I know it has been a long time since I’ve blogged regularly but it’s not as if I don’t think about doing it. But there has been a disconnect that I am going to try to rectify in 2013.
As I think about my goals and aspirations for the new year, one of them is to be in a new relationship. I’ve spent a lot of time this year working on myself and making sure that I won’t carry any baggage from my last relationship into the next one. Now that that’s covered, I’ve begun to evaluate the inventory in my area. I live in the DMV (DC/MD/VA), and there is definitely a very unique male population here. Because of the geographical location we get a lot of transplants and transient employees (military, federal, consultants, etc…). Generally speaking there are a lot of highly educated men with well paying jobs, homeowners, who are physically fit. So then what’s the problem you say?
Well I actually wrote all about this in 2009 when I originally launched this blog, but since the re-launch the posting has come down, so I am re-posting it now. This is of course one woman’s perspective. Mine. And I shouldn’t have to say this but I will, THIS IS NOT A REFLECTION OF ALL MEN. Of course it is a stance I have taken for the purpose of this blog. I’m sure that men will have something to say about it in the way of alternative views, or maybe they’ll claim that I’m just plain whiny and bitter, both of which I am not. But if they are being really honest with themselves, they will recognize that there is truth to the article. Either they see aspects of themselves in the paragraphs or know someone just like it. At the very least my hope is that it will spark conversation between the sexes.
It’s NOT ME, It’s YOU!
Colorful social commentary by Allison Banks
As successful women of the twenty-first century, we have our stuff together. We aren’t suffering from emotional problems anymore. Oprah, Dr. Phil, Iyanla, and Madea have told us what our issues are and what we need to overcome them. We aren’t afraid to talk it out, hug it out, cry it out, read a book on an issue, or even go to counseling. Many of us come from nuclear families, or at least stay close to family members. We do not have children out-of-wedlock. Our education is impeccable with degrees from some of the best schools in the nation. We enjoy fulfilling careers and are living self-sufficiently. We care for pets and plants, have lots of hobbies and interests. Most notably, we are in shape and take good care of ourselves. Having grown up in the ‘Sex in the City’ generation, we are always dressed to the 9’s, frequent the hair and nail salons, and aren’t afraid to give Dr. 90210 a call if we feel so obliged.
So what’s the problem? Why can’t we find men to be in real relationships with us? One answer…. It’s not us, It’s them. There is a reason why there are single men over the age of forty years old. It is not because they all want to be lifelong playboys. It’s not because we are all crazy.
Men are not good at multi-tasking. They are successful in their careers and make exponential salaries compared to women because they have a single focus. By the time they have gotten to a level where they can make time for a woman in their lives, or at least notice that one is missing, they have become emotionally and socially stunted. They have spent the majority of their adult lives working 8-15hour days six days a week. They spend the seventh day of the week watching sports. They spend happy hour and social events hunting one night stands and good time girls. There is a huge difference when making contact, starting conversation, and making a connection with someone who you just want to sleep with as opposed to someone you want to share a real conversation over dinner. It requires thought and effort, of which they are willing to offer very little.
These men can’t hold conversations! They have little to talk about besides work or the frequent trips they take with their homeboys to Las Vegas and South Beach. Get a passport and see the world! Get a hobby that doesn’t involve television and read something besides a trade journal or magazine filled to the brim with pictures and advertisements.
And when you ask questions or bring up world topics, all you get is “I don’t know,” “I never heard of that,” or “I never really thought about it.” When you offer to educate them yourself, they get intimidated by your intellect and level of experience.
These men today want easy. They learn very early in childhood the things they are good at in school and they concentrate single mindedly on those subjects. They turn them into careers and they make money. They don’t like looking foolish in front of their friends and family so they go after what comes easy to them. Because they are focusing all their time on work they don’t take the time to court real women anymore.
If you don’t jump at the lovely array of horse manure they offer, then there must be something wrong with you. It can’t be that we are just too intelligent and complex to fall for the junk that they’ve been pedaling to the young, naïve, and emotionally challenged girls. They have no idea and no patience to find out what it takes to get inside the mind and soul of today’s powerful and passionate woman.
Let’s revisit this word ‘court’. When did this idea get such a bad rap? When did we stop requiring men to take some initiative and show us what they are really all about? In all of our achievements we’ve gotten a little impatient. No one wants to wait and wait and wait only to find out that he’s never going to ask you out, never going to make reservations at that fancy restaurant, never going to plan a romantic weekend getaway. So we settle, do it ourselves, and eventually start to resent them.
Just think of all the losers you would never have wasted months or years on if you had gone though a ‘courting period’ first? Think of the men you would never have slept with if you opened your eyes and read the signs. That was the whole point of the courting period to begin with, so why did we ever stop?
