“Her eyes danced as she spoke, and all I could think of was how amazing she was. She was smiling at me, waiting for something when I realized she had asked me a question. Of course I looked like an idiot and felt like one, but she didn’t let on that she thought I was one…so I waited for her to ask the question again.”
“What did she ask you?”
“She asked me if I liked hot dogs. Hot dogs…can you believe it? That’s when I knew she was the one for me…I just knew it.”
The crowd laughed and watched as his wife leaned in and hugged him. They were celebrating their thirtieth wedding anniversary. As my husband and I stood there in the company of friends, other couples began to share their, “That’s when I knew” stories. Some were funny while others very romantic…but one thing was clear, all the men fell hard and fast for their wives. I thought this was interesting because in our society we all know how tough men are “supposed” to be; and what I was hearing did not seem to match this persona of the typical male. I know my husband would tell you that he knew right away that I was the one for him. Did I feel the same way? Did any of the other wives feel the same way? No. So what is the difference? I have a theory, of course… it may not be a great theory, but it is one nevertheless.
You see, guys know at a young age what they are looking for. They want someone like their mom who can love them, nurture them, yes, feed them and clean for them…they want the whole package… They also want the woman who excites them and emotionally feels them up. So when all those things come together for a guy…it’s like a cosmic explosion. The explosion is so significant that the male melts into pieces and molds to the woman he has found. He can’t imagine ever being without her. But with women it’s different…very different. This is not to say that women don’t fall head over heels in love with a guy…because clearly they do. But women have a whole bag full of issues that weigh them down when it comes to finding the perfect mate.
Women are, and probably always will be, lacking in self-confidence. Even the most confident of women will share that they are lacking in self-esteem, trust me on this. And so when a woman sees a guy she thinks she might be interested in, she wonders, “Am I good enough, will he like me, what if I’m not enough for him?” They also have an ideal man in their head…one that has been planted in there by television or by someone. “You should find a good-looking man who has money. You should find a normal guy, he won’t ever leave you. You should find a man who let’s you wear the pants.” You get the idea. They don’t just have one idea of what they want because society has always told them what they should look for in a man. I think you might be rolling your eyes right now…but think about it. When was the last time a friend, parent or television told a man what kind of woman he should marry? It doesn’t happen often. So why does this matter? BECAUSE..the woman experiences the “What If Syndrome.” You know the one that goes like this… “What if he’s not the one I’m supposed to be with?” “What if there is someone better out there?” “What if there is supposed to be more than this in a relationship?” “What if , what if, what if?”
Recently I witnessed the breakups of five young couples in their late teens to late twenties. In each case the male was left standing with his heart in his hand while the female said goodbye hesitantly. The men are devastated and can’t believe that the woman they thought they were going to marry just up and left them without warning. Each man could tell you the moment they fell in love with that woman, what they were doing, wearing, thinking…the whole kit and caboodle. The girl…not so much. The five couples each had very different relationships. Several were very touchy feely, others were like best friends in pubic, while others were very exclusive; only doing things together without others. But whatever they had had worked for them for a number of years until… suddenly the female broke it off. I watched each couple throughout their relationships and was fooled just as the male had been…I thought they were heading to the alter….but then this thing called the “Woman’s WHAT IF” appeared and ruined everything.
At first I thought the men would get over the breakups quickly. I thought they were young and after a month or two they would move on and find someone else…but such is not the case. All five men are holding out for the love of their life to come back. For some, they are satisfied just being near the woman that left them, while others have no contact at all. And yet they wait… They wait because their hearts were melted with someone else’s and their cosmic explosion removed them from the universe of dating. They can’t imagine loving anyone else…ever. And believe it or not, they acquire the “What If Syndrome” themselves. “What if she gets out there and realizes I’m the one?” “What if no one ever loves me like she did?” “What if I’m not lovable ?” Perhaps they are right to wait…maybe the female will return when she has figured out what she wants…and not what society is telling her she should want. After all, she loved him for more than two years. Surely that says something about the man… Surly it says something about all men… that their hearts are tender, made of feelings and great emotion, full of desire and willingness to sacrifice for the love of their lives. Perhaps the greatest question we must ask is with a heart like this, can there be more than one cosmic explosion in one’s life? Can love be found again? Let’s hope so for these five young men….