html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: The entirety of my recent love life.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The entirety of my recent love life.

I stopped by a café yesterday on my way home. Sitting outside was a guy I've seen at Pub Quiz a number of times. Dave told me that Petra saw that guy's profile on some dating site. He's an English professor* and around our age. So I walked over to his table and introduced myself; we chatted about Pub Quiz for a while. His team wins a lot, but they're a bunch of freaks. They want to win first prize more than porn!

The chatting went well and he has bluer eyes than I expected. He asked a couple times if I would be at Pub Quiz this weekend. (No, I'll be at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and are you sure you don't want to hang out for dinner one night?) But he didn't ask for my number or anything. I see him around town a fair amount. I'm sure I'll see him again. Should I be even more forward than walking up to his table and introducing myself? Or with that kind of opening, should I expect that he would ask me out if he were single and interested?




*I know, but I'm trying to be openminded. Even about people with no useful skills. I bet he has a place to live, though.

92 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not ask him out if you're interested? I'm all shy about such things, even if a girl was making it really obvious she was interested, I probably wouldn't get the point. In fact, most of the time it wouldn't even occur to me that a girl would be interested in me.

Justin

1:25 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

We already had a long conversation about 'why not ask him out if I am interested?'. You think you wouldn't get the point if a stranger walked over to you, introduced herself and chatted you up?

Even if it didn't occur to you that she was interested, wouldn't you ask her out if you were interested?

I'm off to a meeting, so talk amongst yourselves for the afternoon.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

+1, to Justin's comment

1:33 PM  
Blogger Bob V said...

I think you answered your own question pretty well, Megan. Justin is completely right. A lot of guys don't get it. They need to be told explicitly. Howevere, I don't think it is worth getting hurt over.

Besides, are you looking for a guy who is that clueless? You've done your job. If he grows up and asks you out, that's cool. Otherwise, you need to move on--mad pub quiz skillz be damned.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, I probably wouldn't ask her out even if I was interested. I'd likely be too hung up on my confidence in her not being interested in me.

I'm almost certain I've been in very similar situations to that, and just eventually walked away because I was way too shy to ask for a number.

I hate dating, it's very nerve-wracking. I'm happier sticking with rock climbing.

Justin

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, I probably wouldn't ask her out even if I was interested. I'd likely be too hung up on my confidence in her not being interested in me.

I'm almost certain I've been in very similar situations to that, and just eventually walked away because I was way too shy to ask for a number.

And, the more interested I am, the more shy I am, and the more confident that she's not interested in me.

I hate dating, it's very nerve-wracking. I'm happier sticking with rock climbing.

Justin

1:52 PM  
Blogger Lo said...

"people with no useful skills"

HA! I so couldn't agree with you more. Hence the return to school for an engineering degree.

He might have been taken off-guard and not thought to ask you out...

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M: "no useful skills"

Love it :)

I'm beginnig to understand why the selection of books was so odd now! Dear old Bertrand Russell would be turning in his grave. Try and read 'useless knowledge' if you get the chance. Sorry, no diagrams or math.

billo

2:14 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

"Oh, her, she's somebody from Pub Quiz, one of the teams that doesn't try to win. I wonder why she's talking to me. Well, back to my book." What Justin said, really, even if he's only a third as oblivious as I.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long does it take for someone to evolve from where he is to where you are? Do people meet (and stick with) each other in these different phases of life?

If not, you're looking for someone who's looking for someone, and he's either not it, or just not into you. On the other hand, maybe he really does expect to see you again at the Pub Quiz again?

2:21 PM  
Anonymous justus said...

Even if it didn't occur to you that she was interested, wouldn't you ask her out if you were interested?

No. Asking someone out, even when they've expressed some level of interest, is not easy for most people. I can easily imagine his interior monologue going something like:

"Hey, there's a pretty cute girl. Huh, she just introduced herself. Oh, she plays Pub Quiz. I wonder why she's talking to me. She's probably just being friendly. I've always heard from women that they hate how anytime they act friendly guys mistake that for sexual interest. In fact, I seem to recall reading about a study on that very thing the other day. Yeah, she's probably just being friendly. Well, maybe I'll take a chance and ask her out anyway. It can't hurt, right? Now I just need a good opening. Hmm...we're still talking about Pub Quiz, it would feel kinda awkward for me to just suddenly ask her out. I'd ask her to play on my team this weekend but she has her own group of friends that she plays with. God, I just need to find the right opening and then this'll be easy. Damn, now she's saying goodbye, I shouldn't have kept waiting for the perfect opening. I should say something now. But what? 'See you at Pub Quiz?' Wait, she's already told me twice she'll be there. I am so fucking stupid. Something else...wait, she's gone. Fuck."

I know very few guys (none, really) that would have asked a girl out in the situation you describe. Most of the guys I know take a several meetings before they've convinced themselves that the girl isn't just being friendly, that there's a chance she'll say yes, and so on.

Should I be even more forward than walking up to his table and introducing myself?

