While I was the beautician’s getting my hair done, I decided to finish reading Tracy McMillian’s Chapter 3 of Why You’re Not Married…Yet.
McMillian discusses why sluts don’t get married.
At the end of the reading, I disagreed with calling the women sluts who aren’t marriage material.
For me, the way I interpreted McMillan’s discussion on it as….
Women who confused having sex with thinking that, in the long run, these men will marry them.
What the fuck are you talking about Sophia?
Well, let me explain.
McMillan argues that she only knows two women out of the all the women she knows…who can have a casual relationship. In that casual relationship, pretty much the sex is casual.
What is a casual relationship?
I agree with McMillan that a casual relationship is a relationship that omits commitment. Basically, we are casually together but not seriously together.
However, from my experience particularly when I was “involved” with guys in college, I did not want anything casual with them. I wanted them to be with me. And wanting to be with me equated to those guys as…I wanted a commitment. Looking back on it, those guys could smell that I wanted to exclusively date them (which equates to commitment)…and I believe that’s why they didn’t want to even have a casual relationship with me. They knew that I could not handle.
I couldn’t admit this ten years ago, but what they sense was right. I would not have been able to handle it. It wasn’t just me not being able to handle it, but it was also the fact that they did not want to be in a committed relationship with me.
While reading Chapter 3, I started to finally understand why the guys I liked in college…didn’t want to pursue a relationship with me. It was because they weren’t ready for it. And what McMillan does write about men and how they are wired, I agree with because I’ve thought about this before:
“You’d think we all know this by now, but men do not fall in love through their penises. They just don’t. The vast majority of men can happily fuck strangers and buddies alike and have no problems keeping those relationships right where they want them: over there, on simmer. Maybe that’s because they’re better at compartmentalizing, or maybe it’s because they don’t have as much oxytocin as we do, but the reasons don’t actually matter, do they? The important thing to know is that no amount of great sex is going to turn a dude into your man if he doesn’t want to be.
For many, if not most, men, getting into a long-term relationship is a decision. They may be having all the same intense feelings as you are, but a healthy man doesn’t exactly fall in love. It’s more like he makes a clear-eyed assessment of the real potential of the relationship, and if he likes what he sees, he decides to allow himself to “fall” by letting go some. Then, as things develop, he lets go some more, then some more, then still more—until he is all the way in the relationship. The letting go progresses as he discovers who you are—if you can be trusted, if you’re sane, if the sex is good, if he thinks he’ll like what life would be like with you, and most important: IF HE’S READY (56-57).
I would not even say that this is just about sex here when it comes to men picking women. Most men I have encountered use this assessment. Ever heard of…
The case scenario where you have a cheating ass man tell a mistress…I am not going to leave my wife when it’s all said and done…when the mistress pushes the cheating husband to decide whether he is going to leave his wife for her…
I’ve always assessed that the reason why the cheating husbands, in general, the ones who will not leave their wives, tell their mistresses that because they view their wives as QUEENS. What do I mean by this? Basically, the pattern I see, when men choose to marry, they are assessing whether those women are going to be their queens. Queens bear children. Queens are the ones who take care of domestic business. Queens are partners essentially…the kind of legal partners that are going to rear their children rightly…and who are going to respect them. There are examples of this all throughout films and literature when married men have affairs with women.
Sonny Coreleone…Dan Gallagher….speaking of Dan Gallagher, he’s a fine example of this assessment I have. Look at how he treated Alex Forrest. She was pretty much a “casual fling” he thought that he could keep to himself. However, he was not going to leave his wife…because he views Beth as the queen of the house…his queen. Throughout Fatal Attraction, if you see how Dan treats Beth comparatively to Alex, he treats Beth with more respect even do he made a decision that disrespected her by sleeping with another woman. Whereas, you look at how he treats Alex, when he’s having the affair with her, he’s in the moment. As soon as she becomes clingy and appears to be disturbed, he just dumps her like the good time Saturday night she was (I am talking about his actions).
McMillan is right; men who are not available (and I am talking about single AND married men) won’t commit. In a sense, the non-commitment single men type are in a very similar league as the married men. They aren’t available for marriage because they don’t think you make the qualifications of becoming a queen.
Now, there are some men (AND WOMEN…because they are some women who behave this way as well) who won’t EVER commit. They aren’t the commitment type no matter what woman they are involved in. I know a few men like this…and even out of those few, there are fewer who admit that they aren’t the marrying type. They don’t want to marry because they want to always have the choice to be a free agent. Basically, they don’t want to feel like they are trapped…or feel like they obligated within the confines of marriage.
