Saturday, June 19, 2010

Men, Women & Relationships

Fifty-plus years ago, there was significantly more continuity in regards to relationships between men and women. In other words, traditional ideals held a specific criteria for the right relationship: A man marries a woman; they buy a white house with a stunning white, picket fence in suburbia subsequent the marriage ceremony and honeymoon; woman births two children (although at that time, it was more likely five or six children); and every other stereotype we [the American society] has seen depicted through the film industry in the last 20 years (e.g. Mona Lisa Smile).

Now, pull yourself out of conservatism and conformity and glance at a calendar. My how the tables have turned.

The year is 2010 - the Digital Age, the Age of the iPhone, and the Age of Social Networks - and not just obtaining, but maintaining a relationship is harder than ever. In short, as times have changed, so have traditional ideals. Wow, really?! Okay Captain Obvious. Although such a statement is quite evident, my purpose is to convey a disheartening truth: Long-lasting relationships are a rarity in not only the western hemisphere, but worldwide. Such truth prompts a certain well-known proverb, the grass is always greener on the other side, which has reached its peak.


Let's consider geography for a wee bit. New Yorkers tired of city life, for instance, dream of relocating to California where the sun is visible and stars are born. In contrast, Californians who have overused Coppertone or they are simply sick of Schwarzenegger, vineyards, Hollywood and mudslides, vacation to the Big Apple for their dose of Sex and the City.

How do relationships intertwine with this proverb? Nowadays, it seems as though divorces are trendier than marriages. Why? Perhaps men and women are relying on mere physical attraction as reason enough to commence a relationship and once the truth is out - clashing personalities, contrasting religious backgrounds, and/or difference in social status - it's time to cut and run.

Has our society really become that shallow? Or is it something else?

With social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc), medical advancements and technology as a whole, have we put ourselves out there too much? In my opinion, a social media profile is a watercolor of one's personality. From a distance, the painting is beautiful, smooth and clear; but up close, it's hard to see the truth of what is really there. Furthermore, profile pictures are updated to ensure the image adequately portrays the right personality or character. And even then...through technology (e.g. Photoshop), one is able to alter physical features to create a more appealing image of oneself. Thus, our perception of beauty is somewhat clouded.

Here's a clip for readers who haven't yet seen "real beauty" in this century. Click on the link below to view this YouTube clip titled Dove Evolution Commercial.

After viewing the video and skimming through your friends profiles, I ask you...Did society have it right fifty-plus years ago? Was the grass as green as it could be because the truth was evident - no social media, technological or medical advancement to tell them otherwise? Or am I wrong and our present society has it right after all?

Now, similar to the Men, Women & Hair entry I posted a few months ago, the following is a list of questions regarding relationships - which don't particularly pertain to this post. Answers to these questions may turn this entry into a series and most questions can be answered by men and women. Additionally, these questions were created with help from friends and family members.

Please indulge me with your responses! To answer, comment below or feel free to send an email. Thank you.

(1) How can we maintain the excitement in relationships today?

(2) What scares you the most about a serious relationship?

(2) What turns you off most about women? What turns you off most about men?

(3) When does the "Oh shit, this is getting serious" moment generally arise in your relationships? Chandler Bing, anyone?!! Have you ever experienced such a moment and how did you handle it?

(4) How often do you change your mind about the women you date? (For instance, the transitions from liking to disliking and back to liking a woman.)

(5) If you know the woman or man you are dating isn't someone you would be with long term, how long do you let the relationship last?? Several weeks? Couple of months? Until you've found that something greener?

(6) How long does it take for you to be attracted to not only a woman's (or man's) physical characteristics, but other appealing attributes (e.g. intelligence, life goals, sense of humor, inner strength, etc)?


  1. Ok, there was no way I wasn't going to bite this one. This might be a long comment, haha!

    (1) Keeping it exciting is a hard thing to do. I suppose if the sex was great, then fair enough, but I would imagine the secret to maintaining a long term relationship is getting past the honeymoon stage and realising you actually do seriously enjoy this person's company enough to stay with them a long time.

    (2) Probably the thought that one day our priorities will clash irrevocably and I'd come off worse.

    (2) I'm not really attracted to women who are clingy or overly needy, nor ones who smoke (although this can admittedly depend).

    (3) It tends to arise when you realise, as I say, that you're happy with a person after the honeymoon period has died away. How would I handle it? Probably by drinking through the sense of exhilirated terror.

    (4) I wouldn't say I ever change my mind. If I don't like someone for whatever reason, I usually stop things at the start. But then I'm picky.

    (5) Again, I wouldn't take things forward if I thought it wouldn't last (unless the very fatalism of it all was the attraction...)

    (6) I would say I'm usually attracted right away or not at all. Although occasionally I find myself being surprised by someone I already know.

    I find the entire topic very interesting, Sam, particularly as it comes from your normally inscrutable self. I'd be curious to know the motivation behind this train of thought ;)

    1. If your man is pushing you away and acting distant

      Or if the guy you’re after isn’t giving you the time of day...

