The Benefits of Thinking Like a Boy
Posted by Jenn Clark on April 6, 2011 at 12:05 PM
I've often thought it must be a lot easier to look at relationships the way guys do. I mean, what happens to us women? We spin. We spiral. We obsess. We talk our girlfriends' ears off. And men? They crack open a beer, sit on the sofa, and watch sports. Wouldn't that be nice?
Don't get me wrong. I love being a girl and I'm as feminine as they come. I love makeup and getting mani/pedis. I love pretty clothes and handbags. I have a shoe collection that would give Imelda Marcos and Carrie Bradshaw a run for their money. And my perfect Saturday afternoon would be spent lunching and gabbing with my ladies. But in terms of matters of the heart, I think it would be wise if we women could see things with a bit of male perspective. It's common knowledge that men think more "logically" and women think more "emotionally." Call me crazy, but I'd like to have some logic when it comes to my emotions. If you feel the same, I hope you'll read on.
1. Date like a dude - Most men enjoy the process of dating. They can easily date multiple people without developing serious attachments. Most women, however, do not feel this way. We find dating to be a necessary evil on the path to our ultimate goal - a relationship. I wonder what would happen if we learned to enjoy the process more. If we found the prospect of dating multiple men exciting? Wouldn't it give us greater insight into what we're looking for? Wouldn't it help us fine tune our relationship skills? So I say we take a lesson from the guys on this one. Until "he" makes an appearance, there's absolutely nothing wrong with casually dating.
2. Chill out - One of my biggest pet peeves is when a guy tells me to "relax." Nothing is quicker to get my blood boiling and make me extremely - shall I say - UNrelaxed. But when it comes to looking at relationships, I think it might be in our best interest to relax a bit. How about we enjoy being single? How about we don't obsess over his every move? How about we remain calm and not begin to wonder if that cute guy in our class is our soul mate because he asked us the time? Hmmmm. I realize this takes a lot of work and mental discipline. But once we accept that chances are high he's NOT obsessing about us (especially if he knows we're obsessing about him), it becomes a little easier to find our Zen place.
3. Think short term, not long term - I need to be very careful here. Thinking short term doesn't mean you shouldn't assess his long-term potential. You absolutely should. And it certainly doesn't mean you should abandon self-restraint and sleep with him right away. (Did you really think I was going to tell you that was OK? Dream on, sister.) What I'm talking about here is taking the pressure off of him, yourself, and the "relationship" (no matter what stage you're dating life is at). Instead of being certain (after the third date) that "Guy X" is your future husband, what if we took a more immediate view? "I like this guy (so far)." "I like spending time with him (so far)." "I enjoy his company (so far)." While we should never compromise our standards, compromising our expectations can actually be a good thing. Maintaining a "wait and see" attitude gives us perspective and (as a side benefit) usually draws men toward us.
4. Wait before getting serious - There are two things I envy about men: That they can pee standing up and that they can have sex without getting emotionally attached. As any girl who has tried will tell you, both are very difficult for most women to accomplish - at least without making quite a mess. So how does a woman prevent getting too serious too quickly? By going slow. By carefully getting to know him. And by not sleeping with him quickly. Taking your time to analyze his character without getting lost in the "sex haze" is a very beneficial thing. Men don't get blinded by physical intimacy the way we do. They don't try to make a relationship work simply because they find a woman desirable. It takes awhile for them to get to the place of "commitment." Let's do the same.
5. Compartmentalize your life - Ever notice how most men don't rush to include you in every aspect of their lives? They can go from "girl time" to "guy time" without blinking an eye. Maybe it will take a bit before he's ready for you to meet his friends and family. We're different, aren't we? Most of us are way too eager to invite a potential boyfriend to a wedding or big function. We want him to meet our girls immediately. In fact, there are few activities where we wouldn't love for him to be present. Often, this is a recipe for disaster. Assimilating a man into our lives should take time. And we should ALWAYS maintain activities and interests that are ours alone. Keeping independent in our work, hobbies, and friendships is not just beneficial to having a balanced life, it's also key in attracting and sustaining his interest. And that, ladies, is a very good thing.
I'm not encouraging you to switch genders and suddenly start acting like a man. No way. Maintaining your femininity is essential. (At the end of the day, he wants a woman!) But when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex, it's often helpful to speak a bit of their language. I wonder what would happen if we took a page from the guy's handbook and implemented these strategies. I can't help but think it might do us (and the men) some good.