"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife"
- Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
We had an interesting discussion in class today [at least, it was today when I started writing this post. It has now been upwards of two months. Ha.].
Prompted by Simmel’s theories on flirtation, it quickly spun into a discussion of our views on modern flirtation. The remark was made that “girls don’t want to date nice guys; they want the bad boy”.
Cue my head hitting my desk.
This is a concept I’ve never understood; I’m not arguing the point, mind you, I’ve seen it too many times to dismiss it: the clean-cut boy who brings you flowers and makes your parents smile is rejected in favor of the truant who drives a motorcycle when he bothers to come to class.
Is this exaggerated? Yes, of course it is. Does it prove my point? Yes, it does.
Now, let me just say, not all girls are like this. This is not an epidemic of stupidity that has affected the mind of every female on the planet. There are girls [like myself] who understand that the “bad boys” are just immature adolescents who have some growing up to do, and that's not what we want for ourselves.
Oddly enough, even though there is an alleged multitude of “nice guys” who are rejected daily [and thereby single], we can't seem to find any who want to date us.
What's up with that?
It’s because guys don't want nice girls, either. Again, I’m not saying that it’s every guy everywhere, but it is common enough to be a problem. With the availability of hook ups, a lot of guys aren't motivated to cultivate relationships and take the time necessary to get to know a nice girl.
So we’ve identified a problem. Where do we go from here? Many people would say the logical next step is to try and fix the problem. Dating sites for like-minded people, setting your friends up with people who have similar values, and other such methods of dating are what typically follow.
These are good solutions… for the individual. However, not everyone has good luck on eHarmony or friends with enough sense to pair them with a good match.
How do we solve this problem as a whole? How do we even begin to tackle such a massive cultural shift? First, we have to identify the cause.
WAIT! Don’t leave! I haven’t reinvented the wheel or solved world hunger just yet. I don’t have the meaning of life, either. I don’t even claim to have solved the entire problem at hand; what I do claim to have done is to have possibly stumbled upon at least one major contributing issue: conflicting expectations.
Now, get ready for another exaggeration. Women get their romantic expectations from romance novels, men get their romantic expectations from porn.
Again, every woman isn’t an air-headed romantic with visions of a white picket fence and June Cleaver lifestyle, and not all men are just in it for sex… but that, to varying degrees, seems to be a recurring pattern in today's society.
To be continued...
[OK, now you can go. Just be sure to check back if you want to hear more brilliant thoughts...]