If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, how in the world did they end up on the same planet together? Comparing males and females is like comparing apples and spinach. Unless you’ve got the right recipe, they just don’t mix.
When guys and gals are young, they have such wide varieties of personalities and levels of maturity that it definitely adds to the confusion. This has never been more true than in the wild world of high school relationships.
What do they want? Looks v. Personality
Unfortunately, both males and females sometimes get hung up on what can be unrealistic stereotypes of the “perfect” member of the opposite sex. Too often, the focus is on looks.
Girls are sometimes accused of looking for a guy who is tall, dark and handsome. Senior Andy Thompson thinks many girls are mesmerized by guys’ superficial qualities. “Girls should be more aware of our personalities and less aware of the physical aspect of guys,” he said.
However, some guys’ idea of the perfect girl proves to be a little superficial as well. “My perfect woman would be hot, have a nice rack, have a nice butt, doesn’t whine, and is really athletic,” freshman Mike Robinson said.
But not all guys believe in looking for love based on looks. “It’s all about personality,” sophomore Jeff Bruns said. “Looks are nice – don’t get me wrong. But if a girl is funny and nice, that’s all I need.”
Sophomore Alicia Clark has some of the same ideas. “I like it when a guy is a total sweetheart,” she said. “He has to show me he cares, and it would be nice if he has a good sense of humor.”
Junior Mady Brahm thinks physical attraction plays a role, but it’s not enough to base a relationship on. “When you date someone, you have to be attracted to them. But if they don’t treat you the right way, then the relationship isn’t worth it.”
Feelings … ohhh, oh feelings
And then there are the feelings. Accusations fly between the sexes regarding who is most honest about their feelings.
“A lot of guys lead girls on,” said Clark. “If guys truly care about us, then they should show it all the time, not just when it’s convenient for them.”
Indeed, trust is an issue in a relationship, and when one side sends unclear messages, it can cause anger and resentment. “Guys should be more open with how they feel,” said junior Libby Ganz-sarto. “There’s nothing I hate more than playing guessing games with a guy.”
Some girls say it’s hard for them to be upfront about their feelings with guys because guys don’t always show their true selves. Clark has advice for those guys who think they have to act macho or else they’re not cool. “Just keep it real,” she said. “Guys shouldn’t act like something they’re not – because when the truth comes out, what you expect isn’t what you had hoped for.”
Bruns seems to appreciate these complaints, but he thinks girls would be more understanding if they were a little more in touch with their masculine side. “I want girls to know that our actions don’t reflect our feelings. I mean we’re trying to be funny all the time, and half of the dumb things we do are just us trying to be funny,” he said.
But Bruns also thinks girls should admit that they aren’t always blameless. He thinks many girls are superficial because they’re all wrapped up in their personal lives and they don’t have time for true feelings. “Ninety-nine percent of girls love drama. Most of the time girls are too busy trying to stir up drama to actually be real with a guy,” he said.
Quirks fascinate, annoy the opposite sex
Guys and girls also have trouble understanding some of the idiosyncrasies of the opposite sex. One of the quirkiest things guys don’t get about girls involves texting.
“Girls are obsessed with texting,” Thompson said. “Not only do guys always have to text girls first because they ‘want to think guys care,’ but we’re supposed to text them five minutes after we get done hanging out with them. What’s the point?”
Some men are starting to fight back against this cruelty regarding texting. “If a girl tells me that I have to text her first, I never do,” Robinson said. “If she texts me, she’s worth it. If not, I’ll just remember that men are better than women and move on.”
Junior Dustin Davies, on the other hand, has been wondering about a phenomenon that has perplexed the male population for generations. “I just don’t get why girls always go to the bathroom in groups. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Some guys think it’s for a very common reason. “Girls never like to be alone. If they aren’t talking with each other all the time, they’d probably die,” sophomore Simon Wilson said.
However, some guys see a more sinister motive. “Women are planning on taking over the world,” said freshman Matt Dunlinger. “They have their secret meetings in the bathroom.”
But girls question some of the guys’ rituals, too. “It’s weird when guys smack each other’s butts,” said Ganz-sarto.
Many guys don’t have an exact answer for this, but most seem to think it’s got something to do with boosting each other’s confidence. “I’m not exactly sure why we do it, but it’s mostly just to tell each other they did a good job,” said junior Victor Scarpelli. “It’s kind of like a high five or a good luck thing when someone does something good.”
Shallow sex-seekers … or sensitive guys?
Finally, there’s always the underlying question of what motivates teens to get involved in a relationship in the first place.
Wilson paints a picture that might make some teens of either sex cringe. “Guys are just shallow people who are all trying to get lucky. It’s not their fault, men are all just programmed to be hollow and have basically no feelings at all,” he said.
But Bruns believes many men do have hearts. “We’re not all looking for sex. Some guys can be jerks, but most guys believe in true love and have pure intentions,” he said. “More often than not, guys are going to surprise you with just how sensitive they really are.”