Oh, how I long for the days when men were men: three-piece suits, a firm handshake, that look of gentlemanly awe as a beautiful woman enters the room.
Not ordering fat free salad dressing.
Call me crazy (and I know you will, Brotha Fred, thanks), but I want to be with a man who is a man.
Leave the calorie counting, coordinated socks and manicures to us. I’m all for some gender-bending overlap from time to time – as any career-driven woman should be – but some roles, after all, exist for a reason.
While men are generally commended and encouraged to embrace some of the more typically feminine aspects of life (good communication skills, emotional transparency, showering daily – all of which I agree with), at the end of the day we still want to feel safe, stood up for, even pretty – none of which is possible when your man is one hair product away from being your new girlfriend.
But it’s not all styling goop and high-maintenance tendencies. What is most concerning is this new breed of man that has somehow evolved the capacity to think more than we do. I know. It seems impossible. But believe me when I tell you they do exist. And the outcome, much like some of you may feel about the “LOST” finale, is never good.
A few weeks ago a girlfriend of mine ended a brief relationship with a guy she had been seeing for about a month. Thrown for a loop about her decision, he dramatically told her to get out of his car (where the conversation took place), then obsessively sent her petty email after email relentlessly asking her to explain.
I, too, found myself in a similar situation once, but instead of emails the text messages were flying so fast I literally couldn’t reply in time before another popped up. I eventually gave up, not wanting to add fuel to the fire.
In both cases, these men had previously been known to phone us on occasion to over-analyze miniscule details of the relationship – everything from excessive concern about new-relationship doubts to accusatory questions about who we’d “really” eaten dinner with the night before. And in both cases, my girlfriend and I were left scratching our heads.
Where did these men come from?
Maybe our experiences had more to do with our former partners’ anger management issues than gender role reversal. (After all, I’m not particularly keen on equating borderline insanity with feminine emotion.) But, guys, on the whole, we prefer you to be the emotionally stronger sex. Not to say that we can’t handle it, but it’s bad enough trying to control the flurry of thoughts running through our own heads every five seconds without your worry or irrationality adding to it.
Psychologists call this phenomenon “folie a deux”: A condition in which symptoms of a mental disorder, such as the same delusional beliefs or ideas, occur simultaneously in two individuals who share a close relationship or association.
Now substitute “mental disorder” for emotional temperament. Same result.
In a relationship, one person must think less than the other. It simply won’t work any other way. And given how our minds are intrinsically built, it seems that men are more often – although clearly not always – best suited for this position. Ideally, it would be great if we could all learn to mutually create calm seas rather than catastrophe, but until then, we’d like you to take the helm.