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It’s Actually Complicated

December 3rd, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

The other night, I was having a discussion with one of my female friends and of course we were talking about male-female relationships. We went over the typical stuff, adding in bits and pieces of our own experiences to back up our theories. There were moments we disagreed and moments where we enlightened one another to a new thought or a new theory. All of it, good stuff.

Of course, there was one part of the conversation I wanted to extract and write about at length here. It was the matter of how every man and woman would like to claim their gender is so easy, and it’s the opposite gender’s fault for overcomplicating whatever it is they want or desire. I’ve been guilty of saying men are simple, and women over think our species. Women, as my friend proved the other night when we were talking, are guilty of thinking the same thing about themselves. They’re simple, they’re really easy, but men always have to over think stuff.

But during our conversation I had a thought: Maybe neither s*x is as easy as we make ourselves out to be.

I don’t think I’m a terribly deep individual and I hate people who try to make themselves out to be. I’m conscious, yes, but deep? How do we even begin to gauge such a thing?

I know what I like, I know what’s important to me, and over the years I have learned what I want, but one thing I have never fully grasped is how the combination of all three of those things work together. How does what I like, what I find important, and what I want for myself all work together to make me the person I am?

The question is rhetorical, if only because as I get older and evolve, all those things (what I like, what’s important, what I want) change  with the times and circumstances in which I find myself.

If any of this sounds fairly complicated, you might understand the point I’m getting at.

None of us are supposed to be easy.

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship will tell you, it’s hard, so why do men and women think their genders are so easy to understand?

As I told my friend the other night, I have dated some incredibly smart women, and not just by the textbook definition of the word. I have dated women who are emotionally smart, who know exactly what to do and what to say when I was down and out. I would like to fancy myself the same, emotionally smart. I’d also like to think of myself as book smart. But what does it all matter if I don’t understand the woman I’m with?

The answer is, it doesn’t matter at all how smart we are and how supposedly easy it is for us to be understood. I believe when we begin to brag and boast about how easy we are, we’re being simple minded. If there’s one thing I learned about being single it’s there is nothing simple about me. I mean, I’ve actually been to therapy and I was learning things about myself I never knew. Do you have any idea what that’s like? It’s like failing at a test even though each answer is right there in front of you. You think you know who you are, you think you know what you want, and you think you know a thing or two about where you come from. Each one of those questions are easy enough to answer, but figuring out how they all combine together to make us who we are is like the long problem solving question at the end of the test, the one for which we have to show all our work.

Fact is, if we were all so easy to understand we probably would have been snatched up a long time ago. If women were so easy to deal with, more men would want to be in relationships with them. But the truth is they’re not. I’m too smart to think women are easy to understand, and if anyone thinks they’re easy to understand, maybe they’re guilty of under thinking as opposed to over thinking.


The Process: For the first time in 6 weeks, I didn’t work out this morning. Woke up a little late, so had to skip it in order to get to work on time. Plug: See 14 crotch shots from Keri Hilson’s New Video

The FIFTEENTH EDITION of the POPPIN’ QUESTIONS PODCAST is up now! Listen here, please!

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  • Starrquinn

    It’s funny, I’m guilty of saying ‘I just don’t understand why men don’t get it; it’s so damn simple’ yada, yada, only to end my rant realzing how complicated I really am. I like to use Teedra Mose’s song title ”Complex Simplicity” to describe relationship dynamics. There truly are things that theoretically should be easy, such as letting someone know how you feel, knowing if your girl likes flowers or understanding your man needs down time with his boys, etc, etc. It’s the application of what we think is easy that’s actually complicated. What works for one person doesn’t always work for another….

  • Talia Taylor

    Just when I was beginning to think women were the simpler of the two.

  • MissJHood

    I was just talking to a friend about this the other day as well. In general, I believe there is a complex simplicity to us all. There are things that are simple, basic, and fundamental about both men and women. And then, of course, there are the things that are more complicated. Because these variables differ from person to person we sometimes (mistakenly) over-complicate the simple things and simplify the things that are meant to be complex.

    Hope that makes sense. 🙂

  • Alvin Crooks

    I once heard a woman say that the key to keeping her man happy was to keep his belly full and his balls empty. Most men I know would probably gladly take that given the other choices. There are a few myself probably included who desire some additional intellectual stimulation in my relationships. Not high intellectual but feeding my mind enough that our lives don’t seem so mundane even if it is….

    My Sapphic sisters, especially the ones who use to date men or date both tell me that women are way more complex than men. I am going to have to go with them on that since they come at it from experience and all I can do is hypotheticize.

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  • Tea

    I don’t know that I’ve ever thought that either gender was simple or easy to understand. I think some relational things should be simple to understand (cheating and lying are wrong, sex is fun, when I’m watching football that is the WRONG time to discuss your feelings, etc), but I don’t think the genders in and of themselves are simple.

    If we were each SO simple, then people would stop writing books trying to explain everything: how to get IN a relationships, how to STAY in a relationship, how to get OUT of a relationship. There is a book on every single thing and none of them are helpful. Experience is the biggest teacher when it comes to the opposite sex and no one experience is identical to another.

    I think I’m saying all this to say I agree with you. Imagine that.

  • ms

    Yesssss. I am learning this in therapy as well. (The intro to your post a few days ago, “Five Reasons Other Than S*x He Still Talks to Other Women,” hit scarily close to home, by the way.) Understanding and accepting that my boyfriend is every bit as complex a human being as I am has made me much more patient with him.

  • Celeste C. Richmond

    This a great post Jozen.

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  • shay.morgan

    “I’m too smart to think women are easy to understand, and if anyone thinks they’re easy to understand, maybe they’re guilty of under thinking as opposed to over thinking.”

  • Eleanore

    No, neither sex is easy…but they’re really not that complicated either. What complicates it is that we love to explain away any behaviors we don’t like by interpreting them in a way that’s more favorable to what we wish was true.