Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And the "Experts" Agree - Response #1

Last week, I asked you, my loyal Singletons and Marrieds, to submit your question for Ask the "Experts."  The original intention for this idea was to have your questions answered from a male and female perspective, with Nice Guy providing not only his highly entertaining commentary, but the highly sought after male insight into dating, relationships, and the rest of the nine yards, and me providing my usual witty banter of confusion. 

But, honestly, after reading Nice Guy's response to just one of the questions we received, I highly doubt that anyone is interested in what I have to say, most especially since most of the questions are outright directed towards a guy.  So, we're going to skip my two cents and jump right in to his response.  And honestly, I couldn't have said it better.

On August 8th, "Anonymous" asked:
"Why do guys stop being so thoughtful after a while? Like, why do they stop regularly calling or texting just to see how your day is going?"
(Drum roll, please...)  And Nice Guy says:
"This is a complicated question, and one that deserves a proper reply. Melanie sent this question to me and I decided that I was going to think about it, sleep on it, and think some more. I went so far as to email it to my work account and re-read it a few times throughout the day when I was on a break.
The most straight forward response would start off with references to guys enjoying the “chase.” Yeah, I know, how clich√©. Guys do enjoy the girl getting interested in them. I like to look back to how I’ve watched my fair share of Animal Planet and Discovery Channel. Think about courtship rituals with animals and remember the great lengths that the male goes through to capture a female’s attention. There is a lot of hard work involved. It’s a display about what the male CAN be for the female. Not all men are created equal – a male has to showcase his abilities in order to attract a woman. Sometimes it’s about strength and the ability to provide protection. Sometimes the female is attracted to social status that comes from being with a certain male in a pack.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should all accept that we are simply animals. The initial attraction and subsequent courtship between a man and a woman is infinitely more complicated. We have evolved with the ability to think and reason. But, men do feel that we must put our best foot forward to get the girl. We have to show the woman what we are capable of. (I believe that I called it “tactical maneuvering” in a comment that I left on one of Melanie’s previous posts). If she accepts that, we are “in.”

Unfortunately, this is where things get more complicated.

Once a relationship has gone on for a while, men (as well as women) get more comfortable. We slack off a bit with all the grand overtures. And we can even slack off on some of the little ones too. And, honestly, for a guy it's sometimes just damn hard to keep it up. But that doesn’t have to mean that we no longer care about how your day went. We proved that we cared about you when were wooing you in the first place. I can speak for myself, along with most guys, when I say that just because we don’t always express how we feel, that doesn’t mean that we do not feel at all.

Contrary to some people’s belief, most men do care about a woman’s happiness. However, men also are not always great at expressing themselves. It can be difficult to understand how a woman wants (or needs) a man to interact with her. Give a guy a problem, and he will want to fix it. It can be frustrating to not do so. While that sounds so obviously simple, sometimes the best course of action for him is to just absorb it and share it with the woman. It’s a lesson that I unfortunately had to learn the hard way.

I don’t think that two people should constantly expect 100% from one another. I believe that it is a little unrealistic. But do not take this as an excuse as to why a guy never reciprocates feelings and actions. If you are not getting what you need, tell him. There has to be a conscious effort from both the man and the woman when it comes to the relationship. However, if two people are in a healthy relationship, there should be a degree of flexibly and understanding between them."
So, what do you think, Singletons and Marrieds, helpful?  Do you agree or disagree?  Have any helpful pointers of your own? Want to submit your question to either me or Nice Guy?  Email your questions (anonymous is always an option!) to lostinsingledom@gmail.com or post them to Ask the "Experts."  Stay tuned for more insights...

4 comments:

  1. I agree with Nice Guy. I don't think anybody, male or female acts the same after you have been in a relationship for a period of time. Ladies we all know that after six months or so, we don't always put on our make-up and dress up for our man. Because he should love us for who we are.
    I also agree that you have to tell a man what you want. If he doesn't listen then, maybe you are with the wrong man. Don't ask me where to find the right man, because I don't have a clue!!!
    But once again ladies why isn't anyone trying to figure out who Mr Nice Guy is? He sounds like he would be a great catch. So what's wrong with you ladies?

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  2. As the one who asked this question, this answer was very helpful. Thanks, Nice Guy! Sometimes we do tend to expect too much in a relationship, and it's important to remember it's not going to be great all the time. It's good to know that guys still care even if they don't act like it once in a while.

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  3. Nice Guy,
    You are awesome! I love that you took such time & thought for your response! :) It's funny I posed this question to my husband and I felt an echo in the room. I do think it's true that maybe not everything is 50-50; to a 100% as long as you're both putting effort in maybe you don't have to be even at all times... Maybe I did doll myself up a little more often pre-marriage; but I'd like to think I haven't gotten "TOO COMFORTABLE". Ofcourse us girls, maybe me specifically, love (feel like we need) that extra love & affirmation; however, it's a natural progression the longer you're in a relationship there are bound to be some changes! So Mr Nice Guy, what can we as girls do to give our share? :)

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  4. I think, a lot of times, you just lose that feeling that you need to continue impressing the other person, at least on a constant basis. I figure that's why a lot of people gain that "happy weight" right after they get married. You're happy, you're comfortable with someone and "the chase" is over...in your head. And I think it's all too easy to continue that downward spiral once jobs become more intense, children are added to the equation, etc. And I think it's much easier to give the attention when you're also receiving the same level of attention from your partner. So, if you're not getting it from your boyfriend or girlfriend right now or later or whenever, try kicking it up a notch yourself and see if he/she becomes a more active participant in the sweetness department.

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