Continuing from yesterday…

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Erin
(Brace yourself, Erin: I'm going to gush a little. *coughcough* Ahem. ;) )

Thank goodness for folks like you, who don't just think things through before acting — but try their best to pass that on to friends and children!

Heh. All gushing aside, I've really enjoyed reading your calmly practical, rational advice on how you address complex issues. It's been quite inspiring. Thank you!

John
Hm. Glancing at the amazon reviews for the book you've linked to above, I find myself wondering how this is new, regarding dating: both "Make it fun, be happy with your self and get down with your sexual self!" and "Avoid the crazy!" seem pretty basic rules for life, let alone dating. I admit I was not conventionally raised, but am I missing something obvious here? Serious question, please.

Regarding women bonding quickly after sex, I'm not sure I'd agree. I can offhand think of two or three former lovers where I woke up the next morning, thought, "This was a mistake," and got out as quickly and smoothly as I could — and I know I'm not unique in my absolute refusal to "bond" with "crazy." In fact, I'd have to say I've seen more men immediately bond and cling — far more quickly, and for longer — than the women I've seen do it.

The difference in our perceptions here, I think, is that while men are possibly more possessive of their partners after sex than women are, society and the media only show women performing this trope. I suspect the basis of that immediate male "bonding" is the concept that having sex once with a woman somehow makes her your exclusive property. That's a rather disgusting concept I'll be glad to see wither away and die completely.

However, if what you really mean by "bonding" is the woman believing the relationship has progressed further emotionally than the man does, I can see that. I blame our culture in that case, since it definitely tries to teach women their sexuality is their sole bartering chip, regarding social status — while at the same time trying to teach men they should be "players" and sleep with as many women as possible for social status (i.e. a version of the conclusions of the Yahoo dating article I link to above). Consequently a woman likely values her sexual availability more than a man will: if she says yes to sex society has taught her she should believe she's granted something amazing and precious, while he is supposed to believe he can make another notch on his metaphorical bedpost, and then move on to the next woman.

Yes, that attitude is fading, and thank goodness. It's not really healthy to reduce people to sex toys like that.

Re "pulling away slightly," I'd have to say that can really be taken too far (I know just about anything can be taken too far, of course; I'm simply addressing my experiences in regard to this statement). There's only a certain amount of time I'm willing to invest in pursuing someone, and only so many times I'm going to believe them when they enthusiastically agree to meet and do lunch, or whatever — and then can't ever be bothered to actually reply to invitations or set a date. That's when I realize they're not worth the trouble, and mentally re-categorize them as "not that interesting."

Of course, this may be part of why I don't really have much trouble with bad boys too. :)

Re your comment: "Decisive is a positive masculine trait" — please tell me you do not actually believe it is a "masculine" trait, but rather you were trying to say that it is a trait women like finding in men?

Fire
I confess I'm often bemused by the media fascination with bad boys, as well as why so many women seem to fall for them. I remember a photo of a well-known TV bad boy being shown to me by a friend. Alas, she gave me no warning this was the object of a crush of hers, and she was not happy when I exasperatedly asked why so many guys seemed to think what women wanted was men who were unshaven, whiny, pouty, and unable to speak in complete and coherent sentences!

Regarding the issue of respect… it's my suspicion only women who do not respect themselves are willing to put up with disrespect from partners who are supposed to be in love with them. Congratulations on your wonderful sweetie, by the way! :)

More thoughts tomorrow! :)

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