What do these ladies have in common? Aside from being strong, independent, and having amazing pipes, they have all sung about what it would be like if a woman did what a man does in terms of dating/love/romance/whatever-kids-are-calling-relationships-these-days.
Let me pause here for a moment. What follows are thoughts that are obv generalizations. I know there are exceptions. on both ends. good and bad. I’m simply recounting my experiences in my journey.
With that said, these are reflections on the conversations I’ve had over the past few months regarding this very thing. I’ve had many conversations with males and females about why men do what they do and why women do what they do. These, unfortunately, usually entail the shittyness or inconsiderate actions, rather than positive, happy, fairy-tale endings. *Side-note: I’m really trying not to let all this affect my ‘knight-in-shining-armor’ idea of love buuuut….
As is typical, music lyrics provide a great springboard for thoughts.
“Wish we could switch up the roles
And I could be that…
Tell you I love you
But when you call I never get back
Would you ask them questions like me?
Like where you be at?
Cause I’m out 4 in the morning
On the corner rolling
Doing my own thing
Girl go head and be…
(Just Like Em’)
Go run the streets
(Just Like Em’)
come home late say sleep like em’
Creep like em’
Front with ya friends
Act hard when you’re with em’ like em’
Keep a straight face when ya tell a lie
Always keep an air-tight alibi
What he don’t know won’t break his heart
What if I?…
Had a thing on the side?
Made ya cry?
Would the rules change up?…
Or would they still apply?…
If I played you like a toy?…
Sometimes I wish I could act like a boy.”
— courtesy of Ciara
These lyrics can provide a lot for conversation. As mentioned, this topic has come up often in my interactions, namely as a result of my not-knowing. Not knowing the “rules” of dating; not knowing if what I’m doing is dating; not knowing how to act because of this very thing; not knowing whether it’s better to do what feels right in the moment and risk feeling like an ass or remain quiet, following his lead (whoever he may be).
I once spoke with someone about how much easier it might be to be “that” kind of girl. the one who does it like a dude. no worries or regards for the feelings of the other party, following what she wants in the moment, even if this includes never establishing something with one person as others are available, enjoying being chased after, losing interest once this fades slightly and it’s her turn to put in the effort. (I ask myself though: what good would that do for me? for others?) I think intentionality comes into play here. I don’t think, rather, I choose not to believe that these actions are intentional for many. Simply, it is difficult to put the feelings of others ahead of your own at times. Human nature drives us toward experiencing, increasing positive experiences while decreasing negative ones. I get it. But this still does not negate the fact that being on the receiving end of this sucks…big ones.
Another conversation led to thoughts about why females chose the “bad boys” over the good ones. Having experienced the above, I think annoyance may come into play. and unconscious action. plus the fact that this occurs on the opposite end, with men frequently choosing the intriguing-revealing-sexy chick over the educated-independent-working-toward-a-future female. The saying “if you can’t beat them, join them” comes to mind. By this, I think many choose this due to naivety, thinking that “he can change,” and having experienced being screwed over by “the nice ones.” I don’t know if you’re noticing a pattern here, but stereotyping has a way of ruining things sometimes, many times.
I’ve also had conversations about not settling. about waiting for “the right one.” about having, needing expectations including education, income, future plans. In one conversation, I was told that “some men just like simple,” and apparently friends, I’m not simple. I take that as a compliment. I would never want to be simple. I’m complicated in the easiest, most laidback way possible. This might not make sense but if you know me, it might. Another conversation took me aback and sortofkindof added to my ideas on these differences. A friend and I were having a conversation about my issues of not-knowing mentioned earlier and I commented about how I wish people would just be honest since, for example, I would rather know that an interaction was simply ‘a good time’ as opposed to potential relationship; lack of honesty and upfrontness has always been a mystery for me as, in this example, I would be fine knowing and having a good time instead of not knowing and attempting to guess or interpret behavior. so I asked for input. He responded with the following: “you should wear a sign that says ‘treat me like a dude.'” Yeah…I’ll leave the reactions for you.
These thoughts were a little more scattered than usual. and longer than anticipated. I think it may be because the topic is just as scattered, complicated beyond necessity. People will recount their experiences as they experienced it, tainted by whatever pain another caused. Sadly, this is where generalizations come from. People take what is given by one, search for different in another, and end up seeing the same in all. This is where the error is. I think we forget about the uniqueness and individuality of the human being. Yes, we all have similar tendencies, evolutionary instincts that have allowed us to get where we are; human nature has a funny way of allowing for this. But we are still individuals. Emotions, thought-processes, actions, reactions — though they hold the potential to follow the expected, individuality also permits for unique outcomes. We can’t forget this. I guess my ‘knight-in-shining-armor’ idea still holds a chance..