I recently went to a family reunion. And I am so glad that I did. Not just because it was an opportunity to hang out with my family that I never get to see, but also an opportunity to restructure my dating life. How the heck are the two things related? Let me explain.
I am among the youngest of my cousins and I have plenty of cousins. I really don’t know how many. It’s so rare to see them in action. We live across different continents and even those in North America are all over the map. When we finally all arrived and settled in our rented home during the holiday weekend, we gathered, we spent time together, we went hiking, we went to dinner and we attended my cousin Zach’s wedding. Amongst all of the activities I don’t know what it was but this time but for the first time, it hit me. These guys who are my peers, yes older, but not that much older, are men. I saw my male cousins as men. Not that I didn’t see them as men before but I guess I saw them as just my cousins. This time though my perspective was altered. For the first time I was witnessing my cousins as family men, as partners, as fathers and nurturers.
It all started during Zach’s wedding. The way he looked at his bride I was thinking “Dang! I really want that”. It was this look of assurance that he had and when the bride met his gaze they started to share the expression. But it didn’t end there.
The rest of the male cousins are married or partnered and came without their other half but with their children. Naturally, they were providing for their children and I could not believe just how wonderful they were, how loving and caring, how gentle. I realized at that moment that if I was going to entertain any guy he had to be as good as or better than that.
What “that” is, is hard to put into words. It’s like a trusting confidence in the other person. That their presence and that their actions are always going to be loving and caring and done for your benefit even without your knowledge or presence.
Why is seeing my male cousins in successful relationships and as amazing fathers so important?
They are not old.
It’s easy to blame the fact that this generation just isn’t committed but how is that true when my cousins are in my generation.
Basically, it proved to me that my generation of men include men who are amazing and I should not give up on or settle for less than the amazing ones.
Without me realizing it I was getting a dating 101 lesson that I really needed. All this was taught to me without uttering a single word, only through actions.
The lesson resonated loud and clear.