Monday, September 10, 2007

He'll never tell

The dreaded “where is this going?” talk
According to the above article, "when men hear the words, “Where is this going?” they freeze up. Women ask this question because there’s a lack of communication and they want to know where they stand. For example, if she wants a commitment but he doesn’t want to be tied down, then that’s an issue that needs to be brought into the open. Problem is, men don’t like to be put on the spot and discuss their feelings. And between us girls, we know it’s because they don’t know their feelings or how to handle them. So instead of trying to guarantee your future together, focus on your guy’s actions. Look for the little (and sometimes hidden) signs that he’s committed to the relationship. Does he open the door for you, answer the phone when you call and make an effort to impress your friends? If so, he’s investing in the relationship’s future. On the other hand, if the only time he calls you is to invite you over for hanky panky and can’t remember your favorite color or food, it’s safe to say he’s just not that into you."

I’m a girl, not a professional interpreter.

I don’t have time for the “little hidden signs.”

I don’t want to scrutinize his every move to determine if he’s “into me” enough.

Women are often thought to be CRAZY because of this very expectation, that we are to read the signs rather than listen to the words coming from the mouths of men everywhere.

“Well, he calls me everyday!”
“Oh… but he introduces me as his “friend.”
BUT we’re intimate!”
“Oh… well… no one would know it the way he pats me on the back in public.”

I dunno, maybe I’m CRAZY for saying it... but just ask.

Chances are if you have to… you already know the answer anyway.

(also, listen here if you missed me on the radio this morning;)


Chrissie said...

But then again... I know someone who had a very unique way of saying "Where is this going?"

Below you will find a lil' exhibitionism.

April 4, 200*

"With Left-Handed Chest Clutching"

wow... im...
i cant describe
my affinity for you.
youre a punch in the face to my being
in an absolutely wonderful way.
where the hell do u come from?
not pine plains hun... not around here.
krypton? maybe..
some star.. some beautiful wonderful star...
with like...
rainbows n **** all the time.
you draw the very soul right outta me in an almost painful way...
and im addicted and leaking
warm harmonies through my ribs.
my pulse has become a struck chord,
a cosmic oscillation, calulating
you. as if i had a choice
i consider which words will shape

you've stirred me deeply.
do what you will.

Talk about "WHERE IS THIS GOING." I guess this could be why I see no harm in asking... it's not like I'm talking about rainbows and harmonies when I do it;)

Sarah said...

I don't know what freaks me out more: The fact that your ex wrote that or that you kept it ;-)

But in comparison, some of my earlier love notes went as follows:
"Yo ur so betiful. I hop u lik me two." They became handy when I needed to throw out old gum.

Jaison said...

If you are dating a man, "Where are we going?" should be a question to ask before the evening begins, not in regard to the relationship.

A relationship isn't a train ride. You aren't "going" anywhere, but should be learning how to be "there" for a person you care about.

I think it's about being in the moments your significant other needs you around and them the same for you, not about some location, expectation, or eventual goal.

It's in consideration, not destination, and if you are not shown that consideration, you will probably feel like asking where you are going, but that is an answer that you need, not one that a boyfriend can provide.

Mayonaze said...

Communication between both parties is important in all aspects of relationships... whether they are between S.O.'s, in the workforce, or in everday interactions within our society. Problems that are mentioned here can be avoided or at least challenged earlier on if it is tackled prior to intimacy. If not, than the topic should hit the stage pretty quickly thereafter. Most men are concrete and mathematical with thier decisions... they want to hear it loud and clear and need the topic discussed... we aren't all the sharpest with reading women's emotions... that's why we have Maxim magazine columns to help us figure you ladies out. Bottom line... conversation should be tackled earlier on and not avoided. And if the conversation takes place after intimacy takes place, then hopefully it won't be too hurtfull to either of the two parties involved and somekind of comprimise will take place in the end. Unless of course she does something screwed up like pee on your e-z chair and another friends couch... then they should just be distant friends.

Chrissie said...

Haha, Sarah, we discussed my "pack rat" nature in previous posts;) I keep everything!!!

And Jaison, I think your idea is "ideal," but unfortunately not always a realistic one.

Even if it's not about the "goal," and it's about the "present," then that present should be clear.

Because I'd hate to think that two people sharing their "present" have completely different expectations. Because then what is reality for either of them?

And "Mayonaze," I have no idea AT ALL what you're talking about;)

Sarah said...

Mayonaze -- I've been totally turned off by new relationship-ers who want to talk about EVERYTHING in the beginning. How can you discuss expectations when you just met?

If the guy/girl shows TOO much interest upfront for setting a course, doesn't that spoil the romance? Ya know, falling in love when you least expect it...

or does such a thing need to be mapped out beforehand?

Yes, you do need to know if the person is in it for totally different reasons, but I believe that is obvious without words spoken. No, you cannot bring up the "where is this going" on the 1st date without freaking people out.

Chrissie said...

Sarah, not to automatically defend "Mayonaze," but he/she never said "on the first date."

They said "before intimacy."

Which COULD be the first date, it could be the 13th date or it could be the 23rd.

I agree with what you're saying that these things shouldn't be brought up early on, when people are just getting to know one another.

But once people might start caring it's important to be clear about one's expectations.

Not in the "oh my, our first date was so amazing! you're my boyfriend now right?!"kinda way...

But maybe in the "So who else do you share your bed with?" kinda way.

Sarah said...

Ah yes, I took "early on" to the extreme, but merely to make a point about being romantic.

We do agree, I believe on this topic in general. The only real difference is that you say to come out and ask, and I say, having to ask is a slap in the face.

