My husband had out-of-town family visiting this week. We all had dinner together in our neighborhood with his parents. I was reminded of my Man-Lessons when the bill came. I find it interesting how men fight over who is going to pay the check. There were three contenders. First there was my husband’s dad, the elder who expected to pay for the whole family. He was surprised that he had competition to pay the bill. Second was my husband’s visiting male cousin who wanted to pay because he had a traveling allowance. The last competitor was my husband who was the organizer of the dinner. I noticed the women at the table stayed out of the competition.
Fighting over who will pay the bill reminded me of one of the things I didn’t like about dating. I felt the awkward moment when the restaurant check was placed on the table. Traditionally men were expected to pay because women did not work. Modern women make their own money now. Many make more money than their male partners. I have seen women squeeze the bill tight, squabbling about who has the right to get the check. Paying the bill started off as a dating courtesy and has now become a modern woman’s competition with a man’s desire to provide.
This blog series, “Returning His Balls” is based on the teachings of Alison Armstrong’s seminar, “Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women.” I took Armstrong’s Man-Seminars in order to understand the other gender. With men being everywhere; I decided I wanted to learn how they operate.
There are dating moments I wish I could do-over. I was the date who squeezed the bill tight insisting I pay. I won the competition of paying the bill and lost the opportunity for a second date.
This week’s Man-Lesson: “Emasculation makes men immediately lose much of their capacity to act, to create, to communicate, to think.”
Squeezing the masculinity from a man incapacitates him. His energy drains while he begins to shut down. He stops moving. He stops talking. He stops giving.
Emasculating a man does not make a good dating impression. By proving that I can “take care of it”, I defeated a man’s desire to take care of me. Now that I am married, I am forever dating my husband. I stopped grabbing for the bill as he reaches to pay. What my husband is providing me is an enjoyable experience together. I don’t have to do math to calculate the tip. I don’t need to know the total and worry about money. I graciously accept his gesture with a smile, a kiss, and the power of two golden words… “thank you.” My husband wants to be the reason why I smile. It confirms that he won by doing something that made me happy.
There are times when I want to be the provider of an enjoyable date night. I ASK my husband to allow me the privilege of treating him as an act of appreciation for all that he does for me. Making my intention clear means that there is no competition. He picks the restaurant, I pay the bill. He drinks, I drive. He is care-free, I manage the details. He graciously accepts my gesture with a smile, a kiss, and a “thank you.” I experience the feeling of gratitude that I get to do this for him. I’m reminded not to rob my husband of this joy when he wants to do the same thing for me.
The family dinner of three competitors led to only one winner. My father-in-law felt obligated to pay as the patriarch. My cousin logically made an argument how it was cost-effective for him to pay out of his traveling budget. My husband needed to pay because of his strong desire to provide. Instead of feeling awkward when the check came, I smiled. There were three men competing over who was going to take care of the women at the table. My husband won the big bill. I did not interfere. I didn’t insist we split the bill with everyone else. I didn’t remind my husband about our monthly budget. My Man-Lessons taught me that the best response is to smile, give my husband a kiss, and say “thank you.”
Do not interfere with a man’s desire to provide. By “Returning His Balls”, women will find that an un-neutered man has great value. When we “Release the Squeeze” that stops a man from contributing to our lives, we get to really celebrate men.
Start reading Returning His Balls series from the beginning (here).
Reflect & Share: How do you see women interfere with a man’s desire to provide?
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