This Just In: Not All Guys Are The Same (Shocking!)

Dear Dude is a twice-monthly column in which my good friend, The Dude, answers some of your questions about the hairier sex. Dear Dude is an industrial designer by day and a serial flirt by night. He owns entirely too many bikes and a fairly well-behaved dog. He loves good food, good music and smart ladies.

Hey Dude,
Why is it that once u guys are dumped, why do u keep coming back and trying even w/pitiful emails think that the dumper still is interested even when they have told u no, thanks? Don’t u guys have any pride?

Hey nibbles –
Tough question… even tougher grammar and spelling…

Long answer: Most guys (and I think people in general) don’t like losing. If they have something – love, cell phone, keys, a moist towelette – whether they are happy with it or not, want to hang on to it over losing it. Giving it away is different, and better than having it taken away, or losing it.

Are you a heart breaker? Are you easily bored with guys? Are you prone to be in mismatched relationships where he is more into you, than you into he? I’m no professional, I’m just a dude, and I’m not going to analyze you, but if that sounds even the least bit like you, maybe you tend to attract “that type”… clingy, mildly pathetic, immature, co-dependant… In which case, maybe there is more to this issue than you think. Maybe you are “dating down”, and need someone more challenging. Or you need to quit the tight pant, indy music emo guys. Just sayin’

There are enough examples of “against all odds, conflicts and hardship, we can be together” stories in our popular culture, movies and our friend circles that many people are probably convinced that they too can be one of those stories.

To over share for a moment, I was once one of “those guys”. I’m not going to get into too much detail, but the major points are that I was with her for 10 years, married for the last 4. She met someone, and got a shot of that “fresh relationship” adrenaline. She had someone to confide in and tell all the things she formerly told me. I did the pathetic “woe-is-me” calls, texts and emails; begged, etc. I’m not proud, but I was still deeply in love. And it was crashing down around me… the life we had planned and been working on, was suddenly a wreck… or at least horribly off track. I will admit, there were times I wondered if I could go on with life. I did. I have. Life is better now.

Sure, I have baggage, but the simple fact that I am telling this story arbitrarily in response to a question that might well have been composed on a calculator is proof that I am reconciling that past. Making sure it is the past, and not the future. Most importantly, learning from it.

Short answer: No, no pride at all.


A note from Sarah Von:
About a gajillion times, I have overhead women (or, um, myself) say things like this: “why don’t guys ….?” “why do guys always ….?” or worse yet “ugh, boys are stupid!” or “all men are the same.”

For the love of Pete. Let’s stop this foolishness. It’s ridiculous to assume that 50% of the population of the world will react to a given situation in the same manner because they happen to have a y chromosome. Saying this kind of stuff creates an ‘us versus them’ mindset (which isn’t healthy for anybody) and it’s a disservice to all the great men out there. When I overhear people saying things like “women are so irrational” and “that’s a typical female response” my brain starts to melt with rage. Making giant negative generalizations about men isn’t really any different.

I know we’ve all had our hearts stepped on before and surely that can engender a bit of animosity. But let’s resist the urge to lump all men under one heading. I like to think I’m a complex and multifaceted person. I’m pretty sure men are, too.

How do you feel about the ‘battle’ between the sexes? Do you ever catch yourself making negative generalizations about men?

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  1. Nina

    women aren't the only ones guilty of generalising…
    "Or you need to quit the tight pant, indy music emo guys"

    yep. all indy boys are emo. all indy boys are needy.

    boys suck, girls suck…and actually… quite a few of each sex are quite marvellous.

  2. Han

    There's a lady at work, her and her husband have been married about 27 years ish something like that. Every time she talks about her husband it's to whinge about what he does or doesn't do, or to put him down.

    Sometimes I rant about my hubby but I try to be positive because yeah he does stuff to annoy me but thats just me not everyone else.

    I'm pretty sure he sits at work going "She makes no sense" "Why does she do that"

    We're just as bad as each other!

  3. The Naked Redhead

    I actually wasn't sure if I liked this Dear Dude column until this:

    "Tough question… even tougher grammar and spelling…"

    Hahaha…not all guys are the same, some are much more witty than others.

  4. JAMIE

    Addicted! Love The Dude!

    I rarely make negative generalizations about men. It's way more fun to embrace the differences, yes?

  5. Vanessa

    Thanks for this post! This needs to be said more often, and especially by women who are so loved and respected by their audiences. We need to remember that there are awful people in both genders– meaning there are awesome ones, too. No more of this "us vs them" nonsense, please.

