered. You are defeated. You find that your previous actions – your time, your love, your heart, your passion, your beauty, your hope, your sacrifice, your sex, your gifts – are nullified and devastated. And when this happens, when we throw our hearts and bodies into a man less than the one we dare to hope for, the desire to be an incredible woman is slowly stripped from us.
Author John Eldridge puts this another way. “The story of your life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by one who knows what you could be, and fears it.”
Women, that is it. The one who fears what you could be knows that the fastest way to assault your heart is by way of the lie that good men do not exist; that good men do not want you. And that assault is long. And it is brutal.
So, instead of writing a guide to surviving or dating in the 21st century, I write this. I write to ask you to begin believing the truth about yourself.
To believe that you were created to be the masterpiece of God’s creation, the height of beauty, an imitation of your Maker’s heart; that you hold inherent value by simply being a woman. To begin believing that in the same way you would die to be an incredible woman, there are men that would die to be incredible for you.
I find myself today not being concerned with telling women how to act like a lady, or whatever it is you prefer to call the female version of a gentleman. You don’t need to be told how to flash him a smile that stops his world, how to give him your full attention on a fantastic date, how to surprise him with his favorite dinner on his bad days, how to leave him notes hidden in his sock drawer, how to sit in his lap and laugh until you both cry over inside jokes while you eat mac & cheese and watch gutter TV, or how to be a fantasy come to life in his bed. You don’t need to be told how to care passionately about what is closest to your heart, how to work hard, how to put your intelligence to use, how to pair heels with a killer suit, or how to get your Masters and retain a social life.
Okay, well, maybe that last one…
You do, however, need to be told that good men are alive and kicking ass. And they want you with every part of their being.
Want to hear more from Lauren? Read her blog at: laurennicolelove.com/blog
Or follow her on twitter:@laurenlankford
And read about more good women here: The Good Women Project
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