Let me assure you, I'm not an expert by any means on men, dating, or relationships. I just want to share what I've learned recently, and what I've observed from others, and from the skewed dating culture we find ourselves in today.
Why the title you ask? Because I've found that today, for the most part, women do see men as the enemy. When we have had a not so positive experience with a man, we talk with our girlfriends about what a jerk he is. We watch 'Sex and the City', and watch Carrie and our other favorite girls do the same thing. It is almost as much a part of our culture as baseball to call them assholes, and ask how could they do such things to us? We act as if their main goal in life is to hurt some poor unsuspecting woman. I have been guilty of such conversations in the past. But does it get us anywhere? Does it help us move on? Does it make us feel better that we "really liked" that asshole? If he were truly that, do you think you would have really liked him in the first place? No, no, no, and probably not. Don't get me wrong, there are men that are real assholes. But you know what? There are women out there who are big assholes as well.
Saying all this is going to be quite controversial, I imagine. But I have never really cared about being controversial-just ask some of my friends about my political opinions.
A few weeks ago, I had kind of an "Ah-ha" moment. (Thanks, Oprah) I was lamenting about the fact that for the second time in a row, a man I really liked and was dating, decided to fall of the face of the earth. Confused, because I think I'm fairly cute, funny, fun to hang with, and a good kisser. Well, as far as I know, I've never had any complaints! I began to think about it, and thought possibly, it wasn't all their fault. Your eyes are probably as wide as golf balls right now, but please stay with me. I had a talk with my sister, and one of my very good friends, Nat, and also read a book by a well- known dating coach. My ah-ha came when I recalled what my sister had asked me as I was reading the book. She asked me if he even knew that I was interested in him. At the time, I was like "Of course, how could he not?" She basically said "you really don't let anyone too close." And so did my friend. The book also conveyed that if men don't feel good around you, i.e. don't think you are interested in them, you don't show appreciation to them, don't make them feel sexy, that they aren't going to stick around. I think as women, we believe that all we have to do is show up, and they will fall head over heels just because we are pretty, and funny, and a good kisser, or even good in bed. But all those things don't matter in the end, because if he's not feeling anything from you, he's not going to feel anything for you.
So I took a hard look, and went back through emails we had sent, thought about some of my actions, and realized that I hadn't done any of those things. I was keeping myself so guarded, to keep myself from getting hurt, because I was, even maybe subconsciously, viewing him as the "enemy". But you know what? It didn't keep me from getting hurt at all, because he just disappeared from my life. And why wouldn't he? He would call me quite often, even just to say hi, and I rarely called him. He would say really sweet things or call me nicknames in emails, and I wouldn't even acknowledge it. I never told him how I thought our second date was amazing, and that he was amazing. I was too worried he would think I was getting to attached or that I liked him too much and he would run.
Well, he ran anyway, and found someone who did tell him all those things, and made him feel that she was into him. And now she's his girlfriend. True story. I did email him about why he just dropped off, and he told me that he met someone.
I could just sit back and blame him for it all. But I can't do that. Because the only thing he did wrong is not tell me. It is a hard and painful lesson that I learned, but I know I will be better for it.
I think as women, that sometimes we need to look to ourselves and ask, "what could I do better?". Because blaming men all the time for almost everything that goes wrong with dating or a relationship really serves no purpose. Do they do things wrong? Of course. But so do we.
Let's start a revolution. Let's stop Menemy Syndrome. Yes, you might still get hurt. But you might end up with something great, too.