The Answer to a Question.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is nothing if not full of answers. You just ask your questions and he answers. Sometimes, if your name happens to be Molly, you ask questions and your Maximum Leader thinks about them for a while and makes you forget that you asked a question. Then, voila! Your Maximum Leader has an answer.

Alas, poor Molly. This answer is not for you. (But your Maximum Leader knows he still owes you an answer or two.)

This answer is for Ally. Ally before asking her question admonishes her readers to be afraid, be very afraid. Well your Maximum Leader took casual note of the warning and pressed on. Ally’s question is a doozy. Ally writes:

My theory is this: women look for specific things, like professions, hobbies, activities, etc. when looking for a mate. I believe men look for more general characteristics in women - such as, a sense of humor, a good person, easy to get along with….and of course, the physical aspect. A guy could care less if a woman likes scrap-booking or windsurfing, as long as she is a good woman and he can do his sport or hobby in peace.

Ay yai yai! What a theory to have to validate! Your Maximum Leader was going to write something snarky here. (If only to validate the Smallholder’s theory that your Maximum Leader hasn’t been himself lately.) But that little voice that your Maximum Leader is so successful at silencing overcame him and he decided to blog personal for a moment.

Many years ago your Maximum Leader had a theory of his own. Men and Women were ultimately incompatable in almost every way. The goal of a man was to find a woman who could tolerate him, and whom he could tolerate. Then, the man would have to go on with his own friends and the woman her own friends. Their lives would touch only in scenes reminiscent of Charles Foster Kane and Emily Monroe Norton Kane having breakfast.

Well, your Maximum Leader doesn’t hold that theory any longer. Except in cases of men getting trophy wives. Then there this model may be the case, only with a little more craven undercurrent.

Well, your Maximum Leader knew a number of traits he was looking for in a woman when he decided to get serious about looking for one. He wanted a woman who shared his basic political beliefs. A woman who had deeply held spiritual convictions. A woman who would give him space when he needed it. A woman who enjoyed many of the same cultural interests as he did. And a woman who wanted and was able to have children.

As you can see, these are very self-centered wants. As long as any perpective woman and your Maximum Leader met on these points; your Maximum Leader thought things could work out.

For the sake of full disclosure, your Maximum Leader has also always had a thing for dark, curvy, swarthy women. Black hair, olive skin, hips, some bum, more than a handful of boob. Sort of like Salma Hayek. Yuuuummmmyyy. So it would be nice if a woman who met the aforementioned criteria would also be dark and swarthy. But your Maximum Leader matured and realized that of all the traits he was looking for, the purely physical ones were the least important.

And your Maximum Leader is lucky to be able to say that Mrs. Villain does share your Maximum Leader’s political outlook, is deeply spiritual, cultured, loves (and has borne 3) kids, and has both nice boobs and a nice bum. Most importantly, Mrs. Villain gives your Maximum Leader time and space to do things he wants to do. And your Maximum Leader lets her do her thing. She hasn’t tried to change him, nor he her. She communicates her expectations and desires clearly and without subterfuge (most of the time). She has her own interests and hobbies. And except in those areas where our interests overlap, she does her thing and your Maximum Leader does his thing. And we get on famously.

It is interesting. Your Maximum Leader and Mrs. Villain were set up by the Foreign Minister’s lovely (and long suffering) wife. She hesitated to set us up for the longest time. She did so because Mrs. Villain is very willfull and stubborn about a great many things. And your Maximum Leader is stubborn and quite willfull about a great many more things. Mrs. Foreign Minister assumed that we would butt heads all the time and never agree on a thing. But as it turns out, those things that Mrs. Villain is stubborn about don’t bother your Maximum Leader in the least. And vice versa.

So, your Maximum Leader supposes that Ally’s theory is not too far off. Men have a few broad (self-centered) criteria by which thy judge women. If those criteria are met, men believe things can work out. They key is change. In your Maximum Leader’s experience the root cause of relationship distress is one party trying to change the basic nature of the other party. Generally the woman is trying to change the man. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure why many women feel they have to change a man to conform to their vision of how the man should be. Furthermore, your Maximum Leader doesn’t understand why so many man let women try to change them. Regardless, allow your Maximum Leader to pass along a helpful hint to all women; when it comes to men - what you see is what you get. There ain’t a lot of changing going on.

This is not to say that men don’t change. That is not your Maximum Leader’s point. For example, Mrs. Villain now knows that toilet paper must always come off the roll from front of the roll. And your Maximum Leader now knows that toothpaste tubes must be squeezed randomly along their length for them to work properly. Little things people can, and do, change.

Don’t try to change the big things. If your man keeps his underwear in the top dresser drawer with all his socks; don’t ever try to move them to another drawer. (This is a much bigger thing than most women realize.) If your man plays computer games all night if left alone when you are dating; he will do it after you are married. If your man doesn’t get enthusiastic about scrap-booking or antique shopping when you are dating - but goes along to be nice (and maybe get some play later); don’t expect him to want to help with your scrap-books or go antique shopping after you are married. Just ask a man what he likes to do and he’ll tell you. Note those things down. Don’t try to force him to like what you like.

Think of your relationship in terms of a Venn Diagram. Draw two big interlocking circles. Put your shared interests (honestly) in the overlapping area. Then put your individual interests in your non-overlapping circles. Try to find someone with as many shared interests as possible. But things you don’t share early on, you will not likely share later on. Just live with it.

And that is about all the relationship advice your Maximum Leader can muster up right now.

Carry on.

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