Men and women ARE different, and how we interact with the opposite sex is significant, and depicted about how we view our roles in society. I just had an interesting conversation with two 20-something women* about male/female dynamics in budding relationships. Laney’s been married one year, Mona’s been dating a guy for one month, and me, married for 5 years.

Mona is anxious to know if her relationship has reached exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend status, but isn’t sure about how to find out. She’s considering having a friend ask the guy, in a round-a-bout way. Laney advises to ‘hold off’ and let the guy take the initiative in that respect. Laney finds it best to wait for men to say ‘I love you’ first because ‘men like to do things like that’. She believes woman can be assertive without being dominant, and that not letting the man take the initiative is usurping his dominance. She says women can be assertive by ‘getting what they want’ without having to have a discussion. She has a girlfriend who’s been wanting to say she loves her guy since a few months into their relationship, but has been waiting for 3 years for him to say it first, and therefore doesn’t quite know where their relationship stands. I say, if you are in a relationship (where you desire longevity), ask questions flat out, clearly, and as they arise. I don’t see a place for poor communication and inhibition in a healthy adult relationship. I see finding a back-door way of talking about things with your partner so that he feels more like the ‘direction-setter’ as a form of playing games that everyone should avoid. I am a big believer and appreciator of feminine wiles, but I like to ‘get what I want’ by talking it out.

I’m sure part of my POV comes from my distaste for men who shy away from assertive women. Is being ‘too domineering’ a concern that women in fledgling relationships ?All men are different, as are situations and relationships. Most would agree that there are times when the woman should say ‘I love you’ first and such. But the true question is: Is there ANY circumstance where a woman who questions the status of her relationship should wait for the man to establish it before asking questions? Is she gonna ‘run off’ the potential love of her life? Should you ever stay silent from your partner when you have questions? Should you play ‘harmless’ covert games to find out what you need to know?

I feel like NOT asking questions as they arise is putting your life on hold. If he wants to be exclusive and so do you, fine; but if he doesn’t, and you don’t find out, then you are going to turn down other dating opportunities. How’s that fair?

*Names have been changed to protect Mai

ProgressiveU: http://www.progressiveu.org/blog/mai

Gaia: http://markmaiwords.gaia.com/blog

Hood Doctors: http://thehooddoctors.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?user=3ld643w6vk6z9

Blogger: http://mrsmai.blogspot.com/

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Yikes, touchy subject right? This issue is on the minds of millions. But this is essentially the response that Miss America first runner-up California’s Carrie Prejean gave last night on the Miss America Pageant contest. Infamous online celebrity gossiper, and totally gay dude Perez Hilton asked Prejean the tough question. (I felt sorry for the girl when she got it. I mean Miss Arizona had to answer a question about how she got her childhood nickname- lame.) Hilton was obviously not excited by her answer. Though it was neck in neck all night between the top two, Miss North Carolina’s Kristen Dalton (gorgeous blue gown btw) won the title. So did that question cause the title for California? And would that be ‘just’?

Its funny that Prejean is from California because I tend to think of Cali as a liberal, (somewhat hedonistic), live and let live, anything goes sort of atmosphere, though of course you get all types everywhere… (I mean I don’t think fiery Miss Utah was Mormon but I don’t know…)

There is never going to be a time where everyone in the country supports marriage equality. There’s never going to be a time where we all agree on everything. Keeping that in mind, should Perez Hilton ‘hold that against’ Prejean? Can a Miss America who doesn’t support marriage equality accurately represent this increasingly diverse nation?

I too was brought up with a religious background that doesn’t support gay lifestyle. That shouldn’t be a big surprise, I dont think most people are. However, I was also brought up not to pass judgement on people. You can still like people and recognize that people are good people without agreeing with everything they do, basically. I also happen to be pretty liberal. And I think that politics and laws are not currently governed by religious morals (beautiful wicked world)…. so therefore, its not just (by law/politics/etc) to have unequal marriage rights, en mon avis…

I say all that to say, thought I dont agree with Prejean ‘per se’ it had to be pretty difficult for her to answer Hilton as she did. And there’s a lot to be said for standing your ground. I’m proud of that in her, and I’d like to be proud of Miss America.