Yes, you should have invited him to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and dinner. It's not about "doing your job". Do you really want to abdicate responsiblity to your own happiness, waiting for some Prince Charming to come along and Do His Job? Even clueless guys can turn into great boyfriends and husbands and on your 50th wedding anniversary you're not really going to care who asked whom out for the first date.

2:27 PM  
Blogger LizardBreath said...

You think you wouldn't get the point if a stranger walked over to you, introduced herself and chatted you up?

You know, we've spent a lot of time talking about this one on Unfogged, and really, the answer even for some perfectly sane and reasonable men is 'No, no idea.'

I think asking him out is completely the way to go. Chat him up the next time you see him at Pub Quiz, and finish the conversation with "This was fun, do you want to get dinner sometime?" Or something smoother, if you can come up with smoother.

2:29 PM  
Blogger LizardBreath said...

Oh, man, and I even missed this:

He asked a couple times if I would be at Pub Quiz this weekend.

That really sounds like a man who's thinking about it but is too shy to ask. Go back to your post on flirting with lesbians, and when you see him at Pub Quiz, pretend he's a woman in a flannel shirt. Then ask him out.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous teofilo said...

Agree with the consensus. Justus nails what was almost certainly going through his mind.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Bob V said...

Justus nailed it. I used to be that all the time.

Now, Megan, do you want to date that guy he described? Do you want to be the one who is always pushing things along because the dude is clueless or incompetent? He might be perfectly sweet. If you can read what Justus described the dude's inner dialogue to be and remain interested, God bless you.

Lizard Breath: [megan]He asked a couple times if I would be at Pub Quiz this weekend.

[lb] That really sounds like a man who's thinking about it but is too shy to ask.


Lizardbreath may be right on this. However, these are the kind of obscure clues that women are supposed to give guys. We should be over on a guy's blog helping him figure out if she's interested, not determining if the way the guy batted his eyes means he's hot for Megan. And there is a reason for this. If Megan asks him out, she will only have the suspicion that he likes her. She will not be able to identify for sure if he really does or not. It sucks, but this guy (and we readers like him around the world) need to step up.

2:47 PM  
Blogger LizardBreath said...

My apologies, but I just sic'ed the Mineshaft on you.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd say ask him out--he could be oblivious, shy, or a little slow off the mark (like wanting to talk to you at pub quiz another time or two before asking you out).

A

3:11 PM  
Anonymous teofilo said...

Is it really so bad to want to get to know someone a little better in a familiar environment before jumping into one-on-one dating stuff?

3:27 PM  
Anonymous ogged said...

Megan, surely we need to see his profile before we offer an opinion.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next time, more boobies.

That's a joke.

2 tacks:

1) He is aware; he's not interested.
2) He isn't aware; that makes him not interesting to you. (Do you want someone who cannot understand your non-verbal communication?) -K.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

Do you really want a man who's not interested in you enough to ask you out, or is too timid to ask you out?

If you do all the work to get a date with a man, you end up with a lame, passive man who isn't willing or able to make any effort to woo you.

Don't waste your time with those men, it's better to be single & thus available to meet the man who actually *will* make the effort to ask you out.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They want to win first prize more than porn!

They want to win first prize more than they want to watch porn, is what this means? How do you know? Was he all like "we study so much!" And then you were like "how does leave you time to whack it?" And then he was like "it totally doesn't! I'm so damn horny right now from not whacking it!" And he still didn't ask you out? I'd say it's a no-go.

-Michael

5:12 PM  
Anonymous justus said...

I think a lot of y'all make sweeping statements about people's personalities based on a single, brief interaction and I find that completely amazing. You've never once acted marginally different from how you normally are? You've never lost your temper with a good friend that you know meant no harm because you had a fight with your girlfriend? Never were curt to a blameless stranger because someone cut you off 10 minutes earlier? Never felt like you walking around in a daze because of illness or stress?

You've never changed or grown as a person based on the other people who enter and leave your life? I mean, one of the whole fucking reasons Megan talks about wanting a relationship is because the last time she was in one it helped make her more fearless. Guys aren't allowed to find the same thing in a relationship? What kind of person will he be when he's similarly fearless?

You honestly think that a 3 or 4 minute interaction concluding in a lack of date asking, especially given we've only heard one side of the story here -- and given what Megan has told us it isn't unreasonable to assume she has suboptimal non-verbal signalling -- is enough basis to believe that person is now and forever will be "lame and passive"?

After all, for how many years now she has essentially been following JMPP's advice? How has that worked out for her so far?

5:13 PM  
Anonymous joeo said...

I think that you should just keep flirting and see how things go. If he is always at the pub quiz then there is no rush.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justus: Maybe Megan's non-verbal signalling IS poor. In that case, she can either improve (can be done) or she needs to find someone who can read her.

