Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Selfishness

After I did the recent post about my boyfriend situation, one of my readers who's in his mid 20's sent me an email which contained some interesting thoughts. The following paragraph in particular caught my attention:

Perhaps I might bring some perspective as someone at the other end of the spectrum - not just in terms of age, but in terms of freshness of experience in that I haven't really ever had any boyfriends, and that I am currently on the London dating scene (though, purely through choice, less so since the New Year). Dating is ugly. Most people have a lot of requirements, and the behaviour you got from Boyfriend R is typical of the behaviour of my generation. I don't think it's just a question of his age, but his generation. Do you see what I mean? It's a me-me-me culture these days. Not so with Boyfriend S. I expect he's probably a very low maintenance guy (your break-up excluded). There aren't that many of them left these days.

I'm not sure how old this reader thinks I am given that he puts me 'at the other end of the spectrum', because I'm nowhere near as old as that implies! But in any case, the idea that young guys are high maintenance is interesting. In my reply, I said

Whatever decade one was born in, I reckon one becomes more robust with time, or do you think that's less true for younger guys these days?

to which his response was

I do think it's less true for younger guys these days. But I think another factor is culture. I think the Continentals and Latins are very difficult per se. The Chinese/Asian cultures a bit better. Class/chips on the shoulder a factor too. Maybe you could do a survey on whether your readership thought any particular factors made for "high maintenance".

Although I'm not sure it's worth doing a survey, it's certainly easy to find 'high maintenance' guys. For example, the reader who sent me the email about being too greedy in the bedroom can't deny that his requests are in the high maintenance category!

Discussing this with boyfriend P yesterday, he thought that the me-me-me attitude is simply a manifestation of the feelings of invincibility that all young guys experience. That's always been there, however the reader is suggesting that young guys today are more selfish than young guys were a few decades ago.

I actually think that the reader might be right. In countries like Britain today, most young guys have so many more opportunities in all areas of life than their parents probably had. The more choices there are, the more choosy people become, and by extension the more demanding they become too. High maintenance guys are much less likely to find themselves boyfriends, which I think is a pity for the guys concerned. Although I've got a bit of a reputation for casual hook-ups, I am a big fan of deeper relationships. However, I also think that as guys get older their ability to compromise grows. So perhaps even today's most high maintenance young guys will eventually be capable of forming relationships :-).

5 comments:

Masturbedroom said...

However, I also think that as guys get older their ability to compromise grows. So perhaps even today's most high maintenance young guys will eventually be capable of forming relationships :-).

Doesn't that miss the point that younger guys are difficult to go out with (while they are young)? I have always approached guys my own age or a bit older and who are slightly less attractive than me. Works most of the time, though attrativeness can be very subjective!

Ky said...

I think another factor would be the emergence of internet dating / hook up sites such as gaydar. It certainly opens up choices for a lot of guys - the next best thing could be just one click away. I think it is a contributing factor to people becoming more choosy.

czechOUT said...

The compromise comment is interesting. I recently left my thoughts on compromise on the Accidental Activist's blogpost as follows:

"Put it in context - that helps.

Are you compromising in life choices such as whether you will have children together (adoption, surrogacy), whether you will live for the long term in the UK or abroad? Those are both dreams we have individually had, that we have had to compromise on because that dream clashes with the other's vision.

Or is it, will we go to G-A-Y or will we stay at home?

It's a fact that if you become two, then you have to compromise. But it's less of a challenge when you are in love and committed.

But I think you have first to experience the difficulties of trying to compromise. Learn from those decisions badly made that really cost you, when compromise would have meant giving up so little.

When it's right for you it won't be difficult.

ahoj"

With the exception of mon C, my last (proper) relationships have been with guys my junior. Ben was 7 years younger (5 years together). Simon was 11 years younger (7.5 years together).

Experience makes compromise easier, for sure. But often immaturity is the problem with much younger guys. That, and their interest in only having things paid for then which rather quickly becomes boring and unattractive.

It was also my experience that I got bored with them quicker than they did. They had very little to offer other than the attraction of youth.

Your only as young as the person you sleep with is surely the driver.

And as for:

-the boyfriend situation

I'm sorry to hear that. I'll give my thoughts later.

-being at the other end of the age spectrum

1989, let's say you were both 16, then now you are 34. However, I have a vague recollection of University and beyond, so say you met around 26 years that would put you around 44. possibly you could have met later when you yourself were more able to compromise. Say 32. Puts you about 50. Someone in their 20's will think 27+ at the other end of the spectrum.

For my own part, I'm 41 and happy to be where I am in my life. I don't want to have to repeat it all again.

With age comes experience. Never shy away.

ahoj

GB said...

Actually I was thinking more of young guys dating each other Masturbedroom :-). If there are two selfish duys trying to date each other, it's extremely unlikely to work!

I think you're spot on regarding internet dating sites Ky :-). It's just another manifestation of how we all have so many choices these days.

Where have you been czechOUT? It's been quite a while since you left a comment here but you're always welcome :-).

GB xxx

glhairyfxxker said...

GB,

Isn't the behaviour of younger men just a Generation Y phenomenon? I appreciate your view on maturity and the effect it has on us in general, but a lot of ink has been spilt on the effect of generational changes on our perspectives to work, our social interactions, etc. It's not surprising that social factors prevailing during a person’s upbringing will affect them (regardless of the general effect of maturity over time). The consensus view in respect of Generation Y seems to be that it is a generation which expects reward without hard work. This seems to permeate the fabric of our society. I’m not sure what has caused this, but maybe celebrity culture gone wild is a good starting place.

For interest, I found the below on Wikipedia. The parts on loyalty (that Generation Y is always looking for something better) is particularly interesting...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Y