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Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Correct The Internet

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Feb. 9th, 2013 | 08:38 pm

Facebook Status posted by a longtime acquaintance:

Top 5 lies women use to avoid seeming superficial;
5- we're such good friends, I'd hate to ruin it by dating!
4- I never knew you liked me that way
3- I dont have time to date anyone*
2- im not ready to date anyone*
1- I don't deserve a guy like you, I'd only hurt you

*- only bs because a week or 2 later, they are dating someone

Special shout out to, "... im a lesbian!"



I comment:
I'd call these, in the right circumstances, Top Five Reasons Women Give to Avoid Hurting Men They Care For But Are Not Sexually Attracted To.

Friend:
Allison, you're right. . Because in our society attraction trumps everything!.

Me:
Ummm...because people should agree to date/have sex/spend their lives with people they aren't attracted to? Because....?

There's a thing called Nice Guy Syndrome. Basically, it boils down to " "Why isn't a woman a machine into which I can put kindness coins until sex falls out?" It's feeling of entitlement, where a guy thinks that because he's "nice", women should have sex with him, and if they don't, they're either bitches or they have bad judgment because they pick another guy who isn't "nice" like the guy doing the complaining.

I love you dearly, M-----, and I've known you for years. You are a sweet, nice, lovely human being, and I know you've had challenges with finding someone you really click with. But it might help to look at the sayings above as what they all translate to, which is "I don't want to date the person I'm addressing this sentence to, and I don't want to hurt their feelings." It doesn't make a woman "superficial" because she doesn't want to date a person who wants to date her, and it can feel childish or misogynist for the person asking her out to characterize a polite refusal as a character failing.

Any human being, male or female, is entitled to their preferences, desires and attractions. Some girls only want to date black men. Some men only want to date girls with big breasts. Some people will turn down someone for bad grammar in an email (me! me!). Are these reasons shallow? Sure. Are they overlooking the complete picture of every person's unique humanity? Sure. But we don't, as a species, make our decisions based on a complete picture of humanity. We all have our own preferences, some of them more logical than others, and it doesn't make us bad people to go with what we want.

Friend:
Your last paragraph is exactly what I'm referencing. The ones who complain, male or female, " all I want is a good/nice/honest/loving/funny/or even grammatically correct girl/guy" = I say that, but really as long as im attracted to them, thats the real inportant part, the other stuff is a cherry on top.

Btw, while yes, ive heard these all, well mostly all, in the past... the assumption that ive been spurned and thus wrote my comment is false!

Me:
Glad to hear it

Friend:
And for the record:
[inserts dictionary definition of “superficial”]

All the reasonings you've both given, mainly attraction, falls into one of the definitions of the word I used to originally describe. So it's less about me being a misogynist, and more about you not liking the word. Furthormore, I agreed that attraction is paramount in this society, doesn't make it right, doesn't make me bad for wishing people wouldn't do it. especially when they claim to be longing for sonething deeper

Me:
This sounds an awful lot like "People who make choices I don't approve of are bad people." and perilously close to "Women who don't pick me are bitches."

Why isn't choosing someone based on attraction right? Are you advocating we return to marriage as the uniting of two families that own adjoining land?

Friend:
No, not at all, on both messages! Im not going to say anyone is a bad person for making a choice, they could, however, make bad choices if the only guiding factors are how soneone looks.

My approval has no merrit in the equation.

I'm a little troubled here by you, on a couple occassions now, trying to take what I have actually said, and translate it into a new, far more demonstrative, "women are bitches" definition by saying what it sounds like.

What it sounds like is what I wrote.. if I had wanted to actually be a misogynistic asshat, I would have originally wrote " top 5 lies bitches say when they think they have a right to choose who they put out to "

So, to clarify, I do not hate women, nor do I feel like I am entitled to anything by being nice to them. Im nice to women, or men, because I try to be a nice person. Its not because I hope to gain anything more then a little repriosity of the same niceness.

Girl He Knows:
Yea this isn't women being "superficial" it's us trying not to hurt anyone's feelings.

Friend:
By lying?

