Follow up on comments...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Follow up on comments...
Tue, 09-23-2003 - 10:44pm

Since this attitude seems to be a *tendency* among men, I am curious about the rationale behind it, and at what point do they begin to realize it in making that decision.

Is it due to how men are emotionally-wired, differently from women? Assuming that's true for the sake of discussion, are there specific circumstances that you can think of to prompt the attitude (in << >>) above?

I remember one of the posters who mentioned in the past that women have a "higher emotional quota" than men. This observation would be consistent with women "trying" to make something work even if it seems obvious to others that the object of their affection/efforts are futile.

I am sure there are exceptions but these are *general* characterizations (about men and women), where your feedback would be interesting to know.


Avatar for mamma2my3sons
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 09-23-2003 - 11:33pm
Generally speaking, I think men are more practical in this area because they are less in "love" with the idea of love, less emotionally driven than women. While they may want to have a wife *someday*-it is not usually the pressing or primary "goal" it is for women.

Women, grow up with the idea that love, marriage; ie. a husband *completes* the "picture" of her life. So for (too) many women, even if a guy (barely) meets the minimum "requirements"-she will jump through almost any hoop to try to make "it" work out (ie. make HIM fit HER ideal)

Of course the biological component cannot be discounted. Women are more driven biologically to "nest". I think only a women can *fully* understand how strong the urge to procreat can be epecially in the latter childbearing years. No surprise then the "lengths" some women will go to to "procure" a mate &/or a father no matter how unsuitable,(or unsuspecting or even unwilling LOL!) he may be. . .

So in my round about way, I am saying that I believe that men and women *are* "wired differently" but there is an environmental component as well.

Barbara :-)

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 1:33am
"Since this attitude seems to be a *tendency* among men, I am curious about the rationale behind it, and at what point do they begin to realize it in making that decision."

That depends on the problem and where things are headed in your life as a individual, as well as where you are headed as a couple. There are many, many crossroads in a relationship. You should always be re-evaluating where you are, where you want to go, and if the person walking the path with you is the right one.

First date: Few criteria. Is she attractive, available and interested?

Second date: Did we both seem to enjoy the first enough to do this again?

Third date: Same as second.

Fourth date: Is this going where I want it to go, and is the time I'm spending with her worth it? There are a lot of other things to do and people to date. Should I continue?

With every person the questions will differ and the criteria will change. Some may peg religious or family values early on, and use that to decide. Others may want children eventually, but not make that part of the criteria for the first 25 dates, or first a couple years of dating. It also matters how far away your goals are. The same person will have different levels of criteria at 21, than at 30.

"Is it due to how men are emotionally-wired, differently from women? Assuming that's true for the sake of discussion, are there specific circumstances that you can think of to prompt the attitude (in << >>) above?"

It could be that women tie more value to emotions. So if they are feeling the early "happy" relationship feeling, they may over look more serious problems. I know quite a few men who walked away from 'love', because they know it takes a lot more than that to make it work. They felt the issues were too large to overcome for a long term relationship.


Avatar for northwestwanderer
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 1:23pm

I'm confused.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 2:05pm
Title: Or...(here's the one that always gets me...)

...why continue to date someone after EITHER person has decided its not going to work?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 6:00pm
I don't totally disagree, again I think it depends on the 'severity of the issue AND....

I think that if the reason someone is walking away from a relationship is b/c there is a specific issue-- then PLEASE let's talk about it and just 'let me know' it is a problem for you and maybe we can work it out. Maybe I was only acting a certain way out of insecurity... based off of how I 'perceived' your actions. See how this is a MISCOMMUNICATION and not "JUST HOW THE PERSON IS"....

If you are walking away b/c you feel something just can't be worked out- then please make it clear b/c then I just don't think you ever cared and I play tough and no one gets anywhere :0(

(And of personal references here) ;-)

Let's give eachother a chance!!!! No wonder why everyone is always alone-- sometimes we have to work *with* eachother to *work it out* instead of just *walking away* at the first "triggerpoint".

Avatar for northwestwanderer
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 6:30pm

I know I'm repeating myself here, but someone who's right for you WILL stick around and work it out.

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Registered: 04-21-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 10:48pm
I don't take it personally.... *BUT* I accept my PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY in the ways I have messed up certain's not always just b/c he is the *wong persson*. I understand and believe that a person's behavior does not ALWAYS 100% represent the CORE of the person. People mess up, we are all human. I wish we were more tolerant of eachtoher when dating. Think about the person on the inside... I know I need to work on this too. Sometimes people may misrepresent themselves in an effort to win the dating "war".

And must we use the word "evaluate" to discuss another human being on this planet? I *refuse* to ever become the kind of person that *evaluates* other people in regard to spending there life with me. We are humans, good people mess up sometimes, and people change. I mess up, I change, for the worse and better.

