This week’s topic is the topic of adoration. Leah brought this question to me after someone posed it to her: What do you think it would be like to have a boyfriend who “adores” you? We had a really good chat about the question, and the others it raised. Here are our thoughts…and then I want to hear yours!
What does even mean to be adored?
Rachel: I had actually been thinking about this very topic a few days earlier because my horoscope says that Leos have to be adored — showered with gifts and attention. My first thought is that my definition of adoration is happiness and excitement over giving attention and gifts. Then I thought about it further and realized that to me, adoration is how a guy talks about a girl when she isn’t around. We’ve all had that male coworker who gushes about his wife with that dreamy look in his eye — that’s what I think of as adoration.
OK, story time. My senior year of college, in my magazine class, we found out midway through the semester that one of our fellow students was engaged. “Engaged!” I said. “To whom?! I just realized I don’t know anything about your life!”
“That’s funny, Rachel,” he deadpanned. “Because we know everything about yours.”
“So tell us about her!” I said.
“Well, she’s great,” he said. “She’s…way out of my league.”
When he said that, it was just so sweet and genuine and it always stuck with me as the way a man should talk about a woman. It seemed like total adoration to me.
Leah: I think adoration looks different depending on the person. I think generally speaking, adoration is a physical or tangible demonstration of love. I don’t necessarily think it’s just what a guy says about you when you’re not around, but it’s also not just what he tells you to your face. It’s a combination of things — what he does, what he says to you and others, and his general attitude. My ex definitely “adored” me in the most basic way: he constantly told me how beautiful, smart, and wonderful he thought I was.
Is it possible or realistic for a guy to adore a girl?
Leah: While this was obviously fun for a while with my ex, I did start to wonder whether he was worshipping me more than adoring me. Does that make sense? Worshipping a partner isn’t necessarily a good thing. I think it’s possible, but I think you have to be open to the idea that your version of adoration and your partner’s may not be the same! Just like everyone speaks a different love language.
Rachel: I think it’s possible. Maybe that’s just the romantic optimist in me, but when I see my 70-year-old boss talk about his wife, I feel like adoration is possible. I don’t think adoration means giving a woman everything she wants all the time, but to me, it’s saying yes as much as possible. It’s always being excited about her, of thinking of her as beautiful, sexy, smart, loving, and kind, and being a little impressed by the things that make her who she is.
Leah: It seems like when a guy adores a girl, it’s seen as cute and romantic. But I do think there’s a double standard for women. When a woman openly “adores” a guy, whether it’s her boyfriend, husband, or just someone she has a crush on, it can be seen as crazy and obsessive. I know my first thought when a friend says something like “OMG, I just love my boyfriend sooooo much,” isn’t “Wow, that’s great!” but something more along the lines of, “I hope she isn’t getting obsessive or setting herself up for disappointment.” Total double standard!
Rachel: Ugh you’re right! And I think it should be mutual. A couple should adore each other!
Do you need to be adored? Does your SO adore you?
Rachel: Well, like my horoscope says, I need to be with someone who adores me! I felt like when we started dating, Eric was the guy who gushed about me to anyone and everyone, and I think that’s cooled off a bit. But his coworkers have definitely heard good things about me, which makes me feel like he talks about me adoringly to them. I’ve said before that showering me with gifts is important, as that is one of my love languages, and Eric is still working on getting that one just right. But I do still feel adored in other ways. When Eric mock-imitates me or calls attention to the little things I do that I didn’t even know he had noticed or was aware of, and he’s smiling about it with just that certain smile, I feel like he adores me.
Leah: It’s funny because I just asked my boyfriend this exact question. I asked, “Would you say you adore me?” After some thought, he responded, “Yes, but that’s not the first word I would use to describe how I feel about you.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. My boyfriend isn’t really the adoring/gushing/effusive type. Even when he surprises me with gifts/excursions, or verbally expresses his love, it feels more like commitment, loyalty, dedication, and a number of things more than adoration.
Do you adore your SO?
Rachel: I feel like I adore him when I find myself gushing to my coworkers about the funny conversation we had the night before. When I have to stop myself from telling another story about something funny that Eric has done or said, or going on to my mom about how well he’s doing at work, I feel like I’m adoring him.
Leah: Would I say I adore him? Asked point-blank, I’d also say yes. But the word somehow doesn’t seem to quite fit how I feel about him. Or maybe a better metaphor is that it fits, but there are other words that fit better.
Rachel: Oh, good way of putting it! And I don’t think it’s a bad thing that other words fit better in your case, because being adored isn’t the most important thing you need in a relationship. If you do want to be “adored” though, in the more gushy sense, I think it’s important to find someone who will do that.
Mmmkay….now it’s your turn to jump in. Join in the discussion in the comments or via your own blog (just leave a link below!). I’m excited to read what everyone has to say about this and other topics in the future!