Now that I have your attention. This post is about men and women and the fun they have dating, socializing. Well, maybe not so fun according to a friend of mine who’s in the dating world right now and not loving it so much.
I’m going to call her Amy. Amy is a professional with a very busy job. She works in a profession that’s male-dominated, but as many professions that in the past were predominately male-dominated, women are gaining ground.
The feminist movement began way back in the 18th century. Fast-forward to the late-1960s when it really picked up momentum and although we heard of women “burning their bras,” everywhere that actually never happened except for one tiny display.
The only real reference that hints of it was the 1968 Miss American Pageant in Atlantic City according to this source and women became labeled as angry bra-burners. I wasn’t wearing a bra then but I do remember going without one when I was in my twenties. In the 1970s, Helen Reddy was roaring and everyone was listening. Including men.
Women Began Doing “Men Things”
Marilyn French wrote the Women’s Room, Betty Friedan wrote the Female Mystique. Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying was one of my favorite books. Movies like the Working Girl and Fatal Attraction came out in the 1980s. These women were smart and sometimes, if you really ticked ‘em off, deadly.
In the 1990s, John Gray tried to tell both men and women what we both wanted and how we could communicate better in his book, Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
Somewhere along the way, most women were depicted as angry and oppressed and men just didn’t know what to do, got the wrong idea of what women wanted — maybe.
I can’t possibly cover the complexities of this in a post. I was in the corporate world at one time wanting, rightfully so, the same pay as my male colleagues for doing the same work. And, I do remember back then thinking maybe there were those men who seemed a bit intimidated by a woman that didn’t fit into the mold of what their moms or grandmothers were. Not that there was anything wrong with that.
Women wanted a choice. Now we have that. But what’s happened during all of we “angry” oppressed women wanting that, is men, according to the conversation I had with my friend, is that now,….well, they don’t really know what to do anymore.
In a simplistic way we went from this:
“I don’t know if it’s Manhattan men or what, but they just seem to be a bunch of p*ssies,” my friend said to me.
“What do you mean?”
“They don’t seem to know what to do. It seems more up to me to make the first move,” she said.
“Well, do that, make the first move,” I said. (Although I remember wanting the same when I was in that dating world during my 30s, wanting a guy to make the first move.)
“I don’t want to. I want to be pursued. I want him to ask me. I guess I’m old-fashioned that way.”
She’s a smart, educated gorgeous woman in her thirties and a man should pursue her. Why is this so difficult??
What Women Want
I get how she feels and I don’t think it’s just Manhattan men. There was a small group of us, most of us married and we discussed how maybe because women are working in the same professions as men, men think women want that choice as well — to make the “first move.” Maybe they think if they approach a women, open the door for her, pay for drinks or dinner, that a “professional” woman would be insulted.
Amy said something like it’s not that she can’t pay her own way or whatever, but she thinks on the first date or when they’re getting to know each other, well men should kind of….pursue, make an impression. Let a woman know she’s worth it. Does that sound outdated??
I’ve mentioned my best guy friend in past post (the one that’s no longer in the physical world) and we’d have these discussions. He was single and he’d tell me the same thing.
“I can’t figure out what women what. Sometimes I’m afraid if I open a door for them or automatically assume I’m paying on a first date, they’ll be insulted.” He worked in a corporate environment and would date women that make the same income as him, sometimes more. He was confused too.
“We want it all,” I told him. “Men got to have it all for a very long time. We want that.”
He’d just shake his head and mutter something about how women are crazy. I’d correct him with, “We aren’t crazy, we’re complicated. Your gender is much more simple.” And I’d explain not in a “simpleton” kind of way. When men say something such as “I don’t want a commitment,” that’s exactly what they mean.
Women can say that and that may not exactly be the truth, if you know what I’m saying. Women gauge reactions, look out for themselves and try not to show their vulnerability, show their “full hand” until they feel safe enough with a potential partner to do so. Men just get the shite right on out there.
We’re Still Roaring and It’s Fun
Most of my readers are women. Some of you are married and some are single. What do you think? I’ve got a few male followers, so if you read this, please leave a comment.
I think it’s simple: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
What the heck, press play and ROAR. It’s fun.
