I have been asked previously why I've never had angry rants about any of my exes or women in general. Obviously things have happened in previous relationship that have made me angry (that's where the "ex" part comes in) but it isn't something I wanted to focus on in this blog, for a number of reasons.
First, I don't want to sound all whiny and embittered, a common pitfall for either gender when railing against insane exes (and I'm sure we all agree: all our exes are insane, otherwise they would still be worshipping us). Second, although I do this blog anonymously it isn't impossible that one of my exes would find out and recognise themselves. This would be bad for two reasons: one, I have no wish to restart old fights, two, some of my exes are dangerous psychotics and I don't want to re-motivate them to hunt me down.
A brief note to any exes who read this and work out who I am: you are clearly not the psychotic one, she's not smart enough to track me down on the net, no matter how much she tries.
So rather than saying what makes me angry about relationships, I offer the following pieces of advice, divided along gender lines where appropriate:
Rule #1 for males: It probably is your fault, so just accept it. Jokes aside, the range of male behaviour that would not even be noticed by the majority of other males can actually be quite affronting. Remember: just because you don't think it's offensive doesn't mean it really isn't offensive.
Rule #2 for males: It is almost impossible to over-communicate. Throughout history, the vast majority of relationship issues have spiraled out of control because a male didn't say something he assumed was understood.
Rule #1 for females: Internalising emotions doesn't mean you have no emotions. Men have a tendency to internalise, it rarely helps a man in life if he's overly expressive. Just because he doesn't talk about his feelings doesn't mean he doesn't have feelings.
Rule #2 for females: Decide what you like/want in a man and go for that type of man. Don't for the love of the baby Jeebus pick a man and then try to change him. Rough, tough macho men are unlikely to develop a sensitive, emotional side. Quiet, introspective men are unlikely to change into rugged outdoorsmen. Make everyone's life easier and DON'T TRY TO CHANGE MEN! Pick the right type in the first place.
One thing women should never say to men: in the rare circumstance where a man perceives that you are upset about something and he asks "what's the matter?" Don't say "Nothing's the matter." Don't do it. Never. No matter how angry you are. Say "I'm too angry at you to talk to you now" or "I'm too upset right now" or a simple "I don't feel like talking right now, we can talk later." But don't say "nothing". This is pointless and counterproductive for two reasons:
One: the man knows you are upset and gets pissed off when you brush him off like that. He thinks to himself: "Last damn time I ask her how she's feeling." And you'll wonder why you don't "connect" any more.
Two: the man thinks you're telling the truth and wanders off thinking everything is A-OK. Men are notoriously lacking in emotional sensitivity. If you luck into a scenario where he senses that you are upset, grab the opportunity with both hands. If he's the type who believes you when you say "nothing" he'll never notice your feelings again. If he does sense anything he'll assume he's wrong because you told him he was wrong last time. And it isn't really fair to be upset at him when his only flaw was to believe what you told him.
One thing men should never say to women: "When is the baby due?" Seriously. Never say this. No matter how sure you are she's pregnant. Because once you say this to a woman who turns out not to be pregnant, there's no recovering. You are forever condemned to the "ignorant male" category.
I realise I'm only talking about heterosexual relationships here. This isn't because I'm making any judgement on the value of gay relationships – I'm merely sticking to my areas of expertise. What the hell do I know about being gay?