In the next installment of my series, “Combating the Female Fear of Rejection,” I wanted to ensure that these posts went both ways. The most frequent feedback we receive from our female readers is a request that we give advice to men too. Although, we often give advice to men,
y’all don’t read those posts because the titles don’t interest you, it’s important to bring men into the conversation too.
Let’s face it; men don’t understand women all that much. We can only go as far as saying women are predictable. However, we don’t understand the things you do all that much. Most men are quick to call a woman out on lacking self-esteem or self-confidence, but in the same breath accuse an equal amount of women of being overconfident or having too much self-esteem. Fellas, that’s downright confusing to women. When you leave women in a constant state of confusion the progression goes as follows; Confusion, Paranoia, and then Insecurity.
Let’s examine how we as men factor into all of this, what are those ways in which we increase female insecurity?
Problem: Men entertain themselves with an image of women that doesn’t reflect reality.
Situation: As men, we spend hours upon hours searching for pictures of women on the internet that are pleasing to our eyes and libido. It’s no secret that I have a thing for Rosa Acosta. Everybody is entitled to crush on who they want to crush on. How does this manifest itself in my dating? There are going to be tons of women who don’t think I’ll ever find them attractive because they don’t look like Rosa Acosta. We are all doing that. The only people who are not doing it, are doing it privately. However, take a look at how this entire concept manifests itself and pretty much every facet of our lives. The music we listen to and debate on Twitter and blogs is primarily misogynist. We claim that we don’t listen to that trash. That’s a lie. In the same breath that J. Cole talks about his mother and his struggle with his girlfriend through an abortion, he’s also talking about not remembering women’s names. Insert: Confusion.
Solution: There’s nothing wrong with the way I feel about Rosa Acosta, just like there’s nothing wrong with how my homegirl feels about Michael Ealy. It’s going to take more open communication from men to tell women that although we find those women attractive, we find the ones we see every day attractive too. We have to make sure that we tell them that we’ve never dated Rosa Acosta, just like she’s never dated Michael Ealy. We’re both going to have to understand the difference between fantasy and reality.
Problem: Men refuse hard work, when easier options are available.
Situation: As men, we create this overbearing fear that women can’t ask us to work but so hard for their hand in companionship. We’d like women to sacrifice and reduce expectations to what we deem a viable compromise. We refuse to pay $200 on a date… when we clearly can afford it. We refuse to call, preferring to text or email… when we’re not doing anything but playing video games. Therefore, we want a top notch woman, but don’t want to put in top notch work? Confusion!
Solution: Anything that comes easy is probably not worth having. It’s going to take hard work. This isn’t fair to our counterparts because we ask them to jump through hoops for us, but at times, we won’t do the same for them. As a man, we’ve got to go out and seek women that we can’t walk over or get anything we want out of them whenever we want, no matter what. That ideal woman… requires hard work.
Problem: Men have the most unrealistic expectations of the women they date.
Situation: As men, we think that the woman we’ll commit to is going to be perfect. We believe in this concept of the superwomen (also known as a unicorn) who can do any and everything we want. One problem, that superwoman does not exist. When a man gets to the mountaintop, he starts thinking about all the things he’d like to have differently in his next hiking trip. There will always be a taller mountain to climb, there will always be a nicer view from another apex, and there will always be many more adventures that could be had. This leads women to wonder, when is enough actually enough? Even I agree, that’s confusing.
Solution: If you really want to avoid sliding expectations, sit down and write down everything you want out of a woman on a sheet of paper. When you evaluate a potential partner take out that sheet of paper and see if she stacks up. This is going to help you grow and also keep you out of situations where you have to break things off with a woman due to sliding expectations. When she asks you why you’re not interested in pursuing anything serious with her, you can show her the list of expectations or communicate to her that she didn’t meet them. My last piece of advice is that you do this in the first 60 days.
Problem: Men have systems in place like rating systems and Carfaxes as precursors to picking a mate.
Situation: As men, we swear by our systems. Women get afraid when a man starts digging into her life too much because they never know what he might find. There’s been a couple of guys she’s dated she would have preferred to never have met, just like there’s a bunch of women we’d love to never see the light of day. As if that wasn’t bad enough, men have this way of downgrading their interactions with women to save face with their boys. They will totally be into a woman but they’ll tell the homies, “Oh we just kicking it, she ain’t all that.” Women don’t want to be portrayed as a piece of meat or a mediocre option to pass the time. What is she to make of the fact that you tell her that there could be future, but tell your boys she’s just “some chick.” I can see why she might be confused.
Solution: I don’t believe in the concept of a Carfax. This is my recommendation; base your decision on whether to pursue a relationship with a woman on character, integrity and trust. If you question any of those qualities, walk away immediately. Second, stop talking to your boys about the women you date. Personally, I have about three dudes in my circle who I will talk about my dealings with a woman before it’s serious and those discussions are never done in groups.
Problem: Men rarely leave women with a reason for why things didn’t work out.
Situation: As men, we have a strange way of breaking things off with women. Even when we do the due diligence of breaking things off in a mature and concise way, we rarely have a conversation about everything that went wrong. This is for several reasons; in some ways, we’re afraid of what that conversation will go like, in others, we just don’t want to hurt her feelings. We’re afraid to tell her that she was a little too loud, or that she talks about marriage a little too much. We’re not trying to tell her that she has trust issues, or that (HEAVEN FORBID) she has an attitude problem. Whatever the reason when we leave and don’t offer a reason, it causes confusion.
Solution: Men have to start having tough conversations with woman about, “what went wrong.” Do I think it will potentially lead to her trying to convince you why you’re wrong? Of course it will, nobody wants to think that they are a bad person or that they don’t have the power to change. However, when we don’t give them the liberty of an explanation, they’ll walk around confused as to what went wrong and how to fix it.
I’m going to stop here and end with a short conclusion. I can predict right now that most men won’t admit to doing any of the things above. I can also predict that most women will have experienced these things in their past. There’s a disconnect here. We don’t have to spend today going back and forth on what’s wrong and what’s right, but at the end of the day we can confirm. If as a man, you’ve never done any of these things, you’re great. I’m just almost positive without a doubt you know someone who has. We can stay in denial that things occur or at least admit it so there’s a few less insecure women walking around fearing rejection.