FOR PARENTS: Boy Fumbles, Girl Slaps, Is There Room for Repair?

woman-slapping-manRecently a concerned mom contacted me online to tell me that her seventeen-year-old son had just received a nasty slap in the face after he paid a girl a poorly worded compliment. My first reaction was astonishment. In this day and age where young women are aware that domestic violence is a crime, why would she have resorted to a physical strike when a tongue-lashing might have sufficed? No matter. The resilient young man was apparently more concerned with how he could win her back. (I won’t analyze that.)

To get the best advice possible, Mom kindly gave me details of their relationship, his crime, and their photos. They had just met, and after a lengthy chat, were in the process of setting up a coffee date. Fueled by this minor victory, and testosterone, and inexperience, the poor dude let slip that he thought the young lady had “awesome curves.” Oops!

That’s when she asked him to remove his glasses, which he did, perhaps hoping for a kiss, and instead got a wallop on his kisser. Yikes!

Mom: “So instead of landing a date for the weekend, he was left there standing alone, nursing a sore cheek. My feeling is he should apologize to the young lady and explain that he was just trying to tell her she was beautiful. Do you have any thoughts on this?”

First I checked the photos. Indeed, this young woman has AWESOME CURVES!!!! The kind of curves that get in the way of deep conversation and make it really hard for others to see her brain. I know her pain. I was so happy when I got old and my face finally grew into my brain. This poor brilliant girl is sick and tired of guys who find her intellectually and emotionally invisible. Now I understand the slap. So here’s what I suggested:

Dr. Wendy: Ouch! Don’t you hate those lessons. Poor guy. The only suggestion I have is for him to send an email saying his comment was meant only as a compliment, not as an attempt to sexualize her. Tell her that her mind was the thing that attracted him first and that he feels bad about the fumbled compliment. As much as he wants to, don’t bring up the slap. She may apologize easier if it’s not demanded of her. In the end, if she takes off, then he’s probably better being rid of a highly sensitive woman prone to violence.

Did I say the right thing? You be the judge. Here’s her response:

Girl: You also showed lots of maturity by coming back with a sweet and sincere apology. Most guys would not have done that. So….if you still want to, maybe we can start over and have that tennis game we were talking about? The ball is in your court….pun intended
P.S. I have an eye for fashion and love your frames (glasses)! Guess you probably figured out that I didn’t want to damage them.

Now where would these two have gotten if someone hadn’t turned the other cheek and reached out with kindness and respect? These two young people have learned so much about communication, sex, genders, and humanity in this one, painful lesson. Both of them had the courage to make repair. Because it is during our ruptures and repair that intimacy grows. I wish them well.

Oh, and I gave one final bit of advice to the well-meaning Mom. I told her it might soon be time to take the training wheels off her son’s to love life and let him ride solo — especially if he comes home with a different color of red on his kisser.



8 thoughts on “FOR PARENTS: Boy Fumbles, Girl Slaps, Is There Room for Repair?

  1. Oh goodness. I’m sure the young man meant well. We women can be extremely sensitive and have a tendency to over-react. I’m certainly not alone in that regard. I once slapped a guy I had just broken up with because he was not the least bit upset that I broke up with him. How crazy is that?! The story doesnt end there. He actually sent me an apology card and flowers. I often wonder if that young man truly understood what he was apologizing for. lol! We ladies can certainly be a handful 😉

  2. Wendy I think you are using a double standard in this advice. If a young man hit a young woman in the face you would tell her to call the police and have him arrested. The genders were reversed and you turned the domestic violence into a cute story to begin their budding relationship. If a man hits a woman once she should leave because no person deserves abuse and he will hit her again, I dont understand why the advice would change just because the genders were reversed here.

  3. oday’s women sexualize themselves as much, if not moreso than men, and much moreso than women of a generation ago. Even you unnecessarily comment “…(she) has AWESOME CURVES!!!!” in order to take a narcissistic stroll down your own perceived path of thorns. Poor, stupid boy for responding positively, if awkwardly. I suppose, he deserved to be physically assaulted rather than dressed down. Where is your condemnation of the appropriateness of violence as a response? Should he have responded in same if she had made a remark that unintentionally offended him? I think that the “poor brilliant girl…sick and tired of guys who find her intellectually and emotionally invisible” is, to quote Sarah Taylor-Spangenberg on a February 11, 2010 Zelda Lily post, “a very bitter, damaged woman who has never really gotten over her fears surrounding men.” “America’s (self-touted) thought leader on relationships” needs to do a little more thinking. You should not be fueling the pathologies of narcissistic young women infatuated with their own genitalia. Why not consider a career change instead?

  4. Yikes! Now that’s one to remember and bring up at the 30th wedding anniversary if they ever decided to get hitched. Sounds like a good outcome from all sides, although I’ll bet my bottom dollar that he’ll be a little more circumspect in making top of your head comments in future. Best of luck to them both.

  5. The girl owes the boy an apology . Hitting him was completely out of line for his mishandled compliment.

    There are men out there who might punch her right back in the face , harder than she hit him.

    I would suggest she enroll in an authentic martial arts school where they teach you how to walk away from violence, but use it appropriately when someone actually physically attacks you.

  6. This is appalling. You want him to apologize for her uncontrollable behavior and after she resorted to physical violence? You miss, are a double standard having sham of a doctor. You should be flipping burgers, instead of giving advice.

    He was assaulted, and you sympathize with the aggressor?

  7. The boy needs to cut that girl out of his life entirely and immediately. Physical violence is unacceptable, period. That girl is not a good person and she can bring no good to his life.

  8. Hi, I just felt the need to comment since the advice was wildly inappropriate. Girls who act out violently, especially over something as mild as what the boy said, do not stop. If that is the most offensive statement she has ever heard, then she is very lucky. She is also lucky no one hit her back, since she instigated the violence. I cannot believe the boy had to apologize for getting SLAPPED. I have seen girls behave like this, but that does not give them a free pass to behave that way and have that behavior encouraged. A girl would never be expected to apologize to a boy for striking her, no matter what she said.

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