Want to know how complicated Balkan women are? Let’s say Mourihno takes over Barcelona and Guardiola, Real Madrid. Messi becomes a forward for Real and Cristiano Ronaldo takes his spot in Barcelona. Then, Roman Abramovich comes and buys both clubs. That is how complicated we are.
Generally speaking, you can find four types of women in the Balkans
Traditional, or at least in search of a traditional relationship, she feels a special connection with you from the moment she lays eyes on you. For her, it is a genuine connection and while you’re still considering a second date, she’s already planning the wedding and naming your children. She likes to meet your family early on. She’s well-behaved and knows how to handle parents. Don’t even worry about bringing her home; she will win them over in a second with her “Stepford Wife” manners. She indulges you to the point at which all the attention would annoy the average Balkan man. She can be needy, but she means well.
The untraditional one and usually some kind of a feminist, she swears off marriage in kindergarten. She throws a tantrum when you try to pick up the bill. Sometimes, in rare moments of insanity, Commitment Phobic will try to imagine standing in front of an altar with you. This vision, quickly followed by one of being trapped in the kitchen, slaving away to feed several hungry and screaming mouths may bring on a heart attack. She will then punish herself with a clubbing spree and shameless flirtation with other guys to wash away the bitter taste of possible commitment.
She is, well, rational and neutral. She won’t draft wedding guest lists a minute after she meets you, nor will she ignore your wish to get serious with her. She won’t pass out with joy when you tell her you love her, and she won’t hire a hitman if you tell her you don’t. She will rationally reconsider the idea of marriage after she spends a reasonable amount of time living with you. She doesn’t fall for sweet talk, so always keep it real with her.
The one you all want and none of you can have — because she doesn’t exist. Perfect, physically and mentally, sculpted according to your ridiculous standards. She is the female equivalent to Mr. Right. Basically, she is as real as Narnia. In fact, walking through a wardrobe and stepping into a land of fauns and nymphs is more probable than meeting Miss Imaginary.
Be very careful, because there are two subtypes of commitment junkies: the ones who are open about their intentions and the closeted ones.
Closet Commitment Junkie
Ashamed to admit they feel this way, she is probably presenting herself as a moderate version of Commitment Phobic. This can be confusing because you thought you invited out someone who’s into a casual relationship, but you soon realize that you are wrapped up in something completely the opposite around the time you get the 10th “Hey, what are you doing?” text after the first date.
On rare occasions, Rationalist can briefly become Commitment Junkie. This usually happens when she is asked to be a bridesmaid or a maid of honor, and especially if she catches a bouquet at the wedding reception. Don’t freak out or break up with her because of this; she is still Rationalist at heart, and she will snap out of it when she comes back home and finds your dirty socks on her laptop (more on dirty laundry below).
Men constantly make the same mistake. You meet a Junkie, Phobic or Rationalist and convince yourself she is Miss Imaginary. When she doesn’t meet your expectations, you are heartbroken and she is marked as the evil woman who turned you into a mess of a man. From then on, you blame her for the failure of every future relationship (“You are just like XX; she ruined me forever. All you women are the same!”). No, we are not. And your perfect ex-girlfriend wasn’t perfect, and she most certainly is not the reason why you sometimes act like a pig to other women. So allow me to say this one more time — Miss Imaginary does not exist. The perfect girl is a myth, just like the perfect guy.
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We’ve seen that a lot of the pathology here involves the horrid “M” word — “M,” as in, “marriage.” Let’s not pretend that this is not the issue, because we all know this is the only issue in the Balkans.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: Women are also freaked out about marriage. The only difference is that we thoroughly analyze the idea and the meaning of it, and most of you try not to think about it at all. This makes it look like we’re constantly in search of a groom. We are not.
Nature gave us a uterus, and society gave us scary roles to play. Being a wife or a mother are big challenges, and we’re babbling about them because we want to be prepared if we’re ever faced with either one. We like to play it safe, so when we bring up the topic of marriage, we’re not asking you to immediately turn over your sperm and place it in our egg; we just want to know if you are as worried about the prospect as we are.
Here are some quick-reference behaviors to avoid:
Never compare us to your mother
Boys, please, pretty please, never. “This is how my mom does it” gives us a stroke. We know she is amazing and in your mind does everything better than us. The truth is, she probably only does it differently, and you are used to her method. Explaining how your mother does something is acceptable only if you have a clueless girlfriend who doesn’t know how to boil an egg or turn on a washing machine.
Never leave your dirty underwear outside the laundry basket
Even Commitment Junkie will flinch at the sight of it and wonder what she did to deserve such punishment. Phobic will catapult you to outer space or introduce you to her fist. Rationalist will take the underwear, put it on a plate and serve it to you for dinner.
Never check out other women when we are around
We know you like looking at other women even when you’re deeply committed to your girlfriends. We understand that checking out girls is a guy thing. Feel free to do it when we’re not with you. But refraining while you are with us is a minimum of respectful behavior that we demand. If you’re brave and think you can handle it, suggest a joint check-out session where both of you can comment on other women and men. Good luck getting out of that one without feeling insecure.
Never, under any circumstances, should you doubt any of the following:
Existence of PMS
It is real, very real, and it comes in a lot of variations. Don’t play with it. Don’t tell us we’re using it as excuse to act like a bitch. Don’t think you can relate to it. Have you ever peed blood for five days while your testicles pulsed in pain with every move you made? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
Our hormonal nature
We hate to admit it, but we are hormonal beings. It hurts our egos to admit that something as silly as a rush of hormones can cause a momentary lapse of reason and take control of our actions. That is how our bodies work, and it often plays tricks on our minds, hence the PMS. We are often unaware of our irrational moments, so just bear with us — quietly.
Sanctity of the chocolate
Chocolate is what we turn to when even our best friends can’t understand us. That inability to understand rarely happens, but this is why chocolate sometimes ranks above you on the list of our favorite things.
Our best friends
Don’t. Even. Try. We will always have them, and if it’s them or you, it’s not even a question.
Danijela Simrak is a freelance journalist based in Zagreb. She graduated from Faculty of Political Science with a degree in journalism.