Pfhorrest wrote:If you'd been following my comments in this and other threads on similar topics (not that I expect you have been), you'd see that I've been harping on that insight myself over and over again.
My most heartfelt and sincere apologies. I confused you for someone else and misread the meaning of your post. I implore your forgiveness, I was wrong.
No worries at all. From what I've seen of you on here (and I seem to see you a lot on here this week, as far as comments worth responding to goes), you seem very polite and likeable.
Karilyn wrote: rmsgrey wrote:
Karilyn wrote:Trust me, I'm sympathetic too despite the tough love I've been dishing out in this thread. But I also lose a ton of my sympathy when I tell someone directly "I'm female, you're wrong, that's not how we think, this is how we think, and it's the same way men think." And then they are all like "Nuh uh, you're just really wanting to string us along." Then you're no longer sympathetic, you're being willfully ignorant and deliberately making your life, and the lives of the people you interact with miserable. That's when you become the ill-intentioned villain.
Has anyone ever come back with "But that's not how I think"?
At least 20-30 times so far in this thread alone.
I think rmsgrey is suggesting that there's a bit of tuquoque due here. The guys in question are wrongly insisting on what all women's "true" intentions and motives are over their protests to the contrary, yes. But then many of the women commenting on that behavior are in turn insisting on what all such guy's "true" intentions and motives are, likewise over their protests to the contrary.
The guy saying "Nuh uh, you're just really wanting to string us along", though wrong, is not necessarily being willfully ignorant, because if he already thinks you're misleading him, he will take any claim that you're not misleading him as itself misleading, and from the worldview he's coming from, that looks like a perfectly reasonable conclusion. "I'm not misleading you" is exactly what you'd expect someone you think is misleading you to say. (I'm reminded of a quote from the famous Dead Alewives "Dungeons and Dragons" skit: "He said it was a magical sword!" - "He was lying." - "He said he never tells a lie!" - "He was lying then
too!"). It's a nasty mental trap the guy is stuck in and it's quite understably frustrating for you to be on the receiving end of it and I can't think of anything better for you (or women in your situation) to do in response to it -- the only way out of it I can really imagine is for another guy who's been in his shoes to tell him from experience why that doesn't work -- but it doesn't make him ill-intentioned. It makes him... defensively irrational, I guess. Quite similar to women who jump way too quickly at all kinds of tiny warning signs in probably-harmless men as I described in my last post: it's irrational, but when you're in that mental space the alternative feels like letting your guard down and being a naive gullible sucker who's just going to get hurt again. And in both cases I don't think the person on the receiving end of that unpleasant behavior can really do anything to counter that, because the other person is seeing them, in some way or another, as "the enemy", not to be trusted, so anything they might say is automatically suspect. The only way I see out of that is for someone who's already "on their side" to show them the way out (as I try to do for the kind of guys in question), or for (as happened to me) some kind of positive relationship with someone on the "other side" to allow your kind of message -- "that's really not how I think" -- to be accepted and trusted.
I get really frustrated with the kind of woman who always thinks she knows what my real ulterior motives are and can't be assuaged that they really aren't that way, but I don't think they're bad people for it. I think they've probably been hurt and are overly defensive now to prevent that from happening again and I feel sorry for them and hope that either some other women who've had better experiences can help them heal from their emotional scars, or that their own better experiences in the future will heal them. I'm suggesting here that women who are similarly frustrated with the kind of guy in this comic take that kind of attitude toward him -- he's a pain to deal with, but it's not because he's a bad guy, he's just hurt and exhibiting maladaptive behavior and there's probably nothing you can do to help, but you can sympathize and hope somehow he gets better.
Running some quick figures on the hetero relationships from that early period that seem notable enough to remember off the top of my head right now, 38% of them were women approaching me, 30% were friendships that grew into romance, 23% of them I asked out without really knowing them at all yet, and 15% were from dating sites.
Ignoring the heterosexual requirement and just running down all my relationships, that's pretty much more or less the same breakdown I experienced, minus the dating sites.
Just because statistics are fun, if I also drop the het requirement and include more modern relationships, my figures are:
34% people approaching me
30% friendships growing
25% online dating
15% blind propositions
By time in relationship instead of number of relationships (to get some sense of the quality, rather than just the quantity), my figures would be:
54% from friendships growing
36% from online dating
9% from people approaching me
3% from blind propositions
The trend looks pretty clear. Methods that involve getting to know the other person and establish some kind of communication and compatibility before pursuing a relationship produce much better (in terms of stability) relationships. I have such a small sample size of blindly propositioning people that that should probably be disregarded altogether, but other people blindly propositioning me clearly has the worst track record of all, with the highest number of relationships and
the shortest cumulative length of relationships (ignoring the negligible blind propositions I've made).
There are two inappropriate [ways to pursue romance with people who are already your friends]:
1. Become friends with someone with the long term goal of getting them to date you.
2. Becoming attracted to a person and continuing the friendship with the long term goal of getting them to date you.
Note the emphasis on long term goal. Wanting to get to know someone before dating is cool, just make your intentions clear in the first 1-2 weeks and DEFINITELY before the end of the first month. Wanting to date someone you've been friends with for a while? Cool did you find yourself falling in love with them when you weren't in love with them before? Be sure to test the waters a bit and let them know your intentions within the first 1-2 weeks of realizing your romantic feelings and DEFINITELY before the end of the first month.
