We all either have a mother, or know a mother who is always spewing wise words to all who are in their presence. Mine is no exception. And because she is my mother and I trust her with my everything, I listen to her wise words with ears that hear and can happily say I have never been led astray. However, some of the lessons learned from either my mom or another have been hard to hear and took some trial by error for me to see that they rang true. So, I have compiled a list of these secret rules in order to share with you what I learned from wise mothers around me so that you may save yourself some time and energy testing the theories put before you. Why are they secret? Because dear readers, these rules are rules of the heart, rules of relationships and rules that should not be shared with your significant other lest they be misunderstood. They are for women from women and men simply will not understand.
Rule #1: Find Someone Smarter Than You
This rule always made sense to me. My mom knew I would be bored if I was with someone who wasn’t smarter than or at least as smart as me. As much as we women like to pretend we know everything (and we probably do most of the time) it’s nice to have someone who understands politics or science or can school you on pop culture trivia. I always find it endearing when a guy comes out with some fact about the world that I don’t know much about. Just the other day I asked my husband on a whim, “What are those rock things on the train tracks?” And without missing a beat he answers with perfect confidence exactly what they were and why they were there. I have come to call him my Google now.
The sad thing about this rule is that is shouldn’t be hard to find a guy who is smart. And I don’t think it is, but rather one that is engaging and interested about the world the same way you are. I’ve seen friends who date airheads and it is agonizing trying to hold a conversation. I’m sure there is something going on in that brain but they’re the kind of men or have no interest engaging with other people. So they seem stupid and dull and that’s not what any woman wants in their life. We want to be impressed and we want to be interested in what our guy has to say. So there is no point in dating someone who cannot engage with us and who cannot impress us with the wonderful things they know about this world.
So find someone smarter than you and you will never be bored with being the know it all that you know for sure you are not (though don’t tell anyone else that!)
Rule #2 A: Find a Family Man
Now everyone’s idea of family is different so this might be one person for me and another for you. But make sure that their idea of what a family is and how they treat them add up with your ideas. You don’t want someone who hates family gatherings when you love them. Someone who doesn’t like talking to his parents when all they want is to be a part of your life. This is all pretty obvious but when it comes to holidays what do you do? Well the best scenario for everyone is to combine families and throw a big party right? Well that only works if you’re both into big family parties. I am blessed with a husband whose family does not like large gatherings and never makes a fuss over any holidays which leaves me with the ability to drag him to all of my large, loud family get-togethers with no hurt feelings from his side. I can do this because though his family does not like large, loud get-togethers, they do appreciate the meaning of family. So whether it is with his or mine, I know that we feel the same about the importance of spending time with our parents and siblings and aunts and uncles.
Rule #2 B: What Size Family is Not Negotiable
As a girl you probably dreamed about the children you would have some day (if you want kids at all). I can’t say I’ve met many men who thought about their hypothetical children as a boy other than that they didn’t come unexpectedly. I’ve heard people say that a woman becomes a mom when she realizes she’s pregnant but a man becomes a dad when he sees his child. In some ways and in some cases this may be true but I honestly think that if someone says they don’t want kids, they mean it and that idea is not going to change with time or marriage. If you are not on the same page with how many kids you want or if you even want kids then you need to have a serious heart-to-heart with yourself to see if you’re right for each other. Find out if it’s just nerves over being a parent or if you or your other genuinely do not want children. Please trust me when I say that people who do not want children DO NOT WANT THEM. You can’t change their minds and having kids to prove it to them is not the way. The first thing I said on the first date I had with my now husband was that I wanted two children and if he didn’t want kids he should turn around and take me home. It took a while to get it out of him that rather than not wanting kids he was afraid of having kids but that he would want to be a dad one day. I loved him from day one but I was not going to be with someone who didn’t want kids. I would end it this very day if he came out and said he didn’t really want them. It’s not negotiable for me. I want to be a mother and I know that about myself. You have to know yourself and know their heart on this crucial part of building a family and being in a relationship.
