Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Question for the fellas: Do men have different priorities in life than women?

Continuing Question for the Fellas Week 2, this question threw me a little bit. I definitely used to assume that most people have the same general priority list: Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness. Recognizing that those three things are huge categories that encompass a lot of other things like family, religion, sustenance, health, etc – I thought those were fairly universal wants and needs. It certainly never occurred to me that men and women of this modern era might have vastly different basic life goals.

But I received an interesting question where a woman really felt that her man had no interest in keeping a roof over their head, bringing home a paycheck or in fact finding meaning in the world beyond his Playstation, his pot smoking and his p***s. I assured her that her man was more aberration than the norm in my experience. I received a second letter from a lady very concerned about her biological time clock and lamenting that her husband placed a higher priority on promotions than propagation. 

So I put the question out there to two brethren @TMCYDame and @RobertBleek and here's what we've got:
Dame says: It totally depends on the individual person you’re dealing with and that person’s drive, selfishness and/or selflessness. In general, our priorities don’t differ. Though popular opinion doesn't want you believing this, we’re fairly similar beings. Good people, male or female, are looking to create good lives and foster environments of love for themselves, their families and their friends. And they have priorities that are aligned with doing so. For self-centered, ambitious types, the opposite is likely true. You can easily find men and women who are career-focused, driven individuals with similar priorities. The same is true for guys and gals who are looking to put more focus on their family and friends. It just depends on the individual.
Rob says: I don't even think this is a man/woman issue. This is deeper almost to genetics, nature vs. nurture and value-based morals type of a debate. 15-hour-a-day-hustle-and-grind folks probably shouldn't get too serious with don't-give-a-damn-if-the-rent-is-paid folks unless they want to carry that weight. I'm engaged to a neat freak, I tend to stack ish in a corner. Her priority is blindingly-bleached order in the house, mine is "clean enough for company" neatness. Are our priorities different because she's  a woman and I'm a man? No. I think there's too much crap out in the media now about men wanting model-quality women, 24/7 ESPN and rims. I also think there's too much out there about women wanting shoes, purses, babies and a man with a big... income. At the end of the day, I think everyone wants love, companionship and someone who gets them. It's great if it comes in a slamming package while in a nice house with a 2.2 kids and a 401(k). But are those priorities or a wishlist? I think for the most part God, Home/Family, Career are key priorities for most. Or is that too old-fashioned? As you would say, LeShrug.
Bougieland, what say you? Is the media/pop culture/world at large skewing our priorities or just making it seem that way? Do you truly believe that men and women want different things out of life? What's your number one priority and would you expect your S.O.'s to be the same? What do you think about Rob and Dame's statements? Have you ever had to end a relationship because of a complete imbalance of priorities? Answer some, none or all. Thoughts, comments, opinions? The floor is yours...

55 comments:

David Chase said...

Great topic. I agree with both the fellas. It's more of an individual thing than a man/woman thin. I think it also depends on where someone is in life. Priorities do shift.

Pure Choco said...

First of all , the woman with the playstation/p***s/pot dude needs to bounce.
The only thing I've noticed about priority differences is timing. Sometimes women want to focus on family a little faster since we have that freakin' time clock to keep an eye on. But then again, I know women who are completely career focused and men who are ready for marriage and kids. Like Rob said - LeShrug

baileyqc said...

I put family first, I would expect my S.O. to do the same. I'm giving the side-eye to the two ladies that wrote you and applause to Rob & Dame. I would think life priorities are some of the first things you check when searching for a partner. It's not all cocoa and champagne.

Dr. Peppa said...

Good answers from Dame and Rob.
I never thought of priorities as a gender based thing.

AppleBerryMIA said...

Let the record reflect that I categorically deny the term "neat freak" and Rob's idea of cleaning is to toss things in the closet where it's never to be seen again. LOL!
But as to this topic - who are these people who get involved with someone withOUT understanding their priorities?

Javalicious said...

One - the sociology nerd in me is all giddy about Rob mentioning nature vs. nurture.
Two - I love this statement of Dame's: Good people, male or female, are looking to create good lives and foster environments of love for themselves, their families and their friends.

MariSol said...

God, Family, Community - that's what's been drilled in me for years. I wouldn't consider anyone who didn't feel the same.

tiffanyinhouston said...

For the most part, unless the man is just a total prick, that DECENT men and women have the same general priorities.

But the genders often have different timelines on how they accomplish those priorities, much to the consternation and frustration of many women.

JohnKinPDX said...

I think priorities are one thing and ethics are another, one without the other is useless in men or women.

Natasha Hunter said...

Do you truly believe that men and women want different things out of life?

