I think women, with increasing frequency, are choosing romantic relationships with other women over men because of how poorly men perform the relationship functions women value most.
A few notes:
- Yes. I meant to type that.
- “…with increasing frequency” is difficult to quantify. Maybe we simply hear about it more than we used to because of a reduced fear of judgment, or because of the wide reach of the internet. University-based studies from 2009 through today suggest more females are self-identifying as bisexual or lesbian (15-ish%) than males are as gay (5-ish%), and that 60-ish% of females, regardless of sexual labels, find other women attractive (in a more-than-a-friend way).
- When I talk about “women” or “men” as groups, I’m talking about general, observable behaviors. I’m in no way taking the stance that all women or all men fit into a particular stereotype.
- I’m fully aware that certain groups of people believe homosexuality to be gravely sinful. I have as much respect for people adhering to their faith and personal values as I do for people in their romantic relationships, regardless of who they love. I don’t take kindly to the moral judgment of strangers, ESPECIALLY on matters of homosexuality because of the nauseating levels of hypocrisy from those who turn a blind eye to “straight-sex sinfulness.” I’ll be totally cool with widespread outspoken condemnation of homosexuality just as soon as the morally righteous outcry toward sinful heterosexual behavior matches it. Because only hypocrites like hypocrisy.
- I believe this trend will continue until men collectively commit to not doing all of the Shitty Husband things most of us (accidentally!) do, OR reject relationships with women, forsake family life, and go all-in on A.I. Ex Machina-like sexbots or whatever.
Women Know What Women Want
An excellent writer and speaker named Glennon Doyle Melton had a relatively high-profile separation from her husband recently, just days before her second bestselling book Love Warrior (much of which focused on her marriage to her husband) hit store shelves.
Yesterday, a friend texted me out of the blue: “Glennon is a lesbian. FYI.”
To which I replied: “Shut the eff up. Did she write it?”
Glennon is now in a relationship with U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach, who became a national celebrity when the U.S. women’s team won the 2015 World Cup.
I was surprised because it still feels unexpected to me to see or hear news that a long-time married mother with children is in a romantic relationship with another woman, but outside of that, I find it totally unsurprising.
During some cursory Googling, I stumbled on this 2010 article from Psychology Today reminding me that Katy Perry, Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Anna Paquin, Megan Fox, and Drew Barrymore have all publically identified themselves as bisexual.
You’d have thought the world had ended in 1997 when Ellen DeGeneres announced her relationship with actress Anne Heche.
Now, no one cares. Maybe that’s why these incidents are more common today. I don’t pretend to know.
But I DO pretend to know that women generally demonstrate infinitely more understanding about what women want in their intimate relationships than men do.
And given how much I am bombarded with stories of unhappy wives in total agony from how their husbands make them feel, and how much Google traffic this blog gets from women searching for answers to things like “Why doesn’t my husband love me?” or “Why doesn’t my husband care about my feelings?,” it makes a lot of sense to me.
Here’s the hard truth most of these guys need to hear:
There is no amount of money or material goods you can provide to fulfill her wants.
There is no amount of physical fitness, strength, or life skills you can possess to make her feel safe.
There is no amount of penis length or girth, or sexual prowess you can possess to make her forget how bad she feels the rest of the time.
All of your money and your badass-ness and your porn-star-ness can easily earn you a big, fat “Umm, I like women better than you” if you continue to neglect all the things she says she needs.
I have bad news.
You thinking or feeling that her stated needs are unimportant, try as you might, will NOT magically make them unimportant. The things that matter to her, MATTER to her, even when they don’t matter to you. It’s surprisingly easy to float through life not realizing or forgetting that, and then getting divorced because of it.
What She Wants
Another Important Note: No one—certainly not me—knows what an individual human being wants. I’m just some divorced idiot who got all of this stuff wrong when I was married.
The most-effective way of learning the “secrets,” is to respect the first item on this list as if it will ultimately dictate the health of your relationship. Because something simple like LISTENING will.
1. To Feel Seen and Heard
This mostly means “to be listened to.” Not obeyed. Just, heard. Guys like me have an amazing capacity for caring about whatever we happen to care about in the moment, which results in us seeming disinterested or dismissive of something our partners are sharing. Global history is filled with stories of people who wouldn’t tolerate their voices going unheard. So they either revolted or fled. Divorce works that way too.
You know how a bunch of U.S. residents said they were going to move to Canada or Europe if Donald Trump won the election? Well, your unhappy wives are like the disgruntled citizens, and Canada and Europe represent a lesbian oasis of like-minded comfort and acceptance.
2. To Feel Safe
This doesn’t mean you can beat up the guy who gets handsy with her in a crowded bar, or that you can skillfully defend your home from intruders.