“I Do” Marriage 101

January 15, 2009

Renowned philanthropist and retired veterinarian Dr. Parker has a plethora of inspiration writings which moved me to write.

I appreciate that every, single quote from Dr. Parker is relevant in my life. They are a great inspiration for deep thought, and self examination. I’m very thankful for all these interrelated quotes, most go hand in hand. I was most struck by the quote that immediately brought my marriage (and therefore God) to mind. The one that exemplifies the qualities of faith, commitment, and perseverance: “It is always too soon to quit”.
Marriage is hard. One of the hardest journeys to go on. I’m proud that my husband and I are coming up on 5 years of marriage and over 6 years of being together. Friends who are thinking of getting married and newlyweds’ most frequent question is “Does marriage get easier the longer you are together?” “No,” I tell them. On second thought, I add, “It gets harder.” To me, that is the ultimate truth of it. I’m finding that in my relationship, the longer we are together the harder it is to no act petty or selfish. It is easy to take your spouse for granted for a plethora of reasons. In my case, it’s because I don’t always act very appreciative.
Because marriage means joining two lives together, I’m now not only planning with myself in mind, but with a whole other person in mind, who I love and care for like no one else. It’s like taking care of two of myselves, but only having the capability to be in one of my heads. Confusing?…Tell me about it.
We said, “for better or worse, through good times and bad times”, but when the bad times came, I only focused on how much they stunk. There are times when I feel life would be easier alone. Then I think of my commitment to my husband and to God, and I weigh what I would be giving up. In my case, a loving and loyal husband whose trying to progress in every aspect of our lives.
I was being selfish and lacking in faith. I needed to meditate on these quotes by Dr. Parker: “Do you suppose the reason life is so empty for some people is because they are the center of their lives?” (Yes!!), “People are not often changed for the better by having life easy” (disappointing, but true), “Aren’t people often hooked on their problems when they really have no problems?” (Killing me softly!),”Help each other by praying, communicating, ministering and encouraging each other” (ok, I’m on it).
However, I would truly be remiss if I didn’t note that though marriage gets harder, it also gets infinitely more rewarding; and the good avalanches the bad. When obstacles arise I think, “Wow, I have a person that is in it for the long haul, just like me!” Now when we overcome obstacles or handle communication with love and appreciation, I feel so proud. The level and necessity for commitment in marriage is nothing like anything I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. Whether you marry young, or you marry late in life, you realize that joining two lives into one life inevitably means you must continue to grow up. I have someone to do it with; to balance my weaknesses, enhance my strengths, and sometimes, even “tell me about myself”. It is incredibly worth it, without a doubt. In marriage, save examples of abuse, “It is always too soon to quit”. God doesn’t give up on his children, so how could we give up on each other? We won’t, and that is beautiful and reassuring.

I am outraged, saddened, and SURPRISED that California voters voted to ban same sex marriage.
This was a pre-existing right, that they voted to have repealed, its not like it was a vote for the 1st time to have it, and people voted no, they voted to take this right away. I feel that’s a step in the wrong direction for civil rights. No matter how you feel about marriage, its obvious that this is discrimination. And on the eve of President Elect Obama’s win! When sooo many Americans were feeling soo much pride in our country. Pride that America IS more progressive than we and a lot of the world want to give us credit for. Pride that we may be moving to a more tolerant, less bullying state of mind. This happens. A pooping on others rights. No I don’t think specific religions or religious leaders should be MADE to perform same sex marriages if they don’t agree with it, but there are plenty that would preform that ceremony. it should be left up to each particular church to decide, not the government!! the spiritual side of marriage shouldn’t have anything to do with the government. Atheist, multiple divorcees, drug dealers, hustlers, lawyers are all allowed to get married, but not gays??? Only the legal, bidding, i get half of what’s yours if we divorce, prenuptial agreement part should have anything to do with government!! Shame on you CA!! Shame!