Do you remember that feeling you had when you first started dating your spouse?
You know…the one where you were excited, nervous, elated, anxious, courageous, timid, hopeful and yet scared to death all at the same time.
It’s the same feeling that drove you to presenting the absolute best version of yourself in the hopes this individual, who seemed way too good to be into you, would not realize their mistake and keep the relationship going until (a) you could change or (b) enough time would pass and they would just give in and commit to you for life.
I’ll be honest, I have little to no idea how this feeling represents itself in women.
In men, however, it is usually some form of “peacocking”. (Sure, I could have just said “showing off” but I’m trying to expand my analogies. Give me a break.)
We take the thing(s) we do best and use it to catch the attention of a young lady and hope it convinces her to choose us.
As a 150 pound beanpole of a teenager with a sunken chest, a head which oddly resembled a peanut M&M, an inability to grow much facial hair and a hand-me-down vehicle which was held together by equal parts rivets and prayer, I had very little methods in which to attract anyone.
In most cases, I used basketball because I was kind of good at it and the density of my bones made it appear like a white man actually could jump. Truthfully, I wasn’t really jumping high. Gravity just didn’t recognize I had made it off the ground so I was able to float horizontally for a split second longer than most.
God was able to demonstrate His amazing sense of humor when I started dating Becky, a girl who placed little importance on athletic abilities and was clearly drawn more to the sensitive, intelligent, calm and somewhat awkward individual she happened to see in me somehow.
Basketball, while still a fun activity, soon took a back seat to me working hard at my job, writing music, playing songs for her, spending more time in conversation and basically anything that would show her I could be all she needed in a man……boy…….manboy……whatever you want to call it.
When I look back on our almost 17 years together, I have come to realize one thing…I have never stopped trying to impress her.
Once I knew she enjoyed my guitar playing, I started trying to teach myself piano so I could write her a song.
When I realized how much she enjoyed good food, I dove into the wonderful world of hard-core baking by attempting a triple layered chocolate raspberry ganache cake with Chambord raspberry liqueur. (added the cup and a half of liqueur to the cake after baking and each bite basically burned our throats on the way down – HUGE FAILURE)
When I finally went to college, I loaded up on classes to graduate in 2 years because I knew she saw a smart person in me – probably deep below the many layers of fart jokes.
I knew how much she admired our fathers for how “handy” they were so I committed to redesigning and building our master bath and closet from nothing and by myself.
When our daughter was born, I turned myself into a swaddling, nurturing, diaper-changing machine so she would know she could rely on me to help in any situation.
Ultimately, I did my best to become the best version of whatever she admired or needed for one reason alone – to impress her.
And to this very day, I am still trying to impress her.
If she thinks someone makes an amazing banana pudding, I am going to try and make one better.
If she thinks a writer has written the best book she has ever read, I am going to try to write a better one.
If she believes our daughter is the most beautiful child in the world, I’m getting a vasectomy and calling it a day since I can actually take partial credit for that one.
Some might think this is a ridiculous standard to maintain, but I would have to argue it is far more dangerous to be apathetic and lean on the “I’ve got her” mentality in a relationship.
Truthfully, I hope I never stop trying to impress my wife. She drives me to be a better person in every area of my life and, in turn, I hope she continues to feel pursued by a husband who absolutely refuses to admit he can’t be everything (short of creator and savior, of course) for her in one way or another.
Husbands, if you have forgotten how exhilarating it was to chase after your wife, I encourage you to restart the pursuit. There are few greater joys than demonstrating your continued love and adoration for her through your actions.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go write the greatest book my wife will ever read.