I think men and women want very simple things from each other, but we make it so complicated. I believe that a woman’s basic desire is to feel cherished. For men, I think it boils down to respect. (Men, please correct me if I’m wrong here.) If either of these is out of whack, so goes the relationship.

What is it to be cherished? Certainly, I don’t want to be put into a glass case and pulled out only for special occasions. And I do not need to be treated as if I cannot do anything for myself. But I do want to feel special – important… like a treasure to be protected and cared for and loved above all else.

Will you kiss my forehead and stroke my hair when I’m sick to my stomach and fighting not to throw up? Will you battle the inconsistencies of an ancient heating machine, just to warm me in the middle of July when I am cold? Will you cook me a hot meal and serve it up with love and a kiss?

If you can, you will probably have my respect.

I will see you as my Protector. I will see you as the man who always emerges triumphant in his battles with dragons of all sorts – the one who is willing to fight them all to keep me safe.

You will be my hero, and I will treat you accordingly.

And, I think, the more respect a man receives, the more he is able to cherish the source of it.

But oh, should either waiver, hell will surely raise up with a mighty force and choke love and happiness with its noose of anger and resentment. And the result is that everything is withheld completely from each other, because the two feed off of one another in a cyclical form.

And sometimes, once respect and cherishing are extinguished, it’s simply impossible to bring them back to life.

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