The new book, Men,
Love & Sex: The Complete User’s Guide for Women, promises to give women
valuable insights into men’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. And in a way, it
delivers on that promise.
First of all, the
two male co-authors of the book believe that men and women have similar goals
“We all want true
love, a good sex life (that includes quickies as well as long, slow afternoons
and everything in between), and relationships that last longer than Labor Day
weekend. What’s different about us – and therefore what makes it so hard for us
to find happiness together – is that we do a terrible job of communicating with
So true, I think.
They also want you
to know this about men:
“We bleed a lot
deeper than you think.”
As a dating and
relationship coach who works with both genders, I agree. When it comes to
getting rejected, men do plenty of emotional hemorrhaging. And a lot of women don’t
understand that. Why? Sometimes I think it’s because a man who’s invested in a
woman is more likely to cloak how bad he feels when she rejects him; or, at
least, he expresses that in a way she might not recognize.
frankly, I think it’s because the woman no longer is -- or never was -- interested
in the man, and so she doesn’t notice or care how much he’s “bleeding” when
she’s not into him the way he’s into her.
You know, in much
the same way that a man who’s no longer -- or never was -- interested in a
woman doesn’t notice or care about her
emotional hemorrhaging when he loses interest in her after sex.
In other words, in
the “romance game,” there’s a whole lot of rejecting going on at all different
phases of dating and relationships -- and women aren’t the only ones doing it.
But the authors of
Men, Love & Sexseem to be making the claim that guys are hurt more often
than women, and because of that, women need to be especially reassuring,
gentle, appreciative, complimentary, and revealing of our feelings so that the
fellas know that they’re safe with us and can then take their own emotional risks.
I, on the other hand,
believe that Love’s-Walking-Wounded are well represented by both genders, so
it’s up to women and men to play nice
with each other from the start -- and to take emotional risks equally.
Now, I do understand
that men are still expected to make the first move in most cases, so I know
that they’re at higher risk for getting rejected before sex. But doesn’t it seem like women are more likely to get rejected
right after sex?
One of the most
common heartaches women describe to me is when a man pursues them like crazy
(which does take courage on his part…),
and then once sex happens, within days or a couple of weeks, he loses interest
and is GONE. I call that being rejected. Don’t you? And it happens -- a lot.
That’s just one reason
why so many women today -- just like the thousands of men interviewed for the
book -- feel insecure, cautious, and vulnerable when it comes to dating and
That’s also why I stumbled
over the following quote from one of the book’s male interviewees:
“Women need to be
more open to being hurt the way guys are every day.”
Hmm. I hope that
means that men also need to try to understand how hurtful it is when they
disappear after sex.
As I mentioned at
the beginning, David Zinczenko and Ted Spiker do deliver on their promise to provide some valuable insights into
the mysteries of men. Oftentimes men might not appear as though they’re feeling insecure,
cautious, and vulnerable when really, they are.
But please, keep in mind that a man who IS interested
in you -- but just too scared at the moment to let you know that -- can look a
lot like a man who IS NOT at all interested in you. That is, either man might
look distant, uncertain, tense, etc.
So, what Men, Sex & Love doesn’t
deliver is how to tell the difference between those two guys. Instead, the book
seems to encourage you to be gentler and more understanding with men generally. Well that, and it gives you lots of examples of how to say sexy things to them!
While I'm all for people being gentler with AND saying sexy things to each other, I encourage you to learn how to tell the difference between a a good guy who’s interested but genuinely
scared, and a man who’s just not interested and is going to hurt you.
And then, don't waste your gentleness and best sexy lines on the one who's just not interested.