Girl He Knows:
A white lie sure. You're telling me you would rather a girl just be like "um, no I don't want to date you" ? If that's the case then I will keep that in mind. However, that's just going to make things awkward... In my opinion.

Friend:
Yes, I.. and maybe I'm in the minority, would prefer the truth up front, rather then a veiled excuse that gets exposed a short time later.

Personally I hold someone who is honest above all else. And the quick tearing of the bandaid always hurts less tg theen the prolonged bit by bit removal

Me:
I respect your preference that you would rather hear, "I don't want to date you," than a polite excuse. But you undermine your point when you characterize polite excuses as "lies" told to hide a character flaw, and when you attribute those lies and flaws to "women" as a group. In the past, some men have not responded well when I've said "I don't want to date you." As a woman, I avoid unpleasant scenes, lost friendships, and sometimes the threat of physical harm by being kind instead of saying bluntly that I'm not attracted to someone.

Friend:
You realize that you are trivializing the points for your argument with words like polite or little lies told to protect feelings, while going to the far ends of the opposing spectrum to demonize mine, right? Even bringing abuse and fear into reasons to not be forthcoming.

In this thread weve established that women lie, whether it white, Little, polite, curteous, what ever inference you'd like to modify it with.

We've established this is because essentially they eat with their eyes, ie attraction dominates interest.

So nothing in my original post is either derogatory, or untrue.

I could easily reverse this and say the same thing about men, and neither of our points would be discredited. To some degree they'd probably be intensified.

Personally I do not think there is a reason to lie to someone regarding this, not only does it reflect bad on the liar, but it may also give the person interested false hope, thinking oh theyre not ready, thats what is stopping them, so ill hang around hoping til they are..

Its much more humane to just say.."no, im flattered, but im not interested in you that way" then any mind shit is on them, not on you.

I surely cant be alone on this.

Me:
So basically, if a woman is not interested in you, she's only allowed to say so in the way you prescribe. If she indicates her disinterest in a way that is not your choice of how she should do it, she's a liar and a fake. Glad we got that cleared up.

Friend:
Wow, thats really what you're taking from my statements?

Shes "allowed" to say anything however she pleases! But if she chooses to lie through it, yes, that makes her, by definition, a liar!

Why is that a complicated understanding to grasp? If someone lies, they are being a liar. Pretty black and white there, is it not?

When did I say fake? Again you're adding your own narrative to my statements to further fuel your fire on this subject.

Footnote, my preferences are simply that what I would prefer. . And certainly how I personally would handle myself, anyone else has freewill to do whatever they want.

Does lying under the guise of protecting someone make you a bad person, not me to determine. But they are still lies, back to my original statement

Me:
When you characterize women as "superficial" or "liars" for not telling you they don't want to date you in exactly the way you want to hear it, you're coming off as a controlling, misogynistic asshole. And that's to someone who knows you personally and loves you dearly (me). How do you think it comes across to women who don't know you?

I'm sure you have a lot of complex feelings about this subject, and yes, you'd certainly prefer to have women talk to you in exactly the way you prescribe. But describing them as liars because they don't toe the line for how it's acceptable to talk to you isn't the most pro-woman position you could take.

So far, you've called women "liars" and "superficial." As a group. You've mansplained to me with your definition of "superficial" (I have a masters in writing, which you may not know, but I think you know I'm not stupid, so it comes across as deliberately patronizing). Two other women have weighed in on this thread to agree that it's self-protective as well as polite--plain old ordinary politeness--to not say to someone's face, "I don't want to date you." And you clearly understand that all five things you list above actually MEAN "I don't want to date you," so at this point you are saying, "Even though I know what you mean, if you don't say it the way I want you to say it, you're a superficial liar."

I'm sorry you come into contact with so many liars, and I hope you never have to politely eat a meal you don't care for, do business with a client whose politics repulse you, or reassure a loved one they look just fine when there isn't time to go home and change. Good luck with that.



I know--I KNOW--that this guy is a lovely person who has a lot of marks against him in the dating game, and is probably pretty frustrated. Clearly, I am a little overtired...

