Filed under: Gender Fights, MBA | Tags: dating in business school, intimacy cycle, men are like rubber bands, why men retreat
I hate self-help books because they’re cheesy. Then, a few years ago, the cheesiest self-help book of all landed on my lap: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. The analogies are excessive, but quite a few of the theories in the book seem applicable to my own life. The theory that most applies in this very instant is—The Rubber Band Theory.
The theory states the following: Men have an “intimacy cycle” where they get close to their girlfriend, enjoy the intimacy, and then need to back away and get some man time. They eventually become saturated with man time and come in for more intimacy. It’s a cycle.
Women respond to this cycle in one of three ways:
1) They get it and relax during the stretch part of the relationship because they know things will be okay on average
2) They freak out and chase after him, which only makes him pull away even further to get the man time he wants. Sometimes the chasing/pulling away gets so extreme that it sours the whole relationship
3) They get angry and promise to not make the first move. This works as it gives the dude his space, but, the woman doesn’t enjoy it and can become bitter/jaded. This is the bucket that I always land in.
G.I. Joe (my boyfriend) is a man’s man. He’s also a teddy bear. I have always appreciated this juxtaposition but never connected it to the Rubber Band Theory until right now.
Teddy Bear: I have never dated anyone quite as affectionate as him. He is the first to say that he wants to stay in and just hang out with me…”I’m in a you mode,” he’ll say. He doesn’t care what people think and is never shy about public affection when we’re at school (I’m getting my MBA, remember?). He lets me in on his crazy stream of conscious thoughts. When he’s like this it becomes abundantly clear that I am his favorite person.
Man’s Man: Loves xbox. Loves playing Rugby with the boys. Loves working out and lifting weights. Loves his beer. Loves watching sports on his huge TV. When he goes out with the boys (I’m usually there with other people…it’s a small town = not many bars) I notice that he’s just talking in a corner with his 4 buddies drinking beer. He’s a veteran for Christ’s sake and literally made a living blowing things up.
Right now, he’s in man’s man world. I was getting really f-ing angry about this until I remembered the rubber band theory. I like the teddy bear in him, but the only reason that teddy bear part exists is because he balances it out with man’s man time. Also, one of the draw backs of dating in business school is that you see your partner all the time. There is no space which must have an accelerator effect on normal relationship behavior.
Crap. I’m sounding like one of those cheesy romantic self-help books but it’s true, I’ve had this epiphany and I wanted to share it.
Lets see how it goes…I have lots of homework to do anyway and lots of plans set up this week. I’ll make this lady week and reevaluate in 7 days to see how tense/lax the rubber band has become.
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