SPOILER ALERT (but not major)
I read more reviews than I should. I’ve readily admitted that, and if I hadn’t, I have some nice friends who have pointed this out to me recently. This is all so new to me that I’m fascinated to see the response. I probably respond more than I should, too, but hey… it was one person’s review that caused me to write Not Today, But Someday, so something good can come from it sometimes, right?
Anyway. A few of the reviews I read recently used a word to describe Nate: WOMANIZER.
Now, as many of you know, he is also referred to that later in a spin-off series by a character who never knew the man, and from the outside, he may seem that way to people.
But really? People who are reading the book really think he’s a womanizer?
By definition, that would mean that Nate engages in numerous casual sexual affairs with women.
When I hear womanizer–and see the definition–I think of Trent Walker from Swingers, or Don Draper (especially in earlier seasons) in Mad Men, Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, maybe Joey Tribbiani in Friends (again, more so in earlier seasons). Men who have brief sexual encounters with multiple women that they barely know. Sometimes it’s for personal gain; sometimes it’s just for a good time.
In the span of the year that follows Nate’s adult activities, he is with five women:
- Laney, the model he was dating at the beginning of the book. They’d been seeing one another for a few months. He thought he was in love.
- Samantha, a young, naïve waitress he met and had taken a liking to. She was enamored with him, and he enjoyed getting to know her and showing her things in the city. He cared about her, and thought he might be able to love her someday.
- Kiersten, a self-sufficient lawyer who knew what she wanted–and went for it. She was the aggressor in this relationship. He considered giving up Emi for this woman.
- Emi, his best friend and the woman Nate has loved since he was sixteen years old, but could never have.
Okay, well what about number 5? Right.
- Eva, the one-night stand. Nate was not thinking clearly for multiple reasons; Eva was looking for a good time. They were in the right (wrong) place at the right (wrong) time. Was he proud of his conquest? No.
Would Barney Stinson have been proud of the conquest? Hell, yes. Why? Because he is a WOMANIZER.
Nate was a serial monogamist. He was a lover who fell for women easily, but he put a lot of thought and care into these relationships–and he treated them all with respect. He wanted to believe each one was “the one.” He was emotionally immature, but let’s face it. He was never able to give the love he truly had for the one woman he truly loved until the end of the book.
In each of the previous relationships, he wasn’t giving all he had; he was incapable of that, but even he didn’t realize that. A part of his heart was always Emi’s, whether she wanted it or not.
Even with Eva in the mix, that doesn’t make Nate a womanizer. He made a mistake in between what he thought were serious relationships.
Going back to other men in the media, let’s look at Ross Gellar from Friends. He slept with the copy girl when he and Rachel were on the infamous break. It was a one-night stand in between serious relationships. Would you ever consider Ross Gellar a womanizer? I’m laughing as I write that!
Anyway. I would love to hear other thoughts on this. Feel free to comment!