What Really Makes A Manly Marriage

couple kissing under blankets

Being a ladies’ man, never settling down, not being a one-woman man….

For too long, these “values” have been allowed to crowd into the national consciousness as the definition of what is manly. That same conqueror mentality is what creates temptation in marriage. Often the desire to stray, while still fully the decision of the man, is also fed by societal images.

What are the headlines about celebrity marriage? Fourteen years for Broderick and Parker, or 72 days for Kim and Kris?

Many people think that the media glamorizes train wreck celebrity marriages and infidelity by reporting on them, but they miss one key point:
It’s being reported because it is not normal.

Here’s a parallel. There are millions of houses in the United States. A few catch fire each day and end up on the local news. Millions of others do not. That doesn’t mean it’s best that houses burn. It means that for a few unfortunate families, they experienced a departure from the norm.

There are plenty of other misperceptions about marriage in the public consciousness, which is precisely what author Mort Fertel discusses in his blog on the dynamics of marriage.

Just as there is a right way and a wrong way to meet women, there are better choices in how to maintain the marriage that could result from that meeting.

You communicate with your spouse. You care about your marriage, and you work to make it strong from the moment you meet your wife. If you have kids, you give them your full measure of devotion.

Unfortunately, these things get flagged as un-manly, as fluffy stuff for guys who don’t drive fast cars or follow sports. So here’s what makes them truly manly after all.

Communicating With Your Spouse

What are you afraid of? Hearing her thoughts on things? Despite some of the caveman thinking that exists, your wife is an equal partner in the marriage, and that means her input is on an equal footing with yours.

Remember that communication goes two ways. It’s not just about giving in to what she wants, it’s also about voicing what’s important to you and asserting your beliefs. From there you find a way to make things work for both of you.

Caring About Your Marriage

Your wife is an amazing treasure to you. She is worth hanging on to, yet some people think it’s manly to harbor enough apathy that you can walk away from the woman you once pledged your lifelong devotion to.

The fact is that there is nothing more masculine than being able to hold on to what is important to you, and there’s no truer measure of good old-fashioned male character than keeping your word.

Being Devoted To Your Kids

Somehow, hands-off fathering has gotten awfully trendy. Comedians think it’s great fun to have no idea what your kids’ birthdays are, what they want to be when they grow up, or when they next see the dentist.

Yet those same men think that their spawn are by far superior to that of lesser men. Just watch a little league game if you doubt that.
How is it possible that those two philosophies coexist? Either your kid is proof of your awesomeness, or your kid is a disruption to the silence in your house. You can’t have it both ways.

One of the studs of the NFL right now is Peyton Manning. His dad–a tough, old-school quarterback himself–was also a hugging, supportive, in-the-bleachers dad to Peyton and his two brothers. All three have turned out to be successful men, by no means “sissies.”

Being a masculine dad is being a good dad. The two traits don’t just tolerate each other, they support each other.

A marriage has two partners of equal value, who should exhibit a similar level of gender character. The noise and confusion of society can’t change that. Real men–and real women–maintain healthy, loving marriages.

  

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Turn Your Casual Dating Relationship Into A Serious One: 5 Tips

woman hugging man

Have you been dating your partner for awhile and do you feel as though you want to take it to the next level? Do you want to be exclusive? Sometimes a return to the casual dating scene can send us into a whirlwind of disappointment, but if you have been dating someone that you really like and you believe they feel the same way, why not make it serious? If you want to turn your casual dating relationship into a serious one, here are 5 important tips to put into action.

#1: Share More With Your Partner

If you have issues that you have had to face in the past and if you feel they may affect your future with this person, share them. The time is now to lay all of your cards on the table. For example, if you had a lot of debt and the past and if you still have some now, let your partner know where you stand. They hopefully won’t judge you for it and it will save you some stress down the road if you need to have a good credit rating for a loan. You can also work on it together as a team to be debt-free.

#2: Let Go

Let the past stay in the past and let go of the burdens, anger, resentment and anything that may ruin your current relationship. Remember that this relationship is new and fresh and it doesn’t need to be tainted by old pain and anger that you have from a former relationship.

