Musings from outside the mainstream.
I’m dating again and so I’m hearing women’s stories again. Within the first few exchanges they’re telling me about men who are aggressive or looking for sex on the first date. They complain about the dearth of interesting men and of men in their forties talking about high school football for over an hour. And of course they bemoan the poor hygiene, conservative politics and men who are under-employed.
It’s not that I don’t believe them. It’s that I’ve got stories too. I’ve got reasons to be guarded as well.
I don’t know what’s more exhausting; trying to determine what input or comment indicates something you can count on to be true versus what you should ignore, or run away from. It’s taken some time and a lot of pain to realize that when a woman says “I’m looking for a teacher” or “I think I’m supposed to learn something from you,” it’s not as much of a compliment as it would seem. They’re not interested in you; they’re only interested in what they can get from you.
As it turns out, I should have run in the opposite direction from both of them.
Some women treat men like a tool or an accessory. As someone who has felt like both, I’m not sure which is worse. Relationship does have utilitarian aspects. The consistent companion, the known lover who can provide the intimacy and validation we desire is important and practical. But I am not interchangeable or disposable.
I have found that when a woman is getting her way and you agree with her, she can be quiet happy and appreciative of your presence in her life. But what if you don’t agree with her? What if you have needs that differ from hers? Suddenly you don’t match the outfit or the vison in her heard of what relationship is supposed to be.
The unspoken truth about women is that they are not so fair. They are not above it all. They get bored, they aren’t truthful and they seek variety as much as men. The narrative that lays this behavior at the feet of men and only men is, simply put, wrong.
As a young man I had a lot of empathy for women. I had never really dated before, so I used to believe the lie that I heard so frequently when single women would complain “there aren’t any good men left.” But then I started dating for the first time in my life, post-divorce. Now I have my own stories.
It’s not that women do the same things as men, but that they’re just as unaccountable.
In fact, when trying to identify where they were in life and what they wanted out of relationship, I’ve had grown women tell me flat out “I don’t want to be accountable.” The symmetry in these two memories is surreal. They had both indicated some preference of what they were looking for as we got together, but their actions later did not reconcile with what they had said. I was looking for clarification about how they presented themselves; I didn’t think I was asking for accountability. But perhaps I was.
My stories include; the woman who never invited me to her home after I welcomed her into my life completely, meeting my child and my parents, the woman who wasn’t truthful about sexual health/risk such as sleeping with a married man prior to me, or the intimate partners who went off birth control with no warning or discussion.
There are women who take male desire (and orgasm) for granted. That is, until it’s gone. They alternate between deriding you for only having one thing on your mind and pouting like a 12 year old girl when you’re not pursing them. There are women who will fuck you and gladly accept your sexual energy and the validation it gives them, but not really consider you a true life mate if you don’t make that much money. And there are women who will scorn you if you have needs too, and eventually leave you if you have an expectation that your needs will get addressed as well theirs in relationship.
The narrative of the irresponsible or incorrigible man exists and gets extended play. I would never deny the experiences that women have had, or attempt to deny the poor behavior of men. But there is another story that doesn’t get nearly as much air play, despite the preponderance of poor behavior by women.
I keep waiting for a grown woman to arrive in my life. I want to bask in the full knowing of another. I want to be with someone open and honest and ready to merge. I have sought her out and offered my transparent heart. I bought into the concept of equality; I just haven’t seen it returned.
And so I wait.