By Rod Van Mechelen
If love is like wine, which is better: A fine vintage aged slow, or a new wine drunk fresh and fast from the vat? Winos drink the fresh stuff fast because it's cheap. For a table or party wine, folks like a recent vintage because the occasion isn't too special and the wine is inexpensive. Coneseurs savor a good wine slowly. That the men most women hang out with are the winos of love should give women no cause for blaming their hangovers on we who prefer good company and good wine. Yet, that is exactly what they do.
The winos of love
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - Romance is like the ignition system on an engine. If the timing isn't just right, the engines of love won't start.
On a car engine, dwell is the increment of time the electrical contact (or electronic signal) is made to send a spark to a spark plug. As the pistons in the engine move up and down in the cylinders, the spark plugs spark, the fuel burns, and the engine runs.
If the dwell is too advanced, combustion happens too soon, and the engine pings. But if the dwell is too retarded, combustion happens too late, and the engine will sputter.
Love is a lot like that. Only, romantic dwell is the amount of time a person spends thinking about beginning a relationship with someone else before deciding what to do. If the timing is right, sparks fly. Unfortunately, the timing is usually off because most men are romantically retarded, while most women are romantically advanced.
Advanced Women, Retarded Men
Most women want romance and commitment to happen immediately after they decide they are interested in a man, and they use sex to accelerate this process. This is because most women have a shorter dwell and a more advanced romantic spark, while because many men feel they have more to lose, their dwell is usually higher.
Every time a man approaches a woman, his ego is on the line. If he's like most men, many women have already hurt him. Thus, every time he expresses interest in a woman, she has a chance to join the many who have hurt him. Not only that, but contrary to what most women believe, most men think in terms of marriage: Could I fall in love with this woman? Could I marry her? Can I see myself supporting her for the rest of her life?
Men have to think about these things because women's liberation has liberated few men from the role of primary provider.
So most men not only spend a lot of time thinking about whether to ask women out, but once they are in a relationship with someone, whether to take it further because they're putting so much on the line. What's more, now that men can be charged with sexual harassment for even complimenting a woman, let alone asking her out for a date, they have to consider law suits, career costs and social castration, too.
Women, on the other hand, have good reason for wanting to speed the process up -- when you're sitting on the side-lines waiting for someone else to take the initiative, it can seem like forever. So it's easy for women to get impatient and come to the conclusion all men are romantic retards: "In general, women seem to be in more of a hurry about relationships and especially about commitment. (Why They Don't Call When They Say They Will and Other Mixed Signals, Joy Browne, p 30)
Should men respond to the female agenda? Become more "advanced" and speed up the process? Not according to Dr. Judy Kuriansky: "I offer that the process of selection we all use when we decide who's right and who's wrong for us has to be slowed down." (How To Love A Nice Guy, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, p 18)
In the hustle of modern life, itís easy to hurry relationships. To seek a deep and abiding love in the arms of a stranger. Unfortunately, rushing relationships too often leads to breakup and heartache.
But men know time taken to cultivate friendship first will almost always lead to rejection. Thus, while most men are less in a hurry to commit, they are also almost always anxious to hurry sex. As most women know, that's not healthy, either. Sex, like love, is best not hurried.
Slow Sex, Lingering Love
As Warren Farrell notes in Farrell: Why Men Are the Way They Are, men know that if they don't rush sex, they can count on celibacy. Who is responsible for this? Conversely, women know that if they do not hurry relationships, they may remain single forever. Who is to blame for that?
Are men wrong for wanting sex? Should women give up their desire for long-term relationships? Are women and men destined always to compete in the arena of love? Or is there a solution?
The pop-feminist solution is to give total control to women, and total responsibility to men. While such a quick fix might make a few women feel better about themselves in the short term, long term resolution requires equal participation.
For more than twenty years, men have heard a message very loud and clear: slow down! And, for more than twenty years, many men have been doing just that. Slowing down on sex, spending more time cultivating friendships with women, and getting to know and appreciate them as people. In this respect, many, if not most men have already changed. Unfortunately, women have not.
Women seldom have sex with their friends. As young women, they still prefer the virility they misapprehend in "macho" men. And as adults, they still swarm to money like flies in the night to an outdoor light. Consequently, women now need to change. And they need to start by doing their fair share of initiating relationships.
Until they do, men will always seem like romantic retards.
Rod Van Mechelen