Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Dating Seminar

The Outfit: My best jeans, brown boots, funky red/white t-shirt, red beret, black & white striped cropped vest, silver chain and rings.

The Outcome: Initially I thought I was simply out of place when on the initial questionaire, in response to: How will finding your soul mate enhance your life?, I wrote: I don't believe in soul that okay? (I never got an answer, of course.) Then, I was horrified when the speaker began talking in stereotypes -- men are this way; women are that way. Men were taught this; women were taught that.

The room was filled with mostly middle-aged women ( that me?) crouched on uncomfortable hard-backed chairs, all frantically scribbling notes on venue-provided notepads. There was a sense of desperation in the air, an aura of hopelessness.

But I made myself put aside my cynicism. And fortunately, things got better. Nothing she said was revolutionary. In fact, most of it was pretty much common sense. However, hearing it all at once made it resonate more deeply. And seeing the resistance of some of the women in the room was what struck me the most -- the woman who refused to believe that men are just as good as women. (But there are so many men who are just stupid compared to women, she said. The speaker replied, Well, then you don't like men. The woman said, Oh, I do like men. They're just not as smart as women.)

I won't bore you all with the details unless you want me to, but I'll say that the best thing she said was this (and it's pretty simple): When you're with a man, any man but perhaps especially a man you're interested in, cut and paste the image of a woman you've recently met who you deeply admire onto his face. We should approach men in the same way we approach women, open and kind and trusting. And we shouldn't give them the power to hurt us, just like when a female friend disappoints us, we move on. And we don't allow this disappointment to taint the next female friend we meet.

Simple, isn't it? (Though there isn't a line of men at my door, I expect this to be the case in the next week!)


Blogger Julia said...

Thank you for the summary! And you'd never bore us with details, please post as much as you like. I for one am interested in reading more about it.

I agree with the example you gave. I'm teaching myself to do this too. We have such different expectations of the men and women in our lives, letting some get away with things we would never accept from others, and it's confusing and wrong.

4:36 PM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

Well, I think the thing is that we tend to automatically trust women and automatically cheerlead our female friends. We're not always testing them (of course some women do this -- but I find it's rare). But with men, we come across as so defensive, as if we've already decided that they're going to hurt us.

The speaker said that the number one thing men have told her that they're looking for is a woman who is kind. And then reminded us (especially when one woman said that men are intimidated by confident women) that true self confidence is when you're so secure with yourself that you make others feel better about themselves. And she said that this quality is what makes men fall in love.

4:46 PM  

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