Men, by nature, are extremely visual creatures. Our DNA constantly draws our eyes towards beautiful women [mostly due to our primal instinct to procreate]. You could be the most attractive woman in the world, but if another attractive woman walks by, a man will almost always look. And if you’ve been slacking off in your efforts to keep him interested, odds are, he will leave you in pursuit of someone else.
Now let me be completely honest with you, the paragraph above is just one of the many lies perpetuated about men in our society. It’s also an unfair standard used to describe responsibilities within a relationship. According to that statement, men will always look for better so it is up to the woman to keep his interest and stay prettier than everyone else. If that is the case, then what is the man’s role in this process? Recently, a North Carolina pastor caused quite a bit of controversy over a tweet that he published:
“Ladies if you want to be the only woman your husband looks at Shine It Up! Don’t let the Hoes he comes across out shine you! #SaveMarriage.”
Most of the outrage was centered around the “hoes” reference, but what caught my attention was that he was also pushing this unfair idea of relationship responsibility to his congregation. In my own humble opinion, if it takes two people to initiate a relationship then it should also take two people to keep it running smoothly. I asked my wife what her thoughts were on the matter and she put it this way, “So, you’re saying that I should keep myself looking pretty for you, while you sit there and get fat and turn into a slob?” Then, she basically made a face that said “that is absolutely the dumbest thing I have ever heard of”, and I agree with her! The thing is, the majority of people don’t look at it this way at all.
Looks, by far, are not the most important thing to worry about within a relationship, because we all know that at some point or another, looks will probably fade. [Unless you have genes like my wife or Halle Berry, then you’ll just keep getting better with age!] Relationships and marriages are partnerships where the individuals involved have to put in equal effort in order for it to thrive. In most cases, people leave relationships when they feel that the effort is one sided. Telling women that they should keep themselves a certain way regardless of what the man does is definitely a recipe for disaster. Honestly, what do think will happen when she begins to feel like she is doing all of the work? She will probably be the one to leave!
Think about it like this. How would you feel about going to a job everyday if your job description required more work than someone else’s, but you got considerably less pay than they did? You’d probably want to quit or switch jobs right? Same principle applies here. There has to be an overall balance in the effort you put in and the effort your partner puts in. Not just in the area of looks and attractiveness, but also in the other components of a relationship as well. In a good relationship both parties support each others goals and aspirations, provide emotional support to each other, contribute time and effort to maintaining the household, respect each other, etc. etc.
The important point to understand here is that both partners are responsible for ALL areas of the relationship. I don’t believe that either person should be confined to a lane of responsibility. The key to having an equal effort partnership is communication. Talk to your partner about your expectations, listen to theirs, and then work everyday on creating and maintaining a balance within your relationship. Hopefully by doing so, neither of you will ever have to considering leaving as an option!