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Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Love of a Good Woman: What Is It?

The Love of a Good Woman

By Matthew Holloway

What would a man not give
For the love of a good woman
Someone to share the days
Whether they are good or bad
The support and encouragement
Of someone close to the heart
Someone who just, understands
And is there when needed
There is an age old saying
Behind every great man exists
The love of a good woman
What would a good man not give
For that to ring true 

I think men want women who are their friends. Duh ... I know this may sound ridiculous and simple, but for ions the debate has raged about whether a best friend can be a lasting lover. I believe men seek a lover who can provide both camaraderie in shared activities and fidelity, not just conjugal faithfulness but also fidelity as it relates to absolute belonging and acceptance. A man seeks a lover who accepts his male "skin" and celebrates his manly soul.

But, gone forever are the '50s and the television portrayal of traditional family life in "Father Knows Best" when Robert Young as Jim Anderson came home from work, took off his sport jacket, put on his comfortable sweater, and logically dealt with the everyday problems of a growing family.

In the show, the Andersons were an idealized family, the sort that viewers could relate to and wish to emulate. Their children went through the normal problems of growing up, included those concerning school, friends, and members of the opposite sex. Although they didn't always agree with their parents, the kids bickering was minimal, and everything seemed to work out by the end of the half-hour.

In "Father Knows Best," spousal devotion literally dripped from the screen, and the roles of both parents were clearly delineated as Dad Jim brought home the bacon and ruled the roost while Mom Margaret, played by Jane Wyatt, solidified the home as the paragon of reason and patience. Their children -- "Princess" Betty Anderson, "Bud" James Jr. Anderson, and "Kitten" Kathy Anderson -- comprised the rest of the family. Like a Norman Rockwell painting filled with cheery, lovable characters and non-threatening humor, "Father Knows Best" was middle America's idea of itself.

Excuse me for sounding like a sexist. I know I am only speaking about one side of a relationship; however, I think, as a male, I understand something about this particular point of view. I believe men long for affirmation of a soulful attachment, a woman's commitment to solidarity of her lover's spirit as well as a bond to their undying intimacy.

The Retro Man? Kind Of

Attraction leads men to fall in love. Physical attraction? Absolutely. A beautiful female package can be irresistible to men. Yet, if beauty is the only attraction, time will eventually decay this superficial affection.The beauty that attracts men is both physical and internal. Much of the depth of personality a man seeks is complimentary to his own conception of manhood, not in a subservient manner but rather in a friendship that is deeply empathetic to his struggles.

Friendship is likely the second phase of development after initial attraction. Men have certain expectations when it comes to their friends, and chief among these is that they be accepted without question, reservation, or judgment. Most men develop this deep camaraderie with their best male friends, and they value it immensely in a female companion.

I think most males, unlike many women, do not judge their friends by commonly accepted standards such as how they dress, why they make mistakes, and why they make the choices they make. I profess I do believe men are less likely to desert their friends than women. In addition, most men deplore drama and prefer to minimize the "soap opera" of seeking cooperation with their lover, whom they desire to be their attractive, trusted, best female friend.

Once a man is attracted to a woman on some level and has developed a real and spiritual friendship with her, he begins to develop feelings of commitment toward her as he recognizes he needs her in his life. A male feels completeness with a female complement who supports his accomplishments and is "there for him" during his weak moments. And, granted, men desire an occasional "ego backing" just for whom they believe they are becoming -- an aging patriarch.

Jesus, I know this sounds backwards and may make females appear to be bootlicking beings, yet I believe it is just as important for men to be committed to serving special needs of women. This expectancy of men is also acquiescent. Perhaps a modicum of respect for the differences in gender is the key to giving "props" to a lover.

Some say, "Damn these traditional roles society expects from men and women." I understand the deadly consequences of generalizing feelings and supporting a semblance of sexual identity. Yet, I do think men are often portrayed unfairly as sexual animals without care for female compassion and understanding. Damn it, we need what Willie and Waylon once crooned -- "a good-hearted woman."

Speaking for myself, I love the "differences" inherent in women, but I also desire a woman who respects my differences -- maybe the foremost being I'm a mucked-up male making myriads of mistakes who needs the undying attention and support of a female lover.

I'm not suggesting the lines of the poem above are accurate: "Behind every great man exists /
The love of a good woman." I think "behind" is not accurate: instead, "beside" should be the correct denotation. In addition to being "beside" a lover, the intangible connection comes from "within." I think this is what I consider a soul-sharing friendship.

Men and women are equally emotional creatures. I have no doubt this is both true and necessary. One problem that threatens a happy, loving relationship is that both sexes have different needs that drive their emotions. I've always believed men's needs are fairly simple. I won't spell them out for fear of oversimplification but they relate to food, drink, sexual attraction, and various types of balls.

One other simple yet vital need that men often misrepresent is an unspoken soul attachment to a significant female. And, like the poet Matthew Holloway asks, "What would a good man not give for that to ring true?"

by U2

She's the dollars, she's my protection
Yeah, she's a promise in the year of election
Oh sister, I can't let you go

Like a preacher
Stealing hearts at a traveling show
For love or money, money, money

And the fever getting higher
Desire, desire, desire, desire


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