• Home
  • About
  • Guest Post

    She’s not gonna fix it up too easy

    Why do people insist on asking questions they don’t want to know the answers to? Or, more importantly, why can’t people find someone else to ask questions they don’t want to know the answers to? I don’t give unsolicited advice. I know how to be tactful, and I don’t hold with the tough-love approach to friendship except in cases of extreme self-destructive behavior.

    But there are only so many euphemisms for “The reason your relationship doesn’t seem to be working is that your boyfriend is scum.” I have enough to last for a few months. Once I’ve exhausted them and lost my cool, though, my mewling friend may suddenly find himself on the receiving end of the super-deeuphemized version: “The reason your relationship doesn’t seem to be working is that your boyfriend is scum and YOU are a SUCKER. A sucker, a sucker, A SUCKER. All he has to do when you read him the riot act is adopt that soulful look and tell you he’ll try to do better. Then he’s extra-attentive in the sack for the rest of the week, and you’re all like, ‘Wow! He really loves me after all! I’m so lucky!’ Use your head. Three days of molten, ecstatic reconciliatory screwing are not the kind of thing you can expect a gay man to register as a PUNISHMENT, my pet, even if they’re preceded by a tiresome four-hour argument about feelings. Where’s the incentive to change his behavior?”

    I realize this problem is as old as the hills, but I really don’t get it. Most of the time before Atsushi, I was a Good Learning Experience for the guys I dated. (Didn’t I tell you I was proficient with the euphemisms?) I hope I don’t seem to be giving a ringing defense of bad boyfriends when I say that if your behavior signals that you’re willing to tolerate being undervalued, it’s not illogical for your partner to conclude that he’s actually doing just fine overall and that your complaints just mean you’re in one of your touchy moods.

    That’s especially true in a bicultural relationship, in which one of you will always be communicating in a non-native language and set of cultural signals. People do grow up (hi!), but indulging them doesn’t help them on the way. It also makes the indulger miserable, and have I mentioned that it drives his friends bananas?

    2 Responses to “She’s not gonna fix it up too easy”

    1. Michael says:

      I know how to be tactful

      That would be such a nice skill to have.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Well, I didn’t say I always use it.

    Leave a Reply