THIS JUST IN: Most Women Are Still Lying to Men. About Everything From Interest to Orgasms. But Why?

Happy Saturday morning, you guys.  Weekend post comin’ atcha FACE.  High kick, woot!

But first, a light warning…

This post centers around an adult-only topic, so I need you to pull out your Serious Helmet and slide it onto your Noodle whoa whoa whoa WHOA.  …Did that just sound like I was talking about penises, or did that just sound like I was talking about penises.  Wait a second, is it ‘penises?’  Seems weird but I’m coming off of 5 hours sleep— penes, maybe?  Peonies.  Okay……. you know what, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.

IN OTHER NEWS, I was talking about your noggin toboggan, the place that stores your brain.  And what I was going to say was that you should secure it to your head with haste, and then put any nearby in-motion children into some sort of nailed-down hopper apparatus to keep them motionless and somewhat occupied, maybe grab a cup of tea or an Expresso Explosion from Starbucks depending on where you’re at with your caffeine dependency — and buckle up.  Because it’s a bumpy road when you tell the world something you’ve been hesitant to share about your past with pretty much anyone for the majority of your adult life.

Some of you know I wasn’t sure Friday afternoon about publishing this article, as it’s highly personal.  You know how I get a little gunshy when it gets into that area.  But that was before TomKat was getting divorced.  While the majority of us know little more than what we’ve read and seen in the tabloids, it’s hard to deny that there was something that felt off and uncomfortable about their relationship.  At least to me.  And when Katie met Tom, she just seemed to wilt from a full bloom to a wallflower, overnight.  Like she lost her openness, and playfulness.   …. her voice.  Pretty much the essence of herself; the Katie Holmes that made her so likable back during her days as Joey on my beloved Dawson’s Creek.  (If you’re too young to know what Dawson’s Creek is… I pity you.)

Anyway, after hearing the news of their decision to divorce, and thinking about Katie’s evolution as woman, and knowing that I, too, have been in a place in my life where I didn’t feel like I could speak up and that my truth was not worth hearing… and then listening to everyone on Twitter who encouraged me to publish this post, well, I felt like I should probably do it.  But then, when I reminded myself how every time I choose to share a sort of secretive, really personal story on the blog I immediately don’t regret it as soon as I see other people sharing their own stories and perspectives, and even support in some cases; well…… I decided the f**k with it.  Let’s do this. (*bites nails back and forth like they’re a harmonica*)

  • I should begin this by promising you that I’m a very honest person most of the time; like a solid 94%.  (I can’t help that I’m not gonna like a haircut every once in a while.)  So this aspect of my personality we’re about to discuss is only a sliver of the whole enchilada; it does not rule me, nor have I ever allowed it to, if it tried.  

Ok.  I have something to admit: Back about a century ago when I was still flitting around the footloose and fancy free world of dating in New York City (and the great state of North Cackalacky during my college days), I was what many might categorize as ‘your typical female.’  Which essentially translates to: feeling emotionally incapable of rejecting a man, I falsely conveyed interest where there wasn’t any or enough, proceeded to go on a handful more dates in an effort to avoid having to face the task of saying I wasn’t into him, and then finally falling off the face of the earth without any explanation once I couldn’t take it anymore.

In an ideal world, we’d go on a date, and if there wasn’t any chemistry, we’d have an effective, painless way of communicating that to the other person without it being too difficult for either person involved.  Funny thing though; if you haven’t been outside lately, the world’s nothing like that.  Worse, some of the people in it can a real bunch of derriere-holes, excuse my French.

So, instead, a lot of us hesitate to be honest with one another.  Let’s talk about women, in particular.  Now, not to generalize or anything… but generally, we ladies are seen as a bit of a dishonest bunch when it comes to guys.  Whether it’s about telling the man we love what we want emotionally, or if it’s just keeping it real on a third date, a lot of us are not all that great (for whatever reason) at telling the men in our lives what’s really on our mind.

Chances are, half the things that men have heard throughout their lives from the various women with whom they’ve come in contact are indeed, stretches of the truth.  Also, “half” is a conservative estimate.  And interestingly, this proclivity so many of us have for lying seems to run the gamut of things you might imagine a lady would consider lying about.  For example, I’m betting a huge load [SHUT UP] of guys out there are currently walking around unaware of the fact that maybe they actually don’t have the biggest one their girlfriend’s ever seen, or that her Magic Number (of sexual partners) isn’t actually two, but in fact twoooowenty.  And the list goes on.

