Wednesday, April 4, 2018

MEN NEED US--I THINK by Hannah Rowan

My husband and I like to go out to listen to bands, most often a Doo Wop band that we like.  From time to time he’ll mention how romantic a particular song is.  When I actually listen to the lyrics, mostly written by men, I can’t help but notice a common thread.

First, they are madly, crazily in love with a woman.  She has beautiful eyes.  She makes him happy.  He can’t live without her.

And then, apparently, she takes off with another man.  He wants her back.  He must have her back.  Life as he knows it is over.  He’ll never be happy again.

She done him wrong—so why does he want her back?  I find this baffling.

At other times he’s the one who’s done something bad.  Something so bad she walks out the door.  But please, please, he begs…come back!  He made a mistake.  He won’t do it again.  He’s in misery.

Please understand that I’m looking at this from the perspective of a woman of a certain age.  I have no idea what goes on in today’s romantic relationships.  But this whole idea arouses my suspicions.

I work with elderly people, and often I’ll mention something to one of the men, and he’ll say “I don’t know.  My wife always took care of that.”

Surely these men aren’t bemoaning the loss of their true love because—who will do the laundry and make dinner?  That can’t be right.

In our books we often have the commitment-phobic alpha male who must be tamed and coaxed into sticking around, and yes, I know romance novels are fantasies, but lately I’ve been wondering if this is an accurate representation of the male mind or if they’ve got us all fooled.


  1. Lol. I'm pretty sure my husband would never leave me because he'd have to learn how to pay a bill. Thank goodness for that romance your husband mentioned--I do think it's there. Somewhere.

  2. One thing I have observed;men do not seem to do very well on their own, while women can manage just fine alone. Even if the man is not happy, he will rarely leave the relationship unless he has another woman waiting in the wings for him. If a woman leaves an unhappy relationship, usually the last thing she is looking for is another man. Not until a good amount of time has passed.

  3. So now the task is asking the women in your care about some aspect of their married lives. Like how often they opened a pickle jar! LOL

  4. Good point, Bonnie! Sometimes during chats the women will say they'd never want to get married again, or if their husbands have been gone a long time, I'll ask if they ever wanted to get married again, and inevitably they'll say no way! While the men who move into our facility are generally widowers and almost immediately start looking for a female companion.

  5. I think the "theme" of the songs you mentioned dates from the 1940's to mid-1960's. I had a friend who lived off the royalties he made from several rock and roll songs he wrote during the sixties. You're right, the songs had a template they followed.

    Songs today don't follow that template so much. They're still about passion, love, and longing, but they have more attitude I guess.

    I think a conclusion about male and female relationship expectations can't be drawn based on your experience with the elderly. That generation had vastly different marital and sexual expectations than my generation (I'm no spring chicken) and my children's generation.

    Characters I write are usually in my children's generation. The 20-somethings to late 30-somethings are all well-versed in paying their own bills--either the husband or the wife will do it, and usually online. They each shop for food, and/or prepare dinner. They want companionship, fidelity, friendship, love, and sex -- not different from what previous generations wanted, but the women are more vocal and articulate about what they want, and they're not prepared to settle for less.


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