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Comments {23}

Cos

(no subject)

from: cos
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 02:17 am (UTC)
Link

It's a common theme in the dating world that some people would like direct statements of lack of interest, while some people try to give hints and when that fails they evade the direct statement by giving excuses that give the person they're not interested in a face-saving out. And it's very much not a coincidence that men are often in the former category and women in the latter; it's a common complaint.

What men don't realize - and what most women either consciously think of or have learned even if they don't consciously recognize it - is that mens' entitlement is actually the main cause of this. In our culture at least, most women have had lots and lots of experiences of communicating to a man that they're not interested and getting an aggressive or nasty or otherwise unpleasant response. Lots of women have had the worst experience of communicating to a guy that they're not interested and having him respond by plowing over a boundary, or even getting violent and putting her in danger. Experiences like that teach women to avoid being direct.

You got to that point briefly here:

> Yes, I.. and maybe I'm in the minority, would prefer the truth up front, rather then a veiled excuse that gets exposed a short time later.

> In the past, some men have not responded well when I've said "I don't want to date you." As a woman, I avoid unpleasant scenes, lost friendships, and sometimes the threat of physical harm by being kind instead of saying bluntly that I'm not attracted to someone.

... but he didn't even seem to notice that portion, and the conversation quickly zoomed past it, and didn't return.

As for making excuses for this guy... as lovely as he may be otherwise, he really has something to learn here, and he's resisting even acknowledging that possibility. Ironically, he's showing the same kind of oblivious sense of entitlement that causes the problem he's railing against.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 02:49 am (UTC)
Link

Agreed. Big ol' ditto. And I have known several guys now who are all knotted-panties about how women won't date them and gosh why not because they are NICE and I keep thinking back to the Cracked.com article about how saying women should date you because you're nice "is like a movie where the tagline is This Movie is In English! Also, the Actors Are Clearly Visible!". It's a baseline, not a feature.

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Cos

puzzle-box model

from: cos
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 03:20 am (UTC)
Link

I think one of the points you were really trying to get across to him was this one: http://faerye.net/post/the-puzzle-box

Yes?

However, I think he's immune to hearing that as long as he continues to hide behind his idea that all he's asking for is some straightforward honesty, and that's not so much to ask is it? Which is why I think the bit I wrote in my first comment is the important first step he's going to have to get at some point. He didn't even notice it when you said it.

Anyway, it may be useless with this guy at this time, but that puzzle-box link might turn out useful in other conversations.

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notodette

(no subject)

from: notodette
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 02:19 am (UTC)
Link

OMFG, I read this whole thing and I had all these feels, and was composing a thoughtful response in my head, and I got to the bottom...AND I HAVE A TAG!

Jenna Marbles does a fairly bland and not-entirely-insipid talk about the Nice Guy Syndrome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VXXXX9iVPI

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 02:47 am (UTC)
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I totally thought of you as I was having the whole discussion!

Also, I am in Florida now - when's a good time to hang out? I can do time with kids or adult time!

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notodette

(no subject)

from: notodette
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 03:15 am (UTC)
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Can you make it to me? How long are you here? Do you like kids because I have like...KIDS. If so, they have Friday off of school so that would be good, if not, Tuesday or Thursday in the afternoon!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 03:19 am (UTC)
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Yes I can make it to you. I'm here until the end of March, so no need to be all NOW NOW :) I don't love kids, but they seem to like me OK :)

Give me a day to sort out whether I'm going up to Lakeland this week, and then let's pick either this week or next week - whee!

A

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notodette

(no subject)

from: notodette
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 05:04 am (UTC)
Link

Oh, that's amazing then. Take your time! I'll try to sell the kids off before we set a date so they don't cause any shit.

You're welcome to come chill with me, go through preschool pick up and stay for dinner, too. Though I'd probably have to find a better story for Carlos than "This is my friend Allison who beat me in an internet writing competition that I never told you about who works with the circus and just visited south africa."

Actually, maybe that would do.

