Guys Are Romantic, Girls Are Crazy?

While getting a much-needed pedicure the other day (seriously, I felt bad for the poor girl who had to get up close and personal with my gnarly feet), I found myself watching (and sobbing with) The Notebook.  I don’t know why, but my neighborhood nail salon has multiple plasma TVs that are constantly showing chic-flicks. And I like it. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a woman massaging your feet while you immerse yourself in The Proposal. But I digress.

Obviously, most girls will agree that The Notebook is the most romantic movie of all time. We love the passion, the romance, and idea of ever-lasting love. We cry every. single. time, we watch it. We want our very own Noah, a guy who wants us badly enough that he’ll dangle from a Ferris wheel just to ask us out.

I’m with you, sisters; I watched that movie alone on a Friday night once and sobbed into a large order of Pad Thai. And that was my 6th viewing. But yesterday when I watched it again (yes, I stayed at the nail place for 2 hours so I could see the whole thing), I actually got a little angry.

One of the most endearing parts of the movie is when Noah is chasing Allie, trying to ask her out. He hits on her, follows her, risks his life to ask her on a date, shows up wherever she is and even comes up with a sneaky plan to surprise her with a double date at the movies. Eventually she gives in and 10 minutes later, they are madly in love, smushing ice cream in each other’s faces and kissing it off.

As a woman, I watch that and daydream about having someone want me enough that he’d do just about anything to get close to me. I find it sweet and romantic; Noah knows what he wants and goes for it. The same happened with Patrick in 10 Things I Hate About You, Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything, and countless other dudes in every other romantic comedy ever.

But what if the roles were reversed?

What if a girl saw a guy she wanted and just kept showing up where he was? What if she kept calling him, following him and sneaking her way onto a date with him? What if she waited her whole life for him to come back to her? Even I, a girl myself, cringe at the thought. Because that’s crazy, and any guy would think so. He wouldn’t give in, go out with her and eventually die by her side in an assisted-living institution; he would de-friend her on Facebook, block her on AIM, and laugh about how psycho she is with all of his friends. And other girls would probably think the same.

I don’t know if that’s a poor reflection on men (for judging too quickly) or women (for having ridiculous ideals when it comes to dating), but it frustrates me. To no end. It pisses me off that I have to wait before I call a guy, that I have to watch what I say, and that I have to keep my distance just so he doesn’t think I’m crazy, all the while melting when a guy does some over-the-top romantic gesture for a woman. And it pisses me off even more that that’s just the way things are – that all the dating books, shows, and advice columns perpetuate this idea that woman should sit back and let a guy chase her but not dare chase him herself. How is that fair?

Gah! All this from a freaking $22 pedicure. Maybe it’s time to find a new nail place; this one’s causing me way too much stress.



  1. ChelseyKelsey says:

    That's really cool about the nailplace…

    and I completely agree! I sobbed watching the notebook. But I've often thought the same thing, this would never work the other way around.

    Though I do think that if you put the film into a modern context and if a guy did the stuff that Noah did in 2010, it'd be viewed very differently…

    More… fair.

  2. Miriam says:

    Once upon a time, I liked a guy and I let him know. I was always there for him as a friend, and made sure he knew I cared, and blahblah. He never even gave me a chance and instead dated girls who acted like they didn't give a shit about him.

    Let's just say I learned my lesson.

  3. Rachel says:

    Okay, but realistically (NOT in the movie world) most girls wouldn't appreciate this either. I'm not a chick flick fan, but I can see what appeals to women in these films– the idealistic version of what life could be if every man was not-so-secretly in touch with his feelings, every woman was really "the one" for the man of her dreams, and everyone looks like Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling…

  4. Ke says:

    "It pisses me off that I have to wait before I call a guy, that I have to watch what I say, and that I have to keep my distance just so he doesn’t think I’m crazy, all the while melting when a guy does some over-the-top romantic gesture for a woman"

    Well, change that and start discussing it with your friends to see how they can help. Call when you want since when have you seriously thought "OH! We just left the place, let me call him now!"? I mean even guys technically wait a day or two before calling for the same "Ooh, don't want to seem needy" feeling. Everything calls for a reasonable thought process, which both genders need to start using on their own, rather than just focus on what others would think.

