A Classification of Man

Dating

Women have a tendency to believe that just because a guy has a penis, that immediately makes him a man.

It doesn’t.

In fact, the penis is a defining character of a man but capability of erection ≠ define a dude entirely. In my wide travels of the world (and the many men who inhabit it) I have found the following evidence to be corroborated across the country by the male population*. Women have the capability to multi-task; oftentimes finding themselves in a constant balancing act between girl and woman which pretty much starts at age 13. Men, however, begin their stage of life as a boy, transition into a guy, and then finally mature into a man.

Now these stages, while dependent on age, are not wholly determined by it. I have met men who are 15 and I have met many, many a boy who is 30. In addition, men are usually catapulted into a new phase by circumstances surrounding them – various pressures force them to grow up into the men they usually aren’t expecting to become. Additionally – just because a man enters into a phase doesn’t mean he can’t backslide into one (think about a man after a break up…he becomes a boy again, even if temporarily) which speaks to the fluidity of life and of man.

New let’s get down to business.

Defining a Man

Ryan Gosling: still adorable and loveable as boy. But really…what are you gonna do with him?

a.) boy: usually a male will be a boy from 12-23. He probably wearing jeans he hasn’t washed since…we’re not really sure when because he doesn’t know how to do his own laundry. He is unstable, unsure of himself, and unaware of the repercussions of his actions. Think: high school boys with acne, frat boys trying desperately to fit in, and boys who refuse to grow up  such as grown men who play video games all day, don’t do their dishes, and expect a women to become their mothers…because they are boys. Boys will be boys and that means boys will break your heart – accidentally of course – just like they broke their mom’s favorite statue. “Accidentally”

Ryan Gosling: Still so hot as a guy, but just can’t seem to get shit together.

b.) guy: usually 23-29. He is in a transition phase. He’s a little more confident in himself. He’s also beginning to get in tune with what he wants in his life. Which may or may not be playing guitar, writing poetry, power lifting, or fantasy football. He’s beginning to figure out how to do his own laundry…some of the time, like when he invites a girl over to ‘hang out’. He’s actively pursuing a future but he’s probably still broke (ie: grad students, entry level jobs, start-up entrepreneurs). Although he’s matured from a boy into a guy – he’s still unable to communicate feelings effectively, cares about himself and his life before the needs of others and he will probably choose his bros over hoes any day. As a girl, you’re just something he has fun doing…sometimes.

Ryan Gosling: as a man, he is everything and more. He buys groceries and rocks a mean suit. Oh and he’s still gorgeous.

It just felt like there should be one more photo of Ryan Gosling.

c.) man: usually 29-onward. There is a light that goes on with men as they approach 30 (because as young adults we becoming increasingly aware of ourselves as we move from 2 to 3…like toddlers) so he’s starting to get his shit together. He knows who he is and what he wants. He wears matching socks. He’s got a good job with a stable income. He has a home that is decorated (ie: he has a comforter that matches his sheets) complete with detergent he buys for himself. He has his own life that he genuinely wants a woman to be a part of. You will have an adult relationship where you compromise, where you go on real dates, and ultimately learn what it feels like to be treated as a woman. He understands what it means to care about other people (ie: he picks friends up from the airport without groaning, takes responsibility for getting your keys when you’ve locked them in the car) and actively steps up to the plate to take responsibility for someone other than himself.

It’s this shift that presents an opportunity for women to be girls. Since we’re not stressing out about everything from dishes to dudes and all the way back to dicks – we can focus on having fun. When men stop being boys or guys and start to be men who step up and take part in the responsibility – both partners can find balance in being adults while quietly slipping back and forth into childlike bliss with each other.

And the laundry always gets done.

*This writer is completely inept at understanding men and shouldn’t be trusted even remotely on this subject.

Natural Sightings of Manly Behavior

Dating

As I detailed last week, I’ve been hanging out in the country a little bit. While all the sunshine, campfires, and homemade eggs for breakfast have been incredible, I’m certainly getting something more from the experience.

Unbridled access to men and what they do every day.

Let me tell you, it’s not that interesting.

But there is definitely some merit in to this window of normally hidden male behavior. Men have these incredulous imaginations about what women do when we’re together. Naked pillow fights, wrestling in jello, telling our friends how big your dick is, etc. The ridiculousness of these fantasies is just one of the many parts of the male psyche women will never understand. Alternatively, women imagine us telling your friends about how great we are, how we seem to smell amazing and that you can’t wait for us to meet your parents.

I would rather a boy mention to his friends how awesome I am at racquetball or riding unicorns. Something along those lines. I like having a reputation to live up to.

What I’m saying here is that women and men have very different ideas of what we do when we aren’t trying to impress the opposite sex. One of the most agonizing things we go through while dating in the 21st century is waiting for a god-forsaken text message reply. I wrote a blog post last summer about what to do when you’re guy isn’t texting you, but I never explored what women think men are actually doing when they’re not texting us.

