No one has ever loved anyone the way everyone wants to be loved ~ Mignon McLaughlin

Do you sometimes feel this is true?  Do you give as much as you expect to receive?

I suspect women have greater expectations of love and romance than most men.  After all, we women are bombarded with movies and books featuring amazing heroes who fall head-over-heels for their heroines.  Those heroes literally risk death for their women.  They don’t need instructions in romance, or lessons on thoughtfulness and empathy.  Those heroes continually seek ways to surprise their women with affection and praise without reminders or prodding.  And, much to the feminists’ chagrin, we women still want to live that dream, to be that lucky heroine who is cherished and protected.  That is the way we want to be loved.9922717_s

Unfortunately, in reality, persistent attention is a tall order.  It presumes your man has the free time and money to constantly woo you without worrying about work pressure, budgets, kids’ tuition, and taking out the garbage.  The imaginary twenty-something billionaire with an endless sex drive doesn’t have those concerns.  Perhaps giving your partner a romance roadmap isn’t such a terrible thing after all:  flowers for no reason, help me out in the kitchen, tell me I look pretty without initiating sex immediately after the compliment (unless I’m in the mood, of course).

Yet, the real point of the quote and my question is to acknowledge we probably aren’t lavishing our beloved with the very love we feel entitled to receive.  I must admit I could do better.

In my mind, I’ve got good excuses: too busy with the kids, too busy with my writing, too busy running errands, too busy dealing with the latest family crisis.  But those are the very excuses I’ve heard from him that make me bristle and feel under-appreciated.  During the early days of our relationship, I used to get a kick out of surprising my husband with silly, out-of-the-blue gifts and cards.  Now I can’t remember the last time I bought him a card for no reason at all.

Well, I can’t control the way I’m loved, but I can control the way I love.  I also can recalibrate my own expectations to something more realistic than the fairy tales I’m writing.  And maybe, just maybe, by focusing more on what I can do and give, I might end up receiving what I need.

How about you?

xo-Jamie