It appears that we are raising our boys wrong. Notice that I am using the word, "boys," not "men." I'll explain in further detail why.
Let me give you a little story about myself and this guy.
For as long as I can remember, I haven't had a real crush on a guy. It all changed when I came to college. It's different from high school. In high school, you think you know what you want in a guy/girl, but you don't. When you come to college, you have more freedom and start taking classes of your choice and going to events that you want, and in that you are able to find that someone you vibe with.
This happened to me at a party. I was not expecting to meet this guy at all. Although we shared one class, I had not had a serious conversation with this guy before. Let's call him Ryan.
So there I was, looking all cute and nervous at this party with close dancing. All of a sudden, this guy grabs me to dance with him, but he asks for permission as he pulls me closer to him. I agree, I mean why not? It's what your supposed to do at a party.
So we danced for a good 5 minutes and he thanked me for dancing and left. My heart was beating fast and I loosened up for the night. I decided to dance with even more guys, but Ryan was still on my mind. Was I really starting to develop feelings for a guy who just danced close with me? Yes.
After the party, I went to bed, replaying when Ryan and I danced. It felt so good, I felt liberated. I recalled my curvy hips close to his and my back pressing against his chest. I couldn't wait for Monday to see his face again in class.
Being the shy girl that I was, I avoided socializing with him for a week. On the following weekend I caught him holding hands with different girls and asking other girls to dance. Of course he was a player. But what caught me by surprise was the week after when he finally approached me.
After printing something at the library, I saw him. I didn't know he worked there. He noticed me about to head up stairs and ran, calling out my name. I looked back and stopped, a little surprised. He actually wanted to talk to me.
"I want to get to know you," Ryan said, "I want to get to know what's on your mind." Wow, well this was different. He wasn't asking to go hook-up with me or anything else, he actually wanted to get to know my intellect. This made me like him more, but I still thought he was a player. I gave him my number, he seemed desperate for me to do something with him that same day. However, I wasn't that type of girl.
The next day, I decided to give him a text and came over to his room. I had to bring up my thoughts on seeing him holding hands with many girls and trying to make me feel special with his words. Ryan laughed, and explained he was just helping out his drunk friends by holding their hands. He then admitted that he is sexually intimate with different girls, stating that, no, he was not interested in me emotionally. Ryan also has a philosophical way of talking where everything he says sounds right and calm. I believed it and still decided to cuddle with him for the night.
Unfortunately I did what you're not supposed to do when you like a player- I got attached to him. I texted him so much but he barely responded. I loved talking to him and hearing what he said. He was well-spoken, but at the end of the day, he didn't like me the same way I liked him and he said to was only "physically attracted" to me.
Everything we had done was 100% consensual and I did agree to do stuff with him, but every time I tried to understand his feelings and past love life, he wouldn't open up much about it or didn't want to bring it up.
And this is the problem with the boys we are raising. We teach them that feeling something is not tolerable. Ryan always told me that he didn't care about what people thought about him and that he only does what he wants. This is a reckless mentality to have. The reason why is because other individuals can be hurt when you don't care about other people's feelings and only care about yourself. This does not allow our boys to develop into men. These boys are too cowardly to show their feelings to the world or even admit that they care for another girl in an emotional level.
Apparently, Ryan liked this girl his first year of college and this caught me by surprise. So he did have feelings. Till this day, I wonder what about that girl made him open up his heart and have feelings for her. Ryan told this girl he would not wait for her and so she moved on without him. He regrets that till this day and wish he would've told her otherwise.
I do feel bad for Ryan and boys. I am sorry that society has shaped you all into thinking that commitment and emotional feelings is a no-no. I wish society did a better job at showing that physical intimacy isn't all there is. We see sexual references everywhere in the media and this image of sexualizing women is drilled into our minds. Too much focus is placed on the physical body rather than the mind.
We are failing to give an accurate depiction of love. In no way am I criticizing anyone who likes to hook-up and have open relationships. I am just stating that we have failed our boys by suppressing how they really feel.
I still care for Ryan and do not fave feelings for him as much as I used to but I hope that one day he can realize it's okay to become emotionally attached to someone and that caring for others will not hurt him.