Every single day, I check my Gmail constantly looking for comments on my posts. I can’t even begin to describe how happy it makes me to hear from readers as they share their insights and their stories – somehow, in my little neck of the world, it makes me feel like we’re all in this “love addiction” journey together.
Also, as a journalist, I’m intrigued and often inspired by reading the words of others. And yesterday – a post from a frequent visitor to my blog, Facebook page, and Twitter – Mr. Moose, completely struck a chord with me (You can find his blog here). In response to “Dearly Beloved…I’m Afraid I Don’t” he said “you mentioned before you were attempting to adopt a guys attitude towards relationships (or something to that effect, I’m paraphrasing here.) but you just couldn’t do it. However you are nearly there if this post is the enshrinement of your actual thoughts on the subject.”
Now, I don’t quite remember if I did ever say that or not (I could have, but after over 100 posts, I forget!) – but I will say when I read it, I had to take a second look. And a third and fourth. Really, I kept coming back to it all day and even asked my mom what she thought about it, along with a few of my friends.
Is what I’m attempting to do with this blog, with this journey, with my dating life, is to be in a relationship like a man? To think like a guy? To be calm, cool, and collected like the many gentlemen (and jerks) who I’ve been involved with? Here I thought I was waiting for a guy with actual gumption, but in reality, I’m really just growing a pair myself?
The fact that men and women are very different creatures is not a new revelation – the great divide between the sexes is noted in every societal structure and institution. It is something that’s caused deaths, fights, wars, protests, and the introduction of new laws and viewpoints. I could go on an incredibly long rant about all of the influential, powerful female leaders in history and across the world who have helped me be as free and successful as I am, but for the purpose of this post, I’ll tell my sociology minor to calm down.
However – can we lay to rest some of these stereotypes separating what the ladies and the dudes want, think, feel, and act like in a relationship?
If dating like a man means picking my career over the opportunity for true love because my personal achievements are more important than a white picket fence. If dating like a man means I fear being exclusive with a Mr. I’m seeing because I’m so happy with how my life is, that I don’t want to change it. If dating like a man means that I value my independence and my alone time and sometimes would rather just sit at home, completely in the company of myself, and ignore phone calls or texts messages. If dating like a man means marriage scares me because I’m not ready to give up or modify my lifestyle or what I want or to commit to something so serious and life-altering. If dating like a man means I turn my head when a piece of physical beauty crosses my path. If dating like a man means I have sexual urges and desires and needs that are often not met, but I wish they would be. If dating like a man means an amazing day in the office, where I feel like I’m on top of the world, gives me way more pleasure than baking a casserole or taking care of a baby. If dating like a man means there are days when I forget to shave or not always dress to the nines. If dating like a man means I don’t always call after the first date (or even the second) and sometimes, I’m simply not interested, regardless of what they have to offer intellectually. If dating like a man means a great way to get to know someone is going to a baseball game, followed by some beers at a local pub…
…then folks, I may just be a guy. Let’s call me Mr. Tigar.
I despise the notion that women are excluded from possessing altruistic qualities and understandings once they accept the title of “girlfriend.” That because we’re female, because our bodies have higher doses of estrogen and we like to cuddle after we orgasm – we’re thought to be more dependent and that we value our independence less. That really, all of us, regardless if we have a PhD or are the head of a company or have started organizations and funds, really are just seeking a man that we can lean on and who can take care of us. That if we’re vocal with our opinions, if we decide not to get married by the age of 25, if we’re confident about who we are, what we have to offer and demand nothing less -we’re not perceived as self-reliant, but as braggers and bitches. That because we obsess about time between text messages or we want someone to think of us as irreplaceable or we want anniversaries to be remembered and see tardiness as unacceptable – we’re the more obnoxious in a relationship? Sorry dudes, but try dating yourself for just a week and I think you’ll understand. Actually, maybe even just a 24-hour period.
I will be the first to admit that these concepts are highly generalized and do not reflect every man or every woman. In fact, they probably do not represent most – but isn’t that the point? Should our sex really determine how we act when we’re in love? Do we have to take on these roles, these descriptions, these standards to be healthy when we’re part of a duo? Once we accept that Facebook request or cuddle into the nook of a man-who-could-be’s body, are we unknowingly allowing ourselves to sink into a submissive part, instead of a dominant one? Just because I’m a powerhouse and a vixen at work, that doesn’t mean I can’t be the same way when I one day flip the switch into loving-girlfriend mode. Leaving who I am at the office or tucked away for girl’s night out only gets me stuck up on some shelf or inside some box of “who I was” before I found love. A man is supposed to be my partner – not my authority. And I’ll do him the courtesy of him never having to wonder what I’m thinking or if he’ll need to take care of me – because, really, I get along pretty well on my own – even more so as this journey continues.
