Monday, 23 April 2012

Game Changer Needed: Delusional Men, Flaw-Accepting Women

My recent watching of the movie Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man based on the book by Steve Harvey inspired this post.

This is not a movie review. I have yet to read the book (which should be arriving sometime this week) so it is not a comparison. Instead this post is about the reactions mostly to the content.

(Some of) The male viewers: Highly delusional, still wanting to see themselves as a player for some reason - identified with the 'Player' or the 'A**hole' (played by Chris Brown). This could be due to their personal view of themselves as being "such great finds that are so hard to get these days that any woman who has a problem with them could just leave and they would be fine" and that they are "such a great find that even though they may have flaws, those flaws should be overlooked because they were such great finds". According to them a great find is a man who looks good and can still be loyal to a woman (or two women).
This is some tautological b.s., if someone was such a great find why would scores of women rather leave than stay with them. Time to change right? Wrong!

Apparently men don't change, or at least they don't change if women want them to change, but there is the slight possibility that they will change if they themselves see a reason or rather "require" themselves to change. To get to that kind of thinking, God help us all and may patience be forever in your favour.

Reactions: Males versus Females.
I went to watch this movie with a group of individuals made up of 3 guys and 3 girls. I was surprised to see that there was a line up for this movie, but more surprised to see the number of guys in line! (I secretly wondered if they had also read the book - maybe Harvey and this movie were giving them insight on how men are perceived and therefore giving them a better understanding of themselves OR maybe the guys in line were curious as to why they (like many women these days) were unable to keep a partner).

Coming out of the theatre, I heard the following (said by a group of males):
"We wrote that playbook."
"I wrote that script. The book that the movie is based on was written by me."
"I'm the guy that takes your coffee and runs."
"Any woman with a 90-day rule, I'm kicking to the curb."
"This movie gives women a bit too much information."

Now on hearing/reading the above quotes you may think that these guys are real idiots, they can be. But more importantly, they are delusional! These statements were proof that the men...I should really call them boys...felt that they already knew everything on how women think, how men think, what women want, and what men want. Yet they all share the current relationship status of "single" or "it's complicated".

These reactions made me realize that men too are damaged - emotionally, mentally, etc. They too put up defensive walls and convince themselves that they do not have to change for any woman. Therefore even when a 'good girl' comes along, the trials and tribulations of a relationship ensue causing disaster to follow, reaffirming that no woman is worth changing for (men) and that all men are a**holes that will never grow up (women).

What is the solution to this: I'm not even sure. While relationships are a trial and error to some extent, they also need to be realistic. I'm all for honest communication, that way people are open about what they want (relationship vs. a hit and run a.k.a. "the cookie"). This way both parties know what they are in for. Second, is a conversation that should be had the first month in - what are your goals, as in where is this going. Once again it puts both parties in check to see if this is worth pursuing. Once both stages are done/passed the time has arrived for commitment. Consistent check-ins with each other can only help keep the realtionship real.

There should also be a disclaimer: that before the start of stage one all past and previous baggage is in the past and dealt with.

Honest communication needs to be seen as a macho-thing, along with loyalty. It should be that "a real man can keep a relationship" instead of "a real man runs from commitment". And since the importance of the macho-thing shows no sign of leaving, women need to find different ways to reaffirm their man's macho-ism (in a smart way, please), rather than the man go out and look for it.

Females: there are some women who state that it's hard to keep up with something like a 90-day rule because no man would put up with that. Some say that women too have needs and so give in. But maybe the more you analyze him the power of that kiss decreases, allowing you to hold out longer. Do a pros and cons list, realize what you're signing in for. Many women feel that it is so hard to find a good man these days, they will put up with whatever b.s. from the current man in order to keep him. Afraid of being alone also causes women to put up with things they would previously never allow. Used to being neglected or un-pampered by her partner a woman can fall back in love all over again with just a goodnight kiss or one night of attention. Little things have become more valuable now because women are not used to getting even those small hints of care and concern. None of this is fair.

It's funny how men keep thinking that they can find better in a woman but woman fear that they (women) will and can only find worse.

Also it's funny how relationship advice is easy to give but almost impossible to accept and act on.

At the end of the day I find that group conversations about relationships that involve real talk between men and women can help both sides see the other's perspectives - this is your support group, built it. But since not everyone matures at the same time, in the words of Harvey it may actually be time to "change the game".

*Not all men and women think the same way, this post is representative of the "few" that I know.

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