So now that we’ve covered an introductory bit of “girl talk”, shall we move on to something more challenging?
How many times have you heard something like this? “I don’t care; whatever you choose will be fine.”
“Just do whatever you want to do.”
This is usually passive-aggressive code for “We both know you’re going to pick the wrong thing, so just ask me leading questions about what I really want to do until I say yes.”
So, WHAT do you do when this happens? If you ask those questions, and even if you double-check that what you want to do is an okay thing, she’ll get grumpy. I know this because I get really annoyed by those kind of questions and the constant double-checking, even though I am just as guilty of doing it as the next girl. This really seems like a lose-lose situation, because if you cave to whatever you think she wants to do, you will either be wrong or she’ll think you’re a total pushover. But, if you go with what you want to do, she may not have a good time or like your choice.
The best solution that I can think of is that after double-checking whether or not she actually is going to give you her opinion, look your lady in the eye and say something like, “Okay, this is what I am going to be doing because this is what I want to do, and if you do not want to do this that’s okay, just say it right now.” Be as direct as possible here, and don’t skirt around her feelings. If this makes her mad, maybe you should re-think doing things with her… Just saying. My awesome girlfriend said this:
“You know, he needs to say “Are you sure you don’t care where we go?” And she’ll say, “Yes, I don’t care”, and he says, okay, let’s go to Taco Bell, and if she says “Ew gross no”, remind her that she relinquished all rights to a decision.” THIS IS A DIRECT QUOTE FROM ANOTHER BONAFIDE GAY LADY
I know it sounds like I’m (we’re?) generalizing on gender and making women out to be super passive-aggressive. I am not aiming for this – I just don’t have a lot of experience with men being passive-aggressive. Women seem to worry a lot more about making people really happy, and culturally, they are forced into this subservient role of putting everyone else’s feelings first. I quite literally only know one person who doesn’t do any of this, and every time she says anything like “Do whatever you want”, I freak out a little because I expect to be told I’m wrong and I suck. Really, all she wants me to do is whatever I choose or want to do. (Upshot: I’m dating her. Sorry boys.)
I would like, therefore, to propose a new rule. Girls, be a bit more direct about what you want. If you do or don’t want something to happen, SAY IT. Personally I find assertiveness super hot, and I think a lot of dudes out there would agree with me. Feigning indecision and starting a fight? So not cool. And guys, you have to know what you want, too. Don’t worry about being manipulated or doing the manipulating – throw that crap out the window and move on to an actual relationship.
In short: be direct to each other and I think you’ll be happier, especially when you’re trying to figure out how to spend time together.
It’s here, everybody!
No, NOT the oldies song making the retail muzak circuit.
No, NOT the modern mashup artist.
I’m going to start a series on girl talk. You know, when girls say something but mean the opposite (or WORSE – something completely different!) This is where that word “tone” will come into play a lot, and I think this will have to be a multiple-post event.
Let’s start with something relatively simple. When you ask a girl if she’s alright, and she says in a short, not-quite-snap, “I’m fine“. It’s pretty clear that there’s something very not-fine happening. Unfortunately it’s not always resolved by asking, “What’s wrong?” and listening to whatever is bugging her. In my own experience, more often than not she thinks you already know and are doing something to bug her on purpose. Fair? No. Not at all fair, not at all logical, but hey – how much of your life actually makes sense and is fair?
The best way to get around the “I’m fine” is to be as diplomatic and as patient as possible. Even though you don’t remember doing anything offensive, and even if you think she’s being crazy, none of that matters. (Really, this applies to anyone that might be mad at you – don’t be a jerk)
Acknowledge to yourself that you may have done something without realizing it, and when it’s necessary apologize. Above all, LISTEN. Shut your mouth and let the lady get out whatever’s bothering her. A lot of girls (myself included) hold things in for ages, and it creates this big nasty grudge. This will come back when you have a serious fight. She will pull it out and be all, “Oh yeah, well you did THIS and THAT HAPPENED“. It will make an ugly situation uglier, so if you want to avoid that sort of nonsense, this is the best route to diffuse the situation. Plus, by taking some time to listen to her, she’ll eventually figure out that you’re a good dude to keep around.