The 2nd case can be done, too. Not sure which is more likely. -K.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

If she's seen him a number of times, he's seen her a number of times too. Not only did he never approach her and ask her out during any of those times, but he still didn't ask her out even after she approached him. So either he's not interested in her or he's really passive which is *not* an attractive characteristic in a man. Who wants to be with a man who doesn't do anything to try to get what he wants???

I think it's a *really* bad idea to ask men out. Most single heterosexual men are pretty horny, and will say "yes" to almost any woman who asks them out because they think that means she wants to have sex with them. That doesn't mean that they're more than minimally attracted to that woman, or that they would want any sort of serious relationship with her. It just means that he's willing to have sex with her if he doesn't have to expend any effort. What a waste of time.

If Megan is not getting asked out at least a couple times a week then she either needs to go out to places where she might meet acceptible single men more or work on making herself more attractive, because there are *tons* of men out there who *aren't* passive who *will* ask a woman out if they're attracted to her and she acts even a little bit friendly towards them.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous jake said...

Fools, the lot of you. Except for Justus, and LizardBreath. The person doing the asking has all the power, nothing's stopping you from taking that power for yourself.

People also need to decide how important "willing to ask you out" is as a criteria - are older street guys on bicycles really more desireable than english professors who might or might not be looking for dates / willing to ask someone out who comes over and is friendly?

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Justus.

And, JMPP, why assume that men who are shy are only interested in sex? Why not assume that the guys who are very comfortable approaching a girl, and asking her out aren't just in it for sex? Why not assume that they're more likely to cheat? Or just be looking for a fling? I mean, if it comes so naturally, doesn't that seem to imply that they've had a lot of practice?

Justin

5:55 PM  
Blogger capella said...

Eh. You don't know what's going on with him. He could be in a transitional period, he could be about to move to another city, he could have (temporarily or permanently) sworn off women. Maybe he didn't ask you out because he's about to go on a three-week trip, or because he just met the love of his life. Why not keep being friendly and see what develops?

As for the "no useful skills" thing: You read books. An English professor might be devoted to writing books, or teaching people to write books, or teaching people to appreciate books, which (I think, anyway) will make their lives fuller - none of which are useless skills. Or he might be devoted to analyzing the differences among Russian and French literature in the 18th-century, which is perhaps closer to useless.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Bob V said...

The person doing the asking has all the power, nothing's stopping you from taking that power for yourself.

Jake, this ignores the very real differences between the genders, which (believe it or not) JMPP expresses pretty well. You'll notice that all the people that say that Megan should ask the dude out are men. I think that is largely because we guys don't have an appreciation for the vulnerability a woman takes on when asking a guy out. Sure, we feel a little scared of being shot down when we ask someone out. A woman, on the other hand, risks spending the next several months thinking she's in a relationship with a guy who's really just along for the ride (refer to Megan's prior post where that happened).

Also, let's not say that this guy was the victim of a difficult situation where he only had 3 or 4 minutes to close the deal. He is going to have a number of opportunities to see her again. It is going to be in a planned setting where he will be pumped from just having won something. The dude has no excuse for not asking her out if he's interested.

I am just as shy as the other folks here, but we need to appreciate that the solution is in our hands. We're not going to get far by goading women into being more willing to ask us out--especially when we know that it gets them hurt.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous justus said...

A woman, on the other hand, risks spending the next several months thinking she's in a relationship with a guy who's really just along for the ride

And the opportunity cost of that, for Megan, seems to be zero.

It's not as if weeks of dating someone who turns out to be a loser means she'll be turning down the dozens of hot and eligible men who ask her out on a daily basis.

I will say it again: Megan has been following JMPP's advice for the past 8(?) years.

At my job we frequently remind one another: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

JMPP's advice for finding lasting love is "make yourself more attractive". Mine is "ask the guy on a simple date". Obviously, I think it is self obvious which one is more likely to lead to Megan's preferred outcome. But who knows? Maybe Megan wants to replicate JMPP's relationship success with exactly the same kind of men JMPP has been in relationships with.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous jake said...

I am just as shy as the other folks here, but we need to appreciate that the solution is in our hands.

I don't understand this, or maybe you are just using pronouns in a particularly unclear manner.

The problem at hand seems to be Megan wants a good boyfriend (and who doesn't, modulo appropriate gender). We don't have an acceptable solution to that in our hands. The solution to Mr. English Professor finding a date might be in his hands, but that's not the same thing.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Lex said...

You think you wouldn't get the point if a stranger walked over to you, introduced herself and chatted you up?

Hell, I *never* did. And that actually happened a time or two. It's like I wish sometimes I could go back in time and tell my past self, "OK, the hot chick who's going to come over and speak to you in a minute? She's doing that for a REASON, knucklehead."

I ended up marrying someone to whom I spoke first. Perverse, I know, but it has worked out well.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Bob V said...

By the way, here's the post Megan referred to in her first comment.

http://fromthearchives.blogspot.com/2006/06/alright-since-tony-asked.html

I have to admit I was with you guys before reading this one. It changed my mind.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous justus said...

bob v - that post shows the typical mistake of conflating definitions of "interested". If Megan asks a guy out she runs the risk of dating him for weeks/months before deciding he is just along for the ride. If a guy asks Megan out that shows he is "interested".

