Men vs Women Talk about Looking and Flirting
I had a discussion the other day with a young woman friend who said she preferred dating older men because the guys her age were only interested in one thing. Ironically it was the guys that either were not interested or feigned disinterest that attracted her the most. I was struck by the irony of her statement, though I was sure it was true for her and many other of her contemporaries. Like the song said, “Love is strange.”
There are so many things about men and women that are generally and inherently different as I hope this blog series has demonstrated. I’ve chosen to tell the truth rather than adhere to any gender politics or higher education belief systems. Sometimes that has generated some raised eyebrows, but not nearly as much as I expected. I still want some Women’s Studies and/or Gender Studies professors or students to weigh in.
So, let’s look at “looking” and flirting. Again, I will represent several generalities that I assert to be largely true. Again, I acknowledge that there will be exceptions to every one of these generalities. And, again I say, “So what, they’re generally true for a reason – they’re generally true!”
First, I want to admit that I have that looking disease that afflicts many men. It’s almost chemical that when a woman enters the room, I will take notice. When I’m with my wife or when I was with any other women prior to my marriages, I did everything I could to try and be subtle about it, but I usually failed miserably. I took to sitting facing the wall whenever we’d go out to a restaurant. At least that would inhibit my insulting and useless looking behavior.
What struck me most about this pattern that I and many other men suffer from is the reality of what we could possibly think might happen with our gazing at an attractive woman across the room. Did we think – or hope – that said woman would cross the room, come directly up to us, give a cursory and dismissive glance to our female companion, and insist we leave the restaurant immediately because she hand to tear our clothes off right now. Really, what could we men possibly think might happen, especially if we are with a date or permanent partner?
It’s laughable, really. It’s even more pathetic when you do the lookie-loo thing while driving. We men see a woman running and do an exorcist-like turn of the head — expecting what?
For this series of columns, I’ve usually done lists in which I’d alternate men and women’s differences on a topic. This time, I will just carry on in the style I’ve already begun – list-less.
Let’s face it; women are just more classy and subtle around these issues. Perhaps, it’s changed among the younger generation, but I suspect not much. Part of the reason is that women are generally less “turned on” by looks and much more attracted to a man’s mind and wallet contents, neither of which are that readily apparent at a glance.
Okay, if that is the case, maybe women are as superficial as men, just in other areas. Women generally care about a man’s ability to provide and to engage their attention intellectually and humorously. Both are, I suspect, to some degree built into a woman’s DNA and both, especially the provide part, relate to historical needs of our species.
Taking my generalities even further, I will really go out a limb by stating another generality. Men can and will be promiscuous and would always be promiscuous if they were allowed, could get away with it, and not risk bringing home any diseases. It’s societal pressure and their partners that help domesticate the wild rover in most men.
On the other hand, women are generally more interested and comfortable in a monogamous relationship. I’ve never known a woman – granted this statement is an unscientific sample of women – that has ever had anything beyond a brief period of promiscuity, and usually in reaction to a breakup and an attitude of “if they can do it, so can I.” But inevitably, women will wake up at some point during this promiscuous period and recognize they plain don’t like it.
I believe women flirt simply by being a woman, the way they dress, the way they display a smile, and a look they choose to give a man that may interest them. Again, it’s subtler and I would assert classier than many of the guy’s come-on lines, the lameness of most being laughable and fodder for comedy routines.
Where does all this leave us? Ahhh, that is God’s handiwork. We will never fully understand the opposite sex but, if we are wise, we will learn from each other and grow as a result. Rather than try to be like our counterpart, let’s express wonder at our differences, celebrate them, learn from them, and perhaps actually enjoy one another simply because we are so different, yet fit together so very well when it works.
Please read and/or comment on any of the other columns in the Men vs. Women series.
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