It's the people who hide their intentions for months and months on end, who become problematic.[snipped for brevity]
I wonder if we're using different senses of the word "inappropriate". I agree completely that taking forever to express your romantic interest is most likely going to be unproductive (not going to find you the romance you're looking for) and is likely to be hurtful to both you and the person you're pursuing, but to my ear "inappropriate" has connotations of "morally wrong", not just "pragmatically inadvisable". Pragmatically inadvisable doesn't mean never under any circumstances do it and you are strictly liable if you do do it regardless of the outcome. My longest and stablest relationship I ever had grew out of a friendship that was already months old before it grew into romance; did I do something wrong
(not just risky) by violating your 1-2-weeks-or-definitely-a-month rule? Nobody got hurt. (Well four years later when the whole thing came crashing down we both got hurt, but not because of how it began).
Years after that, I met another woman I was interested in, but another new friend who had had much less romantic success than me in his life was also interested in her, so I stepped aside and let him pursue her first. They were together for years, then broke up. I had other relationships meanwhile, which ended. She had others too. Then came a period when we were both single at the same time. I asked her out. She wasn't interested, and then she broke off contact for a long while (we're friends again now) because it was too awkward for her after I asked. I was perfectly happy to take "no" for an answer and continue just being her friend and dating other people as I had for years, just minus the possibility that maybe I might ask her out some time, because I tried that already and it went nowhere. Was there something morally wrong about maintaining a friendship over years with someone to whom I was attracted all along, and never mentioning it because
it would have been inappropriate to do so? (She was with someone else, or I was with someone else -- and when I was with someone else, I wasn't even thinking about her). Mind you, especially, my first
intention toward her was "hey, here's a girl I think I'd like to date". I first started getting to know her with romantic intentions, but then set those aside and let it be just a friendship for years, while still having on-and-off romantic interest in her -- before finally having the opportunity to ask her out, and then finally putting aside those romantic interests when it didn't pan out.
When I was much younger, and still under the mistaken impression that women were uninterested in sex, I had no idea how
to signal romantic interest, so I had a lot of romantic interests that went nowhere because I just had no idea how to take them anywhere, lest I just bluntly and awkwardly ask "do you wanna be my girlfriend?", which of course is as smooth as sandpaper and has a success rate comparable to Ethiopia's space program. So I had lots of friendships that I wished would be romances but never became that either because they never had any idea I was interested (because I was hiding the obvious signs of interest under the mistaken impression that those would make them disinterested), or because I asked so bluntly it ruined any hope of me seeming attractive. Was any of that morally wrong
, or just grossly incompetent?
I think that last situation is the boat so many guys maintaining long friendships with romantic aspirations are in. They don't know how to approach someone, but they like them a lot, so they just... hang around and try to be nice and friendly and likeable and... hope that somehow... something happens... though they have no idea how that's supposed to work. But things like xkcd 513 and plenty else around the internet portray that as malicious deception. I think it's just incompetence, stemming largely from a misunderstanding, namely that women are interested in a different set of things than men and so just a straightforward open approach will never work, that the only way anyone ever gets together is by suppressing the aspects of their gender that the other gender doesn't like (namely, for men, any sexual interest) and trying to present an image which they would like (namely, for men, all manner of nonsexual niceties). It is deceptive in a way, but it's being conducted under a mistaken worldview that both sides are, and have to be
, deceptive to each other, that that's just how that aspect of life works. It's not a malicious deception. For me, it was a huge
relief to learn that women just want the same things I want and we don't have to play these crazy deceptive games, because I hated doing that. And of course I'm just going off of personal experience here with no real data, but I really think at least a large number of guys out there are similarly just misinformed about the existence of a "gender war", and would love to lay down arms and talk about things like decent people. They're not malicious, in that they don't want
to "fight"; they just mistakenly believe that there is a "war" already happening and that they've got
to "fight" in it if they don't want to lose that "war".
The wrong act is NOT being attracted to someone or wanting a relationship with someone.
The wrong act is being lying or misleading about your intentions.
But is it really "lying or misleading" if you just have no idea how to express your intentions in a way that would not cause you to be rejected? If you'd love to say what you really feel, but you can't think of any way of saying it that won't (so you think) make you look horrible for saying it? So you just... you like this person and you do want to be their friend, but you also want to be more... but you don't know how to express that... so you hang around and hope that they notice how much you like them by all of the things you're doing... you're trying, very poorly, to subtly express those intentions in what you mistakenly believe is the acceptable way... and it goes nowhere and eventually you get frustrated and make a fool or an ass out of yourself as it all falls apart. The making an ass out of yourself part (by which I mean roughly "being an asshole") is not OK of course, but everything leading up to it just smacks of incompetence and ignorance to me, not the malicious deception it gets portrayed as.