But what does "interested" mean? Does it actually mean anything useful? Of course not. Is she doomed to weeks/months of dating a guy who simply likes big tits? How is that any better given what she wants from a relationship? "Interested" can mean a lot of things and only occasionally will it mean exactly what Megan wants it to mean. Megan's talking about marriage and kids and dating a guy who is with her solely because of her appearance is unlikely to lead to any of those things.

The whole point of dating is to figure out whether you are compatible. Every day you wake up you decide whether you want to stay with that person. All relationships are fraught with peril. Different methods of getting into relationships bring with them different risks. If she asks a guy out she trade one risk -- that he only cares about her physical appearance -- for another -- that he is only along for the ride.

People typically, irrationally, discount the risks they are accustomed to living with and overestimate novel ones. Witness fear of flying versus fear of driving and their actual fatality rates. Women are used to living with the anxiety that their partner is only interested in their physical traits and don't fairly measure that risk against the manifold others that dating presents. But it doesn't make it any less of a risk.

If Megan asks the guy out and he just goes along for the ride it is a failure she'll remember for a very, very long time. When she tells other people they'll very possibly give her a hard time and tell her not to make that mistake again. But if she finds a guy who just wants her for her body all those same people will shrug their shoulders and say, "Eh, it happens in dating."

8:24 PM  
Blogger Bob V said...

Justus, actually, I kind of buy into what you are saying. The interest a guy shows in asking a woman out is oftentimes based on something useless.

But what if Megan continues to talk to him and communicates the positive non-superficial aspects that her writers say she has? That would give him the information he needs to invest an evening in her. So, she still wouldn't need to ask him out. And flirting with him in a way that conveys her positive attributes costs her nothing.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous teofilo said...

Yeah, actually, I've been thinking that she doesn't have to ask him out right now. What she should definitely do, though, is make a point of talking to him every time she sees him. If that goes on for a while and he still doesn't get it, asking him might be the way to go.

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not like there's no risk when a guy asks a girl out. Girls date guys for bad reasons too. It's not like us guys never get used in relationships.

Anyway, the important thing. We've all passed up opportunities and regretted it. I don't like that feeling, and I do my best to avoid it whenever possible now.

So there's a risk he might just say yes because he hopes it will lead to sex. The other way around, there's a chance she would say yes just to have someone around for a few months, or she could be a gold digger, etc...

If she's interested, she should go for it. Enough of this nonsense about women shouldn't take risks, because they might get hurt.

And he's got blue eyes, so he's already ahead in that category.

Justin

10:36 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

You guys are making this way too hard. It was a friendly exchange. I got the feeling he was surprised and interested. He may have been too flustered to ask me out or he may not have been interested. Either way, I will straight up ask him out next time. (LizardBreath, I don't hope for smooth. Smooth isn't even on the horizon for me. I just hope that awkwardly blurting things out can be endearing.) I will follow our resolution of from the last time we talked about it: ask a clueless guy out once, leave it to him to show additional interest.

Justus:
Waiting for guys to pursue me (four years, not eight) has not worked at all. Men, I am convinced, do not actually pursue women.

JMPP:
A non-serious relationship with someone local based on purely on sex isn't all of what I'm looking for, but it would be a big step up from what I've got.

All:
Yes, I will flirt with him at the next Pub Quiz, which won't be for a few weeks, 'cause I'll be away. I will report back.

Justus again:
Way to rub it in about my opportunity costs.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Noel said...

Megan said:
Men, I am convinced, do not actually pursue women.

I assure you, they do, but they do so in oblique ways. Most guys I know want to be sure of interest before they ask, for two reasons:

1. If you get it wrong, you'll look like a fool, which hurts. (Neuroscience has shown that losses weigh much more heavily than gains, which, sadly, means many opportunities are lost due to risk adverse behaviour).

2. If you get it wrong, you might be labelled a sleaze-bag creep, and then you can never talk to that chick again. Which could suck. Oftentimes a friend is almost as good as a girlfriend, and us guys have had it drilled into our heads that women hate guys who just think about sex etc.

Now the rules might be different in the US (but it doesn't sound like it), and they might also be different if you're the kind of studly player (or stud poker player) who might hook up with JMPP, but in my engineering/CS/geek cohort that is the ways it works.

Poor guy was probably so overcome by surprise and your radiant beauty he could barely fire two synapses in sequence. Look for eye contact and accidental meetings at the bar next time you're at the Quiz. Let the dude keep his cool while he scopes out if you're really interested or were just being friendly. Give him an opening, like “it's really good talking to you”, so he can follow up with something like “yeah, likewise, so why don't we continue the conversation over dinner?”

2:20 AM  
Blogger Noel said...

