Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Case of Man-Love

If there is one thing that I keep hearing from girlfriends of mine, one common line of rant, about their boyfriends and/or husbands is the fact that they feel shortchanged, unloved and underappreciated.

While some of their claims may be true, there is also a big fat area where this feeling of neglect stems from their misunderstanding of what love is. Or perhaps, to be more precise, their misunderstanding of the difference between the love of a man and the love of a woman.

FACT: A woman loves unconditionally. She will nurse you when you're sick, fluff and stroke your ego when you get fired from work, cook your meals for you, make the broth a bit saltier if that is what you prefer (and suffer having to eat it), have your children and protect you and her little ones to the death. As in tooth and even (an Php800 manicured) nail. That's just how women are. That is her primordial purpose, and unless they have been too marinated in the juices women's lib, they will want to, first and foremost, be a wife and mother.

With men, not so much. And this is not because they feel that they are superior than women. For most part, men define love so differently, and perhaps the way they define it can be summarized in two words: provide and protect. To them, the greatest way of showing their love towards their family is by providing them with a nice place to live, in a safe area, and in a house will a full fridge and all the comforts of home. The burbling of affectionate nonesense? Not their forte. And if they DO do it, it is often because YOU want them to, rather than it being their true nature.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule. But let's not get to that.

Men are simple creatures, with a brain not really filled with the intricacies that we women come to expect after watching so many movies about mushy love teams and soap opera romances. In real life, most men (in their heads and egos) will assume that you already feel loved if he picks up the bill when you go out, or if he whisks you over to the safer side of the street while you're walking. The greatest way for you to know if a man loves you truly or not if he provides and protects. Because, truth be told, no man will go on the effort of doing so if he doesn't really love you.

My rule of thumb is: If you have been with the guy for, say, a year and so far he has stuck with you through PMS, pays for your dinner and makes sure that you have already locked and bolted your apartment before he leaves, he truly loves you. If he doesn't, leave. Because however it is that you reason with yourself, he WILL do those things for some other girl who he really is into.

Another from life lesson: The men that I have found to be similar to the men in soap operas, so mushy and so filled with sweep-you-off-your-feet-you-complete-me bullshit are the smoothest operators and are often heartbreakers. They fish. And if you bite, your loss.

Bottom line is, those one liner in movies? They were written for television, for movies. Not for real life. I hope my girlfriends stop bellyaching about how their guy is not sweet and caring. It's just not a guy thing!

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