Monday, 26 November 2012

What do men want?

I was recently reading an interesting article called "Expert: Guys don't want casual sex!", an extremely interesting article, looking at our misconceptions about men wanting to be "Casanovas". It highlights that men's views on relationships are actually similar to women, in that they want to be in monogamous, meaningful relationships.

Charlie in "Two and a Half Men"
"In mainstream media we’ve had all of this stuff on TV since the 1970s that really promotes this idea of promiscuous young men. The history, as far as I can tell, really starts with Fonzie on “Happy Days” and “Hawkeye” Pierce on “M*A*S*H.” And it continues with guys like Sam Malone on “Cheers” and Charlie Sheen’s character on “Two and a Half Men” and Barney on “How I Met Your Mother.” For several years now we’ve had so-called good guys who were also promiscuous. If you looked at TV and movies from the ’50s and ’60s, the promiscuous guys were always very clearly the bad example." 

~ Andrew P. Smiley
Author of "Challenging Casanova, Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male."

Ross and Rachel 
Television certainly has a lot to answer for when it comes to our views around how relationships work. Who hasn't listened to a friend crying down the phone about their latest spat with their partner, and thought "you know what? This reminds of Ross and Rachel..." I guess we could sit here and blame the media for everything, although it may not make much of a difference. Our ongoing perceptions around how men and women relate to one another is the key here. Could it be that we mistake men for sex-crazed maniacs, only wanting to get into our knickers? Could it be that there is an ulterior motive, other than sex?

When I think over my own past relationships- looking at my boyfriends and male friends alike- I can only think of one example of a guy who was in it, all the time, just for the sex. In fact, this isn't even true, because even though he wanted to sleep with every woman that walked past him, he still craved the security and love of a real relationship. Even those men who said to me "I don't want a girlfriend" still appeared to want the closeness and companionship that comes with "being involved."

The stereotyped view that men just want to **** about may also have had an effect on women's behaviour. Is it possible that women's promiscuity has risen because of the view that men want to be in purely sexual relationships? Do we believe that being more sexually available will attract a man into commitment? Come on, I know some of us have, and if not, we certainly know someone that's testing this theory as we speak.

Its easy to label men in this way. But should the alternative be true, then there is a good chance for all us single ladies out here. If men also want relationships, then we have nothing to fear when broaching the subject with them. Perhaps not necessarily on a first date, but certainly once we have gotten to know the guy and decide we want some sort of future with him. Should we have to worry about having that "where is this going?" conversation, if the guy is feeling the same way? Is it possible that he is telling the truth- that he is also looking for love and companionship? Perhaps its the way we approach the question that frightens men. After reading "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" By Jon Gray and "Act like a Lady, Think like a Man" By Steve Harvey, it became apparent to me that saying words such as "we need to talk" is tantamount to telling a man his penis is about to fall off. Perhaps having the discussion in a non-cliche'd way could help this matter. I don't know, I'm just pondering (please feel free to get back to me with new ways to say this!)

"Where is this going?" conversation- 
not always easy, but perhaps he wants to have it too 

Lets face it, believing that all men are sex-driven swine is getting us no-where. Perhaps acknowledging that men have needs similar to our own may go a long way towards developing meaningful relationships in the long term.

Just a thought.

Have a read of Tracy Clark-Flory's article here. You can also purchase the book that inspired the article here (author Andrew P. Smiler).

Also have a look at "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" here, and "Act like a Lady, Think like a man" here.

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