#3: Be Good To Yourself

Put your needs high on your list of priority. If you make a conscious choice to keep improving yourself in any shape or form, your partner will recognize your smart and healthy choices and might want to join you. Couples that get involved in healthy activities together generally form that solid ‘team-like’ feeling and stick together longer.

#4: Communicate Your Feelings

Communication truly it the key to a solid relationship that is built from the ground up. If you are not good at expressing your feelings, try writing them down in a card or on a note and give it to your partner. If you find expressing yourself easy then go for it. Don’t hold back. If you feel strongly for your partner, then tell them. This will allow your relationship to flourish and grow stronger over time.

#5: Be There For Each Other

Be there for each other where it counts. If you start being there for the most difficult times it will show your commitment to each other and make the relationship a stronger one. Couples become serious couples when they can trust and depend on each other when the tough times hit.
There isn’t a specific time when a casual relationship turns into a more serious one, but these are some ways you can get yours on the right path towards a solid commitment. Remember that every relationship takes time to build and it only gets stronger through time and effort.

Simon is a writer and content specialist who is addicted to being on the front page of anything. A graduate of Dalhousie University, he specializes in using the em dash too often. Currently, Simon rests his typing hands in Vancouver, Canada. Check out his recent thoughts on gaming.

  

Demystify Your Dream Woman

beautiful blond woman in striped dress

There are women. Then there are “dream women.”

It’s easy enough to snag the former with a cool approach even if you don’t have a lot invested your flirting bank of knowledge. She’s hot. She’s fun. You’re not tongue tied around her. If the flirtation leads nowhere, there’s always someone else to chat up.

Confidence with this kind of woman will get you pretty far – your indifference releases her anxieties and allows you to project a sense of cool.
The second kind of woman – the “dream woman” – presents a greater challenge. She’s self-composed, beautiful and elusive. She stops you in your tracks. She turns your normally savvy barstool eloquence into drivel. She haunts your thoughts. You spend hours overanalyzing every interaction, every stutter you stammered and every sideways glance she shot your way.

It’s possible to spend an entire lifetime hanging out with women of the first variety. They provide ease, fun, and confidence. Feel free to ignore your attraction to the woman of your dreams. Stifle it with a steady diet of party girls and quick flings and relationships that never quite catch.

But you’re not the kind of guy to leave what you want on the table.

Man-up, grow a pair, and land that lady already.

How Can I Get Her?

Focus on her imperfections. She does have some. Take note. Instead of focusing on all the impossibly perfect and alluring qualities that seduce you into a cold sweat—the Bardot hair, the Meghan Fox mouth, the Marion Ravenwood moxy–find the parts of her personality that don’t shine. Dig up the flaws. Find the things that make her human.

Maybe she has a charming facial tic or overuses the word “substantial” too often. Maybe she curses like a sailor, or wears unattractive printed pants. Any time you start to place her up on an unobtainable pedestal, laser in on those imperfections. Reminding yourself of her flaws helps keep her real and approachable.

Change Your Cognitive Thoughts

Cognitive science is the science of how humans think. If your woman is as superb as you think, she’s probably used to other dudes falling all over themselves around her.

View her as an equal. By making her approachable in your mind, you’ll fine tune your approach. She’ll appreciate the levelheadedness and honesty that you offer by considering her a peer rather than a princess.

What About A Date?

So your steady hand gets you in the door for a date. Now is not the time to apply the same sloppy methods you use on your normal dates. Play the long game with this one. Keep things cool and casual. Build rapport. Find a suitable credit card for an extra line of credit to afford a memorable first date. You don’t need to find a string quartet, a midnight flight to Paris or a blank check to Tiffany’s – trying too hard mashes the brakes on your pursuit quickly.

