So my husband and I are taking a month long fishing trip to New Zealand this winter. Being very excited for planning the adventure and in order to best attempt to find those fishing spots that make New Zealand so legendary, I went on Amazon and bought a few books as resources for where to start.
Today I opened up those books to dig into plotting the trip. I wanted to share this quote that was on one of the opening pages:
‘Once upon a time a prince met a beautiful princess.
“Will you marry me?” the prince asked.
The princess said, “No.”
And the prince lived happily ever after. And he fished, and skied, and hunted, and went on long safaris, and he drank expensive whiskies by the campfire, and there was no one there to tell him he played too much, and that it was costing a fortune. . .‘ ~ Anonymous
What the heck is that about? That’s the stupidest story I’ve heard.
I started blogging with the intent to share my experiences as a woman, newlywed, newbie fly fisher and all the other random streams of consciousness my brain comes up with that’s associated with relationship. As this has opened up conversations with many women I have realized that for some odd reason, fly fishing is very intimidating for girls in comparison to boys. Why?
I totally am NOT a feminist for what we consider as feminist issues in western culture. I have no qualms with trusting my husband as the leader in our relationship because he respects my role that’s not in front of him, or behind him but rather beside him. He is a man to trust as the leader and I gladly respect our roles in our relationship. So trust me, this is not at all an argument against men. It is to give praise to what is such an awesome blessing to so many peoples lives; marriage.
But dangit! Quotes like that loop all women into an unfair stigma that we’re all a bunch of snotty brats who don’t believe in fun. It just makes me sad that that quote is an example of the vast perception that “the fun ends here” when you choose to consider commitment to a relationship. Terms like “Ball and Chain” or “The One Who Wears the Pants” are often associated with a spouse in a marriage. This is a gross context to place relationship in. I believe that marriage and commitment are decisions to praise and should be a fun prospect (That is if you want marriage. For the record, you don’t have to want marriage. Singleness is also a cool choice).
I come from a breed of women who are their mans best friend. We mountain bike, fly fish, hunt, snowboard, dirt-bike, can say we lived in wall tents with our men and all of which are totally thrilling to us. The best part is that our men LOVE to do all of this alongside us! This is not brought up to brag but it’s to prove that you can indeed be your spouses best friend and that there are adventures you can pursue alongside each other and that it’s just flat wrong to think that marriage is anything less than freedom. Sadly, marriage is viewed as imprisonment for some people but it doesn’t have to be that way and isn’t for so many couples I admire.
I can see that a common perception women have towards men is that they aren’t romantic enough and I see men say that their wives (or girlfriends, whatever) are too much of a “princess” to go out and do anything with them. I have a theory that men have hearts for romance in their own ways and that women often fail to see the unique ways that their men are romantic. Women sadly miss the opportunities to praise their men for it. I considered it romantic when my husband and I were mountain biking and after I took a nasty spill and broke my chain, he traded bikes and “Flintstoned” my chain-less bike all the way back home. We all have unique husbands with unique ways to say “I love you” without having to say it at all.
I’m not saying that you have to be Annie Oakley to be a woman your man appreciates or that you have to keep up with every manly activity he enjoys. You don’t have to go on every single excursion and I think it’s great when your man goes to hangout with the guys. It’s great to want romantic dinners, love notes, intimacy and to desire for your man to want that too. I also think that we women need to meet in the middle ground to recognize when our men are cherishing us and being romantic when it’s not involving candlelight and expensive dates. These opportunities might be when he makes dinner, works longer hours to save up for that vacation, checks the fluids in the car or teaches you how to cast a fly. I feel like men crave romance too but not always in the same ways we do. They want to share adventure with us and to have us get out there with them in whatever shenanigans they’re stirring up from time to time. Or to at least be cheering them on in the ways that make them feel alive.
I think that we can be the kind of women that are the opposite of that princess in that stupid quote. Seriously, I have a strong dislike for that quote. You can have a relationship that shows your significant other that they can pursue their crazy dreams and that you are a woman to take along or in the least be that awesome chick who advocates adventure. Of course, there needs to be balance between work, responsibility and play (just to throw in that disclaimer!). But as a woman you also have adventure in your DNA and you have what it takes to be that girl who your husband brags about.
Guys, you might need to invite your women on your adventures every once in awhile. Instead of going golfing with the guys for the third time this week, maybe take her instead. Let her know that she is exciting, engaging, worth bringing along and that you genuinely enjoy her company. Tell her she’s sexy in those moments when she’s trying or succeeding in adventure and not only when she’s in heels and perfectly done up. Maybe learn something with her. Just find a way that you can share excitement in life together.
Oh, and it still doesn’t hurt to rub her shoulders every once in awhile, it might result in a happy ending. Wink, wink!
For all of us men and women, we need to stop accepting that quotes like the one I mentioned as an accurate perception of commitment. We need to knock it off with laughing at the common notion that marriage means the end of things. Stop seeing partners and wives as adventure’s buzz kill. Marriage and relationship are gifts and can be the start of so many stories worth sharing together. You can choose to enjoy it with your spouse if you want to.
This weekend, I’m nothing but excited to get out with my husband to throw some flies. I can’t wait for another memory, another fish and another opportunity to enjoy the heck out of life with him!
With so much love,