It’s been drilled into girls’ heads as far back as their hormones kicked in – boys think with their penises and girls think with their hearts, right? Men have nearly always been portrayed as the selfish, sex-driven partners in a relationship while the women are the patient partners that sit on his every word, waiting to hear the most important three: “I love you.”
Are the perceptions of men and women simply a social norm or a misconception about their relationships? Recently, the movie (fittingly named) The Ugly Truth came out. As the title says, it insisted that men need a woman to keep them visually interested and sexually intrigued. While women just want a man to accept them for their true selves, no makeup and all. Obviously, there was a happily-ever-although-unrealistic-after ending in this movie, but it got me thinking, is the ugly truth really the truth?
I immediately thought about my friend Christine and her recently unsuccessful almost-relationship. The man of interest was the stereotypical playboy – attractive, funny, in reaaallly good shape and one of the best smooth talkers I’ve met. When she originally started seeing him last semester, she proceeded with caution, as any girl would, to avoid falling for the bad boy that was just so hard to resist.
As expected, he came (literally) and left after a few late night meetings, but then, this semester he came back with a seemingly different attitude on dating. He pursued Christine, constantly told her “he’s changed,” and wanted to put his past ways behind him. She hesitated at first, keeping their relationship strictly physical, but finally gave into his apparent revelation.
After about a month of seeing each other, Christine was still wary of his intentions with her, but it only seemed to make him more determined to prove her wrong. However; things changed when Christine asked to borrow his car.
After a weekend home, Christine asked to use his car for some grocery shopping and after 12 hours, Mr. Sweet Talker himself said, “Listen I think you want something serious and I’m not that guy. I’ve told you in the past, I don’t excel in that area.”
The typical female reaction ensued – Christine cried, ate chocolate, cried, got mad, wanted to get even and then decided it was time to move on. But every time she tried to think of what could have went wrong, I wonder what caused the abrupt end – the actuality that he only wanted sex the whole time or the fact that he knew he couldn’t do anything to prove he was a changed man.
In other words, it becomes a vicious cycle that neither benefits the male or female. The ugly truth may just be the result of women accusing men of being dogs and men having no other thing to do but accept the title. Or maybe guys really do think of sex before feelings and females are just prone to feel the other way around.
Perhaps the only way to solve the issue is realize that men and women will never see love or sex the same and all we can do is trust men when they say they care or at least give them a chance before we assume anything wrong. And men need to understand that women like to feel wanted and just because they want to know where things are going, doesn’t mean they’re clingy, it just means they don’t want to waste their time.
In the end, whether Mr. Sweet Talker was truly changed or just an asshole is not something we’ll ever know. But at least for Christine, she can leave this almost-relationship knowing that not all men are dogs and maybe, just maybe, the ugly truth is just a figment of our imaginations.
By Diana Rodriguez