It would seem that whilst I am most definitely sitting on the shelf (though I refuse to resign myself to being a long term dust trap), a couple of guys I know have progressed their dating to the ‘snogging’ and ‘canoodling’ stage.
And I have been listening to their tales with bated breath, fascinated to hear their male perspective on the whole thing.
Let’s be honest, there aren’t that many men out there who are prepared to go to a bar and share their innermost thoughts with other men. There’s the bravado, the teasing and usual macho ‘guy stuff’ that goes on, that prevents this. However, as I am a woman, and a single woman at that, these two lovely men have been a bit more open with me. And what’s fascinating is that whilst they are clearly very different characters (one is very outgoing, confident and brave enough to take it on the chin if he is rejected; the other is much more reserved and fearful of rejection) ultimately, they both want someone they can have a meaningful relationship with.
So, with all this going on behind the scenes, I was fascinated to receive a link to an article from a friend of mine. It was entitled:
Top 5 Myths Women (Still) Believe about Men
In brief, these myths are:
1. Myth: A man won’t respect you if you have sex on the first date.
Apparently, this is hogwash – because it suggests that the act of ‘withholding’ sex equates to respect. Not so, says the article. Every situation is different.
I have spoken to quite a number of men about this. And I have come to the conclusion that it probably is true that a man won’t think less of you for having sex on the first date. But just because you’ve had sex, doesn’t mean you ‘know’ each other, or that it will lead to something more meaningful. So, if the relationship doesn’t pan out, it’s not because you had sex early on, it’s because it was never going to work. Unfortunately however, a woman who has had sex early on, is likely to have believed it is more meaningful and will be infinitely more wounded than if she had abstained.
2. Myth: Men love the chase. Not so. If a man is interested he has to stick his neck out, risking rejection or humiliation. But on the other hand, women love to be chased. Fair point!
3. Myth: Men prefer something to be left to the imagination. Well, the writer seems a bit confused over this one. Apparently, men just want to know what a woman will look like undressed (no shit, Sherlock!). But for those of us who don’t inhabit a nudist colony, he is unclear about whether women should be going out dressed like a tart or a nun.
4. Myth: A man can’t be friends with a woman without wanting to have sex with her. The writer thinks this is false. And I agree – but only if he’s not attracted to her, or if he’s happy to accept it is not going to lead anywhere. And this goes both ways.
5. Myth: Men are intimidated by strong, independent women. Again, the writer and I both disagree with this statement, on the basis that ‘some are’ and ‘some aren’t’. But it’s hardly rocket science!
OK – I said I was fascinated to receive the link. I was, before I read the article. But I have to say the title of the article was a typical case of ‘over promising and under delivering’.
And so I go back to these two lovely men I know. Both setting out on the dating game. Both of them kind and decent people.
One of these men already feels that the ‘lady’ in question is a decent woman, but not necessarily a long term prospect. He is however hoping for a bit of ‘bedroom action’ along the way. The other is undecided as to whether the woman in question is a ‘possibility’, although he clearly thinks she’s a decent person. But he has not made any overt ‘bedroom’ plans and I suspect that if he decides there is no possibility of a long term meaningful relationship, he will call it to a halt before he gets to the bedroom door.
So here’s the bottom line: everyone’s different. There are some men who have the confidence to go out and date women, and are prepared to take it on the chin if they are rejected. There are others who miss opportunities because they’re too shy and fearful of rejection, because a woman they are attracted to wants a bit of a chase. There will be men who never had any intention of developing a meaningful relationship with a woman, they just want to get a bit of action. And there are men who are treated appallingly by women, who want to be treated like a goddess, until they find the man they’re really after.
So why do we create such problems for ourselves by gender stereotyping.
Speaking for myself, I realise (with the benefit of hindsight), that I have to put myself ‘out there’ if I want to find someone. And if I want to minimise the hurt I will feel if I’m rejected, there has to be a point at which I stop, before I know the man well enough to know if it’s a long term prospect.
For me, that stop point is the bedroom door, because I will never be able to separate sex and emotions. Some women can. But I just can’t.
And I do not believe that a woman should blame a man for taking his opportunities if they are served on a plate. That said, I would have a great deal of respect for a man who identifies that I would be deeply hurt by it and knowing that he has no long term interest, decides not to cross the threshold.
And remember, whatever you do... there are always RAMIFICATIONS...!!!!