Category Archives: Social psychology

Why does a guy who looks mature and caring turn out to be immature and cold? [Or: Why are men assholes?]

[My answer to a friend’s question]

Say a guy is immature and cold to a woman he has met – perhaps after they have had sex or been ‘intimate’ in some way (I’ll use the expression ‘have sex’ – but it might be ‘less’ than that).

Why might the guy behave in this way?

Here are some possible reasons:

i) Perhaps the guy was trying to deceive the woman: He behaved in a mature and caring way SO that he could have sex with her. Perhaps he believes that if he just sleeps with her, he will be happier (for a little longer than it takes to have an orgasm). Or perhaps he believes it will boost his self-esteem. Or perhaps he likes controlling or ‘conquering’ woman in some way.

ii) Perhaps the guy actually genuinely thought he was interested in the woman he was with (or wanted to believe he was) – but actually – he mostly only had sexual desire for her. Then – after sex – he suddenly realised he was mainly only interested in her sexually. In this case the guy was “deceived by his own desire.”
This could happen e.g. if a guy allows his sexual desire to ‘magnify’ other aspects of a woman’s character/personality – such that the guy becomes convinced that he likes many more aspects of the woman than he would do if he was not ‘horny’. For example – he might find what she says ‘interesting’ when he is horny even though he may not if he were to meet her when he is not so horny. Another case might be if the guy is quite moralistic or religious – he may not be willing to admit to himself that he is ‘only’ or ‘mostly’ interested in a woman sexually and so he might want to convince himself that ‘more’ than just sexual attraction exists, by ‘pretending’ to himself that he is interested in other things about her too (apart from her body). Unfortunately – he only realises that he wasn’t so interested after all – AFTER they have had sex.

iii) Perhaps the guy genuinely liked the woman at the beginning – but later he found things out about her that he did not like – and so he then seemed to change his behaviour to being immature and cold. For example, he may have found out that she was quite racist or narrow-minded and/or that she simply had very different opinions from him about things that were important to him.

iv) Perhaps the guy IS mature and caring most of the time– but there are certain unconscious interpersonal or situational triggers that cause him to ‘react’ in quite an immature way – and he has no control over these.

v) Perhaps the woman initially idealised the guy – and THOUGHT he was mature and caring and later – when she saw things more clearly – found out that he REALLY was actually immature and cold.

vi) Perhaps the woman liked the guy a lot and was interested in a serious relationship but actually pretended to him that she was more interested in just ‘having fun/sex’ in order to ‘attract’ him to her (i.e. SHE deceived him). The guy may have thought that she genuinely was interested in just having fun/sex, but later became quite confused/shocked/annoyed when she started behaving in a more ‘serious’ way with him.

vii) Perhaps the woman tried to convince herself that she was just interested in ‘having sex/fun’ even though she was actually interested in something more ‘serious’ (perhaps because of pressure from friends/society to behave in this way). And she presented herself this way to the guy and they did have sex. Later – when she is communicating with the guy – she behaves in a ‘serious’ way with him – and forgets that she initially gave him the impression that she just wanted to have fun/sex. The guy gets confused and starts acting immature and cold.
…. And there are probably many other possibilities …

* Note – everything could be ‘reversed’ by gender above – I am just following the ‘stereotype’ that men ‘give love in exchange for sex and women give sex in exchange for love’. It does seem to be that men have a somewhat higher sex drive in general so there may be some truth to this stereotype. However, in many situations the reverse could also be true too.


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