dating and singlehood

Men’s Ten Biggest Complaints about Women

A friend, and I use the term reservedly, forwarded this article to me and I laughed because it was from eHarmony which is not usually a place I bother to get advice from, but coming from this person I decided to go ahead and read it. I’m glad I did so that I can respond to it with a big ole pfffftttttbbbbttt!

And then with actual words… (the article lists the top ten complaints which I bolded below. The rest is my reaction because I am sometimes reactionary.)

You see us as projects you can ‘fix.’ (1/10)

This is one of those things that guys say when they are content with themselves because they are SO perfect as is. I’m not saying that the entire goal of a woman should be to fix her man. In fact, any one who knows me at all will say that every relationship I have failed in is due to me trying to get a guy to live up to his potential and I’m tired of that. I’m always encouraging people and trying to inspire people, not just potential husbands, to be better, do more, live fully and love perfectly. And that’s SO wrong because… ? Well, I am also a big believer in not throwing pearls before swine – um, not that I’m calling any one a pig. I mean unless the shoe fits. Well pigs don’t wear shoes. And I actually love pigs. But you know what I mean.

The problem a lot of women have with their man is when they realize he has no goals, no ambitions, no thought of how to get from A to Z and the woman who is frustrated with that, well, she should know better. Find the man who DOES have goals and ambitions before meeting you and he will continue to have them with you. Unless of course you are too busy distracting him with reading your blog all day long.

The real question is whether or not you inspire the guy to do things – if you’re his muse, so to speak. This is where two movie lines pop into my head – because movies are often quite profound when they aren’t being totally lame. In Watchmen, when Laurie Spectre is complaining about Dr Manhattan “I cant tell if he really cares about me any more or if he’s just pretending” and Dan says “If he’s pretending, it’s because he cares.” Which I don’t think is in the book because it isn’t quite true – Dr. Manhattan doesn’t “care” so much as it’s logical to – but the point is taken. The guy will do things he isn’t a big fan of for you because it means something to you. When he stops doing these things, you’re in trouble.

And then there’s the famous line from As Good As It Gets from Jack Nicholson to Helen Hunt – “You make me want to be a better man.” So the bottom line is if he wants to take his anti-psychotic drugs to be with you, you got a keeper.

Your expectations are set by Hollywood and sky high. (2/10) “[you have] been fed a fantasy about romance and passion for so long that when a REAL act of love comes down the pike, he notices that the tread on your tires is low and buys a new set, it hardly even registers.”

Um no. Not only will it register, he will get a big huge fire starting kiss and whatever else he wants. Well, more or less. I don’t know who the author of this post has been dating, but any woman who would rather have Brad Pitt (who won’t return their calls) over the guy who will replace all her tires is just an idiot. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, we need more women like this so that men will keep looking for my friends who are all very kind hearted and grateful and not from Jersey Shore or wherever they build the women model that isn’t grateful for random acts of kindness. Maybe the line is drawn when it’s creepy for a guy to steal her car to put tires on it without her permission? I don’t know.

And for the record, we don’t need men to look like Brad Pitt (maybe more like Johnny Depp but that’s beside the point). Women who are worthwhile are looking for the man who is thoughtful, who listens to her when it counts, who finds ways to make her smile and who gets to know how SHE feels loved and appreciated. Maybe it isn’t in DOING things for her – maybe it’s in just coming in the door and giving her a hug instead of grunting in her general direction. If the guy is taking time to actually know how she feels romance, he is in like Flynn. wait, except Errol Flynn wasn’t such a great guy. So maybe that’s not a great use of the phrase… but yeah. Maybe she’s impressed with you taking out her garbage but when you hand her a bag of dark chocolate M&Ms, she wants to melt. (But not in her hand.)

And for the record, the Hollywood thing goes both ways too. I know men who are looking for the girl who walks down the stairs looking all Charlize Theron in stilettos. Women are not the only ones who want their cake and eat it too. Men have love languages too – they feel loved when a woman will cook them dinner or greet him with a cold beer and a dress made of Saran wrap. (ok that’s an awesome Hollywood moment in Fried Green Tomatoes.) But at the end of the day, our expectations are best met when no one is left to guess what they are in the first place.

You’re always looking down the road. (3/10)

The notion that only women worry about the future is, simply put, dumb. Like the kind of dumb that burns a hole through your pants with an iron. Blaming women for thinking ahead is like saying men never ask for directions. By the way, *I* never ask for directions. And guess what – I also don’t think ahead often enough. In fact I often get into trouble because I haven’t thought very far and have just been enjoying the moment and get accused of being more like a man. Like a man who can’t iron.

There is a certain type of person who looks far down the road all the time and in an effort toward self-preservation and protection, they don’t even bother down the road to begin with because they don’t see the point. Then there are people who start down every road that turns up because they have a no leaf unturned policy in life and hearts may get broken but it’s the better to love and lose and all that. And in a way, I feel like it’s the balance of the two that gets us in trouble. For too many of my dating experiences, I wanted to just enjoy the moment because I hadn’t grown up enough to rock the boat and have to sacrifice my personal enjoyment for something that may need some work to last. I don’t want to work that hard (as Billy Joel would sing in a song appropriately named “Just the way you are” which goes on to say that he doesn’t want clever conversation and I always smirk when I sing that line because it’s an outright lie for me.) But I do know that anything worth anything is going to be some work. And we try to calculate the amount of work compared to the return on investment (ROI for the business geeks) and take the risks accordingly.