I think this is a combo of timing and nature vs nurture. Some women go through stages just like men historically do, sow their oats, see the world etc., while other seem to come out their mommas wanting a husband, kids, picket fence... One's not better than the other but they're definitely different.

What's your number one priority and would you expect your S.O.'s to be the same?

I guess right now my priorities are basically goals so as I attain them, they change and shift. When/if I enter a stage of my life where it's pretty much just maintenance, then I might be able to answer that better. In my SO, I think it would be key that he's focused on betterment, whatever that would be for him at that time, but not like better @ blowin' trees or a better @ Madden. :)

What do you think about Rob and Dame's statements?

Sounds good to me.

tiffanyinhouston said...

*drops a $20 in the offering plate*

Mr. Skyywalker said...

Preach it.

Mr. Skyywalker said...

They really do. I'm not the same guy I was even a year ago. And if you had told me that I would be here caring about the things I care about now from where I was 5 or 10 years ago, I would have called you fourteen kinds of liar.

kjnetic aka Peter Parker said...

i never saw this as gender based...males and females who want to create the best situation for their spouse and for their families, will usually have their priorities in order...

now that order might not be similar for each gender, but everyone has their own path to take; it ain't the best idea to force or shame someone to be matching your pace.

Rob said...

Woman, you would bleach everything in the house if I didn't intercede. And that's what a closet is for.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

LOL, girl, own your inner neat freak. It's much less fuss, and you can pull the "yes, I'm a neat freak, you knew this. now kindly go and bleach that counter again. Kthxbye!"

I'm not a neat freak, I'm just slightly OCD. Please do not put items where they do not belong. And yes, that applies to guests as well. The coasters get stacked in the holder on the side table, not the coffee table.... Woosah, lemme stop now.

CaliGirlED said...

I think a lot of people have allowed media/society to skew their priorities, "I think there's too much crap out in the media now about men wanting model-quality women, 24/7 ESPN and rims. I also think there's too much out there about women wanting shoes, purses, babies and a man with a big... income." (Rob)...Some people actually buy into this crap!...I think both Dame's and Rob's statements were true and well written. Cudos to our intelligent Black men.

I agree that priorities differ by individuals, upbirnging, beliefs, timing, etc., and that gender does not play a major role.

As far as my next S.O.'s priorities, I'll quote from a friend, "If you can't commit to God, then you can't commit to me". And yes I have had relationships end because of priority imbalance.

To Missy with the playstation playing, weed puffin, p***s centered, AND live-in boyfriend, she knew he was triflant before she moved in with him. Triflant doesn't just drop out of the sky! There are signs. Like I said yesterday, don't start something that you don't want to continue. She stepped into the mother role, taking care of him, and he's going to keep her in that role until he's good and ready.

CaliGirlED said...

"fourteen kinds of liar." *dead*

Many continued wishes of happiness in your new marriage!

CaliGirlED said...

See Rob I wasn't going to say anything. Did you just say, "And that's what a closet is for. "?!!....Ok I'm still not going to say anything. SMH

LOL

GrownAzzMan said...

"I think there's too much crap out in the media now about men wanting model-quality women, 24/7 ESPN and rims."

Not that there's anything wrong with that...LOL Seriously though I think both fellas hit this one out of the park. The women who wrote seem to be mis-matched with the men they have chosen. I don't think this is a gender issue at all.

Jamie Wesley said...

First of all, the first woman needs to get out of there because what her man is (not) doing is not cute in any way, shape, or form. The second woman - did they not discuss this before they got married or did one of them assume the other would change his/her mind?

Generally speaking, I don't think men and women want different things out of life. The big thing is finding the person whose order of priorities best matches up with your list, who is on the same path as you.

Overall, I'm trying to be a good person, family member, and friend. These things are of the utmost importance to me no matter what stage of life I'm in. Right now I'm focused on my career, but that's because I've forged on a new path and I need to make sure I'm successful at it. Do I expect that to change as I get more settled ? Sure. Life is a rarely a straight road.

rozb said...

Priorities sift as we mature and experience real life. If you were never given the chance to become an adult, then you will always have near child-like expectations as far as how you stack your priorities.

The most important thing to having priorities is to know the difference between a need and a want. Maturity allows us to be able to discern between the two so much better. For instance, I need a vehicle to get to work. I want a top of the line 2011 Ford Mustang convertible with every bell and whistle imaginable. My maturity allows me to make a decision that although the Mustang would be nice (like I need a cigarette after opening it up on a straight-away, and I don't even smoke nice) my Envoy allows me to accomplish what I need to do nicely, comfortably, and reliably. Maybe down the line I will be able to have the dream car, but right now I have the great car that suits me just fine and takes care of my needs.