Anonymous said...

hmmm... so is this another tour thru the ambiguous fog that is stirred in the wake of "open" intimacy?

i wonder if one might gauge the pulse and/or immediacy of your current dating status by the frequency of your commitment nightmares and/or the interval of time between those nightmares and the arrival of the "ultimatum" post...

ah, of course, i am assuming this post is actually about you;)

and yes, i suppose when you have to ask frankly "where is this going?", it's not as unique and as strange as rainbows and harmonies.

but it's certainly not as impressive or as memorable, either.

i guess some people surge ahead into relationships, while other people fall back into them.

Chrissie said...

Anon, my posts are NEVER are about me, that's just crazy.

Clever how you put that link IN YOUR COMMENT.

You might have to teach me how to do it sometime...


Mario said...

There's no one answer, and I'm not saying you're going to like mine, but here it is.

Men and women are different. Many women in their 20's have settling down as their goal -- finding a man, marrying, and becoming "full fledged" members of society. I think it's in their genes.

It's different for men though, because howsoever progressive our society has become, marriage restricts a man and places huge financial demands on him.

A couple may both earn money, but if the woman wants to quit and devote herself to her children, no one will blame her. She'll be lauded for it. If a man merely earns less than the men in their circle of friends, he'll feel it. And it won't feel good.

So, ask yourselves this of your men when you're wondering where it's all going. Is he happy doing what he's doing? Is he in the right career? Is there a future for him in that career, and is he reasonably confident of his future?

Because once you marry, he's going to feel a lot of pressure to stay at his good paying, secure job -- even if it kills him.

If your man is feeling settled in that part of his life, he'll look to settle down with you. But if he's not, he'll be leery about giving up his freedom.

And he's right to feel so.

:) said...

ha ha ha HA HA!

Chrissie said...

Actually Mario, I think you make a VERY good point!

Sarah said...

Wow, I wish you were around to tell that to my last live-in boyfriend when I was cutting 1/2 the rent check and bills. He didn't seem obligated to support me financially. Nor did I feel it was his duty.

No offense Mario, but your post seems like a poor excuse to me. Men shouldn't feel locked into anything. Marriage is a partnership, not a death sentence for men and a PAYDAY for women.

With many women making close to, equal or higher salaries, marriage provides a couple with more financial freedom. One of those freedoms is the option to have children. Or buy a house. Or purchase a dog.

Anonymous said...

mario has a "good point"... if a bit old-fashioned, slightly chauvinistic, and awfully sad.

i'd hate to think that the notions of restriction, huge financial burdens, loss of freedom, and staying at a job even if it kills him are really the sort of things that factor into a man's choice of the woman he wants to be with.

maybe i'm idealistic, but i'm not looking to "settle down" when it's convenient.

i'm hoping for something more opportune and a bit more enthusiastically pressing than that.

but maybe i'm just idealistic.

Chrissie said...

I think Mario's point was a good one... in that it represents a common mindset.

Not that THAT mindset is RIGHT necessarily, but simply that it exists.

Not that they HAVE to, but I think some men carry those old fashioned burdens with them into relationships, we're not that many generations away from when it WAS a man's "duty" to support and provide for his family.

If a man's father took this responsibility seriously, I think it's only natural that his son(s) would feel similarly.

It takes a lot more than a few years to tear down traditional barriers and expectation.

So Good Point(s) goes to Mario, Anon and Sarah... for representing all the different ideas (or ideals) we could have.

Because these are the things that help us make particular choices... single, taken, or anything inbeTWEENER.

Sarah said...

Chrissie, you know what scares me? I think a lot of guys in long-term relationships feel what Mario described, but they won't admit it, for fear that it's "not the answer we want to hear." Meanwhile, their why-won't-he-marry-me? girlfriends are left in limbo.

Mario said...

Sarah -- If you think "a lot of guys in long-term relationships" feel what I've described, then the question of why they feel that way is an interesting one, isn't it?

I did not suggest that marriage was "a death sentence for men and a PAYDAY for women"; all I suggested was that men feel a kind of pressure that women do not. Are men being silly?

Imagine a couple where each person makes enough money that the two could live on one salary. Now imagine that one wants to stay home to raise the children, or quit work to pursue an art career or write a novel.

If in one case the person were the husband and in the other the wife, do you see no difference? And I'm not talking about exceptions, but the implications on average in our society.

I found a really interesting article a while ago, "Alpha Women, Beta Men." It explores what can happen when men relinquish the role of breadwinner.

The article was published in New York Magazine -- and not Woman Haters Weekly as you might be tempted to believe.

(And, please, with that last remark I'm just trying to be a friendly smart-aleck -- so take it with a wink.)

In every case discussed in that article, I don't think there would be a problem if the roles were reversed -- as they have been traditionally.

Don't think I think women have it easy. I think women still feel a lot of "traditional" pressures -- right or wrong. But I do think men live with the pressure I described in my original comment, and it's only practical for them to acknowledge it.

Sarah said...

Mario, I think u bring up great points, and thank you for the link. If our readers haven't checked it out the article, they should.

For the sake of arguing...
I don't feel pressure to stay home and turn into a baby factory. It's a choice. I also have a choice to stay home and paint sea shells if I want. Or collect stray cats. Anyone who loves me will support my dreams, as I will for them.

Having a marriage certificate doesn't change that. It should only reinforce that mutual respect and encouragement to pursue the individual's as well as the couples most precious dreams.

(Do you wonder why I've been told my views on marriage are totally unrealistic? hehe!)

Chrissie said...

"Anyone who loves me will support my dreams, as I will for them."


But do we sometimes love people because of their dreams???

Maybe we're all sometimes guilty of falling for people because of "who they will become," once those dreams are realized rather than who they are.

And when those dreams change maybe we're forced to deal with a different reality... one where mommy doesn't respect daddy anymore because he's not who he "could" have been.