Question of the Day: What Do Men Want?

August 8th, 2007 at 1:05 pm by Mark
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     Ok, I’ve been getting a lot of “weird” comment emails lately, many from women asking bizarre questions about dating, relationships, sex and men in general.  I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to answer them, because quite honestly, some of the questions are pretty uncomfortable.

     I got an e-mail from an ex (like the majority of mine, we’re still friends, or try to be, at times) the other day, talking about her issues with a guy she’s been seeing.  I realized that sometimes it’s difficult to separate the person you know from the person she is now, even it’s been quite a while, but I tried.
     I asked a few friends, “Hey, was this too mean?” and let them read my response.  After I’d already fired it off, of course.

     A few of my female friends adamantly declared, “You should blog that!”

     So … here we go…

     From e-mail:

From: Confused
Date: August 8th, 2007 at 8:07AM

It’s definitely wrong to expect any man to make things better.  That’s something I have to come to terms and deal with … hopefully learn from and move on.  Except …..

You meet a man who’s kind, interesting, humorous and exhibits all these great characteristics. He puts no heavy pressure on you.  You *do* appreciate the effort he’s putting into the relationship and let him know that. 

But then after a while, he gets comfortable/complacent and changes.  The wine and dine/ conversation changes to the beer/ belching/ farting/ cursing and eventually belitting.  Why????  Is it something I caused or was there a sign I should have noticed in the beginning??  In any case, at that point a woman can’t be expected to accept that.

I really don’t think I overanalyze.  I wasn’t expecting anything… It started as  spending time with a friend, and developed into a relationship which I didn’t push at all.

I don’t think I’ve ever asked “tell me you love me”.  If I felt the need to do that, either I’d be insecure in the relationship or in a situation like I was with Mr. Slimebag (I already knew the answer).

You know, I just realized that I’m more upset with being blindsighted than I am with him.  And maybe I’m overthinking a bit because I want to understand why guys do that?

What do guys want???

     Ok, typical thing, right?  A woman breaks up with a guy she’s been seeing, then starts the whole self-doubt and confusion bit…
     But is it ever really that simple?

     There are always two sides to a story… And honestly, in most cases, only half of it makes sense to a guy.

     In cases where “relationships” are going well, sometimes there’s a sudden, gigantic detour into “crazy,” leaving a guy going, “What the f$&* just happened?”
     To me, it’s always ironic, in those situations, when women will come back filled with self-doubt, questioning everything from the relationship to themselves, when that was exactly what caused the diversion to begin with.

     And I’m not saying it’s “always” like that, either… It’s definitely a “sometimes” thing.  It’s just an ironic situation that happens to have been on my mind for about six months.
     So I responded, perhaps a little harshly, and with gigantic generalizations…

     I’ll tell you what guys want … We want someone to be with, to be happy with… Easy … do you really think it’s any more?

     You certainly do the dating persona … showing your best, until you become yourself … I guess you think it’s easier to be yourself once you get to know someone, know that they’re there. 
     I’ve just always been me… nothing more, nothing less.

     You always overanalyze things…

     Your version of “Tell me you love me” is passive-aggressive. “I’m starting to have feelings for you,” “I think about you all the time,” “Would you ever get married again?” “I need you,” “You’re like a drug,” “You’re the only person I can trust,” “I’ve never felt this way before…”
     Those are all pushing towards getting him tell you how he feels.
     Then you get the, “I love you,” which is a hard thing for a guy to admit anyway, and your interest subsides. “You’re obsessive.” “You want more than I want.” “I can’t handle being responsible for your happiness.”
     You can’t be happy … You have to keep asking questions, pushing buttons, and trying to screw things up.

     For guys, it’s different.

     We find a woman — she’s beautiful, she’s demure — and she seems to have her head and her heart in the right place. All wrapped up in a nice little package of sweet and sexy, confident and secure.
     We want be strong for her, so the first thing she does is start showing her emotional side and strokes our ego by appealing to our protective nature.  Then she gets distant as she wrestles with the fact that “I can take care of myself,” “I don’t need anyone else” and starts to pull away.
     Things start to break down.  The more she wrestles with herself, the further away she goes, and the more frustrated we get.  We can only get to know her as much as she’ll show us… And she’s the same woman, but now she’s upset all the time… 
     We keep trying and trying to be strong… but the more she gets upset about every little thing that comes along, the more she pulls away, the harder we try to be there, to make her happy… to help… to fix it…
     And she resents it, begins spouting the typical, “You always want to fix everything!” “Some problems you just can’t fix!” garbage, because she’s terrified to think that someone might be able to look through all her crap and baggage and actually give a damn about her.

