Solving the Puzzle 1.0, Caring

thinkingI’ve proposed the puzzle of pursuing an independent woman, a woman that doesn’t need a man. Now, with no earthly experience to draw upon, and nothing more than common sense to guide me, I will propose my first attempted solution.

After decades of counseling, marriage counseling, productivity and team building seminars we all know that you can only control one person in this world, yourself.  This list is a thought out, engineered “@max()” function; a tickler list of how to be the best man I can be when the big day arrives. This is a starting point; refinements and adjustments will occur from this baseline.

1. Be Independent as Well: She has survived, overcome adversity (or was raised to stand on her own). She has been through summer camps, hospital stays, kids’ marriages and the birth of grandchildren. She needs her guy to be independent, to think on his own, and be responsible for his own needs (noticing and saying when he’s in over his head).

2. Be Trusting, Aggressively Trusting: She’s been interacting, living a full life, running a house and a family, for many years. Trust that she knows how to drive, visit, plan a trip, and stock the fridge. Help. Offer to help. Learn how to help. But always with language that says “You know what you’re doing, let me lighten your load”.

When she says “I need to change my job” or “I’m worried about this letter”, you ask about her reasons and thought process to better understand her. Your instinct is to trust her judgment, skills, leadership, relationships, dreams, fears, …. oh hell everything. She’s Independent and confident, that’s how you found her.

3. As far as boy-girl relationships, double the trust. At our age, especially. If she says the girls are going for a week-end, your first words (actually, your first thought) isn’t “Where is she really going?” but “Should you leave Friday morning to avoid rush-hour traffic?”

4. Be there for her: Offer to help, without usurping, until she learns how to trust the give and take of your relationship. She has probably known a lot of undesirable men, that’s probably why she was available. When she takes the chance and asks for help, and lets herself be vulnerable to you; when she shares a fear or a dread treat it like a diamond fallen from heaven. Be there. Hold her, love her, help her, feel for her … whatever SHE wants. Offer all of those things. Take the time to earn her secrets, she has years and years of them to tell, and she will reward the guy that listens, hears, and understands them.

5. Love her family, and friends, or be a big boy and work it out (she can handle it). No sniveling, back biting, whining, manipulating or controlling. “Please”, you say, “go spend the week-end with your Aunt, I’ll get that project done while you’re away”. She will know how to handle it.

6. Be reliable: Be on time. Do what you promise. Fess up when you make a mistake.

7. Tell her what YOU want, day by day, hour by hour. Whether that is attention or space, a companion or a day off. She’s independent, been running her own life for years. She interacts with her kids, clubs and friends. She can add your card to the full deck that she shuffles and deals with every day.

8. Love her like she’s the only woman in the world. You know the drill: Kiss her first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Compliment her; out loud, sure, but in your own mind, and on instinct. Hear yourself saying “I’m a lucky man” nonchalantly, without noticing or counting, because if she wants you, you are.

9. Love her for what she is: Independent, Smart, Sassy (that’s what you asked for). Cherish that about her, and use it to make both of you better individuals. Share her dreams, and reveal yours. Live your remaining days together to their fullest.

10. Oh, and relax: Life is for living. Just relax be yourself, the yourself you want to be.

Consider this list Rev 1.0

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