But.  It can’t be that we leave the birth canal feeling some natural compulsion to hold back the truth when it comes to being honest with a man.  Right?  So what is it?  What happens to so many women, that embeds in us this compulsion to be dishonest, and/or to hide our deepest needs and feelings?

My most ruthless moment of exemplifying this kind of behavior was in college, approximately *cough-cough* years ago; the day my then boyfriend told me he loved me on the steps of my dorm.  It was a huge emotional step for him; he’d never said it to anyone before.  And he wasn’t the most confident person in the world, and I’d always worried for him and probably dated him for as long as I did because I think I sort of wanted to fix/help him.  So yeah, guess how I reacted when he said the love thing?  I froze, looked at him for one second straight in the face, SCCRRREEEAAAAMMED, and then ran as fast as I could in the opposite direction.  I ended up running all the way from north campus to south campus just to avoid dealing with him.  Explaining the fact that I didn’t feel the same way (and that I didn’t yet know it for sure until just now) was a worse option than having exercise-induced asthma and running two miles nonstop without my emergency spray.

Sometimes I think about how my sudden abandonment might have affected him in his future relationships.  Because I imagine it must have had the kind of effect that unrequited love has on pretty much all of us, especially so early on in our emotional development.  Let’s just say it wasn’t one of my proudest moments, and I still feel terrible about it.  But… I wasn’t always this way.

Now; you’re probably thinking that was the most callous thing I could have possibly done to him.  How could I do that?  You’re right; it was, and how could I?  And who really knows the collection of reasons any person does anything.  But… I do have some ideas.  

I think that when it comes to dating and relationships, a lot of people see women as generally dishonest by nature, and that when we’re dishonest, we do it for some kind of self-serving – or worse, malicious – reason.  And while there are always exceptions to the rule, I see a need to set the record straight here, on behalf of all of my sisters from other misters, all over the world.  And I’m going to do it by sharing a pretty painful story from my past.  I actually hate talking about it, cuz it makes me feel uncomfortable, even this many years later… in fact I’ve never shared with anyone other than my Mom and Honey.

The story I’m about to share in large part shaped the way I behaved around most boys/men when I was much younger, and still very much in the dating pool.  And, while it’s my own, personal story, I’m convinced that the basic gist of the experience is something I have in common with countless other women, all over the world.

One night – a long, long time ago around the age I first started going out to clubs/bars… I was approached by a guy while talking with my friends.  He seemed nice enough from where he was standing.  Had a nice smile.  But I wasn’t interested.  I knew I wasn’t.  But, being a human being well-versed in socially appropriate behavior like most of us, I smiled back because that’s what you do when someone smiles at you.  I’m human, after all.  Naturally, he saw it as a green light to move in.  Next thing I know he’s approaching me, and he wants to strike up a conversation; talk to me away from my friends.  He offers to buy me a drink.  Knowing exactly where this was heading, I thought it would be kind and appropriate not to lead him on.  I thought, that’s how you do this.  This guy would appreciate a woman not wasting his time.

It kicked in naturally as the plan for all future interactions with potential suitors; honesty, sooner than later.  It definitely *seemed* the best approach.  After all, my Dad raised me to be honest, and always to be kind in that honesty.

Well, it wasn’t the best approach with this guy.  No sireebob.  Because the moment I rejected him in the nicest and least-attention-drawing way possible, he turned into The Devil Incarnate, hellbent on letting me know what a shitty unattractive piece of human waste I was, not worthy of any man’s affection, and that I’d probably die alone.

Take it all in.  That’s what he said.

And so, I learned that day that if I wanted to avoid being assaulted verbally, or worse, physically… I’d better lie to every guy I ever meet for the rest of my life.

Sooner or later, I eased back into being more honest with the boys/men I dated.  It helped tremendously that I had a few good men in my life (my Dad and brothers) who showed me by example that he’s not all that’s out there.  But that one guy that one night, to this day he still impacts the way I interact with men.  I can’t seem to kick that memory.  Basically, he taught me that there are men out there who are pretty f**king insane, and that rejecting them is the turnkey to that facet of their personality.

Whew.  Finally off my chest.  You know, I almost feel lighter for sharing it, though it seems a little silly given that it happened a lifetime ago.

Anyway.  All of that now brings me to the question I want to ask you today:

Have you ever had any bad dating experiences?  Is there anything that happened in your past that you feel greatly impacted the way you interact with men in general?  Another question: whether it’s someone you’re dating, or it’s your partner in life– do you ever find it hard to tell a guy the honest truth?

And lastly, generally speaking do you think one of the sexes is particularly *better* at handling honest criticism?  I will accept both honest, and sarcastic, versions of an answer to this.

