Thursday, July 26, 2012

Guys and Girls: A Limited Yet Observant Perspective

A question was posed to me tonight that got me thinking yet again about the world of dating.  Let's face it.  If you're single, you've had dating and marriage pounded into you for years as the thing you should be doing right now so it's on all of our minds.  Bear with me as there are a lot of scattered thoughts on here.

Some guys in my ward were talking about how confusing girls are.  One of them then turned to me and asked what girls say about guys.  The most common and recurring complaint I hear from girls about guys is how oblivious they are.  Guys simply don't get it.  They don't seem to pick up on anything.  While I agree with this, I also can't really blame them.  Girls are a confusing bunch.  Girls have a tendency to drop subtle hints rather than to speak their minds flat-out.  Everything we say seems to have a double meaning and then we get mad when guys don't understand.  If girls were a little more straightforward, the dating game would probably be a whole lot easier. 

Later on one of the guys said something like, "Well, maybe the reason it seems like we don't get it is because we're just not interested and we're simply trying to be nice by ignoring the girls' advances."  I'll begin answering this question with an explanation.  I would say every girl out there has some degree of insecurity.  Girls have a tendency to see tiny flaws within themselves and then multiply them by ten.  Because of this, girls are very rarely completely comfortable in their own skin.  (Sorry guys.  It's a woman thing that you'll probably never fully understand.)  One of the ways you get rid of some of this insecurity is to realize that a guy might like you despite your flaws.  On top of that, girls analyze EVERYTHING!  I don't care if the girl claims to be a drama-free and nonchalant person about the dating world.  She is lying.  If she has even a smidgen of estrogen in her system, she is constantly thinking about what members of the opposite sex think of her.  If a guy glances at a girl, she'll analyze it.  If a guy is very pointedly looking away from a girl, she'll analyze that too.  So if you combine insecurity with this tendency toward analysis, what do you get?  A girl who will analyze and twist a situation to make herself believe that the guy she likes actually likes her back, even if the evidence isn't all that convincing.  So in answer to the aforementioned question/statement, your intentions may be good but they might not yield the results you want.

But girls are not the only ones that are good at messing up relationships.  As a girl myself, I'm obviously more concerned about and irritated with the single-male side of this discussion.  In my experience, I've come to the conclusion that there are six types of guys, or six ways that girls perceive guys.  Most guys fall into one or more of these categories:
  • The Greek God: This guy looks flawless.  His dazzling smile and chiseled physique causes almost every girl to fall in love with him as soon as he walks into a room.  A look or a glance from his beautiful eyes makes even the most prim and proper girl swoon.  So what's the problem?  For most males of Greek God status, it is that they are good-looking and they know it.  When playing the dating game, they feel that they have to find a girl who is equally good-looking.  They definitely don't consider dating the average-looking girls.  They don't even take out the cute girls.  No, they only focus on the drop-dead gorgeous girls.  However, they come back from dates complaining that this drop-dead gorgeous girl is kind of fun when it comes to surface-level things but she doesn't seem to have much personality beyond that.  Yet they still always go for the same type of girl.  It's been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  HELLOOOOOO!  Stop kicking the same dead horse over and over again and branch out a little bit!  I'm not saying you have to find the homeliest girl on the street and take her out on a date.  I'm just saying that you should date girls based on personality compatibility rather than just physical compatibility.
  • He-Gets-Around Guy:  This guy flirts with just about everything female that moves.  He'll have a great conversation with one girl, make the girl think that he might be interested in her, then he'll run off to the other side of the playground and ask some other girl out on a date.  The girl has convinced herself that this guy likes her but then she finds out that he's been on a date with Sarah, Elizabeth, Janice, Carol and just about every other girl under the sun.  He goes on so many dates that it seems like he is dating just for the sake of dating.  He's generally a nice guy, though, and doesn't realize he's wreaking havoc among his entire female acquaintance.  To this type of guy I'd like to say that the purpose of dating is to find out the type of person you want to end up with and to NARROW down your options. 
  • Just-Friends Dude:  This guy is quite a catch.  He's got both the looks and the personality to make himself intensely attractive.  He has a wide circle of friends that are girls but mostly looks outside of that circle when seeking potential dating material.  He's holding out for the ideal girl.  He wants to feel that spark on the first date.  He's so intent on finding it that he forgets about the amazing people that are already surrounding him.  Yes, set your sights high but don't set them so high that no one can reach them.  Don't rule out all of your friends that are girls.  If you're already good friends with a girl, chances are you are compatible in several ways you haven't even realized yet.  As Marilla says to Anne in the movie Anne of Avonlea, "Don't toss it all away, Anne, for some ridiculous ideal that doesn't exist."
  • The Guy That Tries Too Hard:  This guy really wants to have a good relationship.  He's a really great guy.  He'd treat the woman he ended up with like a queen but...the dating game just isn't his forte.  He takes every date a little too seriously and ends up scaring girls away with his intensity.  My advice for this guy is to keep at it but maybe dial things down a few notches.  Don't go into a first (or even a second) date wondering if this girl could be "the One."  Just go and have some fun and stop worrying about impressing them.
  •  The Tool:  When I say the word "tool" in reference to a male, the image of an extremely tan guy in a muscle tee with his hat on backwards generally comes to mind.  They can be as good-looking as Greek Gods but, unlike Greek Gods, they are generally jerks.  Girls, for some reason, are attracted to them for their "bad boy" reputation.  If they are in a relationship, they don't put much effort into it because they think any girl they date should feel lucky to be with them in the first place.  My advice is to the girls on this one.  Don't date these idiots!  I've known too many girls who think they can reshape these guys into upstanding nice guys, but you just can't.  What they need is a good solid rejection story and a shot in the arm of humility.  Then MAYBE they'll change...but I wouldn't count on it.
  • Mr. Awkward-But-Good:  This guy is the nicest guy you'll ever meet.  He'd probably do anything for you.  He's kind of cute but he doesn't really know how to present himself in a way that brings out all of his good physical and intellectual qualities.  He seems a little bit shy at first but once you get on a topic he's passionate about, you can have a great conversation with him.  For these guys, confidence is the main thing to acquire.  This is much easier said then done, I know, but it is possible.
As I've been sitting here writing this, I've realized that there are female counterparts to all of these categories.  (I can see myself in one or two of them, as a matter of fact.)  I guess all this blog post proves is that guys and girls may have their differences but we are also fairly similar, which is probably why dating can be such a vicious cycle.


Katrina said...

Nailed it!

The Christensens said...

I think the one guy in your ward sort of summed up the modern dating problem for me when he said that guys are being nice in ignoring girls' advances... when men were men it was the other way around. Grow up guys and become the hunter-killers you were intended to be. Hooah!