i’m all for women’s rights, equal rights free speech, feminism, breaking the glass ceiling, etc. etc. etc…. but sometimes, once in awhile, i just wish a man would take me out to dinner, open my door, buy me something pretty, and tell me i’m amazing. is that so much to ask?
It’s not too much to ask, but do you know what you’re asking?
There’s an implied bargain behind those courtship rituals. Feminism, at its core, is equal rights and legal protection for women. Some of our traditional dating patterns cut against that goal. Why does the man take you out? (Financial inequity.) Open your door? (Women are dainty.) Buy you something pretty? (Favor exchange.) Tell you you’re amazing? (Flattery.) Those aren’t necessarily the motivations now, in 2010, but they stem from outdated customs where the implications were much more exploitative. I know it’s nice but it comes with strings, even if neither party are conscious of them.
Men don’t treat men in this way, women don’t treat women in this way and women don’t treat men in this way. So why is the male-to-female relationship unique? Of course, we all know the answer. So let’s not tiptoe around it.
no one wants to talk about this, but hello, when has that every stopped me from opening my big mouth. i’ve kept quiet as my friends have danced the dance of the searching singles, paired off, and recently, all married each other. this is not my issue. i’ve danced that dance too, and to be honest, i’m just not ready to leave the dance floor.
my issue lies in the couples club. the couples club is what exists when girls want to act like they’re grown. for some reason, we have it in our heads that double dates, and triple dates, and couples night out are the adult way to interact in society. it’s a natural progression. in college and right after, everyone hangs out in large groups. everyone is included and everyone usually has fun (sans the inevitable drama, but hey, that makes it interesting). for some reason, these all group hang outs are viewed as immature or juvenile, so the head lady in charge decided that it would be more appropriate to start organizing couple events.
now i’m not just another bitter single woman. i’ve experienced this first hand. as soon as i got a boyfriend, i was suddenly invited to events i didn’t even know existed. game nights, quadruple dates, weddings with a plus one. i’ve got to be honest, it was really fun to be a part of the couples club. i did feel more mature. it was fun to say “we” instead of “me”. but it was all a ruse because let’s be honest, i’m not, and will never be a “we”. inevitably, we broke up because we weren’t right for each other. guess what also ended after my break up? that’s right, my membership to the couples club was revoked.
i feel like i’ve gotten a inside peek into the secret world of the way women think and i’ve got to say, women are insecure. the guys couldn’t care less about double dating. the mentality of most men is “the more the merrier”. i’ve never had one of my friends husbands or boyfriends say i was a third wheel, or a plus one, or that it was awkward having me around. its girls that want to make themselves feel better by surrounding themselves with taken people to reinforce that the decisions that they made are the right ones, simply because the majority feels that way.
all this being said, a single woman is just that… single. being single doesn’t make me lonely or desperate or stupid or fragile or weak or jaded or bitter. having people define me by my relationship status does.
p.s. everyone is ALWAYS welcome at club jordy.
A lot of truth there*. But in my experience, it’s a bit less about maturity and a bit more about sex.
It’s true that there’s an element of lifestyle conformity, and once the couples start procreating, the logistics of children play a role. But Jordy’s chief insight is that the Couples Club is usually not a creation of couples. It’s rarely an organic thing where two or three couples coordinate events around mutual interests. Sometimes it seems that way from the outside, but it’s not. Jordy’s absolutely right to say the Couples Club is a fabrication of women. And I wonder if Jordy knows it’s much more excluding of single women than of single men.
Membership in the Couples Club is not necessarily revoked for a man once he breaks up with his significant other. He becomes an afterthought, but not a third wheel. If a newly-single man is—I want to say “tame”, but I guess “domesticated” is a better word—chances are he’s not specifically disinvited from certain events.
The same isn’t true for some single women. I’m speaking in broad generalities here, but many coupled women feel that single women are destabilizing. I’m not saying they’re right or wrong. But it often feels like these structured ”mature” play-dates specifically exclude that dynamic. And a Couples Night of Trivial Pursuit just feels a lot more sanitized than the exact same group of people finding themselves together playing a board game. One has hors d’ oeuvres and white wine and does not include Carol’s hot friend Denise. The other has beer.
Plus, a great way to make sure your male partner doesn’t become interested in other available women is to make sure he doesn’t meet any.
*None of this applies to you or your circle of friends, dear reader. This is about everyone else.