Oh and one more: tell me if you just want me to keep it up with the sprinklings of personal posts, or cool it.  Not looking for accolades, just your honest feelings.  ’Cause we’re girlfriends, all of us, right?  We just haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet.

Hmmm.  I’m starting to think I should probably look into organizing one of those Meet Up thingamahoobits. :)

xoxo  - Alison

Image: taken by me with Instagram

Label(s): Girl Talk, Real Life Issues

Love all of this...

16 comments

  1. Loe on June 30, 2012

    Perhaps this is far stretched, but I think because it happened at such a developmental age for me it really had an effect. And dang, kids at my middle school were mean!

    You know, when you’re that age when everyone is like “Oooooh I think so-and-so cuuuuute”. Well, I did. And i was the kid people likes to make fun of- I was always a bit more…chubby than others. But anyways. I remember one of the popular girls saying that he wanted to talk to me and middle school me was like OMG. And he stood next to me and then was like, why would I ever like someone like you? You’re fat and no one will ever like you.

    I. Was. Crushed.

    Ever since then, even with my fiancée now, I have had a hard time accepting that someone thinks I’m attractive. Like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yeah I was young, and it was a long time ago, but it definitely shaped how I thought about men for a long time.

    I believe that it’s best to be honest. Which is why I also love when you have personal tidbits! Just shows that you’re real. :)

    Reply
    • April on June 30, 2012

      I was scarred by a similar expreience, but it didn’t even happen to me. It happened to a good friend of mine when we were in the 6th grade. Even as a second-hand experience it was so disturbing that I have thought that every boy or man who showed intterest in me would eventually turn out to be doing it for some kind of cruel practical joke.

      I’m so sorry that happened to you!

      Reply
    • Audrey on June 30, 2012

      I wish that this kind of thing wasn’t as common as I now know from reading all the comments. The same thing happened to me too when I was about 14. I liked this guy and we, with a bunch of friends went to the movies together. We were having a great time and were getting along really well…and in the middle of the movie, amidst the darkness and knowing no one could see me, I bit the bullet, leaned over and pecked him on the cheek. It was cute, he smiled and we kept watching the movie…..

      Afterwards, we all came out to hang outside the cinemas and I asked to speak to him alone, you know, to talk about what had happened. Instead, he gets his friend, and hence, his entire posse, to come to me. The friend took one look at me, grinned and said “What does the back of my shirt say?”. He turned around and, too confused and shocked not to do as he said I read aloud what was written in capital letters across his back ‘REJECTED’.
      They laughed and ran off. I never spoke to him again.
      Now I know what a coward he was, but it doesn’t help that sick feeling from creeping out when I think about it. I’m really sorry it happened to you. Kids can be such douchebags.

      Reply
  2. Catherine on June 30, 2012

    Loe, I know what you mean. I was the overweight kid growing up. Never had dates, missed school dances, had few friends and really focused on my coursework at uni. All along signals from men were that I was unattractive, we could, maybe, at a stretch, be friends, but never would there be romantic interest. So at the ages when most girls were learning how to form romantic relationships, I was learning how to defend, be cold and that no one would want me. This single/loner thing was fine, until I decided I wanted to lose weight to improve my health. 

    I went from a UK 18 to an 8 (basically a US 14-16 to 2-4) in about a year. Suddenly, I have men interested in me. They want to date and all that. I have no idea how to handle it. My whole life I had the ‘ew’ signal, and I learned to anticipate that and basically be a frigid cow. Dating, for me, involves being a friendly bit of well-mannered girl overlaying a ball of anxiety and then running for the hills before he chucks me. Sometimes he still gets there first. I’m sure there are several guys out there thinking of me ‘she seemed really nice and into me and then just scarpered’ and sadly, that’s because I was waiting for them to reject me, and, when they didn’t, I ran. Because that’s what the early-on boys taught me to expect: rejection or a set up for sadness/humiliation. At an age when most people settle down and get married I’m learning I don’t know how to date. 

    I think the point is that in the past of so, so many women who are generally nice but stretch the truth with men is a man who taught her men were cruel jerks and she had better play along and feed the lines they want to hear. Maybe guys should look back at how they treated girls in their early teens and wonder what those girls are like as women. Just as a thought.

    Reply
    • Catherine on June 30, 2012

      And I am absolutely not saying all men are like this, just a small but damaging section of them. If just one of those guys damaged 100 women (entirely possible) there could well be 300 nice guys who should blame him for screwing up a girl they liked in her past.