I am describing a Toni Morrison character from Sula named Ajax. When you read the section when Ajax and Sula (the main protagonist) gets involved, Ajax is fine with being with Sula because he believes she is the type of woman who doesn’t expect a man to nest. As soon as Ajax sees that Sula wants to tie him down, he flees.
What I am saying is that, looking on my past experience with men, before I met Rupert, the guys I was heavily interested in…they and I were not on the same page. I wanted a “committed” relationship overall. That’s the kind of girl I was. They didn’t want that from me. Even had one, *Gray, who decided in college to date another girl besides me. Then, he blamed on the girl later, several years down the road, that she tried to control him.
Yeah…right. I saw them kissing outside one day in the back of the academic building. I am sure he didn’t do this on purpose, but I saw them walking one day through the academic center holding hands.
Why did he go with this girl and not me? Well, it could have been that she was white (He was a white male), and I was a black female (And trust me, I can understand why he wouldn’t want to date me…when Rupert and I began dating, he started noticing that black and white people were giving us the look of a thousand deaths)…and it was just easier for him to be with a young white woman than a black woman.
Or maybe they had a lot in common compared to what he and I had in common. Or maybe he just sense that I would have been more of a challenge to be with.
Whatever the case, I have finally accepted that he just didn’t want to date me because he was not that into me. And that’s okay. I am okay with that now because I finally understand, as I’ve come to accept exactly who I am, that we just were not a match. You can’t make someone like you or date you…those people just don’t feel that kind of love for you. Some people can’t love 32 flavors and then some. Not your 32 flavors and then some anyway. Some people are more complimentary with another set of 32 flavors and then some.
As I look back at my past encounters with men, I agree with McMillan when she writes:
“Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the relationship you’re in is just slow to get off the ground or whether the guy is simply having casual sex with you. A lot of the behaviors look the same—at least in the early stages. But here’s the difference: you will know if a man is deciding to fall for you, because he will tell you so.
If a guy you are seeing regularly and having sex with regularly doesn’t tell you he is falling for you in the first month or two, you can pretty much assume he isn’t. And if you’re still wondering—because we ladies do like to hold out some hope—there is a foolproof way to find out: if you have to ask if you’re in a relationship with a guy, you aren’t” (57).
I bold what I did from the McMillan quotation because this exactly has to do with Rupert.
Unlike the other guys, he was straight forward with me. He actually wanted a relationship and told me right away within weeks. Then, after the first and second months, he pretty much wanted to be with me. Some of the details are:
He took me to meet his parents even on our first outing just as hanging out as friends. Later, his sister confirmed that he NEVER has taken a girl over to family’s home (and I met his father).
He basically took me on a trip to South Dakota to meet his best friend.
He basically took me to his high school reunion.
We basically moved in together within a year of knowing each other.
He basically asked me to marry him several years ago.
We have been together for nine years, and he is talking about getting married at the end of this year.
So, McMillan gets the plus from me EXCEPT this relationship was not about sex solely as she said. It was about the person wanting me…all of me and the sex.
What I also agree with McMillan is this:
“There is a profound shift that happens when you view yourself most of the time as a woman who is a whole sexual being, right now—and that is a shift from sexual object to sexual subject. Your experience of you becomes more important to you than their experience of you. And when that happens, you will no longer be willing to settle for just any old warm body, whether it’s a committed relationship or not.
Because form a spiritual standpoint remember: you will attract what you are. And when you are loving yourself on every level, you are already acting a match for your perfect mate” (64).
Yes, McMillan discussion is based upon sex…and being sexual…and how being too sexual can make some women come off as not marry material.
However, I want to add that this could also go for the emotional aspect concerning relationships…and concerning how you treat yourself. As soon as I quit trying to make it work with Jay, who never wanted to commit to me anyway, once I realize that I was too good (not better than him…better than what he was giving me…better than how I should treat myself as well) for him and let him go, that’s when I met Rupert. Because I took the steps towards wanting to be myself and not having to worry about someone that I could make it work with.
There are many aspects of this chapter I agree upon, but I put my own spin on it. However, what I disagree with McMillan is that…I don’t think women are sluts who have casual sex. I am not saying that McMillan is trying to call women sluts…it seems to me she is saying that men, who can sense or know that women are serial casual sexers, may look upon women as sluts because sluts, to them, equal not having qualities as future queen mate may have for them.
