Whether it’s you or one of your friends, there is always one. I’m talking about the guy in the group that can’t stop talking about cars. If he has expensive taste, he may own dozens of cars himself. But if he can’t physically afford to do that, he seems to get a fancy new car every few years — and refuses to talk about much else.
Although that’s the extreme example of the love affair between a guy and his car(s), there is an obvious draw that pulls men toward cars. What causes this? Why is it so gender-specific? I wanted to open up the case and investigate this further. Let me start by saying that no one is saying that women don’t love cars. In fact, I know just as many women that fall into the aforementioned extreme case example. Generally speaking, though, they just seem to love cars in a different kind of way. Also, this article was inspired by Father’s Day — so there’s that as well.
One Love vs Multiple Loves
There was an interesting study done that reveals the difference in the levels of monogamy between genders. The takeaway was that women are naturally much more loyal and monogamous when it comes to love (and even obsession) with people and things. Men, on the other hand, prefer to diversify their love output. They go through phases more often and get more excited with material masculine items. Cars definitely fall into that category. If you were to ask a woman what her first car was, she will most likely have no problems recalling a story about it. She probably named it, took great care of it, and cried when it was time to get rid of it. That’s that amazing sense of female loyalty at its best.
For a man, the attachment doesn’t get so deep. Getting rid of one car means that it’s time for a new one. That excitement of moving on to something fresh is something males enjoy greatly. After all, it most likely means an upgrade in technology, better performance, and a stronger build.
Taking Care of Your Loved One
While females are certainly very attentive and much better at taking care of things, they can be neglectful of their cars. Take my wife for example. Over the span of 3 months, she has failed to fill up her gas tank more than once, was overdue on her oil change, and kept procrastinating her need for windshield wiper blades. The responsible thing to do would be to take care of the car immediately. So why does she do that?
The answer is less about why she does that and more about why men DON’T do that. Simply put — men enjoy getting their hands dirty. Replacing a part means better performance and no one wants to be the man with wiper blades that can’t even properly deflect rainfall! Going back to the example of my wife, I am always the one to take the car into the shop. It’s become the expectation around the house. I tried to figure out if that was because she didn’t want to, didn’t care, or because she just assumed it’s something a man should have to do.
My argument back to her was that it’s her car. Much like our children, she should be responsible for taking care of it. I’m happy to do whatever is necessary for our family, but sitting at a shop waiting for a vehicle to be worked on is not how I like to spend my time. It turns out, it’s a little bit of all of these reasons for my wife. She’s busy enough and the truth is, I can speak the lingo with the shop if it came down to it.
A Relationship That Breeds Behaviors
Think of a man with a power tool. It can either be really scary or really amazing to watch. It all depends on how much the man knows what he’s doing. It’s the same thing when you put a man behind the wheel of a car that he loves. He’ll rev the engine with a smile. He’ll drive above the speed limit if he can. Overall, there is a much stronger sense of pride in the ability to do more with a car.
The numbers reveal that more men get pulled over for speeding or are ticketed for poor parking. Just like young love, when you’re head over heels, the outside world becomes less relevant to you. You begin to overlook the repercussions for unsatisfactory behavior.
A Man is Insatiable
A male’s love affair with a car is one that usually feels unfulfilled after a few months. I won’t say that a man gets bored, but because there is always something better that comes out, eyes start to wander elsewhere. Studies show that men weave in and out of lease contracts more often than women. They embody more of a “out with the old and in with the new mentality” than women.
Fathers and Their Cars
A beautifully made car speaks to a man’s heart at any age. That said, the romance dies down as children become adults and those adults become fathers. I’d never say that kids could ever replace a nice car, but they certainly come with their own massive list of new responsibilities. The result is a greater sense of loyalty later in life. A man may choose to love the family van as much as he did the muscle car he owned in his twenties. And rightfully so, have you seen the vans they make these days?
As my wife takes the kids to the park in what she considers a “convenient mode of transportation,” I await the weekend getaways that put me in the driver seat of our amazing family van. I rev the engine. I put my sunglasses on. And almost magically, I am taken back to the romantic days that have long passed.
I personally prefer possessing that loyalty and being overcome by my monogamous relationship with a car. I still feel the love, and with so much going on in the world, it simplifies everything.