What You Won’t Do for Love


Now I don’t have anything against this theory in the abstract. It makes perfect sense…for a certain type of man living a certain type of life. But since Mr. Max is not about that life right now, I swiftly and emphatically forbade him from wearing that t-shirt.

Yes that’s right – I said forbade.

As he does every time I get hyper about something, Mr. Max pretty much just laughed at me. And through his bursts of incredulous laughter I explained to him that wearing that t-shirt sends a message and it’s not one he would be authorized to convey as long as he holds the title of Mr. Max. He argued that if a message was indeed being sent by him wearing the t-shirt, it would be received by people who don’t know us and don’t know anything about us. I agreed, but still maintained that no way no how is he wearing that t-shirt.

I didn’t think much about it again until I mentioned the incident to a girlfriend a few days later. She too looked at me incredulously but – unlike Mr. Max – she’s not one to just let me go along my unreasonable ways. She flat out told me I was fucking backwards to forbid him to wear a t-shirt and that I needed to let it go.

That’s probably true, but in my mind it’s not really the point. In my mind, the fact that I fervently do not want my Mr. Max walking around in that t-shirt  far outweighs the debatable fact that I am unreasonable in not wanting him to do so. In other words, even if I’m totally wrong for not wanting him to wear the shirt (which I’m not) he shouldn’t wear it anyway because I don’t want him to.

Last year I wrote about the things we do for love and how the meat of relationships lies in the little things we do to show our partners we care. And while I still believe that’s true, that’s only half the story. Sometimes we show our feelings by doing special things, but sometimes – moretimes even – we show our love by not doing the things we want to do.

There are a lot of things that make relationships extremely difficult, but the most challenging thing has to be balancing our wants and needs against those of another. It’s fair and reasonable for us to expect our boy/girlfriends to do things to please us to a certain extent…but how much is too much?

If Mr. Max tells me to stop hanging out alone with my male friends, is that asking too much?

If a woman asked her man to get rid of his sexy real estate agent, would that be too much?

If a boyfriend expects his girlfriend to keep her ladyparts hairless even though she wants to grow it out, is that unreasonable?

If I ask Mr. Max to stop biting his nails because I want him to be able to scratch me, is that putting my needs before his?

I think the eternal struggle of being in love is how to find the right balance between holding true to who we are and making accommodations for who our partners want us to be. I’ve always found it fucking draining to have to account for someone else’s viewpoint and factor it in to my decisions; not having to do so is one of the greatest things about single life.  And once I do take the leap into the land of the boo’d up, I tend to go one of two ways: either I lay down and acquiesce to my partner’s every whim and forget who I am in the process, or I hold fast to my principles, no matter how minor and unimportant they may be, just to make the point that he cannot boss me around. There’s a way to balance those two extremes, I know there is. But I’ve never really been able to do it,

But what about you guys? Do you think we show our love in the things we don’t do for our partners’ sakes? Is there such a thing as asking too much when it comes to the one we love? And ladies really – would you let your man wear that t-shirt? Speak on it in the comments.




bag lady. digital nerd. beauty junkie. shoe whore. i'm a sucker for big words and box-fresh kicks. know a little bit about a lot of things and have something to say about everything.

Comments 10

  1. Candi says:

    I don’t think the t-shirt was as serious as you had made it to be. I thought the idea of it was hilarious! Although, I am one to like to advertise something that could stir up controversy.

    On the other hand, when in a relationship, everything is NOT negotiable. Why should it be? We are still dealing with 2 totally different personalities even though we feel we are the perfect match (generally speaking). If you feel a certain way about something, I don’t think it is too much to ask. For your partner to not take an ounce of heed to what has been said is outright disrespectful. I don’t think listening and trying to understand is asking too much and if so, then the lines of communication has “FAILED”.

    I think an ultimate “no-no” is changing your ways for a person by not doing things, to make them happy, that you had always done before. I have made this mistake a plenty of times: not hanging out with friends, not talking to my male-friends (who were literally “just a friend”), etc. It always bite you in the ass (usually after the break-up). So I think it takes ultimate understanding when 2 different request can’t seem to coincide.

  2. ” If I ask Mr. Max to stop biting his nails because I want him to be able to scratch me, is that putting my needs before his?”

    wait. what? a man scratching a woman up in bed? say it ain’t so…

    1. max says:

      What do I always say buddy? Don’t knock it til you try it. It’s….very enjoyable. Trust me.

      1. something just screams feminine about a dude scratching up a woman. seems like it should be the other way around. and yes i assign gender roles when it comes to sexual acts.

        1. max says:

          Huh. I see what you’re saying but I never thought about it like that before. You may have just killed this for me.

  3. I’m totally with you on the t-shirt. No way in hell I’d be ok with my Mr. Wearing it. Don’t think I’d forbid him though. I do think that we can show our love by not doing something for our partner’s sake, but I also think that it’s very easy to go off the deep end.

  4. I agree showing how much you love someone IS about what you don’t do for them, sometimes. Although we say you love me, you love ALL of me and who I am. Meaning, don’t come in and try to change anything about me. But the truth is some people might not know that there are things about them that just don’t make sense. Maybe somebody never called you on it, or they might not have ever been with someone they cared enough about to WANT to change that one thing that ALWAYS drives the opposite sexy crazy (in a bad way). May even be the reason you’ve not been in a successful relationship. Some things we might ask of someone to change, is not about changing them, but about progressing successfully in the relationship. It’s not necessarily changing who they are, but forcing you to look at it from someone else’s point of view. That’s called compromise. Now there are extremes, so it’s hard to say what’s about change and what’s about control. I think you can figure that out at some point. Hopefully. But in any instance, I believe in a healthy relationship, if it’s not asking too much, all things should be considered.

    Max, the T-shirt bit, kinda rubbed me the wrong way too. lol. I’m thinking as long as he doesn’t wear it while I’m around, it’s cool. Lol.

  5. Sam Sharpe says:

    When in a relationship you’re representing not just yourself but your partner as well. As far as I’m concerned what my lady does when I’m not around, what she wears when I’m not in her presence and what she says when I’m not in earshot all reflect upon me in some way. And yes, maybe she might be doing something or wearing something around absolute strangers…but that doesn’t matter to me. She’s still representing “our brand”……

    …so with that lengthy preamble I’m gonna say there’s nothing wrong with you or any woman asking their man not to wear that shirt. He might say no but you’re within your rights.

    1. max says:

      Wow Sam Sharpe. I absolutely was not expecting you to agree with me. I guess you’re more reasonable than I thought.

  6. Cheekie says:

    Girl, this post makes me want to buy YOU the gotdayum Bottom Bitch shirt so both of ya’ll can be super hilarious together.

    Also, make sure he writes in “Max” next to the pic of the chick on the top of the pyramid so airbody know what’s up

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