Why Do Women “Change”…

I haven’t blogged in a bit, primarily because I have been in the midst of getting some much needed upgrades to my computers and my Internet connection. But I am back, and I ready to jump right into the fray with today’s topic.

I was talking to one of my best male friends the other day, and he asked the million dollar question as far as men and relationships are concerned: he asked “why do women change once they get into the relationship/marriage? Why do they stop being the woman you met and wanted to be with; why do they stop doing the things that made you want them in the first place? Why do they become different?”

And here is your answer (for better or worse):

Because more often than not, men make it very clear that they will never be satisfied with who we really are. You don’t want the ‘real us’. You want the “hot girl/model chick” or the “super good girl” or the “always on top of her game balling out ‘independent’ woman with her own house/car/money that u don’t have to take care of” — and trust me when I say none of these hyper stereotypes of real women actually exist. So we hide our real selves,, we tuck her away, we drape her in cute outfits and fly makeup and hairstyles, and we hope we can somehow, in spite of this camoflague, convey to you who we really are underneath. And we figure that once you agree take us, you’ve somehow gotten the message that a lot of who we are is for show. We feel we can drop the facade. We look forward to being able to be in your company without our hair done and without holding our stomachs in. But what we women don’t consider is that men often haven’t really examined those fleeting glimpses we give you of our real true selves. So when we reveal her, she is a stranger to you. And worst of all, she’s a stranger you really don’t want to be with.

When I was younger and would spend the night at my boyfriend’s house, I would go to sleep in makeup and then wake up an hour before him to put my makeup back on, because I didn’t want him to see how I really looked. In those days after particularly “hot” dates, my trip to the bathroom to “freshen up” before going to the bedroom was more about removing my girdle and hiding it in my purse so it wouldn’t be there when he undressed me than it was about personal hygiene. Oftentimes during dinner conversations I wouldn’t disagree with men I dated because I didn’t want them to think I was difficult or argumentative, or didn’t respect their opinions. I’ve faked a few orgasms, said I liked things I didn’t like, or that I didn’t like things that I did like. Why? Because no man would want the real me. And honestly, the older I have gotten and the more comfortable I have become with who I am, and the more willing I have been to be unapologetically me at all times, the fewer men I am finding who really want to be with the real me. Real talk.

Example: I have “natural” hair. Not that “cute” stuff either…I have knotty, kinky, curly, nappy, barely manageable, militant hair. It is straight from the Motherland. It embodies the revolution. Now I wear it unashamedly and wouldn’t dream of relaxing it, and I have learned to do things to it to style it. But let me tell you something. –first thing in the morning it is not cute at all, especially if I have been sweating (smile) the night before. It is a crazy mass of hair until I style it. I know its not particularly attractive. I need my man to love my “first thing in the morning ‘fro”. I need him to love me before I am styled and strutting my stuff. But trust and believe, no one does.

Women know men are visual creatures. We get that. But a man can’t begin to imagine how hard it is for a woman to know who she really is isn’t good enough. I mean, there are men who really expect you to look like the chick on the flyer for the latest happy hour. And so often what men say they want has nothing to do with what they want. They claim they want great sex, but they often have a hard time respecting or taking seriously the woman they get it from–after all, if she’s good in bed she’s a hoe who has fucked a lot of men and will fuck other men and not be faithful (for more info on this attitude Google “Madonna-Whore Complex”). Men want you to be sexy, but not so sexy that other men might notice you and cause them to have to step their game up. Men want you to be “good girls”, but somehow not so “good” that you won’t offer up the occasional blow job in the car while he’s driving or get extra freaky with him on his birthday. Men want you to somehow have a phat ass, big round non-droopy boobs, and tiny waists. All at the same time– basically whatever body type you are, he’ll lust over something else that isn’t you, or just seems to lust over everything equally. Men want you to have flat stomachs and know how to cook (which means you don’t eat any of the fabulous meals you prepare). They want you to know how to do things, but don’t make them feel bad when they don’t know how to do the things you know how to do. And whatever your complexion, chances are the man you like will like the exact opposite. If you are dark he’ll like light skinned women. If you are light, he wants caramel or chocolate babes. And no matter what men say about what they like or want, they always end up with women who are nothing like what they claimed to want. The highly sexed dudes get the chicks with no sex drive at all, and wonder why they can’t stop cheating, etc. It is just too much for the average woman to figure out, and since men are so easy to fool, its simpler just to fool them long enough to commit, switch up, and call it a day. And the more decent the man, the easier he is to fool. Why? Because once a man decides he wants a relationship, it seems he never stops to think “does this woman really want to be with me, and will she strive as hard as me to make this work”? Men always assume a woman is ready, willing and able to be in a relationship successfully — because we always claim we are, even when we aren’t. A man thinks if something goes wrong in a relationship it is going to be their fault. And most of the time they think the problem is likely to be infidelity. So a decent man thinks as long as he is fully committed to doing the right thing in a relationship (which usually means he has decided to be monogamous), nothing will go wrong. Since the man has already decided if anything goes wrong it will be his fault, and he has decided he will not let anything go wrong, he is completely unprepared when things go wrong that are the woman’s doing. And then the man is stuck, and the woman can say she has a man, which after all, is all most women want — to be able to say they have a man. Whether he is happy or not is irrelevant.

Now I am not saying this is all right. But part of being in a relationship is having someone who sees the beauty in you on your ugliest days (or in my case, me first thing in the morning after a night of hot sex). It is knowing that if you don’t give him porn star sex every night he won’t leave. Its knowing he won’t die if you don’t always look fly. Now by the same token women shouldn’t just let it all go once they feel they’ve “closed the deal”. Women shouldn’t stop providing “eye candy” to their men, shouldn’t stop being the woman they were in the beginning of the relationship. That “beginning of the relationship woman” clearly had some good qualities worth preserving; she helped you get that man, so don’t leave her completely behind. But a man should always be able to see the beauty in the woman he cares for at all times, and he should be able to verbalize it. For women, being loved past our scars and shortcomings is crucial, and often all we know how to do is hide them from you and pray that you understand when the truth comes out. Sometimes we want love and companionship so badly, there seems to be no other way.

At the end of the day it does come down to honesty — especially honesty with ourselves about who we are, and willingness to present that imperfect creature to the world. It also comes down to honesty about what we want, being realistic about what we want and need, and having the discernment needed to recognize the qualities we want in our significant others. So let us all find ways to love our imperfect selves, and in that act of self love, perhaps we will find ways to love the imperfections in others.