     And it’s frustrating as f$&*.

     Somewhere along the line, we get desperate, and start attempting last ditch efforts and ultimatums.  The more she’s around, the more she begins to see our usual nature, along with a new “manic” that we’ve gained from trying to deal with her moods…
     Pretty soon, nothing works.  Every single damn thing we do is an excuse for why, “This isn’t going to work,” regardless of the fact that we never would’ve been like that had she not been so f$&*king fatalistic…

     Okay … sorry … never mind.

     I don’t know what guys want…  *smirk*

     So I asked a few other female friends for input…

     “Oh my God!  That was raw, but not harsh!  Damn, you really understand women!”
     “How can you know all of that?  There’s so much of me in there… That reflects a great understanding of women far beyond anything I’ve ever seen from a man!”
     “Exactly!  Why don’t other guys understand that?”
     “You are brilliant as ever!  You pegged us!”
     “No, you weren’t mean.  You were honest.  You really know women!  Thank you!”

     So, basically, I’m told that I understand women… that I know how they think… and understand why they do things… but hey, if that’s true, then why the Hell do I keep getting screwed over?

     Sorry, but if that shows “great understanding” on my part, then the Universe really is stacked against us… 😉

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17 Responses to “Question of the Day: What Do Men Want?”

  1. Monty Says:

    Relationships are chemistry of an odd sort. When you mix chemical A with B, you get result X which means A becomes more attentive and caring and kind. When you mix A with C you get Y where A becomes more arrogant, assholish and mean. You mix A with D and you get Z where A becomes pliant, weak and passive aggresive… The exact same person can become many different people depending on who they are with.

    I have long held that we are NOT a single person, but many people. Who we are with Mom and Wife and College Friend and Boss. All different. And you just never know what will be there when you mix people together. Often you can predict in some ways, but not always and not exactly.

    Some women, when you are with them a while, you start belching and farting and leaving the bathroom door open when you go pee. Some women you do your best to hide those things. Its what she does to you that makes that happen.

    All I can say about it all is that a man’s needs are few and simple and they are based on actions, not words. A woman’s needs are complex (to me) and difficult and rely on words and actions, and are heavily influenced by attitude. That is, you can do and say what she wants and she’ll just not have any of it if she isn’t in that attitude at the moment. It’s a little like trying to speak Korean well…

    The best a man can do is say it when he feels it and hope it sticks on occasion.

  2. LissaKay Says:

    There is another aspect to this … sometimes life really IS that rough and overwhelming, and it becomes a fight between holding it together, tightly wrapped in nothing more than one’s will and resolve to get through those tough patches … and the desire to just melt into the arms of someone stronger and more capable. But most often, there is no time for tears … they only get in the way of getting things done. When you are just barely able to remain standing on your own two feet, even a supporting hand can be enough to knock you flat on your ass.

    Being vulnerable, and letting someone else be strong is very, very scary … but oh so very, very tempting.

  3. Mark Says:

    And given that case, a person shouldn’t even think about pursuing companionship, and certainly shouldn’t be getting into — or pulling anyone else into — a relationship situation.

  4. damewiggy Says:

    Some pretty keen insights ya’ got going on there, Mark. Do i buy it? Yeah. Is it that simple? Sure. Is it that complicated? Absolutely.

    You tapped into the fugly workings of the average woman’s escape route quite accurately. The whys and whens might be the only variables that defy generalizations. It’s true that some problems can’t be fixed. But I think women commonly mistake men attempting to ‘fix’ rather than realizing that men are actually attempting to ‘accept’ the baggage, the shit, the history — and love the woman regardless, and with great sincerity the majority of the time. A lot of women can’t look past the unlovable nature of the baggage and they really can’t separate themselves from it. If that’s the case, it’s virtually impossible for them to receive the acceptance (or the love) if that makes any sense (and i’m not sure it will cuz i’m sleep walking here.)

    If they were capable of really being hardcore logical about it, they’d have to tell themselves something along the lines of ‘i feel unlovable because of my shitty history that i can’t erase, won’t erase, won’t accept, don’t accept and i can’t accept anyone separating who i am from my events and injuries of yester-ever, therefore i’m screwing myself and am only capable of screwing someone else via my inability to accept this person thinks i’m worth a damn.’ or something like that. They’ll either constantly question if you ‘really’ love them or why you love them, or they’ll accuse you of not loving them at all — until you finally agree that she may be right, because eventually, it doesn’t feel like love anymore (after all the crappy debates about it.)

