Posted by: nieophyte | April 19, 2008

Anything you can do, I can do better

So, I know we merging lanesters are trying hard to keep our identities as anonymous as possible, but I would like to divulge with you, dear reader, that of the 5 original writers on this site, I am the only female. And frankly, I’m kind of proud of that! I hope that I’ve done a good job of holding my own with the boys. Though my posts are admittedly more personal, narrative and less systematic in rhetoric, I hope that my own theological underpinnings have come through clearly, provocatively, effectively.

And I have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with my brothers on this site. Their thoughts and opinions are robust and challenging. Their exposure to various ideologies and cultural artifacts is invaluable to me. You boys are truly top notch.

All of my distant admiration of the brothers was somewhat ruffled, however, when one day, while in a chatroom discussing the future of merging lanes some of our brothers asked that we excuse them of their lack of involvement because they had just started dating.

ummm … seriously?

This seemed so strange to me. And yet, upon further reflection, I realized that a lot of my guy friends became unrecognizeable once they started dating. Their phone calls stopped. Their productivity dipped. Back in college, their grades slipped. We didn’t see them around ministry activities so much anymore. In other words, they went completely AWOL.

Brothers, what’s the deal?? I mean, I’m as romantic as they come, but are you seriously going to tell me that the woman in your life makes you completely … ahem … impotent in the other areas of your life? Bros before ho’s my friends! I mean, isn’t that your manly mantra?

On the other hand, I find that my female friends start dating and become superwomen. They work out more, they look better, take on more responsibility, clean themselves up AND their boyfriends. They pick up gardening. Start baking. Learn how to cook three course meals while simultaneously reading up on current events. They rock at their jobs and get promotions. They serve at church, visit their parents often and go on bi-annual missions trips with World Vision.

My theory is that eventually, the women surpass their men, their men feel threatened, and eventually leave them for someone a little duller, less interesting, less threatening.

Then, out of bitterness, the women become more and more productive (Note: After my own breakup, I took up sewing and German!). In the end, men die off and women rule the world!

Ok, I’m just kidding. But really, is there something you boys are trying to tell us? Is dating that stressful? Anything we can help you with to ease the pain?





  1. am i being completely blasphemous when i begin likening what you’ve written to adam and eve? where in the partnership they had in eden we find that it was the woman who was proactive in decision making (even though it was the worst decision she could have ever made) and the man who did not stand alongside her to keep accountable…

    just a vague thought that followed with vague connections in my head after reading what you had to say.

    i dunno-ing

  2. what the…
    i don’t really know what i wrote up there..

  3. l think it’s actually a good thing that some guys take dating seriously. As in investing time & energy into getting to know where things are going and if they are headed in the right direction.

    My own observations is that dating has varied effects on both sides of the gender divide. Going MIA is not exclusive to just the males. I’m not saying that going MIA is good, but it’s not very often that we have friends that are close enough to wack us over the head and ask us why we’ve dropped off the face of the earth. I’ve found that sometimes, guys are the last to notice things like how their responsibilities are dropping like flies, yes, I must include myself in this group. So I would hope that when the chemicals start pumping thru my brains and I start dropping the ball, I have a friend who is close enough and who cares enough to call me out on it.

    Nieophyte, maybe that’s you… 🙂

  4. Damn, this post has the feel of a SMACKDOWN.

    Relationships do occupy a huge portion of time and effort, I think it’s because many girls feel that a relationship is more of a natural state of being than guys do.

    Or maybe that’s just my skewed perspective. My default attitude towards relationships is that they take effort, the good ones do, anyway. Maybe that’s a wrong perspective in the first place, because maybe a truly truly awesome relationship is more effortless than laborious.

    Nevertheless, I agree with ha that there are definitely girls who vaporize off the face of the planet when they start dating, and definitely do not become self-improvers.

  5. Bros before hos sounds like a good mantra as a guy until you have a…ahem.
    yes, anyways I agree that guys tend to disappear. but it’s mainly because we aren’t that good at managing our time and being super-productive anyways, so once you throw the dating thing in there, it all goes out of whack.
    but before we get all gender-triumphalist here, let’s recognize that many girls WANT to monopolize their man’s time.
    not that i know this from my own life, of course, just from observing others…

  6. HA, impotent. ilovesit.

  7. I don’t feel like I’ve disappeared at all because of my relationship. I still see my friends frequently throughout the weekend and see my girlfriend frequently too.

    But maybe it’s because she lives about 25 min away and we both work that it’s different for us.

    I won’t speak on girls self-improving or not while in a relationship. Too risky.

  8. On the note about the breakup and becoming more productive: I vouch that it happens on the guy’s side too.

    But it seems sort of artificial, this newly-motivated self-improvement, because its purpose is to fill the incredible ache of inner loneliness that would implode your heart if you didn’t stuff the black hole/vortex with some kind of filler.

    Again, maybe that’s just me.

  9. Something that just occurred to me: will any of the other female readers back me up when I say that it’s far more attractive for a guy to actively be filling his life with lots of things apart from a relationship? I mean, I like attentive men, of course, of course. But it’s not attractive or healthy when men become completely lost in a relationship and have nothing else to occupy their thoughts and their time.

    Personal improvement is a damn good thing and very hot too. My advice to the brothers: stop moping or doting and get busy! You’ll be much better for it.

  10. I will back you up, sister. It is FAR hotter to be involved with a man who doesn’t allow his life to revolve around you, who says, “I’m busy tonight reading books for my seminary class/ having dinner with my friends/going to the coffee shop to read my Bible. But I also have to admit that I am one of those girls who fades into her relationship, meaning that I unfortunately spend more time on the couch watching DVDs with my boyfriend (now husband) than investing in myself or others, cultivating my inner life, or developing my interests. I know this about myself, and I try to resist becoming a jelly-like blob. It is absolutely vital that you retain your passion for growth and self-improvement, or you will have less to contribute to the relationship, and your happiness begins to depend on the other person. Also, you resent them when their other commitments take them away from you. I think in the beginning relationships need dedicated time and attention, but there has to be a time when you reemerge from the other person and remember who you are and all the goals and dreams you had before you met this wonderful new love interest.

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