I like watching documentaries, eating cake, playing Apples to Apples, hugging dogs, and talking about politics and culture. I don’t like zombies, cold, intoxicants, and being told jokes.
I see so many women slogging away at day jobs they don’t love that leave little space for their own creative work, while making excuses for their male partners’ stagnation and lack of productivity. It hurts my heart for all of us. Can we please stop propping up these dud(e)s who aren’t propping us up back? Can we please expect our partners to be partners? Think of all the great art we could make!!! Or at least naps we could take.
Dudes (and white people) think that as long as they express the right ideas in public, and don’t actually insist any women make them actual sandwiches, they can keep on enjoying being at the top of the food chain and never have to do anything they don’t want to do, or ever not get to do anything that they do want to do. They feel their awareness can change the world, or that their guilt mitigates the impact of their privilege.
Not enough men are putting in enough effort to be the kind of people that smart funny femmes want to date. Any advice I give about how to meet dudes has to acknowledge that.
To turn toward someone is to be vulnerable; to raise your eyebrows optimistically, needing to see a smile in return. When we get that smile, our trust in our partner’s affection for us grows. When we are met with indifference or exasperation, our trust diminishes.
Before you are about to lean on someone, go through the archives of your last few exchanges with them. Do you send them funny links that reminded you of them? Do you ask their opinions on current events in the news or pop culture? Do you weigh in with thoughtful or encouraging words when they make posts about their own struggles?
You can be an adult and not do your dishes every day. But either you have to do them eventually, or they will become someone else’s problem. Successful adulthood means recognizing that you are responsible for the outcomes of your decisions. A desire to avoid “adulting” often indicates a propensity for downloading your challenges onto your community, without considering the impact it will have on them.
For women, being agreeable means accepting someone’s rejection of your opinion and expertise. For men, “being agreeable,” means graciously allowing that someone else’s opinion may also be relevant. Obviously, rejection of female influence isn’t only something that happens in romantic relationships. It’s the air that we breathe. There is nothing in our culture that treats women as credible about either the state of the world, or their own life experiences.
With strangers, I sometimes feel like I’m the sober, feminist, socialist Don Draper, telling folks how I will fill in gaps they didn’t even know they had. With loved ones, I am able to sincerely help solve problems, because I have done the emotional labour of internalizing as much of their inner-world as I can.
In our culture, we’re repeatedly given the message that an unresolvable conflict means our relationship is doomed and that our only solution is to find a person with whom we don’t have that particular conflict. Movies tend to end once the romance begins, so we never discover that this new couple we’ve spent two hours rooting for has just as many perpetual disagreements as the last pairing of people did.