Here’s what I’ve observed 5 single men doing in their spare time. The good news is that they do most of these shirtless. So at least there’s that:

-Drinking beer. So much so that they don’t have a hand to hold their phone, or possibly the motor skills.

-Playing music: Not only are they concentrating on playing the instrument but the music drowns out any noise from a phone.

-Shooting the shit. Men sit around and talk just like women do. Although it’s mostly just bullshit jokes, they are still committed to focusing on what their conversation is revolving around. Whether it’s about how to survive a zombie apocalypse or a story about a drunken night, men give their undivided attention to a spectrum of topics.

-Mowing, hoeing, working on a car, other man stuff. Working with their hands in general.

-Holding stuff. This is self-explanatory and can range from a multitude of objects – such as sticks, cigarettes, darts, and even food.

Generally speaking, these boys are focused on their lives first. Their priorities lie within what’s right in front of them at this moment. So if you want a guy to spend time thinking about you, don’t send a witty text that references Anchorman man ever so subtly. Just invite your damn self over to enjoy the fun.

“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” —Katharine Hepburn

Happy Monday y’all!

One vs The One

Dating

Since March, I’ve been conquering men in bars, both locally and internationally. While it was a fruitful summer with a multitude of good stories to tell for years to come, I had promised myself I would slow it down by the time fall and school rolled around.

And then I met someone (see Disasters in Dating). Someone I didn’t sleep with at first. Someone I like to actually hang out with because he doesn’t make me want to claw my eyes out from boredom. Oh and he’s cute. From henceforth, in all future forays with this boy, he shall be referred to as The Bartender.

I over-analyze everything. I mean everything. So while I was going through my one night stand phase, I analyzed everything in the days following a hook-up. Now that I’m dating someone, I still analyze everything and constantly wonder how I’m faring in the dating world. So far I can’t decide which option comes with more stress.

One Night Stands

One night of sweaty, somewhat intoxicated sex. The shared agreement to limiting the amount of knowledge about the other person. Due to that agreement, talking is usually limited to banal topics that you won’t really care about the other person knowing (ie: things that you would find on my Facebook if you creeped hard enough). The walk of shame in the morning. That weird moment where ya’ll can’t decide whether or not to spoon. The feeling of both achievement (if you bang a 10) and disappointment in your self-worth. The look that tells each other it’s on. Free drinks. The questions following the one nighter: Will he call me? Why wasn’t I worth waiting for? Why am I already horny again? What was his last name? Am I bad in bed? The aftermath includes wondering how many lies he told you to get into your pants, wishing you worked out more so those flabby bits weren’t as…well…flabby, and usually regret. Usually.

Dating

A tepid toe into the waters of getting to know each other. Dates where the conversation is foreplay, instead of a slap on the ass. Personality becomes a factor. A big one at that. Attraction can only go so far without an actual connection. Sex is steady, but isn’t dull. The feeling of constantly wanting to impress someone with your charm, wit, and appearance. The fear that they will find something out about you and immediately dump yo’ crazy ass. Seeing that look in their eye that lets you know they like you. Free drinks and free meals. The questions that follow: Will he call me? What do they think of me? Am I interesting enough to capture their attention? Am I the only one they are seeing? Do I really need to shave my legs againThe aftermath includes wondering how long you have to lie about not eating carbs, wishing you could stay and cuddle for hours (especially with the recent appearance of fall weather in Texas), and the knowledge that the more time you spend with that person is directly proportional to how much it’s going to hurt when you stop seeing each other.

Which is the lesser of two evils? I’m going to go with the one where spooning is non-optional…for now anyways.

Man Trapped in a Woman’s Body

Dating, Personal

It’s not as much as fun as you think it would be.

Lately, I’ve felt like a dude. It’s actually fairly difficult, because I don’t really subscribe to traditional gender roles. Women bringing home the bacon, making the first move, being on top, etc. Bring it on, women can handle it.

But as much as I would like to think that men respect this – surprise – they don’t.

Examples from my life as a single, strong-willed, and sometimes ballsy woman:

1. I have made it explicably clear to someone that all I want is a very causal relationship. What does he do? Acts like a boyfriend.

2. I make the terrible mistake of having the conversation with a man about numbers. He then tells me I really know how to make a guy feel special. Wait – I’m sorry, were you supposed to be special? Because making out on the street didn’t feel especially special.

3. (this is the only slightly positive outcome) I approach a man at a bar and hit on him, because it’s almost last call, someone bought me a shot, he was cute, and my friends can usually coerce me to do anything after 1:30 am if they tell me it will be funny. By the end of the conversation, he gave me a hug, said thank you, and told me it was cool that I approached him. Well…awesome?

Overall, most of these guys are just fleeting moments for me, I’m not looking for any stand outs or for someone to sweep me off my feet. I’ve been swept already and now I’m just hanging out. As much as guys say that’s what they want and that’s their idea of a ‘dream girl’, in my research I’ve found that they want just as much respect as any woman deserves. Basically, there is no winning. So I’ll just keep doin’ me while you keep doin’ your little pansy thing. Cheers.