- Gender and Relationships
911 - Relationship Rescue!
Sorry ladies but one of my least favorite phrases in life is, “he’s really busy right now, he has so much going on but I know he’ll call soon...”. As her friends sit by and nod and say things like, “absolutely!”, “he’s definitely going to call you” or “you know he’s been going through a lot lately and he’s got issues so you have to understand why he’s afraid to be vulnerable or make a commitment”. Seriously?
Now, I love my fellow sisters and I’ve always got their backs but you just don’t hear men saying things like that to their buddies. I don’t doubt that they get a little bummed if they don’t hear from a woman that they’re interested in or they have a bad date. They’re human. No one likes to be rejected. What they don’t do is make up bizarre excuses for the behavior. I never understood our need to “justify” what transpires, or does not transpire, in our relationships. We discuss it ad nauseam with our friends, not in an effort to convince them but rather, to convince ourselves that everything is okay and we are content in our blissful state of “couplehood”.
I am suggesting a new approach - be honest! Be honest with your significant other, be honest with your friends, and (most importantly), be honest with yourself! I mean really honest. Don’t be one of those women who says she loves sports just because she thinks it will make her seem more attractive to him and then, as soon as you settle into a relationship with him, you never watch another game again and insist on dragging him furniture shopping or talking about “where this is going” just in time for the playoffs. It’s false advertising.
Men - you’re not off the hook! You do it too. You all say you want something casual but, more often than not, you flip the switch. As a true commitment-phobe myself, I can tell you, it used to be somewhat unheard of for a woman to say openly to her boyfriend, family, and friends, “I am not now, nor will I ever get married”. Now, it isn’t really that big a deal. The reason I mention this is because, as I mentioned earlier, men often claim they don’t want anything serious. However, once a woman like myself says, “great, I’m not looking for anything long-term and have no intentions of settling down”, you can actually start to hear the slow “click” of the switch flipping. Suddenly, all they want is you. When I say it, it is in an effort to be completely honest so no one gets hurt and everyone knows what they’re signing up for. The problem is many other women, some of whom I know personally, seem to have taken this on as a strategy. You see, they started to recognize this pattern in men and now they use it against them.
Tell each other what you want right from the start. Granted, feelings will evolve as things progress but, when they do, tell your partner what’s changed and figure out where you want to go from there together. That’s what partnership is all about!