Rule #3: Train ‘Em Early
I know this sounds harsh. Men are not animals and they deserve more respect than being told what to do like a dog. However, there are things that men just don’t get until a woman tells them how it is. If you let little things go unchecked they become habits and you will come to resent them. I don’t mean household cleanliness or farting in bed. I mean asking his female co-workers what to get you for your birthday, or not walking to your door after a date or expressing the importance of calling when you get to where you’re going so that I know you’re safe. And it has nothing to do with the fear of him cheating or not being a gentleman. It’s about you expressing to him that you want to be the priority in his life. That you want him to feel you are the most important thing to him and he thinks about you enough to tell you he got home from the bar with his buddies and misses you. That even though he knows you can get to the door on your own, he wants to spend as much time with you as possible and the extra ten steps to the front step proves it to you.
And the female co-worker thing… Sure it’s fine for your guy to have female friends and even hang out with them one-on-one, but you don’t need a guy who isn’t confident enough to get you a gift without the advice of a girl who doesn’t know anything about you. I don’t know about you, but I do not want jewelry picked out by some other girl that I don’t even know. I want something from my guy that he saw and knew it was perfect for me. What this rule comes down to is knowing the things that will get under your skin and make sure he knows not to do them. When my husband told me about his work wife I said “Oh no you don’t. You can have female friends at work but I am the only wife you have or need.” Sometimes it’s harmless but not when said girl calls our home on a weekend needing help with some household item. Said girls boyfriend was not too pleased with this either and that’s all I have to say on the matter.
Rule #5: They Don’t Need To Know Everything
Some secrets are good. They don’t need to know all the things you do while out with your girls (nor do they really want to). They don’t need to know about every fight you get in with your mom. They don’t need to know about all the gossip among your mutual friends and they certainly don’t need to know about every guy from your past. The last thing your other half wants to hear is how much fun you used to have with an old ex. They don’t need to know how many people you’ve been with and no matter how many times they ask or tease you about it, in reality they don’t want to know that there was ever another that pleased you.
One more thing they don’t really need to know; when something like an innocent accidental kiss happens with someone who is not your significant other think before telling your partner about it. Cheating is wrong but let’s say you’re out with co-workers and one of them walks you to your car as you leave to go home to your loving partner. Said co-worker has a crush on you, leans in and kisses you. You quickly back away and say that you’re with someone and that can never happen again. Co-worker backs off apologetically and the situation ends. Telling your husband, boyfriend, girlfriend or what have you will only exacerbate things. So sometimes keeping a secret can save everyone from a blown out of proportion mess.
Rule #6: Make Sure They Love You More Than You Love Them
This is the rule, that above all the other rules, you have to experience for yourself to really understand what I mean. But when a boy falls in love with a girl, and I mean head over heels, no one else in the world for them kind of love, then that’s it for them. They will never have eyes for another. Rarely will things change for them. But when a girl falls in love, even when it’s the greatest love she’s ever known, she’s guarded. There is always the feeling that if something went wrong, she could pick herself up and move on to someone else and find a similar happiness again.
When you meet the man of your dreams, you’ll know pretty fast if you’re the only girl for him. It’s most likely that he will fall in love with you and only you. Of course there are exceptions to every rule but in most cases, real men have no interest in bouncing from woman to woman. They find the one they want and stick to her like gum in hair. All tangled together with no easy way out. But I have found that girls tend to reserve a small corner of their heart for the one they’ll never meet. They keep a bit to themselves so that in the event something goes wrong they won’t collapse.
So when you fall in love, make sure he loves you more. No one will ever seem good enough for him but you, no one will ever catch his eye more than you and you will always feel safe enough to throw yourself into his love because, you know in that far corner of your heart, is the deepest love you could feel for another and it can only be found by him. So really what you want is a man who will spend his life trying to find it that deep corner. Who wouldn’t want to be loved like that?