By: Jenny Foughner
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you’re already aware that there’s a whole mess of business that women care about a whole lot. You might even be able to name a few deal-breakers if asked (be still, heart! Be still!). That being said, you might be surprised to learn that there are actually a few things that we don’t actually care about; you might even find yourself aghast at the fact that you spend a lot of time and energy fretting about things that we think about rarely, if ever. Being the friendly blogosphere neighbor that I am, I’d like to take this opportunity to set your mind at ease so you can spend your time on things that really matter instead of wasting precious hours freaking out for no reason. Join me on this journey, won’t you?
I only recently figured out that this hair loss thing causes guys serious stress. I’m not slow (at least not when I’m sober); I just never thought it could be such a contentious issue because it ranks somewhere around 34th on my list of Qualities My Lovers Must Possess. And I’m not alone. I have yet to meet a woman who cites a receding or potentially receding hairline as a deal-breaker, and while I do notice it (fleetingly, I assure you), I doubt I spend even 1/16 of the time thinking about it that y’all do. Wherefore the agony, gentlemen? I’m no scientist, but it seems that unnecessary stress will make you lose your hair faster than if you just chilled the eff out a lil’ bit.
It’s completely understandable that you’d want your man mane to last forever – who doesn’t love voluptuous locks? – but if the upstairs carpet starts to fray, you needn’t worry that your woman is going to abandon you due to irreconcilable trollishness. Go ahead and spend your pennies on Rogaine and Miracle Gro if you must. Just stop beating yourself up about something that has nothing to do with what kind of boyfriend, husband or father you are. You can rest easy knowing that love knows no follicle count.
Your Account Balance
I’ve mentioned before that some women gravitate towards a thick wallet, but for the majority of women, this phenomenon has more to do with the expectation that wealth is accompanied by work ethic than an actual desire to dig for gold in your bullion-laden pockets. Just as I wouldn’t want you to mistake your paycheck for an in-road to my nether-regions, I also don’t want you to think that my lady-friends and I gab at length about our boyfriends’ bank accounts and pat ourselves on the back for judging men primarily on their quarterly statements. In fact, it rarely, if ever, comes up in conversation.
The money question is dicey, but if your girlfriend is not a superficial floozy, then I can assure you that she’s far more concerned with your drive and ambition than with your propensity for doing daily laps in your money vault a la Scrooge McDuck. If you’re passionate about what you do and responsible with your money, then I don’t really care what’s in your bank account. (And I really don’t want to hear about it on our first date.)
Your Athletic Ability
Never got chosen first in gym class? Well, bummer. But while your ability to kick your friends’ tushes on the whateverball court might be important to you (completely understandable, by the way; I support competition implicitly), it’s not that important to me unless you’re (a) a professional athlete whose livelihood and happiness depend on his athleticism or (b) trying to school me in kickball, in which case I will crush you. (Actually, I probably won’t. But I’ll try, and I’ll smack-talk you up one side of the field and down the other in the process.)
In the same way that I don’t make a point of looking at your hair when determining whether or not I want to get friskay with you, I don’t cite your softball team’s winning streak (or lack thereof) as one of my reasons for dating you. Sure, I like to dust off the old cheerleading uniform from time to time (metaphorically speaking, unless it’s Halloween or your birthday) and cheer on my guy, but there’s no way a poor shooting average will ever influence my desire to spend time with you in a romantic fashion.
Your Professional Missteps
Obviously, like my friends in the army, I want you to Be All That You Can Be, both because I love a man who goes after what he wants (starting with me), and because I know it’ll make you happy to work hard to achieve your dreams. But beyond wanting the best for someone I care about, I don’t make it my business to judge my man when he flubs a presentation, engages in a skirmish with his superior or fails to exceed his own astronomical expectations for himself. If you’re feeling like a failure in life because things aren’t going your way at work, then you might start to worry that your partner will think less of you in the way you’re thinking less of yourself. Stop this immediately. You don’t need the added stress; that’s guaranteed to put a strain on your relationship faster than any professional misstep could. Bottom line: I don’t care how many promotions you get or sales calls you ace as long as you’re maintaining your end of our partnership, the parameters of which are different for every relationship.
We all have exes, and we all have stories about those exes, but we don’t all need to share them in an effort to ‘get to know’ one another better. Short of a crazy-stalker-ex security briefing, discussions of past loves need not be part of the current conversational rotation. While it’s important to be open and up-front about things that impact your current relationship, I think some guys mistake ‘full (uninvited) disclosure’ for honesty. I don’t really need to know about your ex’s favorite ice cream flavor or brunch spot; just as I’m sure you aren’t logging precious mental minutes wondering about my past affairs, the last girl you smooched is the last thing on my mind while I’m falling for you.
While we’re on the subject, I can assure you that your girl isn’t all that interested in the detail of your extensive sexperience, unless you have something important to disclose about your sexual health (in which case, state your business clearly and move on. We need not dwell on these things). Funny stories are fine, I suppose, but just remember then gentlemen – the kind of guys that get awesome girls – don’t make it a habit to kiss/fondle/whatever and tell. (And FYI: if your ex had a signature trick that you’d like me to try, then absolutely, positively do not mention her while asking me to do it. The only thing that will accomplish is to guarantee you a prime spot on the couch for a few nights.)