Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Unfairer Sex? ...

If women are "the fairer sex," what does that make men? The unfairer sex? The darker sex? The swarthy sex?

A couple weeks ago, I ran into a friend and we got a cup of coffee. He was talking about the dating scene and mentioned that he was looking to date women who were younger than him because women his age – my age – don't need men.

I raised my hand. He stopped talking. "Why do we need to need you?" I asked. "Why isn't it enough that we want you?"

Men are from Mars for sure. And yes, women are from Venus.

But tell, me, guys: For what exactly do you want us to need you? It seemed, during that conversation that day, that my friend's objection was that women of a certain age are self-sufficient. We own our own homes, we pay our own bills, we make our own decisions.

Women who expect men to take care of them are often considered opportunists at best, gold diggers at worst. And men seem to resent women who expect to be rescued or, at the very least, who don't ever offer to pick up a check.

So how about deciphering these mixed signals for we women: What do you want out of a relationship? Are you intimidated or put off by women who can make their own way? Is a woman supposed to suspend her life until Mr. Right comes along so he'll feel needed? What if he never shows up?

I'm asking in all sincerity. I'd like to better understand what's going on in your collective head.

Update, based on J Paul's comments: To clarify, I think everyone needs someone for something, and of course we all want to feel needed. But it didn't seem as though my friend wanted a woman to need him to take out the garbage or change the oil in her car. It was "need" on a much grander scale.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Ethan said...

I get what your friend was saying (albeit clumsily), but as for the why, right this second I can't condense all of that into a comments box.

(Disclaimer: I am married and can't speak to what single guys are up to on the dating scene. Single anyone, really.)

I'll stew on this and get back to you sometime, or defer to single males who might provide more timely insight.

5:43 PM  
Blogger J Paul said...

Men, women, dogs, frogs... I think everyone with a soul wants/needs/likes to feel needed in SOME way. Would you want to be in an intimate relationship where the other person didn't need you for SOMEthing, even if it's just moral support and/or understanding, or building the fire? Is there a more common way people obtain a sense of purpose? I'm not saying it's good to be "needy". Too much is definitely a bad, bad thing, but how do you form a truly symbiotic relationship with some level of mutual need, at least on an emotional level? I guess maybe there are some people who want to feel like they don't need anybody for anything. The problem is when some people exploit and abuse the other person's needs. It's a fine line between needing and being walking on. That's the catch. Either way, men and women: both human.

6:48 PM  
Blogger J Paul said...

EDIT: ...symbiotic relationship withOUT some level...

6:50 PM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

My fair Beth, I think women are called the "fairer sex" because y'all are better looking than we men--fair as in "beautiful." Let's face it, we men are ugly critters!

Anyway, I have to agree with j. paul. I think we all need to be needed. It's why Dr,.Abraham Maslow listed Social Needs (friendship, intimacy, family) in his hierarchy of needs. We all want friends and many of us want that special someone, The One, our Juliet to our Romeo.

But it sounds to me that's not what your friend was talking about. It's sounds to me like he wanted a woman who was not self sufficient. Personally, I don't get that. I have always wanted women who are self sufficient. After all, why would I want someone for whom I have to pay the bills, make her decisions for her , et. al. I want a woman, not a child! Personally, a woman with a job and her own home is a lot sexier than a blonde bimbo who expects a man to take care of her!.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need men to kill creepy spiders and take dead mice out of the traps and trap the snake that's loose in the basement laundry room. NOT. Hmmm. I thought self-suffiency was a highly prized attribute, particularly among Americans. I guess I was wrong. I've been long told I intimidate men. I always laugh. Being financially independent, owning my own house, having a good career and knowing about baseball makes me intimidating? I would think it would make me an attractive prospect, a person who is NOT looking to complete myself through another person. But if that's true, maybe I'm better off single. And I'm certainly not afraid of dead mice.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Well, I'm still completely creeped out by dead mice, but I dispose of them when disposal is called for. Good points, Anon. I, too, get the "intimidating" thing all the time. Alas. I yam what I yam.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Cannon said...

I think the more interesting question is the one you asked when you raised your hand. I'm not sure men read "want" signals very well--we see it where it isn't, and we don't see it where it is. We're clueless gits, trying to get by in a language we only half-understand. Possibly, at least for some of my species, "need" signals come in more clearly. But frankly, I'm guessing here--I was taught that the jig would be up for my kind the moment women started taking out the garbage.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take out my own garbage (including dead mice), prune my own trees and know how to set up my own video components! AND I own my own circular saw! And I'm a girl!

10:30 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Wow, Anon, you've got me beat with the circular saw! : o ) But I do own a cordless drill with an extra battery.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Rina said...

And they say women are complicated! I say humans are complicated, period. Men run away the minute we say, I NEED you to do houseworks, well most of them will, or rather, most of those I know. And I'm not talking about the first few years of marriage/relationship, honeymoon years don't count. They change drastically (almost) through the years, they tend to get more irritated the more you need them. They wonder why aren't you more independent, they forgot why they chose you. It's sad isn't it? I'm not talking from experience but from observation, right in front of my eyes.

12:25 AM  

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