    It’s a classic clusterfug. Sometimes there’s no way around it — it’s set up to fail. Other times (given god knows what) patches do stick and it can work — but it might resemble a mother load of work in the process. For lack of a better example, a woman that’s been abandoned from a young age, then again, and perhaps again, isn’t going to just wake up one day and decide that the new super man in her life isn’t gonna split and crush her simply because he says so — even if he goes to great lengths to assure her with words, actions, severing limbs, killing himself, what have you. Until she separates who she is from what’s happened TO her, she’s doomed to imprison someone else in it, ultimately (and ironically) creating the perfect environment for yet another abandonment. Foiled again.

    And one final note on this novel of a comment (forgive me, i know not what i do) — men are capable of the same plights. Nothings gender exclusive. Well, except peeing while standing up — that might be. Okay, i’m leaving now. Don’t hate me.

  5. Diva Says:

    Well said, damewiggy. Well said.

  6. Monty Says:

    damewiggy, you got it. Except I’ve seen women pee standing up. 😉

    One thing I have learned I think, is that you can’t cure insecurity. You can love someone and do all you want, and they will still think they are unworthy and it has to be fake. You have to be planning on cheating on them. And I have hung on for years thinking that surely if we’re together for a couple of years, she’ll be secure and it will get better, and yet the opposite is true. And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. You begine to think, “I’ve done the time, I might as well do the crime. Hell, cheating on her probably would be less abusive than this!” That’s when you bail, or start thinking, “One more time, and its over.”

    But what’s really screwed up about these things is that what tends to happen is, they figure this shit out after it is over. They realize they were fubar and that it was good. And that it is all good. And the next decent guy that comes along, they do it right and it lasts. You “cure” them so the next guy gets the girl you wanted. Only she didn’t exist before.

    The Jerk.

  7. Mark Says:

    I’m usually a laughing bastard, all around idiot. But women can really fuck up my mood. Really … Right now, I just wanna break things and throw shit.

    Basically goes like … They get their sex. They get pampered. They get their emotional support. They get every goddamn thing they need. Then, usually after they’ve teased me to death for a few weeks solid, telling me how I’m the “best guy ever,” how much they “love” me, how they’d “never hurt” me, how “lucky” they are “to have found a guy” like me, and every goddamn time preceding some major event (a weekend together, a night, a special date) … They rip my heart out and step all fucking over it, using it as their emotional doormat, because they’re all fucked up, and I “deserve better.”

    Oh … and it’s always by e-mail … IM … Text message. How fucking pathetic and cowardly is that?

    A week or so later, it’s, “Oh, I made a mistake. Oh, take me back! Oh, I miss you! Oh, I feel like I’ve lost my best friend!” I very rarely have time to even make peace with it, and I’m so fucking gullible when I really care about someone. I take ’em back, and they do the same goddamn thing again. And again. And again.

    But if I get hurt or pissed off, oh, well that becomes the reason it didn’t work, doesn’t it? Yep… All of a sudden, everyone knows I’m the giant asshole who started screaming and yelling for “no reason.” Bullshit!

    Stupid ass, insecure, waffling twats … who then end up sending me emails, IMs, text messages, phone calls, showing up unannounced, spreading bile and venom everywhere they go because, “Oh, he’s non-committal and a giant asshole!”

    Well, fuck, that’s batshit crazy. No more.

    Your planet is too fucked up. I’m going back to my own.

  8. fracas Says:

    Yesterday I typed a big-ass long response to this… probably one that would make most other women out there want to shave me bald and call me Britney but then when I tried to post it, I kept getting server errors.

    Only no really cute panties showed up… just boring white pages with boring black words telling me things that meant I wasn’t going to be able to have my say right then.

    But aside from that, where is your planet? I was damn sure we were the only people out there. Gosh. The things you learn when you’re just reading a friend’s blog!

  9. damewiggy Says:

    damn boy!

    i guess i picked the wrong day to have a vagina.

  10. Mark Says:

    Why, are you nuts, too? 😉

  11. damewiggy Says:

    C’mon, how could i know so much about this process if i weren’t the poster child? I’m crazier than a team of criminally insane inmates and hold more baggage than a Boeing 747.

    But i can dance.

  12. Mark Says:

    Funny … I’m usually more specific … like specifying United Flight 931 from Chicago to New Zealand … heh

    But I’m not so good with the dancing…

  13. fracas Says:

    Okay, here’s that reply I told you I’d tried to leave:

    I dunno Mark. If I was on the list of the women you’d asked about that, I’d probably be the woman that doesn’t say the same stuff as other women. So I guess I’m not really a woman. 😉

    Anyway, so it seems to me that you understand “women” in the sense of the “this is how most women think and act. That’s cool except that you point out how you keep getting screwed over by the “typical” woman.

