“I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it”~ Marilyn Monroe
Do we really live in a man’s world? Statistics show that men earn more than women for doing the same job. In relationships, women usually wait for men to make most decisions and while a boy in high school is promiscuous he is considered a stud, but if a girl is promiscuous she is considered easy.
I have to admit, that I agree with Marilyn. I was raised under the notion that men are leaders and to be respected. Believe me, I had my days of trying to get away from that thinking, but it is ingrained in me. When I finally stopped fighting against the reality of the world, I learned to embrace womanhood. I didn’t mind living in a man’s world and I really did enjoy being a woman.
I didn’t have to earn more, I didn’t have to control things and I did not feel ashamed for what I could not do that a man could.
But I also did not see myself as ‘less than’. Some women who still fight for control or compete with men may disagree with my outlook – and that’s okay. This is just ‘my life’ in how I was raised and what my inner most being agrees with – along with what my faith tells me.
So with that out of the way, let’s discuss this “man’s world” thing in regards to the relationship. Men call the shots, do they not? While women wish to be pursued they may drop their hanky, but they wait for the man to pick it up. They may wait by the phone, but they won’t call – they wait for him to.
In the 1950’s a domestic woman who embraced this role would find her significance and self-worth revolving around a man. She needed a husband to take care of her, to be the bread winner, to give her ‘something to do’ and to be a part of this world somehow. Now-a-days, women are self-sufficient and we really don’t ‘need’ a man. We earn our way, we are successful and we have many opportunities available to us. But when it comes to love… we do need them.
We still wait for them to call and we still want the relationship to be their idea, but after we have won a man’s heart… does he still call the shots? Maybe there are women who don’t mind calling a man or they are more assertive thinkers and do-ers where they actually may call the shots. But for those who wait… and wait… and wait… don’t you ever wonder what a man is thinking? It’s okay – I hear men wonder what we are thinking too. Even as we verbalize more and we know how to express ourselves better, they still have no clue about us and are busy trying to figure us out.
Men and women are created differently and we perceive things differently. It isn’t to say one is right and one is wrong when we differ – it is just a fact that we both see things from a different point of view. When a woman waits for the man to call, what is he thinking? While women need that validation, men are thinking that ‘everything is a-okay’.
Because a man is usually the one who moves the relationship to the next level, women are dependent on waiting for that to happen. I am a busy woman and I cannot wait by the phone – in fact, I am not much for talking on the phone. I use my phone for work or to call someone to find out something quickly – otherwise I am fine with text, emails or face-to-face.
But while in a long-distance relationship, I don’t get as much face-time, so yes, it does feel good to hear his voice just to know he’s real. As long as there is some sort of communication between us, I feel the validation I need in knowing he still thinks I am pretty special. I don’t think most men realize that women need that. Men don’t realize that because women are waiting on them to move along the relationship, that they have a responsibility to communicate while they think. We recognize that men are thinkers (no, I didn’t say stinkers, though they can be). They mull over everything and they over-think sometimes, too. So it is easy for us to wonder what they are thinking.
How many men have heard a woman ask out of the blue “So, what are you thinking?” Is it because women want to know about the many things a man thinks about (some of which may not even be that interesting)? It is more about validation of their relationship. Some women who deal with their own insecurity wonder ‘Is he thinking of another woman?’ ‘Is he not happy with me?’ ‘Is he thinking I don’t fulfill his needs?’ Those insecurities are her own issue she needs to work out. While most women simply want to know that a man has not had second thoughts about what he wants from their relationship, ‘Does he still want to move forward?’ ‘When will he take the next step?’
Most of us want to protect our heart, particularly if we have suffered a previously failed relationship. We are constantly ‘taking each others temperature’ to see if everything is alright, because if it isn’t …women and men both want to prepare their heart and put up a wall, not giving any more to the relationship if it would only be in vain.
When you are in love and you both are talking about the future, the woman waits. She waits for the man to first give indication that he wants a committed relationship and then she waits for him to decide when that is. For women who feel they should not be intimate with a man unless he is ‘forever’, then this makes the waiting harder.
When a woman who is at the ‘right time and place’ where merging her life with the man she loves would be easy, she may feel in a state of limbo while she waits (especially if she unsure what he is thinking about the future). She feels perplexed, not knowing what direction to take while still living a single person’s life. If she is waiting on him to make that decision she may resent giving up certain things if he has no intention of merging his life with her.
Should she take that job promotion that may affect the courtship? Should she make that major purchase which may or may not be suitable for her significant other and their life together? Should she get involved in community organizations if she could be leaving her community when/if he asks her to marry him? Waiting isn’t easy. That is why men and women need to talk about their goals and then be patient while time gets you there. Women are afraid if they bring up conversations about marriage – that they will look desperate or pushy and a man doesn’t want to talk about something he doesn’t have all the answers for and he needs time to think through.
It is easier if a woman has occasional validation so that any sacrifice she makes while waiting is not in vain. She wants to know that whatever decisions she has to make in her own life will coincide with her partner’s goals and that they have the same goals for their relationship. Communication is the key. In communicating with each other (though men and women have different perceptions) they can at least have better understanding of those different perceptions.
If a man seems wishy-washy when talking about the future, a woman may feel rejected and want to back off. She will try to protect her heart while thinking that he is second guessing whether she is ‘good enough for him’. If one minute he is telling her that he loves her and sees a future with her and the next minute he sounds afraid or voices concern, a woman will lose trust.
The men who have no intention of committing are wrong to string a woman along and vice-versa. If a man is non-committal after much time has been put into a relationship, it may be time to let it go. But when a man is not out to play games and he has a good heart, his wishy-washy attitude may not be a bad thing.
It could be that he isn’t having doubts at all, but it is his way of mulling things over. He may have his own insecurities about himself and whether or not he feels he is ‘good enough for her’. Her assured love and patience will help him make that next move and communicating will help ease the doubts or confusion in waiting. It may take men longer to figure things out, but they do eventually get there.