There was a stupid r/relationships post not that long ago about a girl who attempted some kind of half-breakup with her boyfriend while she went off to college. The big plan was to fuck other people while they were apart, reunite over summers, and eventually get together again seriously and get married four years later when she was done with school. They’d never actually had sex and were both still virgins – until a month or so into college, when she fucked a random one-night-stand. And proceeded to have numerous friends-with-benefit relationships for the next four years. And proceeded to tell her half-boyfriend back home all about it. He didn’t share any information with her, so she assumed he wasn’t doing much, or at least nothing serious. Needless to say, she was shocked when she came home four years later, and he’d been dating a serious girlfriend, with plans of marriage, and even more shocked to learn that…get this…he disapproved of her four-year stint of recreational slutting and was actually hurt when she lost her virginity to some random man instead of him, and kept fucking other guys to boot.
The thing is, she didn’t get it. To many women, this plan makes perfect sense. In her eyes, she was an awesome girlfriend. She knew that long distance relationships were hard, and that she was likely to cheat – maybe him, too – and it was easier for both of them to break up and fuck other people. She knew she still wanted to be with him and him with her, so she made arrangements to get back together, and kept in touch, and was open and honest about all of her sexual relations. In her mind, not only was she an awesome girlfriend – she was faithful to him – because while she had a lot of sex, she never pursued a romantic relationship with anyone else. In her mind, it was all “just sex,” so her half-boyfriend had nothing to worry about. After all, he was free to have “just sex,” too, right?
But it’s never “just sex” for a man. Because sex for a man is a little more difficult than putting on a tight dress, walking into a bar or club, and leaving at last call with with the hottest guy that approached, it actually has value and meaning to a man. “Just sex” is the equivalent of telling a woman, “You can still date me. I’m ‘just married’. I don’t have sex with my wife. It’s just an emotional and legal commitment. That shouldn’t bother you.”
We’re constantly told that women are the romantic sex. In touch with their emotions, honest about their feelings. That men are stoic, emotionally out of touch, thoughtless, unfeeling, uncaring pigs who only care about sex, and maybe food and beer, but mostly sex. But women are the mature emotional ones, hoping for romance and a genuine prince charming story. It’s a question of perspective.
Men are the ones who pine after sweet, pretty, virginal girls, who never give them the time of day, then end up fucking some asshole douchebag. Men are the ones who stick around with this girl anyway, hoping she’ll eventually recognize how devoted they are to her. Women are the ones who are annoyed by this kind of man and wish he’d go away.
But from a woman’s perspective, they experience the exact same situation. The difference is that women experience it only for a select few men. Frequently, the unattainable, “hawt D-bag.” This guy never gives her the time of day, but she sticks around and fucks his brains out anyway, hoping he’ll eventually recognize how devoted she is to him. He’s kind of annoyed by that and wishes she’d just shut up and use that mouth on his dick instead. So enthralled is she by this asshole that the rest of the men in the universe are completely invisible to her.
It’s the same romantic story of unrequited love, woman or man. Women and men are both “romantic” – as long as they’re pining after someone who doesn’t love them. Where things diverge is what happens after two people are in love.
When a man and a woman fall in love, the man becomes fiercely loyal, devoted, and if he’s an insecure, unmanly man, he also becomes kind of needy and controlling and manipulative. But he’ll put up with anything for his woman, and put up with anything from his woman. He’ll fight for her, he’ll change for her, he’ll work for her, he’ll do anything she wants, because he loves her and wants her to be happy. Even when she pisses all over him, he’ll change as best he can and do whatever he can to keep her. Because he loves her. He’s a romantic, and he wants this love to endure any hurdles, hiccups, and hardships.
When a man and a woman fall in love, the woman becomes fiercely disinterested. Now that the man has committed himself to her and is constantly doing shit for her, it’s not really interesting any more. It’s not a challenge. Each gift and compliment and gesture is routine and expected, and she didn’t have to earn it. The thought of having sex with this guy isn’t as exciting as it was when she was first pursuing him. It’s actually kind of a turn-off now. She thought the chemistry and the spark were there, but they’ve faded. She gives things a chance and goes through the motions, but she knows she’s not in this for keeps and hopes that he’s not getting too attached, because it’s girls’ night next Friday, and she’s going to the club with her friends, and who knows what might happen?
Even if a woman isn’t the girls’ night type, the initial fire of the relationship still fades for her. The sex dwindles. Things become monotonous. She figures that’s just how things are supposed to be when you’re in a steady relationship or marriage. She’s not really happy, he’s not happy, but it’s comfortable. He makes money, she spends it, he buys a house, she lives in it, she bitches about something that needs doing, he does it. Comfortable. Not exciting, not sexy, not romantic. Comfortable.
And being the hopeful romantic, the man sticks with her, through thick and thin. He tries to rekindle the fire, but she laughs at his pathetic attempt to manipulate her into sex. He asks about their decreased sex life, and she becomes defensive and accusatory – doesn’t he love her for something other than sex? He asks whether she’s happy, and she becomes suspicious and disinterested – why is he being so insecure? He works hard to do everything she wants and needs. “Why doesn’t she notice?” he thinks.
But she does notice. And she wonders something sadly similar, “He does so much for me. He's so devoted. Why don’t I want him?”