Loving – Is a Gift

 In Individual Work

I chose Valentine’s Day as the day to remind me to screw my head on straight. I am not into boxes of candy for my honey – that’s a ‘gift’ she really doesn’t appreciate. Flowers are ok but they start fading in a day or two.

The gift I want to give her is the gift of partnership – my acknowledgement that I can and will expand and deepen my love for her. Valentine’s Day is not about buying her off, not about a short term duty dance that makes me look good, as if candy, cards or flowers ever really convinced anyone that love was the driver of those gifts.

Time to grow up. Time to consider that what I often call love is really self interest. Time to face the uncomfortable reality that I don’t know much about loving a woman, certainly not much about loving a mature woman.

Someone asked me this the other day: “why do men need close friendships with other men?” I said, ‘if the friendships are real, they’ll tell each other the truth.’ Men need ideas, support, the company of other men to let them safely focus on their own loving. We discover that we can no longer ask women to tell us how to love (that of course is the driver behind the candy, cards and flowers industry). Instead, we look deeper into our own loving of whom we love. We look at the challenges facing us in loving – our fear of failure, our nervousness around being ‘good enough,’ our scarcity of ideas. We look at what stops us when we want to express a tender thought or a vulnerable moment.

Our own work on our own loving is the valentine’s gift that ‘keeps on giving.’ Now all you have to do is begin it.

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