I’ve tried not to make general assumptions about men or about women in this blog.
I feel like each of the sexes deserve as much credit as the other one and are about as different as North Carolina and New York City. Men deal with issues that women will never be able to wrap their head around and vice versa. I’m under the belief that unless you have sincerely walked a mile in someone’s shoes (where it be high heels or dress shoes or no shoes at all) – you can’t really say with certainty how it feels to be someone else. While there is a sincere contrast, and sometimes I’d like to pull my hair out and bang my head up against a wall to understand what a man is thinking – men are welcome in my clubhouse, and though some have cooties, most are at least tolerable to be around.
However, even though I recognize there are innate distinctions between the dudes and dudettes – I will admit that going into this journey, I was under the impression that it was only women who dealt with my self-proscribed love addiction.
I was convinced it was a woman’s issue to freak out not only about the duration between text messages, the unanswered and unreturned phone calls or dating a man who seems to be allergic to commitment- but also get upset and worried about the fact that, we are, in fact, freaking out. Because women aren’t really supposed to lose their cool – or at least in front of the guy they are dating or hoping to be exclusive with, right?
Furthermore, I was also under the assumption that it was just women who fed or played into the nagging voices in our head that constantly ask annoying and self-defeating questions like “Is he really out there?” “Am I wasting my time with Mr. Not Right?” “Should I go back to him, even though I don’t really think he is it?” or “Are all men really just jackasses?”
And while I’ve known and dated men who want families and marriages one day, I was even more confident in my belief that women are the ones who spend time analyzing until-death-do-we-part, and men spend time mourning until-random-sex-do-we-part.
I realize these notions are sexist and shed a very unpleasant light upon all of the men of the world, even when I know in my heart that there are great guys out there who often get overlooked. But recently, as he usually does, Mr. Unavailable opened my eyes to a side of the male population that I didn’t know existed.
We were walking about in the city, laughing and sharing stories, when we got on the topic of love. To be honest, it is something we talk about frequently since the whole foundation of our friendship is the result of diviluging some personal and recent heartbreaks with one another. Nevertheless, on this particular day he discussed a guy in his hometown who was once a successful banker in the city, then moved back to Queens, and does something-or-another for the chamber of something. He is also 40-plus, never been married, and childless.
After Mr. Unavailable described this man to me, he quickly shot back with “I just hope I’m not that guy one day.”
In the conversation itself, I of course eased his fears and promised him he would never end up without a Mrs. or a bulky resume and a house full of kids. While I was sincere when I said that to him, in the back of my mind, I was recovering from a state of shock. Here is this guy who is absolutely wonderful in so many ways with an incredibly bright future ahead of him, and he’s worried about finding a lady to love, and to love him in return?
Is he out of his mind? There is no reason under the sun that I would ever picture this man alone in the long-run. Sure he’s banged up and bruised and moving forward – but no one stays knocked down forever. And especially not someone who has not only drive and talent, but a kind soul and a positive aura. Not to mention, good looks and an independent, adventurous spirit.
As he’s talking about something else and I’m effectively getting lost in my own thoughts, I realize - wait, a second: didn’t I just describe myself? I have all of those alluring qualities and things going for me. I’m not a hopeless case, nor am I the only one, apparently, who has doubts and intense fears about happily ever after. (Though I’m still question what exactly is the before, the after refers to, but I digress)
Sure, I’ve heard all of my girlfriends at different stages in their lives and even now, share all of their apprehensions about love, but there was something different (and rather refreshing) about hearing it from a man. Because while Mr. Unavailable is a special person, I know there have to be other guys in this world and in this city who share some of his same anxieties and perplexities. And if that’s the case, maybe there is some hope, right?
Man or woman, gay or straight, married or single – we all just want love. And we want to never question if we’ll find it in this vast universe and endless sea of fish to bait, but just have the confidence that when the time and person is just-right, it will all fall into place.
So maybe, instead of placing labels on the emotional side of a relationship that dictate what’s a man’s responsibility and what’s a woman’s to lose sleep over, why don’t we come from the same understanding? Maybe women are from Venus and men are from Mars, but can’t we just meet on Earth and give each other love?