Skip to content

The Most Important Topic of Conversation. Duh.

May 30, 2012

Lately, I’ve noticed a disturbing ok fine maybe just mildly irritating phenomena.

See, I’ve started to slowly tell people I’m, uh, seeing someone. The reaction of my girlfriends has been pretty much the same. It goes something like this:

“Oh em gee why didn’t you TELL ME you were DATING SOMEONE the MINUTE you came in the door???”

Wait, what? Well, uh, your kid is, ya know, walking n’ talking n’ stuff so I thought maybe there were some other subjects we’d want to catch up on first…

I mean… WTF?

First of all, is the fact that I’m kinda-sorta seeing someone really the most important topic of conversation possible? Why is it an issue if I don’t come bounding in, virtually exploding with the news that guess-what-I’ve-MET-someone! ?? Is that really the most significant thing in my life? Or your life for that matter? I mean… no, really. Is it? Am I missing something here?

Second – Do my guy friends react this way? Nope. Or, more importantly, do guys have this problem? Sure don’t. They probably aren’t expected to tell someone theveryminutetheywalkinthedoorasifnothingelseisimportant that they’re bangin’ someone on the regs. They can probably get around to that after discussing some other things in their own lives, and checking in with whomever they’re catching up with, first. Can probs do that without getting the third degree. Can act like dating isn’t the most important thing that has happened to anyone ever since we last spoke.

Third. I understand that part of the reason my lady-friends are all having mini-freak-outs is because they aresofuckingexcited for some goddamnreason that I found someone with which I would actually spend a fair amount of time with. That I would actually talk about in the “so, yeah, I met this person…” way. Because, if you haven’t noticed, I’m not that much of a relationship person, so yeah there aren’t that many people I actually want to hang out with all dating-like. As opposed to just-banging-like. Apparently that’s kinda exciting. I guess.

And, yeah, I suppose I get that… kinda… in the cool-that-you-met-someone-cool kinda way (over the thank-gawd-you-finally-met-someoneway)… but… underneath that? The idea that I need to be in a relationship is still hanging out.

Four is kind of a sidenote: After my friends pee their pants a little, the next question is inevitably “So. What do you guys do together? Where do you go out?” or some variation. Apparently, the “oh, we don’t go out really. We just have a lot of sex” is a mildly awkward and confusing response.

From points one through four above, what do we learn from me telling my girlfriends about Canada? Sure, this is a rather limited study at this time, an n of three (n = sample size) isn’t particularly robust, I know – but we’re three-for-three, people. Given this, I will still hazard to conjecture:

  1. As women, romantic relationships are clearly the most important topic of discussion/thing that happens in either of our lives.
  2. I may be mildly selective when it comes to people I choose to spend time with.
  3. The women in my life think I should be in a relationship already. Le duh.
  4. What “relationships” mean is well defined, and should include leaving the, uh, house.


24 Comments leave one →
  1. thesecond permalink
    May 30, 2012 11:57 am

    Most ladies I’ve talked to also have a strong urge to push their single female friends (and sometimes male friends, they love being the matchmaker) into relationships with anyone who happens to be around. It’s understandable this is annoying for you. From the title, you are one of the quite uncommon women with a relatively high libido and a low desire for a relationship, hence their desires seem weird to you.

    Some women, probably most, are from Venus.

    • May 30, 2012 1:22 pm

      Yes – agree that a lot of women feel this need – hence my inclination to make conclusions with only a sample size of three (very bad science, really).

      However. I have to question WHY we have this impulse. I am sure that many would say something about women being *this way* (i.e. “from Venus”) and want to categorize all women together because having this impulse is cah-learly a result of having a vagina (i.e. not a penis) and I’m just the “uncommon” exception. Maybe one that’s more … “manly” even.

      Well. I question such conclusions based on some inherent womanly-ness that I just didn’t get. I think it’s more about societally determined gender performance and pressure that we feel as women (see my guest post on U-Haulin‘ for more). I’d also add that men are pressured to believe they’re not supposed to want relationships, or encourage their friends to be in one, etc. So… that, too.

      Regardless – just more of gender performance and pressure, brought to you by Narrative and Society! Yay!

      • thesecond permalink
        May 30, 2012 4:52 pm

        Being monogomous, hypergamous, polyamorous, and promiscuous are all natural strategies that you see in pretty much every culture, many animal species. Do you really think desiring relationships with other people is actually just social pressure? I’d have presumed it’s a natural desire in most women that varies with genetics and womb conditions and can be amped up or down by society and parents and friends.

        While some men avoid women due to the recent massively increased risk of humiliation, men have never been pressured to not want relationships. We pressure each other to have sex, relationships are an accceptable way to have that sex. It’s a mark of pride to many guys having a girl who you can get easy sex from. Guys will thumb you up. Where have you been getting your information?

