I wish I had listened more carefully to my professor of Ethology, back in the days when I was just an undergraduate Psychology student. My stupid feminist assumptions didn’t let me accept what he and other evolutionary psychologists were saying about the mating behavioural differences between men and women. I not only refused every single idea as I also firmly shut down my eyes to every paper discussing psychological evolutionary theories. According to me, they were written by patriarchal cave men and a complete outrage. Of course… some papers were, some papers weren’t.
Nevertheless, I refused to accept that males were naturally driven to have multiple sexual partners and spread their sperm as much as possible, while females were meant to take care and nurture the offspring. For me, this meant that women were supposed to get pregnant and stay at home looking after their children, while men would be having fun with somebody else, somewhere else. Scandalous, obnoxious to my frame of mind. However, today I realise that the ideas I so promptly refused to accept have, indeed, juiceful information.
Evolutionary theories can provide useful intel when thinking about how people flirt, date and establish romantic bonds. For instances, although I don’t agree that the majority of men in this planet is on the lookout for an infinite number of sexual partners, it is true that their initial mating strategy is usually very fast-forward. In other words, when they hit on you, you might fall pretty quickly, because their goal is to make sure they have your attention in order to test how fast or powerful their charm is over you.
At such initial stage, neither you nor the guy knows who is who or whether you are the right match for each other. Yet, many women, like myself, utopian by nature, are eager to believe in a shinning knight who will be all eyes and ears for them. They believe in the very first man knocking on their door, because they have this phantasy that the world is perfect and so are men. This couldn’t be far from the truth, because no man nor woman is perfect, so they will both make mistakes if they are not conscious of what and why they are doing what they are doing.
For instances, guys who are very quick on creating an overwhelming sense of infatuation around a girl are not conscious of their raw conquering nature nor of the consequences for a woman who gives in faster than she should. In the past, women were slower in the mating process, because if they happened to pick up the wrong partner, the chance that they could be carrying a baby for 9-months and left unattended was high. Such reality was very costly to a woman’s body, energy and social status. Since the cost and consequences were crazy high, women were, in a sense, harder to get, and more efficient in their mating decisions. They had to.
However, contraceptives gave more or as much freedom to women as men had. Believe it or not, this changed women’s psychology. They were now free to sexually do whatever they wanted with their body. It was a wonderful change, a seed for women’s emancipation. The problem is that we didn’t foresee that such change would also bring confusion and angst to women: they do have the freedom today to have as many partners as they want, but at the same time there are also women who feel torn, mistreated and even abused by men, who keep so naturally keen on being fast-forward and then never calling them back the next day.
So how do we, women, solve this problem? Well, I only see one option which is to become conscious of what and why we do the things we do. Why are you flirting with someone? If all you want is sex, that’s fine. However, if you are still reading this, you probably want much more than that. You want a happy and meaningful relationship with a nice handsome guy. What you ought to do is to take it slowly. Get to know the guy and don’t buy into his initial marketing and infatuation. Let him write a whole value proposition and make sure he keeps consistent on his pitch. Evaluate his actions. Ask yourself whether the way he acts and behaves is aligned with the partner you envisioned for yourself. Don’t lower the bar just because you are afraid that if you reject this guy’s propaganda, you will end up alone. That’s a rookie mistake I did over and over again, so I can fully tell you – STOP IT! It’s nonsense.
We as women may have fully control of what, when and how we do whatever we do with our body, but we also need to be aware of the emotional and psychological consequences of our actions and decisions. You may be lucky and sleep with the right guy on the very first date, but chances are you will sleep with the wrong guy, because the right guy has a higher conscious of what a healthy interaction looks like and he wouldn’t be that fast-forward. We need to understand that when we get involved and invested into someone, we exchange energy. We have several layers of energy and sexual energy, if not exchanged consciously, can be extremely abrasive and damage the healthy grow of what could be a beautiful relationship between two human beings.
From a biological point of view, we can say that men had it easier. Psychologically speaking, we can’t say the same. It’s much easier for women to become once again conscious of their mating choices, this time for the right reasons, while for some men is still hard to publicly assume a more conscious and sensitive nature. Our goal as a species at the moment is, nonetheless, to act fully conscious of the behaviours of everyone involved and to keep nurturing a higher human consciousness. We need to safeguard and reinforce sensitive men as much as we need to empower women to be more conscious of their decisions and the way they first respond to mating behaviours. I believe this shift could radically reduce attachment trauma and family dysfunction in the future.