    If he freaks out easily, he's probably wrapped up in the double standards too, and do you really want to deal with that in a relationship where you may have to act more feminine (not just being yourself, but societal views of femininity you don't agree with) just so he can be more comfortable with his masculinity?

  5. Jessica - Hofstra says:

    I LOVE THIS ARTICLE. It's so true!!!! I think about this a lot… it's not fair. Guys are expected to pursue a girl relentlessly to show that they really care about them, but if a girl does it, all it does is make everyone say she's crazy. It's not cool.

  6. Jess says:

    I think it's because most guys think every girl wants a relationship, and she wants it with HIM, you know? Guys think we're all falling over ourselves for a boyfriend. That's the difference.

  7. Madison says:

    Totally agree! The double standard sucks, it always has and always will! I hate sitting around and waiting for boys, but I do it anyway. Why? Because that's what "nice girls" do.

  8. oldfashioned says:

    There's a reason why men have been the pursuers for so long in every culture. It's because it works. Stop whining so much ladies. I'm sure if a man just sat around waiting for you to chase him around you'd be whining about how they don't chase you… Just be glad when a guy expresses interest in you instead of harping about how "it's such a double standard".

  9. Gray says:

    Do you mean to tell me that if some guy you met at a club started showing up every place you went and relentlessly asked you out despite you having already said no, you would think that was romantic? No, you would call the cops and have his ass hauled off to jail. Let's be honest please.

  10. 2blu2btru says:

    Your description of the woman following the guy and showing up everywhere sounds like "All About Steve"–and is exactly why I didn't see it. It's the same with romance novels usually–the man ALWAYS has to be attractive and if anyone is "plain" or "ordinary" it's the woman, who has to be transformed to suit this gorgeous man.

    Men like to pursue women, and the chase adds to their pleasure in catching you. Women don't are gatherers–we go out and take our pick of what's just waiting for us to pick it up. Personally, I'm usually glad this balance exists; I don't want to chase after anybody. But sometimes, when he hasn't called yet, I get all "He's Just Not That Into You" and have to be talked down from just popping up somewhere I think the guy will be.

    It's not always fair or fun, but when it works, it's a great story!

  11. Hannah says:

    You know, I'm sure there are a lot of guys out there who would LIKE it for a girl to put a little effort into the "wooing" stage. But most girls, just sit around and make the guy do all the work. We say it's because that's what society tells us to do… but since when do we EVER listen to society? Never. We wear what we want, we do what we want. We just DON'T want to have to do the hard work in getting to know someone. The stuff that deals with possible rejection.

    Do we really have to make everything into a double standard issue? It seems to me like the guys are getting the sore end of the deal here.

  12. jaybird says:

    I think some of this stuff is hardwired into male brains and female brains, because that's what worked in the past. So now, men and women "feel right" when they adopt certain roles, even though civilization makes what worked in the past kind of obsolete.

    The thing that sucks for us guys though, always having to chase, always have to pay for everything, while the woman just sits back and judges, is that it can be kind of hard for us to know if she likes us or is simply stringing us along for as much free stuff as possible before bailing out.

    If a woman was expected to invest if she was interested, if there was some give and take in the chasing process, it would be a lot easier for us guys to know how much she liked us.

  13. chili says:

    I think the point is that love will make you do something that is the complete opposite of who you are. Of course, movies play on stereotypes that women are all soft and caring while guys are stubborn and hard nosed, but the point is the character in love is so compelled by that love to do something completely out of character for the object of their desire. Yes, the stereotypes are sexist and pathetic, but the message is no less beautiful for it.