I'm going to just say it-- I feel that online dating (something in which I do not participate) has encouraged this tendency for people to "evaluate" other people like shoes that either 'fit' or 'don't fit'...I think it's a wonderful way for people to meet when normally they couldn't...but it encourages this type of behavior.

Come on- who's with me? Down with this "evaluation"... let's open ourselves up to others instead of sitting as a judge. Who's with me??? (tee hee)

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 11:42pm
Recently I was dating someone and we were together for 2 1/2 months. After the third or fourth date I began evaluating my feelings for him and trying to decide whether or not we had potential for something long term. I did have doubts (and I posted some of my concerns on various boards) but found that we were still in the early stages of really getting to know one another. I knew I wanted to keep seeing him but at the same time I was trying to figure out how to communicate to him some of my concerns. I saw that in many areas we were compatible but in others - less so. I felt that it was too soon to give up especially since the negative aspects were not exactly dealbreakers - just things that made me wonder.

While I was trying to figure out how to proceed, he just decided to stop calling. I guess he had doubts too. Maybe his concerns were dealbreakers. Who knows? I just don't understand why he would choose to disappear rather than say that this was not working for him. But yes, this does illustrate again a difference between how at least this woman and one particular man dealt with this issue. I was saying, "Okay, there are problems but I'm willing to see if we can make it work so I'll need to talk to him." He - on the other hand - apparantly said, "This isn't going to work so I'm out of here." In my opinion, he took a cowardly approach.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 11:49pm
Title: Thoughts in response...

**"I understand and believe that a person's behavior does not ALWAYS 100% represent the CORE of the person."

I don't disagree, but I don't think it has to be about the "core" of the person in the first place.

I am going to assume that you have never been married, and also make a more tenuous assumption that you have never lived with anyone in a really long term (multi year) relationship.

Ask anyone who has, and they will tell you that a "successful" marriage is by NO MEANS only dependent on "love"...or who the other person is "at their core". My ex-wife remains one of the people in this world I most admire. An honest, hard working ETHICAL woman. She also might be the most loyal person I have ever known, and I personally value loyalty above all other human qualities.

Still, even though she possessed these fantastic qualities are her "core", the fact remains that we both agree that we couldn't be married to each other...and while we don't regret doing so...we also agree that we probably never should have married.

The truth (from my perspective...though I don't think she would disagree...she probably would just put it another is that my ex-wife is 51% lady, 49% bitch, and she doesn't work especially hard to keep the scale from tipping in the other direction. She is a VERY HAPPY single woman because she simply chaffs at the notion of having to cater to the whims of ANYONE. She made a pretty decent girlfriend...when our lives were separate and when we had our own identities that didn't ever need to really cross or meld. She made a lousy wife...especially for me, a man who admittedly does really expect to be the "head" of his household, and everything that implies.

Now...given what point would you suggest it would have made sense in our dating process for us to have NOT decided to go forward? At the time we were age 20 and neither of us had the perspective or maturity we (hopefully) have now. But...when would YOU say an "evaluation" would have been appropriate for two people who did (and still do) care for each other, but simply couldn't (and shouldn't) have been married?

You sound, IMHO, like someone who is in a bit of denial. Yes, you admit you shortcomings and failings, but you don't seem to be willing to admit that those behaviors had and have consequences. Instead, you are advocating that you (and others) get a free pass for their bad behavior - that they be given a chance to "straighten out". In other words, you are saying that while you admit to treating this last guy (and apparently other guys) badly, you shouldn't have to face the disappointment of having them call you on it.

You are is a sad thing to think that we are out there making dating decision on people based on whether or not that person wears the right styling mouse. But nobody here is defending that behavior either.

No...what you are REALLY trying to do is say that "Joe" was wrong for dumping you when you treated him so poorly...that instead he should have called you on it, so that you could change.

The real truth is however if that had he done probably wouldn't have changed one bit. The same woman who thought it was ok to behave that way much more than likely isn't going to change when she is informed that, oh you know, this isn't exactly right what you are doing. You THOUGHT it was right...that is why you did it. What you didn't the time...was that it would lead to consequences you didn't care for.

Your actions and matter what the reasoning behind them...told him VOLUMES about you as a person. He has no moral obligation to be your relationship guinea pig while you figure out how you SHOULD treat people at the beginning of a friendship / relationship.

You say that the problem is that you are insecure. I hear that...and I understand it. But no guy is under any moral obligation to date you just because at your "core" you are really a decent person, and that it is just your "insecurities" that make you act out. They have a right to date someone who they think is a better fit (yeah, I said it) for them, just as you do. It isn't charity is our lives. Most of us aren't looking for the perfect person...but we ARE looking for the person who is perfect for US. And I reserve the right to make that judgment, and to change my mind. And I freely grant you that same right.

This doesn't make us less tolerant, for each of us has different things we can and will tolerate. It just makes us strong and secure enough to be able to say there are things we WON'T tolerate. And in your case, you ran into a guy who wouldn't tolerate being taken for granted. It isn't his job to "fix" you (not that you said it was), nor is he obligated to stick around to see if you "get fixed". He has every right to move on to someone who will NOT take him for granted, who is secure enough to be open and straightforward. You have every right to ask the same...of others...and of yourself.

