- Gender and Relationships
Are Men Presumptuous? Or Why Can't We Just be Friends?
He Thinks He’s God’s Gift to Women
A very attractive thirtyish friend of mine is constantly encountering presumptuous men who just can't swallow the fact that she only wants to be friends. She knows how to use her considerable charms on a man to get what she wants – it could be a brilliant smile at a traffic cop or at the mechanic who has her car at his mercy. It could be the shop keeper so he gives her a discount, but the last time she tried her charms on a guy who works at a garage, she bit off more than she could chew.
“I was astounded by the man,” she says. “He came home to show me a car I wanted to buy and because I thought he went out of his way to do so, I invited him in for a cup of tea and answered his rather personal questions as frankly as I normally do. You know, questions like how many kids I have and what my husband does and that sort of thing. I suppose I shouldn’t have done that because he began to warble on and on about how unique I am and how talented
and then he suddenly grabbed my hand and kissed it! I almost slapped him.
I think he was emboldened because I told him I was separated from my husband. I warned him that all I was interested in was the business deal and that if he did that sort of thing again, I would get him fired from his job.
But even today if I need to go to the garage where he works, he says he’s crazy about me. He still goes out of his way to do little things for my car without charging for it. I wonder what makes a man like him (he smells of grease and is not that great looking either) think that a woman like me would be interested in him. And it’s not just this guy. It’s a lot of other guys I’ve been friendly with. They too think I’m out for a roll in the hay. It really happens only in India! I’ve been to other countries you know, and no one thinks that being open and friendly is a sexual come on.”
Men More Broad-Minded in Canada
Sabrine B, 19, who’s lived in Canada for 15 years before coming down to India echoes the same sentiment: “In Canada guys are naturally friendly and don’t take it as a come on if you reciprocate. I was studying in Kodaikanal for a while and there was this European guy there who was very physically demonstrative in his affection with everyone. The girls thought he was sleazy because he would put his arm around them and that sort of thing. Maybe they’re not to blame. After all, most Indian guys who do that do it with sexual motives. You’ve really got to watch it here. You can’t tell whether a guy is talking to you because he wants to be your friend or your lover.”
Men Are the Same All Over
Says Ranjana S: I’m an outgoing sort of person who loves making friends and have always had more male friends than girlfriends. But not all guys understand that sort of a platonic relationship. It does happen that when I have intentions of just being friendly, they think it’s something more than that. Foreigners aren’t any different in this regard. Men are men all over although it also depends where you are. In Mumbai guys are openly friendly without being sexual, as compared to Bangalore where they are rather petty minded.”
Do You Think Men Mistake Your Friendliness For A Come On?
Conditioning and Men’s Attitude to Women
So what is the real truth? Seems to me that it’s more a question of the conditioning guys are put through when they are young. I sometimes miss that India of yore where women weren’t branded loose just because they conversed with men. In fact, women even enjoyed a sexual freedom that even the most liberated woman today would envy. Remember the ‘Swayamvara’ where she could choose her own mate from a bevy of male beauties? We’ve come a long way, guys!