Testing Men: An Incident vs. a Pattern

September 28, 2008

What I find annoying about dating is how much time it takes to figure out each person is not right for you.  We chalk up apparent insensitivity to “maybe he was joking” or “maybe he forgot” or “maybe it was a one-time thing.”  I would hate to dump someone because of one stupid thing they said or did, so I give them time to see if it becomes a pattern.

CremelloQuarterPony brought up something interesting a few days ago about testing men.  She was upset about something RockStar didn’t do.  She didn’t ask him to do anything, but hoped that he would think to do it on his own.  On the one hand, it’s not fair to expect people to guess what you want from them.  On the other hand, we shouldn’t always have to spell it out.

While women probably could generally improve their communication skills by being more direct about what they want from men, this doesn’t always make sense.  I suspect something gets lost in the process. 

If we have to spell out exactly what we want, we allow men to get lazy (or lazier, depending on the case).  It lets them off the hook.  They don’t have to bother making an effort to empathize with us and imagine what we may want.  They will wait for us to tell them, and then fulfill the request (or not).  But the thing is, it didn’t come from the heart.

There is something special about someone doing something nice for you (without having to ask for it).  We (women) do this all the time for men.  We go out of our way to anticipate their needs.  Like CremelloQuarterPony said, though, she’ll see if RockStar steps up to the plate in the future.  We can’t expect men to get everything right, but it’s a pattern to look out for over time.