Men aren’t the only ones who are cowboys and desperadoes, Mr. Moose. Because if my freedom, my independence, my me-time is not allowed when I get married or stumble across a guy who is more than a possibility – then I think he’ll learn how quickly my boots are made for walkin’.
PS: If you’re a fan of Confessions of a Love Addict and want to be part of a new page on the blog, email Lindsay or send her a Tweet.
Thoroughly enjoyed this one!! I’m sure I’ll end up rereading it several times for it all to really sink in. I don’t know how the heck I stumbled on your blog, but I’m so damn glad I did!! Your posts remind me of the strong, independent woman I used to be, and how desperately I want to be that way again. Today, at 36, I see that I have lost who I used to be and need to start my own journey, and although it’s different from yours, this blog has made me remember how I always imagined I would be at this age/stage in my life…even though I am not quite there. Yet.
Now you’re even closer, ha ha!!
But as far men dating someone who acts like a sterotypical man, I think you’d be surprised. My budies and I may make plans to catch some baseball or college basketball over at BDubs. Some may show, some may not. Some may come late. Whatever happens though, none of us really care that much. It’s just whatever I suppose.
I encourage you to date like a man. I fully admit I ignore phone calls and text messages sometimes. Not always on purpose, but it happens.
There was a line in the movie “No Country For Old Men” where the wife of Josh Brolin’s character says to him “I’m not even going to ask where you’ve been.” She says this in a tone that implies she is in fact asking where he has been.
His response was “That’ll work.” Now that is an extreme example as it is actually a slight bit rude (but also funny). It illustrates something else I mentioned. Guys are just more laidback and let the chips fall where they may.
And don’t hate me, any of you readers or you Lindsay, but I don’t care how much I hear about women’s independence or women’s rights I will always remain a firm believer that there is a difference in how men and women view their independence.
Now obviously I can’t speak from personal experience about how women view independence, but when I hear women speak of independence (in general so obviously it’s not all women) it usually has some kind of leadership vibe to it or perhaps it deals with their ability to climb the corporate ladder. It always has something to do with that.
So it would appear to me that women equate independence with respect.
As far how men view independence I can happily offer fisthand experience. Men equate independence with freedom, and more on the conceptual level than the literal level though I haven’t met a man yet that wouldn’t jump at the chance if a literal opportunity would come his way.
Lindsay said she wants a partner not an authority. That’s not an uncommon sentiment from both sides. A partner offers his/her respect and creates a social atmosphere in which a relationship can survive and thrive even during those times that each person might want to be alone. I would say that a woman who wants her alone time and is firey when it comes to the relationship (as I like to say) is an independent woman. But I wouldn’t say that it’s the same as an independent man. And that’s not a bad or a good thing. It simply is just a difference.
I suppose to continue I should ask a question to you Lindsay and well any other chica that reads this: What are your three biggest desires? What is the sum fulfillment that would bring you the utmost joy?
OH! Great post by the way Lindsay. Loved it. Glad I could stoke the fires of your inner muse.
as a man, this may just be my favorite post yet. the last paragraph sums it up beautifully and i couldn’t agree more. to quote you lindsay, “my freedom, my independence, my me-time” is very important to me, and i wouldn’t want to be with someone who didn’t allow that. however, just like you said, a relationship is a partnership, and i would be a hypocrite if i didn’t allow my SO her freedom, independence, and her own “her”-time.
i hate that many men only want it their way, but what’s worse is that many women (in my experience) don’t stand up for stuff like this. for those women that do, i respect the crap out of you. real men want more of you in their lives. believe me.
Sometimes I wish I could make notes on you posts as I go along… in this case paragraph 7 would include the notes “applause” and paragraph 8 “woot woot!”. Hi Mr. Tigar you can call me Mr. Graham :D
Here, here!!! I could not have said it any better myself. Loving this post
x x x
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I love it. You came across your point very well. I am so excited
Right on Linds!
Lindsay, once again, awesome job!! Can’t wait to read this over with the girls. As all single friends (some newly single), we’ve tried to “adopt” this way of dating and talking to guys, also. Hard though, isn’t it!? haha As we continue to sit and stare at our phone…because guys can never answer texts in a timely manner, can they?
I just fell in love with this blog all over again. Not that I ever fell out but this is amazing!
Love it Linds :)
Wow, what an awesome post! A few lines I particularly enjoyed include, “If dating like a man means a great way to get to know someone is going to a baseball game, followed by some beers at a local pub…then folks, I may just be a guy.” Honestly, that sounds like the perfect first date to me! What better way to get to know someone than over beer and hotdogs? And, “Sorry dudes, but try dating yourself for just a week and I think you’ll understand.” haha. Couldn’t have said it better myself! I have recently re-connected with some of my previous “boyfriends”, (I use the term loosely) and several of them have joked about my “crazy” days. My first defense, you cannot base my entire persona on things I did as a lovestruck 19 year old. But also, I do think there are moments during relationships, especially at the beginning stages, when something as simple as the time it takes a guy to respond to a text can drive a girl absolutely crazy. Not that it is intentional on either part, but I think that guys and gals just have a different way of viewing such a meaningless event. Or rather, maybe girls spend entirely too much time over-analyzing things, while guys don’t even give it a second thought. Great post!