        There’s a fairly simple test to see if you’re the uncommon exception. If your ring finger is shorter than your index finger then you had a low prenatal testosterone exposure and are especially feminine. It’s a well known marker.

      • May 31, 2012 9:17 am

        I wholeheartedly agree that building social relationships with other people is inherent to human nature – it’s part of what makes us human. However, pressure to form committed, hetereonormative, monogamous relationships that result in marriage is fundamentally societal.

        The narrative that women are trying to “trap” a man into a relationship, while men are trying to avoid said relationship and just “use” women for sex is, I think, pretty dominate in our culture – as is the narrative that women require a man to marry them to feel like they’ve succeeded in life, and the narrative that women aren’t allowed to just want sex. Those narratives are not based on biological characteristics, but societally defined ideas about gender and acceptable relationships.

        As for the ring finger test – thanks for the early morning chuckle!! 😀

        • thesecond permalink
          May 31, 2012 11:28 am

          “However, pressure to form committed, hetereonormative, monogamous relationships that result in marriage is fundamentally societal. ”

          Why do you think such relationships are societal? Is there something wrong or abnormal about some women desiring a man to take care of them while they raise children? While not all women desire that, it seems like a biologically reasonable desire to me.

          “The narrative that women are trying to “trap” a man into a relationship, while men are trying to avoid said relationship and just “use” women for sex is, I think, pretty dominate in our culture ”

          Could you cite a film or a tv show which has those narratives? Or some famous situation?

          I haven’t actually seen those narratives much in popular culture. The main narrative with regards to traps is that women will trap men in a dead marriage and stop trying and get fat. Popular culture celebrates men wooing women into relationships. Some men are portrayed as wanting to use women for sex but they tend to be portrayed extremely negatively by popular culture. I’ve seen both men and women trying to trap the opposite sex into relationships on tv.

          How do you know that women desiring expensive displays of affection like marriage and not wanting to be seen as promiscuous by talking about sex are societal defined ideas about gender and acceptable relationship? They could easily be biological.

  2. May 30, 2012 3:35 pm

    But don’t you know that if you are in a relationship all will be fine and the rosy, rosy road will open for you and you must communicate this ultimate happening immediately?? No? Sigh… OK I have been accused of being a cynic several times in the last few weeks, so I guess I missed that memo as well.

    I think that for many being in a relationship is the ultimate happiness. Now if that is because we have been “programmed” to think so by social norms, history and the all-wise Hollywood that can be debated. For some reason being on your own is seen as second best. For many that may be the case.

    In the end of the day, as long as you feel happy to be seeing Canada and hanging out then that is the main thing. If by hanging out it means lots of sex and a bit of seeing each other outside of the house or whatever combination of “hanging out” there is… as long as it works and feels good – Yay!!

    PS. Love the pic but then you knew I would say that.

    • May 31, 2012 9:35 am

      I might be a cynic there with ya, Ivy…

      Now – I’d say you’re probs right about this – that maybe it’s not all societal programming, but probably, like thesecond points out, it’s probably based in our inherent desire to connect with other people because humans are fundamentally social beings – it’s just the definitions of it that are societal, and the idea that we have to conform to some pre-determined ideal.

      And, yeah, at the end of the day it’s what works for me.

      AND I picked the facepalm pic for you!!!! 😀

  3. May 30, 2012 10:51 pm

    Wow. My friends are usually so caught up in talking about their own dramas they barely even ask about mine. Kind of sad, huh? Or maybe at this point they’re just embarrassed for me and feel uncomfortable talking about it.

    And by the way, not leaving the fucking house is the best part of being in a relationship! Enjoy it!

    • May 31, 2012 9:37 am

      Oh, I have friends who are perfectly happy focusing on their own shit at. all. times. I mean… I guess their friends? I’m not sure how that works, actually.

      Agree on the not-leaving part. Yay for that.

      • May 31, 2012 7:47 pm

        I rarely leave the house. My relationship with myself is SO AWESOME.

        For what it’s worth, I think your friends are just happy that you’re happy. I don’t think there’s necessarily a deeper, sinister or stereotypical reason. But then again, I don’t know your friends.

      • June 2, 2012 10:10 am

        I think Isabel and Teva may have a problem with this comment. What are they, chopped liver??? (… or do you have chopped liver? They would probably like some.)

        I do think my friends are happy I’m happy, and I didn’t mean to imply I think their reactions are bad or mean-spirited or something – but I’ve had *plenty* of reasons to be happy/other events over the time I’ve known them, and very few have gotten the “OMG!!!!” reaction that this did. To be, it still smells like relationships = BEST WAY TO BE HAPPY!! YAY!! which, while that may be true for some people and it’s totes fine – they should know *me* by now and know that’s not who *I* am… does that make sense?

