Good Times

Girls just want to have fun, eh? In the hookup culture girls have more freedom. Good for you! But in the real world, most girls I know feel more like, if you like it put a ring on it! Why is that?

Girls have always been more interested in commitment.

That’s just how we’re wired. Women need stability to raise children while men need to populate as many of their seed as nature will allow! Forget nature v. nurture. Nature rules. According to John Gray’s now age-old book “Men Are From Mars…”, the sexes actually speak different languages. More than just men not wanting to ask for directions, men don’t want to do anything at all. The bar has been lowered so low by a generation of men who don’t want to give anything; and then there’s Trump, whose groping has been sanctified by millions, so that every day women barely stand a chance for more. What can be done?

Let’s examine the worries:

1. He told me he wanted to be with me and then withdrew. One of my patients is a stunning young lady who has worked on her self-esteem for years. She is now approaching 25 years old and all the men she has dated have been boys. That is, they act like they’re 19. That’s because they are! Young men develop more slowly than girls. But does that excuse them?

What are they so afraid of. It’s primal you say, their evolutionary drive to conquer then move on. Well how about staying put for a week or two? This guy kept telling her, let’s go out, and then never even made a first date. So naturally, like so many women I know, she blamed herself. “What must be wrong with me,” she asked. I told her, it’s not you! But the self flagellation continued. She concluded she needed therapy because no one stuck around, and that was her fault.  She needed therapy for confidence, no doubt.  But not because she was driving men away.

2. He gives mixed messages.  What’s up with these mixed messages anyway? Do they just not see it? Are all men confused? Ambivalent? I say the reason they don’t respond properly is because they don’t know what they want, so how can they tell you? The more you pressure, the more they flee. So what’s a girl to do?

Tell them firmly you won’t put up with nonsense. You won’t be stood up or used. See if they can follow through with a plan. Observe if they say one thing and do another. Tell them like a good old fashioned feminist that you deserve to be valued. Believe me if it was the other way around they would be pretty mad. Don’t abide by a double standard! We still get paid less but it’s not for lack of trying!

3. He won’t define us. What are we? The age-old question like in the movie “Reds” when Diane Keaton says, What as?, as she crosses enemy lines with her lover… Why ask the guy, “What as?” Why doesn’t he ask you what as? Why do we give men all the power to define? I wish I had a dollar for every time a client said, he cheated but we were on a break…  Give me a break. Say what you want. Then ask for it without fear that he will vanish. If he does, then it’s his loss. I wish I had been more confident in my 20s. I never said what I wanted. Born to please, I gave away the control I desperately needed.

4. I worry he’ll change his mind. We are complicated beings. People do not like the grey, the limbo, the confusion, the ambivalence, the ambiguity of dating. Stay calm! I love how kids say we’re dating when really they are hooking up/talking/never met/ or just testing the waters, or never went on an actual date which involves the telephone, a time and a date, and actual money for food or a picnic. You have to commit to something. You have to realize there will be good days and bad, there will be pain and suffering, there will be complicated choices.  When the bad outweighs the good, you have to trust that you will know.  When your body tells you that you are stressed, pay attention! You will know.

5. I think he’s cheating.  Cheaters are a problem. Many times if they cheat once, they will cheat again.  If you cannot tolerate that, don’t.  Don’t waste your time checking your phone, or worse, his phone. It only causes grief. Talk to the person and say, I don’t want to have a relationship without trust. Trust is a key ingredient of a good relationship. Without it, we have anxiety, depression, fear and distress.

In fact, sometimes it’s better to be alone. When you are young, being alone seems hard.  But you’ve done it all your life, and you can do it again.  In loneliness there is loss but there is also found.  You find strengths in yourself you never imagined that you had.

Why not try it…