Again, I strongly disagree because first and foremost….let’s keep it real. Most women, as McMillan does point out, have a casual relationship with men for these few reasons: one, they think that they can handle and two, most, knowingly or unknowingly, it will turn in to a committed relationship. And for most women I know who have had sex, they could not handle just being a casual relationship. I can tell you the trust about myself…I would not have handle it well, either, if I had sex with any of the other men from my past who did not want a commitment. So, I am glad that I was wise enough not to go there with them…and somehow, they had enough respect for me not to push me there, either (the majority of them…not one of them).
Having a casual relationship or having a friends with benefits relationship doesn’t typically work for most folks…especially for women in heterosexual relationships that I KNOW OF.
I am not judging you or anyone else. But what I will say is that in heterosexual relationships, traditionally, most men I’ve known did not want a relationship especially in the twenties…or even in their early thirties. If they did, it wasn’t with me. They wanted it with some other woman.
Does that mean something is horrible wrong me or you? NO.
What it is is that…you just don’t compliment that person’s criteria. Again, not everyone is supposed to like us. And some people have to accept that. And you have to also accept that some people like us…but they aren’t going to choose us as romantic partners even though YOU FEEL CHEMISTRY with them or you fall in love with them. They have the right to fall in love without whoever they choose.
And what about folks that mislead us in relationships. Well, if you honestly evaluate your relationships/friendships, seriously, there are SIGNS that point to the beginning of them misleading you…or you allow them to mislead you knowing that there are other behaviors that contradict what you THINK you feel or see. Yes, there are people who truly mislead others…and there aren’t any other contradictory signs. However, if a person tries to hookup with you, but pulls back, that usually means that they don’t want to be with you anyway. Seriously, it should not be a confusion…and now, I am looking at that. Yes, they were interested in you, but they were not interested in you the way you were interested in them.
And maybe they do love you but not enough to commit to you…and make you their queens or their kings.
We live in a society where we think that if a person shows us some type of love, some type of goodness, or some type of niceness…that it should be enough to give us a chance in a relationship. But understand, some people want matters to go smoothly. I think the majority of us want things to go smoothly when we are in relationships. We want that Dirty Dancing kind of ending…
But what most of us get is that Saturday Night Fever kind of ending.
What I got out of this McMillan chapter, for me, is that most men I’ve know DO have a set of criteria that they check off mentally and emotionally to see if a woman is a potential prospect for marriage. Once she fails that list, then, they are like…well, there can’t be anything more. Is it fair for me to do this?
It’s not for me to say if it is fair. I know that there are some women who have a check off list…but from the women I encountered, it is a different check off list. I am going to get rotten peaches thrown at me, BUT most women I’ve encountered, including me in how I thought in the past, have a superficial list of what they want in a man. Even though some women will say that they won’t deeper characteristics, characteristics with subsistence from men, the men that they pick usually don’t have these genuine characteristics, but they are still attractive to them anyway.
I want others to be also aware that I am not talking down to you, either. I always put forth an effort not to talk down to people. But I am being honest from what I’ve seen…and what works for many people who have successful relationships and for many people who don’t have successful relationships. My relationship is not perfect, but Rupert and I communicate, and we put an effort to work on our issues with ourselves and with each other. But looking back on the kind of men I wanted to date, I realize that I had unreasonable expectations. I also didn’t have the foresight I have now. Those men just didn’t want to date me because we weren’t compatible, and even if I tried, I couldn’t change them no matter how nice or wonderful I was.
When I start having reasonable expectations and realize that I don’t need someone to make me happy, then, that’s when I met Rupert. Even now, Rupert should not be the one who makes me happy. I should be the one who makes me happy. He comes with the life deal of sharing in my life and the same holds true for him.
So, McMillan agree with a lot of stuff you said…but I disagree with your entire premise of calling women sluts for having casual sex relationships. Why?
It is because it is what you said even in your own writing…women tend to think they can handle casual sex or a casual relationship, and many cannot. That doesn’t make them a slut…it makes them looking for love in all the wrong places because they think that they can’t do any better…and you are right.
Whoever you meet and how they treat you…is an exact reflection of how you treat yourself. If you treat yourself shitty, then, you are going to end up with mates that treat you shitty.