Last week I discussed that men are the loyal gender. This conversation tends to go two ways from here: “Wow, you’re right. Men are loyal,” or “You’re wrong!” said with an exclamation mark because they’re somehow offended. As it turns out, guys always agree that they’re loyal and women… sometimes do. One of the main objections I hear goes something like this: “If men are loyal, why doesn’t he take out the garbage like I told/asked him to?” Simply put, because he’s not loyal to the garbage. Of course, if a guy gets in the habit of doing something like taking out the garbage, he’ll always do it, no problem. But let me clarify, just because he’s loyal to his partner doesn’t mean he shows love or does all the things his partner demands of him. In fact, because he’s loyal to his partner, he may be less inclined to cover his to-do list because he’s not worried about “earning” her affection like when the relationship first began. Being loyal basically means that after he’s committed, he’s very unlikely to break up… trade her in, yes, but break up and be alone, no. Guys don’t just break up because being alone is too scary… yes, as my girlfriend says we’re wussbags.
To some women when I say that men are loyal it’s like I’m saying: “You should be more like a man.” They take it as a personal attack when I have no intention of saying anything against them or women in general: “What about me? I’m loyal.” If this happens I agree and say: “Yes, I bet you are very loyal… but men can be too.” What’s odd is if I say women are better at things than men it’s okay. I can say women, in general, are better with colours and fashion sense; they’re more organized and better at creating a home that’s more than milk crates as night stands and curtains that aren’t simply a bed sheet stapled to the wall. I can say women are better cooks… wait, no sorry that means I’m sexist. It’s funny I can say my mom is a great cook. My friend’s mom is a great cook. My girlfriend is a great cook, but as soon as I say “women” I’m somehow chauvinist. These women have no problem saying: “Yes, I am all those things… but I’m also loyal.” It’s as if weakness is the end of the world. Part of me wants to hug these women and say “You don’t have to be everything. You’re allowed to not be the best.” The other part of me wants to give sarcastic and demeaning comments… at least part of me is nice.
Ultimately, I think we can all understand this mindset on some level. For instance, because I like to consider myself to be funny, or at least to have times of being funny, if I’m talking to certain people and they say: “Have you met Charlie? He’s so funny,” or “Charlie is the funniest guy I’ve ever met,” part of my heart crumbles like a week old tea biscuit: “What about me?” This person has no intention of being insulting, but my own pride leads to feeling jilted. Of course, if I’ve heard Charlie and I think he’s really funny I get excited to have something in common with this person… sometimes. This is what happens when I say men are the loyal gender to some women. Their pride is hurt because they want to be the best at everything.
The women who have the hardest time accepting that men in general can be good at something fall in the category of overachiever, very hard working, perfectionist type… or they’re obsessed with trying to prove that men and women have no differences. (I’ve never understood why some people want to prove that men and women are 100% equal because unless you can somehow eliminate hormonal differences – estrogen and testosterone are not identical twins – men and women will have general differences). Therefore, if a woman feels attacked when I say men can be loyal, this is a sign that she needs to feel loved and appreciated for how hard she works. There’s no point pushing the issue since the reason they’re such hard workers is because they’re so hard on themselves: “I need to be good enough to be accepted. I need to be the best for someone to want to love me.” What’s unfortunate is if they really just want to be loved and accepted, they would be better off letting go of the anxiety and the need-to-prove-myself attitude and simply say to someone: “Hey, you’re good at that,” because being kind to others usually leads to them being nice to us and giving us the love we originally wanted.
This week may you find the courage to show love to others in order for others to want to show love to you.