Sunday, June 19, 2011

Men, Women & Labels

Now, on a completely different subject....
I am in the mood to write a Sex And The City type of blog.

It's about men, women and labels.

I start my latest book, Ain't No Sunshine: Men Reveal The Pain Of Heartbreak, with the idea that men and women aren't from different planets but they do speak different languages. Recently this has become quite apparent to me.

Let us look at John and Jane. They are both mature, honest adults who have an attraction for each other as well as a genuine affection. Circumstances prevent them from entering into a full fledged relationship. Jane and John are fine with this fact and both enjoy the relationship they do have. But sometimes Jane gets confused or has a question. Women like to know where they stand. That doesn't mean they want to get married. They just like to know where they are so they can proceed accordingly. If Jane thinks that John has a deep, dark secret, a gambling or drinking problem (or anything), she wants to know so she can decide if this is a relationship she would like to continue with.

It is at this point that I bring up the Cinderella complex that plagues us. When two people have affection, attraction and connection, society often dictates that it must now lead to marriage or a committed relationship with promises. In this day and age, the Cinderella complex is increasingly hard to uphold. People live longer, marriage is different than it was when it first came to be. People married for property, for economical reasons. Now people marry for love but love can shift, evolve and even vanish.

We live in a confusing society where love is concerned. We have all these "rules" and when the parameters of these rules change, people don't communicate properly. Assumptions are made. It sucks.
Jane talks with John. She asks him where she stands. John freaks. He says, "When you ask me that, it becomes a label and I feel pressure." Jane isn't asking for him to commit. She just wants to be clear about things. Because men and women so often hold back what they really think out of fear, miscommunication abounds.

Now he thinks she's all in love and he retreats. This seems to be a common occurrence with men who are not ready for commitment. Their first line of defense is to yell "LABELS!"
When a man is really into the woman, he will never bring up labels unless it's to confirm that she is really into him as well and then he wants to be committed. Then a label makes him feel secure.

Our world is so different than it was twenty years ago. Romance and the like has to evolve as the world changes. There are a number of women who don't have to get married to be happy. I like the quote by Katherine Hepburn: "Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and visit now and then."

I have personally experienced and heard from many of my girlfriends that when they are trying to gauge where the relationship is with a man they are still getting to know and haven't yet decided that HE'S THE ONE!!!, that question will cause men to panic. The men immediately want to point out that they can't be pressured.

I just want to roll my eyes. I am sorry but I do. A committed relationship is hard work and both must compromise but it isn't necessarily what women always want. Women are not always after the Cinderella fantasy and we are tired of men who have a hard time with communication making the assumption our first inclination is to make you buy us a ring.

In Ain't No Sunshine, men describe what it feels like to lose romantic love. It becomes glaring that so many men are afraid to express their emotions for fear of appearing weak. With the example of John and Jane, I think  it's that John fears telling Jane the whole truth because she will then EXPECT something from him. Being honest doesn't mean you are signing your life away. It holds with it no contract. It's just considerate and if Jane starts jumping to romantic conclusions it becomes HER problem. John has been honest and up front.

So, there's my woman rant. :)

1 comment:

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