Oh yeah, we want to know if he has the hawt chilli at ratemyprofessors.com

He'd be CSU Sacremento, right? Here you go:

http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/SelectTeacher.jsp?sid=164

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds like WAY to short of an interaction to make judgements about how clueless the guy is, or if he's always going to be that clueless, or if he's interested etc. If you went up to him and introduced yourself for some other reason (say you were applying for a job at his university, or something like that) and he asked you out - you'd likely be a little put off. Chat him up again the next time you see him and see how it goes.

And don't be too quick to write off an English professor - people in the humanities can be really interesting and witty (this coming from another female engineer/scientist). The difference in your perspectives could make for fabulous conversations. Unless it's a lawyer - I'm totally with you on that one.

6:22 AM  
Blogger Bob V said...

I think I've actually changed my mind now. Justus's comment that their is risk regardless of what she does makes sense to me.

Of course, Megan still needs to consider if she wants to date someone who can't take a hint (even after continued flirting with him). That's a personal preference decision though.

So fine, I retract.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Bob V said...

Wait a sec, sorry for being so much of a flip-flopper, but I retract my retraction.

Justus: If Megan asks the guy out and he just goes along for the ride it is a failure she'll remember for a very, very long time. When she tells other people they'll very possibly give her a hard time and tell her not to make that mistake again. But if she finds a guy who just wants her for her body all those same people will shrug their shoulders and say, "Eh, it happens in dating."

*Both* of those risks can be lessened by requiring the guy to take some more active steps in the relationship. So, I don't see this debate as one of choosing between risks.

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I would have done when I was single: See Dubin and those with the "wait and see" attitudes (one wait and see led to marriage for me).

However I am fascinated by the mens' comments, though. I can remember about 5 times where I hit it off with a guy, only to have it flop when he didn't ask for my number, and then I never saw him again. And I wrote it off Dubin style, but I REMEMBER each of them, and I suspect at least one or 2 of them remember me and regret not asking me out. Considering the popularity of "Missed Connections", I think this is an interesting area...

-dithers

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This man might not have asked Megan out because he's been ground down by too many rejections. American society is in the middle of a potentially destructive Woman Shortage, in which a whole generation of men are likely to face life single and lonely merely because they're not sufficiently "Alpha" to attract women. As proof of this situation, consider that dating sites such as Match.com are overwhelmingly male; singles' bars have to resort to costly "ladies' nights" promotions in order to get enough women and avoid becoming total sausage parties; and, most heartbreaking of all, tens or hundreds of thousands of men are forced to resort to buying foreign mail-order brides (who often are con artists) in a desparate attempt to avoid spending their lives alone.
In the meantime, women enjoy all the power in the dating arena, rejecting any men who show even the slightest hints of nerdiness just so they can flock after the Alphas. For Christ's sales, you even have a vast number of women who remain single, repeatedly spurning approaches from ordinary men, in the hopes that Alphas will come along and sweep them off their feet.
To get back to Megan's question, of course she can ask the man out. When it comes to dating and relationships, the enormous power imbalance in favor of women means that they can do, well, just about anything they want. Men should have one-tenth the luck.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

7:10 AM  
Anonymous eddie said...

Men don't take hints. Men don't know that you're expecting them to ask them out when you talk to them. Men don't know that not asking you out is a signal that they're not interested. Men don't know that you are looking for a long-term relationship ultimately leading to marriage and children. Men don't even know for sure that you want sex.

Men don't think about relationships the way that women do - they don't think about them nearly as much and they don't think about them using remotely the same process. Your intuitions about a man's understanding of social dynamics are wrong. If you are taking actions based on your assessment of what he will do based on your actions, you've already lost. Your assessment is wrong and your actions will not produce the desired result.

The same is true the other way around, of course. Men's intuitions about women's behavior are wrong. It's a wonder anyone gets laid and/or married; small wonder though that the process is so fraught with stress and pain.

If you want to know how to get what you want from a man, ignore the advice of women and listen to the advice of men. The women will be speaking your language, but the men will be speaking the truth.

These are, of course, gross generalizations. There are plenty of men and women whose behavior and understanding of social dynamics is different from the vast majority. But the vast majority of men you meet will behave like the vast majority of men. You could wait a very long time before finding a man whose behavior matches your inuitions.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Macneil said...

(Hi, it's been a while. I'm in a PhD worm hole right now and had to cut down on blogging.)

"He asked a couple times if I would be at Pub Quiz this weekend. (No, I'll be at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and are you sure you don't want to hang out for dinner one night?) But he didn't ask for my number or anything."

But don't you see the connection between these two statements? He put the ball square in your court (by asking about your weekend), and you gave a solid no.

All this means is that the guy can read between the lines: If you ask a woman out and she has some excuse, you don't bother asking again. That's because it's all the worse to hear yet *other* excuses, which no doubt will be lamer and lamer. 95% of the time, getting that first excuse just means "hey, I'm not interested, let's all save face here and go with my excuse." Trust me, no one wants to be "that guy" who persistently asks out an uninterested woman. We all like to think we can read people a little better than that, and err on the conservative side.

