Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Power Tools, Relationships, and Soulmates

Recently, I read Priced Out of Relationship Market, an older post from my buddy Angie at Angie Uncovered, which as it turns out was a response to a post on Single Motherhood Bliss entitled He's Just Not That Into You. Well, you might want to read them to catch up.  Both are very well written and offer an interesting perspective.  I felt the need to comment on both and in doing so, I felt as though I had more to offer on the subject.

Both of these ladies have come to seemingly the same conclusion and that appears to be that in making themselves stronger in the wake of failed relationships, they have come to not need a man.  Now, the after effect of living in that mode is that they realize that they don't need a man, but perhaps they want one.  Here is the interesting part, those two pieces of the puzzle wage a war and make it difficult.

Here's the thing, men and women aren't all that different. Men have long been chastised for wanting a lady in the streets, but a freak in the bed.  "Men are pigs" that way.  Frankly, the ladies aren't too much better.  It's been said they want a sensitive man, but seemingly all they want to flirt with are the bad boys.  Whatever happened to the knight on the white horse?

He's a Prince AND he irons!
Photo courtesy of
As Jessica states,
There seems to be this general agreement that there are far more good women than there are good men. And that women just need to "be strong" and hold out for her "Prince Charming".
Haven't we all heard a similar description in that wonderful word that stirs in us such hope when we are young... Soul-mate. (Wait for the collective sigh...)  As we get older we either convince ourselves that such a thing exists and that we have "settled" or we find said soul-mate only to discover that they're broken.  Either scenario is painful and almost impossible on your partner.  We ask the questions should we continue to look around quietly to find our "true" soul-mate or how could our soul-mate let us down?  I've got better questions for you...

When did relationships become disposable?

When did "life is too short" become a reason to stop working?

It seems that men and women alike turned a blind ear (huh?) to "Sickness" and "Poorer" and "Bad Times" when we prattled off our wedding vows. Perhaps you chose to write your own vows because you didn't like the above words or "obedient" and your new and improved vows sound like something Yanni would put to music.  Why should I use my Mom and Dad's vows, you ask?

Here is a news flash to all those reading this...we don't live in the fifties anymore.  We can't live in the stereotypes of the fifties either.  Women are much more powerful, men more sensitive, and children frankly are far less naive.

He's soon to be off to work, she to tend the house.
Photo courtesy of

Women aren't expected to cook, clean, and look pretty and nothing else.
Men aren't expected to earn the family living, keep the family budget, and make all the decisions.
Men don't have to be the rescuers.
Women don't have to be the nurturers.

Are you scared?

Here is what I know.
I am as comfortable reading a book, writing a blog, painting a landscape, or planting flowers as I am watching a ballgame, listening to music, playing a sport, or mowing the lawn.

I am as adept with an iron, a skillet, a mixer, and a blender as I am with a drill, circular saw, sander, or chainsaw.  They are ALL power tools.

I don't open the car door or hold the mall door because you are incapable or even because I like to, but rather because I am thinking of you all the time and it is a simple way to show it.

I cook, I grocery shop, I do laundry...some would say my Mom raised me right.  I would say that like Angie and Jessica, I have been trained not to NEED a woman for my survival.

I believe the key to friendship, companionship and relationship is finding someone who makes your life complete.  That's code for find a person who doesn't mind doing the things you find "icky."

I realize that in reading the above, many of you will have determined that I am perfect (for your mom) but I'm not.  Can I clean the tub? Yes.  Do I clean the tub? Not as often as I should.  I like doing laundry including folding, (except the ridiculous silky underwear that never stays folded, so I stopped wearing it) but I HATE putting it away.

I'm drawn to strong women and I believe I understand why.  I hate confrontation.  I'm more likely to break up with someone over a text message because I still like them too much to see the look on their face.  I hate delivering bad news or asking for better service.  I bend over backwards to give the benefit of the doubt.  I am simply not aggressive.  I can't take a punch, but if you miss, I probably won't miss.  I seem drawn to women who see injustices in my life and can be passionate about not allowing them to continue.

