I get this question a lot- most recently the exact question was this: as beautiful as you ladies are, why is it always served with a dish of complexity… can’t it be served in a fun, easy, chilled out manner… a la carte?  What I love most about this question is that it shows the guy is actually putting some thought into this social conundrum, and I truly appreciate the honest desire he is expressing, which is rare.  So, let me try to shed some light on this common issue men seem to have with us…

First, not that I am a sociologist, but we can all accept that for centuries, a woman had to multi-task at home, caring for the needs of many and not just herself.  Simultaneously playing the caretaker role as a daughter, mother, and wife can cause a lot of internal conflict, and often women who have not learned to say “no” or realized that they can’t please everyone at once, will go into emotional overload or have a meltdown.  It is not that we are more “emotional” than guys, it is just that previously we took a lot more in, whereas before guys, who were just trained to be hunters, would go out on their singular mission (to provide) and in the process screw the prettiest young thing they’d fancy. As the saying goes, guys have a one track mind– problem is, girls don’t.  If guys could just learn to communicate with us better, instead of seeking the path of least resistance by avoiding difficult conversations, they may actually heighten their emotional IQ and find us much more willing to be easy-going.

Second, Generation X women grew up under Title IX, which means we were bred to believe that we could do anything a guy can do– except maybe write our names in the snow. So now we can hunt just as well as our male counterparts, which means unlike before we are just as inclined to move on and go hunt again rather than try to talk it out when things get complicated. While we are on the prowl, however, our upper hand is this: we care more about quality over quantity, so we can actually exercise patience.  Especially those that are in the top 10% (based on income and education levels)– these women know exactly how much leverage they have, and if their needs and desires aren’t going to be met, why waste time?  Guys are thrown for a loop by this, mainly because few men have had maternal role models that share a GenXer’s attitude.

Third, none of the people I hang with– men or women– feel like there is one simple way to define success.  It used to be the goal was to get married, have a nice home and pop out a few kids.  Not everyone shares this dream anymore.  We truly have come to accept that each individual will define success in his/her own way– and for many of us true bragging rights are earned when you take a creative idea and see it through to fruition.  I don’t know any girl that brags about her cooking abilities or any guy that brags about his wife’s home-making skills.  We’ve morphed into a whole new species really, where each person is driven by a different set of ambitions, so now more than ever guys will have to hone in on their communication skills to figure out what makes a woman tick and will make her happy.

After our lengthy discussion, my friend said he was reminded of that old saying: How do 2 porcupines mate?  …very carefully.  Indeed– guys are generally easy to figure out– as long as they are fed and have sex on a regular basis, they are good.  But we are not that simple, and never have been.  It’s just that now we have added power and independance, so the rules of the game have drastically changed.  Therefore, I would urge guys to proceed with GREAT caution– you need to learn and understand the animal you are dealing with before you can even attempt to tame it.