How to make love (a man) stay

“There is only one serious question. And that is: Who knows how to make love stay? Answer me that and I will tell you whether or not to kill yourself.” ~ Tom Robbins

love

Life sometimes gets the best of love. Occasionally, it will knock him down, drag him outside and kick him in the teeth. When this happens, be there for love. Hold his hand. Help him up. Heal his wounds. When love is overwhelmed and undermanned, out of touch or in his own world, be supportive.

He’s unique, he’s special, and he’s one of a kind. There is simply nobody like him. He’s yours, and you’re his and while this may be true, always remember the importance of ‘me’ in maintaining the ‘we.’ Ensuring that you are independent, strong and able to sustain yourself helps to ensure that love can do the same. In this way, short-term separateness leads to long-term togetherness.

Mistakes are made, errors occur and good intentions occasionally lead to misery. Boys are imperfect. His plans will go awry and he will screw up sometimes (as I am sure you are aware). When he does forget, please forgive. When he errors, please encourage.

When he overlooks or underestimates, when he wants to give up or when he refuses to give in, please do not neglect his past, his potential, or who he is as a person. Don’t rub his face in yesterday’s mistakes like some kind of poorly trained puppy.

You are better than that.

And so is he.

His flaws are not faults, and his faults are not failures. They are simply a part of who he is right now. They are simply a process by which one becomes something better. They are simply part of someone who is trying his best to get through his life in one piece, just like you are and just like I am.

However, keep in mind that love is a two-way street. As such, it’s important that he is doing right by you, too, and that you are getting what you need. Accidents are okay, but inadequacies are not – not for you, not for him, not for us. There are limits. There are boundaries. There are breaking points. Know them, set them, and respect them.

Men don’t like being told what to do, when to do it and how to think. They aren’t accustomed to schedules and plans because boys are wild at heart. They are carefree. They crave open fields, they want to run away, and they long to escape.

Use this knowledge to your advantage. Give him some space to be himself and he’ll let you join in. Let him feel boundless and he’ll bring you along for the ride. Unlock his handcuffs and he’ll reach for your hand. Freedom cannot be forced – it must be desired, demanded, and defended.

Men don’t want to process every feeling or thought that comes into their head. Sometimes they just need to be. Let them. Don’t dictate or act like his parent. Give him some liberty and see what he does with it. Remind him to follow nobody but his heart. Encourage him to follow nothing but his bliss.

Nudge, don’t push. Request, don’t require. Offer, don’t order. Shower him with sunshine and overwhelm him with compassion. However, always be on the lookout for love’s evil stepbrothers: Disdain, Resentment, and Denial.

Ultimately, love isn’t a man or a woman. Love is a dogfight. Love is a hitchhiker. Love is enough and love is also lost, a blind butterfly in the wind. The only true way to make love stay is to pay attention, follow its flight and adjust your path right along with it.

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