Doormats, are you listening?

There was this girl I knew back in college who wanted a guy who never had a girlfriend before. She hadn't had a boyfriend before either and she wanted a relationship that was as virginal as herself. "We'll discover the ups and downs of being in a relationship together," she'd say, "We'll both learn things as we go along."

Somehow, that idea never worked for me. 


Back then, I wanted a man who'd been around the block at least once. It didn't make sense to me that both people in a relationship should be greenhorns. If a guy has been with a woman or two before me, I reasoned, he'd know how things worked. Physically, emotionally, whatever.

Over the years, I've refined this understanding into a single, simple equation:

A man is the sum of his ex-girlfriends.

Women leave impressions on the men they've been with. A man's behaviour, his opinions, the way he treats women, the way he behaves in public around them - it's all moulded by his experience with the women he's been with before you. 

If his ex cheated on him, he'll take time to trust you. If she was a high-maintenance ice princess, chances are he'll pamper your ass off, because in his head there's a certain standard that needs to be met. In fact, you may get some bonus affection simply because your demands aren't as high as hers. 

On the other hand, if his ex was a doormat, sister, you've got work to do. You'll have to start from point zero, teaching the man about the certain standard that needs to be met. You'll have to take him gently by the hand and tell him in no uncertain terms that anything doesn't go with you. Good luck with that, by the way.

And if his ex was a warm, loving, caring person with whom he shared a mature, respectful and passionate relationship, well, then first of all, you're going to have to keep an eye on her for the rest of your life. But the good part is, hopefully, their relationship would've taught your guy how to be nice and considerate and all that other Mills & Boons hero type of crap.

So ladies, I have an appeal for you, on behalf of all other women:

Please train your man well. 

Teach him how to be kind, how to listen, when to shut up. Teach him to help around the house, be sympathetic during PMS and patient during chick-flicks. Tell him what works in bed and what will earn him brownie points out of bed. It's a lot of work, but if he's a good learner, you'll reap the benefits yourself in time. 

And in the unfortunate event that your relationship doesn't work out for whatever reason, well, then you're sending out a well-trained man into the world for the benefit of the other women out there. Karma being what it is, that should bring a well-trained man to your door one day. 


Comments

karthick r said…
Whatte wow.!
Loved every bit of it.

//Karma being what it is, that should bring a well-trained man/girl to your door one day.
In Karma we trust. Let there be peace :)

~ cheers.!
Insignificant said…
I think this is relevant for women, too. We're all, sometimes irreversibly, moulded by our past. But the difference between human beings and dogs is that our 'training' is rarely permanent. I believe every new experience quickly alters us a little, too.
Anonymous said…
and if he has had two ex girlfriends both of whom have cheated on him, chances are, he will give up on your relationship within a week of trying to have one with you, because he doesn't want to "mess up our friendship."
Anoorag said…
An interesting read. A nice thought too. That a person is the sum of his experiences. But no, it shouldn't apply exclusively to men.
jhayu said…
I'm just curious, what do you think this implies for people who remain with (get married to/move in with/ however you want to look at it) the first person they've dated?
Darius said…
The problem with training is that it takes time, effort and generally more money than the results are worth. Which is not to make the argument that a relationship should have the range of a typical gym membership before you realise it was pointless anyway.

I'd need an incentive more than wishful thinking, or karma, to train my idea of a perfect woman, for some other guy. I can't grow on the strengths of other people's growth unless I were a self-help author and get paid for it. Or if I worked in advertising. Oh wait.


Still, awesome post!
Veda said…
Karthick and ch4: Thanks :)

Anoorag and Insignificant: I agree, it applies to women too. It's just that I've met women who've fallen into the trap of being with a certain type of guy. Every relationship seems like an echo of the last one, with them. So I can't confidently state that any learning has happened there.

jhayu: I'm happy for them, man. I think they're in the unique position of applying the lessons they've learned in the course of the relationship to the existing relationship itself, rather than paying it forward so to speak.

Darius: Thanks, but what does advertising have to do with it?? I can't grow on the strengths of other people's growth because I'm in advertising, BELIEVE ME.
Fanaah said…
Hahah brilliant read
Never thought of it that way, but its good to know Ive done my fair bit for Karma.
Darius said…
I see my thinly veiled sarcasm failed there. :D

In an ideal scenario, you'd at least get a raise if your clients did well. It was a stretch, I know, but still.
Deepti Sharma said…
I am filled with simultaneous jealousy and respect for people who find the love of their life at a young age and spend the remainder of their lives together. For the rest of us lesser mortals, your statement "a man is the sum of his past girlfriends" holds true.
Da Rodent said…
"train your man"?? WHA???
Rohit said…
I am willing to agree but in no way am I going to believe that my ex constantly asked for better, bigger presents from me in order to train me. I wonder if I am the biggest pig that person ever dated.

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