    I think my suggestion would be to look for a woman who totally doesn’t fit what all the “typical” women fit. You might not “understand” her like you do the typical woman, but I bet you get along famously and end up with a world-class relationship.

    As for your friend in the mail… my advice to her is to get a grip on reality. So the guy is all polite and nice while they’re dating and then later the beer/farting/morning breath guy comes out. That’s the way it is. We women are like that too. If anyone thinks I’m getting up an hour before Mr. Fracas to get all dolled up so he doesn’t see ME when I’m at my worst, then they’re delusional. Reality is that people do relax and let their guard down when they’ve been with someone a while. That’s a good thing, believe it or not. It’s like when one of the kids brings home a date. At the beginning, we make sure not to scare them off by wearing our shorts and holey shirts; we serve the supper in the serving dishes, etc. My dd’s beau is a part of the family now. So I served something out of the pot and said, “Now you’re really part of the family.”

    Women need to get their fraccing heads out of their asses and stop thinking that a prince charming is really a prince charming all the time. After all, the woman herself probably farts, has morning breath and sometimes acts like an ass too. I’m all for being yourself up front, but if everyone would just realize that people being comfortable enough and trusting the other person enough to show all their warts doesn’t always mean the person has “changed”. “Changed” is the person who pretends they aren’t jealous, and then later treats you like you’re in prison; “changed” is the person who pretends they enjoy the same leisure activities as you (how many women do that with sports) and then when they think they “have” you, they suddenly hate all that; “changed” is not the person that trust in your affections enough to let you see them without makeup, trusts you won’t hold their morning breath against them or trusts your love enough to whine and act like a baby when sick.

    Immaturity, is what it’s called when a person thinks that Prince or Princess Charming is “changing” because they allow you to see their humanity.

    As for the whole “needing” the other person. I really think no one should “need” the other person. When each person is (and knows they are) fully capable of taking care of themselves, then what you do for the other person becomes a million acts of kindness and self sacrifice towards the other person… little gifts of yourself. I don’t want things done for me because I need someone to do them for me, I want them done for me because they want to do something for me. If I imagine the other person feels the same, and if I give them credit for being able to take care of themselves, then everything I do for them will also feel like a gift. Gifts make us feel good, especially when they’re gifts of self.

    What you described in your post Mark, seems to me more like parent/child relationships than woman/man. I suppose therein lies the problem. Women need to learn to look to their men as their men, not their daddy and men need to look to their women as their women, not their daughters.

    I know… all the women out there are going to blast me now… happens to me all the time and I usually don’t give a shit. It’s usually because they’d rather call me something rude than look at their own behaviour.

    The rest will read that and agree. Find one of those women Mark… you’ll be happier.

  14. fracas Says:

    Told you it was big-ass long.

  15. Mark Says:

    All points, dead on, as usual!

    Well, except one: I hold no illusions that I understand women at all. The fact that I could write something like that back to her, and hear, “Oh, you understand women so well!” from friends who I’ve known for years is exactly what was beyond me. 😉

    And for anyone else who reads it … I was being hostile not at women in general, but at three-in-a-row —- very specific, and quite possibly unique, individuals who share a very, very nasty personality trait.

    Not all women. Never. If I was like that, I wouldn’t keep trying. 😉

    Besides … Number Three actually came back later, went far beyond apology, and was the reason I haven’t been around all weekend … And if I can’t accept an apology, then what kind of ass am I?

  16. fracas Says:

    Actually, I wasn’t too worried about *you* thinking you understood women, as much as I wanted to let you know that I think you do understand women… a group of women that think in a certain way. I just don’t happen to think those women are thinking in a way that makes for good relationships, as evidenced by your experiences.

    And before any of them get all bent at me, I just want to point out that no one needs to take my word for it… they can call any kind of counselor/therapist they want and ask if I made any sense. That whole “need you” thing is over-rated. It should be “don’t NEED you, but WANT to be with you.” That’s way healthier. It’s also healthier if both parties do what I said… do shit for each other as if it was a multitude of little gifts to each other instead of “taking care of” the other person. That’s icky.

    Anyway Mark… I didn’t think you were hostile to women at all. I totally understood what you were saying.

    I’m drinking to your having that relationship that I’m convinced is out there for you!

  17. Mark Says:

    Awwwww, thanks! I really appreciate that.

    And … *cough* … Yep … Exactly … 😉