I like spontaneity despite lacking it almost completely. Despite scheduling "spontaneous time" from 6-7PM every Tuesday, I seem to fail at achieving it. Women who are more spontaneous frustrate and please me at the same time.  I enjoy being pulled out of my schedule for things I wouldn't normally do.

I think Angie sums it up nicely, saying
I see the way my daughter's boyfriend/fiance takes care of her. More than that, I see the way she lets him take care of her. I also see the way she bakes him cakes, listens when he wants to talk, and hangs out with him while he kills zombies. Will she discover that she doesn't "need" him to take care of her? When/If she does... will she be wise enough to let him take care of her anyway?

Indeed a fine question to be asked of man or woman, boy or girl.  I suspect a lot of that depends upon whether she needs to kill her own zombies.  I say find a girl or a guy with whom you can use the power tools together, which includes the mixer, iron, and assault shotgun.

I haven't been seen in these here parts in a while, it might be they need to remember me.  Lots of great writers hang out at Yeah Write and I hope you think I am one of them!


  1. I pisses me off that so many people think of relationships as being disposable and are not willing to put in the hard yakka to make it work

  2. Poor Prince Charles--he never gets any respect.

  3. I don't think that we necessarily need to find somebody who we can use the power tools with together, we just need to find somebody who we can make it work with. Not all relationships can work, not all relationships can be fixed. People change.

    You may find after 5 years that the woman you married isn't the same woman. Does she still make you happy? Can you learn to live with this new woman? Time changes people, and we shouldn't demonize people who can't make a relationship work because of it. Sometimes there really is nothing that can be done.

    You may also find in life, that you want to be alone. Relationships aren't for everybody. Some people need them, some don't.

    Nobody needs another person in their life, they just really really want one sometimes.

  4. My new favorite post of yours... and I feel that it describes me as well.

  5. Each year gets a favorite!

  6. Obviously Stephen, the power tools was metaphorical.

    I don't disagree that all relationships are perfect, but I'm more polar bear...I mate for life. I think you and I are going to disagree. I don't intend to demonize anyone, I am simply of the opinion that people give up to easily and make excuses to do so. Of course, some people also take longer to find a nice pair of pants than their mate.
    I wish I could be like the Apostle Paul....he always said "If you must marry..." I think life might be simpler, albeit less affectionate in the Paul mode.

  7. Great post!

    When I moved to Honduras, one of the things that frustrated me was that the men there wanted to treat me like a, well, a girl! But I was independent! I mean, hadn't I moved to a third world country on my own?? But slowly, I learned to enjoy letting men open the door, or carry a heavy bag of supplies for me. I could have done it, but it seemed to make them happy to do it for me, and, really, did I WANT to carry heavy groceries?

    I agree completely that a good relationship is finding someone who balances you. And someone whose life I can balance, as well.

  8. Don't worry, I know they're metaphorical. In a sense, I meant that we don't need to find somebody similar to ourselves, we need to find somebody who is worth working with.

    I'm not saying you're demonizing anybody, I'm merely saying that people tend to criticize others before they really know all of the details in every situation.

  9. No worries. We apparently do agree. I don't ever want to imply that we should just find anyone and work our butts off, it has to be the right person.

  10. Thought-provoking post, WileyGuy.

    As for me, many years ago I gave up trying to understand the female psyche. My strategy has been to first find a female best friend, and let intimacy evolve later on in the relationship. It's worked well to date; Mrs Jones and I have been a partnership for 32 years!

  11. "Poor Prince Charles"? I took my vows seriously, as I assume many do, and I don't think having a mistress, especially one that is known to the public, is behavior deserving of respect.

    Sorry, but I'm not a fan of those who cheat, when there is the much more adult "moving on first" option. Grrr. Sore subject, since I have witnessed 4 divorces lately, that were in the crapper long before "the other" person came along, but by then, everyone felt justified in their behaviors because "it was over already". While I like forgiveness for mistakes (unless that mistake spanned 6 months (?!?!?!?!)), I think also that people sometimes have a haphazard view towards marriage, and don't give it, or themselves, enough respect to do the right thing in the first place.