It means she feels safe in every way one can. That you can reliably be counted on to have her back and be a steady presence in good times and in bad. That you can be trusted. Not just with sexual fidelity, but all of Life’s tasks and hardships through the years. That you can be a great parent to her children, who she loves intensely and strives to protect. That you can provide financially, or at least NOT be a financial drain on the long-term stability of your household.
All of that feeds into feeling emotionally and psychologically safe and secure. It’s much more than just physical safety.
And to that end, you MUST be a safe refuge for her to discuss the things that matter in her life, including her relationship with you. She must be able to describe her hopes and dreams and stresses and fears WITHOUT you mocking or judging her for it. She must be able to tell you that things you do and say sometimes add to her stresses or fears without you attacking her out of defensiveness.
If she doesn’t feel as if it’s safe to speak to you, she won’t. Eventually, she’ll find someone who will. Sometimes, that person will be another woman who knows—in her core—how vulnerable and dangerous it feels to live with someone who frequently creates negative life experiences rather than positive ones.
3. To Feel Sexually Desired
This is VERY simple. When you two first got together, you said and did things that conveyed appreciation for how she made you feel, how attractive you thought she was, and that you were interested in her sexually.
The thoughtful actions you took and words you said authentically and transparently demonstrated that sexual desire.
The emotional and psychological damage adults take on and/or accidentally inflict on each other throughout the course of a marriage and the trials of adulthood can’t be overstated. Husbands and wives are like two countries who sign a Peace Accord with the best of intentions, but then through the course of normal life, accidentally fire heavy artillery at one another which occasionally lead to short-lived, but bloody, invasions.
We ACCIDENTALLY turn off our partners sexually simply by being ourselves and not realizing certain actions cause the deterioration of those feelings in the other person. No one WANTS to be unattractive to their partners. It just sort of happens when we keep having the same fight over and over and over again.
But when people are MINDFUL of this, and intentionally do things to make our partners feel loved and wanted, much, if not all, of the bad stuff goes away.
Because women frequently demonstrate more thoughtfulness and emotional awareness than men, it’s not surprising to me that other women more effectively convey feelings of desire than many men do.
4. To Feel Appreciated
Everyone likes feeling appreciated. Demonstrating authentic gratitude is a pretty solid Life tip, across the board. But there is a dynamic in male-female relationships that rears its head with great frequency, and is responsible for much of the broken families scattered out there. And that’s the dynamic where wives are forced into the position of managing most Life Tasks around the house. Keeping track of schedules. Packing school lunches. Making doctor appointments and transporting the kids there. Responding to party invitations. Buying the gifts. Planning meals. Acquiring groceries. Paying bills on time. Orchestrating social calendars and holiday plans. Handling school-related matters. Keeping the house clean. Managing laundry. Cooking meals. Washing and putting away dishes. And often going to work just as many hours as her husband.
Sometimes, after all of that, he leaves a dirty dish by the sink for her to clean up even after she’s asked him nicely to not. Sometimes, he continues to do it anyway, and calls her a petty nag for getting upset about it. Often, that guy ends up divorced.
Some wives want more ACTUAL help and to be respected when such requests are made.
But sometimes, wives aren’t even asking for more effort. Sometimes, wives and mothers take pleasure in the skillful management and service of their families and household.
And sometimes the only thing they really crave in return is genuine appreciation.
To not be taken for granted and treated like a housemaid.
Perhaps other women who have walked a mile in those same “housemaid” shoes understand how to never make the person they love feel that way.
‘You Mean You Want Men to Act Like Women?’
I want you to learn how to anticipate other people’s needs and adjust your behavior on a case-by-case basis REGARDLESS of that person’s gender, or any other born-this-way quality they have.
That’s what Life’s most successful people do in every imaginable scenario.
Women, for reasons I won’t pretend to know, demonstrate greater skill and competence at anticipating and meeting the needs of others than men do.
And THAT skill is an incredibly important factor in relationship success.
Learn and develop it, and I think Life gets a lot better because I think the quality of our human relationships affect our lives more than anything outside of certain health conditions.
Ignore it? And I think you’ll spend the rest of your life alone or in and out of unpleasant relationships waiting for Life to bend to your will, only to eventually realize, it never really does.
Maybe some of these women always liked women more than men, and only now feel safe to pursue those relationships.
Maybe some of these women woke up one day after years of heterosexual attraction only to discover those thoughts and feelings had been replaced by new ones.
Or just maybe, a critical mass of women have tried over and over and over again to find a life of contentment and peace with various men through the years, only to have the few they trusted fully, disappoint, betray, or fail them.
And just maybe that pain was so great, that it’s just not worth it anymore.
And just maybe, while we continue to desperately cling to our Man Cards, women will continue to pursue the comfort and safety of other women while we complain to our buddies about their petty needs and fragile emotions as the dust collects on our furniture and we awkwardly fold another load of laundry.