Gather ’round, men. We need to talk.Wait! Don’t go away, ladies. I have something for you, too. Let me address the men first, though.
Ok guys, if there’s one thing I’ve heard from women more than anything else it’s that they’re frustrated with men not representing themselves honestly. They say things like, “Why does he ask me to hang out rather than saying let’s go on a date!” or “Why does he say he’ll come by sometime and then never show up or call?”
As is often the case, I’m hearing this from mature women (35+) in regards to mature(?) men. If you’re a college-aged person, this may not pertain to you. So I’m asking you, guys – what’s the deal?
Hmm. Crickets. I guess I’ll just have to present my hypothesis:
You’ve already had a long-term relationship. Maybe you were married. Maybe you had kids and helped raise a family. Now that you are single again, you really don’t want to jump right back into a similar situation. You want to date a bit. Fool around a bit. Maybe restore some of those feelings that you’re a vibrant male, brimming with sexuality. That’s great. I’ve been there.
But all the women you meet seem to be looking for a serious relationship, you say. They’ve also done the marriage and kids thing, but they want that stable relationship again. Certainly true in many cases, though not all. You think that if you tell a woman upfront that you’re not looking for something serious, that you want to roam a bit, that she may not be up for that and you won’t get the first date. Entirely possible. So you don’t tell the truth. You waffle. You speak vaguely. You flake. You retain some degree of plausible deniability. You disrespect the very maleness you are seeking.
Man up! Say what you mean! (Still there ladies? Almost with you. Hang tight.)
Guys, either have the courage of your convictions that you have a right to live your life as you see fit (because you do) and live with the consequences of it (a potentially smaller pool of dates) or reevaluate what you’re actually willing to live up to and live up to it. Stopping making us all look bad! Granted, in some way, you’re making the guys with the cojones to be honest look even better, but I think a rising tide raises all boats.
Ok ladies, I’ve presented my hypothesis. I’m actually pretty confident in it. Will the guys listen? I hope so, but maybe they won’t. So, what are you going to do?
Here’s my suggestion:
The next time a guy asks you to do something in a vague sort of way ASK FOR CLARIFICATION! Put your big girl panties on and say, “What do you mean by hang out? Do you mean go on a date?” or “Are you saying you will stop by or might stop by?”
Any time he says something vague and you say nothing back, anytime you fail to stand up for yourself but instead just take it as something you can use to complain about later, you’re adding to a bad situation.
All of this leads to the oh-so-common “men suck/women suck” complaints we hear all the time. If communication is poor, both parties are at fault if nothing is done to fix it. If you try and the effort isn’t put forth by the other person. Move on.
A final thought.
Ladies, just because a lot of men you meet want something very different than you (such as a casual relationship) doesn’t mean they suck. You can’t make someone want the same thing you want. And guys? Same thing. Just because a lot of women you meet want something very different than you (a stable relationship) doesn’t mean they suck. You both have a right to seek what you want. You simply have to realize that you both have a much smaller pool to choose from. Welcome to adulthood. Welcome to modern love.
Steve is the founder of Straight Talk Entertainment and currently produces and writes for the audio drama Aural Traditions, recently voted Charleston City Paper’s Best Local Podcast. He’s also an Information Security professional and avid shark tooth hunter.