Wed | Jul 28, 2021

As A Man: Caring vs control

Published:Monday | November 30, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

It is amazing how many women get - and stay - involved with men who do not care about them.

Similarly, it is fascinating how many women dismiss a decent man with whom they are involved and move on to a single life or a singularly horrible gentleman.

In a perverse way, though, I understand a woman's particular tendency to be with a man who does not care much for her (and I am not talking about outright abuse here), because nothing involving her is a problem.

Working late and coming home at odd hours of the night when mostly policeman, tief, and mawga dawg deh a road? No problem to Mr Ideal No Pressure Guy, because it does not matter to him if she is carjacked and bad things happen to her. He won't be constantly asking her what time she is leaving work and calling every few minutes while she is on her way, to know exactly where she is on her route.

Constant checks too much for some

Some women's impression? The man who is constantly calling to check up is just too much - and might even suspect that she has another guy somewhere and is trying his best to prevent a booty call. On the other hand, the guy who does not call because he does not care two hoots about whether she reaches home or ends up as a few paragraphs in a newspaper trusts her. That misinterpretation of trust is in two ways - not only is he assured of her fidelity, but he also thinks she is a big girl and can take care of herself.

Take another scenario. The woman is working hard at her professional advancement pushing her education while working hard at her job. It means that she has very little time - or inclination - for anything else. For the Greatest Guy in the World, it does not matter, not least of all, because he has any number of other hotties he can call on for a ride or just a good time out on the town. However, Mr Dedicated needs to see his girl and is frustrated that she is never there when he needs her - as in really needs her. The Perfect Guy does not really need her at all.

However, some women misinterpret being disposable like wet wipes and interchangeable like genuine and generic car parts. Of course, there are those women who want it like that - at least, at particular stages in their lives. Inevitably, though, things change and a woman who enjoyed the freedom of not being cared about realises her true status in The Perfect Guy's life. It may be a crisis like illness and he is just not around. Or it may be the inevitability of getting older, achieving the professional goals and finally having time for the guy - then finding out that he really does not want any more of her time than he had been getting.

And that is the wake-up call, which so many women get when it is a tad late.

Of course, there are caring men who go overboard with their concern, who are cloying and nagging and miserable. Fair enough. But a woman needs to be discerning about the difference between care and control in a man, and to realise that Mr Perfect may just be the worst thing that has happened in her life.