I think there are different kinds of strength. I agree that BOTH sides need alone time and together time. Both people need to have a life outside of their couplehood. Both people need to have other resources of love, care and respect. If you have just one well from which to draw water, unless the water is endless, the supply will run out. And people don’t have endless supplies of water. We are frail and have faults. No one person have fill another person. At the same time, there is a different kind of strength it takes to offer your heart to someone. Women do crave closeness and intimacy (as do men, although differently), but isn’t it hard to stay open all the time? When that guy lets you down or doesn’t fulfill your expectations, what do you do? Typically we shut down or try to create outcomes. It is very difficult to just remain open, and offer your heart to someone. I don’t think of females as weak or men as always strong. We have different roles and that’s a beautiful thing.
Welcome to the club :) I’ve never enjoyed dating as much as I have since adopting a similar philosophy. As always, you brightened my day!
LOVE THIS!!!!! GO MR. TIGAR :)
That’s my girl!
Another great post! And a great attitude to cultivate. Personally i think ALL women could stand to learn a thing or two from men when it comes to relationships, namely to be more easygoing. Women have extremely high expectations and anxiety when it comes to men and it’s crazy. Most of the time we are stressing about nothing in any case. We need to just enjoy the ride. Not giving men a free pass here, just saying that there is no need to analyze every little thing. Another thing with guys (besides being easygoing) is that they are pretty easy to read. You will KNOW if they like you because they will show it – if they aren’t showing it, they don’t like you! It’s pretty simple! There’s no hidden meaning and mind games like girls have. We ladies need to keep that in mind. Besides I tend to think guys worry and think more than they let on, but for them it’s not as socially sanctioned
I like this comment. Pretty much nails it. Easygoing is the way to be. I wonder why it comes more naturally to guys than girls though? Perhaps social engineering?
AH! Things I think all women should remember. Beautifully written! I love how clearly you can express your thoughts! Makes it a lot easier for us ladies ;)
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This is just awesome! the very time i stumbled at your blog, i never got tired of checking every blog that you wrote.. It’s amazing and completely giving me cracks all the time! You’re a good writer.. and thnak you.. am learning a lot… I’m on the verge of putting my experiences in relationships in my blog, too..
AM LOVIN’ it, Lindsey.. i love your blog!
This was something I really needed to read before my date (Saturday). Men want to fall in love with their best friends (the women who’ll watch the game with him, and not run away in the sight of a spider)who will be attractive to him in both heels and sweatpants. They want someone who’s independent and not a leech– yes of course they want to “take care & protect” their women but I believe that this is a natural instinct of all humans –somehow it’s been greatly weighed on men to women and mothers to children.
If a man doesn’t respect or invite your independence the I’ve noticed the relationship (both in my Women’s Studies and in friendships and family) become abusive.
Think about it when love translate to calling every five minutes to let the spouse know where you are/ what you’re doing, making you move to an unknown place where you have no family friends separating you from your career (or even just making you stay home after the kid’s born so that you have no skills after being away from the workforce after 18 years– relying solely on your spouse to balance the check book– if they are ever taken out of the equation how does said women learn to survive?
I’ve never been good at ending relationships (I’ve been told i end them “like a man” cutting the person off completely with no emotion attached). But society tells us women we have to be emotional– that only the “evil whore” breaks hearts, dates and sleeps with many man (why can’t we choose?) why does waiting until you’ve succeed in your career to start a family or being a single mother who adopts a child mean the decline of the nuclear family.
men are glorified at my job for staying later hours “making a living for their family” while women in similar positions are told “wow it must be hard on your family that your aren’t around/ work all the time.”
In 2011– I vow to date…like a man.
great post my dear
I agree that we as women can learn from a man (and vice versa), but I am almost afraid that the women here are ashamed of being women. It’s okay to want closeness, etc. But if you are always the one feeling in insecure, then you are not allowing the guy to feel his insecurities. I remember this book I read The Dance of Anger. It was all about women who are angry because their spouses weren’t delivering. Then she nags and he resents even more. The point is the woman was expressing so many negative emotions, that the man wasn’t having to deal with any of his. She was feeling needy towards him, but once she gave him some space, he was able to feel he needed her, too. You can’t do anything to get certain outcomes or results, but you can take charge of your own thought life and actions. If you feel like the other person doesn’t give as much as you, stop giving so much. Are they asking you to?
All this to say, there is no shame in being a female and all that it entails. We shouldn’t try to be men. Men like women, otherwise why would they be with us. We should be proud of being female and recognize the strengths we bring to a relationship.
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