Women are crazy and Doods are Dumb – an exaggerated statement from my friend LivLuv, but how exaggerated? Her post was funny and pithy and tinged with truth, and explicitly invited response from the male side of the blogosphere (I strongly encourage reading her post before continuing not just because this will make more sense but because, like I said, it is pithy and funny.) I wish I had it in me to respond in kind but a more serious part of my brain is in charge at the moment.
The big reason that women are crazy and men are dumb is that most of us have never learned how to have a healthy romantic relationship. That we humans are able to overpopulate the earth is sheer genetic instinct and dumb fucking luck.
When did you learn to be one part of a relationship? On the job training doesn’t count.
Most people receive their relationship training though a series of trial and error dalliances – negative learning. Learning that a particular behavior does not result in whatever preconceived notion of relationship success we might have in our heads. Did you learn through watching your parents? For those of us fortunate enough to have two parents, as a child, you are never truly privy to the inner workings of your parent’s relationship. If your parents lacked the common sense or modesty to have some conversations away from your cherubic eyes and ears, was that really the healthy relationship you wish to emulate?
No reasonable person would suggest we learn by watching/reading/listening to contemporary media – a soft core slurpee of dysfunctional relationships if ever there was one.
Did you learn from watching your friends’ relationships? At best a situation similar to watching parental units, at worst this method is more negative learning.
When did you learn?
How to communicate, what to communicate, and when to communicate it
How to have a fair fight; knowing that arguments will come there may be no more important long-term relationship skill
How to merge lives previously spent apart
The most basic of all relationship skills – identifying that which you want in a partner
How to make decisions with the interests of someone else being more important than you own
The point at which their interests can / should become equal and occasionally more important than your own
Because we make our way in the romantic world pinballing through interactions gathering kernels of knowledge (sometimes negatively learned, occasionally positively acquired) sometimes women are crazy because they have adapted to a hostile environment and built protective systems. Sometimes men are dumb because we have never learned or tried to learn how to behave in relationships as our goals were more short term.
LivLuv’s premise that a great relationship is one where he understands her particular crazy and she gets his brand of dumb is sound, and funny. I would add that there is some homework we all need to complete to aid with that process.