To The Grown-Ass Men (Pt. 2)

Dear Grown-Ass Men,

I was giving you all a little break, but I feel like enough time has passed for my last message to sink in. I haven’t seen dramatic and sweeping changes to your behavior. I haven’t been approached by that little committee in Norway about my Nobel Prize, I haven’t even been called about the short-list. So, all I can assume is that you weren’t listening. And, as is expected by you of my gender, since I don’t feel heard, I’m going to tell you again… shut up.

I was talking to a friend of mine over a bonfire last night, and he was explaining his reluctance to enter a serious relationship for various reasons, including the drama. I don’t know how I can explain this any clearer than don’t be shitty and there will be no drama! From my extensive field research, I’ve gathered that most of you prioritize yourselves and the things you enjoy over the person you’re sleeping with. Is it any wonder that we’re reluctant to be straightforward? We know that you know we’re being manipulative sometimes. But honestly, if we were straightforward and told you want we want from you, we’d assume we’re going to hear “no” a lot faster and more frequently. We’re trying to protect ourselves from getting shot down callously. We have egos too.

Let’s just talk about courtship here. If I am interested in a guy and vocal about it, it’s a sure bet that he’ll be interested for five minutes before running off. The chase is over. What’s left to discover? I know that’s all it comes down to. My Dad told me so. Also, I’ve noticed how attentive guys are when I’m genuinely not interested. It’s such a damn waste of my time. Why do I need to prove I’m worth it to you by not being interested in you? What the hell is wrong with you people? Surely, if you enjoy spending time with me, that should be enough proof. If I’m honest enough to tell you I like you, don’t punish me for it. It’s not because you’re there and available, it’s not because I can’t do better, I probably can, but I like you. You should be flattered, and if you feel the same way don’t find reasons not to pursue it. And, if I’m less than upfront don’t be offended that I’m playing a game. I’m just trying to do what you want. I’m trying to play it your way.

You’re in the unique position of having been raised to think independently and selfishly. Women are raised to think compassionately. Yes, it’s a blanket statement, there are exceptions to the rule, blah blah blah, but there are clichés for a reason. I won’t mention all the men I know who have forgone a relationship or avoided one because it “takes too much of their time.” It’s just bullshit guys. You think we’re being selfish? Our version of being selfish is wanting to see you more. We want you to meet our friends and be part of our lives. When we ask you to tell us if you’re going to be late, or out, it’s our way of asking you to be considerate of our time. We ask for you to be a little considerate, and suddenly you’re feeling suffocated? Oh no, the big wild men are being domesticated? Well fuck you, women have been forced into domestication for thousands of years. Get over it.

Also, and this is the clincher, we’re not interested in relationships because they’re our first priority in life. I can’t speak for everyone, but I want a long-term relationship so I don’t have to think about this shit. I don’t want to have to date, to be chased, to play games. I want someone who I care about and who cares about me to be a stable presence in my life so I can get on with the rest of it. I can’t ignore that overwhelming biological cue to be coupled up. It’s just there. If I had a decent partner then maybe I could focus on the things that matter to me intellectually. You think I like writing you all these pissy letters? You think that’s the best use of my talents? I have a fucking screenplay to finish and I’m spending my time explaining women to you. It’s infuriating.

So, in conclusion, stop being crap.

Love Lili

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2 thoughts on “To The Grown-Ass Men (Pt. 2)

  1. lili, you’re awesome. i loved this and i wish we didn’t feel so damn compelled to apologize for ourselves for just being honest and trying to NOT play games and be manipulative. also, “If I had a decent partner then maybe I could focus on the things that matter to me intellectually. You think I like writing you all these pissy letters? You think that’s the best use of my talents? I have a fucking screenplay to finish and I’m spending my time explaining women to you. It’s infuriating.” yes. exactly.

    • Shayna, thanks! I wish we weren’t compelled to apologize for ourselves too. It’s crazy trying to find the balance between what you need and your awareness of what the other person has to give, especially when you feel like the person you’re with (or want to be with, or used to be with) isn’t making the same considerations. Of course this is a one-sided letter, and there is another perspective to be valued, but I definitely felt compelled to write one that a lot of women I know feel.

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