16 January, 2008

"Everyone knows..."

[Update/clarification here]

Over at Blonde Sagacity, Ala is getting hammered for her opinion of men.

"If your girlfriend or wife would never know about it, would you have a one-night stand with a smoking hot stranger?"

No: 70%
Yes: 30%" (source)

Are you kidding me? ...There isn't a man out that wouldn't do it if there was NO WAY he'd get caught.

Her male commenters disagree. Strongly.
ALa, what a disgusting, judgmental opinion. How disappointing...

I have led courses for years for couples. My experience is exactly the opposite. Sorry.

Most women cheat at some point in their marriage. Oh, they have it very well justified. " *whine* He didn't... He just wasn't... He never..."

And yet, *yuk, yuk* men are constantly accused and joked about because "everyone knows" they cheat.

I find that offensive.

I don't care who you put in front of me. I would never betray my word to Mrs. Foxy. EVER. - Foxy Wizard
I made a promise to her and am committed to her alone. this isn't about guilt or anything else, this is about being a man. -

I wouldn't do it. Just not worth it. Guilt would kill me. - Nate

Every day after, when I gave her a hug, a kiss, and told her how much I love her, I'd be reminded of the promise I'd broken.

And every day that I didn't tell her, when I gave her that kiss, I'd feel like I was continuing to delude and lie to her.

It's not worth it. - Steve

Being female, a male friend's thoughts regarding having cheated on his wife is not a topic I often encounter. But the few I do know of were tortured by guilt for both the personal failing aspect of it and the pain it caused the ones they love. Testimony to the truth of the poll, and Ala's commenters...

But still, the comments were a slap in the face to me. I beg the truth that many (not all!) unmarried men my age are either gay, still immature or not well-suited to marriage (to put it nicely). So, hopefully I have reason to be forgiven for allowing my opinion of men's intentions and capacity for constancy to slide in recent years. But upon recent introspection, I found that I had come to assume the negative rather than the positive on the topic of men, been rather sexist in my views. Were you to ask me, I'd have said nothing derogatory, and believed I was being honest. But I wonder...

Warning: navel-gazing and "girl talk" in the "read more" section...

A male friend (remarking on his fascination upon discovering that I was far more complex than he had suspected) once pointed out to me that outside of intimate relationships, we humans rarely give each other credit for being the complicated creatures we each think ourselves; we don't assume the same depth of emotion and breadth of thought in others that we allow ourselves. Add to that the mystery the opposite sex seems to be to all of us, and is it surprising we singles manage to frustrate and antagonize each other so much? (Men and women in successful, very-long-term relationships seem to know how to respect what they don't understand. Those of us without that experience are still learning).

I've been certainly guilty of underestimating/simplifying men in times past. And more recently, as friends have smacked me upside the head over my lack of welcoming response to a flirtation. I had even gone so far as to write with a dismissive wave of hand, "Naval Officers... Pfffttt!"

Who knows whether the flirter I described really meant it or not. Sure, I primarily blame a lack of self-confidence for my default assumption that he didn't mean it, but whatever doubt that could remain was quickly covered by my bigotry-tinged perspective on 40-something single men (particularly of his profession). And so, I gave him no encouragement.

Not fair play on my part, is it? Several married male friends have since pointed out to me how "risky" it is for a man to cross the final line and ask directly for a phone number, which is why they usually didn't. No wonder, if that's the perspective they're up against.

Then again, I can let myself off the hook rather easily: All the good ones are taken, right? [said with lightness/irony]

It's a fine line we older, unattached women walk: on one hand, open enough to be inviting; on the other, self-protected against the smooth types who know how to manipulate our vulnerability. One side of the line (just cut 'em all off at the knees) is easy and lonely, the other (open to the possibilities) is dangerous and holds narrowing odds of success.

Okay, I've officially depressed myself. :P Me? I'm gonna go live my life. If there actually exists a good man out there worthy of my attention, he'll have to figure out how to distract me from it. I'll try not to cut you off at the knees, but... good luck, sir.