The latest relationship research suggests that if your husband or boyfriend doesn’t readily know your shoe size, clothes size or your favourite food then he doesn’t really know you at all. This was gleaned from the latest unnecessary survey published last week. What’s even more astonishing is that internationally reputable news outlets such as Sky News and national broadsheets carried it as a valid news item. It must have been a very slow news week or the conspiracy theorists are right and a dumbing down of the nation is being orchestrated through the press. This sort of man bashing nonsense shouldn’t make it to little known internet sites aimed at adolescents let alone general adult news media.
The survey was based on ten questions. Do you know your partner’s clothes size, bra size, natural hair colour, eye colour, date of birth, shoe size, favourite perfume, job title, best friend’s name and favourite food? According to the reports ‘millions of men’ don’t know the answer to some or all of these questions and so the headlines very mischievously read, “Think he knows you? Think again!” If my partner was surveyed, he might, given time to think about it, work out my date of birth correctly and even that’s a big ‘might’. I can guarantee all other questions would be met with a blank stare or the odd wild and probably inaccurate guess. As an able bodied equal in an adult relationship I would be more concerned if he could answer these questions correctly. I think it signifies a little over interest bordering on the obsessive. Now if he was an international man of mystery, jet setting around the world and frequently buying designer gifts without me present, then he might need the information, but as he’s not it really doesn’t matter.
There is something particularly reprehensible about this survey and the timing of it. First of all it totally ignores and excludes all gay couples, secondly it only targets men and it was probably only news because Valentine’s Day was last Sunday. Oh yes, we always have to have something about relationships in the news because of February 14th. Taking this survey at face value, by extension we would have to assume that women everywhere know the answers to these questions about men (apart from the bra size perhaps as that would be an entirely different type of survey), and therefore women ‘know’ their partners really well. Hmmm…..I’m sure Mrs Tiger Woods and Mrs John Terry knew the answers to all the survey questions but evidence would suggest that they didn’t know their husbands at all!
It is of course rubbish. If you can answer these questions then you know facts about your partner, you don’t necessarily know your partner any more or less than the person who can’t answer them. Most women will know these things about men; we’re shoppers for God’s sake, we need the information in case we spot a bargain and need to act fast. We also pick it up without even knowing it and we are often asked it by other women. Come Christmas and birthdays mothers, sisters, and female in laws will commonly check clothes sizes with the female partner. In many homes women are also the administrators. I know my partner’s date of birth off the top of my head because I am the form filler. We know their best friend because, unlike women, men don’t tend to be so fickle and therefore their best friend is indeed their best friend for life; it’s easy to remember one or two unchanging names. And generally women are much more brand aware than men. We pick up and remember names of clothing designers and perfumes quite intuitively. Men don’t tend to give regard to such information and therefore don’t retain it. I hear football results all the time, do I retain the information? Of course I don’t because it’s not that important to me.
Really knowing someone is about knowing their values and beliefs. It’s about being able to communicate silently and having a very good idea what they are thinking given different situations. It’s about knowing what makes them laugh and might make them cry. While we can never know everything about the other person, getting to know someone is so much more than a list of facts and figures.
I feel very sorry that young men and women today are being constantly fed this insane rubbish. They develop many of their romantic notions and lifelong dreams from a swelling sea of celebrity knowledge. There are a number of thriving magazine tittles based solely on celebrity culture. The airbrushed images are unachievable in the real world and the lifestyle told through the pictures of the bling, the gated mansions, children as accessories and luxury cars is cynical in the extreme. We add this pop science as fact into the mix and then wonder why modern relationships don’t last.
Men are really up against it at present. Open the papers any day of the week and generally the violent criminals, rapists, terrorists, murderers, adulterers, and despots tend to be, in the main, male. Even their heroes are letting the side down right now. It was alright for Michael Douglas to have a sex addiction, he was an actor, but when we see spectacular infidelity in sports people we are taken aback. Maybe it is something to do with the fact that sporting success often depends on massive self discipline and therefore when that discipline isn’t exercised in every facet of a person’s life we are surprised. ‘Cheating’ is also such a dirty word in sport that even off the field cheating is considered unsporting. Various news angles that emanated from the recent Eamonn Lillis trial threw up the old assertion that successful business women had to be ball breaking, callous bitches. Women were incensed and rightly so. Many column inches and broadcast minutes were given over to shouting such nonsense down. So let’s be equally and fairly outraged when it comes to these very negative sweeping statements about men. I say give men a break because just like women, they are not ‘all the same’. Three cheers for good men everywhere!