I hate to break to all the women in the world, but men are not stupid, boorish or simply clueless (well, 90% of the time). But I will say that women are highly complex creatures blessed with tremendous faculties that allow for a great deal of lateral, in depth thinking, most which men are highly unlikely to ever understand let alone appreciate. But the truth is, that Men aren't as limited as Women like to believe.
I understand it is in man kinds interest to perpetuate this myth, if for any other reason than it is highly convenient. The lower expectations are, the easier it is for guys to meet them (All in the interests of continuing the species). I also firmly believe it acts as a useful coping mechanism for women to justify a guys behavior.
Myth 1: Men Do Not Listen:
Contrary to popular belief, Men do listen, we also tend throw away bits of information that are irrelevant to our more immediate concerns and interests. It's not that we don't want to hear everything women have to say, we do, and we do try to, but after repeated inane detailed driven information overloads, our brain categorizes certain data as superfluous and deletes them.
A man may remember during his courtship that his future wife's favourite flowers are lily's, but have no clue by the eve of their first anniversary. Ever wonder why a man will never expect his partner to remember random details about his day, it's because think its irrelevant. Say what you will, but we are consistent.
Myth 2: Men are Calender Averse:
Highly untrue, ask any straight man and he can tell you the exact date and time of the next world cup final as well as the team's preseason friendly schedule. Women take severe issue with men forgetting birthdays, anniversaries etc, however, it's because women put a tremendous store of value into certain occasions.
Men don't dress up and plan their weddings as children, they may pretend that they are Sporting superstars and hence our interest in sports, but we don't have the same deep rooted appreciation for the same dates that women do.
For some guys, marriage is the day they stopped being the baller to end all ballers, and became a husband, a life partner responsible for the happiness of a union, throw in some added family pressure it's akin to waking up with a sack of bricks permanently attached to one's head. But we do it anyway. If that's not love, I dunno what is.
Myth 3: Men are Immature:
Men are not immature, we have adolescent habits that prove to be extremely confusing to women, but its because once we like something, we are pretty happy to continue doing them. No man I know who is hooked on video games or sports started playing when he was well into his 30's, once we develop an interest, we are consistent about adhering to them. One would think that women would appreciate this quality in men, however once those interests include womanizing, once can see why a gal would want a chap to change.
The root of the matter is that men suck at change, we like our youthful carefree selves and love doing the same things in our 30's that we did in our teens, it makes us feel cool. Perhaps, its sad and really does make men immature, but I took a poll and all of us agree that as long as it brings no direct harm to our partner, its totally fine. (One of my friends missed dinner with his fiance's parents because he was in the middle of his Football fantasy draft picks (he's 36 years old), in his defense, he did win).
Myth 4: Men are Terrible Communicators:
The truth is that we are very direct communicators, we don't have the desire to recount every detail of our day, we also are highly environmentally conscious and find using scare oxygen unnecessarily to be a huge environmental faux paux.
On a more serious note, men typically say what they mean and are very good at compressing tonnes of conversational material, deleting the inappropriate bits and concisely explain themselves. We say what we mean, and prefer to stick with it rather than overload others with superfluous information which doesn't directly pertain to them.
Myth 5: Men do not Feel:
This myth arises out of the difficulty some men have with emotions: in particular, talking about and sharing feelings. This is 100% down to how men are socialized, we are taught to compress our emotions and bury them under as many layers of feces as we can find. Some men choose to drown their feelings, typically in collaboration with their friends Jack, Jose and Jim (Jack Daniels, Jose Cuervo and Jim Bean).
Emotional self-expression is considered a useless trait for many men, in fact it is frowned upon; Grim and bear it, male kids are told to stop crying, girls are allowed to cope by expressing themselves, go figure. A part of being a man, is having a sense of stoic control; solely carrying the burden of responsibility no matter how heavy that may be. It's what we are taught, it's what we see and most importantly it how we function.
Just because men don't express emotions doesn't mean we don't feel. Women can enjoy figure skating competitions, yet not know how to skate. Men express their emotions through their actions; providing for their loved ones, giving that leads to concrete measurable results. We do as we feel, lip service isn't a by product we're comfortable with. So judge men by their actions, not necessarily by what they are able to say. It'll make a lot more sense.
Myth 5: Men are Insensitive to their Spouses Feelings
Men don't understand why small things have such large emotional implications on their spouses, nor do they particularly care. That's actually a lie, we do care, but after the days 12th mini crisis, we tend to avert our mind from the attention seeking behavior and devoting less emotional miles. We don't intend on becoming completely disconnected from our partners, but we put things in a simpler perspective.