And really, I cannot stress this enough – if she’s mad at something you did (or something she perceives you to have done), do NOT argue under any circumstances. I’m not talking about being whipped or giving up your Man Card or any of that idiocy. I’m talking about making a relationship (or friendship, or whatever-ship) WORK. This will help. If you can get past the petty bullshit, this will set the stage for a stronger, longer time with your ladyfriend. (Side advice: if your guy friends make fun of you for being “whipped” or whatever, ask them how their girlfriends are. Watch them splutter – it’ll be fun)
If you have any “girl talk” horror or success stories, let me know. I’m always interested to see what fun and exciting things members of my gender can invent.
A couple weekends ago, the Girl and I went to a roller derby match. The audience at these matches are definitely “our kind” of people. By this, I mean they are more alternative, and for lack of better terms, they are less hetero WASP-y and more… Tattooed and dyed. They’re great. They’re nice people and all the girls there either look gay or are gay, and so as a lesbian couple, the Girl and I feel very safe.
The celebratory party was being held at a bar near the big college campus. But, being vaguely adventurous and good-natured people, we decided to go. I mean really, how weird could this be for us? We’re just people going to an establishment that serves alcohol, right?
Wrong. So, SO wrong.
We walked into the end of a basketball game being broadcast onto at least three dozen TVs in the bar. This wouldn’t have been a problem, but the team FROM the college in this town was playing, and it was that ridiculous March Madness season which is kind of a big deal for basketball. Everywhere we turned there were clones wandering about, most clad alike – red shirts, dark denim jeans, white shoes. The males were at least seven feet tall (and most were blonde, which I thought was bizarre). There were backwards baseball caps EVERYWHERE. The resemblance to Cro-Magnon men and Neanderthals was amazing! Brows furrowed in concentration, they would hoop and holler at every point scored by the home team.
And then… The women. Leggings, first of all, are NOT PANTS. They aren’t. They’re like thick tights, and unless you’re Lady Gaga you are NOT to wear them on their own. I don’t want to see the curvature of your ass; I don’t care how good you think it looks. Your t-shirt is NOT long enough to make it okay, and you look stupid. This is all beside the point, of course. These girls were all about five feet tall (I’m 5’8″, for reference), and many were hanging off numerous things, be it the bar, a stool, one of the tall collegiate Neanderthals, or each other. Everyone was drinking shitty beer. Everyone. SO MUCH BUDWEISER AND MILLER LITE. It was astonishing.
The Girl and I were the first of the roller derby bunch to get there, and we ordered drinks and tried not to bump into anyone (or get bumped into). It was a really uncomfortable twenty minutes of my life, and I’m sure it was for my companion. After about that much time, people started to trickle in (most of whom looked to have similar reactions to me upon entry – if I’d had a camera I’d show you all the “WTF IS THIS?” faces.) Eventually the game was over and the roller derby partiers were more numerous.
This whole experience, though, got me thinking: Why go somewhere you don’t feel safe? Do girls enjoy it? After speaking with the Girl, she told me that the only reason she felt okay being somewhere like that, where we are clearly fish out of water, was because I was with her. This was at once flattering and sad. So tell me, ladies and gents, what do YOU do to make sure your companion is having a good time AND feeling safe? Do you even consider it? I realize that I’m a little different – I like being different than others, and I’m pretty open and proud. Can this get me in trouble? Yes. Has it? Yes. However, I refuse to live under a rock, only going to places where I will be one of the many. I don’t like “fitting in” all the time; sometimes it’s good for you, and your relationship, to do things and go places and spend time with/around people who are unfamiliar.
That’s all I have for you today. Be careful, pay attention when someone says they don’t feel safe for whatever reason, but try to have new experiences. It’s not bravery, and it’s not stupidity. I think it’s just plain old open-mindedness. You don’t have to put on a macho “I can take care of you in this uncomfortable situation” air, but suggesting different things can help keep your life, and your relationship, interesting.