Saturday, August 16, 2014

Chivalry & Nice: The Struggle Within

Do you ever feel like something is missing in your relationship?

It seems an element that is often elusive is romance.

Like romance, chivalry could be deemed as needed in this world and yet it's sometimes fought... even by women.

Some say they don't need romance.

Some protest grand gestures.

Some protest just plain old nice.

And some smirk with derision over any niceties from men in general…

Maybe even when 
they very much 
want to believe in them. 

I know. And in fact… I continue to make a conscious effort to overcome this. I used to cringe when a man would hold a door open for me. I would like to say I no longer struggle with this… but I still do on some days. If a man was passing through a door and casually held it open for me to grab as I followed behind, I would be fine. But the grand gesture of opening a door for me and waiting… waiting… for me… I hated. I still have issue with it… but I now know it's my issue, not theirs. It's the picture of a woman who still has a deep rooted issue with receiving assistance from a man in the name of what some would call chivalry. It's a picture of being hurt one too many times, of not wanting to accept help from a masculine source because of the strong fear I might be indebted in some small way, shape or form. It's the picture of hesitating to be vulnerable, not wanting to be "seen" by a man but to just disappear into the background like a faded summer flower. It's a distancing, a go away, don't touch me, please don't get too close… and don't try anything... because I'm at the ready with my knee to admonish your groin. It's self-protection in a way that really serves nothing… zero purpose, but to keep me closed off and men away… it's something those closet to me notice when seeing a man open a door for me and I noticeably want to flee and I hurry on… as if my lingering too long he might just see through the self protective armor I wear over my heart. It's a picture of wounds, of the prideful outcry of "I don't need a man!" and wanting, very much wanting to believe that maybe, just maybe some people are being nice just to be nice.... because I do admittedly see proof and it's very much appreciated... it's simply wanting to believe that people do nice things for others because you're a person, you're human, you're one of God's children… not necessarily because they want something off you and or because you're the female sex.

But knowing you have an issue is better than not… because once we know… once we face what others closet to us have noticed and have voiced loving, non-critical concern about… we know we can no longer hide from it… we can't push it away… we can't bite our lip, turn away and deny it… because when we do… despite knowing inside, we realize we need to face it… we are also reminded that those who know us best can see when we are putting up walls… they can see through our tough front. If we do this with strangers how on earth will we ever let anyone in close enough to actually form a relationship with?

I believe that sometimes baby steps are needed… baby steps we get there. If you struggle with this like me then you know that you didn't get there overnight… it was a slow process over time, the damage… and it will take time to make changes… to make that effort toward balance, toward healthy… toward whole… I believe it's possible… and I believe it's worth it.

For someone who relishes romance, who wants to give it and receive it… to live it… and yet ironically isn't always very approachable to gladly receive the chivalry or just nicety of an opened door… it's a picture of marked contrast… and yet I have hope… I have hope and a determined conscious gentle effort for change… because it's only when we face our pride, our insecurities, our aversion to vulnerability… are we then able to let someone whisper sweet words in our ear… to lie beside someone and enjoy a starry night sky without every muscle in our body tense and ready for a fight or flight… it's only after we've let those walls down with someone we know and trust… who we've come to know is a safe place for us, a masculine tower of gentle strength… that we can lie our tired head on his chest and sigh with contentment and relax… knowing we are more than perfectly fine in his presence.

We don't have to suffer. 

We can say no to it.
And we can say yes to whole, to healthy…

to a man opening a door for us…

just because. 

it's nice to do.

It's then we will look back and see the progress and realize life is too short for a cycle that keeps us spinning endlessly and going nowhere. It's then in overcoming we can smile in victory… thank God for loving us and give the man we love beside us a passionate kiss.

The blessing of that… of sharing a life of special moments… uninhibited vulnerability, romance and purposeful love… with someone special... is a victory.

© ~ 2014 

4 Romantic Tips:

1. It doesn't have to be expensive. Sometimes small and simple gestures are the most meaningful.
2. Tailor the gift or gesture to the specific person you're giving it to. Check out their Pinterest boards for ideas of what they like. Not every person loves red roses.
3. Put in some thought. Anyone can grab a box of chocolates.
4. Give without expectation. The point of romance is to let someone special know you were thinking of them. It's not to be done with the expectation of them doing something for you in return.

Related Posts: 

What Women Like: Romance & Godly Character