By Brian McKay
A somewhat short (1 ½ hours) stop at the bar tonight for a couple egg white whiskey sours (holy hell they are so tasty) yielded some new insights. A group of women were discussing their desire to watch the movie “The Danish Girl”. Apparently, they had to plan such things when their boyfriends were involved with other activities due to the fact that a period piece about someone who was transgendered would certainly repel the guys from the experience.
To accompany their list of grievances was the fact that they would go skiing with their boyfriends but their guys wouldn’t go to yoga with them. Essentially, they felt they were always there for him and his activities and he wasn’t for theirs.
Ok guys, just go fucking watch “The Danish Girl”. It isn’t going to kill you and she’ll love you for it. In fact, why don’t you just start offering to be part of her activities? How many times have they sat and watched our dumbasses play video games and drink beer? Probably far too many.
It seems we foolish guys have a problem realizing that 1) doing her stuff usually results in great sex and 2) we guys are pretty damn inequitable in our demands. For some reason your activities are deemed “safe” and therefore ok, but her’s might call into question your sexuality. She can watch football but if you go anywhere near a RomCom, there might be a problem with you. Trust me there isn’t a problem with you if you watch a RomCom with her or even “The Danish Girl”. There is a problem with you if you don’t offer to make the popcorn.
It’s fine if you decide to hide such things from your guy friends or tell them she forced you. You can play it off as such very easily, but I would respect you more if you just admitted that it creates needed closeness when you do things she likes and the passion in your relationship increases. If you tell them the truth, they might get the clue and do it in their own relationships. You are doing them a favor.
John Gottman, Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington, has made a distinguished career of studying relationships and marriages and can predict with high accuracy the outcome of a relationship based on just a few minutes of video of a couple. For forty years, he has studied thousands of couples; their physiological reactions, eventual outcomes and body language, to find out the predictors of what works and what doesn’t. Success in a relationship always ends up coming down to kindness and generosity.
We do things in relationships that show a request for kindness, interest and support. The responding partner can either turn towards the other or turn away. The relationships where partners turn toward the other 87% of the time will still be together 6 years later with 94% accuracy in the prediction. It is in kindness and taking an interest in the other partner that the relationship bond is maintained.
The biggest indicator of a relationship’s eventual failure is contempt. The rolling of the eyes or deliberate ignoring of the partner is the behavior that will certainly destroy the relationship.
Kindness is like a muscle in that it takes work to keep it in shape. We have to consistently remind ourselves that even if it was a brutal day at the office, we need to turn toward her. It is worth it, as studies show that the more kindness that someone receives the kinder they will be themselves. Essentially, it creates a really positive upward spiral. Who doesn’t want that?
So guys, just because you don’t want to watch “The Danish Girl” doesn’t mean you are showing contempt or that your relationship will fail. It might even be funny and a running joke between the two of you, just as the women at the bar were laughing about their boyfriends. At the same time, why not do something she wants every now and then? Foster a little kindness in showing your mate generosity.
If you have a chance to create that awesome upward spiral of kindness and love, why not take it? Shit, go get a pedicure done with her after you watch the damn movie. Your buddies might be at the bar having beers, but tonight you are furthering the relationship that really matters. All you had to do was watch “The Danish Girl”. Easy.
zenrupt your relationship
Brian McKay is a co-founder of zenruption. He loves egg white whiskey sours and gets desperately needed article ideas at bars. If he ever ends up in a relationship, he will watch “The Danish Girl”.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license