Photo creds: bra-burning, happy housewife, professional women
It is all very complicated — and I have no answers. I know what I did when I was dating — if I saw someone I wanted to date, I went for it–but I did most of my dating before I had a job–and we were all poor university students, so who paid what was often not a problem. I actually felt awkward when I was courted, until of course, I found the right man and we had the right balance. But that was so long ago now……..I would not want to be in the dating world again–I was in that world until I was 27 and then married when I was 29–so I have had my fair share of dating.
It IS complicated. I don’t have the answer either. I’d go for it too. But I’ve heard these same laments 20 years ago! And I hear them now. I’m with you, Lou Ann — I wouldn’t want to either. I met a secure, wonderful man who loved me exactly the way I am. But, I had to be that first. ;).
I know this is a novel idea but… what if us women folk were a bit more, say, ourselves? It goes back to that continuum. On one end of the continuum I imagine you have some women who are uber feminine, dainty, helpless, old fashioned, believing and wanting a man to step in and do the figurative heavy lifting, etc. You get the point. On the other end you’ve got women with a more masculine type assertive/aggressive energy, with the mind set, I’ll do it myself, thank you very much. We all fall somewhere between the 2 extremes.
I feel that the best relationships are going to come from being true to who you really are. There’s a lid for every pot. There will be some man who is compatible to your energy. If you act one way while your dating and flip it around 6 months in, you’re gonna confuse your guy and the whole thing is gonna feel dishonest. (For some reason it’s hard for women to be authentic when they’re in the early stages of dating. Maybe hard for some men, too?)
If you’re in the dating world, figure out who you are, love yourself and be confident that someone else will love you, too.
I totally agree. I meant this to be a kind of light-hearted look at things. Rut-ro.
And I do think women fall between those two extremes. Dating is a weird dance of communicating between the sexes. It’s easy to say, Be Who You Are. Sometimes figuring that out takes awhile for some women (and men). In the interim, I guess it’s like trying this or that on to see how it fits, know what I mean? But I still like that Helen Reddy song, it makes me laugh. Thanks, Lisa. You’re so insightful and wise. xxoo.
After I posted my comment and re-read it I was like wtfrigg!? I sound like a hard core Ann Landers! haha! Your post was light hearted and in fact I lol’d a few times! My responses lately are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. I am Woman happened to be my favorite song when it came out. I loved it but probably had no reference for it, still I got the gist of it.
After 50 years of life I just feel like everyone needs to risk being who they really are. This is advice I could have used when I was young and dating. Live and learn.
Hey, I did the same thing on one of your posts, remember?? HA!! Hard-core Ann Landers — that’s hilarious, Lisa. I’m like you. When you’ve been on this earth for five decades, you know some things and I feel exactly the same as you. Be who you are and determine what you want and don’t settle for anything less. When you do that, all kinds of “magical” things happen. Thank you, Lisa. I LOVE your comments. Always.
Well being one of your male followers – and also a man that is out in the dating world – I will say this. The line from your friend says it all: ““I don’t know if it’s Manhattan men or what, but they just seem to be a bunch of p*ssies.”
Many of the professional women I have attempted to date have had that same judgmental disdainful attitude. And that disdain is projected into their very aura. Perhaps it is from having to struggle and claw to succeed in a male dominated profession – but the “no nonsense I am powerful don’t mess with me” attitude that works in the career world doesn’t work in the relationship world. At least not for me. If it is a date – a social engagement – drop the career attitude, drop the career talk, stop doing the power analysis. Enjoy the person you are with – not the person you would like them to be. But then again it isn’t like I am an expert at any of this – just my experience. I find my dates with women outside of the “goal-oriented type-A career-driven” pool are much more fun, spontaneous and relaxed. The last career woman I dared ask out wanted an agenda for the date – when, where, who, what next…
All I wanted to say was “It is a first date honey – I asked you out for a drink at the local bar. It may end after an hour – or we may see the sunrise together. Just come out and play and turn the electronics off.”
I just said “you are making this way too complicated. Either you want to get to know with me or you don’t. What happens next depends on getting past the first drink.”
She thought I was too pushy – and maybe I am.
Hi Merlin! Thanks for the male perspective. But I disagree with your summing the lady up by just one line. She’s not “disdainful” of men. She just wants what she wants. As you do. And not every professional woman has a don’t mess with me attitude. At least that’s been my experience.