      Reply
  3. April on June 30, 2012

    Yup, I’ve been accosted by a few of those types. Sweet as syrup until you say you have a boyfriend or are married, or whatever other reason you kindly use when you express your non-intterest (and I only used the boyfriend or married as a reason when it was the truth.) Once they realize they have no chance with you, they throw verbal battery acid on you.

    My now husband impressed the heck out of me because when I told him I couldn’t date him because I had a boyfriend, he was nice & continiued to be nice whenever I had to interact with him at my job. This was SHOCKING I couldn’t believe it. My expreience up until that time had been such that I’d come to expect a Jeckle/Hyde tranformation followed by an attack any time I said “no” to a man.

    Reply
  4. Jenna on June 30, 2012

    GREAT POST.

    And yup, I’ve had a guy talk to me that way, too. Shook me to my core. No matter how cool and collected you may think you are, when someone speaks to you in a violent/threatening/demeaning way, it’ll rattle you.

    I’m just glad that there are probably just as many good’uns (hopefully?!) as there are bad. Though those bad ones are really ruining it for the rest of them!

    Reply
  5. Sydney on June 30, 2012

    This is going to sound weird, but I can totally identify with that bawling robot.

    I have SO been there. He’s only trouble, girlfriend. Leave his golden ass!

    Ok what the heck am I talking about. I should probably put down this drink.

    Reply
  6. Lena on July 1, 2012

    First, never stop it with the personal posts. They’re the really good stuff, and the Bachelorette recaps and straws and glitter are just the icing. And if you organize a NYC Meet Up without me, I might burst into tears and leave John confused ALL DAY about why I’m so upset, because I rarely tell him. That’s useful, I’m sure.

    Now for a little personal history–the first boy who ever told me he loved me left a bouquet of roses, a box of my favorite candies and a giant stuffed animal in my locker. I dumped the flowers and the toy in the trash and stress-ate the entire box of sugar on my way home, and never, ever talked about it with him. We broke 7 or 8 times in high school, but he still calls, he still texts, and occasionally, I still get photos I wish I could erase from my memory. Now what the F*CK does that communicate to a 20 year old?

    I just try to remind myself he’s obviously the more emotionally messed up party.

    Reply
  7. JuliaEnchanted on July 1, 2012

    First of all, I agree with everyone. The personal posts are awesome. We need to work on making the world a place where women feel safe being themselves, and don’t base that value on the opinions of men. I have a friend who is large and lesbian, and she still felt like she wasn’t worth as much for most of her life because men told her that her appearance wasn’t good enough. That’s not ok.

    Personally, I lie about my health. I tell myself it’s because I get tired of hearing people say how sorry they are or how I should go see Dr. House. But then we started discussing traumas, and I was reminded of my ex. When he dumped me, he told me how much it hurt him to see me sick all the time and that he thought if I would /just try harder,/ I would be less chronically ill all the time.

    He didn’t say that was the reason for the dumping … and he didn’t say it wasn’t. What I got from this encounter was that my illness makes it too painful for anyone to love me. So I stopped trying to find relationships. For six months of my life, I literally believed I was too broken to be worth dating.

    I think now I compromise. I am totally honest with PreciousHeart, because we owe each other that. With my friends though, I try to keep that part of my life out of those relationships. I lie about how I’m feeling and my friends don’t have to shoulder that burden. At least until I get to know them better, and I can be sure they won’t resent me for it.

    We need to fix this.

    Reply
  8. Lynette on July 2, 2012

    Great post…I think everyone can relate to having a bad experience like this with a guy, girl, family member, etc. Honesty is totally the best policy as long as you can be polite at the same time. If you’re honest and polite, you never need to worry that you have done anything wrong!

    Reply
  9. Jennifer on July 2, 2012

    First of all: don’t stop w/ the personal posts. We need to support one another. Plus it’s good to know that other people go through the same hurtful crap.

    Second: Isn’t it amazing how ONE person can break us to the point that it forever colors how we interact with the opposite gender? I had a similar situation with a former BF. Emphasis on FORMER. People aren’t taught how to deal with rejection. And even when we they are, their insecurity can be so great that it doesn’t matter and we’re on the receiving end of a verbal assault. But we deal with so much worse when no one teaches us how to be honest with ourselves. Men think a smile is a green light when it’s simply JUST a smile. Women learn to not be fully honest for fear of the verbal abuse tirade from an insecure man – cue the “b” word. Plus we’re taught to be nice. And then we are. And then we smile, a guy is interested, we reject, and cue the ‘b’ word again. It’s a vicious, unfair cycle and we bare the brunt of it. In recent years these very things are subjects I want to teach my future children. Both genders, but particularly men, need to learn that a rejection isn’t a personal commentary on who you are as a person. It is SO hard to be on the receiving end of such hurtful words but I want my kids to know they should never betray their feelings to themselves or others. I hope I can. Thanks for sharing this Alison. :)

    Reply
  10. Alison on July 2, 2012

    Jennifer – Seriously, it really is crazy. Amazing how ONE person can make a difference… good and bad. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  11. Meghan on July 3, 2012

    Alison PLEASE don’t stop with the personal posts – this post above just fully hit home with me, and I suddenly realize it’s something that I’ve never really addressed in my life, though it permanently lives in the back of my mind.