  4. May 31, 2012 12:02 pm

    . . . I must admit that yesterday I heard one of my friends had broken up with her boyfriend and I demanded to know why she didn’t tell me immediately, so I guess I’m the opposite of your friends.

    • June 15, 2012 1:34 pm

      Ha! Well… I suppose there’s a lot in this – in terms of whys, hows, how important, etc. If I were someone who wanted to meet a partner realfuckingbadly, I think I’d expect my friends to want to know immediately, because it would be something SO important to me. But, that’s not a priority for me, and they should know that…

  5. June 1, 2012 6:17 pm

    NO most guys don’t do the jump on your face and demand a relationship status thing. I said most, well some guys are gay after all.

    AHEM, the straight among us are normally mildly interested relationships. Meaning does the new GF have any hot friends we can hook up with?? But beyond that normally men can’t see past our noses vis a vis relationships.

    I feel your pain though Nikki, often I have had friends of a female persuasion almost gang rape me into submission to reveal the inner workings of my relationship status. Women are cray crazy sometimes. But you already knew that!

    Good luck!!

    • June 2, 2012 10:13 am

      Thanks love!

      It’s weird to me that we also make the assumption that gay men are all relationship-y too – I mean, it’s definitely portrayed that way in pop culture, and they’re more “allowed” or “expected” to be that way – yet, to me, that reeks of men-acting-like-women than a men-who-like-men thing… We still allow lesbians to be all relationship-y (ahem U-Haulin’). But then again, they’re still women… whereas we like to make gay men more like women, which gets into a whole ‘nother slew of narrative/stereotyping shiz.

      But. Still interesting, if you ask me. And gender performance-y.

      • June 2, 2012 11:27 am

        I spose that I could have made a faux pas there, after all people are people and we all come in different shapes and colours. But generally men are not so relationship oriented as your girlfriends.

      • June 3, 2012 10:52 am

        Not exactly a faux pas – it’s the gender binary just at work in our lives – as “normal”. Funny how it shows up all the time, huh?

        And, yeah, I totes agree with you – but that’s kinda my point, even though I wasn’t explicit about it. Why is it men are less relationship-y? Obviously I take the “it’s cultural norms/gender roles” side more than some, and would prefer to believe we all have our own personal level of relationship-y-ness, it’s just hard to see when we have all these other narratives and pressure telling us how to be from the get-go… ones we rarely, if ever, truly see.


  6. June 1, 2012 7:50 pm

    Oh em gee! You’re seeing someone?

    Sorry. I had to type it.

    I never like to tell anyone about my relationships (or anything really) unless they ask…very specific questions.

    Also, like you said, I don’t think a new relationship is a #1 topic of conversation. Is it cool? Yes. But I do find myself asking friends about their relationships first because I feel like it’s expected of me.

    • June 2, 2012 10:37 am

      I am not all that open, either. No PDAs for me. I mean, you can ask I suppose but…

      Sure, it’s cool. It’s something going on in my life, etc. It’s a good thing. But… your kid just started freaking walking. Shouldn’t that come first? And, yeah – it’s expected that we discuss relationships asap. Weird, that.

  7. abazaba permalink
    June 6, 2012 12:10 pm

    heh, for the record I beg and plead for the day I can JUST have a relationship that is primarily sexual (walking up to a girl at a bar and saying something like “yo, instead of dating, can we just have sex a lot?” Is still a good way to get punched in the face if your a guy :().

    • June 15, 2012 1:37 pm

      There are ways to have that relationship, and there are women who want to have it. You probably have to look online for it, though. Many of the dating website allow you to check if that’s what people are interested in. Then be upfront about it, and, if she was honest, she’ll be into it, too. If she wasn’t honest, and she gets pouty, that is not someone you wanna try a NSA thing with in the first place…

  8. June 14, 2012 10:49 am

    Just a quick thought about your “Second” point: Do you think that the reason that most men do not gush and ask is because it is part of normative masculine culture for men to brag about sex when it’s happening? Men don’t need to ask because they know that if anything worth mentioning happened, dude’s gonna brag…

    • June 15, 2012 1:39 pm

      I think the normative masculine culture is ABSOLUTELY at play. Sure, the idea that men will brag is totally right on – or that men buy into the “douchebags brag – I don’t kiss and tell” mentality won’t talk for that explicit reason. Moreover, men aren’t *supposed* to gush at all right? I mean, the narrative is that women do that, should do that, and men brag about conquests, but never gush.


  1. Do actions speak louder? « Women Are From Mars

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: