What Women Want from Men

Men, this blog is for you: The smallest gestures of kindness convey the biggest messages of love. I am married to a smart and strong man, but “How sweet it is when the strong are also gentle” (Fudim). Here is one small example. At the close of one hectic day, Alan and I both slumped with fatigue. With usual efficiency, he had finished his list of tasks before I did. He tried to help me, but mine happened to be a one-man job, so he started pacing the floor. His conscience would not allow him to sit down and relax while I still worked. Can you imagine? Predictably, he performs the normal manly gestures, like opening doors and carrying heavy bundles. But he makes me feel loved in countless other ways that show respect and give comfort. He memorizes my preferences; rubs my feet after a hard day; helps with chores; serves himself last; drops what he is doing to help me look for a misplaced item; solves my computer problems; speaks respectfully; tucks me in bed at night; and doesn’t ever criticize. These things melt my heart and inspire me to give more in return. Aside from his other strengths, much of Alan’s greatness is expressed in countless unselfish gestures—“That best portion of a good man’s life—his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love” (William Wordsworth). These ongoing small gestures of kindness convey enormous messages of love.

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