May 14, 2006

Would I go out with a woman?

The other day, someone asked if I'd ever thought about having a relationship with a woman. Please. Of course I've thought about it. I've thought about how much easier it would be. But that's where the thought ends. Because I'm attracted to men, so it's like thinking about how wonderful it would be if I never had to pay taxes.

But let's say that it was possible. If I were in a romantic relationship with a woman, I could eat cupcakes for breakfast and never have to worry about the consequences.
And the phone calls! I could call any time without fearing that I'd be accused of being too needy or clingy or desperate. Even if I called her at work to tell her I felt fat. Here's a conversation I bet we could have. "Hi, honey, I'm feeling bloated." She'd say: "Me too."Then we'd say "Love you" and hang up. No big deal. She'd get it. But can you imagine calling a boyfriend at work saying: "Hi, honey, I have an ingrown hair." He'd never want sex again.

I bet the fighting would be less stressful too. With every man I've been with, the argument unfolds like this - I'll get angry, he'll walk out, usually muttering something like: "Who needs this?" Or he'll get angry, keep it to himself, and do the crossword. Then when I ask if he wants a cup of tea, the response will be: "You're such a nag."

But fighting with my girlfriend would be an extended therapy session. Women communicate. Fighting would be just like talking. Only louder.
Also, situations that generally get ignored by men would be taken seriously. Like having to go out with frizzy hair. My girlfriend and I would sit down and discuss the options. Pull it back? Put it up? Headband, hat or scarf? She would implicitly understand the psychological effects of the frizz and genuinely sympathise.

When I've mentioned having frizzy hair to a boyfriend, his reaction has been one of two things. Either he'll offer a compliment such as "I like it frizzy," thinking that as long as he finds me desirable, that's all the reassurance I should need. Or he'll say: "What do you want me to do about it?" Because men are problem-solvers. Especially in relationships. They have to resolve something the instant it's a problem, because the alternative is to endure the complaint.

"What can I do to fix this?" is what they'll say, but the unspoken part of that sentence is:
"... so I don't have to listen to you whinge about it." But with a woman, I can see how the problem would be savoured. Nothing would have to be fixed, changed or improved. We could just go round in circles for as long as we wanted. There would be no fear of hearing what's wrong, either. When an ex-boyfriend has asked this, he's dreaded the answer. I'll say "Nothing" and he'll say "Okay." My girlfriend would understand. Nothing means everything. Then we would get into a protracted discussion and dissect why life was such a mess. Joy.

The worrying part is what happens when we break up. I wouldn't be able to use gender as the reason.

With a man, there's always the excuse: he's a man. Obviously, that's why the relationship fell apart. But if I were with a woman? I would have to face the fact that maybe it's me.