Much has been written in recent years about the nature of love. There’s a good reason for this, of course. Love is a subject of perpetual interest to us all because every one of us who isn’t in a loving relationship wishes to be in one.
That’s probably true just as much of men as it is of women, although certainly women make it more obvious that that’s their desire. The number of pages on the Internet offering advice to women who want to capture a man’s love – indeed, who want, as the cliché has it, “to capture his heart and make him love you forever” – is absolutely enormous.
It must run into the millions. This is a powerful tribute to the drive which exists in every woman to find a way of making a man love her.
Now the irony of this, of course, is that nobody can “make” another person love them.
Love develops naturally between two people because they find a mutual attraction which grows into a sense of intimate connection and affection.
Scientist may write volumes about the nature of love, but in essence it comes down to a few simple qualities which two people express towards each other.
I’d some these up as respect, loyalty, honoring, intimacy, integrity, authenticity, and heart connection. Within all of those words lies a great panoply of human behavior. For example, respecting someone means treating them in the way that you yourself would hope and expect to be treated. Loyalty and integrity mean keeping the commitments one has made to another person.
And so it goes on.
Signs of a great relationship
Which brings us to the interesting question: what is it that men need to do to have a woman love them with sincerity, in such a way that they can genuinely return that love, stay faithful and have a pleasurable relationship with the woman?
Perhaps the first thing men need to understand is that falling in love and committing to one single woman for a man is biologically a big deal.
Men are probably genetically programmed to have sex with as many women as possible. It is Mother Nature’s way of ensuring the survival of the species. And even though we as humans have developed a level of rational and logical thinking which goes well beyond the primal instincts of our ancestry, the truth is that those instincts are still alive and well in each and every one of us.
It takes intention, conscious choice, and clear commitment on the part of a man to commit to a single woman and be faithful to her in the face of the temptations that will be offered to him (inevitably) in everyday life. These are very Sovereign qualities. You can read more about the Sovereign within each of us here.
And perhaps the size of that investment is reflected in the way that women respond when they experience commitment from a man.
They are likely to open their hearts, to demonstrate the best parts of themselves, to show the man that he is in fact their beloved, and that they will literally do anything for him, to keep him happy and to please him.
Where things go wrong, I believe, is that men don’t respond to this in the openhearted way that would satisfy a woman.
Women spend a great deal of time trying to make men love them, trying to engineer loving relationships, and to find understanding and acceptance in a man.
Of course neither man nor woman can understand the other, at least not deeply and truly, because we are very different. So often a woman’s efforts are thwarted when the man doesn’t respond with a wholehearted commitment that would allow her to give herself to him completely and utterly.
He holds back partly because of his biological instincts, partly because of a sense of fear that he might be missing out on something better. But really, half-hearted relationships are not going to work terribly well. A man and woman need to commit fully to each other.
There’s no doubt that total commitment leads to a better relationship: it leads to better sex, and it leads to more eagerness on the part of the woman to enjoy sex with her man.
A relaxed kind of ease with each other which holds no resentment, and which allows both man and woman to feel trusting, happy and safe with each other is absolutely vital to a good relationship.
There are many ways in which people can accentuate their relationship, but they do take work.
Certainly one of the most obvious is working on the emotional baggage which we all bring from childhood into adult relationships, in which we project onto our partners the qualities of our parents and significant caregivers. This is called shadow work. Read more about this here.
(You can also read much more about the theory and practice of healing the shadow here.)
Only by deep personal work can such issues be dealt with. That way, you can truly see your partner as he or she genuinely presents him or herself to the world. And that means seeing all his or her failings, weaknesses, and all their other glorious aspects of humanity.
Many of the websites on the Internet which talk about relationships will purport to offer secrets of how men and women can get together and enjoy a relationship of great harmony and ecstasy.
But really, the key is very simple: to enjoy a successful relationship with another person you need to embody high standards of emotions, thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
For a man, the qualities that he must exemplify in a relationship are honesty, loyalty, integrity, authenticity, open heartedness, and a willingness to be intimate with his partner, no matter how threatening that may feel to him.
For a woman, the values that she needs to exemplify are faithfulness, respect, love, devotion, and open heartedness.
How to have a great relationship
But it’s worth mentioning in passing, that the two qualities which each gender has to display in a relationship to ensure the complete and utter devotion of their partner are different.
If you are a woman, it’s respect – you must respect your man, and never emasculate him in word or deed.
If you are a man, you must cherish your woman above and beyond all else.
And only when a couple are prepared to enter into such a dynamic will true harmony and profound connection develop between them.