Sunday, 7 October 2012

Men have Penises, Women like Mars

I asked one simple question. What do you wish potential dates/ partners/ squeezes/ amours (I’m trying to think of non-sexuality oriented words here so give me a break) should know about dating? I should know by now, when you put these things out into the twittersphere, what comes back is not always what you expect.

For example who knew, according to @DavidALaw that  “every gay guy I've ever met is a fucking mental?” Apparently indicated by the fact that “the last one kept chickens FFS!!!!”

I had no idea keeping poultry was the first sign of madness. Perhaps Bernard Matthews isn't dead, he’s just in Broadmore. Is keeping chickens that mad? Perhaps if you live on the top floor of a council block, that might fall into the kooky category, or on an estate where you know for a fact that at least 80% of your neighbours have pet foxes. On the plus side, all you’d need is the rest of your neighbours to have grain and you'd live on your own private puzzle.

I digress. What I really wanted to uncover were those fundamental nuggets of truth that if known by a potential date, would make the whole dating game as easy as a stroll in the park on a mobility scooter.

Interesting, the straight men were much quicker to respond than the women and consistently among them, their frustration was in women expecting them to be ‘mind readers’ as  @Kirkysr, @Sidewinder_16 and several others pointed out.
“I think all men would like women to realise WE CAN'T READ YOUR FREAKIN MINDS ;-) x” and  “we don't get subtlety most of the time. Please be direct”

@SWIFTagent24 added 'As a whole, we're not good at body language...Like most things, we need the important stuff spelling out XD'

Having been a female all my life, I have to defend us and say you can't have it both ways. You can't, on the one hand, accuse us of nagging you and on the other, say we don't say what we're thinking. Perhaps what these men really mean is, we don't say what they like? To be fair, women are not as forthcoming when expressing upset. Perhaps we want the guy to have noticed and care enough to ask, giving us permission to dissect their entire personality (which is usually at the root of most problems) and build them back up into the person we actually wish they were... or our dads.. or both. Oh Creepy.

OK, guys, maybe this mind reading thing is a fair point. Girls, let’s give them that. But boys, you're not exactly perfect. Let’s talk hygiene and manners. From @chrisy1369
‘flatulence may be natural but it’s not polite in public places and we don't find it funny!’

OK, in the interests of full disclosure, I do find farting funny and talk about it at length in my stand up, but like breast feeding or discussing politics, there’s a time and a place. One ex of mine did a horrid guff on the tube once which sent him into fits of giggles. Not so for the business woman pinned to the corner of the carriage by his stench, who snapped “I don’t want to smell the contents of your arse!”... Unsurprisingly, this made him laugh even more. Luckily, we're not together (and I hope the business lady has recovered).

@rubyeyelashes Chimed in 'Good personal hygiene also a must!!!'

My pet hate is spitting. Sadly for me, East London seems to be the spitting epicentre of the world. With the frequency that people clear the contents of their nasal passages you’d think they were in training for some kind of Disgusting Olympics. “Listen to that enormous hack from the Lithuanian. What a competitor”.

So what else did the ladies say, well, @missdpsychology insisted “that we hate games, just tell us straight we are always stronger than we look (but secretly love to be protected) :)”

I can’t help think, perhaps, this oft-complained about game-playing is actually a guy simply not being interested. As I say in my Top Ten Tips, if he’s being crap about calling back or frequently disappears off the radar, he’s probably not that in to you. Why women bother trying to win over guys like this is as confusing as Ken Dodds tax return. A guy not being into you means nothing more than that. It has nothing to to do with how pretty, clever, funny, slim or lovely you are. It simply mean, even if you and he were ever meant to, the time is not now so hold out for someone that wants to make you his princess. Why? All together now, because you're worth it. (I think that could be a good marketing campaign for something. I'll send it in next time Shreddies are running a caption competition. I can see it now. Eat Shreddies, because you're worth it).

