The Guy Chronicles No. 3: Respect That Man, Boo #HomeTeam (Part I)
So traditionally, we ladies think to ourselves when we’ve got a great guy, that of course we are going to give him the utmost respect. If you’re an old fashioned gal like I am, you’re absolutely gargantuan on being respectful. But in all fairness, what in the world does it mean to respect a man? Merriam- Webster tells us that respect is a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way. Alright, well that’s all well and good, but what does even that mean? Let us find out.
Most of us ladies feel like if we are in a relationship and we don’t flirt withother men, don’t openly check out guys while with our guy, don’t talk badly about our guy to anyone, do our best not to nag him to death, and give him the big piece of chicken at dinner, we are respecting him. Ha! That couldn’t be further from the truth. See, what we ladies have failed to observe is the ego of men runs deep… runs right to their heart, into their blood, and all throughout their genetic make up. That means we walk a fine line between giving them the respect they require, and the disrespect they condemn.
Trust in His Abilities
First and foremost, your guy absolutely wants to know that you trust him and his abilities. I don’t mean trust him like if he goes out, he won’t cheat on you. I mean by the time you’re in the relationship, that part of it damn well better be established. No- I mean your guy wants to know that you trust his decision making skills and his abilities to complete tasks as well as solve problems. Here is an example:
Jessica and Kevin are headed to a corporate dinner. Jessica has made sure tolook extra beautiful, sexy, yet tasteful so that Kevin will be pleased to walk with her by his side. After all, every guy wants a lady he can be proud of right? She wants to make a great impression so she has made sure to get ready early so that they can be on time. She has even taken the liberty of finding the address and putting it in her GPS. When they pile into Kevin’s Dodge Challenger, and he gets the engine roaring- ready to go, Jessica happily tells him, “I’ve got the directions right here on my iPhone, baby! This is going to be so fun!” Kevin chuckles and gives her knee an affectionate squeeze. She’s such a thoughtful girl. He looks over at her and kisses her, careful not to smudge her lip gloss and says “Thanks babe, but I’ve got it. I know how to get there. You just sit there and look gorgeous like you always do.” And he gives her a wink.
Jessica immediately shrugs and says okay, but secretly keeps her GPS on just in case because she knows that sometimes, Kevin takes the long way and they really don’t want to be late. They head off towards the highway and Jessica notices that Kevin is making a turn down a street that her GPS says isn’t correct. She immediately feels alarmed. What if they’re late? What if they get lost? What if they miss the appetizers and corny jokes? Pointing at her phone she squeals, “Kevin! You’re going the wrong way! My GPS says go this way… not that way!”
Kevin gives her a look like “what did you just say to me?” And there it is right there! The disrespect begins. Now most of us ladies would look at the scenario and think, disrespect? Where? But trust me, it’s there all the same. What Jessica has done is undermined Kevin’s abilities as a man to get them to where they need to be. She hasn’t trusted his judgment to take the road that he chose, nor has she had faith that he knows what he’s doing. A guy would probably think (and don’t quote me cause I don’t really know- I’ve never been a guy before) that why in the world is she saying this to him when obviously he wouldn’t take the damn road if he didn’t know where he was going. Sighhhhhhh…. It can be hard, ladies, to sit back and let things happen within that scenario, but the truth is, it’s better to do it that way.
You have to trust in his abilities to do things, even when they don’t quite work out. We can not take a man’s pride away from him or we risk making him feel like a child. And that, my friends is the first stop along the ride to Splitsville. You have to be on board with what it is he is doing (within reason of course). I mean if he decides to go and rob a bank and murder an orphanage full of kids and nuns, I’d say screw #HomeTeam, he’s on his own with that one. But if he hasn’t become a psychotic maniac, or a gambler, or something behind which you can’t support, just go with it, even if he messes up. Kinda goes back to my first Guy Chronicles article. He’s human so he will mess up sometimes, but #HomeTeam says you can’t ridicule him about it or make him feel like less of a person because of it. Just go with it.
Be a Lady In Public
Now I am expecting most ladies to be very in tune with this rule, but it needs to be stated just the same. You have to be a lady in public. #HomeTeam means that if you are pissed off with your guy to high heaven, but you’re in public especially within the presence of other men or other couples, you needto plaster on a smile to your face and fake it for the evening. Yeah I said it! Sometimes you gotta fake it. Do NOT make a scene in public. Do NOT alert others to what is going on between you and your guy. Do NOT embarrass your guy in front of other men- strangers and especially not his friends and family.
Also, don’t dispute what your guy is saying while in public. Even if what he is saying doesn’t make a lick of sense. Even if he said that Alexander The Great was the First President of The United States and you know for sure that it was George Washington. When he looks for you to back him up, you better nod confidently and smile the biggest, sweetest, adoring smile ever and say “you got that right babe, it sure was Alexander The Great!” That’s #HomeTeam right there. I swear these are some deadly sins type of things with your guy. If you dispute him in front of another guy or couple, man have you just delivered him the atomic bomb of disrespect. Your relationship is going up in flames the second you do that. Maybe it won’t burn to a crisp, but there will definitely be some damage. And I am telling you, even if you are mad at your guy, you still need to keep up with #HomeTeam. Fake it til you make it, boo!
