This has been floating around the internet:
“A real man is a woman’s best friend. He reassures and comforts her after a bad day. He will inspire and enable her to express her emotions and give in to her desires. He will make sure she feels as though she’s the most beautiful woman in the room and will enable her to be confident, sexy, seductive, and invincible. No wait… Sorry… I’m thinking of wine. It’s wine that does all that. Never mind.”
I related this to my Patient Husband while we were having actual wine with dinner, and we laughed. But being geeks, of course, we began dissecting it for its underlying message.
Eventually we came to the agreement that nothing a man does (nor a bottle of wine, really) can make a woman feel beautiful if she doesn’t already regard herself as beautiful. We narrowed it down to this: a man can make a woman feel loved, but he can’t make her feel lovable.
But on the other hand, a person can make a previous-confident romantic partner feel unlovable. Which is kind of unfair, if you think about it.
Yes, before you ask — this is typical dinner conversation in the Philangelus house. Kiddo#1 asked once, “Can’t we just live? Do we have to dissect everything?” And I answered that I wouldn’t have a weblog if I didn’t dissect everything, so yes, we have to. I owe it to you guys to bore my children.
But more seriously, all of us know women who use romance (or alcohol) as an indicator of their worth as people. That’s despite the obvious truth: many of the most successful women I know are both sober and single (as in, turned down marriage proposals) or spent key portions of their life single. They’re confident. They don’t need someone to tell them they have value because they know they are worthy of love, even if they are not in a romantic relationship. They may avoid romance because the person offering it isn’t going to treat them they way they deserve, and therefore they feel free turn it down.
A key part of my novel Honest And For True revolves around how the main character doesn’t feel the need to be in a long-term relationship. She feels as if she has it all: the wrong man would wreck it, so why take the chance?
Of course, many of us do feel it’s worth that chance. So enjoy your romance, or your wine, but first appreciate your self.