Friday, May 18, 2012

We Have a Shared Responsibility

I was reminded recently of a comment that I once heard a radio DJ make after he played the Destiny's Child song Independent Woman. The song is a kind of self-purported anthem for female independence, and one verse goes like this:
Question, tell me, how do you feel about this?
Try to control me boy you get dismissed
Pay my own fun, oh and I pay my own bills
Always 50-50 in relationships
As the song faded out, the DJ scoffed and said something along the lines of "Always 50-50 in relationships? Clearly these girls have never been married, because if it isn't 100-100 in a relationship, sorry, but it isn't going to work." That comment has always stuck with me.

Because most of the posts I write are about the things women should do to please and attract men, readers might get the impression that I think relationships should consist entirely of a woman constantly working to attract and please her boyfriend or husband. While I do think that a woman needs to constantly work to do so, I also believe that a man has the equally onerous obligation of constantly attracting, protecting and providing for his woman. A man should pour as much energy into his efforts as his woman pours into hers. As the radio DJ pointed out, both parties need to be giving 100 % if they want it to work.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), this blog is not the correct forum for giving men advice about how to make their efforts, which is why it might give some readers an impression of one-sidedness; but I definitely do not believe relationships are a one-way street.

17 comments:

  1. It all goes back to self-worth.if you have a sense of high self-worth, then your presenting self is that of such, and the other person will act accordingly.If their actions reflect their inability to see your self-worth or their own, this will be obvious very quickly.

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  2. Andrew,

    I don't believe that anyone would view your blog as advocating that only women should be doing the work. I am sure all or most of your readers recognise that you are targeting women (and thank you for this, by the way) who wish to find a good longterm mate. So 100% of your posts will be about what a woman should be doing. The men are getting their advice from elsewhere.
    I agree entirely with you that men have a totally different strategy when it comes to relationships. It is not so much 'relationship maintenance' which is a woman's domain, but more like 'logistical life maintenance' which is what you describe - keeping the attraction going (as opposed to a woman's 'keeeping the connection going'), providing, protecting...

    Each has his/her own role, yes.

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    1. Agreed. But also to add that the blog discourages women from accepting bad behaviour, so it is not just about putting the work in, it is making sure you are getting as much back from them.

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  3. Hi Andrew,

    I really enjoy your blog, and was wondering if you could talk a little about the dreaded 'pull back phase' in the beginning of dating a guy. Is there such a thing, or is it women deluding themselves when the guy just is losing interest?

    I'm in the mist of that right now, I haven't heard from the guy I've been dating for nearly 3 months for more than a week now. Even though it was tacitly acknowledged that we were not seeing anyone else, I'm just operating as if I were single this week. I haven't initiated contact either. I'm just super confused since it came from nowhere, and honestly I feel a little hurt. Any advice?

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    1. That sucks... sorry to hear it, but it happens. Most guys have to get rejected like that many times before a girl accepts, so I know how it feels. 90 % of the time, the pull-back phase is women deluding themselves. He wouldn't pull back if he was sure about dating you.

      Anyway, you gain nothing by contacting him now. Wait a while longer. If he still doesn't contact you after another week and you need "closure," (which is fair enough), call him and ask him what's going on. Tell him you understand if he doesn't want to date, but you just need to know one way or the other. It would be fair to give him shit for not being up-front with you about it, but that is up to you.

      If he doesn't want to date, don't do the "just friends" thing - cut him off completely.

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    2. Can you give a reason of why you may think he has pulled back?
      Like most women, I can reject a guy upfront or realize we're not compatible after 3 dates, but I wouldn't suddenly change my mind after 3 months of exclusive dating. Only if we had a major fight or something like that.
      This is the kind of thing which makes women wonder if a guy has "disappeared to the island of lost men". What do you think - he is back with his ex?

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    3. There have been plenty of times when I've gone out with a girl 5 or 6 times (usually that equates to a couple months for me) only to decide that she wasn't really right for me. You don't want to write a girl off just because you don't see fireworks on the first date, but things are a little more clear usually by two or three months.

      Then again, if I am still seeing a girl by that point, I usually have enough respect for her to tell her to her face that I don't think it is going to go anywhere.

      The other possibility is that another girl came into the picture.

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    4. "Then again, if I am still seeing a girl by that point, I usually have enough respect for her to tell her to her face that I don't think it is going to go anywhere."

      This is what I'm thinking is the case for most decent guys. I rarely experience hearing nothing (although I'll be honest I haven't been rejected after that long). If a guy seems decent and great in every way possible, isn't it reasonable to assume that he'd say something after 3 months of dating? How often does a guy go from the greatest guy in the world to a complete asshole? I am genuinely confused as to why I may not hear anything for a week.

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    5. Question about him meeting another girl. How does that work when you have been dating a guy for a few dates while and you think everything is going good and he tells you he just met a girl? He only knew her a few days too. I asked him what he liked in her and he mentioned a short list then said "But those are the things I like about you too" and asked if we can be friends for now.

      Does this mean she is significantly prettier than me?

      And he has been talking/flirting with me hard for over the 2 months they have been dating and constantly telling me he likes/misses me, trying to plan dates with me etc.

      AnonymousLilly

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    6. I'd say there is a 85 % chance that it is because she is hotter, and a 15 % chance it is because you are on the same level looks wise but he has a genuine connection with her that was instant.

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  4. Yea, I'm fairly certain it's another girl and if it's the girl I think it is, she looks exactly like his ex... It just was really sudden. I always thought actions speak louder than words, but he really had me duped!

    To be fair, I wasn't really open emotionally with him and communication was a problem. The pride is wounded, but I'm keeping my dignity :)

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  5. I've recently become an Ivy League student and told that I'm better looking than average. I'm terrified I will never get married. Do you believe there's someone out there for everyone? How can I find him/s?

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    1. If you are better looking than average all you need to do is have a good personality and you will get SOME guys. If you improve your appearance, your odds will increase dramatically.

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  6. What if the guy is making you do a lot of the work..for instance he is asking you to go visit him all of the time (i.e the girl is doing all of the running after him)..and is hesitant to get involved in your life (even though he involves you in his)..I feel like I'm living in his shadow a little. We haven't been together long. I have read article where it's like "he must be out of your league"..but I'm not sure he is.

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    1. It's a case of "he's just not that into you." Your league is relative because all men have different taste. You might be able to attract a guy that you think is in a higher league than this guy, even though this guy doesn't seem to care that much. He thinks you are in a lower "league" even though to other men - maybe most men - you are actually out of HIS league. There isn't much you can do about it other than cutting him off and moving on to find a guy who thinks you are amazing (and working to make yourself MORE amazing in the meantime ;)).

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  7. Hi, Andrew. Nice post. Just like to share with you, what do you think of this blog: http://letmenchaseyou.wordpress.com/ ?

    Do you think it's if 'fair' for women and men in terms of pursuing a relationship?

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  8. I say it's better to pay proportionally to what you make. This way it is truly fair. In other words your time is agreed to be of equal value. Can I drop my website please: how to tighten skin. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete

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