    But then, I let my man open my doors, pickle jars, and pants whenever he wants, so maybe I'm outdated.....

  12. That is Awesome Bryan! 32 Years is past a few 7 Year Itches...

    I try to tell my boys to find girls they get along with. I think getting past the friendship barrier is the tough part. Guys are programmed to go for the goodies not the brains/friendships.

    Frankly guys hate getting put in the friend zone because they believe the girl won't ever let them out, but honestly they wouldn't know what to do with the green light and would probably screw it. up.


  13. I don't pity Prince Chuck, I just think he was hosed from the start. He never had the balls to stand up to Mommy.

    You know my feelings on your paragraph number 2.

    And yeah, you're easy like Sunday least where Sky King is concerned.


  14. Is it wrong to admit that I'm simply tired? I've become the master of my own domain, but that does not mean the domain is always dusted, tidy, or perfect. It's just mine. I rule it with an iron fist covered in wool batting and fur.

    Still, it gets lonely. I'd love to have a man to sit on the throne next to me... not a toilet, guys. I still want someone to hold me at night. I sleep better that way. I'd love to have someone say, "You're right, we can remodel the kitchen and put in new flooring!" because I've always wanted to, but I'm a ninny. The thing is, after all this time, when a man finally steps in to help out, will I be able to let him without trying to correct it?

    I over-think every single thing in my life and get so stressed about it I end up not dealing with it at all. Perhaps this is why I stopped dating a long time ago.

  15. It's not wrong at all.

    Here's hoping you can share and will share with a special someone someday.
    I know what you mean by over thinking and over analyzing.


  16. Exactly, but the right person will never be perfect is what I was hinting at. Work is always going to have to be done, relationships don't work unless work is put into them. They're hard, and some people just don't care to put the work in and for those people not being in a relationship is probably the best option.

  17. Exactly! Do the Work! We are completely on the same page.

  18. I think that I'm most likely saying the same thing everybody else is, but being in a relationship is never, not hard work.

    We're always evolving. If the person you chose to share your life with is important, you'll make allowances to help them fit in as you grow. Even when things seem easy and your floating along, you can't forget to do the things that make your partner, and relationship feel special. When things go wrong, t's easy to get frustrated and lay blame, and perhaps walk away, My wife and I have had our ups and downs, but I can't imagine not having her with me.

    It took me some time to figure out which things are better for me to bend on. Hell, I'm still learning that. But the reward is worth far more than the compromise.

    Nice post. It was a lot to think about.

  19. Well said. I was discussing things like this with somebody not too long ago. It's nice to see a dude give a perspective of things as well. Nice job!

  20. You make some great points Scott. I'm probable in the same mix, though sadly my "manly" power tool skills are a little lacking. Great post!

  21. Thanks Michael. I hope you weren't put off. I think that just goes further to show how our differences make us vulnerable and compatible with just the right person.

  22. It was amazing reading the two referenced posts and as I began to comment, I had so much more to say. Angie actually encouraged me to lay this track down.

  23. It's amazing how something as simple as the dreaded double-negative can be so powerful.
    Relationships are never, not hard work....indeed!

    And's so important and rewarding. Thanks Ken for another great comment.

  24. You obviously already know my thoughts on this issue... that said, in the comments you said: Frankly guys hate getting put in the friend zone because they believe
    the girl won't ever let them out, but honestly they wouldn't know what
    to do with the green light and would probably screw it. up.

    This is interesting.... and is probably going to become the topic of a future blog post. I think women assume that when given the green light, men know what to do and when they don't do it, we take it personally. Very personally. I know I have blown off my fair share of guys who didn't react to the "green light" in the way I thought they would.

    Love you post! Sorry it took me so long to find my way over here! :)

  25. Thanks Jessica. I read quite a few of your posts. Quite an emotional coaster are your words sometimes. I'd love to do a she said, he said with you. I thought my admitting screwing up a green light would be a relief, but apparently it touched a nerve you didn't realize you had.
    Thanks for stopping by, honestly I didn't want to be lame and say..."here's a me, read me!" (I can do that with Angie, lol)




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