One of the biggest problems is that the sexual escapades of these young celebutantes are plastered all over the news. A day rarely goes by when our regularly scheduled lives aren’t interrupted to alert us of the latest celebrity sex tape, breakup, makeup, or photos of the newest celebrity baby born out-of-wedlock. Real people don’t live like this! It is not okay to get divorced and re-married 2, 3, 4, 5 times!
You have to learn to trust your instincts better. You know when something is off but like most women you want to give people the benefit of the doubt. You make excuses for these men before they even have a chance to give you one. You don’t call them out or hold them accountable. Unfortunately, neither did all the women before you, and that is why he is who he is today. No good for you, or any woman for that matter.
These men have tons of female friends, women with whom they have had relationships with and it didn’t work out. Most of these women are not threats to you. They know that these guys aren’t worth a crap! The reason these guys keep you at bay from them isn’t because they are still sleeping with these women, it’s because they don’t want their female friends to give you the low down on all the dirt. They do not want you to find out about the revolving door of women that come in and out of their beds. They hide the failed relationships that ended because of their stubbornness or crude and coarse behavior.
These men are not getting help for their issues. They don’t talk to their friends about things that matter. They refuse to go to counseling because they are afraid of looking weak in the eyes of friends and co-workers. So they get to be 30+ years old with Mommy issues……… abandonment issues…..jealousy issues….rage left unchecked…. insecurities…. addictions…..personality disorders…..eating disorders…..sleeping disorders……ulcers……unmanageable stress…….
If you find a man 35+ with these issues, RUN! Do not walk slowly or tippy toe away. I firmly believe that it is not that they don’t know their issues by this point in their lives. The problem is that they consciously choose not to get help for them. If they have not taken the time they need to work on themselves do you really think they are going to take the time to first learn what your wants and needs are, and then take the time and energy necessary to give that to you……HELL NO! They wouldn’t know how to if they tried.
And if you think about it, do you really want these men to be the father to your children? They are so emotionally unavailable and so career driven that they do not make time for a spouse, let alone time for Timmy’s soccer game, Jenny’s recital, or to help with Michael’s homework.
It is a serious case of Apathy!
Definition: Lack of feeling or emotion (Merriam-Webster online)
Synonyms: Indifference, lack of concern, lack of interest, lethargy, laziness, boredom, and droopiness.
These are the men who come home from work and collapse in front of the TV. They will not want to be bothered with anything and get annoyed with everything! They do not really make connections. They become the kinds of husbands and dads that when everyone is hanging out in the kitchen, they are alone in another room. When everyone goes to church on Sunday, he stays at home. He shows up for holiday and family photos but really does not participate much. He’s like the Queen Elizabeth of the family; a figure-head that benefits from the family but does not do much to contribute to its success. You know this man, because many of you grew up with one in your home.
Some of these guys rarely smile. When they do manage to squeeze out a laugh it never seems natural, always contrived. Kids fear dad because they do not know him. He becomes like the principal that lives at home. You only get sent to see him when something really good happens or when you are being punished.
Getting involved with one of these men means spending weeks, months, years trying to reverse a lifetime of damage, soothe egos, and assume blame for every hard knock and bad break these men have ever had. After a while you realize that nothing you do can help, and as it turns out you may have done more damage by enabling him to continue this childish behavior. Some of these guys just do not want to be saved. And no amount of cheering from your personal cheering section is going to get him through. But as women we always think we can help. We stay too long waving our pom poms and doing back flips just trying to make a difference. Unfortunately, that’s how we end up at 30, 35, 40years old back on the market still trying to find Mr. Right.
All these guys out here appear macho and conceited. They are really scared and unsure of themselves. They boast about things that really just do not matter. They take pride in materialistic things like cars, shoes, electronics, and their appearance. Why are men these days so overly groomed? They are getting manicures and pedicures, eyebrows arched, going to salons to get hairstyles, and their cabinets are filled with just as much product as yours! But ask them to talk about a feeling or where they go to reflect……..…crickets. They can fill a bank account with money, a closet full of clothes, a car with gadgets and rims, but ask what they do to fill their spirit and you get nothing!
So why can’t we find a man? Oh we find them all the time, we find them and throw them back. Think about it….How many of these guys have you turned down? How many have you stopped calling or going out with because you lost interest? How many first and only dates have you gone
on, and declined offers for second dates, because you would rather watch paint dry than to suffer through another painful moment? But you are constantly attracted to them because they are the ones in the fancy Italian suits, with the shiny new Breitling on their wrist that’s hanging out the window of the latest and greatest model of German engineering. We’re lured to them like…….
They approach innocently enough dangling dreams of the high life. Gated communities, large single family homes with closets filled with Manolo Blahniks and Louis Vuitton, swimming pools and marble foyers, country club memberships and dinners with local celebrities, the 2.5 carat VVS princess cut platinum set engagement ring in that little aqua blue box.
With all that being said, our independence has made us a little less tolerant and slightly more prideful. We get easily frustrated and are often quick tempered. We expect, if not rightfully so, that some things should go without saying, and then we throw tantrums when we have to say it, and then say it again……and again…………and again.