Instead, take her out to do something you have genuine passion about using your new credit card. Passion and enthusiasm play sexy to this kind of woman. While an opulent first date might flatter her ego, allowing her to see the things you value is much more attractive. If you’re a sports fan, take her to a ballgame. If you love old movies take her to see a Kurosawa film. While she might not trashtalk the pitcher, or love movies with subtitles, allow your enthusiasm for whatever to carry the date. Educate her about your passion. If it turns out you have the same things in common: perfect. If not: it’s okay. Women love men who are interested in life.

Show her your interest, then ask her to share hers on your next date. Enjoy what she shows you, be it something amazing like an architecture exhibition, disappointing like a Justin Bieber concert, or boring like financial planning. Take the opportunity to learn about her.

I Got Her!

By building this rapport you will have demystified your dream girl. Soon enough you’ll be sharing bedhead and scrambled eggs on the weekends instead of tension filled chats at the bar. Even dream women aren’t mysterious or unobtainable, you just have to be willing to wake up.

  

Is cheating OK?

This may sound like a ridiculous question, but we can all acknowledge that relationships can be very complicated things. So here’s some food for thought in the form of a graphic courtesy of SexToy.com, a site you might want to check out to enhance your sexy time with your partner to make this question a moot issue.

  

How to Choose the Perfect Engagement Ring

ID-10075411 engagement ring
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

An engagement happens when two people are so in love, they want to make a formal commitment to one another. You’re a guy, so thinking about proposing to a girl immediately triggers visions of rings. Not the Lord of the Rings–though that would be cool if we could make that work somehow–engagement rings!

The engagement ring is the symbolic sign of your impending nuptials. It’s the beautiful token of your love that her friends, family, and co-workers will spend the new few months gushing over.

Make no mistake, choosing a ring is THE most important pre-engagement step.

Price

When it comes to the perfect ring, cost really has nothing to do with it. You hear that, dudes with low-paying jobs who are dead set on spending their life savings on a ring? Some jewelers would like you to think that you need to save three months’ salary, but that’s not entirely true. Money Under 30 founder, David E. Weliver, suggests, “your engagement ring should be meaningful more than expensive.” In fact, you may not have to spend a dime if you have a family heirloom to propose with.

When choosing an engagement ring, price should be one of your first considerations. It’s therefore essential that you know what you can afford before you walk into a jewelry store. Create a budget, allowing yourself enough time to save up for the perfect ring. Set a date for when you’d like to propose and try to have the ring at least a week prior.

Choosing a Gemstone

Most men choose diamonds when selecting an engagement ring. Modern engagement rings can really be any gemstone, but it’s important you select something she wants. Without giving yourself away, see if you can’t find out what kind of ring she would prefer. Knowing exactly what she wants takes a lot of the guesswork out of jewelry shopping.

If she’s non-traditional, you may be able to save some money by choosing a ring that’s her birthstone, or a mix of both of your stones. You could get her something truly romantic and memorable, like pink sapphire engagement rings. Though many girls dream their whole lives about the diamond ring that will someday sit on their left hands, more and more women are adoring non-traditional engagement rings.

If you do decide to go diamond, you may want to do some research first. Diamonds come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes jewelers will have the wrong price on a diamond, so you need to be able to determine if the cut and clarity match the diamonds cost. Diamonds are rated on the four C’s – cut, color, clarity, and carat. Diamonds are also graded, where pure diamonds are flawless and I-3 diamonds are far from perfect.

Metal, Setting, and Checkout

Once you’ve selected a gemstone, you’ll be ready to have it fitted in the perfect band. Keep in mind what kind of metal you’d like to wear. Her engagement ring should match her wedding ring. So, if you’re partial to white gold, then select this metal.

There are so many setting options when it comes to engagement rings. You can choose a setting that has a prong, or one that comes with a flush. Ask your jeweler to show you examples of settings and select the one that’s most appropriate for the stone you selected.

Finally, it’s time to check on out. You want to ensure that your purchase comes with a certificate of appraisal. This appraisal certificate proves the ring’s value. It’s your insurance against being taken advantage of. Once you’ve garnered this and paid, you’ll be ready to propose. Pick a nice venue, sweep her off her feet, and present her with her beautiful engagement ring. How can she say no?

  

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