Even if you aren’t mad at your guy, make sure you don’t do something that will accidentally humiliate him. As much as us ladies like to tease our guys because you are used to the light hearted, playful banter between you two, do NOT ever make a joke at your guy’s expense in front of another man. EVER! Know why? Because the other guy is automatically going to think that your guy is weak. Now you might say to yourself, why in the world would the guy think that? Well, because that guy knows that your guy has a woman who doesn’t respect him enough not to embarrass him in public, that’s why.
From what I have observed, men are always at competition with each other so making a joke in public would never do. Making a scene in public would never do. You don’t hurt the #HomeTeam, you build it up. You need to be telling some impressive Iron Man stories about your guy in regard to something he did. That’s what you should be doing. Even if you are pissed at him like I said. Recall that in Guy Chronicles No. 1, I said that they need blind supportsometimes. Well here it is. Blindly support his ass, even if he has been a pain in the ass. If you feel like cursing him out til the cows come home, do it when you get back to the car. While you’re in the presence of everyone else, he needs to look like the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread. It’s just compromise. He can listen to you whine at him later. Trust me, he’ll appreciate that in the eyes of other men, he has a classy woman who respects him and adores him. That makes him King.
Never Give Another Guy The Upper Hand
This kind of goes along with trusting in his abilities and trusting in him as a person. See, a lot of us ladies are impatient. When we want something done, we absolutely mean we want it done now. We don’t have time for him to flip through the channels and watch Sports Center for three hours, or pick up the sticks and play NBA Live 2014 all day first. No, no, no, when we say the sink isn’t working right and it needs to be fixed, we generally mean today. So when our guy says oh he’ll get to it later, our immediate reaction is, alright, I’ll get it fixed then right now. We call a plumber. Or heaven forbid, we call another guy we know to come fix it- a friend of the family, the neighborhood priest, it doesn’t matter. Doing that is a No No. And a damn big one too!
You never invite another male to come and fix something or attend to something that you asked your guy to do just because he isn’t doing it fast enough. Now this one is a toughy, cause really, how long can you wait for your guy to get up and do what you asked before it becomes counterproductive to continue waiting for him? This is a battle you’ll have to pick carefully. Pride and passions are running high for a man on this one. But if I haven’t learned a thing else, I have learned that unless he told you it was okay to get someone else to do it, your best bet is to wait. He is going to see this as the ultimate disrespect, trust me- I know! I’ve made this mistake a time or two myself. And I’ve watched others make it too.
It’s funny because when the guys would get mad, we would never know why. Like why is he so angry that I got Jerry the Janitor to fix the light bulb? Truth is, I don’t know… I don’t know why they see it as disrespectful. And maybe I don’t have to know why. Maybe it’s a territorial thing, and that’s just a natural instinct. I mean honestly, how pissed would we be if our guys got Buffy The Body to come and make him a three course meal for dinner. I’ll tell you how pissed, it’d be grounds for termination cause the disrespect would be massive. So likewise, I am certain that men think similarly. It’s all about #HomeTeam. If you want him to stay on your team, you damn well better be rooting for the team you have together- the #HomeTeam. That means keeping other players out of the equation.
Getting Advice From Other Guys
Listen, I can say that this one is a huge No No. One that I had to find out the hard way, myself. It does come so natural for us ladies to make friends with a guy and have conversations about men vs. women. After all, we are of the opposite sex and we all seek to learn more about each other. But when you have a guy you’re in a relationship with (or one you hope will turn into a relationship some day), your best bet is NOT to talk about your guy with your guy friend. Especially if your guy friend knows your guy. And believe me this one was a hard one for me to understand too, but apparently, speaking with another guy about your guy- even indirectly- exposes your guy as weak. Even if the things you have said don’t make your guy look weak at all- even if you are proud of the guy that you have and the things he does and you’re so excited to boast about it, don’t. Because the world of men is different from the world of ladies. Where we think something is cute or adorable and sweet, another man would look at it as a vulnerability or a weakness. It’s best to tell your friend, Joe Shmoe that everything is great between you and your guy, he’s a wonderful friend and companion, and that’s all she wrote. Keep what you two do to yourself #HomeTeam. Your guy keeps his pride and your guy friend keeps his nose out of your business, and it stops him from judging your guy.
Likewise, don’t ever tell another man when you and your guy are having problems. OMG no no no! Not a good look! And I really shouldn’t even have to explain why. Not all male friends (even the ones we think we can trust) have the best intentions all the time. If you love your guy, you won’t do anything to jeopardize that. Joe Shmoe doesn’t need to know about the argument that you and Iron Man had. It’s none of his business and you don’t need to expose the weakness of your man or your relationship to him. Loose lips sink ships!
I’m going to wrap it up with this bit of advice today, ladies. Maybe there will be a Part 2 to #HomeTeam soon, but you should get the point for now. I do want to stress that this advice isn’t meant to make you a doormat to your guy. Not at all! You should never be so lenient that your guy walks over top of you. This is just to show you where you can give a little to his needs so that your relationships can be successful. You still need to maintain your sense of self, your sense of right and wrong. You of course can’t concede to every battle. When he’s wrong, he’s wrong. But tell him he’s wrong in the privacy of your own home. In public, around other men, #HomeTeam! Operation Get and Keep Your Guy is now in process! Tootles!
Arielle "Ari" Crowell, Author