Five Facts from a Guy {about girls} #8

Happy Five Facts Friday, my friends! I'm in Charleston for a bachelorette party for my friend, Katie. Giving us that endless male wisdom this week is Chris' (and now my!) friend, Walker.

He's just a little over two months into marriage and it's inspiring to read his advice and know that he's found these things in his wife, Jessica.

And, in case you've missed them, catch up on the previous Five Facts from a Guy posts.

{This May, Chris and I attended his wedding in Montgomery, where he married his college sweetheart. I got to know Walker well last year over Memorial Day, when he came to town to visit Chris. It was wonderful to see him so relaxed, certain and in love on his wedding day.}

1. And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.  The best relationships don’t demand perfection.  They encourage growth through understanding and patience and redemption. For me, this is Christianity in a single sentence (from Steinbeck’s East of Eden).  And while many embrace this sentiment on a spiritual level, it can be harder to apply to everyday relationships.  If you don’t expect us to be perfect, we will usually surprise you to the good.      

2. Date the person you want to be.  A modification of be yourself, perhaps the most ubiquitous pearl of wisdom.  Be yourself is obvious and powerful and, for most of us, unattainable.  Our self is always changing and is inevitably influenced by those around us.  So, by all means, befriend and date people who allow you to be yourself.  But also befriend and date people who help you change yourself for the better.

3. Familiarity breeds contentment, not contempt.  An immediate spark is great, but sustained relationships hit their stride in the middling and the mundane.  If you expect persistent highs, you’re likely to be disappointed when life’s other priorities start to encroach on your relationship.  That’s not to cater to complacency but to advocate for the little moments – the incremental happiness that comes from a shared smile, a knowing hug.  Because those moments are always accessible, so long as you have the right partner.

4. Don’t dismiss the things that bother you.  Especially if you’re dismissing them because that’s just how guys are.  At first, you may be right – we have plenty of deficiencies – but we also have the capacity to change, the capacity to explore emotional issues, and the capacity to care about you.  So communicate, and we just might surprise you (my wife is rolling her eyes).

5. Read Zach Lowe. Or don’t. But find something that he likes, and learn one fact about it (only if he reciprocates, of course). As Whitney’s brother pointed out, our interests don’t have to be your interests, but it doesn’t require a huge investment to show us you care.  It’s easy to read Zach Lowe’s free agency column and drop a LaMarcus Aldridge reference at dinner.  I’ll smile, and we’ll share a moment and then you can go back to ignoring basketball.