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I admit it, I got distracted and didn’t have my “homework” ready for today.  Yeah, I could have crammed and tried to read and ponder the 3rd chapter of The Four Agreements, but you know what?  It’s not worth it.  This is deep stuff that needs to be read with passion and concentration, not some lame attempt at speed reading just to feel “ready” for today’s post.

So what happened?  Well, I had lunch with T, one of my dearest friends.  We met at Wildfin in Issaquah…she’d heard great things about it and I am always up for trying a new place to eat.  I ended up having a small burger and went easy on the fries.  I don’t eat meat everyday but I guess I was craving red meat way deep down.  After a few nights in a row of yummy pasta tossed with a little pesto it was time.

T has been attending these seminars about…understanding men.  Really?? And she just raves about them – she says it’s totally changed her outlook and viewpoint on dating and relationships, and has strengthened even her friendships with women too.  Sounds pretty profound, eh?  Wow, what’s going on here?  How can you learn stuff like this in a class?  Led by mostly women?  

She smiled and pulled a small paperback book out of her fabulous Hermes Bolide handbag.  Called Making Sense of Men, by Alison Armstrong.  She couldn’t wait to loan it to me!  Now, I admit, I’m a “black hole” book borrower (that’s a self-coined term by the way).  It’s not intentional, but I am not a voracious book reader, and books loaned to me, well, tend to get absorbed into a bookcase here forever and ever, never to be returned again and possibly not ever read at all. I promised T I’d do my very best to not do that in this case.  And she’s pretty tenacious, so I’m sure if I don’t return it promptly she’ll have no qualms asking for it back – as she should!

Now.  If you knew you were going to focus on reading the Third of the Four Agreements, but then had to choose between that and a book suddenly plopped in front of you called Making Sense of Men, what would you do? Read them both perhaps?  Well, this is me we’re talking about here, and given I don’t do a lot of book reading, I caved and chose the Men book to focus on.  Can’t blame me…plus it would be less likely to end up on a “black hole” bookshelf here in the townhouse.

I didn’t know how quick a read this was!  I pretty much read it in one evening, and have re-read it a couple of times!  Can this topic be summed up in a 70-page book?  Well, of course not…we’re human and complex creatures.  And yeah, I’ve read John Gray’s Mars & Venus books, the 1990s classic The Rules and a few others about dating and relationships too.  All endlessly fascinating really…and anything I can learn about these creatures called men who I adore and who also sometimes drive me batshit crazy, well then all the better.

It’s fascinating how entirely different we are wired.  Amstrong proclaims that 99% of the confusion and frustration between men and women is because we – mistakenly – assume we are versions of eachother.  “Men are not hairy women,” she goes on to say!  Ha ha ha that made me giggle.

She goes on to break down the two types of attraction men have towards women.  The first – Sexual Attraction.  Obvious, right?  OK, I won’t give away Armstrong’s list of what goes into that – check out the book for yourself.  And what does her list of sexual attractions trigger in men?  They want to have sex.  Period.  Doesn’t mean they want to date us or have a relationship with us or fall in love with us.  Nope.  I even remember some John Gray books talking about the same thing a little differently.  If a man is physically attracted to a woman, it’s just that and nothing else.  This confuses us as women, because our first ‘degree’ of attraction in a man is if he’s mentally stimulating to us (whereas in men the first ‘degree’ is physical).  With mental attraction in a man, maybe it’s his humor or intelligence that stirs us.  By the time we as women are feeling physically attracted we’ve already gone through two other ‘layers’ or ‘degrees’ of attraction if that makes sense.  So ladies, if a man is physically attracted to you, enjoy it and don’t take it too seriously. 

What’s the other type of attraction a man has for a woman (but not ALL women per se)?  Charmed and Enchanted.  Aha!  Who wouldn’t want to be with a man who is compelled to spend time with you, take care of you, protect you, contribute to you…and make you happy?  Without you needing to do anything but just be fabulous YOU?  Damn, sign me up.  Makes me even swoon here a little just sitting in my office chair, relishing those moments men have done those things for me.  Without any need to make any effort and certainly not nag.  THAT’S bliss right there. 

Armstrong goes on to explain in what she calls “Men-glish” (love that) – what men say and what it means in female-speak.  Things they say to us or offer to do for us when they’re Charmed and Enchanted.  Believe me, I’m not affiliated with the author of this book or the publishing company or anything, but if you’re intrigued by my ramblings here, go pick up the book for yourself!  One big key?  We as women need to be receptive to these wonderful things men want to do for us!  Anyone here ever have a man offer you his jacket because it was cold?  And responded by a, “…but won’t you be cold?” in return?  No, no no!!  You are not his mother…accept his generosity and snuggle in his jacket for pete’s sake!  Hell, I never turn down even the grocery store bag boy’s offer to carry my bags to my car.  Just enjoy it and smile with a warm thank you.  Sure it’s his job, but you’ve probably helped make his day too.

And there is serious “juice” required of us to be the best we can be as women.  Things like being self-confident and authentic.  And if a great outfit and killer pair of shoes helps you get there, go for it.  Nope, we can’t be self-confident fueled on emptiness like sugar and caffeine.  Rest, good nutrition, exercise…THAT’S what does it.  Don’t forget passion…whether it’s for our kids, cross-stitching, volunteer work or salsa dancing, as Armstrong explains.  And RECEPTIVITY to men’s offerings…the doozy!  YES!  If that guy asks you out for dinner and you’re even the slightest bit interested, go!  All you have to do is show up, look your hot self and just enjoy a great evening out.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Receive it graciously, ladies.

I could go on and on, but I’m just intrigued with these simple yet profound insights from Armstrong in her book.  Don Miguel Ruiz, I promise your 3rd chapter is my focus this week!  

The Third Agreement:  Don’t Assume Anything.