Why are women so nuts? I meet this cute, smart, funny girl at the Elbo Room. We hook up. We go on a few dates. Suddenly, here comes the drama: sulking, dirty looks, snappy remarks, tears. She’s hot and cold. She wants to talk about where things are headed. It’s only week 5! How the hell do I know where things are headed? Why can’t women just date for a while and chill out? —Normal Guy
He Said: Someone needs to do a study on the number of times a man can punch a woman’s ticket before she expects that you’re riding to the end of the line on her Boyfriend Express. If, between the initial hook up and the dates you’ve had over the last five weeks, you’ve had sex, say, half a dozen times, it’s not unusual for a woman to expect that you’re heading into some kind of commitment. And if she senses that you don’t share her expectations, she may feel rejected or at least frustrated. After all, she isn’t sharing your expectations, and you feel frustrated.
I’ve learned (the long, hard way, brother) that when a woman asks, “Where is this headed?” what she probably wants to know is, “Where do I stand with you?” You don’t need to read the future. Instead, just tell her where you see things right now. If you just want to date, fine. Are you currently dating anyone else? Do you want to keep that option open? If so, can you see possibly being monogamous with her in the near future? Answer all these questions honestly, and honestly communicate them to her. If you hesitate or balk, she’ll know you aren’t being straight with her and she’ll react accordingly. The best way to stay off a woman’s Boyfriend Express, and her Crazy Train, is to be honest about your intentions, or lack of them. With that said, you may not want to iron out all the ups and downs completely. I mean, really: Don't we all prefer them just a little bit crazy?
She Said: Oh Normal Guy, have you ever heard of a little chemical called oxytocin? It lives in our brains, it’s released during orgasm, and it makes us have warm squishy feelings for each other. There’s just one catch: Oxytocin needs estrogen in order to really kick in. You, my friend, have a very little estrogen. Hence, she will be much quicker to form an emotional bond within a sexual relationship. (For you, it will take longer—possibly until the first mortgage payment is due.)
And since we’re getting all scientific, here’s your last crucial tidbit about oxytocin: It’s not just released during sex. It’s also released during childbirth and during breastfeeding. In fact, without oxytocin, a woman cannot breastfeed.
So, can I get a witness here? Can we take a moment to honor the powerful, beautiful, natural way a woman is built to bond with her lover and her child? Can we even surmise that after sleeping with a nice man over the course of, say, five weeks or so, a woman may begin to feel tender, vulnerable, and in need of a little reassurance that said man cares about her? And that, if he remains silent, ambiguous, or resistant to offering that kind of reassurance, she may sulk, or glare, or even cry?
I think you get my point. Modern sexual mores might be loose and unrestricted but I guarantee you, biology is not. She’s not asking you to marry her. And she’s probably not crazy. She’s just a woman—what you signed up for when you left the Elbo Room.
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