  6. grace b

    I totally generalized last night that all guys were horrible at making plans/getting back to me about plans…maybe it's just the guys in the 21-29 age bracket?

  7. megan

    "Making giant negative generalizations about men isn't really any different."

    It isn't different at all!

    So I agree, and hate the whole "men are pigs" thing. Very annoying. There isn't a problem with one sex over the other; people in general have the potential to be bad (or good).
    I think, as far as this particular subject goes, it would be a bit better for everyone if we tried to focus on others as people and individuals, instead of lumping them up.

    (I kind of feel like I just repeated things already said, haha. Still wanted to share though!)

  8. resolute twig

    this is my favorite dear dude ever 🙂

  9. Miss Diazepam

    I absolutely agree with what you said, Sarah, but I also think that once you write:"a column in which my good friend, The Dude, answers some of your questions about the hairier sex." questions are obviously going to be generalizing. Firstly because it's meant in an ironic way (as well as the whole column), and also because, well, how are we supposed to ask questions about a whole sex to only one of its representants if we don't generalize? I don't think in these messages the girls *really* mean to generalize, but only to talk about a specific guy (or even 2 or 3) who behaved a certain way, without saying their names and addresses 😉

    This said, out of this situation, one should never generalize anything, that's for sure. U.U It does make you feel a bit better sometimes though. I just think it's not something you should let yourself believe for *real*.

  10. Michelle

    Negative generalizations about men (or generalizations period, really) tend to cheese me off because my husband is 1) completely awesome in my book and 2) not interested in sports or other 'typically male' things.

    My husband admits he's wrong when he is and was hoping for a little girl when we were pregnant and communicates and all sorts of things that people don't seem to think men are capable.

    I feel like I have to defend men all the time because I know from experience that good ones and non-typical ones exist.

  11. Ophelia S

    I've been thinking about that too recently and I totally agree with you.
    Many people think that the other sex is totally different, mysterious and need to be "studied".
    A guy actually told me once that "Girls are evil…"
    I mean, come on! We're are all humans, aren't we? No one likes to be dumped and treated without mercy. Everyone prefers to be cared for and liked.
    And this battle of the sexes, I think, is absolutely ridiculous!

  12. Emily Saltzberg

    Love this! Hate it when girls generalize about boys.

  13. iris

    Semi-related comment.

    We are often fixated on how the media over-sexualizes and over-objectifies women. We don't necessarily consider the sexism the media points at men. Think of what "real men" do…real men don't eat salads, don't order pink drinks, are only after sex, etc. etc.

    I think in some ways we're all sort of biased by the things that affect us. We don't really notice when we're generalizing men, because it doesn't say something directly about us.

  14. Katrina

    Yes yes yes and yes.
    Especially the bit about quitting this 'all men are ____' business.
    Don't women get pissed to be lumped into the 'all women are ____' category. I know i personally detest it!

  15. Ginger Jane

    Battle of the Sexes – BULL-SHITE. As are most sweeping generalisations. And as Naked Red Head lady implied – this column is kind of borderline on this? That one guy can act as an oracle for every other?

    Just throwing it out there.

  16. kathrynoh

    I was thinking the same as a few of the commenters above – that you can't have a 'dear dude' column then say that readers are making generalisations about men.

  17. Sarah Von Bargen

    Hi guys!

    Thanks for all the great and insightful comments on this post.

    The 'Dear Dude' column is not meant to be an oracle or to speak for all of man-dom, any more than my advice-y posts are meant to speak for every traveler/teacher/lady out there. When we read Dear Abby or Cary Tennis, we don't assume these people are speaking for all every white dude or middle-aged woman, do we?

    Dear Dude is just a just meant to be a fun, pragmatic, from-one-horse's-mouth response to questions that readers have posed.

  18. Miss Diazepam

    Well, that's about what I was trying to say (except that english is not my mother language, making it a bit tougher to explain things :P)…that just as Dear Dude isn't *really* generalizing, neither are the readers' questions (mostly)…it just sounds like they all are because they kind of *have* to write like this (for form reasons).

    Oh well, anyway: go Dude!! 😉

  19. April in Autumn

    I think those of us in the heterosexual world have just had the opportunity to be more hurt by those of the opposite sex so women are likely at sometimes to think "God, every guy I meet's an a##" and men can think "All women are incomprehensible nightmares." Part of it is that there's a lot we put on the line in hoping that they're really awesome amazing people and most of us have been proven wrong on an individual basis numerous times.

    I really hope no one *actually* thinks that the other sex is terrible. But I can see why it the frustration pops up over and over again.

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