- Gender and Relationships
Guys & Dolls! Gender Wars, Sexuality, and Conversations
I recently went to lunch with some people I know. Somehow we started talking about casual dating, the guys were boasting about having more than one card on the table. It’s great for guys to casually date multiple girls. It means they have options, they have little to lose, and they can be as indifferent as they want ‘cause if they lose one, there’s always someone else to call.
I chimed into the conversation stating how great and cool that is for guys, but once a girl starts casually dating multiple guys at a time, she is classified as easy, promiscuous, a tease, unable to commit or hold on to a real relationship, etc. Not surprising, my comment on the subject was ignored.
Please don’t misunderstand me! I love being a woman, and I love my sexuality. I love that I hold the keys to the night and get to call the shots. I love being pursued, twirling my hair, batting my lashes, (speaking figuratively) and watching guys stumble over trying to figure out what to do and when. Guys are pretty easy to figure out, and they are pretty easy to please. The only challenge is to get them to figure out women, and, well, to please us which is an entirely different subject.
Guys are pretty much clueless.
Awhile back I was talking to 2 men simultaneously, interested in getting to know both of them. In addition, I had a few guy friends I was spending a good portion of time with (strictly platonic). One of my male friends made the comment that I am a player. He was just kidding around. Still, my response to that is, "No." That is not the case. It just means I have options, which are real, genuine, and good. It is surprising coming from a female, considering that we were built differently, psychologically. But if television series such as Sex and the City becomes a milestone to socially revolutionizing the perceived notions of what it means to be a single woman in her thirties and forties compared to being a single male in his thirties and forties, then so be it. The problem is that I don’t think America is ready for such a reality yet. I don’t know a single fan of Sex and the City who in reality lives with those ideals. Men think it is a great idea, but get intimidated by women who are independent and able to casually date without getting emotionally tied into a relationship. They feel as though they become useless. Women think it is a great idea, but still get emotional and jealous, especially when the relationship becomes romantic. Heck, most women I know have a difficult time even being single for 6 months and enjoying it, and that’s not even a long time! Sad, but true.
As Clueless a men are, they sure do have it easy, being able to date, have random sex with random women, hook up with anyone, look at women lustfully, enjoy their singleness because it all to be boasted of, all respectable, honorable, and even expected. Women who attempt to portray those same ideals are looked down on, considered either naïve or mean, or promiscuous. Find a woman that has been single for longer than 6 months, or in her thirties and single, and it’s guaranteed her friends think there is something wrong with her.
Funny thing about me is that I tend to have more conservative ideas on relationships and dating, and am not really a casual dater at all (I hate dating really). Yet, in my circle of influence, I am probably living the most liberal lifestyle. I am the most indepandant, have made clear and rational choices, have not said yes to the first tall, dark, and handsome man who asked for my heart, and I have had my share of singleness, and I have loved it! I was single in my early twenties because I was so passionate about others things and involved in other events that I just didn’t have time to be in a relationship, and I didn’t want to be distracted by one either. Plus, I just had my heart broken twice and just decided it necessary to stay away from the dating scene for a time. It was great, healthy, and a decision I have no regrets about. In college, I had my interests in certain men, and they in me. There was never anything really serious, and the “me, you, US” conversation was always avoided with those I liked. I have publicy spoken and taught about dating, relationships, boundaries, typical boy meets girl stuff. This has always been an interesting topic to me, and although I don’t have all the answers, I think from my experience, I have learned a few things here and there about the interaction between men and women, and ideologies that have been adopted about dating, relationships, gender roles, sexuality, etc.
Men & Their False Reality:
I kissed a guy. Not that it is unusual (usually we kiss those we love, right) In this case, with this particular person, it was very random, unexpected at the time, and something I wholeheartedly regret. Months later, that same guy came back to me to ask me if it meant anything. I said, “no.” He was completely surprised. He really thought that I was totally into him. This was all in his head, or perhaps he was displacing his own behaviour onto me (he would look at me and his eyes would wander, he would even call me endearing names such as baby, and constantly would ask to come over to my place, etc.).
I have to confess, however, that my behaviour toward this man did change. I lost trust in him, respect for him, and any level of attraction that might have been there before disappeared. I am not blaming the kiss for this change. My perspective of that man was changed for the worse. My point in telling this story is that guys will often get an idea in their heads that a lady has an interest, and no matter what that lady does, they will somehow find a way to validate their idea that she wants him.
The only theory I have come up with to explain this false reality that men have about women being head over heals into them is: Men have an ego, and it needs to be stroked (pun intended).
Full of Yourself:
In general, a woman can tell when a guy is into her. It is just part of our nature to notice, and to respond. Unless that interest is reciprocated, the guy has two responses: pursue until she gives in, or shy away and deny interest. The same guy mentioned above expressed interest in me daily for months and months. And let me say, this was not a genuine interest, but rather was a very lust filled desire for me that was disrespectful, creepy, and grossed me out. My response at first was to ignore it. I refused to confront it. Finally, I decided to get honest with him. I told him that I don’t like the way he looks at me and talks to me. I explained as politely as I knew how that I am not interested, and that he really needs to understand that and stop disrespecting me. He then completely denied everything, and told me that I am full of myself, arrogant, and selfish to think that just because a guy looks at me he is interested in me. Well, I suppose so, if it is just any random glance, but his glances were clearly intentional. However, when it gets to the point where he always wants to come over to hang out, it becomes obvious that his interest is intentional. That brings me to my next point.
The War between Naïve & Mean:
One male friend of mine whose opinion I trust and respect told me once that I can be naïve in my dealings with men. He was making a reference to knowing when I guy is interested in me. Okay. That is fair to say. There have been times when I have been surprised to learn of a man’s interest in me, or of my spending too much time with a man without realizing his true intent. To my defense, I have to say that often times I am aware of what is/could come out of every friendship I have with a male. I just tend to be more passive at times and will ignore it. If I am not interested in dating a man, but would just rather hang out and build on a friendship, I will typically avoid acknowledging his true intent even if I am aware of it. It may come across as me just being naïve.
On the other hand, in circumstances like those I described above, I cannot simply pretend to ignore a person who is so bold, aggressive, and forward with me about his desires. However, to confront the issue with the same boldness and aggressiveness, I am considered mean, arrogant, and full of myself. I feel that either way, I am cornered, and the guy walks away without a conscious.