This was just a very simplistic, light-hearted post — this communication between men and women is so complicated that as I mentioned, there’s been books written about it. I think both men and women can be goal-oriented. It’s just a matter of finding the same interests. But relationships, by their very nature, are complicated. I’m glad you didn’t say what you were thinking out loud btw — HA, whether she is a type A or she isn’t, respect and kindness always works best. That’s the beauty of it, if someone’s not respecting you, what you’re about, whether you get past the first drink or not, you have the option of just walking away, you’re right. People are all different, whether they be “career-driven” or not, male or female, it’s all just a matter of being who you are and owning it. I think once you do that, it draws the same to you.
Just my take on things but I’ve not been in the dating world in a very long time. Thank you for your insight!!
Oh I know you were trying to keep it light – just giving you my male experience from the other side.
From my view there is a vast difference between saying “I want a man” and judging all men as “p@ssies.” One is stating a preference or expectation – the other is expressing disdain. I just find that women that have the been “pursuing a goal” often forget how to enjoy being pursued and wooed.
North America has forgotten how to play…how to just enjoy the moment.
M, you may be right. 😉
It is a complicated situation. I can see how men get a bit confused at times. Some men take that women equality thing and run — especially when it comes to paying for stuff — hahaha!
Seriously, Sandee, I think everyone’s confused. ;). Thanks for your input and your humor — it’s much appreciated. :).
Interesting thoughts Brigitte. One thing that my friends often complain about (and relish in) is the feeling that you’re in charge of everything all the time. We run our families, the social calendar, manage relationships with friends and inlaws, take care of our houses, and go to work too. It would be nice to have some arena of our lives where we just don’t have to be in charge: maybe that’s in the bedroom or dating or even just picking out where to go for dinner. It would be impossible for our respective spouses or dating partners to know that because we expect them to divine it, when they’re busy letting us have what they think we want.
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, RG. You’ve just explained it better than I have here! It’s so complicated and it seems like no matter how far we think we move forward, some things just stay the same. And you’re also right about women expecting their partner to “divine” it. I’ve been guilty of that myself. Thanks so much for your insight!
I feel terribly sorry for my husband because of all the things I expect him to know. It took me a long time to realize that expecting him to anticipate my needs was basically like asking a tree to recite Proust.
Ha!! You are so right, RG. So right.
It comes down to knowing and loving yourself, and then it’s about communicating fearlessly. As I had to keep reminding myself: it’s just a date, it’s not a lifelong commitment. And, lest we forget, lifelong commitments happen one step at a time…just sayin’ xoxoM
I agree, M. I like that — communicate fearlessly. This was really just a fun, off the cuff thing (like my friend’s tiny, little innocent remark) said in jest, not to be taken literally. I think I need to leave funny to the experts. xxoo
There’s a lot of truth to be found in funny, Brig…and a lot of good discussion! Whether it’s taken literally or not, cheers, my friend, for opening that can of worms. Now, let’s feast! (they tell me worms are a good source of protein…oh, wait, I’m vegetarian! whew!) xoxoM
Now, THAT’S funny. 😀
I guess being an old married woman, I don’t think of this much. But just to play Devil’s Advocate, I suspect women may feel the same way about men, meaning they don’t really know what they want either. Times change. Customs change. Therefore, good communication is a must. There. That’s my response and I’m sticking to it. 🙂
I’m an old married woman myself and I agree with you 100 percent. Thanks, Carrie for that and your stick-to-it-ness. :).
My husband jokes all the time that I intimidate him with my womanliness. He is kidding with me of course, he’s also right. (he is from time to time) It can be intimidating for someone who doesn’t expect a woman to be assertive. It can also be difficult to know how to respond because of past experience with people who were “a” “b” “c” “d” “f” “j” (word of your choice)
It’s hard to balance being in control of our own selves, our own thoughts, our own expectations and wanting to occasionally let go of that control, even with someone we trust to be a capable counter balance.
It takes a willingness to communicate, sure, but it also takes maturity. People on the prowl, well, their mind is only open to one thing, maybe two. Proceed with caution. People genuinely interested in something meaningful and long-term, sexual or not, have to give up some of their control, because that’s really what it takes to sustain those kinds of relationships. Give and take with a respect and loving kindness toward each other and ourselves when we make mistakes. Which we all do. Knowing when to call it quits and knowing when to hang in there is sometimes a tough call. But when it is an easy call, it shouldn’t matter who makes it.