  14. oldfashioned says:

    The same is true for girls then Jaybird: we have to worry about guys just stringing us along to sleep with us. Neither of the sexes has it fair I guess lol

    I think things are easier when males and females stay in their roles however-there's a reason they've been around for so long and in almost every culture…

  15. Ted says:

    Male with many female friends here. I can say without fear of contradiction that that behavior from a guy is only romantic when the guy is attractive and/or well off.

    There is no double standard, if the pursued party is not interested, and the pursuer doesn't go away, the pursuer gets one of 2 labels. If they are nice and earnest to win their adored over, they are seen as a nice girl/guy and a good friend. If they push the romantic part too hard, they are seen as crazy/creepy.

  16. […] College Candy: A fan of ‘The Notebook’ wisely asks, “Why is passionately pursuing the one you love “romantic” when guys do it, but “cra…“ […]

  17. […] We are wondering, if Noah can chase Allie (and hang on a Ferris Wheel to get her attention) why can’t women do the same without looking like complete […]

  18. […] Guys Are Romantic, Girls Are Crazy? April 21, 2010 – 12:00 pm By Lauren – University of Michigan […]

  19. Viviana says:

    Ok so I read this and I wondered further, probably off topic:

    Watching the notebook and all the chick flicks all my life I saw what love was defined as, the guy's conquest of making the girl fall in love. A beautiful thought, but when it happened to me I realized that the chick flicks make us fall in love with love and not the person. I do not envy any of the details Noah did, for my ex-bofriend could no have been more romantic and creative. From leaving roses over the car, orchids on the door, leaving poems everywhere in every book I opened,to playing guitar outside, or bringing his music group to play songs for me outside. Still, I cannot choose who to love and that is what used to get me mad with these romantic movies. Did she really love him? or was she falling in love with his details?

    I met a guy two months ago and of course I cannot compare him to my previous relationships, but I can say that I have fallen in love. Unexpectedly. No roses, no songs. Just seeing him fills everything inside me. He just stares and I stare.

    I just think that love comes when it comes. The details sound romantic, but they are true if there is mutual love. There shouldn't be any rules of who should talk to who. These rules are pointless. If there is mutual love, then it is worth expressing. If not, then he or she was not for you.

  20. Nicole says:

    I've never even thought about it that way, but you are SO right!

    If any girl ever did all the things that would be "romantic" to do, we'd quickly be written off as stalkers, crazy, or obsessed.

  21. Katie says:

    I have to sadly agree–I have casually asked out guys I'm very interested in on dates and not ONCE has it even mildly worked out. and heaven forbid a guy pursues me and I return the favor with asking him out on another date. I hate it, but the role reversal has never worked out for me. I have to wait for guys who I grow into liking, but actually would never initially pursue myself, to come pursue me.

    Girls, do a little experiment–go onto a dating website and create an attractive profile. Let the notifications from men come rolling in. Then try doing a few friendly but "cold calls" to email guys you search out yourself on the site…and notice how it only works if the guy pursues you first.

  22. Mel says:

    Um…. I, personally, hate that movie. But that's just me–I think I'm the only girl I've met that will willingly say that. To me, anyone that does things like that is a crazy creeper. But in the case of the two characters in the Notebook, the feelings were (eventually) reciprocated and, like in real life, love blinds people. So stuff that you would find crazy and creepy when you're not drunk on love seems like epicness when you are drunk on love.

    But I think everyone also forgets about the time period that this movie takes place. For a LONG while, it seems as though men needed to have some sort of BIG declaration of something–may it be emotional or materialistic.

    But whatever. Creepy is creepy with me. ;)

  23. […] are Romantic, Girls Are Crazy! [College […]

  24. Albert Chan says:

    Ahh I wish every girl who's turned me down would put more effort to opening their minds to find at least one common ground with me. And we can then expand on that one similarity and see that we're not all that different.

    "The Notebook"…what a great, romantic movie!

  25. J. Galt says:

    It's great that you have such a progressive view. I'm a guy and I would not think it was creepy at all if a girl were to make the first move. I would have respect for a woman that did that.

