Hello, Readers! Today, we have another guest post from Adam, who in my opinion, is well mannered, respectful and an all around really nice guy. He really is…just because I can’t land a nice guy does not mean I don’t recognize one. He is a little too quiet but perhaps a poker table is not the best place for a conversation, especially when neither of us really knew what we were doing. In his own words…he just wants to get a good vibe from the person taking his chips. In his column today, he tells us the story of one of his single lady friends who is taking time to heal and process before embarking on the next leg of her journey. Please enjoy his latest entry and feel free to leave comments.
A friend of mine has been truly single for about three months now. There is a whole host of extenuating circumstances surrounding her most recent relationship, but for all practical purposes, she broke up with the guy in September. She has, on occasion, asked me why the guy was a jerk, why she ended up single, and why she can’t find a good guy. This sort of discussion seemed like good fodder for my “advice column from a guy’s perspective”, so I will pass along my insights/thoughts/experiences that I have shared with her to you.
The questions are all pretty different, and require different, in depth answers for each on. That being said, I would imagine that they are all questions that women in her situation ask themselves, God, the sky, or whomever they feel like addressing in moments of desperation and frustration. As such, I will attempt to answer each one for you.
First, why was the guy such a jerk/douche/dickwad–choose your preferred derogatory title? The simple answer is, I don’t know. No one that you direct this question at is going to know the answer, because in probably 9 times out of 10, the person you are posing this question to does not know said d-bag. In my case, I have never met the guy. I can’t, with certainty, explain why he treated such a fine woman so poorly. That being said, I can venture a guess.
I suppose I should provide a little more context for you. They did not have a clearly defined relationship before the summer started, and while he was away for 2 months, he cheated on her. She brushed it off when she learned about it because things weren’t defined as exclusive. But after he returned, she caught him in a very compromising situation (but not having sex) with another woman, after they had more clearly defined the relationship. She broke up with him then, and despite his efforts to contact her again, she won’t renew the relationship. But she really liked him, and even 3 months later, is still troubled by how hurt she is.
As I said, I can’t tell you exactly why he treated her so poorly. She is a pretty good woman, and certainly did not deserve such treatment. But generally, guys are dicks. I don’t mean that just in the pejorative, they are insensitive jerks, but also in the literal. Quite often, men become nothing more than 6-foot tall walking penises, thinking only with their little head located about half way up, and not with their larger one situated atop their body.
Because I am assuming that a majority of this audience is women, I must rely on what I speculate your experiences are, and guess that at some point—maybe in high school—where a guy doesn’t know what he is doing in bed, just that there is a raging in his loins that are demanding IMMEDIATE attention/action (I hope this is no longer your experience, and that as they have grown older the men you have been with learn how to not shoot their load as soon as you touch them). Guys may no longer dry hump your leg and cream in their jeans, but that doesn’t mean they are any less controlled by their carnal impulses. And one of the biggest indications of this is an inability to think about anything more than the most immediate situation facing them. They sleep with someone else because they want some action, and this other woman (or guy, in some cases, I suppose), is the most available option at the moment. They think nothing about the long-term consequences, but only about how they can satisfy their desires right now.
Perhaps this was explained best by Sinbad in the 1991 movie Houseguest. I am paraphrasing here, but he says something to the effect that you have a fine steak cooked to perfection sitting at home waiting for you, but instead you’re in a park eating chicken mcnuggets. This is why guys are generally douches–they settle what is in front of them because they refuse to think of anything that might be better if they would just wait.
Second: why did she end up single? I believe it is because she decided to take a stand, and not settle for one of the 95% of men that refuse to think about the bigger picture. There was a great article in the Washington Times several months ago about how women have lowered the bar too much. They are willing to put out on a first date with a crappy guy because there is a collective belief that that is necessary to keep a guy, any guy, around. “If I don’t sleep with him tonight, he will go find someone who will.” And that may be the case, but I believe that women should demand better. If collective womanhood would refuse to sleep with guys until after a few dates at least, or they knew some personal things about guys–what he misses from his childhood, or the name of his stuffed animal when he was a boy–you wouldn’t have as many d-bag guys in the first place. Guys are jerks because they can be and will still get some action at the end of the night (see the ongoing Sister Someone drama for further proof).
So in the context of her second question, she is still single 3 months later because she is raising the bar. She tells guys to go home after the first date, rather than inviting him up, because she should expect more. She is still single because she is working on getting to the point that she doesn’t have to have a guy around.
Which brings me to her third question–why can’t I find a good guy? The answer that I have found to this, both in my own life and in the lives of several of my friends seems counter-intuitive. Call it what you will—God testing us to get us to trust him more, a cruel twist of fate, Zen-like stoicism, cosmic irony—but I believe she struggles to find a good guy because she has to have him. It is not until we learn to be comfortable by ourselves that we are really ready to find that perfect someone for us. When finding a man ceases to be her aim, I think things will fall into place a bit more.
Allow me to provide an illustration from my own life. From the time I was a freshman in high school, I never went more than a month or so without a girlfriend. The fall of my freshman year of college, my girlfriend from home dumped me. I was crushed. I cried about it (including on the flight back to Chicago after visiting her in NC–she is the reason I hate the Tar Heels, but that’s another story), complained to friends, sat in the dark in my dorm room, and generally moped about it for about 10 days.
Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I was basing my life too much on the opinions of women. I mentioned the book Wild at Heart in a previous post, and I would again recommend it to you. There is a passage in the book that talks about how a man should not look to a woman to give him strength/confidence, but rather he should present his strength to her, having found it on his own. A woman telling a guy that he is a man does not make it so. Her words can only affirm what is already there; they cannot bring it into existence. And I believe the same is true for women. Men can affirm character, individuality, self-worth, beauty in women, but we cannot create those things in her. Once I reached the point in my life where I was happy being single, recognizing that no girlfriend was going to leave me content if I wasn’t content on my own, I met the woman that I eventually married. I believe the same to be true for my friend. Once she reaches a place where she is comfortable with who she is as just her and not as her and a guy, she will be ready to meet a truly quality guy. Her perspective will be changed in such a way that she will recognize one when he comes along.