I have found few certainties or truths in relationships with men. Stereotypically, it’s the female who is unpredictable and complicated. In my world, it’s the men who are difficult to read.
There are really only three certainties about men that I’ve identified since I started dating and/or sleeping with them. I won’t be forthcoming about that length of time, just trust that I’ve been at this awhile.
First, there is a moment of closeness and intimacy in which he will say just about anything. It is at these times that I am most successful at securing a promise. Many Christmas and birthday gifts were procured this way.
Second, they’re great for yard work. If they’re no good at it, they’ll work at it until they are. Yard work is the perfect excuse for them to get out of the house and not have to explain where they’re going.
Third and last, they’re territorial. Not so much about his house or car (they count, too), but about the woman in his life. And I’m not talking about his mother.
They’ll swear up and down that they’re not, and I’ve heard soooo many single men tell me that they wish they could find a cool woman he can just date and not have to have a “relationship” with. It never works, they tell me, because she gets attached and can’t handle it
Then I throw back my head and howl in hysterical laughter.
Because it ain’t us, fellas. It’s you.
I’ve tried it, tried it, tried it. I am said “cool woman” mentioned above who has had times in life that she just wanted to date without exclusivity. The same thing happens every time and I end up breaking it off.
As usual, the beginning is fine. We agree to spend time together and go our separate ways when it’s time to leave for work. I don’t meet his mother, he doesn’t buy me jewelry (the latter part is always open to negotiation). No drama, no attachment, no politics.
But, the first time I don’t pick up my phone when he calls…
“So, I tried to call you the other day,” he says when I catch up with him later.
“Yeah,” I reply. “And, I’m calling you back. What’s up?”
“Oh, just wanted to see if you wanted to do something. So, were you working late the other day or what?”
There you have it. The beginning of the end. He wants to know what I was doing that I didn’t take his call. And who I was doing it with.
Next thing you know he wants to talk about our relationship and I remind him that we don’t have one. Then he says he wants to have one. Then he says he wants to take it to the next level and be exclusive. Then he’ll want a commitment from me, swear to a phony commitment himself so he can be sure that I see no one else and he can continue sleeping with anyone he wants.
And that’s about the time that I ask if he knows anyone who does good yard work.
So, true, the dating-without-commitment never works out, but the problem isn’t completely with the woman in the arrangement and I don’t mean to suggest it’s always with the man, either.
My point is that they’ll say anything during sex, are handy with a lawn mower and guard their territory like an alpha male lion.
There might be a fourth certainty. Once you find one you can settle on, sometime in that relationship he’ll want to know how many dating-without-relationships you’ve had in your life.
Which leads us to the first certainty about women. Asking that question is just asking for a lie