It's not the end of the world if the neighbors bought the same car that you wanted in the first place, it doesn't change your attitude to that car. If you wanted it because it's a great car, what has materially changed? In fact, you'll have someone to compare notes with in case that car gives you trouble (If you don't like your neighbors, you can always crack their hood open and snatch a few spare parts).
Myth 6: Men are Controlling and Want Controllable Women:
Women feel that men have the inherent desire to be the alpha male and control their partners; hence desire a passive mate that may not be their intellectual equal. Men don't want a partner that will always say yes or are completely under their control. It's not exciting, or what a normal guy would sign up for but on the other hand, men don't want a lass who would rather be their mother than their partner. There is a balance.
Some guys are genuinely controlling, and a girl ought to know that if he was controlling before they get together, odds are that he'll be controlling well after. To each their own.
As a general rule, Men do want a measure of control, particularly in matters that pertain to both partners, but if its something guys are not good at, we strive to pretend to know what we're doing because the truth is, that we're always trying to be better than we actually are for the women in our lives. If we are controlling, its more paternalistic than alpha male. There is a widespread view, that after marriage, the responsibility for a girl shifts from her father to her husband. This is powerful motivation to maintain control and the truth is we're scared shit less of messing up (hence why when things go bad, we just marry another chick till we get it right, Yay 4 wives rule).
Myth 7: Men Care only about Sex:
Unfortunately, the mentality that emotional vulnerability equals weakness is alive and well in many cultures and held by too many men. This deep-seated attitude is often triggered in relationships that require and demand greater intimacy. Faced with the challenges of intimacy, men may shut down and withdraw, rather than allow themselves to feel confused and emotionally impotent.
Myth 8: Men Prefer Hanging with the Boys:
You'd be hard pressed to find a girl who doesn't have that complaint, particularly some time into a relationship. Relationships are a crap shoot, however the one constant besides family is the guys buddies. They are tried and tested, and are the safest place for a man to unwind, talk non-sense and act like he did in his previous decade. Even post marriage, men value those relationships.
Especially as they are typically longer than the duration of the relationship. It's also important to get good man bonding time, the more we get, the less irritable we are. Now the reason why guys do sometimes prefer hanging with the boys is that we take our bonds of brother hood very seriously, we have things to talk about that girls just wouldn't want to talk about (Sports, new gadgets, cars etc). End of the day, you barely get to see your guy friends once you've been lampooned by Cupids arrow. Sometimes you need to take time of for the boys.
Myth 9: Men are Romance Clueless;
The truth is that men are more romantic than woman. Men fall in love faster (they also usually take longer to admit it), but that's to some supremely gifted genetic wiring are able to move on quicker after a breakup (Goodbye bitch, Hello girl of My Dreams!). When a man meets a woman who has a lot of qualities they like, we stop taking in new information,as far as we are concerned, we've processed the necessary information.
Which makes it harder for guys to clearly see the things that they wouldn't like about her. Put it down to short attention span, or simply the desire to make a decision and get it over with, once the basics are set, we don't sweat the small (and sometimes not so small) stuff.
Myth 10: Men are Pigs:
Men are not pigs, or see women simply as objects of visual/physical pleasure. The truth is that we are wired to appreciate attractive women, much the same way a girl is wired to try to look desirable to attract a potential mate. When it comes to women, this is easily done with progressively fewer and more shapely articles of clothing, and results in a wide appeal to a man's more carnal desires.
However, just because our eyes are drawn, doesn't mean we are actively going to cheat. In baseball terms, as much as I'd like to draft Alex Rodriguez, I wouldn't because for one, it could be an expensive proposition, secondly, I'm happy with my current roster and thirdly, I think the idea would be ruined by the reality of actually having A-Rod on that company's books.
The Big Idea
Women live with in some magical dream world that you have to love everything about your mate. When there are certain habits that they don't appreciate, they add to the store of myths that women kind perpetuates. It's unhealthy and causes alot of heart ache. Chill outLadies, we Certainly do.
The cliche that you love people for their imperfections has a grain of truth to it, but it's realization that you enjoy spending time with that persons regardless of the unforseen imperfections There’s no formula for appreciating everything about someone regardless of how much we choose to love them. Everyone has their own unique and annoying little habits that we cannot totally ignore.
A man's bad habits shouldn't ruin the essence of your relationship with them. Is a guy that much worse a partner for leaving the toilet seat up? Focusing on trivial issues rather than the core of your partner could lead to constant and unnecessary worry about your compatibility. It goes without saying that you love your partner because of special qualities or characteristics that tugged at your heartstrings from the very first time. Ideally, loving every last thing about your man or woman is simply unrealistic and impossible, but as long as we continue to try to understand each other, we'll always be trying.
A version of this post has been published on dawn.com