I am sometimes astounded at the intuitive intelligence of this blogging community. I like that you intimidate your hubby with your womanliness. ;). And it’s difficult to cover such a complicated subject in a brief post on a blog. It takes all that you mention: maturity, being open-minded, maybe acting and reacting a different way. But the thing is, at least in my experience, has been this: when it’s right, it’s right. If it’s so difficult, then maybe you just walk away — your words, “knowing when to call it quits.”
Thanks, Honie — you wow me.
I was in the dating world until I was 38. It’s nasty out there. I didn’t find that men were passive about dating, but some of them were just absolutely insanely over-the-top superficial and picky. I think they assumed that since single women in NY far outnumber single men, they could be extremely selective. I just think it made them jerks. But on the other hand, I’ve heard a lot of stories from men about their dating life too, and women are just as insane. I overhear young women talking among themselves and on their cell phones, and they really do need to lighten the hell up. I feel for single folks herer now because it must be a nightmare. And there but for the grace of God and Mr. Weebles go I.
Weebs, I was too just not here in Manhattan so thanks for that perspective! Maybe that’s it — the superficial thing. Yep, like I said my best guy friend used to complain about the same thing. I’m just glad hubby came along because I wouldn’t want to be out there either!
I find it interesting that all of my friends tend to be very woMANLY. What I mean, is they are assertive, kind of run the household, and get mad at their husband for not helping enough. *I* am the husband they complain about. My husband takes care of me…and now US, as in our family. I’m the stinker that leaves my shoes out in the middle of the floor for everyone to trip over…and I get in trouble right along with my kids when I eat pizza in the family room.
So, for me, I take it back to personality, and not necesarily gender. All I’ve ever wanted, is to be barefoot and pregnant. I know that’s not what a lot of women want these days.
I’m guessing, in another lifetime I might have been a pioneer woman whose husband died and left her with 10 children, and I’ve just had it up to HERE with responsibilty.
I guess we all find who we NEED to find. Regardless of gender.
Lis, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your choice — at all and I hope the post didn’t seem to imply that in any way. I work inside the home myself and am so fine with that it’s not even funny. I had to work at one point in my life because I was entirely on my own, that’s just how it turned out for me. I’ve been in that dating world and it’s not fun, after a certain age, trust me.
Hubby works and HE brings me coffee every morning so I understand you, I do.
And seriously, that Helen Reddy song cracks me up.
I thought I was being light-hearted. I obviously missed the mark! Thanks, Lis. xxoo
I LOVED that song!!!
And the post.
I’m fine with every kind of woman, and tend to surround myself with go-getters.
It’s been on my mind lately, and so you got the brunt!!!
It’s so corny and I can see her with her shag haircut just singing away. What are you apologizing for? I welcome the brunt of whatever’s on your mind. Thank you, Lis. xxoo
I guess I’m old-fashioned. I’ve thought about guys’ mentality with dating/socializing for a bit now since I have growing daughters and guys seem to be lazy and do-nothings when it comes to dating. But after reading your post, I understand a little more from their perspective. Women can be confusing and send out signals that make guys scared to ‘be a man.’ I don’t know what the solution is. But there is nothing more sexy than a guy who goes after the girl and opens doors, and tries to win her heart. Girls that snub that…are missing out on the best things guys can offer–chivalry.
Right, Char. That’s EXACTLY my point and what my friend was saying. Both men and women are confusing — we’re different (thank God). Maybe there are some women who snub that, but I guess that’s their thing, you know. I’m like you though, I like the chivalry stuff. ;).
I flipped through a book my wife is reading (I’m cool like that) and it said that women have an innate desire to be pursued and that sometimes the drives of the “current woman” tell her to snuff that because she doesn’t need anybody. I took that to heart and started looking for ways to “pursue” my wife, meaning making sure she knows she’s the center of my world. It’s been a good exercise thus far. I don’t think (from my dude’s perspective) anything is wrong with a woman wanting to be pursued. I think you’re right: guys just don’t know what to do anymore, partially because some women do abhor having doors opened for them and such and scare guys off chivalry, but also because I think guys are being given too much of a pass these days and not being expected to stand up and be men.