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(Deleted comment)

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 02:45 am (UTC)
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We should totally be FB friends! I'm facebook.com/awilliamscdn or just look me up as Allison Williams, my profile pic is black and white and I have zero privacy settings so I'm easy to find.

Yeah, he just sounds so entitled to me, and I'm a JUDGING JUDGER so I'm also like, dude, get in shape, get your finances in order, change to a more positive outlook and then start seeing if you're more successful.

Blergh.

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blahblahblah, whatever

(no subject)

from: kathrynrose
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 02:54 am (UTC)
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Did you get any rest today?

My response to him at this point would be, "I know why you're single. I could explain it to you, but you wouldn't hear it."

Which, actually, is why he's single.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 03:07 am (UTC)
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I stayed in bed until 1PM doing things that made me happy! I wrote out some Afrikaans phrases I want to learn at my next lesson, and looked around on Amazon for a book I want, and cleared out some email :) Then ran around and looked for the book I want...which I found but refuse to pay $26 for...and returned some stuff, and now I'm about to go to bed really early with prescription medication. Yay!

Oh yes. You are so correct. So very, very correct.

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Jessica

(no subject)

from: kf4vkp
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 04:15 am (UTC)
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Okay as a single female on the dating scene, I get his frustrations, it is one that goes both ways since honestly, we all aren't everyone else's type. If we were all attracted to each other, finding a mate would be simple.

I even have asked someone about it later when after being told "I'm not looking for anything serious right now" and then later spying their profile on match.com describing much the opposite. But rather than be all like you lied to me, you're such a douche. I simply emailed him and said hey, so you said this and your profile says the opposite. Which I take to mean you're not specifically interested in me, which is cool, but can you tell me why, as if the reasons are something that are changeable (come across rude, or whatever,) I would like to fix them. </p>

I got a nice email in return stating that while he did like who I am as a person and finds me very attractive, he also felt that long term we had some fundamental differences that would make us incompatible long term.

And we are still friends.

The fact is that we all have our preferences. Whether they are grammar (me too!), hair color (I know guys who don't date blondes.), size (whether it be guys who prefer skinny or chubby and girls who prefer slim, big guys, or muscle heads), or smiles. The rest that are the important parts of kind, considerate, funny, common interests stuff are things that we find out about later. But the fact is that we all need the physical attraction and that is the thing that makes the difference between friend and lover.

People who don't exhibit the nice, funny, considerate, and common interests are the ones that become people we knew once. People who exhibit those things but we aren't physically attracted to become friends and the person that fits those and the physical part become lovers and maybe more but only if we exhibit those things and they are physically attracted to us too.

And based on one of your comments, it sounds like your friend has many deal breakers that even if one of the girls he has talked to thinks that maybe he is cute but...

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Pika the Brazen Ninja

(no subject)

from: porn_this_way
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 04:16 am (UTC)
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In the past, some men have not responded well when I've said "I don't want to date you." As a woman, I avoid unpleasant scenes, lost friendships, and sometimes the threat of physical harm by being kind instead of saying bluntly that I'm not attracted to someone.

Oh dear sweet lawd THIS. I'm an unapologetically direct person and even I do this, because I've had guys go all fucking Jekyll and Hyde on me! And that shit? That shit's scary! I totally get that not all (or even most) guys are like that, but all it takes is having one "nice guy" go from caring friend to creepy, volatile asshole in response to a straightforward "I'm really flattered and I'm really sorry, but I just don't see you like that" before you think long and hard about going that route again. Sure, nobody likes to get Friend Zoned by someone they're into, and that can be a frustrating, bitter sting to or from any gender, but speaking as someone who has experience with both men and women, the volatile reaction - or more specifically, the "but I'm nice to you, and you're depriving me of the pussy you rightfully owe me" brand of entitled indignation - tends to almost exclusively come from men. And it's both scary and upsetting to suddenly go from being a gal having a conversation with a dude to a piece of meat getting growled at by a hungry, pissed off carnivore, because you're the bitch who just took his dinner away. I truly think it's the vast minority of guys who act like this, but I also think it's difficult for the majority of guys to understand what it's like to be on the receiving end of it and why women would go to such lengths to avoid a situation like that in the first place.

