Why do men need alone time away from their families?
Why is a married man out on a Saturday night, drinking and talking to me, instead of home with his family?
Saturday night, I went out with Donna, a good friend whom I met in the blogging world. It’s just icing on the cake that she lives near me and is also a single mom.
We went to a new local place and sat at the bar. We just wanted a night out, and weren’t specifically on the prowl for men. However, we have pulses and don’t look like Quasimodo so I assumed men would talk to us.
Initially, Donna and I got involved in conversation with two other women. Eventually, three men – all married – joined us. It didn’t take long for the men to split up, with each man focusing on one woman individually (or, in our case, on Donna and I together.)
The man talking to us was extremely nice, and quite personable. He was not inappropriate in any way. He made it very clear that he was married, and spoke about his wife in glowing terms.
She’s a stay at home mom to their three kids, which he acknowledged is a tough job. But Married Guy also spoke of how his wife gets to go to the gym and shop, every day. And how “nice” her closet is. He presented this as a way to justify why he goes out on Saturdays without her. That, and the fact that he puts in very long hours.
Like the majority of the men where we live, Married Guy is very successful. I work later in the day, and when I used to go to the gym, it was at prime “stay at home mom” hour – 9 am. Many of these women are just as he described – they spend their days at the gym, and taking care of their hair, nails, waxing, facials, tanning. They have people who clean their homes. They spring into action between the hours of 3 pm and 9 pm, when the have to supervise homework/activities/dinner/bedtime.
Those six hours are hard, and if they choose to spend the six hours prior to that grooming, it’s their prerogative. I would spend that time writing, but I have the “Lindsay Lohan on drugs” chipped-nails look and I think it was Daylight Savings time the last time I washed my hair.
I wasn’t sure what Married Guy’s agenda was. He had taken his family out earlier. Now, he needed his going out time. Why didn’t he want to go out with this wife? Or stay in with her?
I posted this query on Facebook, and it opened up a debate that went on for two days.
Perhaps he’s just a hard-working guy, who enjoys time away from the family. Why not go to a baseball game? Or play poker with the guys, like my Ex used to? Should a night out include going to a bar and talking with women who are obviously single?
It could be that he enjoys the ego boost of talking to women. A few people on Facebook mentioned if you go outside your marriage for some innocent validation, no harm, no foul.
I believe that marriage cannot, and should not be expected to, fulfill all your personal needs. If you love to dance; if you like long, in-depth conversations, and your spouse is disinterested in these things, it’s perfectly acceptable to meet these needs outside the marriage. However, regularly seeking attention from the opposite sex to boost your ego? That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
I’m an incorrigible flirt. My Ex used to say I would flirt with a piece of wood. But I’m an equal opportunity flirt. I flirt with men, women, grandmas, little kids, dogs. When I was married, I was more likely to flirt with a man in broad daylight in a supermarket than in a bar at night. My ‘girls nights out’ sans husband did not include drinking and flirting with men in bars. That seemed like a bad idea. My super ego is solvent in alcohol, and many of my bad decisions have been fueled by drinking.
There is something inherently missing in a marriage if a man consistently seeks attention from other women. Unfortunately, some men, and women, would rather seek that missing element outside the marriage, instead of investing energy IN the marriage to address it.
My marriage had problems – obviously; I’m divorced – but having fun and feeling very attracted to one another was never one of them. During our marriage, my Ex was my favorite person to go out with – AND my favorite man to flirt with.
Saturday night, I was definitely buzzed. I appreciated this man’s attention. He made no overt moves on me, but I felt a definite vibe that he found me attractive.
Which is why, just before midnight, my fairy godmother whispered into my ear to get the hell out of there. I wasn’t comfortable bantering with a 40-year-old married guy who lives 5 minutes from me, who made it clear he had TONS of disposable income. It smelled of “looking for a little something on the side.”
No thanks. I’m not interested in scratching some married guy’s itch.
Before Donna and I left, Married Guy asked us to meet him back at the same place in two weeks.
I almost want to go. But only so I can write “Part Two” to this article.
**Note: Two weeks have passed, and Samara did NOT go back. It seems as though there are plenty of single men who are as willing to cause her trouble as the married ones…
Photo: Paul Kline
Should married people go out and banter with people of the opposites sex?
Can it be purely innocent conversation, or is there always a subtext?
Should I go back to that bar?
Talk to me. I’m listening.