As a man I can, with resounding verve, say that feelings are hard. While I won’t go so far as some other men and claim the frontal lobe to be a complete waste and as such should be devolved, I do recognize the difficulty it has put us as a race, and men in particular, in.

Women seem to complain that men do not understand their feelings, and guys, we don’t. We have no way of really understanding why several pairs of what to us essentially looks like the same damn shoe seems like a good idea. However, this does not detract from the fact that the ladies do feel this.

“Oh”, I hear you say, “he is just going to write a post where he is facetious and makes fun of women! I won’t read another word.” Well, that is your choice, but hang in there. I am just pointing out that there are differences as to what we feel. Men feel passionate about stuff most women, and some men (my self included) will never even begin to fathom. Like football. Why is it fun to watch men who undoubtedly have nice physical genes, although I’m less sure about the more brain-related ones, kick a leather-bound ball around on a nice lawn?

The question here is: Does it matter?

Both sexes feel, in spite many mens assurance that they certainly have never felt anything. Although they did cry that one time, but their team had lost and their dog had died. And anyway all the beer was gone… And the fact that we all feel, young or old, black or white, man or woman makes this an integral part of who we are. (Now please don’t start saying “Well animals feel too!” I know they do, but this article is about us, so f@ck ’em)

Now, in the best pseudo-scientific tradition, I have concluded that both men and women feel. So let me ask the followup: Why does it seem so damn hard for me to handle feelings? (I’ve left the world of generalizations behind here and I am now venturing into my own murky depths.) One example here is when my ex-wife told me she wanted a divorce. Right there and then I reacted with slight anger, then by being quiet. The day after, when alone in the flat, I cried. I cried for a whole day, so much so that the cat’s started to look worried. But during that whole thing, through the numbing pain and sticky tears, I couldn’t shake the feeling of looking like an idiot and sounding even worse. “What if someone heard me?” Now I’m asking my self, so what? Everyone is sad from time to time, and I’m raised to be “soft”. But still, in the whole male “culture” (or what ever you want to call it…) there is a feeling of “you can’t cry, ’cause only women and people of deviant sexual orientations (from a writing point of view, the days before political correctness were definitely more frugal) cry”.

But why the hell shouldn’t I cry. It was one of the most heart wrenching moments of my young life. What should I’ve done? Laughed? Swallowed and stored it away in the container marked “psycho” and take it out a rainy day when I’m fifty? No, crying is good. Crying is cathartic. But still shameful. I don’t know about other men, but to me it’s almost, if not more, shameful than masturbation. (I don’t masturbate, but I’ve heard it’s popular…). Why is that? Most of my female friends have cried with friends, strangers, me etc. around. I don’t think I’ve cried even once with them around. Not because I want to be macho, but because I just feel like I can’t. I cry during movies, but do I show that to anyone? Hell no!

At the other end of the spectrum is dating and falling in love. I recently signed up for a dating service. Have I used it? No, not really. The recommendations written for me by some of my friends made me blush, and there are plenty of good looking women my age on the site. So why have I not been on a date? Well, frankly, flirting on-line fells like just another sure-fire way of getting rejected. How do you approach women? I’ve got plenty of female friends. I think most of them love me in that platonic-boring-we’re-just-friends kind of way. Approaching women and hanging out with them in the sense of being friends have never been difficult to me. In many ways I prefer their company to that of guys. They look better (generally), they have wider spectrums of interests (again, generally) and I just like it.

In a way that is wonderful. But, how should I put this, it lacks romance. Do I want to be romantic with any of my friends? No, not with most of them anyway. But I am stuck in the male-friend category! I seem incapable to forge any other kind of relationship with a woman. Why is that? Do I only have “friend pheromones”?

Somewhere I heard that it’s supposed to be cool and hip to be single. Let me tell you right now: that is a blatant lie on par with saying that Josef Stalin was a slight nuisance in his day. Being single, in a word, sucks. So this is what all this text has lead up to. Me simply asking the egocentric question of how you go from “that-nice-guy-who-is-fun-friend” to a date or even better, lover? It is a tricky question, and I pose it at the risk of diminishing all my female friends, which is something I do not at all mean to do. I love my friends, male and female. But at the end of the day, I do not have any “friends-with-bennifits” relations, nor is this all about sex (though it is undeniably a big part of it). I want someone to talk to when I wake up, someone to have a picnic with in the afternoon, someone to argue about what movie to watch with. And then yes, someone to have wild and crazy sex with all night long. We don’t have to do all those things everyday, that would be a bit too much, I think. But every so often. That would be nice.



5 responses to this post.

  1. Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!


  2. I don’t know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean


  3. Wow. Lots of themes in there I’m sure we could discuss for hours. I’ll try to keep my comment short.

    First off: props for daring to be honest! You’re not so different from anybody else in most respects mentioned, but it’s refreshing when someone quits pretending and drops the political correctness. It brings people closer because we recognize ourselves and not culturally fostered abstract ideals. So thanks!

    On crying, I have a theory I’m going to throw out here for what it’s worth: It’s not that crying itself is cathartic, rather it is a symptom of catarsis (sometimes). More specifically: crying is like a pressure-release valve. When we’re face to face with heavy issues, and it gets too overwhelming for us, our bodies can react by crying. The sobbing, howling, physical pains and water in your face all serve to distract you just enough from the issue to help you stay focused. It’s as if we’ve evolved a built in self-development mechanism.