Also, that "shout out to I'm a lesbian" thing is just damn obnoxious. If a woman's sexual orientation doesn't fit neatly in a little checkbox, it means she's a superficial liar? So much fail. I'm a "mainly attracted to women, but occasionally into men" type of lady, and rather than giving every dude who hits on me a dissertation on the Kinsey Scale and hour-long lecture on the bizarre intricacies of my sexual orientation, I tend to just simplify things and be like "thanks but gay!" - Partly because it's easier, and partly because 9 times out of 10, the dude just comes back with an argument about why I should give him and his magic penis a chance to prove that he's one of the few men who can really get me hot. There's no way to win!

Oy, sorry for the tl;dr tangent in your comments section here.

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(Deleted comment)

Pika the Brazen Ninja

(no subject)

from: porn_this_way
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
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I think distressing is a really good word for it. Some random jerk at a bar getting mouthy when his advances are spurned...okay, whatevs. Having a friend do it, though, is a full on headfuck, and it just makes you question so many thing.

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Jemima Pauler

(no subject)

from: jem0000000
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 05:12 am (UTC)
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*hugs* *hugs* *hugs*

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Holly

(no subject)

from: minnesattva
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 11:08 am (UTC)
Link

I read something on twitter the other day that said "going on a date, the biggest fear a woman has is that her date will assault her. The biggest fear a man has is that his date will be fat." Like everything that fits into the length of Twitter, it's a bit oversimplified, but I like it because it illustrates how differently men and women see these encounters. And I think that's what your friend is failing to see: the worst thing that women can do to him is lie to him or be "superficial" (what an odd word choice, too, for someone who's so down on attraction (by which I assume he means physical attraction but he never specifies)) but women face far greater risks. When women try to point out these risks, he accuses you of extrapolating wildly, proving he doesn't take that seriously. Which is a bad sign. As is that he has a really narrow definition of misogyny ("if I don't call women bitches, I'm not being misogynistic!"). I feel for him, but if patient and kind explanations do so little for him, as they seem to here, I wonder how he'll get better.

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Yady

(no subject)

from: yady
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 02:26 pm (UTC)
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3- I don't have time to date anyone*
2- i'm not ready to date anyone*


I've said those things and totally meant them, and still ended up dating someone else a week later. And I've had it done to me, too, and I have no reason whatsoever to believe that the guy was being anything less than sincere. It happens - in fact, I've found that saying 'I don't want to date anyone right now' and meaning it (that's the hard part...) is the surest way to run into someone you totally hit it off with in no time.

Generally, when someone asks me out and I don't feel attracted to them, I try to find the right balance between honesty and kindness. Where that balance lies depends on many factors, including the character of the person. Get it wrong in one direction and you get nasty responses, get it wrong in the other direction and you get to invest huge amounts of time and energy in the person even though you're not dating them. But it's so easy to get it wrong, even when you're a good judge of character...

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Adam

wow...

from: spike20
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 04:56 pm (UTC)
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How he comes across to women who don't know him? How about men that don't know him? I'm sorry, but your friend is a bit of a dick, coming across as an argumentative self-righteous misogynist ass.

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Andrea Blythe

(no subject)

from: blythe025
date: Feb. 11th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
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OMG. Well said on your part. Oye. The nice guy syndrome kills me.

When I was 18, I went out with a guy for five months just because he was the first guy to ask me out. When he broke up with me, I was relieved. I swore ever afterward that I would not date a guy who I was not attracted to, and I haven't. I don't see the point of forcing myself into a situation I'm already super nervous about, if I'm not sexually attracted to him — which doesn't necessarily mean "movie star." It could mean anything depending on the context of the situation.

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drwex

Oh noes, someone is wrong on Facebook

from: drwex
date: Feb. 11th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
Link

I see someone has already linked the XKCD comic. So, a couple of thoughts on the situation.

First, I've been that guy. I try not to be. I think it's natural to want an honest response and hard to keep in mind that the other person (particularly a woman) may not feel safe giving an honest response. It's hard to deal with because I try to be honest (I did tell you the Ugly Hat Test story, yes?) and because I value honesty in the people around me.

