Friday, May 7, 2010
One Guy's Perspective ...
One of our friends, fans and members, B.J. from Atlanta, offered his thoughts on dating for today's blog entry. Being a 39 year old bachelor, he has lots of experience.
Dating as a Christian Single Guy (CSG) is something that I have found both exhilarating and confusing. Fun and sometimes frustrating. The good thing about confusion and frustration? They always give me an incentive to try and figure things out.
One thing that plagued me for some years (especially during my youth) was this phrase that I would hear from the fairer sex… “I really just want a nice guy”…
At the time, I was nice, courteous, generous, and did all the things that mom taught me I was supposed to do to treat women well. Yet, when this “nice guy” would make an approach, I kept finding myself in the dreaded “friend zone”, or I was told that the lady in question “liked me like a brother”. (NOT a shining moment let me tell you.) The guys they did pick? The “Bad Boys” who were anything BUT nice. Then, once the relationship ended badly (usually due to the “bad boy” being “bad”) she would come back to the ‘friend zone’ and complain to… me. Do any other guys know what that one feels like? A cup of castor oil tastes a lot better.
So I set out to figure out what was going on. This was too important of an issue not to have a realistic solution. Then one day, after spending some time researching, asking the wrong questions (which led to the right ones), finally it dawned on me what this (and quite a few other frustrating things about dating) was all about.
The answer lies in translation. Although men and women in the U.S. both speak English, we still speak two separate languages, which I have heard called “Manglish” and “Womanese”. Once I was able to translate the term “nice guy” from “Womanese into “Manglish” it all made sense. Here’s what I found.
For men. First of all, to understand “nice guy”, we have to understand what our lady friends mean when they say “guy”, regarding someone they want to date. It doesn’t just mean “a male human being over the age of 18”. It means something more like, “a confident, healthy, clinically sane, male over the age of 18 (preferably much older than that, depending on who’s speaking), who has clean fingernails, hair, teeth and ears (pretty much everything else needs to be clean too, but that’s the first places to look), well-kempt shoes, a playful and unpredictable, yet take-charge-masculine nature… who makes her feel safe… and it wouldn’t be bad if he‘ s pretty easy on the eyes.” All that translates into “Manglish” as “guy” (it varies sometimes, but that’s a good nutshell version). THAT is who these ladies wanted to be “nice” (having a good work ethic, impeccable character, and old school manners, among other things). ‘Nice’ is the icing, ‘guy’ is the cake.
Bad boys weren’t necessarily nice, but they were guys, at least to some extent. They were normally confident, unpredictable, and made her feel safe (in a way, LOL), which were the most important parts of the definition. Mom didn’t teach me that. “Bad boys” did.
As men, I think it benefits us greatly to understand, and aim for the “Womanese” definition of “nice guy”. It has kept this CSG out of the “friend zone” more than a few times…