relationshipsI must admit that there are times in my life when I have been drawn into philosophizing about dating women and what it is to be in a relationship. I think people generally fish for a framework to try and understand a (potential) partner’s behavior because they themselves are very invested in hoping it will work out.

While I haven’t been involved in guy-guy discussions of trying to understand or ‘tame’ the histrionic and hormonal fairer sex since my 20s, I am always curious about studies that compare sexes and gender, because the same sort of result always tends to surface; men and women are more similar than different, however certain trends can appear – which are never absolute. For every conclusion drawn about women, there will immediately be a guy who fits that category, too, or vice versa. Humans are insanely complex, and it’s what makes discussion of human behavior fascinating – humans always throw a curve ball.

I don’t claim to have any relationship answers, other than be open and receptive as much as you can, enjoy each other’s differences, and revel in your similarities. If these don’t mesh, be as diplomatic as you can, and have the courage to move on with your life. If you do mesh, also have the courage to move on with your life.

This post comes from a place where I just heard two guys in a gas station discussing a relationship issue.

“She’s just playing. Don’t stand for that shit, she just wants attention. Ignore her.”

I don’t know any of the people in question, only that I walked out, thinking, “Yes. Ignore this person who has expressed interest in you and you’re clearly invested in being with. She apparently wants your attention, and you’re going to ignore her. That will clearly show her and advance things in a positive direction.”

I may have missed the nuances, and maybe these people have some weird dynamic that just somehow works. Maybe the sex is worth all the fighting, and all of the pre-conflict just enhances the eventual orgasms. Who knows? Good for them. Self-image and the projection of strength is clearly also important to people in new (and mostly young) relationships. At our most vulnerable we just have to express strength, and here’s a difference, guys can be real jackasses with this.

I am becoming convinced that the generalizations made about both men and women, by both men and women about dating, are mostly just rationalizations for the downright weirdness of allowing a person to enter into an intimate relationship with you. This is one of the few things we do that can either make us feel superhuman or subhuman. You’ve just about got used to yourself at the end of your teens/early 20s, and now you have to attempt to get used to someone different – unless you’re solely focused on temporary gratification – which is a thing, too (I’m told).

Humans are hard work, and they’ll be the death of us all.