Tag Archives: romance

How Girls Learn Emotional Reciprocity (and Why Boys Don’t)

From that same Metafilter discussion:

“Adolescent female friendships are LEGENDARILY difficult and drama-prone. And they are! Being an adolescent girl and navigating the emotional landscape of female friendship is hella hard! It’s not just media hype to sell Mean Girls narratives! But I think the narrative the media wants to attach to it is “girls are so over-emotional and mean to each other” when actually I think the deeper narrative here is, “Girls make intense emotional demands on their friendships in ways that boys don’t, and girls have hyperdramatic adolescent friendship landscapes because they are learning to engage in reciprocal emotional relationships without an adult to mediate them. Adolescent girl friend drama is children learning to manage reciprocal emotional relationships like adults. Boys friendships are not, culturally, allowed to be so intense, dramatic, or emotionally-involving, so I think boys do not get the opportunity to learn and practice adult interpersonal relationships in the same way, and boys friendships simply do not place the same emotional demands on them. Girls MUST learn to function with emotional reciprocity in their friendships or get shut out of them; emotionality is so proscribed in male friendships that they simply never face that demand.

“So you have a lot of girls arriving in their late teens and early 20s with a decade of watching adult women manage other people’s emotions and considering it a skill to emulate, and then a decade of struggling through the whirlpools of adolescent female friendships and learning to do the work themselves. They’ve served their apprenticeships. They face demands of reciprocity from other women they’re friends with, and they’re accustomed to the idea that relationships involve giving as well as taking.

“Some boys, however, arrive in their late teens and early 20s without having ever had a peer make emotional demands on them, and without having ever had to function in a peer relationship where they have to both give and take. Their closest emotional relationships are with parents, and parent-to-child is give-give-give so the child is take-take-take. I think a lot of these young men, it has literally never occurred to them that someone they are emotionally close to would make any emotional demands on them, because that has literally never happened, because their early childhood years were full of nothing but women, and their adolescent years featured culturally-limited friendships that were emotionally superficial. So some of these guys? Yeah, they finish college and start dating seriously and they’re perfectly nice guys who have literally no idea how to function as emotional adults because they’re only just now starting to practice. They have the emotional literacy of 11-year-old girls. And, yeah, basically someone’s going to end up having to raise them from 11-year-old-ness in interpersonal relationships to adulthood, because it’s not really a task you can accomplish in the absence of other people with whom to be interpersonally related. …

“And Because Patriarchy we’re going to act like that’s just how 23-year-old men act and all roll our eyes instead of recognizing that, no, they’re actually behaving like 11-year-old girls, but it’s pretty embarrassing for them because it’s one thing when you’re 11 but when you’re 23 you really ought to know better. And at 11 you’re just making everyone around you miserable but at 23 you have the full power to ruin lives with your bullshit.

Full discussion in context.

Dating an Emotional Charlatan

From a Metafilter discussion about modern dating and emotional labor:

“A few years ago, one of my friends began dating an accomplished lawyer who made good money. He was charming and generous. He 100% seemed like he had his shit together and could keep up with her. He cooked for her occasionally and his home was clean and comfortable.

“When they moved in together, his mother emailed her a list of links to Brooks Brothers and his measurements. He had never bought work clothes for himself. During the year they lived together, she had to put him on an allowance because he ran out of money most months. He wanted takeout every night and would pout if she offered to cook instead. His idea of helping out around the house was to unload the dishwasher once a week and demand enthusiastic praise for it. At the end of that year he put extreme pressure on her to re-sign their lease. She ended up paying hundreds of dollars to break the lease two months later, when she broke up with him “out of nowhere.”

“I assure you, the men who are good at fooling women into believing they are competent adults and quality partners are good at fooling you into believing the same. This kind of emotional charlatan isn’t someone a few unlucky women meet in their 20s–these men are everywhere, across professions and classes. I’m definitely skeptical of your confidence in determining which men are good partners from the outside. If women–who have a much larger stake in not dating man-size toddlers–are so often wrong, how do you know that your assessments of other men are correct?”

Full discussion.

rice-and-potatoes

5 Reasons Gay Asian Men Should Stop Dating White Guys

A friend pointed me to a blog called Angry Homosexual where a (presumably) asian gay man lists why gay asian men shouldn’t date white guys. I don’t agree with most of it and it seems awfully bitter but there’s a bit:

2. You’ll eventually get dumped for a younger, cuter Asian. White people invented the concept of leasing a car and trading it in when it’s old, and they’ve carried that concept over to their dating lives too. 97% of the time when you see an East-West (Asian-White) couple, it’s an older white guy with a substantially younger Asian. Because there are many more Asians seeking white guys than vice versa, white guys have plenty of choice, while potato-seeking Asians have to settle for whatever they can get. Usually, it’s an older, often chubbier white guy who, for all his shortcomings, is, well, white. Years down the road when you’re getting a bit long in the tooth, you can expect to be traded in for a younger, hotter Asian model, and there will be plenty of those to choose from.”

A lot of this point of view is treating the white guy like a prize to be won which inherently devalues the asian man in the equation. There’s a lot of bullshit in gay dating dynamics and when you add in race or ethnicity you get a whole new level of bullshit.

Read all five reasons http://angryhomosexual.com/5-reasons-gay-asians-should-give-up-potatoes/

desk-set-movie-poster-WO5cYP3 (1)

Rom-Com Death March Reduces Divorce Rate

Divorce rate cut in half when couples watch relationship movies together:

“Study participants were sent home with a list of 47 movies with intimate relationships as a major plot focus and asked to watch one a week for the next month, followed by the same guided discussion for about 45 minutes. Which approach proved most effective? To the surprise of the researchers, all worked equally well. All three methods halved the divorce-and-separation rate to 11 percent compared to the 24 percent rate among the couples in the control group. Partners in the control group received no training or instructions but were otherwise similar in age, education, ethnicity, relationship satisfaction, and other dimensions.”

Full list of the movies http://edu.surveygizmo.com/s3/1508519/movie

Full article http://www.mdconnects.com/articles/302/20140131/divorce-rate-cut-half-couples-who-discussed-relationship-movies.htm

BDD_One_Day_at_a_Time

Dating a Single Mom is Entering a Family

Dating advice for a guy asking about dating a single mom: “As the male child of a single mom, I know what it’s like to be your kid. To have guys come in and out of my life, pretending to like me so they could get to my mom, then ignoring me when they get her. I would date a woman with a child, but I can not be a part of that child’s life until we are getting serious. I don’t want to meet your child at all, so that I’m not just another man coming in and out of their life. Once things get to a bf-gf level, then I will meet your child, with the complete understanding that I’m not just dating you, I’m dating both of you. No matter how much a woman says that her kid has a dad, or that her kid doesn’t need a dad, or that she’s not looking for a dad, if I’m in a romantic relationship with you, I fill a dad-like position, whether you like it or not. Every adult influences a child, and the closer the adult is the more they will influence the child. Also, if your kid is an asshole, and you’re not being a good mom to deal with it, then that’s a deal breaker. Once again, I’m dating you and your kid. You could be awesome, but if your kid sucks, and you suck as a parent, then I’m out. Overall, I will date a single mom, but they have to understand that the commitment to them is now way bigger with a child. No matter how you phrase it, or what you think, I’m not dating you, I’m dating you and your kid. And it’s my responsibility to understand that as well. I’m not entering a relationship, I’m entering a family.”

Full thread on Reddit