Saturday, October 30, 2004

Responses

To all the readers who responded (or will be responding) to my post, thank you very much. For those of you who are wondering what I am talking about, see here. In my life-long quest to....hm, what's the word? Understand is too hopeful a term....perhaps, my life-long quest to better relate to the opposite gender, I am always thrilled and educated when I get responses from my readers regarding relationship issues. The following are bits and pieces of the responses I received. Some are a bit personal, so I am only posting parts of certain e-mails, and all names are withheld. For an excellent response from Naked Villainy's posters, see Maximum Leader's post, and Shareholder's post. Much appreciation to both gentlemen. They are magnanimous beings, in the truest sense. And from a female reader (and one who knows us in the flesh), I received this:
You and [your friend] are very intense, analytical women that love to be intellectually stimulated. This is not a bad thing and it would definitely be wonderful for you to meet a man that is able to satisfy you in that way....however, for most people the "instant" intensity can be overwhelming. You are right, by nature men don't worry or pay attention to or address those aspects in a relationship. That is until there is a real relationship. All of the men that I have dated and know as friends along with the one that I married are allthe same. Build trust and the deeper interest will come. Most men do not communicate as openly as we women would like. Some men merely grunt! LOL Tell her to give it some time and build up to it. [Your friend] should be who she is, but maybe modify her expectations from a potential mate. I am NOT saying sacrifice or settling in any way, but if she is has the expectations....then her partner should know that going in. She is judging (for lack of a better word) his lack of interest and he doesn't have a clue!! He may feel blind sided when she becomes "let down" or disappointed by him.
And a few bits and pieces from my male readers:
I think you are on to something. It may lead to interesting and/or difficult times later when each finds the other can't stand one's favorite TV show, hobby, etc., but at least for my part I did look for more general characteristics rather than specific. I was also interested in whether my wife and I could have fun together. As life goes on, there have to be breaks in the routine, and batteries recharged. Having fun together is critical for this. That does not mean that each can also have their own personal ways of having fun as long as they aren't damaging to the relationship, but common fun helps build and keep bonds. The other major area that men tend not to explore that they should be encouraged to, is ideas of child-rearing. A lenient spouse to a strict disciplinarian is a recipe for disaster. It is far more important that the environment be consistent than one way or the other, although I tend to opt for the more disciplined and structured version than the lenient one. [No, not a boot-camp atmosphere either] I think guys want to be comfortable more than communicative. It comes from the original bread-winner bacon-fryer dichotomy. He spends the day out in the world defeating nature and building survival and wants to rest in the evening. She has drudged all day long taking care of the kids and house and wants to rest also. It is only with the changes in our society where it is possible for women to get out in the world as well that we see some of the conflicts we do now over role responsibilities. The communication in past times couldn't have been in great depth, their worlds were too far apart. She couldn't care about the fine points of chopping down a tree or shooting a deer, she just needed the result, and he could care less about the fine points of baking in a Dutch oven over an open fire or the details of the kids' day, he just needed food and happy, healthy kids. Granted this is painted with too broad a brush to be truly accurate but I think it makes the point(s). At one time the differences were more important to family survival than similarities. That is changing, but human nature doesn't change that fast. And now that the barbarians are at the gates again, we may need to go back to that model to some extent. {Brainstorm: is this underlying some of the rabidity of the left? The new models of human behavior they have invested so much capital in don't work in real adversity? That is real defeat.}
I as a man want a partner who is happy and at peace with herself. A partner who can be partners in life. Do things together. Work towards common goals. Common dreams. Sure there will be differences. Like I like politics and sometimes want some time to read through blogs or watch C-SPAN. My partner may want to do something else. But for the most part, I as a man want peace and tranquility. If you want new direction, state it and we will go that direction. If you want something for dinner that really suits your fancy just state it. If you find that I could improve in some area let me know without making it a mountain. Passion is good. Adds spice to the relationship. And for the most part I don't mind it.
Hmmm.... in my younger days it was purely sexual and how much fun I could have.....now it is more like can she keep me mentally stimulated...
Although your initial list of male/female differences is correct in many facets, you do not include the element of fear (as explicitly referenced in the following post on the social acceptability of men criticizing women). Experience has taught that discussions with women on the deeper issues can get you into much trouble. Sufficient trouble to terminate an otherwise satisfactory relationship. This happens often enough (if it hasn't happened to every man, it's happened to one of his friends) to create an avoidance of the whole thing. In your commentary, you also overstate an bit the male interest in pursuing separate activities. At least for many of us. I, for one, am looking for a woman who shares many interests since I want to be with someone I like to be with a lot of the time, not just at home. There will be some separate interests, of course, but there should be some shared ones as well. Your friend's friend probably avoids "deep" talk because he wants to avoid emotional outbursts. Men find such outbursts trying and tedious. They would rather talk about something objective. So the lady needs to demonstrate great calm to get on with him. Then she can cautiously move on to the occasional "deep" subject and get some response.
Again, I can't thank you all enough for your thoughts and sharing your personal experiences. It is very valuable, and if anyone else would care to respond, please feel free. Now, I'm off to see about that sex-change....