The other day a guy left a comment expressing frustration at Sexual Attraction + Compatibility = Nothing? His point was that he gets jerked around by girls all the time, especially when he is a nice guy. They lead him on, flirt and fuss, and then say they don’t want to date. It got me thinking that we really could use a guy’s perspective here at Hooking Up Smart. So many X chromosomes, so little input from Y chromosomes! Figuring out how guys think often feels like the most challenging task we face. To that end, here’s an article by Chris Kennedy.chris-kennedy1He’s writing for a slightly older audience, but it still totally applies. I found it over at DivineCaroline.com and it does a nice job of providing a male perspective. Uh, yeah, I know. He’s gorgeous, psssssst. I figure he’s so good lookin’ that he is qualified to speak from experience. Let me know what you think in the Comments section.
“Why won’t he commit?”
“Get your man to say ‘I do!’”
“Why don’t guys call when they say they will?”
Peruse any magazine rack and various Web sites and you’ll see headlines such as these splattered all over. Inside you’ll read article upon article about how women can decode, seduce, corral, turn on, and coerce men.
One is left to believe that men don’t want to be married or in any sort of committed relationship, men don’t want to treat women well, men don’t want families, men don’t want to settle down, and worst of all, men don’t even have the desire or the ability to communicate any of this about themselves. Good thing we smell so good.
As a man, I’m starting to feel gosh … a little … frustrated … angry … defensive.
I don’t see much out there to counter these sorts of articles, perhaps because men’s magazines are outnumbered by women’s magazines by about fifty to one (my unofficial estimate).
So please allow me to defend my gender so I can put some different lines in your head.
See, I happen to know men who are actually nice, intelligent, and kind-men who want families, treat women well, and are ready to settle down. I’ll leave their information for you at the bottom of the page. (Now, you’ll read on!)
Ah, ha. But my last parenthetical statement is just as false of an assumption about women as all the negative media rhetoric is about men.
I happen to know women who don’t want to be married and/or in a serious relationship. I know women who aren’t the articulate, clear communicators they’re supposed to be. I know women who aren’t that into kids and don’t want a family.
So pardon my frustration, and other men’s, when we read articles portraying us as the incapable, the insincere, and the incompetent gender.
I’m not denying that some men don’t have any of the above maladies, but these headlines and articles are about the men who either aren’t ready or are jerks.
By projecting overly simplistic, generic proclamations about men and their supposed deficiencies, these articles and beliefs deflect the attention from where it needs to be … on the women who are choosing to chase after the guys who aren’t ready to settle down.
In real estate, it’s about location, location, location. In relationships, it’s about timing, timing, timing.
You like the guy who is independent, happy, uncommitted, unrestrained, adventurous, ultimately interesting? Okay. He likes himself too. And the kicker is … one of the reasons you like him is because he’s not listening to any rules you or other women have for him.
This is where “nice” guys make the “mistake” of being too available, too nice, and not edgy enough. Quite honestly, they might be trying too hard to be who they think you want them to be.
More than you ladies care to admit, you speed past these guys chasing after the playboys. You like the chase? Granted. Just admit that-but please stop saying the nice guys don’t exist. The problem is women don’t always know what they want.
Don’t feel bad, a lot of other women are chasing these unavailable men around too … which is probably why these guys don’t think you’re so special … they’re surrounded and you’re just another pretty face in the crowd.
Here are some responses to the questions above:
“Why won’t he commit?”
Guys are not so hard to figure out as these articles would have you think. If a guy wants to be with you, he’ll let you know. When a guy wants something, he goes after it.
If a guy doesn’t want to be with you, he’ll let you know that too. How can you tell? By his actions.
Most men who don’t want relationships are pretty obvious in their actions and words about that fact. If he doesn’t call you on a regular basis; if he only calls you last minute to do something; if he doesn’t put any effort into seeing you, it’s pretty clear he doesn’t want anything serious. You can read into his actions any way you want to, make all the excuses you want for him but the obvious answer is that you should go elsewhere if you want a relationship.
There’s nothing to decode. It’s hard enough for a guy to communicate what he really feels without giving himself the burden of trying to trick or manipulate you. Guys don’t want complicated.
If these disgruntled women would admit that they go for the unattainable, uninterested in anything serious guys, then no one would feel so misled. But that’s a hard thing to admit about oneself, and instead of figuring out why they’re choosing to go for these guys, they find false comfort in these articles that make them the victims and allow them not to take responsibility for their actions.
It could be a simple fix or more than likely, it’s a deep-seated issue that they’ll have to work out and work on. It’s not easy to change. And while these women are working on this, they’ll probably find that they are not ready to be in the serious relationship they thought they wanted.
Men won’t commit … because you women won’t commit.
Let’s be honest ladies, you’re sending men some mixed messages and impossible contradictions.
You say you want a man to be strong, yet you also want him to cave in when you want something.
You want a man to be attentive and kind and open but not too available or too much of a pushover.
You want a man to make good money but not be too wrapped up in his job so that it takes time away from you.
Maybe the guys who are on the exciting side are exciting because they don’t care much for what women are telling them to be, they’re just be-ing. They are out and about. Traveling. Making money. On dates. Working out.
In other words, these guys are a bit selfish. They don’t need to be in a relationship with you to make their lives interesting. The nice, responsible guys who can give you the security and commitment you seek … well, you tend to find them boring.
“Why don’t guys call when they say will?”
First off, men unduly get a bad rap on this because the burden is on them to ask for your phone number and make that initial call in the first place.
I answer this question with a couple questions: “Why does a girl give her phone number to a guy she’s not interested in?” “Why do women not call back after they’ve given their number out?” Come on ladies, you’ve all done it.
There are many reasons why a guy doesn’t call and a girl doesn’t return a call: sobering up, second thoughts, a more interesting option they’d rather focus on to name a few, and they’re all valid enough.
The reasons are really irrelevant. The bright side is you haven’t invested much or wasted much time if someone doesn’t call you or call you back. Easy come, easy go.
A man has to realize he wants to be in a serious relationship and/or marriage on his own. No coercing, no mind games, no special lingerie-yes, really-will change that.
But this is a good thing ladies. You want him to figure this out on his own. You don’t want to have to trick a guy into saying “I do” before he’s ready or you will pay for this later on-infidelity, resentment, divorce. Bottom line-do you really want to convince someone he should marry you?
It’s your responsibility, male or female, to figure out who you are and what you want in life and in relationships. Then, act on it and communicate it honestly.
These articles really aren’t solutions but complaints and desperate attempts to change things outside of your control. What these articles should do is assist you in finding out who you are, what you want, and then, whom you should go after.
Ladies, when you do this, you’re more likely to find the good guy who will call you, commit to you, and say “I do.”