I was out with a friend the other day for lunch. She was sharing pictures of the home she and her husband just purchased and are fixing up. As she showed me the pictures on her iPhone, I was impressed with the before and after scenes and how much work they’ve done in such a short time. When I questioned her about how she and her husband accomplished it all, I received a wonderful loving description of her husband and all the things he did seemingly effortlessly on this home. She concluded her praise of him with the words, “He totally puts Husband For Hire to shame!” I thought this was especially touching since these two are past the honeymoon stage, have been together over 7 years, and are very much still “in love”.
Her words got me thinking.
First, the relationship she has with her husband is a rare thing. In many ways, what she and her husband model for me (generally, not necessarily specifically) what I hope to have. The key thing they share is a deep, abiding, mutual admiration and respect and love for each other. They also both have their independent lives.
Further, as a single mom who has no skills in home repair and who has no money to hire it done, I know how valuable a man with home repair skills is. I also realize that there are many valuable ways people can contribute to a significant relationship. I was originally going to title this post “Two Kinds of Men” because I was thinking of the handyman and the guy who is not handy, but the more I considered the topic the more I realized there are more than just two kinds of men and far more than two ways to contribute to a relationship. For fun, I came up with a few categories using broad brush strokes, I admit, that men can fall into. You may be able to think of more. In fact, I hope you do. Leave your ideas in a comment or write your own post and link to me. That would be great fun! Don’t worry, peeps. I am working on a post about different types of women too, but since men interest me more than women do, it was easier to start here. Enjoy!
1. The Handy Man. This guy can fix, build or renovate anything. You’ll never need to hire a repairman because even if you did The Handy Man could do it better and for less. He has all the tools and knows how to use them. If you find a guy like this, you’ll be able to have the home improvement jobs completed to your specifications every time. You might have to get used to some unfinished projects around the house as the norm rather than the exception. This kind of guy is amazing and if you find yourself with someone like this, spoil him immensely. He will build you a mansion of love from his own bare hands.
2. The Manager. This guy isn’t handy, but he isn’t okay with things being in disrepair either. He’s a conscientious sort who is willing to part with some money on occasion to make sure everything is looking great and in perfect working condition. He makes enough money to be able to pay to put in that slider out the master bedroom onto that redwood deck with a pergola and a hot tub which he also paid to have done. He is too busy making money so he can keep his love and his family in the manner in which he is proud to keep them. While he won’t hang the Christmas tree lights, he won’t leave it to his wife to do it. He’ll hire the Christmas Tree Light Hanger Person to come and make sure that every little light is perfectly spaced and straight and lit. If you find yourself with a guy like this, you are just as fortunate as if you were with The Handy Man. Guy Who Can Hire It Done is so responsible that he won’t let you down. He’s so detail oriented that he won’t let whoever he hires get by with doing a sloppy job. If you are with him, spoil him. He is proud of what he can give and do for you and the family. Appreciate it all and it will come back to you in spades or probably diamonds.
3. The Non Man. The Non Man cannot do home repairs, he doesn’t make enough to make sure that the repairs are kept up around the house by a repairman and he doesn’t care. He’s a fun person, lives for the moment and could care less about responsibility. He’s great in bed, keeps his body in shape and looks and acts eternally 35 even though he may have left his 50’s behind long ago. If he has a job, it’s his 15th one in the last three years. He leaves all the heavy serious stuff of finances, home repair, cooking, laundry and yard work to his significant other or his mother to deal with, stress about and lose her health over. After all, he has to play World of Warcraft. If you meet this man, move on quickly. The sex will be great, but the rest of the time you’ll just be babysitting.
4. The Chef. Highly sought after by career women these days, this guy is just a bit overrated. This kind of guy probably gets invited to a lot of potlucks and has a lot of friends due to his culinary skills, however, cooking a great meal every night is not as useful a skill as being good at the home repairs. After all, and I do speak from experience here, screwing up a really good meal is far easier to recover from financially than replacing that wall that was supposed to be a weight bearing wall and should never have been removed in the first place. So, if all he brings to the table are his culinary skills, maybe you should look further.
5. The Partner. This man is golden. He’s also a rare find. He is intelligent, capable, resourceful, has good table manners and uses good grammar when speaking and writing. He’s smart enough to know not to belch at the dinner table, knows which fork to use in a nice restaurant and leaves the seat down for The Other Partner. He’s a fully vested partner in the firm called Relationship. He doesn’t shirk responsibility, he has people skills, knows how to negotiate the differences in order to reach conclusions that work in the best interests of the other Partner and stakeholders in The Firm. If he can’t fix it himself, he knows just the right person for the job and will make sure it gets done. He does what he says he will do and doesn’t make commitments he can’t keep. He’s confident, not needy, won’t play games but will tell you exactly where he stands. When in corporate meetings he doesn’t seek to force his views or goals on others, but instead seeks to influence or persuade while fully allowing the other parties to make their own choices even though he might be very passionate about his own perspectives. He provides information and options instead of coercing. The Partner, while, intelligent, confident and capable, realizes that The Firm he is vested in is a collaborative team venture and not a top down organization where all the decisions run through the senior partner without consideration of the other entities involved. He works hard and is fully committed to his own success as well as the success of The Firm and others he partners with. He’s not a workaholic but recognizes that in order to be the best Partner he can be, he must take care of himself too. If you are fortunate enough to find yourself as a Partner in a Firm with a man like this stay with the Firm and work collaboratively with this man and you’ll be golden too!