I heard those words 33 years ago from a woman friend, and in the context in which she said them they felt like an insult. Today, however, if I hear them my eyes would fill with tears because its one of the biggest compliments I can receive.
Perhaps its age and the passage of time, but I feel gratified to be able to provide a sense of comfort to women who cross my path, and Im learning that such a sense is possibly the key to building the kind of intimacy required to maintain a long-term relationship. Of course it wont happen with every woman nor should it, but if a man can do so he really has something that he shouldnt exploit or take for granted.
Of late Ive been able to detect just how safe someone feels around me. I attend a lot of dances, and Ive learned that if a woman is willing to dance close to me and I always allow her to choose that distance I can pretty much detect her level of comfort. Now, I also understand that just because she dances close to me doesnt necessarily mean that she wants sex; of course, I always assume that she doesnt.
But its more than just physical touch. There are other ways that men can communicate the message I will never intentionally hurt you, such as by listening and asking questions because doing so indicates true interest.
Some years ago a woman I met at church who, I didnt immediately realize, was in the midst of grief; at that point, I called upon my spiritual gift of mercy. Now, she was always dressed very sharp when I saw her, always in a dress and heels and usually in a hat.
One night after my big-band rehearsal, however, she invited me over to her place, which was right across the street from the rehearsal hall. When I got there she was in a sweater, jeans and slipper socks and, despite that she was still tender emotionally, looked radiant. I was deeply touched that she felt sufficiently comfortable with me to do that.
Recently I wrote about men who complain that women wont have sex with them and thus go off on rampages. But that alerts me to their own selfishness, which manifests itself in a sense of entitlement, and truth be told I can see why no sane woman would want them. Basically, they really dont care about women as people; theyre merely sex objects.
Its about being in tune with who and what she is and aspires to be. Connect there and youll go pretty far.
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