So, where's the out? Well, you need to interact with this guy again and show interest. Give him enough signals to know when you are actually available.

And, in the future, if you find yourself giving a legitimate excuse, but don't want it to *seem* like a face-saving excuse, simply slip in when you are available again.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous eddie said...

The alright-since-tony-asked post is reasonable in its premise but not in its conclusion.

"[T]he only thing that tells you whether a boy is interested is if he does the asking and the calling." Very true. But the time to filter out people who aren't interested (and by "interested" here you mean "at the very least potentially willing to entertain the idea of a long-term relationship, including one that ultimately leads to marriage and children", which is not the same thing that a man means by the word "interested") is not before the first date. It's during the dating process. That's what dating is for.

If you wait for him to ask for the first date, you will miss many opportunities that could have led to a successful outcome. Like many programmers and engineers, you are engaging in premature optimization.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous jens said...

I like your conclusion. Overcommunication is better than undercommunication. If a guy thinks worse of you for speaking your mind, it would not have been worth it to wait for him to speak his.

That being said, if you meet every week there really isn't any rush.

The simple fact that a girl approaches you does NOT mean she wants you to ask her out. Girls approach me pretty often on karaoke and quiz nights ... for conversation or a dance. Everybody knows I am married.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

Justus says... "And the opportunity cost of that, for Megan, seems to be zero."

"It's not as if weeks of dating someone who turns out to be a loser means she'll be turning down the dozens of hot and eligible men who ask her out on a daily basis."

And Megan says... "A non-serious relationship with someone local based on purely on sex isn't all of what I'm looking for, but it would be a big step up from what I've got."

And I say:

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Dating Mr. Wrong is not better than what you have now, and it carries a HUGE opportunity cost -- you are no longer available to meet Mr. Right.

A) Even if you think you'll just date Mr. Wrong until Mr. Right comes along, it's not very nice to use Mr. Wrong like that, and while you may even have an explicit understanding with Mr. Wrong about how that's the plan, Mr. Right, being a decent person (or he wouldn't be Mr. Right), probably does not think highly of a woman who would dump the man she's with whenever the Bigger Better Deal comes along.

B) Time spent with Mr. Wrong is time you don't have free to go out as a single woman and mix in places where Mr. Right might be.

C) Sex, cuddling, etc. generates oxytocin in your brain, which is very addictive. You will become attached to Mr. Wrong, and start deluding yourself that he might be Mr. Right after all. But he's not, and trying to make him be Mr. Right will just make both of you miserable.

If you want to get married and have children, ONLY DATE MEN YOU WANT TO MARRY AND HAVE CHILDREN WITH. As soon as you figure out that a guy is not someone you want to marry and have children with, dump him!!! You don't have any time left to screw around here! Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick....

I think you need to jumpstart your love life by getting back into personal ads. And stop screwing around on Craigslist, home of the one-night stand and pervert hookup. Go to eHarmony. Only people who are really serious about finding someone are willing to answer all those damn questions.

Justus says... "Maybe Megan wants to replicate JMPP's relationship success with exactly the same kind of men JMPP has been in relationships with."

Intelligent, educated, upper middle class or rich men who really want to have children? Yes, I think Megan would be quite pleased if she ended up with the type of guy I tend to date. Hence the dream I had a while ago about giving her my boyfriends. (And I think all you internet guys with your terrible dating advice are the Romulan-created Picard clone lookalikes in loin cloths in the cage fighting cage I had to save her from...)

11:26 AM  
Anonymous UnderwearNinja said...

50 comments, I don't have time to read all of that.

No, you shouldn't ask him out. Either a) he's not interested or b) you don't want to date a pussy.

Confidence is sexy, you showed yours when you approached him. If he's not sacking up, then he's not worth your time.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JMPP, spoken like a true sister!
Megan, you don't seem to keen on this chap..."useless skills" anyway. Sure, it would have been flattering had he made a move, but think practical. If marriage is the aim then you've got to trust your own instincts now. Why waste time and emotional energy ? (jeez, I'm beginning to even sound like an American talking to you guys!)

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dating Mr. Wrong is not better than what you have now, and it carries a HUGE opportunity cost -- you are no longer available to meet Mr. Right.

I suppose who think there's nothing wrong with the way so many women ignore ordinary men in the hopes that an Alpha Male will come along and sweep them off their feet.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

12:15 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

"I suppose who think there's nothing wrong with the way so many women ignore ordinary men in the hopes that an Alpha Male will come along and sweep them off their feet."

Sounds like the typical whining of a loser who thinks he's somehow entitled to a girlfriend despite his lack of effort to make himself attractive to women or do anything to actually woo one.

If you think the "Alpha Males" get all the women, why don't you try self-improvement to make yourself more alpha? Why should any woman want to marry a loser?

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JMPP, I think you might have missed Peter's point. If women are looking for monogamous relationships, maybe only looking at the alpha males is a bad idea. There are only so many alphas to go around. If women are only interested in being with the alphas, then they're going to have to deal with sharing them with other women.

