Horror is a woman’s secret id revealed. Unenlightened men recoil, and even the women who allow the full expression of their deepest feelings are revolted by the specter of their own fallen desire.
I am severely chafed by my gentle, compassionate boyfriend.
I feel sick just writing this, and I don’t want to lose something good, so here goes:
I’m a 34-year-old single mother of a beautiful, sweet, and healthy three-year-old boy. I never imagined having kids, but accidentally became pregnant three months into a destructive relationship. I kept the child and eventually got rid of the man (with the help of a domestic violence counselor and a restraining order), which was a healthy decision.
You see, healthy decisions are not my forte. With a few exceptions, I usually date the damaged bad boy, the alcoholic who needs rescuing, or the tortured artist. I scrapped all that when I had my son, and haven’t dated since removing baby daddy from my life 2 years ago. Until recently.
Five months ago, I met a man at my sister’s wedding (one of the groomsmen), and we connected. Talked all night, laughing like crazy, connected. We hugged briefly at the end of the evening and we both felt it was worth pursuing. He lives 1400 miles away from me, and we began an email correspondence, sharing our relationship history, likes and dislikes, and getting to know each other. We have a lot in common. We fell in love. We made plans for him to relocate to my city and move in together. We decided all this before spending a great deal of physical time with each other. He’s visited once a month for the past five months, and the trips have gone from elated, nervous excitedness to awkward arguing and annoyance. He is sensitive, kind, attentive, and doting. He is so very patient and loving with my child. Because of these traits, I find myself feeling less attracted to him physically. He seems meek. It is truly something sick. I have a hard time looking at him on occasion, because every little quiver, every timid step, every noise he makes while eating makes my skin crawl. He follows me around and paws at me. He is far less experienced than I am in the bedroom, and yet I do not know how to let him know what I like, because he is not keeping up with me in that department.
I don’t have a lot going on, aside from an unsatisfying job, my son, and my love of animals. I don’t have the financial resources to pursue hobbies or interests, and this man offers stability. I love him, but I’m not sure why I’m so uncontrollably moody around him, and why he has turned me off. He is so gentle—the gentle man I always thought I wanted, because underneath it all I’m gentle, too—but I’m pushing away and I don’t know if I love myself enough to make this work. I have tried talking to him about this and he just apologizes and says he feels out of his element. He picks up on my annoyance which makes him feel uncomfortable, which triggers a neediness, which I find unattractive. I don’t want my son to have a bad boy for a father figure, but I don’t want to resent my lover over petty things. Are these petty things? Is love about being able to be annoyed by someone, and loving them anyway? I tell myself that I have a good man—and I don’t want to lose him—but how can I really snap out of this? I feel terrible, ungrateful, and confused.
A woman is as viscerally repulsed by a sensitive niceguy as a man is by a fat woman. If you want to know what a woman feels when a niceguy dotes on her in needy supplication, just remember how you feel when you see a land whale bend over in short shorts to pick up a donut crumb. The stimuli are different, but the disgust reflex is the same. And the reflex serves the same underlying reproductive purpose in both sexes: to avoid contamination of the egg with inferior sperm, and to avoid fertilizing and investing resources in inferior eggs.
Most women aren’t capable of this sort of self-reflection, and with good reason; if women had to grapple with their malignant sexual natures on a regular basis, they might very well go crazy. Or crazier than they already are. From an evolutionary perspective, mental stopgaps (aka the hamster) that block access to understanding of primal limbic impulses is a useful adaptation for ensuring women capitalize when the superior seed of self-driven, aloof, challenging, emotionally distant and often unkind men is available to them.
If you are a gentle, compassionate niceguy… a man of God…, a woman will become, inexplicably to you, cranky and moody if she’s in a relationship with you. You will be confused and wonder why she won’t listen to reason about all the good you do for her, and then you will blame her for your pain, unless you are an emasculated quasi-man, in which case you’ll direct the blame upon yourself. And through all the emotional ups and downs, the turmoil that is out of your control to manage, the cold sexlessness that feeds your spiraling resentment and unfocused rage, the microinsults that pile higher atop your wounded dignity with every increasingly despairing day together, the misplaced guilt that poisons your soul… through all that punishment, punishment that on some days will seem less bearable than the acute pain of physical torture, one demonic truth pulsates at the center of the chaos:
She has as little power over her feelings as you do.
But there is redemption, persecuted niceguy. You just have to know where to look.