    And on relationships…. it’s no secret I’m no expert. But that’s never stopped me from voicing an opinion. My take on it is that it’s mostly a numbers game. Any time a pair gets together there is some rather small chance of there being the “click”. (The click can be gradual!) So the trick is just to get yourself into as many such situations as possible. There are certainly ways to increase the click-probability, but they all depend on the situation. My advice would be, I guess, not to try to force high-click-probability situations to occur, but rather develop a lifestyle where they are likely to occur. That’s the sort of lifestyle people want anyway – being confident, happy, in shape (no need to go overboard, but it helps) well groomed, well organized, spontaneous, exciting, etc..

    So that’s my pretty large pile of 2-centers. Sorry to wax long but you deserve it for writing such a long post 😉


    • Posted by Thobias Vemmenby on October 2, 2009 at 9:34 am

      I like long comments! Don’t worry about that, I blog partly because I like the dialog!

      Thank’s for the props, I reason like this: All my life I’ve been afraid to open up to the world. Where did that get me? Well, it’s not the best of place, let’s leave it at that for now. So, here’s a novel approach – tell the truth, but in my own unique way!

      Crying: Interesting idea. Never thought about it that way. I wonder if it’s possible to evolve a built-in GTD feature as well… 😉

      Relationships, yes… No expert you may be, but on the other hand you’re doing pretty well so far. I love engineers, your so…precise about stuff. Numbers game! But seriously, there may actually be something to that point. The problem is that we have all these social ties. People clicking when, perhaps, they from a “moral” POV shouldn’t. I’ve been thinking alot about that type of situation in connection with recent events. What if I ended up faced with the situation of me clicking with a girl already “taken”? Am I responsible for that click? If she clicks to, is that the end of my ethical considerations or am I responsible towards the “other guy”?

      On the one hand my hoighty-toity gut reaction is, yes, I am. I should not act on anything unless I know for sure that the other part is “free” of social bonds, anything else will cause unhappiness for one or more persons. BUT, all my life I’ve reasoned that way, and it really isn’t an ideal way of reasoning. After all, I can’t be held responsible for a second and third person. After all, I will not force the for now imaginary woman into anything. How far does our ethical considerations extend, I guess, is the question here. Granted, the illusive she, can choose how, when and where to let her other down. But that is a different article all together.

      As to the high-click-probability situations (how about that, relationships reduced to the principles of Google AdWords…) I think it’s sound advice not to force them, but to, as it were, prepare the ground as much as possible. Without, as you point out, going overboard…

      I can actually list those points 😉 : confident – getting there; happy – mostly now a days; in shape – eh, not really, but I’m looking in to that as we speak; well groomed – tricky, depends on what you mean. I am upping the ante in this department though. I’m no linger a closet metrosexual!; well organized – again, to some extent yes. But I’m learning loads from David Allen, Merlin Mann, Stephen Covey and Anthony Robbins. I’ve begun to implement it, to see what fits me; spontaneous – this is a graph that has spurted through the roof lately. Though it has to be said, what with my commute, the headroom for spontaneity is limited at times…; exciting – this is a really tricky one. I mean, either people think that of you, or they don’t. It’s like what a friend told me a while ago. “You are the original!” If people don’t like that, that’s their problem.

      As to the length of the post, sorry, got carried away. But I really do feel this feelings subject is at present mostly a women only area, and by gods that must end! So, I find it strangely cathartic to write about this stuff, the interaction with readers (so far – you) is interesting. I think, and I hope, that I will write more posts with a similar flavor to this one.

      In my class at Uni there are some girls very clearly on the left side of the political scale, and as such they seem promote a model for women becoming more like men. We’ve all met people like this. I say no! Should women have the same pay for the same job? That’s a now brainer! Doesn’t matter if you are a martian, you still get same pay for the same work done. BUT, women are women and men are men. We can all see that the male version of doing things is not just a positive one (I don’t think a matriarchal world would be all that much better, but stil). No, I think women should get the same pay as we, but we should claim a piece of the platter with feelings on it! Manly men don’t drink beer in a net top infront of the telly, all the while beating his wife. No, manly men cries at sad movies, use make-up and generally cares about…stuff.

      Oh, I’ve done it again. This was a little long. But as you said: we can discuss this for hours! 🙂


      • So… wow again. looong post. I’m flattered of course, I would warrant such attention 🙂 I totally get it, of course. So much to say – so little screen real-estate.


        Yeah, one of the reasons people keep up the pretense of political correctness and “I’m-so-great-ness” is because a lot of things in peoples personality is always changing. So to say something about it one day would be to lie another day. Unfortunately, the things that tend to stay the same, are the things we all have in common; our flaws.

        Re engineering… hehe, yes we are precice, aren’t we? I like to think we prefer to make things work, rather than talking about things working. And so yes, that requires a certain amount of precision. It’s usually ( = sometimes) worth the trouble 😛

        I agree social customs today give women a monopoly on “being sensitive”. That’s just ridiculous, of course. Hemingway was very sensitive in a very masculine way. Wilde was sensitive in a not-quite-so-masculine way, but a man nevertheless. And I agree masculinity and femininity are equally important qualities in a society, regardless of which quality a man or woman feels inclined to present.

        My list of qualities that would yield a “high-cllick-probability-lifestyle” weren’t directed at you personally. I meant them as general qualities anybody would (or should) be working on whether in a relationship or not. Nevertheless, It’s good to hear you’re making progress (at least someone is…) You’ve got some pretty respectable names among your sources, so I’m sure you’ll do well.

        And on the topic of “clicking” with someone in a relationship already: My opinion is that you needn’t so much respect “the other guy” so much as respect “the baggage” the girl comes with. What that means in practice depends on the situation of course. I guess my point is just that what the other guy feels isn’t as relevant to you as how it affects the female in question, or what it says about her.

        huh… I managed to keep this rather short. it’s taken me a while to write though because Tetris is insisting on sleeping in my lap so I’ve had to type with one hand.

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