Justin

12:49 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

There are plenty of alpha males who are monogamous. Again, all this talk of those evil, cheating alpha males stealing all the women just sounds like the whining and excuses of losers who don't want to make any effort.

Did I bitch about the thin, pretty girls taking all the men? No, I dieted, exercised, learned to take care of my skin, changed my wardrobe, and put on makeup and made myself thin and pretty too. And now I have more men attracted to men than I know what to do with.

If you can't attract a mate, or you're unhappy with the quality of the mates you do attract, then you need to spend some time improving yourself. Quality dates quality. If you can't be bothered to improve yourself then you need to lower your own standards and date on your own level.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think the "Alpha Males" get all the women, why don't you try self-improvement to make yourself more alpha? Why should any woman want to marry a loser?

It hardly matters because I'm married.

In any event, I'm highly skeptical that a man can make himself Alpha if he isn't one already. A Dungeons & Dragons nerd who buys a Lexus and NFL season tickets doesn't become an Alpha. All he becomes is a Dungeons & Dragons nerd that owns a Lexus and NFL season tickets in a pathetic attempt to make himself look like an Alpha. Oh, and it won't get him a woman, either, except maybe a con artist who figures she can get money out of him.

When it comes to Alpha-ness, you've either got it, or you don't.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

12:54 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

"When it comes to Alpha-ness, you've either got it, or you don't."

Lies that losers tell themselves to excuse their failures and exempt them having to actually work at something.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lies that losers tell themselves to excuse their failures and exempt them having to actually work at something.

Alpha-ness is something rooted deeply in a man's personality. It's not something that he can change very easily or at all. If you are deeply or even pathologically introverted, like so many non-Alphas (and many of the men who have no luck finding women), it's going to be God-damned near impossible to develop the commanding extroverted personality that's a basic prerequisite of being an Alpha.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

1:10 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Peter some and JMPP more:

Make fun of me or analyze me on any level you like. But if you are not ACTIVELY KIND to your co-commenters, I'll ask you to leave.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holey moley, I take back my statement! Boy do I. Date someone of your own 'level'? Steady on. Sounds like a bit of a caste system to me.

But please don't call me a loser. I don't think I'd be able to take that and this ain't amrika , we can't all afford therapy my dear.

Sure, you can change some things but charm and intelligence and not something you can get from a self-self-help book or from watching Oprah !

Now, where did I put my foundation and my lip gloss...

1:39 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

"Make fun of me or analyze me on any level you like. But if you are not ACTIVELY KIND to your co-commenters, I'll ask you to leave."

I'll be good.

But, something to consider... is it *really* kind to let stand claims that one's dating problems are entirely the fault of others (those evil alpha males and the women who are attracted to them)?

Or is it kinder, in the long run, to try and give someone a kick in the pants by getting them to see how ridiculous and pathetic they're acting, in the hopes of motivating them to get their shit together and actually do something about their situation?

From what I've seen, most people have far too many people in their lives telling them "There, there, dear, it's not your fault" (and they certainly spend a lot of time telling *themselves* that) and not enough people telling them to quit whining and take responsibility for their life. The latter -- when it finally gets through -- provokes a lot more life-improving change than the former.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I've seen, most people have far too many people in their lives telling them "There, there, dear, it's not your fault" (and they certainly spend a lot of time telling *themselves* that) and not enough people telling them to quit whining and take responsibility for their life. The latter -- when it finally gets through -- provokes a lot more life-improving change than the former.

That may be true. The problem, however, is that while making oneself an Alpha is certainly a "life-improving change" for a man, at least if he wants to get a woman, it can be exceedingly difficult. A mere physical change such as losing weight, as tough as that can be, pales in comparison with what sometimes amounts to a 180-degree change in one's entire personality. If you're so introverted you find it difficult to make eye contact with another person or speak more than a few words, it's going to take a near-miracle to make you over into an extrovert with a room-dominating personality.
I will point out that not all non-Alphas are so pathologically introverted. Some are merely shy and meek but otherwise within normal limits. For men like that. there's hope. But for the off-the-charts introverts, it's another story entirely.
I would imagine that the college professor with whom Megan dealt is not in the pathologically introverted category. Anyone who's that bad off almost certainly would be unable to teach a classful of students and would not have exchanged more than a word or two with Megan in the cafe. He's probably just mildly shy or introverted, and indeed might have come this close to asking Megan out during their cafe exchange.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow.

The severity of response from two opposing comment posters on this thread (one male, one female) strike me as making a clearer statement about their own pathology behind their strategies.

Megan: I've been meaning to write for a while (and still will), because as a new reader I think you're awesome.

As far as I can tell, you are smart, charming, creative, grounded, genuine, curious, active, willing to question yourself, and able to speak your mind.

In short: one of those statistically rare people that are Pretty Darn Cool, and highly desirable as a friend, partner in business or activities, or girlfriend to the most discerning.