I find that most of my friends who have on their big kid "draws" approach priorities in this manner. They see the big picture and their place in it, so their priorities fit the life they're living.

GrownAzzMan said...

I don't think we are pretending anything. We know there are trifling men out there. We don't deal with them! We also don't understand why you ladies do. It's a matter of owning your choices IMHO.

GrownAzzMan said...

"Trifling doesn't just drop out of the sky!"

This ^

Monstadon said...

While I do think gender plays SOME role, for the most part, I think there are generally accepted priorities that are pretty similar regardless of gender. I think where people go wrong is not dealing with people who's priorities match theirs.

"But I received an interesting question where a woman really felt that her man had no interest in keeping a roof over their head, bringing home a paycheck or in fact finding meaning in the world beyond his Playstation, his pot smoking and his p***s. I assured her that her man was more aberration than the norm in my experience. I received a second letter from a lady very concerned about her biological time clock and lamenting that her husband placed a higher priority on promotions than propagation."

The first guy is just a loser. Not that I condone it, but he could still smoke his w33d, play his playstation, hound her for the chooch all he wants, and still get a job. Obviously, it's time to move on. That's not just a case of misplaced priorities...that's a case of failure at life and not growing up. The second one is a little more interesting in that the defining conflict is HER biological clock...did they not discuss children? How did she not catch that he may not be a family type, or that he is more career focused? Why is that a flaw or misplaced priority? Eh...that's kinda shakey. Not everyone places importance on children as a 'priority'...and as expensive as it is to raise kids in this world, I'm not sure that guy has the wrong idea...certainly, as much as I love and treasure my kids, I wish I had attained many more of my goals prior to having them, as it would have made life a lot easier for all of us. What are the ages of the woman and the man? What kind of lifestyle do they lead? Is it 2 income? can they survive on one income, or better yet, would she be upset at a dip in living standard that may come as a result of having children? Also, seeing so many women on here and other places lament about men not being on their level financially or career wise, wouldn't this be a case of wanting to have it both ways, or at the very least being unrealistic? I guess we'd need to know more info before I could give a solid opinion on that one.

I guess, at the base of it all, I go back to men and women choosing their mates more wisely. It's like that article that woman wrote about men not truly being men because they don't want to marry up and fertilize a bunch of eggs. Really? How silly and narrow minded is that? If anything, someone who realizes they aren't ready for something and acts accordingly, certainly is a little more advanced in their development than someone who does those things because people say 'It's the grown up thing to do'. Not everyone desires the same things, and guess what? As you live you learn and your priorities change. What priorities those are, differs from person to person...it's not always a case of "right/wrong", but more a case of having better communication with our prospective mates before we make the leap.

100.

tiffanyinhouston said...

Rob, be glad that woman is clean..cause babyyyyy, there are many who are NOT!

BB Waite said...

My mama said if you have a man who puts God first and you second that's the best combination to find.
She also said if you find one that loves money more than his mama, run the other way.

thinklikeRiley said...

men wanting model-quality women, 24/7 ESPN and rims Add some hot wangz and Grey Goose and I'm set.

thinklikeRiley said...

I saw dat ring pimp - you don't care what da hell she bleach up, you iz wifin' her fo real tho.

thinklikeRiley said...

Comes a time when hard-headed G's gotta turn da corner and hang out at home depot and ish. Ain't no shame in dat.

SingLikeSassy said...

I think this is a great question, but I think the examples have nothing to do with the question. The question that should be atop those two scenarios is: "When will you start believing that the man you see is the man you got?" They are frustrated because they are waiting for these dudes to become the men they WANT them to be. Good luck with that. Seems like the men have shown them who they are, so what these ladies need to do is decide whether that meshes with their life goals or not and how to proceed.

To answer the question, no I don't think men and women have different life priorities at the end of the day, which includes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I do think that oftentimes men and women have different TIMETABLES for reaching certain milestones (marriage, babies etc.).

Penny said...

I think men and women have different priorities, but you must also considering timing in the hierarchy of priorities. If you are just graduating from college, you may have different priorities (establishing a career, going to grad school, paying off student loans, etc.) than a person who graduated 20 years ago. (Relocating for a promotion, considering a career change, etc.) If a woman wants to have children, she does not have the luxury of waiting indefinitely (in spite of modern science.) Men don't have the same biological concerns about timing for having children, but you might not want to be collecting Social Security benefits while registering your child for kindergarten.

I think most of us want someone special in their lives (married or not-not everyone wants to be married) where both parties consider the other party a top priority. (I agree with Rob about most of wanting love, companionship, etc.)

