I just read an excellent post by Jonalyn Fincher. She tackles a perspective that I’ve only heard one other time. So I think it’s worth taking a look at.
One of the top thing that women say they want in a man is honesty. And I believe that’s true. But… how do women react to truth they don’t like? Not always well according to Jonalyn. Another author shares very similar thoughts in “Why Men Don’t Share Their Feelings“.
One of the wonderful things about women is that they are often quick to themselves when something is going wrong. I think it’s noble to try and determine if you yourself are part of the problem and how you might be a part of the solution. The dark side of this is that women can blame themselves for much more than is actually their fault. I certainly don’t want to add to this, nor do I wish to suggest that men’s honesty is dependent upon or the responsibility of women. Let me be clear. Men are responsible for being honest and open (to the degree appropriate for the relationship). Women are responsible for how they handle what is shared with them.
Think about this: if you react negatively to men being honest and vulnerable (necessary for emotional intimacy), then might you be likely to find yourself around fewer men who are like this, and more men who are not forthright? Though you may consciously want honesty, your subconscious may be telling a different story. Men certainly have their problems and are at fault for numerous abuses. I don’t want to overlook that. On the other hand, hyperbolic criticism of men by women can be unfair too. That’s because women can keep themselves in the company of the “wrong” men. This certainly doesn’t excuse these men’s behavior, but it also doesn’t mean that all men are like this. (Unfortunately, it seems like we are wired to be attracted to the wrong things in many cases.)
Women say they want a man who is strong and confident. That’s fine. But I also know you say you want to marry your best friend. And that requires transparency. The former suggests to me that I have to have my act together all of the time. I can’t appear to have problems or frustrations or doubts. This has confused me. Because I want a deep, intimate friendship as well. And that requires openness. I’ve wondered, “At what point in a relationship can I be honest about how I’m feeling, when I’m supposed to be funny and strong and confident in order to be attractive?”
As I understand it, in a healthy, close relationship, we need to be able to be completely honest and know that we will still be loved. That’s one of the hallmarks of my closest friendships. This doesn’t necessarily mean the other person likes what we have to say, but we have confidence that they’re not going to withdraw from us because of it.