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April 02, 2010

Comments

otowi

Girl A (and B, probably) has daddy issues. She does not know what a good man is, because she has never experienced one. She does not know what a good woman is, either, because mommy didn't model that either, so she also has low expectations for herself. That's just my two-bit analysis based on life experience.

Lindsay

I think it's a combination of a variety of different things. I consider myself fairly pretty. I certaintly have my flaws, but overall, I like the way I look. Yet, I am just three months away from my 28th birthday and I have never had a boyfriend. And it's not because of a lack of desire on my part... I would love to have one, and have wanted one for years. I've made some attempts, but, by and large, men have not been interested.

I have been following a thread on another message board where women are asking why men seem so picky... Personally, being in my late 20s I do sometimes feel some "desperation" to just take whatever I can get. But my morals and values have stopped that from happening. I figure that at this point, if I am ever going to date anyone, I want it to be someone worthwhile. But if I didn't have a sense of self worth and sexual morality, then, yes I can definitely see how women nowadays, especially young ones, might feel as if they have to just take whatever they can get. It probably comes form a lack of self-value from all the messages women are sold in society today, but alot of that can get reinforced by "picky" men. There also seems to be a general trend of there not being too many good men, perhaps because of a lack of positive role models in their own lives. The media certaintly does not portray a positive light on fatherhood and male rolemodels either... men, in many ways, have become something to be mocked.

Melissa May

I have a very close friend who has constantly chosen to date guys like the one mentioned in this post (and worse). She regularly settles for men who are in jail, just out of jail, or probably on their way to jail...you get the picture.

I have tried endlessly to convince her that she does NOT have to settle for such guys. There ARE good men out there, but in order to find one you've got to look in the right places (probably not jail) and you've got to first get yourself in the mind set that you expect your man to be good and decent.

It's an uphill battle to convince her of these things. She thinks that I just "got lucky" with my husband and that I don't understand. The truth is that I had just as much opportunity to settle for a lousy boyfriend as the next girl, but I made up my mind that I wouldn't. I would rather be alone than with a jerk.

As my husband likes to say, "Women civilize men. When women have high expectations, the men have to behave." A bit simplistic, I know, but ultimately it's pretty true.

Rocky

I'm curious how old these two girls are. You say you were on the way to school, so I'm guessing high school...? If this is correct, then I'm not really surprised by this conversation. I had no idea what a "great guy" or a healthy relationship was when I was in high school. In fact, even now after college, I can't say that I've ever had what I would consider a "great" relationship. That's not to say that they've all been really unhealthy or bad, but none have been outstanding -- if any one of them had, perhaps I'd be married now.

I wouldn't gauge society as a whole on the four line conversation of two teenagers though. However, perhaps their views and the views of their peers can be used as a barometer of what we are teaching young people to look for in mates and to expect from relationships. I think it is true that too often we evaluate our relationships based on criteria that are totally different than those we would use to evaluate a marriage. And then we wonder why we are having such a hard time finding 'the one.'

Koni

Stuff like this just makes me sad. I would have had an imaginary conversation with these girls try to tell them "It is okay to not date guys who aren't the best possible people they can be". I am 22 and have also never had a "real" boyfriend - a couple dates but not a relationship. But i think of it as I know I am worth it so it just makes sense that one day someone else will too. I can't de value myself in order to acquire something (in this case a boyfriend)that others think i should have.

Headless Unicorn Guy

I'm curious how old these two girls are. You say you were on the way to school, so I'm guessing high school...? If this is correct, then I'm not really surprised by this conversation. I had no idea what a "great guy" or a healthy relationship was when I was in high school. -- Rocky

1) This explains why Twilight is so popular.

2) There are a lot of physically-adult arrested-development cases who have never left high school.

The only time I ever had a girlfriend, I lost her because I wasn't Exciting (TM) enough. (I respected her too much to even try to get into her pants. 25 years since she dumped me and it still hurts.) Nothing triggers the "OOOOOOO! MY SOULMATE!" reaction like a User & Abuser. (With or without the Twilight Vampire Sparkles.)