Hi CL, that is cool. I think there’s plenty of factors and variables going on. But a woman being the center of her partner’s/husband’s world is indeed a very nice thing that anyone would love, I imagine! The same goes for women doing that for their spouse/partner. Thanks so much for your great comment and another male perspective.
all I can say is I met my husband at 19 and I am damn glad …and we are who we are– what you see is what you get. no guessing no games. I would NOT want to be dating.. the lines and expectations are very confusing. (not to mention the damn blushing ha)
Great post Brigitte. I love reading the discourse that happens on your blog.
Hi Audra. That’s the way hubby and I approached it when we met as well. What you see is what you get. No games. It’s about communication. Thanks — glad you enjoy reading, I surely enjoy your comments, friend.
I like to be pursued, I like having the door opened for me…I feel for men because I’ve heard the same: they just don’t know what to do anymore and don’t want to offend women. But that’s the way it is I guess… sigh…maybe we both just need to communicate better you…say hey I like to be pursued …. and oh I would to open the door for you, are you ok with that?
That’s what I was trying to convey here and I believe what my friend was too. Her comments were off-the-cuff and kidding around (just as my guy friend’s comment was when he said, women are crazy). You’re exactly right though — only through direct communication and knowing what you want and settling for nothing less — whatever that may be — is key. Thank you — you understand! :).
haha I wouldn’t go so far as to say I understand, well the concept perhaps, but the doing… oh my it feels like work!
I think everyone’s like that, not just you. ;).
Love this post. I agree with you. We want it all…career, motherhood, and romance. This makes me think of that old commercial about bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan. A cologne commercial, I think.
I also got a kick out of the Glen Close caption…she should have definitely warned him about her hatred for rabbits, haha.
On a separate note, I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award and the info/link is on my last post. You can participate or not, but you deserve an award for creativity, and probably lots of other awards too! Have a great day!
I remember that commercial with that catchy little tune! Yes, Glenn Close really scared a few men after that role I think. ha! You are so nice and thank you — you deserve all those lovely awards.
Interesting thoughts. I’ve heard this too, but largely only through tertiary sources–it’s not something I’ve really experienced in my life, and isn’t a problem I’ve heard described by my friends. In my relationships, I’ve typically made the first move, but I wouldn’t mind if a woman did. You hinted at a paradox in your post–some women want to break traditional roles in the work place, but want to keep traditional romance roles in place.
A lot of times, when we see a problem in everybody else, it’s a good idea to examine our own behavior, attitudes and perceptions. If men are confused or threatened by what they think women want, then the problem’s likely on them. Likewise, if a woman is off-balance by this tendency is men, I suspect she’s bringing her own issues into the situation.
I have a couple friends who are madly attracted to “drama” girls (I don’t mean thespians–I’ve got one friend that’s crazy for them, too–but that’s another level of drama). I’m not sure if they’re attracted to their “brokenness” or just the excitement. A level-headed gal may be ‘boring’ to some, but those are the kinds of women I dated (and the kind of woman I eventually married). Whenever possible, I prefer ‘calm’ in my relationships.
So, my thinking is that the kinds of people who are sensitive to these kinds of issues are going to KEEP encountering them, even where they might not exist.
Hi Smak, thanks. Not experienced it myself in quite some time, but I can sympathize. Yes, I guess it is a paradox of sorts. I don’t know. I don’t see why it has to be so complicated. Hubby would have no problem with me making tons more money than him, being the main breadwinner and he’d still open doors for me, bring me coffee and treat me like the queen I am and deserving of everything wonderful. But that’s just me. And him. Some men are intimidated by “strong” women and some women want a man to read their minds, I suppose. Works both ways.
But when it’s right, it’s not difficult. When it’s right, it just flows.
And yes, I do believe both sexes are attracted to drama. Some people never get over that. I prefer calm myself. And nice and decent. You know, the good things in life. But I do think you’re right. Those things we don’t like about others are usually things we need to work on ourselves, but despite all that “deep” reasoning, I still feel for those in the dating world when they’re a certain age. It’s not pretty and it’s not that much fun.
And let’s face it, some people are just dweebs. (that would be a stronger word, but my blog is PG). Thanks for your perspective — it’s always appreciated.
Men are confused. Many don’t seem capable of separating the woman that works from the woman who wants a relationship to one who is a friend, etc. We have lots of hats but men tend to focus on one.
Yes they are I think! Kate I think you just summed it up perfectly and so nice to see you here! Thanks so much for commenting and reading — so appreciated!