Not sure how old the couples in today's story are, but concerning couple No. 1, I don't think his issue is priority, but sorriness. (Is that a word?) He might not want to work, pay rent, etc., but responsible adults don't travel that path. Seems to me, the lady has made that path easy for him to travel-she might want to consider making dude a solo traveler. Where does he think he can live without paying rent? You do need a job to keep the electricity on in order to play Playstation.

OneChele said...

Great point.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

Urrybody got a friend or associate that isn't quite up to snuff.

But, and I can't believe I'm saying this because I usually don't stan for Captain Save-a-Bro, but just because a man is not necessarily looking to settle down at a particular time doesn't automatically make him trifling. If he's out there stringing women along, being dishonest, making promises he has no intention of keeping, or any other doggish bullshiggity, then of course he needs needs to be beat like he stole something. But if he is not doing any of the above? Eh, he is just a dude capitalizing on double standards and the lack of a physiolocial bio-clock.

CaliGirlED said...

"When will you start believing that the man you see is the man you got?"...Golden!

Carey Jackson said...

I think men and women have similar priorities different timetables.

OneChele said...

This is an excellent point. Things look different at 40 than they do at 30 or 20.

OneChele said...

Time clock is a beast!

OneChele said...

T-shirt? It's not all Cocoa and Champagne?

OneChele said...

Don't get me started. Nothing like walking into someone's house and not wanting to sit or lean against a single surface. Some folks just nasty.

OneChele said...

And there it is.

OneChele said...

Agree but then again, some guys are better at hiding their triflingnicity than others.

OneChele said...

Let's just bold DECENT and call it a wrap.

OneChele said...

Truth.

OneChele said...

Like someone said, it should probably be discussed early. No need to get all the way down the road with someone and figure out that your top 10 isn't in their top 100.

OneChele said...

Girrrrl - I'm like oh, he all of sudden start going puff-puff-pass and waving the weenie around for attention? C'mon now. Let's take ownership of our own shiggity

OneChele said...

Very well said!

OneChele said...

If you were never given the chance to become an adult, then you will always have near child-like expectations as far as how you stack your priorities.
And furthermore - if women are choosing men who stay childish in their thoughts, deeds and actions, then writing into here asking us what to do now is the least of their problems.

OneChele said...

Stealing it.

Sarah said...

I can't help but say you two are beyond adorable. I hope you have many happy years together fussing about bleach or closets or whatever. My Dad is the neat freak. He is forever complaining about my Mom's piles. They have been married 50 yrs.

GrownAzzMan said...

Fair point but once the trflingnicity de-cloaks, time to bounce!

GrownAzzMan said...

"When will you start believing that the man you see is the man you got?"

That is everything. Like I always say sometimes, feel free to click *NEXT*

.tisha said...

This? Right here?

"When will you start believing that the man you see is the man you got?"

Has me about to send you an offering! Will you PLEASE get THAT said? I don't understand us sometimes--and yes "us" because EYE have certainly been there; took up residence there for a time, quiet as it's kept. We see what (who) is right there in front of us, and then take a deep breath, smile, and say "but he has potential to be something else though."

Haaaaaanh?

"Potential" should be reserved for the developing of talent. Totally non-applicable to someone aspiring to have the character traits more closely aligned to what it is you're seeking in a mate.

Truth told? Men don't deceive us as much as we want to say they do. No. With or without words, they show us who they are, and we make a decision based on unicorns and rainbows and sparkly feelings, as opposed to fact.

Like you said, good luck with that.

Stank_0 said...

I think a large part of this disconnect is the perception of time. That is determined by gender. Men are led to believe we have all the time in the world. Women do not.

I know I want to spend a majority of my life outside of the US. If I plan to wed I'm hoping my future wife is wired the same way.

My closest homie has a life I would want if I was wired differently. He got the house in the burbs, beautiful charming wife, BMW w/ the turbo charged in line 6, job approaching 6 figures, electronic gadgets, etc.

It's all about voicing what you want and being willing to sacrifice for it.

One Chele said...

ITA with Pure Choco about a timing difference. I've seen more women at least give thought about certain priorities - even if they weren't necessarily ready for them - at younger ages then the men I've encountered. Lord knows that social brainwashing conditioning is a powerful force that's hard to overcome, even for the most career driven woman. But, I think even if men prioritize marriage and family, they are quite secure in knowing that they can have that at any time they well please because their bodies will not stop producing reproductive material (although the quality of said material declines precipitously as they age. Ahem.).

I agree with the gentlemen that priorities are an individual thing, but I really wish men would not pretend like there are some of their members who may have those priorities, but are riding the gilded train of double-standards as long as they can. lol.

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