      Then it’s time to pull out all the stops.

      Because 99% of the time, there is only 1 thing you can say to a standoffish guy that will grab him by the heartstrings-

      And get his blood pumping at just the thought of you.

      Insert subject line here and link it to: Your ex won’t be able to resist?

      Once you say this to him, or even send this simple phrase in a text message...

      It will flip his world upside down and you will suddenly find him chasing you-

      And even begging to be with you.

      Here’s what I’m talking about:

      Insert subject line here and link it to: Is your man hiding something? He may need your help?

      Thanks again.


  2. 1) Trying new things, and not just in the bedroom. Explore new things that neither person has done before : hiking, fishing, painting, or traveling to new places together. It helps re-solidify a bond between the two.

    (2) Investing myself in something that might not work out.

    (2) Men who don't respect their bodies enough : shoveling in copious amounts of junk food and/or beer. Also, men who are wasteful, in any aspect of their life. My husband reuses bread and grocery store bags, and I love him for that.

    (3) It got serious gradually, so I never had an "aha" moment.

    (4) I usually like them right away or never do. I really trust my first instinct.

    (5) I've never understood why people date for sport. Why waste your time?

    (6) For me it was 6 months. By then, I knew the important pieces of the puzzle. I'm slow to trust people, so warming up to them to get to that kind of stuff sometimes takes awhile.

    PS- I don't remember how I found your blog, FB maybe?, but I really love how the topics are so insightful :) Oh BTW, I was in a few of your french classes, don't know if you remember me.

  3. Karen! Yes, of course I remember! I'm glad you mentioned French class because the first time I read your name on my followers' list I thought to myself, "Why does that name ring a bell?" Now I know. Ha. Glad to read you are enjoying my blog and thanks for responding to the questions. It's so helpful you have no idea!

    Craig ~ I knew you would be the first to bite. Haha."Normally inscrutable self?!" Am I really that mysterious??? Thanks for responding...means A LOT.

  4. Troyseph Baumgartner.June 25, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    So I guess I'm committed to this since I promised you I would comment. So here we go.....

    1. I think the best thing to do to keep it interesting, is try something new. Do things together that you wouldn't think about normally doing. Or keep it simple to taking a weekly walk, bike ride, etc. When all else fails (for non creative people) ask how others keep it interesting. The biggest thing is communication.

    2. The biggest thing that scares me is the fear of losing that person. What if after all the ups and downs (everyone has them) one down out weights all the ups?...Especially if they're more ups. Given that cheating is an unforgiveable offense. But what if you upset one of their friends, who then puts a bug in their ear about leaving them...Unfortunatly, some people listen.

    3. I can't say when the "Oh Shit" moment would be? It all depends on the girl, because that oh shit moment could come at almost anytime. Some people just know after three months (I don't) and it works. But I have been proven wrong before.

    4. Well it's hard for me to like any of my sister's friends for obvious reasons... ;) hahaha..but seriously, back in high school I would say a lot. I think though too, there are times in every relationship where you "don't like" them. Which deep down you really do. Those are the times you really figure out if you are with them for the right reasons.

    5. I wouldn't really call it dating then probably? I would be open about the fact of what kind of attraction I did have with the person. From there everyone has to be open about how to approach it. Who knows, you may end of falling for them.

    6. I have always said looks attract me to a girl, but their personality keeps me there. I always see how they are around their friends and how they are with me. If they are two different people it's a yellow flag... If they aren't family people, that's a red flag.. It's something that I will discover over the first few months of the relationship I feel.

    I already discussed just about everything else with you on the phone haha.

  5. Troy! You see, I told you I would comment.

    "I have always said looks attract me to a girl, but their personality keeps me there." A very mature statement Mr. Baumgartner. I would completely agree with the subsequent comments as well. If a guy's personality is different around me than with his friends...RED FLAG. Although, what do you mean by "family people?" Someone who doesn't want a family? Or someone who isn't good around other families?? Sarah Jessica Parker in The Family Stone rings a bell. I don't know if I would shun someone if he wasn't interested in a family - depending on his age and mine - because things change. People change when they are in longer relationships and they might become "family people" after a bit of time. Although, if someone is just awkward and possibly rude around other families...kick 'em out!!!

    "The biggest thing that scares me is the fear of losing that person." That is my ultimate fear. I might even go as far as to say it's one big reason why I am not interested in getting married (for a long time). Honestly, I blame the failure of my parents' 35-year marriage. It baffles me to this day that after 35 years (or more), people can just call it quits. I don't know how I would handle myself in that situation. Communication is definitely key in relationships and generally, unless the warning signs are coming from someone I trust 100 percent, I would never consider leaving a man based off of another's perception of my boyfriend/fiance/husband.

    Thanks again for commenting Troy!! I'll see you soon!


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The Great Wall

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