Earlier this week, I woke up with back pain and stayed home from work. Whenever this happens, I always try to watch two TV shows I don't normally get to see: Oprah and Jeopardy. I happened to catch a rerun of Oprah that featured Matchmaker & Dating Coach Patti Novak. Patti offered her "expert" advice on why so many wonderful women in their 30s are single, and what they can do about.

Much of the advice was truly useful - don't treat a first date like an interview, treat it like a date. Don't be competitive and try to one up your date. Etc.

But then Patti got to talking about men and women and how sometimes a man wants to feel like a man. Fair enough. Women today are so independent and successful, we're used to doing everything ourselves. But sometimes you want your man to feel like you need him. Well, I can't argue with that, everyone wants to feel like their partner needs them in some way.

Patti's solution? Let your man open the pickle jar.

Uh ..... what?

I get what she's saying, but she completely missed the mark on what it takes to feel like a man, or what exactly might be missing for men in these relationships with super independent women. Now, I don't have much first hand experience in other types of relationships, but I have a lot of experience in male/female romantic relationships, so I think I know something about hetero guys. And I don't think letting him "open the pickle jar" (or insert your favorite physical activity here) is going to give him his manliness back.

I think what Patti should have gotten at, is that your partner wants to feel needed. Regardless of gender or orientation, a person wants to feel like they bring something to the romantic relationship, and bring something to their partner that their partner didn't have before - love, support, a listening ear, a hand to hold - literally or figuratively, a person wants to feel somewhat like their partner depends on them. Needs them. Appreciates them. It's not exactly a pickle jar, but it's a way of saying "I need you around." Or, even "you complete me."

I was just completely flabbergasted that a "Dating Expect" seems to think that the problem of "men not feeling like men" can be solved by letting your man open a jar. I mean at least use an example that a 10-year-old girl most likely fulfill - like lift a 100 pound box. Or I don't know, use an example that might actually be meaningful in a relationship? I mean, I wish she had said "well, you know Oprah ... men are from Mars and women are from Venus."

I think I'll continue to open my own jars (unless they are super tight, and, say, I just bench pressed half my weight), but when I've had a bad day, or I need an opinion on something important, I think I'll ask my husband. And I think that will help our relationship way more than any damn pickle jar.

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