@ElleBee2011 wants guys “to realise that women aren't going to laugh in their faces if they say/do something wrong. We're not all bitches!!”. While she’s right, we aren't ALL bitches, do not believe this crazy, naive fool, blokes. If you mess up, you better believe you’ll know about it eventually (especially if you learn to mind read). One thing woman can do for their guys though, is let them know when they do something right. We all want to feel valued, men are no different. So when he does something special, right, good, cool, let him know... with words, not telepathy. Men have feelings too. As @JonathanElston points out  “some reassurance that we're doing good is always nice, and sometimes we just want to hang out with our mates”. Ahhhh.

This brings us to the notion of the amount of information a man can hold in his head. Girls, it seems like we need to manage our expectations according to @ZeRootOfAllEvil
“Assume we've not noticed. Unless it's A) Pizza B) Whose round C) Obscure trivia from over a decade ago D) How much this costs”

And Darren Martin @DarrenMartin5 reckons "Food. Sex. Sport. Choose your own order! No need to know anything else".

Guys, whilst that's a nice idea and precludes you from having to worry about anything else, for a quiet life, if you could add, 'listening to my girlfriend at the same time as -' to the beginning of that list, it will lead to a much happier coexistence. When we're telling you about our day, would it kill you to throw a few  “really, hm hmmm". "She said that to you? and what did you say?”s our way?

Having said that it seems like men are a little more willing to accept women as they are, where as women seem to want more things to change. Look at  @SankofaMind list of demands.

"don't tell me about your ex girlfriend/boyfriend
do pay many compliments as your mind creates
don't get hammered
button your damn shirt up, hairy chest isn't a good look
don't tell me how much u hate your mum
don't say you'll get bored of me, cos I will"

Don't want much do you, @SankofaMind. @MoJoeWorking points out that 'women should ditch the checklist and go with intuition. Nobody will ever tick every box.'  ooh, I should introduce you to @SankofaMind. Will you guys come back next week and tell us how you got on!?

Seems like gay guys have got far fewer gripes than us breeders and are largely based around debunking stereotypes. @glitterboy_29 says he wants potential dates to know “That they don't have to live up to the 'fierce queen' stereotype and to just be themselves”. Nice. And  @AdamCrolla says 'It doesn’t have to be all about sex. There are still some of us romantics out there :)'. Nice sentiment Adam. I hope you are not a lone voice in a sea of “yes it fucking is!”s.

It does seem however that the sexual politics between two men is a lot more straight forward. Of my gay friends I see a lot less of the angst-ridden concerns of my single straight friends. I’m yet to see one of my gay friends pouring over a text saying “No kiss... but what does that MEAN?”

Lesbians too, seem to have far less relationship anxiety and lack of understanding. @anins
says 'that it's not ok to talk to your date about your cats constantly!' and @AGeordieLass
pleads 'that I don't like KD Lang or Pink's music?!'.

Both of these can be cleared up in very simply conversations. I’d imagine it going something like this:

“My flat mate looked after my cats so I could go and see KD Lang live last week.”
“Shut about your cats. I hate KD Lang and don’t start me on Pink”
“Cool. This is a nice restaurant”
“It isn’t it. Shall we get the bill?”

You’re welcome!

There weren't any real surprises in all the responses but it does seem we consistantly override our gut instincts when it comes to selecting a partner and live in the perpetual hope that they will turn into the person we hope they will be, rather than just accepting the sometimes farty, sometimes sulky but often lovely, funny, fun and interesting person they are. I've certainly been a culprit  of this in the past.

I just read an old diary entry of mine. I’d broken up with a guy who just wasn't what I was looking for and we’d soldiered on through a painful but thankfully short dating period. I wrote that what people are at the beginning of getting to know each other, is, by and large, the very best expression of themselves they'll ever be. We're all on our best behaviour on our first dates. I remember going to one date and buying a copy of the Guardian on the way there, to leave casually lying on the bar before he arrived, probably opened on the business section. I think that was the second time I'd read the paper in my life. The first time was when my A Level drama teacher told us to.

My point is (do I have a point?), you can't change people. You can change their behaviour but the fundamental changes that happen at the core of people's beings happen because they want it to. Like a guy will realise that if he curbs his public guffs and listens occasionally, it makes his girlf happy and similarly, us girls recognise that saying what we mean and showing our appreciate of our bloke reaps much greater rewards. Oh, here's my point. Love whatcha got!

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