What A Belle Really Thinks…

January 5, 2011 4 Comments

The other night my friend Jeremy and I were having a conversation about men… and women… and how well, we seem to be so bad at communicating with each other, especially when it comes to relationships.  I could sum up the discussion by saying we concluded that men mean exactly what they say, and women mean exactly what they say… some of the time.  As the words left his mouth, I could feel myself sinking into my chair as if to admit my guilt.  But there’s more to it than just that…

I understand some reasoning behind why we do this: although I don’t know if it is my Southern upbringing or if it’s something all women understand.  Certainly there is the “fairy tale defense”: while boys were staging GI Joe battles and playing with plastic water guns, we were playing with any number of dolls (all which had perky tits, tiny waists, and were wrinkle free) created to teach us that happiness equalled love and love equalled having Prince Charming around for our rescuing, bug killing, and of course, all the DIY household projects that required tools.  I get the “fairy tale defense” is part of it, but it’s really only the beginning of a series of messages.

For example, I cringe to imagine coming home at 17 and telling my mom about the guy in English class “I’m seeing” and how “I didn’t want anything serious… but rather just hoped to get to third base in the backseat of his Nissan Maxima for a couple weekends, dump him, and then start dating the quarterback of the football team.”  This would not be followed by a “high-five” between mother and daughter. And yet… if it were father and son I would presume that while maybe sparing a public “high-five”, this remark would definitely bring a smile to the dad’s face as if to convey a private “high-five”.  …Needless to say, the genders have been conditioned to think very differently.

I’m not saying it’s been a breeze for guys.  It makes sense that they don’t excel in foreplay when the fact is, for a few very impressionable years we were swatting their hands away to keep them from feeling our breasts, only then to… 10 years down the road, expect them to be excited to attempt this same gesture.  I get it, we sent one message as girls and now we’re dealing with the repercussions as women.

But where positions really seem to differ between genders are emotional matters.  Specifically the labels we give ourselves as we get older.  Boyfriend, girlfriend, dating, relationship, exclusivity, monogamy, marriage, husband, wife, etc.  I could see Jeremy’s blood pressure going up with each word I said.  See, parents don’t bring their sons up saying, “don’t you let that girl get in your pants until you’re exclusive, she might also be shagging your best friend too”, although… it’s very possible she could have been sleeping with his friend too.  No, instead they’re told to date around, spread their seed, “get it out of their system” while we were being reprimanded and/or judged for even having such thoughts.  It’s a wonder that women ever actually know what we really want with a man considering all the mixed messages we’ve been given.  How could we possibly be expected to know what men are thinking?!  (blink)

I was waiting for Jeremy to concede to this explanation, but instead he said, “You should read High Fidelity.”  …Huh? Did he just give me a book recommendation?  Does that even qualify as a response? Nevertheless, being the avid reader I am, I found myself sitting in Yolk at 6:00 AM for breakfast accompanied by the book that was going to provide me insight into the thought processes of the male mind.  Only, instead of peeking into the male mind, I found myself relating to male mind more than I ever could’ve imagined.  Is it possible that the difference really lies with the way we communicate our thoughts, rather than the actual thoughts?  Have we been taught that we shouldn’t think a particular way for so long that we feel ashamed to admit we have certain thoughts?  Are we just a bunch of Belles “should-ing” ourselves all the time?!  I know this isn’t true for all Belles, but I confess it’s definitely a recurring struggle for me.  This being said, I’m making it a point to do a little less “should-ing” myself and a little more saying what I’m really thinking.  Maybe this will help avoid any future confusion with a certain someone in my life… a Belle can only hope so.

What are your “thoughts” on the topic?  Comment below or email them to Belle@IndependentBelle.com.  Have a great weekend Belles!

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4 comments in reponse to What A Belle Really Thinks…

  1. On October 16th, 2010 at 3:31 pm Mellisa said:

    I am glad that you got to this subject, since it seems to be the cause of many a restless night, broken relationship and general frustration.

    I don’t think that the issue is so much “we need to say what we are thinking” as it is that we need to not say something different that what we really think or mean. In other words, don’t say something doesn’t bother us if it does. Or don’t say that we don’t care if he spends the night with the guys if we do care. Or my favorite, when he asks what do you want to do or where do you want to eat and we say we don’t care, anywhere that you want to. And then we get upset when he picks the sports bar when we really wanted to go to the cozy Italian restaurant. As much as we would like it to be other wise, men still can’t read our minds.

  2. On October 16th, 2010 at 3:48 pm Independent Belle said:

    You are EXACTLY right! I hoped that “say what we’re thinking” would encompass that, but I wasn’t sure… so I’m really glad you clarified it for us. Another thing I’ve noticed is that I tend to be such a “people pleaser” that when it comes to relationships, sometimes I forget to think altogether! Personally, I have so many different issues to manage and think about in life that when it comes to relationships, I don’t want to make all the decisions. However, there are definitely times when I should stop and ask myself “how do you feel about this” or “what do you want” and then be confident in my answer and/or not feel bad for having a different opinion. Thank you so much for pointing that out!

  3. On October 17th, 2010 at 12:35 pm ChicPammy said:

    High Fidelity is also an awesome movie. It was filmed right here in Chicago. I love this post because it drills down on why we confuse men (We are slightly confused.) Pleasing yourself is sexy though (the perfect kind of sexy). It says that I like myself enough to ask for what I want. It took me years to figure that out. I still need to remind myself of that occasionally. Thanks for the inspiring / real post!

  4. On September 10th, 2011 at 10:57 pm B Mad said:

    I’ve discussed this issue many times on my blog. I could talk about relationship issues forever. I call it the Dead Zombie Horse issue if you will. That being said the #1 issue with relationships is communication. The second is a tie between sex and money. But that’s a topic for another time. All these issues boil down to the same word… Enough. As in “not enough” or “just enough”. Now “Not enough” should be pretty straight forward but “just enough”? What does that mean? Well for example one partner could give the other just enough to keep them quiet. Or to put it a different way, just enough to keep them interested. It would all be so much easier if we could just say exactly what’s on our minds.

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