Men Don’t Like It When You Ask Them What They Bring To The Table –
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Men Don’t Like It When You Ask Them What They Bring To The Table

Months before our two-year relationship came to an end, Fred, my boyfriend accused me of bringing nothing to the table. It was my first time hearing there was a table in the relationship that I expected to bring something on.

For two years everything was fine. I was in school and working at the same time. I had a shop I started long before he came into the picture. I wasn’t the girl who’d pick up the phone and ask him to give me money or take me to a fancy place. I wasn’t demanding. The only thing I needed from him was his time and love. When we had a little misunderstanding, he asked me, “What do you even bring to the table that you always want to accuse me of things?”

He was changing. I asked questions. That was my only sin. He defended himself with questions. I asked him what he expected me to bring to that imaginary table; “Love? Money? Servitude? What do you want that I’m not providing?” I asked him. His answer was simply this; “Every woman knows what they bring to the table. The fact that you’re asking me means you have nothing to give and for two years, your side of the table has been empty. You can’t keep a man with empty hands.”

Eventually, he called us off. I wasn’t hurt. Well, not that much. When friends asked what happened, I told them, “He said I didn’t bring anything to the table.” They laughed. “What table? Did he show you the table he was talking about? Men and the questions they ask when they want to leave you.”

When he left, I closed my heart to love and opened myself to my school and the little business I was managing. Men didn’t stop coming my way. I made friends with some, I led some on and I pissed some off. Those who eventually proposed to me, I asked them what they brought to the table and they took offence. One told me, “I should be asking you that question. I’m the man. I own the table.” I told him, “Well, then we can’t have a relationship. You have your table and I have mine. How is it going to work?”

He didn’t call me again. He told mutual friends that I was arrogant. “She behaves like she’s the most beautiful woman in the world,” he said. To him, a woman has no right to ask that from a man. As I said, I wasn’t ready for a relationship. I would do anything to push men away and that question became my hammer. Once I hit them with it, they got angry and left me alone.

One guy had a huge laugh after I asked that question. The date was going well. He kept ordering meals and encouraged me to order whatever I wanted. He was bent on getting me intoxicated but I stayed alert. When he told me he wanted me to be his girlfriend, the question just came out, no prefix or preface. I just went like, “So what do you bring to the table?” He burst out laughing. “What table are we talking about here? If everything goes well, you’ll come and live in my house. You are the one to bring something to the table. What are you talking about?”

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I started drinking right from there. Once I was done, I said good night to him and left him sitting there with his table.

All those periods were about me having fun with men I didn’t want to date. The only thing I was dating was my business and school. Once school was done, I put myself out there for dating. I was going to be intentional about it because the next man was going to be the final man in my life.

I went to places the men I liked would be. I tried my best to look like the woman the men I wanted would want. I met Alex, a guy who didn’t have time for anything apart from work. You would send him a message and he would answer the next day. He would miss your call and won’t call back. I texted him one day; “Are you sure you want a relationship?” He texted back, “I’m in Australia. We’ll talk about it when I come.”

I didn’t text or call again. I knew in my heart I didn’t want such a man. “A man who can’t put time on the table? No, I can’t. Even the rains have time. They come when they have to.”

He came back from Australia and he called. By that time I was seeing another guy who had expressed interest in me. Martin. Martin talked to me the way I needed my man to talk to me. He made time for us and shared his dreams with me. When a man wants you for the long term, he usually talks about the future with you, because he feels the future will come and meet you in his life.

I didn’t ask him what he brings to the table. No matter how you look at it, everyone brings something to a relationship; their love, their time, their money, their burdens. It’s up to you to know what you want to be able to identify if what you want is part of the things on the table. With Martin, I listed them as we went along. There were surprises. The things I didn’t want, we talked about them. I asked for a change if I didn’t want something. He did the same. Sometimes we fought. He didn’t want to compromise and I didn’t want to. Even on that occasion, we talked through it.

For a year, I was still asking myself, “What does he bring to the table?” I wrote a lot down but new things kept coming.

When I felt his mom didn’t like me, I told him about it. He said I was making a mistake. I told him I would be glad for it to be a mistake because my mother-in-law should be my friend. I wanted that on my table. He organized a one-on-one meeting between the two of us. We talked. We spent a weekend together. I got it wrong, I admitted. His mother liked me but didn’t know how to express it the first time we met. We moved on from there.

When the time came for us to get married, I had no doubt in my head about the quality of the man I had. I knew what he brought to the table and I was content with it. He didn’t tell me about it. It was something I found out for myself without his knowledge. People can lie with what they say but not with what they do.

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In our women’s group on Facebook, this topic became very hot. The women were angry that men were asking them that question. I commented, “Men also get angry when you ask them that question so who’s that question actually for?”

To me, I will repeat it so you don’t get me wrong, to me, it’s not a question anyone should ask. See it for yourself. Don’t say yes to a man when he asks you to marry him when you don’t know or you’re not sure of what he brings to the table. Don’t propose to a woman when you don’t know what she can offer. You don’t date a woman for two to three years and later turn and ask her what she brings to the table. Find out for yourself because men can lie and women can hide the truth.


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