It is a general assumption that men and women see things very differently. While this assumption does not always hold true, it often does. Except when it does not.
I’ve learned quite a bit about how some woman see the world in sort of a backwards way- from my female friends asking me for dating and relationship advice. They seem to assume (as men do about women) that there is a male way of doing things and thus straight men can give advice that will be relevant when applied to other straight men. This is generally a misconception. As far as I can tell, when it comes to dating and relationships people just do things and they do not know why. No one else does either. After the fact, people make up stuff to justify what they did. This is why people can sell those dating advice books and not be called out as liars-no one knows what the heck is going on, so it is hard to disprove their claims and advice.
While I have actually gleaned some interesting bits of information from these talks, often they just lead to greater confusion. But, since women often provide pie when they want to talk about such things, I still participate in this process. I really like pie. Cookies are nice, too. While this is a sexist generalization, women seem to be much happier after having a male friend listen to them. So it works out-they get a friendly male audience and I get pie. Did I mention I like pie? I like cookies too. Not as much as pie, but I still like them.
Here is a paraphrase of a recent conversation that illustrates my point.
Her: “I like this guy and we have been emailing and talking on the phone. He just sent me a nice email, but I’m not sure how he feels so I’m not going to email him back.”
Me: “This is good pie.”
Her: “Focus Mike, focus.”
Me: “I am. This is really good pie.”
Her: “No, focus on my needs and problems.”
Me: “Um, we’re not dating. We agreed we’d never date. So I don’t have to do that, right?”
Her: “I can take the pie home right now.”
Me: “Tell me how you feel.”
Her: “I like him, but I’m not sure how he feels about me.”
Me: “If you like him, shouldn’t you email him back…and perhaps ask him how he feels?”
Her: “If he is interested, then he will email me on his own and tell me how he feels.”
Me: “Yeah. So what do you do if a guy sends you an email and you are not interested in him?”
Her: “I don’t reply.”
Me: “I notice that your response is the same whether you are interested or not.”
Me: “So how does a guy tell the difference?”
Her: “He has to know.”
Me: “Yeah, I’m sure that is just obvious.”
Her: “Well, wouldn’t you know?”
Me: “No-if the response is the same, how could I tell?”
Her: “A woman can’t just tell a man how she feels. The man has to figure this out.”
Me: “How? I think people should just be open about that. All the games and trying to figure out the hidden signals is too much for me and I’ve got a PhD.”
Her: “That is why you are still single.”
Me: “You’re single, too.”
Me: “That was good pie.”
Ladies: I’m happy to trade advice for pie or cookies. Just email me. 🙂