How I learned to respect women (and myself)
I was 23 when I started to finally respect women. It was at the same time I started respecting myself a little more, too.
The world was good, and I thought I knew it all. I was in college. Not only that, I was in a death metal band and I had a job teaching people how to play guitar. I also wanted to have sex with as many women as I could. This seems like a pretty ideal life for a guy at that age, and it many ways it was.
One night at a show, I met a voluptuous Vietnamese woman. I was drunk, so the courage to speak was there. With me was my ornate phallic symbol, also known as a guitar. We started talking to each other, and had decent chemistry. By that I mean we laughed at each other’s jokes, which in my book is always a plus. She was even surprised that I didn’t care that she was 10 years older. Deep, down I was congratulating myself for managing to attract an older woman. Somewhere along the 7th Ave. strip in Ybor, we exchanged phone numbers.
We parted ways.
In the following days we got to know each other over texts, and we scheduled a date to go and eat some Thai food. We had a good time. I learned that you could fit a Blackberry into the space between the center and the top of your steering wheel. This little trick does wonders to free up your hands. Yet, it’s useless since nobody gives a shit about Blackberries anymore. Not only that, but there exist restaurants that allow you to cook your food at the table.
Later, we found ourselves at a baseball field doing nothing in particular. We just walked and talked. That day we spent six hours together. The time flew by.
Weeks later, I am lying down on a friday night, and I get text message from her. She was at the casino nearby and needed a place to stay. 23 year old me had no objections. She was wearing a short cut white dress that accentuated her 33 years of curves. I’m almost certain I was wearing jeans and a black, heavy metal T-shirt with a scary design on it. Because that’s what guys in bands wear, after all.
As we walked up the stairs to my apartment she said, “I’m gonna give you some advice. Always walk behind the woman if you’re going up the stairs.”
“To catch her if she falls?” I asked.
“No, so you can look at her ass as you go up.”
I was cool with either one.
The only other advice she offered up was that if a woman asks to sleep over, she almost always wants to have sex. In this instance, she was right because that night, and when we woke up in the morning, we did just that.
After what I thought was a magical evening and morning we parted ways. I asked her about taking it further. Getting into that Capital R relationship. Going steady. Facebook official, though this was at a time when Myspace was still the more popular platform.
What she told me after that floored me.
She said, “No, I don’t think we should. You’re just starting out in life and I am pretty established with what I want. But maybe I’ll see you around.”
There it was. And there she went. The first time I wanted to be in a relationship with a woman, and I expressed myself. She denied it. Some guys might become indignant about this. “But I’m a nice guy,” or whatever other nonsense they spout off now. Others would view it as a learning experience. I chose the latter.
From 19 until that moment, I engaged in exactly the same type of noncommital behavior. It went something like this
- Meet a woman
- Have a good time
- Get real quiet when commitment came up
- Keep having adult themed slumber parties
- Lead them on some more
- Make up some lame excuse to avoid commitment altogether
- Keep phone number in hopes for future booty calls
- Otherwise fade from existence
When this finally happened to me, I realized I was dealing with people who had real feelings like mine. This might sound obvious, but to me and many guys, it escapes us. The reasons why are nebulous, too. If a person of any gender deals with ambiguity like this, it boils down to not wanting to be with the other person.
That’s it. Fucking simple, right? All it took for me to start treating relationship prospects with more respect was for my behavior to be flung back at me. You could call it Karma, but I like to call it humans being humans.
So, how does this benefit women? I have always heard my story told from a woman’s perspective. I like to believe it happens to guys to, but social norms dictate we aren’t as forthcoming about it. That said, if you’re a woman, you can learn from this. The rules are simple:
- Define your terms and conditions
- If a guy says anything ambiguous about his intentions, be ready to bail. He likely doesn’t want to be with you.
That’s it. It just took me getting used to realize I spent too many years using women. And it was a valuable lesson.
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