    Sorry for the novel that is about to follow…

    I was a skinny kid. I grew up long before I grew out, and I was actually accused by my school nurse in high school of having an eating disorder (which, I did not, I literally lived off carbs). Nonetheless, because my last name rhymes with pork (aka the city you live in) and I clearly wasn’t a cool kid, I got made fun of. Every.single.day. By two boys with high pitched voices, one of who had a terrible lisp. Ironically, the one with the lisp turned out to be gay, which makes me even angrier (irrational, I know) because someone who has undoubtedly had to face discrimination himself made me feel so small. To this day, he pretends he doesn’t know me when I see him. I learned at a very young age that boys determined my worth.

    By my late teens/early twenties, more so than one specific incident (though there were a few), my lack of self-worth only grew from hanging out with a bunch of guys who lived a party life (pro snowboarders) and took advantage of any girl that was naive enough to believe they gave a damn. I always prided myself on *not* being that girl that slept with any of them and went out the rotating door, but in hindsight, they treated me just as badly and used me in other ways.

    I can only assume that my experience in my youth is what led me to stay in a verbally, emotionally and physically abusive relationship for just over a year… as in, July 2010 to September 2011… oh and I’m 31 years old. I was told to sleep on the couch more nights than not, if I hadn’t already been physically kicked out of bed. And the sad fact is that, in the end, he broke up with me. I came out of it feeling so pathetic I can’t even describe it.

    I am now with someone who is an absolute gem, and I spend every day trying to convince myself that I deserve him. Lucky for me, he tells me all the time, reassures me and loves me despite my insecurities. I can only hope that he continues to accept me with my issues, in the hopes that they eventually fade and I realize that I DO deserve to be happy, and to be with someone whose ultimate goal is to make me happy….because I spend every day trying to make him happy.

    It f**king SUCKS that other people (I think men and women are both capable, though I think women are more often the ones that suffer) have the ability to have a lasting, negative effect on how we feel about ourselves. I realize that I’ve skewed from the original topic of honesty, but I feel like what everyone else has shared and what your original story tells, is that we have, through our experiences, been taught to expect less and to, in turn, not express our true feelings.

    Again, sorry for the novel but this one hit home for me.

    Please Alison, don’t stop the personal posts. I’m not getting married any time soon but I love reading what you have to say on life and relationships :)

    Reply
  12. Meghan on July 3, 2012

    OMG that’s even longer than I thought… SORRY!!!

    Reply
  13. Ashley {BlushLoveWed} on July 3, 2012

    First – please don’t stop with the personal posts! When I was in high school and college I used to think that I was all alone when I was going through a tough time. Now, I realize that even though all of our experiences as women are slightly different, they are completely relateable (is that a word?).

    Next – have I lied to guys in the past? Yes. Do I lie to my husband now? No… BUT (big BUT) I don’t always tell the truth either. I don’t know why it’s so hard to be honest sometimes. I don’t want to let him see my insecurities, and I don’t want to hurt his feelings. Sometimes, things are just better when left unsaid… or so I have convinced myself. Now I don’t really have anything big to lie about but are little white lies any better? I don’t know.

    When I was dating, I found it near impossible to reject a guy. I usually just gave them my number and ignored the calls or made up excuses for why I couldn’t go out. Eventually they stopped trying. I’m sure they would say they would rather me not even waste their time but flat-out rejection is embarrassing.

    But the worst thing I did was not being able to tell my on-again/off-again boyfriend of 4 years that I didn’t want to be with him at all anymore. I avoided him for 2 weeks until he got the hint…and he confronted me (which I still never actually said the words “I want to break up”) at the time I pretended I didn’t care. When I matured a little, I thought I should go back and apologize for being such a wuss. But I didn’t even want to go back down that road.

    I think guys can handle the truth better than we give them credit for. And when I do convince myself to be completely honest with my guy about what I’m thinking, I always feel 100% better to get it off my chest.

    Reply

Leave a comment