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That leads me to nature or nurture of the American female.  Through countless observation, interaction, living vicariously, research, many conversations, and my own experiences, I’ve come up with a theory.  Females, whether you’re a human, rino, flying squirrel or dolphin have gender specific traits and rolls.  Animalistically, females control the progression of their species.  Inherently given this responsibility, females are biologically programmed to weed out undesirable males.

Women (men too, but in a much different way) are preprogrammed to be judgmental.  They have to take bits of information in casual passing, mainly first impressions, and decide if a guy is a friend, threat, sexual interest, or a passerby.  There is nothing wrong with this- this is a natural occurrence that happens in all species.  While we may not want to admit it because we’re such sophisticated beings, to think we’re not judgmental creatures is totally naïve and absurd.

Beyond that we get into nurture and our society.  Societal expectations placed upon women are completely different than those placed upon men.  Girls are given Barbies where guys get G.I. Joes.  Girls are expected to play house and dream of walking down the aisle in a flowing dress where guys are given a baseball glove and work on boxcar racers.  Early on, girls are preparing themselves for a relationship where I never thought once about it.

This goes so much deeper once you introduce media to a child.  12 year old girls are reading magazines of hot Justin Bieber, how to do your hair, is a first kiss awkward, and how do I get that cool 8th grader to notice me.  Don’t believe me?  Pick up a J-14 or M Magazine the next time you’re at the bookstore.  It doesn’t stop there- as women grow up they pick up Cosmo and Glamour and learn how to give a good blow job or how to drive a man crazy in 10 seconds while at the same time pick up invaluable hygiene, fashion, and style techniques in hopes of one day landing their dream dude.

Sure, there is Maxim, Stuff, and GQ but have you ever caught a 14 year old boy actually reading them?  I assure you he's looking at the photos.  It’s not until you’re 19 sitting on the pot trying to grind one out at a buddy’s house that you actually read something.  And let me tell you, not much resonates when you’re multitasking.

My point is, women from a very early age are groomed to be much more aware of relationships and interaction with the opposite sex.  They have essentially studied these matters from “professionals” years before guys even know they exist.  To say they are ahead of the game is an understatement.  Thinking that women mature mentally and emotionally quicker than men can be placed upon our society, not biology.  They are just pushed, subconsciously or not, into it a lot sooner.

Women have been taught that beauty, femininity, and acting like Paris Hilton attracts a man, with less emphasis on education, career, individual success and personal happiness.  On the flip side, men are taught that by having a high paying job, fast car, nice house, and a sense of security is more important than manners, fashion, and social cadence.

I’m realizing this now because as a young man growing up, I was rewarded with this stereotype.  As I said before, I had the money, car, job, and house and I didn’t even have to open my mouth to get a girl’s attention.  I bought into it, and it worked.  No questions asked.

Now that most men my age have those things, I drastically have to change my game.  I now have to be conscious of the clothes I buy, not just something quirky or funny to give my buddies a laugh.  The problem is, I’ve never really been taught how to do this.  I’ve always based my style off of things that I liked- music, surfing, video games, and sports.  Now I have to compromise, I have to find something that I can tolerate in hopes that a female will find it attractive.  As I said, I didn’t spend my youth reading about what girls find hot.

If I actually get up the nerve to talk to a woman that I find attractive, I also have to be very conscious of not throwing up any red flags.  Biologically, a woman is programmed to reject men or find a reason why he is not a good suitor.  It’s a perfectly natural defense mechanism to help protect her from making a bad decision she may have to live with for the rest of her life.  If you can somehow create enough smoke and mirrors while at the same time gain intrigue, you may have a chance.  Again, I haven’t been taught from an early age how to do this.

On top of that, a woman’s pride and ego, often fueled by our society, is just as strong or stronger than a man’s.  This is something I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’m just figuring out.  That’s how dumb guys are.  You’re a human, of course you have pride and ego- however, it’s so drastically different than mine. 

For instance, say a woman is having drinks at a work mixer.  Her coworkers are there, maybe a close personal friend.  She’s approached by a guy she finds attractive and is actually surprised to find that he’s also charming.  The guy leaves and then the group of friends start recounting the event.  If one woman in the group says something negative about the pursuer (maybe only to justify her own existence in the conversation or to project her own insecurities of why the guy didn’t talk to her), the man will have a very difficult time regaining ground with the woman because she doesn’t want to lose face with her friends.   On the flip side, a girl walks up to a group of guys and chats one up (even if she’s not particularly attractive), as soon as she leaves everyone is giving high fives.

This transmits so much deeper in our society.  Say a girl does really likes this guy, they have a lot in common but he isn’t all that stable in his life.  She has a hard time swallowing her pride and taking him home to meet mom and dad, showing him off to her friends, or inviting him to the next work function.  If a successful businessman meets a waitress he’s head over heels for, no one would question their relationship.

After all the initial awkwardness of the first meet and somehow the two of you progress to dating- a switch is flipped and instantly the man is accepted as her partner.  The woman's psyche completely changes and she is no longer guarded and judgmental but quickly turns into a nurturing caretaker.  It’s like meeting a completely new person.  Biologically that makes so much sense but for those of us who didn’t pay attention in 6th grade science or watch a lot of Animal Planet, it’s extremely confusing.  On top of that, I’m not sure if guys have “switches.”  It eventually happens, meaning the guy begins to care deeply for this woman, but that’s if he hasn’t been scared off (misunderstands nurture for crazy) or doesn’t fully realize what is happening.

The nurturing caretaker side of a woman is the part that scares me the most.  It’s reason I let so many amazing women pass through my life.  Women are often times criticized for wanting to “change” a man.  Biologically she is only trying to “tame” or “civilize” him, it’s totally natural and encoded in her DNA.  She wants the reassurance that he’ll stick around, be good to her, be a good father, and capable of providing should he need to.  Society also plays a huge roll.  According to her magazines and sappy movies, it’s her job to teach him all the things he missed out on when he was playing the G.I. Joes and tree forts.  She wants him to look presentable, so she starts dressing him.  She informs him how it’s uncouth to do a beer bong at a child’s birthday party.  She convinces him that even though she found that Ducati irresistibly sexy, it’d be a lot more practical and safer if they sold it and bought a minivan.

The bottom line is that a man needs to walk a tightrope of safe and stable but have just the right mix of thrill and excitement.  She needs to feel reassured and committed but will lose interest if there’s no theatrics.  She loves the hunt and chase as much as the man but once she has him she wants to make him the best version of himself.  This ensures the best possible life for herself, her children, and her family.

Once I broke it down into those simple terms- all of the insecurity, awkwardness, and shear fear of approaching a new and beautiful female completely melted away.  I am capable of commitment, I still have several t-shirts that I had when I was in high school.  I can be reassuring, I find nothing better than gaining faith in someone and not leading them astray.  I am certainly involved in theatrics, there’s hardly ever a dull moment unless I choose to have one. 

Relationships aren’t so daunting once you break them down and now understanding these dynamics makes it less of a gamble.  I can now make a lot more rational and clear headed decisions of whether or not to run for the hills or jump in with both feet.  I guess separating biology from crazy and now seeing how society played such a dramatically different roll in our upbringings gives me more compassion for women.  It makes them more “real” instead of these mystical creatures that occasionally pop in and out of my life.

You always hear stories of guys “putting the pussy on a pedestal” and it’s so true.  While women undoubtedly need to be respected, men shouldn’t lose sight that they are in fact human and products of our society, just as I am.  Bringing women down to this earthy level makes them so much less intimidating.  Simply understanding their basic needs has been an amazing epiphany.