Some of you may have seen Patrice O'Neal's hilarious bit about men and women before. If you haven't, stop reading right now and watch it before reading the rest of this post. I watched it for the first time last night, and suddenly my boyfriend's behavior made more sense.
For context, my boyfriend and I usually spend the weekends together at his place since (1) he lives alone and I don't, and (2) Sunday nights we have dinner with his grandparents, and he lives closer to them than I do. This past weekend, I found myself getting annoyed with the fact that for most of the day, he wanted to do the same things he usually does when nobody's around (i.e. work on personal projects and build stuff). I had my own things to occupy myself, so it's not like I had nothing to do, but I found my hamster going crazy: "Is he mad at me? Why won't he talk to me about stuff today? How can he sit there for 2 hours doing his own thing without saying anything to me? Why is he being so quiet? Did I do something wrong? Do I look ugly/fat today? Are we going to end up not having sex tonight later? Is he preparing to break up with me?"
Instead of letting my hamster do the talking, I reminded myself that my boyfriend has always been very direct when there's an issue with us, and that he probably is just getting lost in a project in the same way that I do sometimes. So I just STFU and did my own thing while he did his, and trusted that he would come over to me when he wanted to.
And.....everything ended up being totally fine. We talked and spent time together later on with his friends, sex happened that night (and the following morning oh yum), he couldn't stop cuddling me til we fell asleep....he and I were both our usual selves. So I asked myself, "Why was I so convinced something was wrong?"
Well, part of this is my own neurosis because I was raised to walk on eggshells around people thanks to an abusive Cluster B mother. Since going completely no-contact with her, I've been teaching myself not to assume that something was wrong when there were other more logical explanations. But the bigger reason is that sometimes we forget that men and women operate differently. Unless he's effeminate or abusive (which mine definitely isn't), your boyfriend is not going to passive aggressively ignore you or give you the silent treatment. That is how women express anger or resentment. Men will be much more direct, especially if you don't compete with him for dominance in the relationship.
After watching Patrice O'Neal's bit, I realized that nothing was wrong and my boyfriend did want me around; he just wanted to have his own space to do his stuff while I was there, as we've been dating long enough to have entered that more comfortable phase. If I had nagged him and repeatedly asked if he was upset with me, he would've *become* annoyed because he hates unnecessary drama.
So ladies, just remember that your man is not one of your girlfriends. He wants you in his space, content with his company, even if you're both focused on doing other things for a few hours and not talking to each other. It's part of being a peaceful, soft landing place for him. During those times, find something to do/read/listen to/create in order to shut up that hamster and keep yourself from becoming idle!
Feel free to discuss, add on, or disagree in the comments.
(Disclaimer: I'm not talking about the man you've run out of things to say to after the honeymoon phase is over, or the man who withdraws from you because you're being domineering. I'm talking about when you've dated long enough to be comfortable with each other (or married), and he just wants to do his own thing sometimes while you're over.)