Both online and at the book stores, where the shelves are lined with ‘Relationship Advice’, usually geared towards women [as if men would bother seeking out such literature, lol…], I’ve noticed a common and recurring theme: ‘to improve your dating life, you must understand men: how they think, how they operate, etc.’
Here are the points I found in the dating advice given to women:
- Men WILL take you for granted, if you let them
- Understand that men and women are profoundly different and have different needs
- Be sensitive to men’s’ fears
- Accept men as they are / allow them to be themselves
- Don’t pay attention to what men say, but to what they do
- Men are simple creatures – learn to take them at face-value
- Be aware of how you react to a man’s behavior / men hate sticky situations
So let’s examine each in some depth:
Men WIIL take you for granted, if you let them
Basically, men will follow the path of least resistance but they love a ‘challenge’. So, the women are instructed to keep the ‘challenge’ going by being semi-available, having a life, etc. I see it as an unfair burden placed on a woman to play the part of the ‘illusive prey’ to the ‘hunter-man’ just to keep his interest. It is often exhausting to play games. If I like you and you like me – why can’t we just be content that we found each other?
Men and women have different needs
Apparently, men want to be: respected, admired, appreciated, and satisfied physically. Women, on the other hand want to be: loved, listened to, given attention and affection. Where I fail to see the ‘differences’ is that to me all of the above simply look like the two sides of the same coin.
Does one not feel respected when they feel they are listened to? Does one not feel admired and appreciated when given attention and affection? Is one frequently sexually frustrated when they have partner who loves them? And VICE VERSA!
Men have fears
And it’s a woman’s job to identify them and provide a ‘safe’ platform of interactions, in order to lessen the man’s’ fears. These fears include: rejection, loss of freedom/identity, getting too close to someone, getting too serious with someone.
Hence, the ladies are instructed to be the ‘vulnerable’ one, so the man doesn’t have to. They are expected to put their heart in the blender, while the man keeps his finger on the ‘crush’ button. All the other fears could be allayed by ‘keeping it light and fun’.
Think about it for a moment – how many things in our lives, if they are important to us (jobs, hobbies, interests) that week keep ‘light’ and don’t take too seriously? If we were to apply the same logic to the important things in our lives we would: be fired for a half-ass job performance, our hobby-skills would be rusty and average at best (no fun), our interests would be superficial and we’d not seek out the knowledge on the subject beyond the basics.
Accept men as they are
This one is a bit confusing. I do think that most women, or people in general, know you can’t change another person. Therefore, it makes sense to accept a person as they are and to let them be themselves – pretending to be someone else is never sustainable over time. With that said, however… What does it mean to ‘let men be themselves’? Are the women urged to accept the ‘bro-culture’ (an extreme example would be a porn-obsessed, sports-obsessed, lewd-joke-teller)? Yes, we can accept men and appreciate them for who they are, but does this not imply that we shouldn’t expect men to be a ‘gentleman’ to a degree?
And, moreover, would men have the stomach to accept women as we are, and respect our un-filtered self-expressions? Would a man accept a woman who tells emasculating jokes (and thinks a man should find them funny), farts in his presence, shopping-obsessed, celebrity-gossip obsessed, picks her clothes from the bottom of the laundry hamper? Or do men expect a more lady-like behavior? Can this work both ways?
Pay attention to men’s actions not their words
It’s true – actions do speak ‘louder’ than words. However, words still speak, convey information and communication. So, why is it that we have come to accept that ‘words are cheap’? Are the days of ‘word as your bond’ or ‘I give you my word’ over? For example, in the world of business, if you don’t keep your word – you lose business, because it erodes trust. How is accepting the inconsistency between ‘saying one thing and doing another’ going to improve communication between lovers, or even the society as a whole is beyond me.
Men are simple creatures
This is one of those ‘inherent differences’ between the sexes. Women are thought to be ‘complex’, because they tend to ‘over-think’, ‘over-analyze’, etc. I guess, we’d accept that men are simple creatures, if so many of them weren’t accomplished bull-shit artists. And the ability to spin successful bull-shit and sell it as the ‘real thing’ to serve one’s own agenda is a true Art.
Be aware how you re-act to men’s actions
This is where the women are blamed for the most human and natural reaction to being slighted by a man – an emotional reaction. So, a man stood you up. You call him up and his excuse so lame that your words and voice become more ‘expressive’. He proposes to call when you’re ‘less mad’ [as if by some magic, you’ll have an amnesia]. Then, he goes into hiding.
No one likes conflict/drama. However – why is it impossible to outright tell the dudes when they mess up royally? As if personal accountably is a vanishing virtue.
I’m interested in what both men and the ladies have to say on the points above. Please leave your comments below. Perhaps, collectively, we can sort this out.