When someone is not honest with me it feels like my self-control and autonomy are undermined. I take actions on the basis of dishonest information that I might not take otherwise. I have enough problems trusting people. It's hard to step out of that privilege bubble sometimes.

The dilemma I don't know how to deal with is the damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don't. Women (or generally people in positions of less power, but let's use women for now) lie in part because it's not safe to speak truth to men (power). But at the same time the notion that women make statements they don't really mean is its own source of trouble. How many women are harmed because men believe that women lie and therefore saying "no" is really just another lie or evasion?

I don't have a good solution - hell, I don't even have a bad solution. I just look at it and cringe.

(I am on FB under my real name which you're welcome to get from our mutual acquaintances but I log on approximately never.)

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Tom Ramcigam

(no subject)

from: magicmarmot
date: Feb. 11th, 2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
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I'm a long-time citizen of the Friend-zone, having lived there pretty much since puberty.

In my centuries on this planet, one aspect of attraction has been pretty clear: what someone finds attractive in another is something that defies logic and description. It's not a choice, it's an accident that you fall in, like a big puddle of mayonnaise.

There are things that will make you statistically more likely to attract members of your chosen dating pool. Being physically fit, being bilaterally symmetrical, having the proper ratio of limb-to-torso length, being able to express yourself clearly in person, social skills, personal hygiene, self-confidence.

None of these things will guarantee that the person upon whom you are crushing will crush back.

I've been told "You are like the perfect guy on paper, but I just don't feel the chemistry".

I've also been told "I want to find a guy just like you, but-- you know, not you".

Both of these at the time were painful. Neither of the women saying these things to me had any intent to hurt me, and neither of them understood why I could possibly feel upset... disrespected, maybe?

I understand it. There are women who find me attractive that I am not interested in coupling with. I like them as friends, but there is no attraction on my part.

And there is a sense of discontinuity.

On one hand, I could possibly use these women for sex. I don't, because it would be not only disingenuous, but a really shitty thing to do to someone who had hopes of something more happening, but a lot of guys do. I'm sure there are some women who do as well, but my gut tells me that it's far less prevalent.

There are many, many women that I find sexually desirable-- the bar isn't really that high. Fewer still I find deep and compatible enough to even consider the potential of multiple dates, let alone a relationship. Of those, finding someone for whom I have made it past their own filters is so rare as to be nearly nonexistent.

Once in a while, there are connections. They're nice, but they don't tend to last.

(Disclaimer: I did have one LTR of 12 years. It ended badly. We are still friends.)

I've learned that love is something for the young. Now that I'm older, I'm more attuned with respect and admiration, and enjoyment of each other.

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

(no subject)

from: halfshellvenus
date: Feb. 12th, 2013 09:00 pm (UTC)
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First, I want to commend the perfect qualification of the mansplaining here. I don't always wholly embraced the word, but as you described its behavior (complete with the audience to whom that word-nuance was being conveyed), that is absolutely the correct term.

I also notice that your friend seems to be hung up on a fairly narrow definition of attraction:
Furthormore, I agreed that attraction is paramount in this society, doesn't make it right, doesn't make me bad for wishing people wouldn't do it. especially when they claim to be longing for sonething deeper

Unless you truly want arranged unions, ATTRACTION is necessary. The mistake is in assuming that attraction == handsome/beautiful/etc. It means "attractive to a particular person," and if one does not completely look like a toad and has charm or other nice qualities, they may very well seem very attractive to a given observer. That's kind of the point!

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Char

from: anonymous
date: Jun. 19th, 2013 09:19 pm (UTC)
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I don't get the "friend zone" thing, at all. If you want to date somebody it's because you like them, right? If they don't want to date you -- or, more accurately, be sexual with you -- do you not like them any more? Are you being cheated because they won't fuck you? Is your investment in liking them now useless?

The very concept of the "friend zone" speaks as strongly to a sense of sexual entitlement as any "I bought dinner, so....." type of statement.

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