You want to know why women like the Sex and the City series and why the subsequent Sex and the City Movie so much? The reason is because every woman in the world wanted Carrie and Big to end up together. And when they finally did, we all felt vindicated! It was this generation’s version of Pretty Woman. We want to believe that all the time and tears we have exhausted on these men will end in the ultimate payday.
Unfortunately, real life does not actually end that way. And if it does it ends just as sad as the movie does. Carrie chased and pined over Big for 11 years! He put her through the ringer. He left her for a younger woman. Finally now that he’s 50+ years old (she’s 40+) and realizes he’s about to lose her to another man (Aleksander), he decides he’s ready to settle down…..and she takes him back! How tragic! But wait it gets worse…when she finally plans the wedding of her dreams he leaves her at the altar! And she takes him back again!!!
So he went chasing a career and other women all those years only to find out that the grass is not greener on the other side! Why do men do that?!? Stop chasing unicorns only to find out it’s just a circus horse wearing a funny hat! And ladies, when did our self-esteem fall so low that we would stand by a man who does not recognize us for our worth while he has the chance?
When did chivalry and being a gentleman become taboo? When did common courtesy die? When did following your heart get replaced with lists of pros and cons? When did we stop feeling?
In an age where everything can be outsourced, we’ve started outsourcing responsibility and substitution for love and affection. Why clean your own house when you can hire a housekeeper? Blame Marge when you can’t find something, “She must have moved it when she was cleaning.” Why learn how to cook when you can eat out or order delivery? “They cook with too much butter and salt, it’s making me fat!” Why learn how to change a tire when AAA will do it for you? “An hour wait! I’m already late for work.” Why raise your own children when you can hire a nanny? That way you can blame them and the school system when your child has issues and is flunking out. Why workout when you can get the fat sucked out? “You mean I finance that?” Well throw in nose job and a tummy tuck too!” Why make love to a spouse within the bounds of a loving committed relationship when you can hire a prostitute or purchase an adult toy? Why engage in foreplay when you can cheat your way through with pornography and Astroglide?
It’s always somebody else’s fault. Words like compromise and cooperate are slowly finding their way out of the male vocabulary pool. They think everything and everyone can be replaced. This is why they find themselves at forty years old and still pining over lost love, kicking themselves in the tush for driving fabulous women away. This is why divorce rates are so high and why the number of children born out-of-wedlock is exponential. They blame women for breaking their heart and take little away from the experience except the pain associated with it. They become self-proclaimed martyrs in the love crusade. As if their love loss is any more substantial than the next Joe who just got his heart-broken.
It’s okay to breakdown and have a moment sometimes, but it is something else entirely to choose to remain broken. How do you resign to the idea that, “maybe love just isn’t in the cards for me?” One guy I dated actually said, “My best friend and I decided that if we weren’t married by the time we were 40 we were just going to get a big house and live together as bachelors.” WTF? This is exactly how men end up never married. What self-respecting women with all the aforementioned qualities is going to get seriously involved with a 40year old man who lives with his 40year old buddy? No matter how much they vehemently deny it, people are going to start questioning their sexuality.
In an age where people are living well into their seventies and early eighties, who really wants to spend the next thirty or forty years alone? (77.8yrs according to cdc.com) At thirty-cough cough, although I have had my share of struggles and heart aches, I know that I live a truly blessed life. I am one of the women that I described; educated, successful, etc… So for me to say, “Maybe I should just give up and resign to the fact that I may be alone for the rest of my life” is unacceptable. I couldn’t even imagine saying something like that ten years from now. That would mean giving up on every dream that I have had since I was a little girl.
Dreams of having a wedding, being a mother, family filled holidays, having the grandkids visit, sitting on the porch next to my husband whose old and grey while yelling at the neighborhood kids to stay off my lawn!
I understand that there may be people who truly do not ever want to be married and/or have children, but they are true exceptions and not the norm. More often than not people who say things like that only say it because they are afraid they will never attain such things. It is a defense or coping mechanism. You can’t miss what you never wanted in the first place, right? Unfortunately, I also believe it is self-fulfilling prophecy. Do not put that kind of negativity into the universe if you do not really mean it.
It is against our very nature as human beings or any living being in nature, for that matter. Being alone is not in our genetic makeup, and is not what populates the human race.
So if you are having difficulty finding that special someone then maybe you need to change your habits. There are over six billion people in the world! Think beyond the picture of what you always thought he/she would look like. Don’t be afraid of having to move geographically for love. Learn a new language and meet some people from countries who speak the language. Have a conversation with that person who you smile at in passing everyday but with whom you’ve never had a conversation. Alternate the grocery store, gas station, gym, and park that you’ve been using for the last five years with one the next town over.
Don’t get pigeonholed to the same group of people you see everyday. Obviously that is not working for you. Change your surroundings, change your thinking, change your heart, and change your destiny.