Monday, June 7, 2010

Our Flawed Impressions

I have this friend who is a really sweet girl in a lot of ways.

Pretty, intelligent, and thoughtful, she's got a lot of the qualities that attract men. Unfortunately, she has one quality that ultimately drives them all away.


I often tell her that her heart is scarred. I know how it got that way, and I recognize that those wounds are real, but it doesn't change the fact that her scars are affecting her quality of life, at least in my opinion.

For example, I have been chided her recently about her fickle nature when it comes to men. One moment she thinks a dude is awesome, the next moment she doesn't want to hear his name because of some minor character flaw or mistake. I told her it's like she's actively searching for reasons to end relationships, instead of trying to find positives that make her want to stay together.

I've come to realize that most successful relationships come down to our impressions. How we view the actions of others, whether we give them the benefit of the doubt, or a skeptical eye, often determines how long-lasting our bond with them will be. In addition, our preconceived notions of others, and their motives, impacts how we will view everything they do in the future.

My friend was complaining that she always has to be cynical with guys because they all have ulterior motives. Mainly, she was concerned that if she relaxes her guard, a man may use that opportunity to get into her pants. Pause... The horror.

I calmly informed my friend that every married man in America wanted to get in his wife's pants when he met her. Think about it. There are no men who have truly committed to women for eternity who did not, typically when they first met those women, want to have sex with them. That's just how men operate.

What I was trying to impress on my friend was that it was quite silly of her to be so bothered by the idea that men want to have sex with her, or for her to think that simple desire makes a man unacceptable for a long-erm relationship. While women have many gifts that men can appreciate, when most men are attracted to women initially it's because we think it would be fun to be naked with them. Doesn't mean we won't marry them or love them eventually, but the joy of getting naked is typically our first selling point.

Is that so horrible?

Our impressions of people, which are often flawed or unreasonable, impact how we deal with them. My friend is repulsed that men would be sizing her up as a potential bedmate upon meeting her, and thus she finds it hard to relax around men or trust them. This is despite the fact that even the good men think like that; the men who eventually go on to become good husbands.

I am guilty of the same sort of behavior. Whether it be about racial matters, or religious matters, or financial matters, I often approach new situations with a significant amount of cynicism. That of course impacts how I deal with those situations. The scars found on my friend's heart, can also be found on my own psyche.

 My mistrust breeds more mistrust, which erects more walls, which then creates more difficulties. The sad thing is that just like my friend, I see the cycle and its impact on my life, yet I don't feel an overwhelming desire to correct my behavior. Sadly, my comfort overrides my desire to improve what many consider a character deficiency, and I regularly suppress any urge to step outside my comfort zone in this area. I've done the cost/benefit analysis, and I've decided it's not worth it.

So I, and my impressions, remain flawed. And, I would wager that many of you are guilty of the same thing.



Joanna said...

The problem is that while men DO want to have sex with woman when they meet them, if a woman actually shows that SHE wants to have sex with HIM, and goes ahead and does it, 9 times out of 10 he writes her off as a hoe and never calls again. That's why I am real cautious when I meet a new man! But my mistake is telling a man "Yeah I want to sleep with you to, but I am not going to cuz then you will think I am not good enough to meet your Mom." Over and over and over. That REALLY drives them off.

And I have NO IDEA if this comment actually relates to anything you are saying, I just like to ramble!

Big Man said...


I don't my friend does it because she's a prude, but because she doesn't want men to "win." She's fairly competitive, and thinks that if she gives dudes what they want they win and she loses. She doesn't see it as a win/win.


Yeah, I can see why that would drive dudes off. We hate when chicks appear to be playing crazy games. It's stupid. But, you're right about some dude's labeling you a hoe, evne if they say they won't. It all depends on the dude and how attracted to you he is.

Big Man said...

Dammit, Dima and Joanna left very good comments and somehow they've been erased. If y'all don't mind sending them again I would appreciate it.

Joanna said...

Hmmmm... I sense a blogosphere conspiracy afoot.... this is the second time I have left comments and they have disappeared into the vast unknown. And, I see that you addressed it Big Man, but I can't even get to YOUR comment to read the whole thing either!!!

Thordaddy said...

Actually, chick is a modern liberal female AND so the evidence of her AUTONOMY is breaking off relations that implore her to commit. "Scarred heart" and dudes wanting to get with her are just weak justifications that attempt to cover the real goal which is maximizing her autonomy. They are not anything more than the act of saying, "I'm committed to nothing."

Now, lil man may think her quality of life is lower because she's full of so much cynicism, but the cynicism is freedom to her. It's her attempt TO MINIMIZE THE AUTONOMY of others.

Anybody that's been around a perpetual cynic knows what I mean.

Redbonegirl97 said...

I completely agree with mistrust leads to more mistrust. We are guilty like you said. I wish it wasn't like this but I can't help it sometimes and the mistrust ruins everything before you even realize it's gotten the best of you.

Peace, Love and Chocolate

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

You will love this article from the NY Times the other day:

She Doesn't Trust You? Blame The Testosterone

Big Man said...

I saw that article KIT.

I told my friend that it appears to be solid proof that men are better BS detectors than women.


Raving Black Lunatic