When was the last time someone truly listened to you?
I think the better question is “When was the last time someone truly heard you?” People listen to me everyday and I am sure others could say the same. As a mother my children listen to me (hopefully). As a wife my husband listens to me and I to him. Listening can be rather easy. Hearing is different. To me, hearing means understanding and maybe even connecting on an emotional level. For example, sometimes when I am in an argument with my husband it is hard for me to feel validated unless I feel I’ve been heard. Otherwise I feel as though the words I’ve spoken have meant nothing. I believe that is why you meet people who can talk & talk, have a huge circle of friends and still feel utterly alone. Or why couples who have been married for 20 years can be strangers to each other. We can listen all day but are we really hearing?
To the single mom constantly complaining about how her deadbeat ex won’t help and how frustrating it is to do everything by herself. To some it can be seen as just that, complaining, you can nod and say “I am sorry he won’t help”. Or what she might really need to hear is “Yeah raising kids is already so hard when both parents are involved, I can’t imagine doing it by yourself. I hope you know you are doing a really great job and if you need any help at all please call me.”
Honestly I don’t remember the last time I was truly heard. It was more then likely by my husband and probably after an argument. And I I know there have been times where I have felt heard by one of my friends. But it does feel few and far between sometimes. Is this because we have become way to consumed with our own lives that we forget about what others might be going through. We merely listen, maybe give an appropriate response and then move on? I’m guilty. Maybe now that I’ve dwelt on it I can change that.
I have a single friend in the dating scene who is looking for a serious, even forever relationship. Recently, through online dating, she met a guy and was quite excited about the possibility. The first date went great, they had great conversation with lots of laughing and quickly decided on a second date. The second date came, a casual dinner in which he let her pay (my thoughts on that in a minute) and a baseball game. When the date was over he took her home and automatically assumed she would want to have sex. She didn’t and he was gone, not to be heard from again.
What? What happened here? Because she didn’t put out he instantly decided she was not worth his time? Is this what has happened to dating? What happened to the days of dating? What happened to the seriousness of it? Wasn’t there a time when you didn’t just date anyone…wasn’t there a time when people truly got to know each other before deciding to be fully intimate with each other.
What upsets me even more is.. have women just accepted this standard? I’m going to take a second and call out the guys… MAN UP! Stop treating women as if they are something you can shop for… if she doesn’t give you want you throw her away like trash. This is not the behavior of man, of someone who deserves an ounce of respect. If you want to have the title of MAN.. then start acting like one. Treat a woman with respect. Be a gentleman. Open doors, Pay for dinner, treasure her. She is your gift, not your prize. Even if you don’t marry her.. everyone woman deserves this treatment.
And ladies…. stop giving your goodies away to every tom, dick and harry who asks for it! Know that you are worth SO much more then that. Every women desires to be loved and treasured and they deserve it!
I know that not everyone who dates is like this guy in my friend’s story. But I feel it is the growing trend, which saddens me. I know there are still people who care about dating to fall in love, I just don’t see it very often. I have a daughter who will one day date. What will be her experience? I hope not this. I hope she can experience the delight and purity in dating. The butterflies. The joy. I hope she is not faced with the pressure of feeling like she has to give a guy what he wants in order for him to stick around. That is not love… that is not dating… that is selfishness.