Last night, Cori so lovingly picked me up from the King-George Skytrain and we headed to Langley for the night at the house she's house-sitting. It was the first time I would get to meet her best friend, Marne, even though I totally felt like we were already friends. Cori's cousin, Shelby, was there too and as girls do, we didn't take long to get socially cozy.
Our itinerary for the night was making rice crispy squares, drinking Bailey's in hot-chocolate (with marshmallows) and watching Elf (apparently I have a striking resemblance to Buddy from Elf) but like any occasion where you put 4 girls in the same room, three of which don't really know each other, the easy and obvious point of conversation revolves around the one small topic of the boy in your life, not in your life, or... don't know if he's... in... your life...?
It is just so funny. For the four of us all in very very different places or stages with our point-of-interest-man, we all had basically the same thesis of our stories (yes I said that - in school-mode still for sure).
No, it wasn't that they suck.
It was that the moment your "thing" turns into "something" (bless us if they even admit that much) this one little thing is sparked in them. Call it pride, call it protection, call it an emotional blockage... or just call it a pain in the ass. I'll admit some men don't have this but from my experience, all the ones under the age or 24 have it. It's the phenomenon of cat and mouse that when the woman gives too much or shows too much affection, men back off. They play mysterious and hard to get; they're unattainable; they're too busy. But here's the kicker - that at the end of the day they still "really care about you" so all of a sudden, we feel bad that we put so much pressure on our need for them to actually express that. We start off feeling mad at them for being distant, but then we feel bad that we got so "uptight."
John Gray says it well: "Men are motivated and empowered when they feel needed" Ummm yes, but can I attach a second part to that sentence?: "Therefore, they'll do what they need to to continue feeling that way."
So brutal guys. So... so brutal. You know you can all hide it very well... you're need for us, that is. But not forever...
Truth be told, they're the ones who are uptight. It just doesn't actually manifest itself until they feel a real threat in having you. Because when you finally get sick of lowering yourself so he can feel like he's helping you, and you finally back off and say "wait a minute... I don't actually need you the way you're making me think I do..." then the smoke detector goes off in his head and he's groveling all of a sudden. By then, it doesn't even feel good because we're already over it.
So what the heck?
So goes life and love and relationships [after the honeymoon stage]? In really different ways, it was the same story for all of us. I'm sure there are many relationships out there that don't exhibit these strange cycles and there are probably a lot that exhibit them but only to a very small extent. And women are guilty too! The actual second part of John Gray's quote was, "women are motivated and empowered when they feel cherished." If the second part wasn't as true as the first, the first part wouldn't be such a problem because in their display of needing-to-feel-needed, we end up feeling un-cherished and therefore, just plain poopy. So should we compromise our need to feel cherished? Or should they compromise their need to feel needed? It would be nice to meet somewhere in the middle but I have a feeling that's not as easy as I just made it sound...
I am truly under the impression that this only ends when you have kids because then both the man and the woman's needs are met by children who need their dad and cherish their mom. Either that or the fact that mom and dad are too busy thinking about the tikes to think about their own senses of masculinity and femininity.
So I don't really have a conclusion. I'm sure John Gray will though. I plan on starting to read his book, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, today!
I'll let you know if I find the answers but for now, I think John Mayer speaks volumes into the man's soul:
i was made to believe that i'd never love somebody else
made a plan, stay the man who can only love himself...
...half of my heart's got a grip on the situation
half of my heart takes time...
...half of my heart is a shot-gun wedding
to my bride with a paper ring
and half of my heart is the part of a man
who's never truly loved anything