Women ask follow-up questions.
I’ve written about women, men, and the un-comfortableness of follow-up questions. In all seriousness, if I had to, I could probably answer all remaining questions for the rest of my life with some combination of: Yes, No, I don’t know, I don’t care, and a series of hand gestures and facial expressions. That’s really all I need. There’s only two reasons why I haven’t implemented this strategy full-time: 1) women and 2) work. If it wasn’t for those two, I’d spend most of my day all the way STFU – and I’d be happy as a lark, too!
(Most) women aren’t like this. In writing, in order to sufficiently address a question they recommend you explain the who, what, when, where, how, and why? These are the fundamentals of story development. Unfortunately, these are also the fundamental elements women want addressed when they ask a question (and they ask a lot) of the men of importance in their lives. Conversely, as a man, all I want to know is what happened and why it matters? If you don’t believe me, just observe the fluid discussions of a room full of women versus the fluid silences of a room full of men.
A real life example of this happened to me the other day. I had a good friend in high school and college. He got married soon after and we fell off, but we have a mutual friend in common whom I still hang out with. One day, our mutual friend informed me that my x-college buddy has a son…a two year old son. That means for two whole years, my x-college buddy and close friend didn’t think to let me know that he had a son. Did I panic? Did I question the status of our friendship? Did I wonder if he was upset with me? Did I send a passive aggressive text message to my x-college buddy demanding he explain himself? Did I see this omission as a reflection of me, the world, and an attempt to destroy my dynasty and I on a personal level? No. I did none of those things. I said, “cool.” I got his phone number, text him for a little bit, caught up, and I moved on with my day.
Why didn’t anyone tell me, you ask? Well… I don’t know, and I don’t care.
But, when a man loves…
Here’s the thing, nothing changes, but things improve. When a man isn’t emotionally invested, he will go out of his way to avoid anything that resembles emotion. As I touched on in the 5 Ways Men Break Up With Women, this partially explains why a number of men would rather opt out of having a difficult discussion at all than have an open and honest discussion with a woman they like/love.
However, when a man truly loves a woman he must make a change. A lot of men won’t admit this because, as the pattern today suggests, some think it makes them look weak, but looking weak for the woman you love (or placing yourself in a position you are uncomfortable with for her benefit) is one of the strongest acts of devotion a man will ever make. Since making acts of devotion and expressing themselves – in areas they are comfortable – occurs naturally to women, many don’t see the big deal. Being emotionally honest for women is socially accepted, if not expected. On the other hand, a man spends his whole life taught that emotion equates to weakness, yet when he’s in a relationship, a woman expects him to suddenly shed decades of conditioning and open up to her in all areas – especially emotionally. While this doesn’t make sense, willingly doing so is what separates the boys from the men and hopefully, the x-boyfriends from the soon-to-be or current husbands.
For many men, it’s not the physical displays of love that will prove difficult. It’s the act of opening himself up emotionally – even to the woman he loves – that will be one of the most difficult acts he has to overcome. Even more intimidating, this raw exposure is insufficient if performed only once. Instead, showing your love and devotion is a constant, and often uncomfortable, act of reassurance and emotional testimony the woman in his life will want and need. As I said in the beginning – and will say again in the end – this is why men are afraid of women. Men recognize the transfer of power truly opening themselves up to a woman entails, which is why many seek to avoid rather than embrace it. When the going gets tough, the boys get going. Men stand up to all the challenges that stand before them if it’ll benefit the ones they love.
Fellas, did you ever have to actively practice opening up emotionally to the woman you love? Did it occur naturally or did she inspire the change? Do men avoid tough conversations or blatantly lie to cover themselves or because they genuinely believe women can’t handle the truth?
Ladies, what are some frustrations you have with men and their fear of open and honest conversations? Given the opportunity, do you think you could handle the truth if more men volunteered it? Do women have to overcome a similar emotional struggle when falling for a man?
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