Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Talk, Talk, part II

Last year one of my blogs dealt with whether men or women talked more than the other.  However, just as important is the nature of that talk. Conversations between men and women vary depending on the situation. If you really want to “see” the difference between these two life forms you should witness it first hand at bars. 

In fact, most of the time that I go to bars these days is to watch and listen to people. Oh, in the old days my main purpose was to continue the hunt for females, but as I've grown older I do this less often. Okay, consuming beer is another big reason I go, but I see that as a bonus.

I know you are thinking what a creepy guy I must be to eavesdrop on people. However, as a writer I believe I have an obligation to do this in order to ensure my dialog is up to date. I even wrote an article about how writers have an "eavesdropper license" to do this (“Writer’s Connections” 12/95).

One of the things I have always noticed, and experienced, is that early in the relationship when a man and woman go out, it's the man who must begin and make most of the conversation. It begins by him having to ask questions. Things like "what kind of music do you like," "what did you major in at school?" Small talk to get the conversation going.

The female will answer, sometimes in detail but only if the guy pushes her for more. If the male stops asking questions, there will be a long, painful, lull in talk until the male asks the next question. The funny part of this scenario, is that if there are a lot of long pauses, the male is accused of not being much of a talker. Trust me, it's a no win situation. So don't try to point out the female's lack of talk.

Later in the relationship it's completely reversed. I'm pretty sure this is caused by the feeling the woman has that now the relationship is solid, so she can talk more (it’s a commitment thing). Now the female talks constantly with the male only getting to make a brief observation every so often. Of course, this observation is usually considered wrong, but at least he got a word in to the mix.

In groups I've also noticed trends. For example, usually the conversations include topics that include the whole group at the beginning of the evening. Things like how the couples met, or what they like to do together. As the night, and drinks, continue, there starts to be a segregation.
The men begin to converse with each other. Typically about sports or work. The females begin to talk to each other about clothes or past bad dates. Occasionally, there will be some random crossover where they all talk together again, usually about a mutual friend, especially if that friend is in disfavor. But it will eventually evolve back to separate groups.

The most interesting conversations between males and females in bars concerns sex. The male is always in the hunt for sex but must be coy or it might frighten away the prey. Oops, slipped into the hunting rules again. Sorry. So the male might say something like, "your eyes penetrate my soul," or "I love the way the hot sweat rolls down your arm." The phrase doesn't really have to mean anything as much as it must include words that could illicit thoughts of sex. If the female doesn't resist the words, such as change the subject to shoes, etc. then the male will begin to make more obvious comments.  All of this conversation just to ease the situation into something more about sex.

Women typically don't use conversation to try to get the male to think about sex. Largely she will either leave it to the male to make the move or trust that the male's ESP abilities are working. In other words, it's not as imperative to the female as it is to the male. The most common occurrence in this battle of wills is that if nothing happens the female will just tell her friends the next day that she had been leaving all the signals, therefore the guy must have been gay.

So next time you're in a bar on your own, subtly listen to the couple the next table over to hear the latest sounds from The War Between Men and Women. Oh, and if you're a female and notice a single guy who might be trying to hear what you are saying to your girlfriend, well, buy me a pint. Next blog, we may discuss why this never happens unless the guy is a tycoon or rock star.
Conversation over

(Images courtesy