He said, she said

Martha I. Fernandez, Editor in Chief

In an effort to dispel the myths about the opposite sex, I have asked junior Scott Mac Kay, Campus Times staff writer, to discuss with me some of the issues that cause the greatest misunderstandings in male-female relationships.

Once a phone number is received, how much time should be allowed to elapse before contact is made?

I said: It would be ideal for communication between the two people to begin the very next day. Communication needs to be established to discover whether or not the intent to find space in your thoughts about the guy, or time in your schedule to talk to him is worth the effort. However, if contact cannot be made as soon as possible, two days is acceptable. After two days, the usual conclusion is “not interested.”

He said: This depends on either how desperate you are or how many other women you have dates with that week. Desperate men usually call as soon as they get home to ensure that the number is real, they may hang up without saying anything, and yes it may be 2 a.m., but you get to hear her voice. If you are not that co-dependent, I would wait till Tuesday or Wednesday to offer a date for that weekend. Three days advance notice I think is time enough.

After the phone call and plans for a date are made, who pays?

He said: I like to lump this question in with who drives. Being the white male ruling oppressor of women, I offer to pay and drive (a ‘79 Datsun will get the chicks). You asked the woman, you should pay. I like to think of it as a small way to thank a lady for her company. If she insists on paying, argue and/or slip the money into her purse later. It is not a matter of male dominance or the empowerment of women. Out of courtesy, if a woman asked me on a date (yeah right), I would let her pay.

I said: Whoever asks or suggests the date pays the bill. Some males are under the misguided belief that they are always expected to dig into their wallets. But what some men do not realize is that it is not the female who automatically expects the male to reach for the bill, but themselves. The male ego really emerges when the total amount is announced. Some women are very loyal to the “Dutch treat” concept. The Dutch method usually comes into play in the group setting. If a group tags along to the date, you all pay your own way.

A steady relationship has been formed. How often should you call the significant other?

I said: Some would argue that a daily phone call is needed, however a phone call every other day or three days a week will do. The concern is usually what to talk about—life should be the topic of conversation. You should be trying to find out as much about this person as possible, do not wait for any surprises—dig them out quick, just in case you have to run.

He said: Thanks to the wonders of modern communication, you are now able to not just call, but to fax, page, e-mail and torment your other in newfound ways. I think talking to that person when you have something to say is always the best deciding factor. Sending e-mail just to say I miss you or faxing a funny comic to her office is all the communication you need. The key here is to let the person know you care, while giving them space and not becoming co-dependent yourself. Nobody likes a nag.

Perhaps the greatest complaint is the communication gap that divide the two sexes from understanding each other. What does each sex expect?

I said: The problem men have with communicating is their unfounded belief that women have some chemical in their estrogen that allows them to read the minds of men. A male can sit pouting and when asked, “What’s wrong?” the answer is usually silence. His cat got run over, he lost his term paper on his disk, he overheard you saying some snide remark about him to a friend—only after an hour of prying and pleading for his feelings, emotions or frustrations does the truth come out. You cannot help him fix it if you don’t know what is wrong.

He said: Sigmund Freud once said, “The great question… which I have not been able to answer, despite my 30 years of research in the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?’” Freud doesn’t know and neither do I.

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