I am / did (when I was single) open myself up to others...and others opened themselves up to me. That is how we figured out where a good fit (yup, I used it again) was and wasn't. The two are not in conflict. It isn't a "war" is just a perfectly normal social exercise...

It isn't the rest of the world (or more specifically, those guys who you have been repeating this pattern with) it is you. Instead of asking the rest of the world to stop setting the bar so high (so to speak), you should instead say "I am going to change into a person who a great percentage of the male population would fit more suitable" You know...a better

Or not. Frankly, I **KNOW** that I am a difficult person to love. And I *LIKE** me, so I am not going to change...much. But I don't expect everyone to just embrace me simply "because". Instead, I went out and found a woman who could accept me as I was...warts and all. I realize that she is a rare breed...that is why I married her.

The choice is yours. Change to make yourself more palatable, or intensify that search for the right person who thinks you would be a good fit (one more time) for them.

But don't deflect responsibility for your actions and behaviors by saying the world should be more tolerant of them...

Edited 10/7/2003 3:54:30 PM ET by gogobear

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 09-25-2003 - 3:24am
Title: Sorry, still no sale...

I'm really with GoGo on this one. Yes, *sometimes* a person's behavior does not match the "core of his/her being". Yes, people make mistakes.

But, I happen to believe that people's behavior IS closely linked to the core of their being, though their WORDS often aren't. People tend to behave how the want to behave. Period. End of story.

Further, there are many instances where a person's behavior is MORE important to me than the "core of their being". How someone behaves affects me directly, while what they are Really Feeling Deep Inside(tm) does not touch me much. I recently lost a female friend because she consistently treated me like dirt beneath her feet. I *still* think that way deep down, she's a good person. BUT...I'll probably never trust her again. Ever. She has proven to me, through her BEHAVIOR, that she can't treat me the way I wish to be treated as her friend if she's under stress. I can't have someone in my life whom I must constantly excuse for acting horridly.

Truth is, if she really wanted to treat me better she could. It's just not important enough to her to put forth the effort. That's harsh, and of course there are extenuating circumstances (aren't there always?), but I don't care. I have a limit to what I'll put up with in the name of seeing past behavior to the person (supposedly) underneath, and she hit it. Maybe she isn't such a great person after all.

As to evaluating people while dating to see if they fit--how else do you find someone you can live with for the rest of your life??? GoGo is right--a happy long-term relationship is not all about love. It's not really even 50% about love. It's about trust, honesty, compatibility, communication, and compromise. Not terribly romantic, but the truth nonetheless. And compatibility is HUGE. To live together, people need to have similar values, compatible goals, and intermixable dreams.

For example: GoGo and I would NEVER have worked as a couple. He wants children; I don't. I want a committed nonmonogamous relationship; he emphatically does not. He wants to be "head of the household"; I want an entirely equal partnership. He wants to live by the tenants of his religion; I want to live by the tenants of mine.

I believe from what I know of GoGo that at the core he is a WONDERFUL human being. Fabulous, loyal, hard-working, ambitious, fun, caring, intelligent...I could go on and on. I am thrilled to death to have the privelege of knowing this man.

But date him? Uh-uh. Not even when we were both single, which we were when we met. Too many differences. REALLY bad fit. (Sorry for the wording, but it's the truth.) He claims to be difficult to love. I don't know if I'm difficult to love but I do know that I am difficult to live with. My life choices narrowed my pool of possible long-term mates considerably. I knew and accepted that long ago. I had to accept that certain men would never date me, or would only date me for fun, because of BOTH how I behave and who I am (which determines how I behave). Happily, like GoGo, I found a man who DID accept me for exactly who I am and is NOT upset by my wildly outlandish behavior.

And finally, as it happens, I *have* made mistakes with my husband. He's made mistakes with me. We tend not to repeat mistakes that hurt one another though--that's a lot of what makes our marriage work. BUT...the main reason we stuck around even when hurtful mistakes happened is we DID see that the mistakes/bad behavior came from EXACTLY "the core of our being" and we accepted that core. Once, long long ago, my husband went out to a party and told me he'd be home early. Technically, 5:30am is "early", but boy was I pissed!! His "I was too drunk to dial the phone" was not the excuse I was looking for, either. I even posted on these boards about it. We argued, I yelled, I made it *crystal* clear that this was not acceptable behavior to me. BUT, I learned something I had to accept--my husband is a man who likes to go out and stay out till all hours of the morning. I decided, quite consciously, that I could live with that so long as he agreed to compromise and not tell me one thing and then do another without calling me to let me know plans had changed. He agreed to that. He still stays out till oh-dark-thirty, but it doesn't bother me. It's who he is. (And it can be convenient if I want to spend my evening watching FX Original TV, which he hates with a passion.)