Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Letter To My Sons

A few months ago, I saw this letter shared on Facebook about what kind of guy the author wanted his daughter to look for and it got me thinking. Much is made of female sexuality and morality and looking for Mr. Right, but not much is ever said seriously to young boys other than the occasional "be strong" or "patient." So I wanted to write this to explore the advice I want to give to my sons one day.

Dear Sons, 

You must know by now that you already hold the key to my heart and that I will always love you, all of you, unconditionally and without pause, but everyday, you grow older and closer to the day when you will want a wife and love of your own. This is what I want you to look for and who I want you to be to make that relationship everything it should be for you:

Choose someone that you are not only attracted to physically, but who also has a beautiful soul and a kind heart. Such a person will only grow more beautiful with age and will support you in becoming more kind and selfless. You will, in turn, become more beautiful yourself long after your physical self starts to age.

Choose someone who respects your needs. This does not mean its somehow possible that someone will give you everything you want when you want it, but a good partner will respect and try to help you get what you need when you need it.   If you are really lucky, you might even find someone who helps you see more clearly what your wants and needs are.

Choose someone who cares for family because once you marry, you will be family.  You can learn a lot by watching those whom your beloved has known and loved a long time. No one's perfect, but ask yourself how faults and mistakes are accepted and how love is expressed.  You don't have to write someone off because of a family dynamic that wasn't a matter of choice because people can make new conscious choices and grow. However, be aware that family history will set the tone for the family you build together.  You will need to remember and be accepting of some differences, but only commit to someone who will love you and respect you as much as our family always has tried to because that is the kind of love you deserve. Make sure to choose someone whom you can  love the same way.

Experiment with dating as much as you want, but don't feel you need to be as sexual as people seem to expect you to be. A man's body and sexuality is every bit as important as a woman's. You have an obligation to protect it from those who do not treasure the emotions and spirit your body houses. There are those who will try to convince you that you are cold or just a dumb guy who isn't vulnerable when it comes to physical intimacy. That is a lie.  Real intimacy is vulnerability and truly physically, emotionally, and spiritually satisfying sex can only happen when you are deeply intimate and committed with someone. That doesn't happen on the third date.  Don't tolerate anyone who tries to convince you otherwise. Let your heart and your soul guide you not what anyone has to say about what it means to be a "man." A man is simply a human the same as a woman and you are not any less attune to what you are and aren't ready for.  Choose someone who loves you for your humanity and who can appreciate that your masculinity is whatever you feel most comfortable defining it as.  You should be the man you want to be and you need to be for the people you love, not "the man" others might tell you to be. Someone who loves you will respect that. Make sure to respect her as well. How she dresses, how she talks, how she dances,  and how much she touches you does not imply anything about who she is or what she wants from you. Always ask the person you love about what she wants and respect her wishes and boundaries as much as she needs to respect yours.

When you do find someone, make sure that someone truly supports the journey you are already on. It's not important that you are loved for everything you do or even who you are in the moment because you will continue to grow and change in unexpected ways for the rest of your life. You need someone who will love your trajectory, not just your current position in life.  Likewise, choose someone whom you can love the same way and whose faults (which will be just as numerous as your own) you will be able to live with.

Make sure you are with someone who listens to you and make sure you listen as well. Real men do cry when they are hurt and sad.  They also accept support given in love when they need it.   Real men wipe tears away and aren't afraid to hear their loved ones cry and offer support and love. Steel is considered the best building material for sky scrapers because it is both strong and flexible.  In fact, its flexibility is probably its greatest strength.  Make sure that you stay flexible, vulnerable, and open with your partner so that your communication lines can stay open and you can be truly intimate.  That is what a real men do. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

Once you are committed, expect to go through hard times. Remember that on the other side of every valley is a peak and even though the climb may be hell, the view will be worth it. If it seems like you are wondering in the valley too long, change direction and tactics with your partner. You may need to turn to find the way to climb. 

Know in your heart that I will always support and love you and am excited to support and love the partner you choose to share your life with as long as I know you are loved, respected, and honored as you deserve to be.  

All my Love,


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