Name: Robert “Bucky” Beeman
Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota
Relationship: Dating Hana for 3 years
Current: Commercial Realtor
Parents: Robert and Kristi Beeman
PAM: Once he started dating, were there other lessons?
KRISTI: I always knew when he was dating someone new, because he would call me and ask me how to make spaghetti. That’s how I knew that he had a new love interest. Now [that he is in a long-term relationship], I support him with my time. I ask him and Hana over for dinner. We all make time to spend together.
PAM: What makes you happy in a relationship?
BUCKY: I love how much Hana cares about our meals. If I come home and there’s a hot meal in the oven, I’m happy. That meal is the one time that we get to sit down and look at each other, to talk about our day. She really cares about that step in the day. Hana is always there, showing concern, asking me, “How has your day been?”
PAM: How did your mom raise you to respect women?
BUCKY: She taught me to be very caring and compassionate, to understand that feelings are important. Appreciate the small things in the relationship. Try to stay positive and happy, even if things are shaky. When my parents had an issue, they dealt with it in a positive way. They worked together to solve their issues through communication.
PAM: How about dating and leaving the nest?
BUCKY: My mom cared about the people in my life because I showed affection to them. She taught me to value what you have in life and be happy. She is good at hospitality, making people comfortable, asking, “What can I get you?” It sounds simple, but that taught me to be more caring.
PAM: When Bucky was growing up, what messages did he receive about relationships?
KRISTI: His dad and I always led by example. We’ve been married 31 years. We always make time for each other. Bob has been an amazing dad and has always been there for the kids. When Bucky was growing up, we had a lot of family time, and that was valuable for us. Since I’m a teacher, I had the gift of holidays and summers [with my kids]. We went to the cabin. I taught Bucky how to fish. Bob taught him how to hunt.
PAM: What’s one thing that men do well that women may not value?
BUCKY: I feel like I’m relatively good at quick decisions—being in the moment. I’m decisive. I ask, “What’s the issue?” And then I say, “Let’s fix it.” Men are pretty good at doing the handiwork. But when it comes to the housework or the emotional side of the relationship, we may not appreciate that side as much as we should.
Why is it that 75 percent of the time, men drive the car? The man tends to feel the obligation to drive—not that it’s complicated or challenging, but we do it. It’s not a control thing, but rather the instinct to lead. Women might appreciate that instinct to lead.
PAM: How should men ask for forgiveness?
BUCKY: They should make a whole day out of asking for forgiveness. Or maybe a whole week. It should be an event. There needs to be a little more effort or thought put into it. I’ve never heard a story from any of my guy friends about how they ask for forgiveness. There’s probably room for improvement in that realm of things. But asking for forgiveness should not be a public thing, like a Facebook posting or a big sign in the front yard. That’s a little too much drama for the man.
PAM: How should women ask for forgiveness?
BUCKY: Just by doing something that the man loves. Spend the day out with your guy. I love hunting; that’s my hot button. So do that with me. I’ll be as happy as I can be. What if the man is into breweries? Say, “Honey, I’m taking you out today and we’re going to try these three breweries. I’ve got it all planned out.”
PAM: You’ve been in a relationship with Hana for three years. What have you learned?
BUCKY: I’ve realized that time together matters the most. As you mature, you recognize there’s more to life. Different things motivate you at different ages. Once you recognize that time together is something you can’t put a value on, then you value that time because you can’t get it back.
Pam Whitfield is a teacher, writer, horse show judge and spoken word artist. In 2011, she won the Minnesota professor of the year award from the Carnegie Foundation.