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The prequel to this post is “Intimacy and Sex: Context is Everything.”
The last paragraph of that article states:
Why does this happen? Can’t a man fall in love slowly over time? Yes, some men can, but for most, the answer is NO. Why? Because for the typical guy, assessment happens the moment he meets a woman. Right from the start he’s compartmentalizing her into one of five categories. Maybe this seems shallow and base, but primal instincts take over in the oh-so-important game of passing on the blood line
He sees potential for a long-term relationship. Maybe it doesn’t need to be said, but in order for a guy to see potential in a woman he has to be satisfied with the direction of his own life and be open to meeting someone. If he’s closed off, or feeling selfish, or healing from a recent breakup it almost doesn’t matter who the woman is. That said, a man sees potential for a long-term relationship when he feels an immediate physical attraction for the woman he’s just met. She’s the kind of woman he imagines introducing to his friends, his family. She’s the kind of woman he wants the world to know is his. She is a woman who will make him feel confident and strong. He envisions the respect he’ll get. His buddies will say, “How’d you get such a smart and beautiful woman?” He’ll just smile and bask in the glow, thinking of his life with her. In Freudian terms, his ego is fulfilled and happy.
Wait and See There are two possibilities in this category. The first depends on the woman. The guy might see long-term potential but the woman isn’t sure at first. If this is the case, he’ll chase her until he gets rejected or he’ll chase her until he wins her over.
The second is because he’s not totally sure for whatever reason. He has an inkling that there’s potential but there’s something missing and he can’t quite pinpoint it. He questions himself first. “I’m probably just overanalyzing,” he thinks. He’ll ignore it for a time and pursue the woman. However, most often the relationship either devolves into a purely physical relationship, or no relationship at all. Because if he has doubts from the get go, even if he tries to suppress them for a time, those doubts will resurface again at some point, only creating confusion for the woman. That’s when we get questions like: How could he suddenly go from loving me to breaking up with me? It doesn’t make sense.
Category Three: Physical Arrangement (FWB, Friends with Benefits, Booty Call, F-Buddy) This is becoming more and more prevalent these days and we’re not completely sure why. Since we’re guys we understand why this arrangement could be beneficial to us, but we’re not sure how this arrangement is beneficial to women. We understand that not all women are looking to get married or be in serious relationships, but based on the number of questions we receive about this topic we can only surmise that this is type of arrangement is not working for most females. So why does a man propose a purely physical arrangement instead of a committed relationship when the two sometimes look very similar? Remember the statement: Context is Everything. In this case, he’s found a willing partner, someone who’s cool, or he’s friends with, or he’s attracted to on some level, so he says to himself why not. He can have sex with her and still be out searching for the woman he wants an actual relationship with. In his mind it’s the best of both worlds.
Category Four: Just Friends This doesn’t need much explanation. Just be careful. Sometimes good friends can fall into a Friends with Benefits arrangement. Or rather, the guy, some night after sharing a bottle of wine, or several beers will propose a FWB. He makes it seem like a joke of course, just in case his friend freaks out. But since women and men are wired differently, often the women agrees to it. She thinks, maybe things will progress into something more serious, because by this time the woman has fallen in love with her best friend. Understand, that the guy is not thinking about love and relationship. He has one thing in mind. He sees his friend as someone he trusts, someone who is willing to partake in the pleasures of the body, someone who understands him, someone who doesn’t requires much effort from him.
Category Five: No Interest No explanation needed. When this occurs, usually it’s mutual.
You might wonder how can a guy decide all of this so quickly. What is his criteria based on? Besides the aforementioned primal instincts, his quick assessment is often based on unrealistic expectations and false assumptions, likely fueled by the countless magazines he’s read, the online porn he’s viewed, and the lies told by his buddies who claim that they’ve seen a certain creature who is off-the-charts beautiful, rocks a bikini model body, likes to cook, is an expert at video games, loves watching sports, drinking beer, farting, who understands her man’s need for space—but doesn’t need it herself—is willing to experiment sexually—translation; act out what he’s seen in the porn he watches—and tells her guy he’s the best she’s ever had, even though he’s not. As you can imagine, this Guy Fantasy has taken down many a solid relationship. Men do learn though. Well, some men. As they mature and gain more experience they learn what it means to be a considerate and responsible partner, they begin to realize that this mythical creature does not exist, that this magical nymph if you will, is a fantasy created by their narrow perception of a female. That said, the years leading up to this epiphany can be quite frustrating for a woman trying to compete with his notion of idealized beauty. (And frankly, it can be frustrating for a man searching for an ideal that does not exist.)
Next up: Freedom