By Ian Karr
This June, in honor of Father’s Day, I’m going to break the Guy Code and reveal the Simple Things at the top of every Dad’s wish list. They also happen to be the secrets to keeping men happy and attentive forever. I know these are lofty claims, but we men are very simple creatures with even simpler needs.
It’s no surprise that men don’t “get” 50 Shades of Gray and women don’t “get” The Three Stooges. We’re hard-wired differently. Ironically, guys are about as complex as the Stooges. To us, life is about our family, friends, work…and trying not to get poked in the eye.
Whether we identify with Moe, Larry, or Curly, there are several Simple Things that seem to hold true for most men. Admittedly, I’m the farthest thing from a psychologist. But I did start Chappaqua Dads on Facebook. And I’ve been male my whole life. So please take a leap of faith and accept my authority on these Things. Or at least ask your guy if they ring true.
Simple Thing Number One:
We want a sanctuary. It’s extremely important to guys that the place we call home stands in stark contrast to the crazy world outside. Remember, only a few thousand years have passed since we were cavemen. That’s barely enough time on an evolutionary scale to grow an eyelash. We may carry iPhones today, but we still crave that cave; a safe, peaceful place to eat and sleep without fear of attack.
Simple Thing Number Two:
We need physical contact on a semi-regular basis. Big DUH, right? But it’s not just about the act. For us, sex is a mix of intimacy, pleasure, pursuit, success, and a hundred other things that make us feel like men. It’s deeply rooted in our sense of self. We certainly don’t expect our partners to be “in the mood” all the time, but the way we’re turned down matters.
Simple Thing Number Three:
We like cheerleaders. Okay, maybe corner-man is a better metaphor. Guys often see the world as a boxing ring. Our days are filled with bouts large and small. When the bell rings and we come home to our neutral corner (see sanctuary above), there’s nothing better than having someone there to put ice on our bruises, cheer us on, and make us want to go back in and fight another round.
It’s important to point out that these Simple Things have nothing to do with who works, who takes care of the kids, or who has to walk the dog at midnight. They are simply the keys to keeping men, as a species, happy. Use them at your own risk.
There’s one more Thing, but it’s about men and women equally.
The noted philosopher Martin Buber had a theory that all human interactions, whether with your mailman or your spouse, have a virtual life of their own. Buber termed these interactions “Spiritual Children.” Just like a real child, your “Spiritual” one can grow up sick or healthy, be a success or a failure, or hit you up for a hundred bucks and the car keys. The fourth Simple Thing is about taking care of the most important Spiritual Child: your relationship.
Simple Thing Number Four:
Your relationship comes first. Yes, before children. Before work. Before everything. The theory is that if you put your relationship first, you’re more likely to have a stable and loving foundation for being a better parent, a more productive worker, and a happier person. Take that vacation without the kids. Your family will be better for it.
That’s about it. If you already knew how simple we are, great! If you didn’t, you now have the power to give the best Father’s Day gift(s) ever. Or, you could just get us another necktie.
Guys, please forgive me. I know this information could be used to turn us into happy zombies, but I thought it was worth the risk.
Ian Karr graduated Tulane University with a degree in Sociology and is happy to have finally used it for something. Otherwise, he tries not to embarrass his wife Lauren and his kids, Jayden and Gregory. Sometimes he succeeds.