Chaya leah Apter

Hearing stories like this makes me really sad. I am in first year university but I'm 21 and I still know people who are involved in relationships like these, or ones that are worse. I was not like this in high school, and I believe that it is partly because I grew up with having very strong values. Even though I may have had a low self esteem, I always had self respect. This story reminded me of things I would see in high school. The problem is that some people just don't develop any self esteem or self respect even when they are out of high school. It's as if they don't have any standards of what they deserve in a relationship. I know of girls who are really great,and they will still settle for less than what they deserve either because they are already attached, or just don't think they deserve better, or sometimes just lonely. It is really sad because so many people sell themselves short when it comes to relationships (something so important). These girls do sound young, but the fact that her friend said he sounds great just because he said "hi" to her parents, or "doesn't even sell drugs anymore" shows me that the standards have gone down even more for young teens since I was in high school.... and that is hard to believe!

Julie

Rocky-I'm finishing up my third year of university and these two girls looked around my age (early 20's). Even if I was on my way to high school, its a shame that we must use that as an excuse for why girls do not appreciate healthy relationships. If the "high school" mentality of "taking what we can get" doesn't get corrected at an early stage, then who is to say that at age 20, 25-even 30 a girl is going to wake up and suddenly realize what she really needs/deserves in a relationship. The problem begins in high school, even now in elementary school and doesn't seem to be ending so quickly.

Hannah Herman

Hmmm, lots to consider....and awesome comments y'all!

My thoughts go like this: (Otowi, Im commenting on your comment).

I do not like when people make immediate judegements of "daddy issues" when young women make poor choices. Some girls grow up with great fathers, but struggle making healthy choices in their relationships with men. An example of this is Julie Klausner, author of I Dont Care About Your Band. She has a loving and nurturing daddy, yet allows (allowed!) men to treat her terribly, picking "bad" men.
Also, some girls grow up, unfortunately, with lacking dads, but have incredible grandfathers,or older brothers who treat them kindly and respectfully- so, its not like every girl who had an abusive or emotionally damaging father has "never experienced one".

Now, here is the deal: Regardless of dad situation, these girls and MANY others go for guys like this because they dont know better. They dont because Mom has not taught them! And what I mean by this is that Mom's have the power to raise children who know how to DISCERN. I would say that 9 out of times it is the mother who teaches the child how to spot the bd apples, learn how excel in life, meet people who will help them advance in life, cultivate self-esteem, listen to thier intuition, and withstand the tempation of peer-pressure and bad boys.

Ranee @ Arabian Knits

Rocky, although I think there is some truth to what you say, I think that in itself shows a decline in our cultural expectations and standards. Young women of 16, 17 and 18 used to be old enough to make wise choices about who they were to marry. They did make those choices, in fact. Now, there was a self selecting on the part of their parents, as men of bad character or prospects were usually screened out before the women even made the choices, but they were trained to look for a moral man, who was able to provide both for her and children, had ambition, a work ethic, fidelity, etc. Being a criminal would have knocked him off the list long before any relationship was even considered.

I have a great husband. I think I'm a pretty great wife, too. This isn't because we lucked out, but because we took the selection of a spouse seriously, took our vows seriously and make our marriage and each other priorities. The men Rich knows, friends and co-workers, talk about how lucky he is and how spoiled he is. He tries to let them know that it is because of how we look at each other and marriage, not just some fluke. I've been told how lucky I am to have such a good man, but the man he is is not only a product of his parents and upbringing, but the choices he has made both for himself and in relation to me and our children.

We do not, as a society, train people to be these kinds of people or to evaluate others for relationships according to these standards. If you like a person, are attracted to him, find him funny, that is enough. Very little thought seems to be given to whether or not this person has shown commitment to friends, family, work, how much of a work ethic, or potential to provide for a family, willingness to give up his (or her) desires for the benefit of another, interest and care for children, ability to sacrifice and work hard, how the two work together, how they resolve conflicts and, most important of all, how they view God and religion. We plan for college with a strategy to apply and get in, we plan for careers, but we think that marriage and relationships will just happen and fall into place. It is not so, as our rates of infidelity and divorce attest to.

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