  26. alifab410 says:

    um, i think the reason for the double standard is the source judging it…a woman is watching those rom-coms or rom-drams, and she's thinking "oh how romantic." guys observing the same behavior would still think "dude is psycho."

    i guess what i'm saying is…maybe we need more rom-coms where the woman does the pursuing and it's romantic and the movie is meant to be appreciated by the rom-com demographic.

    i think the reason for the perception has a lot to do with the people perceiving it.

  27. kane says:

    guys are reasoning and logical, if anything I think they need security and hide emotions in logical reasoning, luckly we have the power pretty well, my first love I went out with I kept splitting up with her becuase she kept coming out with things that was so rediculusly hard to believe it made my cautios about staying with her,I stayed with her on and of 3 years, my next girl friend wasnt so bad still she said one thing that was hard for me to believe and that was after she asked why i split with my other girlfriend so I natruly get suspicius i was with her for a year then split becuase she was self obssesed, dispassionate and unspiritrual, she beleived in sex after marriage plus she felt bad having sex coz we wernt married, more obssesed with religion than the 2 of us and sex does help a relationship, truth, passion, spiritrualness, fun, adventure, alone time together and sex makes a relationship in my mind

  28. Tim says:

    I think it's more the other way round. A girl doing these things for a guy would at least come off as cute (If the girl wasn't either hideous or annoyed at the fact that you had other things to do besides giving her attention).

    Most girls are not attracted to a guy kissing his ass and chasing him around – even if he's quite handsome. The dating coach David D keeps on saying women aren't attracted to wussies.

    If you're being 'chased' by someone you are very attracted to (boy or girl) you will think it's your lucky day. If you're 'chased' by someone you don't find very attractive you will think – stop following me.

  29. Tim says:

    I meant kissing HER ass and chasing HER around

  30. Vit Zednik says:

    Dear Lauren

    I pretty much agree with your opinion on the topic of hunting and being hunted. I´m 23 and from my experience with dating I can´t hlp myself but say that women ("girls" if you want) should be more active. If they really want the guy, that is. This is because at certain point the guy might as well say to himself: Ok man, you did your best. No point in getting too persistent." and give up on the girl. And let me point out, that when this happens it might be quite difficult for the girl to make him interested in her again. At least works like this for me.

    I still have some things to say, but I guess that my general on this topic was successfully passed on.

    Thanks for reading

  31. bt says:

    its actually because men know exactly what they want and majority of the time women do not have the slightest clue as to what they really want with their life. I just got done with a long distance relationship because the girl I was trying to create a healthy relationship with couldn't get over her ex who dumped her almost half a year ago. On top of that she decided to have sex with a guy who she claims she doesn't have feelings for.

    So there you go. I chased her for almost 6 months, I waited and waited and hoped she would come around because I fell in love with her and sacrificed my dating life and she goes and has sex with the next guy willing because she thought it would make her feel better about her ex.

    If you want a man, you have to figure out what you want and you have to pursue. Us guys are built with some tough skin and we generally can handle rejection, it sucks but we get over it. Girls can't get over that and it screws them up. Figure it out, its not that hard. If you want something, you need to find him/her and have a go getter mentality. Im over this whole relationship even though half a year of my life was spent and wasted. Im going to move on, stronger than ever and hopefully find what im looking for. And to answer your question, I would be absolutely flattered if a girl went all out for me. It would be such a change of pace and like someone already said, id find it very cute and would at least give you a chance for your efforts. Unlike most girls who if they are chased and dont feel like the guys worth it they'll play you around for a while and leave you.

  32. Cara says:

    Total double standard. I'm with you! It's hard enough to get a guy to actually ask you out anymore instead of texting. Let alone sweep you off your feet. Anyway, really enjoyed this read. I ranted about something similar too "Girls are Crazy, Guys Are Dicks"… may help explain some things. ha.

  33. sarjit says:

    guy are very romantic if they are not response by a girl whome he whishes

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