Monday, February 01, 2010

Because men don't know how to let go of their past relationships


Every love's the love before


In a duller dress.


That's the measure of my lore-


Here's m y bitterness:


Would I knew a little more,


Or very much less


Dorothy Parker


 Every woman I know asks the same question when we get together.

Why is it that my past boyfriends / husbands can't get over the relationships and can t move on with their new love interest?

In the book High Fidelity Rob Gordon goes from door to door talking to the women in his life and asking questions about why they broke up etc.

In the film A complete history of my sexual failures, Chris Waitt goes back to all his old girlfriends and wants to know why the relationships didn’t last. In both instances, s the story progresses, you find the man did terrible things to his girlfriends, from hitting on their mothers to accusing them of frigidity because they didn't want to have sex with them. Inevitably, this is a high source of comedy because men relate to it so strongly.

Here's the thing. Women never do this. We say “It's over. Let’s move on.”

 Women cry, they mourn, they do the thing that has to be done... even if it lasts longer than the relationships itself, they will do what they have to do to get the connection out of their system.

Then they move on.

That is why it is a complete mystery to a woman when a man from her past calls her and wants to have “coffee” - especially when he is in a current relationship.

Although men claim these tete - a –tete’s are perfectly innocent, I think they have a lot more to do with “territory” than anything else. One of the reasons men can sleep around so easily is misogyny teaches them that any woman they've slept with, they “own” or have “claimed”. For a woman, she is told that she has been “claimed” and discarded, so that is why it hurts so much for a woman. But men, leave thinking they've added her to the list of women he can now claim as his own.

Hence the distress when ex's – who they’ve not shown an interest in for years – marry another man or fall pregnant to another man. It is also the reason men have convinced themselves virginity is so important. If they are the first to fuck her, she is there’s forever. They can just go out and keep sleeping with lots or women and being the most important thing in their lives. It is deeply shocking to a man when he can’t just “go back” and re visit. The deep seeded assumption being, he can always pick up where he left off.

In romance novels once a man is interested properly in a woman that is it. He does not leave. However, one of the first things that distinguish the woman he finds himself attracted to is that she obliterates the memory of all women he's ad before her. And that is yet another reason why so many intelligent women love romance novels.

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