I read Why He Disappeared somewhere between Valdosta and Abraham. Actually, I think it was in the beginning months of Abraham. And I don't know whether it was because I was already in a good place mentally and emotionally or because I was already dating someone and happy with him, but this book made the biggest impact on the way I interacted with men. I read it with an open mind without looking to be saved. I guess I was just ready to receive the message.
And I was wary. The book is self-published, which usually means terrible writing with terrible, offensive humor. It is neither of those things. I found myself writing down passages that were revolutionary to me:
- "There are plenty of times [in dating and previous relationships] when there's absolutely nothing to learn."
- "It's easy to get stuck on how things should be. But we can't spend our time worrying about how things should be - all we can do is focus on how things are."
- Regarding men taking you out on a date: they do the driving and the paying and the wooing. Other advice books say all you have to do it show up. Not true, says he. "We're putting on a show. The least you could do is applaud."
- "For men, relationships are generally of the low-risk, medium-reward variety. It's not nearly as deep or meaningful as a lifetime partnership with a woman, but, then, it doesn't have to be."
- "The only things that reveal how a man feels about you are time and effort."
And then, this game changer:
Because what's easy to forget in those moments of insecurity and annoyance, is that your boyfriend has chosen you above all others. And if he's dating you exclusively, he ultimately wants to please you. I swear. Men may be selfish and we may be clueless, but we don't like hurting you... You can avoid tons of conflict just by remembering that your boyfriend doesn't want to hurt you.
I don't know why this hit me so hard, but it did. It was one of those moments where I had to put the book down, stand up, and walk away to digest the information. I carried a lot of hurt around with me: getting dumped by my first love, getting dumped by the unimportant boy who spawned this blog, being hurt so mentally, physically, and emotionally by S. Boys were adversaries who had no problems knocking you down. To read something so simple as We're not out to hurt you. I swear, changed the way I normally would have interacted with Abraham to the way I did interact with Abraham.
Those weekends early on when he was busy, normally I would have screamed and cried and told him I wasn't a priority and therefore he didn't like me. I would have forcefully tried to change this pattern. But I instead treated him like he wasn't being busy just to hurt me. It wasn't always all about me. I treated him like he was busy because he had plans and he knew he'd see me another day. And we didn't fight. To this day, we never fight. I can count the number of times I raised my voice at him on one hand. But I would be lying if I didn't admit that Abraham makes things easy on me by being a thoughtful and caring and generous person. Like I said, it's not always about me.
I loved this book. The advice is simple, straightforward and full of common sense. No games. No waiting 90 days to "give the cookie." No refusing a date for the weekend after Wednesday. Just treat your man kindly. After all, you chose him.
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