The Girl Whisperer
as published in the Sunday Guardian
Loving in Multiples
Omohemi Benson sent an article to some of her friends and I, titled, “Why men are never depressed”, stating the many differences between men and women. One of the many things that struck me in that article was a line that said men could spend thirty seconds on the phone and say goodbye. I’d known for a long while that women found this trait in men really disturbing; after all, in a telephone conversation, you’re meant to ramble on, go back and forth, raise up matters of earth-shaking importance, or all other things women feel should be mulled over, worried about and torn to pieces in gossip…but I digress. Some other points were, men are comfortable with just owning three pairs of shoes, and if by some omission they were forgotten in a list of invites to a party, they would not have a life-long feud with the person who forgot.
My point exactly? If there is anyone walking the face of the earth who thinks men and women are the same, the person has not figured it all out yet. The woman who complains to you about her day often does not really want a solution; she wants your empathy, for you to show concern, primarily. A man’s instinct on the other hand is to conjure a solution. “Do it this way, dammit, and stop whining”, the man says, much to the chagrin of the female who is looking for a listening ear. Men and women sit in trenches across from each other, in army uniforms, guns poking out from time to time, with a large expanse of no man’s land between them, littered with the slain bodies of misconceptions, misunderstandings and all the other things that fuel friction in relationships.
The difference I want to talk about is something that some women have not figured out yet even though they know more about the male sex than is healthy for most “criminally-minded” men. The regular woman is able to sense when a partner is cheating, through observation, looking him in the eye, through some form of extra-sensory perception that men lose before they turn six years old. She looks and she just knows, even without being able to tell the reason why, most of the time. She might never do anything about this knowledge, wearily resigning to the excesses of the philanderer and accepting his lying heart as her lot in life, but when she sets her mind to it, she knows and is sometimes silent. This is why many men, in their hearts, are afraid of the women who have stood with them through many years of uncontrolled urges. There is one thing, however, that women do not seem to be able to grasp even with the innate powers they appear blessed with.
Men can “love” in multiples. The same way a man can have an intimate engagement with someone he feels absolutely nothing for, is the same way he can “love” different women for different reasons. Angry women will call this ability many things, and those men who practice it, even worse names, but it does not change the reality of how men act sometimes.
A man will “love” one woman for her great mind and her playful spirit, for the length of her legs and for the fact that she is very attractive and delightful to look at. He will love another for her beauty and for her smile that lights up a room. These “loves” will be in separate compartments and when he says, “I love you” to either, he means it from the bottom of his heart (or the top, depending on your preference).
Are you starting to get my point? Men have this ability (many, many women will call it a vice) of “loving” in multiples.
This is no excuse for the inability of some men to control themselves, but women should know that not all “I love you(s) are as simple as they sound. Seek for clarity from the man involved- Is he able to keep all his professions of love for your benefit alone? If he cannot, and you are unable to accept this, better to look for the fellow who can.