Tuesday, February 27, 2024 18:59

Remaining Single: Real Men Do Exist

I love hearing love stories because they renew my hope and faith that a “real man” does exist for me out there somewhere.  My parents had a good love story.  They were introduced by a mutual acquaintance.  They were not living in the same area, and yet they managed to connect, fall in love, get married and stay married for 45 years until my dad’s death.  And their courtship/romance was in 1956 and 1957, before cell phones and Skype and email and all of the other modern technical conveniences that we have today.

A dear friend of mine tells a similar story about her parents.  Three weeks after they met, my friend’s dad asked her mom to marry him, but she said no because they had only known each other three weeks.  But he said he was heading off to World War II and wanted her for his wife.  She again said no, but did promise to wait for him.  Well, she did, for the whole of World War II.  When he returned from the war, he proposed in January, they were married in February and my friend was born in December of that year.  Sigh…..

Years ago, I read the “Little House” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  What always struck me was that the parents of Laura had what I call a partnership.  I always enjoyed reading these stories for the way that Pa appreciated Ma and that appreciation was reciprocated always.  They worked hard together on everything they did.  Whether it was packing up their wagon to move the family to a new place, building a house together once they got to the new place, or Ma making a wholesome meal for the family, I always got the impression that their respect and appreciation for each other was genuine and life long.

Some might say those stories only exist from ‘back then,’ but I just finished reading another love story written by a woman who is in her 40′s and lives in Oklahoma on a ranch with her husband and four children.  She is a food show host and blogger and decided to write the story of the romance between herself and her husband and how they wound up together.  And this story takes place in today’s world.  This woman was courted by what I mean by a ‘real man.’  They met in a bar and she was instantly smitten, and they talked together for a while that first night they met.  Four months later he called her and asked her for a date and it was ‘game on’ so to speak from that moment.  They fell hard for each other and the story is a powerful read, though simple at the same time.  The reason it resonates so much with me?  Because it harkens back to the stories of my parents or my friend’s parents, or other similar stories I’ve heard over the years.

What is the common factor?  That the men involved were what I again refer to as ‘real men.’  They were men who knew themselves and exactly what they wanted for their own lives.  They were men who had a direction, a purpose, a role in life they knew they were meant to play.  They were men who didn’t need to be unsure of themselves and didn’t think finding a woman to love and cherish is such a hard prospect.  They were not game players or liars.  They were men who meant what they said and didn’t mince words.  They put their hearts out there and weren’t afraid to declare their feelings for the women they chose to love.  And having declared their love, they continued or continue to appreciate their women, to respect them, to admire them to value their lives and the partnership that grew between them.

The details of the stories are not important.  The common factor again is that these couples experienced partnership in romance.  A romantic partnership is so worth the time it takes to find it.  That’s the partnership I know I’m waiting for too.  For a romantic partnership to exist means each person is aware of who he/she is, of what is important and valuable already about his/her own life.  There are no games, no guessing, but rather trusting instinct and knowing the other person is doing the same.  It’s not that complicated when you think about it, is it?

So much has been written about ways for men and women to change themselves in order to find lasting love.  I don’t think changing oneself is really the answer.  Rather I think it’s more important to be honest about who we are.  To be clear about what we want, and to be contented with where our lives are right at the moment, romantic partner or not.  And then to be able to say what does and doesn’t work for us.

I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I wouldn’t settle for anything less in my life than what I wanted, and that’s with regard to career, where I choose to live, the activities I enjoy, the friendships I choose to build.  And I have done that with every other area of my life.  I have reached a place in my life where I live in a place I love, in a home that I love.  I work in a field that was always my leading passion even before it became my career.  And I chose to work for myself which resonates with me in a better way than working for others.  My personal emotional journey is an ongoing work in progress, in a daily effort to reach for balance in my life.  I have learned how to have loving friendships with people who reciprocate and reflect back to me that I am valued and loved.  I have a spiritual connection with a higher power who guides me, who protects me, who challenges me and sends me everything I’m meant to have.  And I am also aware of how blessed I am to have that same higher power remove things or people from my life when the lessons I was meant to learn from those experiences or people are learned.  When my higher power removes things or people from my life, I am convinced that this makes room for even better things or people to come into my life, part of that ongoing evolution that is my own journey.  I have worked hard and continue to work on being an authentic, integrated, contented, joyous, ‘real woman.’  I am not looking for someone else to be responsible for my happiness.  I know it’s up to me to create that in my own life.

With that I will say I continue to believe there is a ‘real man’ out there for me somewhere.  He is as committed to his own walk through this world as I am to mine.  He is looking for a ‘real woman’ just as much as I am looking for a ‘real man’ and when the timing works then we will meet.  Don’t know where, don’t know when, but that doesn’t matter.  I’ll keep moving forward and keep my heart open.  The ‘real man’ and I will know it when we meet.  And then we’ll continue moving forward together.

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