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The Bitter Lemon: Shhh, I’m talking

“We’re selfish, so all we want is a girl who’s going to listen to everything we say and act like it’s the coolest thing ever.”

A guy friend of mine was trying to explain the inner-workings of the male brain to me. I’d just heard on the radio that the No. 1 reason a man will dump a woman early in a relationship is if she doesn’t listen (according to survey results).

Um, come again?

I was shocked by this, so I turned to my male friend to see if it was true. It took him less than a minute to say yes, it was true and expand with the aforementioned.

This surprised me for two reasons: One, I didn’t think men really cared about much else outside of physical appearance or the ratio of sexual activity to nagging; and two, I feel like I’m a great listener, so what gives?

I agreed with my friend that yes, men are egotistical, so of course they want someone who’s obsessed with their every move.

On the other hand, how many times have you been obviously into a guy and it sends him running for the hills?

Personally, that’s happened to me more times than I’d like to admit. Everyone knows you’ve got to play hard to get to not appear desperate, and to keep the guy somewhat interested.

In general, I’ve got a curiosity for people, and I love stories. Because of this, it’s not unlike me to ask lots of questions no matter who I’m around.

But this clearly hasn’t had any benefi ts for my dating game. I decided to share this information with my hair stylist because she’s obviously the person I go to for all of my needs.

“For years, I’ve sat there and listened to all of their dumb shit,” I told her, referring to past boyfriends.

Of course, at the time, I was really into just about everything they told me, no matter what it was.

And that’s the other part of this equation that rubs me the wrong way. Dear men, if you want us to hang on your every word, then let’s start by saying something interesting.

Here’s the truth: rarely (and I mean about twice) have I met a guy who’s got something cool to say.

A majority of the guys I meet have three topics to discuss: work stress, sports matchups and it’s a tossup between the weather and what happened on XM radio.

Riveting.

The other half of this equation is the woman, you know, that human who’s listening to the words coming out of your face is someone who wants to speak, as well.

Coincidentally, a conversation is a two-way street. If it were a one-way street, you’d eventually keep circling, and you’d never get anywhere.

Aside from this whole “listening” rule making absolutely no sense, it amazes me that no matter how far we think we’ve come, we’re still in an environment that wishes women would keep quiet.

Perhaps that is one of the many reasons why I’m single. If there’s an outlet for my voice, I’ve used it, and I’d venture to say that’s never going to change.

Yes, I like to listen and learn about the person I’m talking to. But I also like contributing to conversation, whether it’s just talking about my day, or even politics and pop culture.

If you’re a guy looking for someone to listen and not speak, I’d suggest starting a podcast. If it’s at all groundbreaking, maybe I’ll pick up a pair of headphones.

Read more about talking more and listening less on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.

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