I am continuing to answer some questions from a single sister in Christ (who is in her 30s) that I began in the last post:
2. Am I being short-sighted, petty, and immature when I become concerned that we don’t have enough “fun” in our relationship?
He works a lot (and would be a great provider) and we do not live close to each other (at least 1 hour with traffic) so it’s like we have a long distance relationship despite living 30 miles apart. It’s hard for us to spend quality time (my love language) in person. He does call at least once a day to “check in” and when we do spend time together I enjoy myself.
He gets anxious when it comes time to plan things in the future b/c he’s often thinking about work and travel logistics. In my mind, we don’t spend as much time as I would like AND I feel like we don’t create the kind of memories that I EXPECTED you would in a dating relationship. I am slightly concerned about how this translates to marriage. Will it be boring? Will he not want to do fun things and travel (btw, I have plenty of friends, am active in church, travel with others and by myself so I’m busy – I just prefer to spend time with him).
I think that this is a fantastic question! I do have to admit, I am a bit biased toward a man with this particular type of personality and character. So, I am proclaiming my potential slant upfront. (It would be easier for me to answer this question if I had a better idea of this woman’s definition of “fun” vs “boring.” Sometimes women want things to be exciting in a way that is not at all possible in real life, so I am going to have to do some assuming here, my apologies!!)
In my view, this issue can come down to expectations and being willing to accept a man’s personality and preferences. Yes, there may be some room for compromise. But, if you have a relatively calm, steady, stable, hardworking man, he may tend to not be “as exciting” or “as fun” as some other men. Of course, sometimes men who are “more exciting” and “more fun” may also bring a lot more drama and may not be so stable, steady, responsible, dependable, faithful, and hardworking – depending on your definitions of “exciting” and “fun” probably. Each strength has a corresponding weakness, generally. You normally do not get a guy who is stable, calm, steady, hardworking, loyal, and devoted who also is super-over-the-top romantic, expressive, verbal, emotional, and “exciting” (in a romantic movie kind of way). I hope that makes sense. Of course, each man is unique!
If fun is the most important thing, then, this may not be a guy who is going to deliver fun and excitement. You may feel bored in marriage in the future – particularly if you have a lot of unrealistic expectations or you expect him to change after marriage. Or, is his kind of fun something you would enjoy?
I think a good question is, “what is your definition of fun?” and “what is his definition of fun?”
Having fun together is wonderful! I think it would be awesome to have lots of fun together. But – where should fun be on the priority list? That is a question each of us must answer for ourselves.
What a hard-working, stable, steady, calm man might bring to the table are things like:
- responsibility with money, frugality
- caution with risky decisions
- a solid work ethic
- a desire to show you love by providing well financially for you
- a slow, careful, deliberate decision-making process
- steady love and almost no drama – the love will be there, but he may not talk about it in words a lot
- consistency – he will be the same most of the time emotionally
- he may show love with actions and service more than with words and dramatic displays of affection or romance
- generally, men like this tend to be responsible and involved fathers
- enjoying just being together, even if it is a simple evening at home
- taking his faith seriously
- a genuine desire to live for God
- not a lot of criticism
- he may not lose his temper very much, he may be pretty patient
Some of the “weaknesses” of a man like this might be things like:
- he may not be as spontaneous
- he may not enjoy being around a lot of people often – that may drain him (if he is has an introverted personality, particularly – that causes him to feel energized by being alone)
- he may not be very creative about planning dates, trips, entertainment, or romance (depending on his personality)
- he may not be very verbal
- he may not give a lot of compliments
- he may not look or sound super excited about things to the degree that you may
- he may not use the same expressive words and phrases you do or act like he is as enthusiastic about things as you act
- he may not be very “exciting” or his priorities and lifestyle may seem “boring.”
The question is, how important is fun and excitement in a godly marriage? Maybe that is not his thing or maybe you have different definitions of “fun” and “excitement.” Is it possible for you to accept and appreciate him as he is without wanting to change him? Will you feel deprived because his personality is what it is? Are you willing to decide to be content with who and what he is even if he never changes?
I happen to have a man like this myself – responsible, calm, stable, hard-working, a bit of a homebody. I went into our marriage with TONS of very unrealistic expectations of what he would do and say and how I thought he should change his personality to be more like mine. That was a disaster!
Now, I have learned to respect and appreciate Greg for his many strengths and to be content with the man he is – instead of wishing he was someone else. We do have fun – but each person and couple may have their own definition for this. That is ok! Now, I also know that the men who are super exciting, verbal, emotional, complimentary, spontaneous, etc… can have their own challenges and weaknesses. Sometimes, those include things like: flirting with other women, being irresponsible with money, making snap unwise decisions, getting upset easily, having a quick temper, being quick to criticize, being controlling…
Now, I am extremely happy that I have a calm, steady, emotionally stable man.
You can be content with this man. It is entirely up to you. Women have a remarkable ability to adapt to different men’s personalities and styles. Of course, you may feel most comfortable with a man whose personality is similar to your father’s, because that may seem the most “normal” and “familiar.”
You can choose to focus on this man’s strengths and the things you admire about him. You can choose to appreciate that his weaknesses may be a blessing in some ways to counterbalance your weaknesses. It is also good to watch men who seem “more exciting” and see the way they treat their wives when they are upset, how they handle money, how they talk to their wives, and to notice their weaknesses that your man does not have.
Thank you for the great questions!