Remember the days before COVID19, when dating was just about navigating awkward minefields, and bizarre expectations we (mostly) setup for ourselves? Those were good times. Not from a morale standpoint, but at least every time I stepped outside I didn’t have to fight the nagging feeling that any casual conversation I entered into could be a potential death sentence. I miss those days.
We meet before seeing each other.
We talk before speaking a word.
We keep it casual, lest we look desperate.
We get desperate, signaling the end.
We value communication, but mind what we say.
To call is too forward, best not try it too soon.
Can’t text too often; don’t text too seldom.
Experience matters, but don’t shame aloud.
We complain about all the rules, but we judge if they’re not followed.
We lose interest and blame the other, before blaming ourselves.
We complain some more, lamenting our follies.
We go repeat the steps, knowing it will be different every time.
If you’re a woman, there is a decent chance that you have at least one completely platonic male friend, whom you use to probe as much information out off about the inner workings of the masculine psyche. If you’re a guy, chances are that at least one of your platonic female friends has tried to probe you for information on how men think, or how men react to different things concerning their interactions with women. For socially outgoing people, with a wide network of friends, the development of this dynamic is almost unavoidable. So much so, that even for us men who are essentially borderline asocial hermits, we will (by some unexplainable means or another) know at least one woman in our small group of contacts who fits the description above.
I, too, have one such female friend. We don’t actually talk much, but every once in a while I will receive an email, linking me to an article or story (usually authored by some perplexed young/youngish woman), trying to piece together the various factors that make up the heterosexual male mind. And she always does this with the addendum of wanting my “honest thoughts” on the matter. What I’ve learned from these exchanges is that there is apparently an entire market niche of educated, financially stable women, writing magazine articles and books trying to dissect how we men think as a gender (always in relation to our interactions with women), usually with the conclusion reached being (IMO) something between “too obvious to need be stated” and “there is no fucking way that any guy would react that way, ever. ” [I’m sure there must also be a market niche of books and magazines for men to better understand the female mind, but being an insensitive, unemotional male, I simply couldn’t be bothered to look into it, goddammit!]
Anyway, so my friend sends me an email titled “Things That Turn Men Off,” eager to hear my thoughts on the listed items. I figure why keep such important information private, and that women are really reading these things to better understand the male mind, maybe they’d prefer to hear an unfiltered version of what an average guy has to say on the topic (Yes, in this scenario I qualify as the average guy, so I don’t want to hear any lip ’bout it).
The “turn offs” listed below are supposedly collected statements from men about what turned them off most about women (I should note that only the first two are listed in their respective order as they appear in the original list, the rest are my rankings by hilarity).
1. “A women should always keep the bathroom door closed when she’s on the toilet. I think it’s really disgusting to watch a woman on the toilet. And don’t leave feminine pads and stuff around for the guy to look at, either.”
I’m already confused. Is there some sort of trend or epidemic happening amongst women that compels them to take a crap with the bathroom door open? I assume so, otherwise why on earth is this listed as the number one turn off? That issue aside, the second part of the statement is just plain silly. Look dude, pads and tampons aren’t going to kill you. Yes, they’ve been in her vagina. But so have you. They haven’t touched anything you haven’t, is my point here. And since your first-hand encounter wasn’t enough to turn you off, I don’t see how inanimate items could, especially if they still haven’t even been taken out of the packaging yet. Stop being such a wuss about the whole thing, is what I’m essentially trying to say.
2. “Jealousy is always a major turn off. One time, my girl and I were out for a walk, then a long-haired blond walked past us. She immediately accused me of staring at the blond. Even though it turned out to be a guy.”
Yes, but were you staring or not? (You’re avoiding the question, sir.) Jealousy is annoying when it starts to feel like you’re being constantly put on trial over trivial things. However, seeing our girlfriends get a bit jealous every once in a while (because we’re such hot studs that other girls can’t help but check us out), can also be a huge ego-boost. [I assume plenty of women feel similarly about seeing their partners get just a bit jealous every now and then over their desirability to other men.] So, I guess, the only part I would take issue with here is the absolutist usage of “always,” when there are obvious exceptions to be raised.
3. “I don’t like women who don’t have a job. Or bad credit. Or a crazy ex-boyfriend. I like a women who is responsible.”
In what way does this stream of non sequiturs constitute one solid turn-off? As to the points raised, let me ask you this Mr. Responsibility: what if the women can’t find a job on account of the poor economic trends that have been prevalent for the last decade, and as a means of increasing her employability she took out student loans in order to afford college, which incidentally put her in dept and hurt her credit score to the point that she was forced to remain in a bad relationship in lieu of her dire financial situation–and she is now picking up the pieces of her life and trying to move forward only to be slighted at every turn by people who dismiss her worth as a human being due to her past life grievances? Why, in that context, you just look like an judgmentally shallow prick, don’t you? I’m sorry, but I cannot accept the notion that most men (or people, in general) wouldn’t exercise a bit more nuanced thinking in this situation.
4. “I don’t like being humiliated in public. If I said something wrong, you should tell me in private.”
But then how will you learn not to say stupid shit in public? For instance, if you said something absurdly ridiculous, you’re not just embarrassing yourself, you are potentially embarrassing everybody who associates with you–especially the person that’s sleeping with you. Don’t say stupid things, and you won’t get called out on it. Or make a habit of reserving your intellectual gaffes to private conversations. [That goes for you too, ladies. Don’t demand a guy to go along with a bullshit position you’ve taken if it’s demonstratively silly. Accept the ridicule and move on.]
5. “My fear is that after marriage a women will cut off all her hair, gain weight, and stop putting out.”
That’s not a turn-off, it’s a preemptive marriage-phobia, easily cured through a dedication to lifelong bachelorhood. People age, things change (physically and by order of priorities); you will age, you will change (physically and by order of priorities). The only way to avoid having to go through this while being legally bound to another person, is to simply refuse to take the matrimonial plunge altogether. It’s the 21st Century, no one will question your manhood for it (well, no one but your parents…and all your married friends. But they’re all just jealous of the fact that you still get to be a free gazelle, lazily grazing on the fields as much as your heart desires. Yup, that’s what it is).
6. “I don’t like it when the furniture keeps getting rearranged…”
I don’t even need to read the rest of it, because I finally found something I’m 100% in agreement with. If it’s my shit, located in my home (which we don’t share), then please be so kind as to not mess with it. I don’t care what it is, it ain’t yours to move in any way, shape, or form. You want to give home decorating tips for my house, start paying my bills and we’ll talk; until then, mind your own damn business about my property. [Are my past experiences leaking through on this one too much?]
There were more turn-offs listed (a total of 15!), but since many of them seem to be bringing up the same points over and over, I might as well end on a statement I actually agreed with. I did get something out of this list though. We men are petty, we fear change, and sometimes have commitment issues; I get that. But that’s no need to beat us over the head with it by compiling a whole list showcasing it. In fact, doing that is kind of a turn off.