I gotta tell you folks, I just have the wisest men in my life these days. It is really giving me hope for all of mankind and our destiny.
I have long since learned that many men do not deal well with being compared to another man. So I have tried to avoid it as much as possible, but have often felt that it was ridiculous to do so on many occasions. Why should I have to tiptoe around a guy’s ego if I have something helpful to offer from my experience from another man/relationship?
Don’t get me wrong, I know there are simply some things you should never compare one man to another on. FOR EXAMPLE: (and this just came up last week, in fact.) A man stopped by my office and we got to chatting about marriage and relationships. I am not sure exactly how, probably because the topic of relationships between men and women just fascinates me so much. So this guy was telling me that one of the main issues he has with his wife is that she compares him to all her former husbands (he is husband #4). Initially, I tried to stand up for her saying maybe she was just trying to express her needs, and even though she may not be doing it correctly, that maybe he should listen closer to hear what she was really saying.
His response was this. “It is not helpful to hear that Jim was hung like a horse and I am hung like a pony.”
Ooh. Wince. Ouch. Yeah…that’s not good.
So yes, there are times when it is just not appropriate or helpful to make comparisons. But shouldn’t we be open to the possibility that there are times when it might be enlightening? I have always believed there is a healthy balance on this matter. I was recently discussing this with one of my very insightful male friends and he said this:
“Most men don’t like being compared to other men. It can be touchy. But this is another area where I think men have to make improvements, if they’re going to evolve as decent human beings: get past jealousy. I’ve come to believe that jealousy is always a negative emotion. It never has a positive use. So it’s best to try to eliminate it from one’s life. Of course it’s not possible to do that completely. But at least being aware that it’s negative helps one to deal with the feelings when they come, and not act on them in a destructive way.”
Yes! Thank you!
This is why when one of the men I was recently dating said: “I’m just doing some comparison shopping.” I did not freak out. Yes, it is an incredibly insensitive thing to say to a woman who cares about you, but hey…was it the truth? I believe it was.
So I handled it in a womanly fashion, and took it for what it was, which is that he is just not sure if someone better might come along. I can call a spade a spade with the best of them, and jealousy is an emotion which I have very little tolerance for in my life. I cannot get hung up on what traits another women might bring to a man I was hoping would want to be with me. For whatever reason, he decided what I had to offer him and our relationship is not what he is looking for.
I am confident in what I bring to the table and know my worth. So he can compare me to anyone he likes and search the ends of the earth for all I care: I know women like me are not a dime a dozen, and if he has any good sense left in his head, he knows it too.
So to all those men (and women for that matter) who are waiting for the “right” one to appear: Let’s just get real for a minute. There will always be something you do not like about another person. Make a damn pros/cons list and decide for yourself if the good outweighs the bad. What are the deal-breakers, and what can you live with? For more on this subject, Please refer to Lola separates the men from the boys: Chapter I
In parting, I would like to put my spin on the old adage: “When you meet a woman who is better than you are, marry her.” To this: When you meet a woman who enriches your life and makes you happy, do not let her get away. If she is good for you, keep her. Feelings ebb and flow, but a good woman will always be good. There is nothing she would not do to make you happy. That is the one you fight like hell to keep. Women like this are a rarity, and they know a good man when they see one.
Good luck comparison shopping. In this selfish world we live in, you’re gonna need it!