Monday, December 2, 2013

can you train a guy?

It was New York City circa 2004.  I was out to drinks with friends-- two of us were single (me + another girl), one of us had a boyfriend.  As women in relationships often like to do (myself included) the one with the boyfriend started dispensing advice to us single ladies.  The first thing she was adamant about was that men have to be trained.  SAY WHAT?  It sounded like something a jaded, middle-aged, divorcee might say-- not a young woman in her early twenties.  Of course this sparked a bit of a debate, but she would not back down.  We needed to stop searching for the perfect guy and find someone we could mold into the perfect guy.

Nearly ten years later, I'm still not convinced by this advice.  Men aren't dogs.  We can't continue to discuss them in those terms.  But then again, there's a lot of things they don't seem to understand about relationships or women that we need to fill them in on.  Haven't we all gotten upset after a break-up that the next woman will reap all the benefits of what we taught our ex?

Then I asked the H-bomb about whether or not you can train a guy and I was surprised by his answer.  He didn't laugh or tell me bitches be crazy.  He said: it depends.  He actually admitted that he's been trained to a certain extent, but then backtracked and said it's not so much about training a person, but understanding their operating manual and them understandings yours.  When I asked him to get more specific and give examples-- he said there are things he does that he doesn't care about, but knows they are important to me.  When I asked him to get even more specific he said: making. the. bed.

But he says he also feels like he's trained me on a couple of things.  When I asked him to give examples, he said he's made me more light-hearted and taught me how to enjoy life.  I had to tell him that it was our dog that actually taught me those things.  Totally kidding.  He's right to a certain extent, he's definitely taught me to be more laid back and to try to let things roll of my back a little more.   I actually think he's in the process of training me right now to not be an insane backseat driver.

So maybe my friend was actually half right.  She is after all married to the boyfriend she had in New York and they have an adorable daughter together.  But it sounds like maybe we're all kind of training each other along the way or walking each other through our operating manuals.   I just wish they weren't all like those ultra-confusing Ikea ones no one ever understands.


  1. i think it's less "training" and more adapting to each other's lifestyles.

  2. I don't think "training" is the right word. I think it's that you love someone so much you decide to be better, well what they consider better. Your husband loves you so much he'll make the bed. You love him so much you've learned to let go and relax. My husband loves me so much he started hanging up his wet towel after the shower and pushes in his underwear drawer every morning. I love him so much I've tried to be less neurotic about trivial things. These are decisions we make because we love someone.


  3. I got into a huge fight with my sig other last night and man, oh man, how I wished I could have trained him to have dinner ready when I got home. Did I ask him to have dinner ready? Apparently, no. Shouldn't he have read my mind? YES.

    Sigh. No, they are not dogs. If you can't communicate to each other your needs then you are failing. That must be what it is to be human beings -- the communication stuff. Cause we're not dogs.

    Will there be dinner ready when I get home tonight? Probably not. But someday...