You use your emotions as a weapon. (4/10)

Again, I don’t know who this guy is dating and I’m not sure if he realizes he has emotions that certainly are turned against the woman he is dating at some point. Some of the most emotional people I know are men who cry at the drop of a hat and need constant reassurance that I care and that I’m listening and that I’m not checking my text messages while on the phone with them.

On the flip side, there are those who don’t let anything get to them and it becomes a warning sign of what kind of man can he possibly be? The stereotype of women being more sympathetic over all is not without some basis, and the maternal instinct or what have you kicks in for most of us on that front. A guy says something like, “And it was the toughest thing I had to do,” and we melt into ice cream on a hot sidewalk, regardless of the fact he was just talking about throwing away his favorite t-shirt. Doesn’t matter. He’s being vulnerable = sweetest man alive.

That said, I don’t cry to get my way. If I’m crying it means I’m actually upset and if that doesn’t bother you and make you want to help me not want to cry, then we’re done. If you want to refer to that as a “weapon” then your attitude of this being some kind of battle between us is not going to help you be that successful in your relationships. We’re in this thing together and my outcome is directly related to your outcome. We both need to “win” or we will both surely lose.

You have a tendency to be critical. (5/10)

I’ll give the author this one. I am super critical. Especially of people writing articles on dating.

You like to play coy. (6/10)

Self-preservation is easily the one biggest flaw of singles every where who have been single long enough to have gotten hurt – which basically includes everyone who has ever been single. Incidentally includes everyone. I’m not gonna be the first to say hey I like you unless I have some indication that you like me too. And I might ask your friend if you like me or better I’ll have my friend ask your friend.

Wait, no I’m having flashbacks to 4th grade. And that’s where that started. At some point, I grew up. Not a lot, mind you, but I do have enough confidence to say what I’m thinking more or less. If I’m being reserved it’s because I either don’t know what I’m thinking yet or you haven’t given me enough of a reason to trust you with what I’m thinking. Maybe it’s because you are still telling your friend what to say and sending him over across the cafeteria with messages for me.

You fixate on what we’re thinking, when you should be watching what we’re doing. (7/10)

Ah the age old “What are you thinking” male versus female conundrum. There is this awesome scene in the movie Singles (which I recommend with some hesitations but overall it was hilarious and painful and hilariously painful), and let’s just say it is during The Sex and she asks him what he’s thinking and he flashes to an interview with a professional athlete and it’s this awkwardly funny moment. Maybe that’s not the best example, but honestly, no one is thinking about something profound and deeply personal at all times and there is always a degree of mutual acceptance of personal space. See the next comment below on alone time.

I am a huge fan of observation. Just watching people interact or fail to interact is a personal favorite past time of mine. People fascinate me. They can be so beautiful and also so awkward. And while some don’t really get interpersonal cues very accurately, or they filter them through their own lens of what they want to see, I feel like people who are truly interested and engaged in the other person will ask the question “what are you thinking” to get at something else. Maybe the real problem is that people simply don’t know how to ask questions or to find the appropriate time to ask the tougher questions. Or maybe we can all stand to be a little more at ease with ambiguity and unanswered questions.

You don’t understand and/or like our need for alone time. (8/10)

This again is less of a man v. woman issue than it is about personality type. EVERYONE needs a certain amount of alone time. Extroverts and introverts. They just need different amounts. And what one person may think of as alone time, i.e. alone but with you, or alone but on the computer playing some game with a friend, or alone but watching your favorite movie but not with you, may not translate to the other person very well. Sometimes a person just doesn’t feel like talking or having someone sitting next to them, mostly for fear she may want to talk.

You have a complicated set of double standards. (9/10)

I could write a book about double standards in gender equity and have thought about it. Mostly when I’m sitting getting my nails done. I’m not really sure where the author is going with this one as he tends to ramble on about how women want men to pay for everything but let us make the overture of getting out our purse and halfheartedly take out our credit card with a big ole huff and pout about it. I’m not going to say that money isn’t a big issue for some couples because it certainly is. Especially when the woman makes more and then the questions of what kind of man are you with come up. The traditional stance is that the man should be able to provide for you without your income at all, and for the modern woman that seems so old fashioned and chauvinist.

But there’s a fine line between chauvinism and chivalry. (Not to mention only an L, an R, and a Y.) Am I ABLE to get the door for myself? Of course I can. Is it NICE when he reaches in and grabs the door first to hold it open? Of course it is. Unless he smacks you with it. On accident obviously. But will I get mad if he doesn’t get the door? No. I’m not even going to think twice about it. My mom might, but hopefully he isn’t dating my mom.

You want us to change, and then lose respect for us when we do. (10/10)

Only if you change from black shoes to blue shoes wearing black pants. I think this point is the guy trying to say that women don’t want to the nice guy. It’s one of those frustrating things that we get accused of a lot. Like the ending of Grease where Sandy and Danny change for each other – well, mostly just their outfits – we really just want someone who will meet us halfway and at least be willing to, you know, admit when he is wrong or needs to change. I have often thought that if you “lose” respect for someone, you really never had it in the first place or it was based on a fabrication of the person and not solely on reality. And just like I would never encourage any woman friend to date someone who makes them unhappy, I would say to male friends that any woman who doesn’t respect you, flaws and all, is the wrong woman. end of sentence. and end of this here blog.

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