I was laying in bed with my girl the other night, and had a bit of a situation. It was the type of situation that would have had a drastically different from reaction to me as recent as one year ago. The reason my reaction is different now is because dating and living abroad is so much different than Stateside.
I could tell she was stressed. She’d had an exam, and generally spent the whole day being flustered. I’ve learned that sometimes, it’s best to just let girls be girls.
They’re going to procrastinate on getting ready, be late for things, and generally run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off—no matter how many times you tell them to just start getting ready five minutes earlier.
(Note: this is drastically different from when she wastes your valuable time and is late for events with you. That is a whole other matter of discipline needed. But when it’s just her? I prefer to let the chicken run.)
Like I said, I could see she was stressed. I hadn’t really said anything about it all day. I decided to ask what was up and what she was stressed about.
She told me life was stressing her out a bit. She’s living away from home for the first time. She said doing all the housework, laundry, and most of the cooking is very stressful. She also said that she is still learning how to handle all of this, as usually her parents have been 100% responsible for these tasks.
Now, a year ago, my response would have probably been, “Shut up and do the laundry.”
After all, those household tasks are her responsibility. They’ve been delegated to her, she knows it, and is aware of it. And I mean—laundry shouldn’t be all that stressful.
But I didn’t tell her to shut up and do the laundry. I took a deep breathe, and analyzed the situation with a rational mind.
No, she wasn’t being logical—but women never are. She is very feminine, and sweet. Sometimes those adjectives go hand-in-hand with “fragile”. Fragile not in a bad sense. She’s tough as nails in many ways. But fragile in a sense that she is a feminine girl, slightly scared of the world, and who can sometimes get emotional.With a Western girl, my “Shut up and do the laundry,” shtick probably would have made her panties wet. She would had shut up, done the laundry, and then milked me dry.
That’s because they’re not feminine girls. They’re craving to be feminine (and do tasks like laundry), so they act in a masculine way to be put down. But with many of the girls in other parts of the world (like Southeast Asia), it’s a really bad response.
I just pulled her in, gave her a hug, told her everything would be okay. I stroked her hair and told her she was doing great, that she didn’t need to worry. That was it. She smiled, curled up under my arm for a few minutes, and that was that.
It’s 7am as I write this, and she’s still in bed. By today, she’ll likely have forgotten all about our little talk. What matters is that I was the pillar of strength for her, no matter how minuscule the reason.
The next time she has a little stress like this, she knows I’m there for her. This also means that she probably is less likely to stress about it, in general. A woman who knows where her relationship status quo stands is a happy woman. She knows she doesn’t need to stress about these small things, because I’m not. She also knows that I’m by her side if she has a more major crisis.
Again, my response to all of this just one year ago would have been so different. I’m not saying I’ve even changed that much—I’ve just had to tweak my overall dating outlook for a Slavic culture and not an American one.
But, I think most of you reading this can agree that, “Shut up and do the laundry” would be a very effective response in the western world. And I think most of us can also agree that that is really, really sad.
PS: If you want more 1-liners like the laundry bit to use on western girls, check out my book King's Code.