(Sheesh, now that I've relocated to the Bay Area, I've wanted to email you for recommendations on getting plugged in!)

And the fact that your aim, among all the different goals people have, is to build a stable, long-term committed marriage and family means that you are, for man who values the same, truly the one he will be most fortunate to find.

Everybody has different interests, intentions, and are at different levels of maturity. As these posts reflect, there are strategies aplenty for dealing with this. I just want to reinforce: there are good men (not "boys") waking up every day, living their lives, hoping they will find *you*.

so worked up I had to comment, ;)

-- Mark

2:49 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

Introverts are a minority, and "pathological" introverts an even tinier minority. Women are not ignoring "ordinary" men as you claimed, they are ignoring the losers.

Some small percentage of the population will always be too defective or damaged to be attractive to anyone (who wants to date or marry someone who "pathologically" anything?). Sucks to be them, but that's natural selection in action.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

Oops I meant "sexual selection".

2:52 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

AFFIRMATIVELY KIND. Should there be something that you need to gently broach with someone for their own good, you should put some loving thought into the way to shape the message that would be most productive for the recipient. You should take this opportunity to ask if you are helping your new internet friend in your best spirit, or if it requires sacrifice of you to make this effort. (If it does not, maybe it is not done for the other person's benefit.) Do NOT be sarcastic to each other here. It is predictable and rarely introduces new or interesting thoughts. It never introduces new or interesting thoughts as well as simply saying them straight would.

Be plain and gentle with your language, because that is all we have between us here.

None of that goes for me. I am fair game. But be kind to each other or else.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Don't make me put my comments on the front of this blog. You will be grounded 'til college, if that happens. I'm telling you.

Mike:
Thanks. The 'be kind to each other' rule is the only rule that is more important than the 'no gratuitous compliments' rule. But thanks for your good wishes.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Ennis said...

I'm disappointed in you all. Megan - you call yourself an engineer? Where is the application of the scientific method?

JMPP and Justus - you're both hereby assigned remedial reading from the MIT Poverty Action Lab. These guys are so cool, they make Steven Leavitt look like the guy in the corner wearing a Members Only jacket.

What we need to settle any empirical question is not more bombast, but rather a simple randomized experiment.

It is only through the application of rigorous methodology to appropriate data that we will find the truth. In the names of Lakatos and Kuhn, Amen.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous ennis said...

Clarification - I should not have said that all empirical questions can be attacked using randomization, they can't. I don't want Tyler to show up and deal out a methodological smackdown here ;)

However, where you can use a randomized experient, it is superior to blog pontification as a method for understanding reality.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are definitely the best posts in this thread:

eddie said...

Men don't take hints. Men don't know that you're expecting them to ask them out when you talk to them. Men don't know that not asking you out is a signal that they're not interested. Men don't know that you are looking for a long-term relationship ultimately leading to marriage and children. Men don't even know for sure that you want sex.

Men don't think about relationships the way that women do - they don't think about them nearly as much and they don't think about them using remotely the same process. Your intuitions about a man's understanding of social dynamics are wrong. If you are taking actions based on your assessment of what he will do based on your actions, you've already lost. Your assessment is wrong and your actions will not produce the desired result.

The same is true the other way around, of course. Men's intuitions about women's behavior are wrong. It's a wonder anyone gets laid and/or married; small wonder though that the process is so fraught with stress and pain.

If you want to know how to get what you want from a man, ignore the advice of women and listen to the advice of men. The women will be speaking your language, but the men will be speaking the truth.

These are, of course, gross generalizations. There are plenty of men and women whose behavior and understanding of social dynamics is different from the vast majority. But the vast majority of men you meet will behave like the vast majority of men. You could wait a very long time before finding a man whose behavior matches your inuitions.

--------

Macneil said...

(Hi, it's been a while. I'm in a PhD worm hole right now and had to cut down on blogging.)

"He asked a couple times if I would be at Pub Quiz this weekend. (No, I'll be at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and are you sure you don't want to hang out for dinner one night?) But he didn't ask for my number or anything."

But don't you see the connection between these two statements? He put the ball square in your court (by asking about your weekend), and you gave a solid no.

All this means is that the guy can read between the lines: If you ask a woman out and she has some excuse, you don't bother asking again. That's because it's all the worse to hear yet *other* excuses, which no doubt will be lamer and lamer. 95% of the time, getting that first excuse just means "hey, I'm not interested, let's all save face here and go with my excuse." Trust me, no one wants to be "that guy" who persistently asks out an uninterested woman. We all like to think we can read people a little better than that, and err on the conservative side.

So, where's the out? Well, you need to interact with this guy again and show interest. Give him enough signals to know when you are actually available.

And, in the future, if you find yourself giving a legitimate excuse, but don't want it to *seem* like a face-saving excuse, simply slip in when you are available again.

--------

Peter had some good points as well.

As for Ms. Passey, she really showed her true stripes, if you follow her advice maybe you should think of turning your website into an application process for "rich men" (her words) like she did.

Did someone mention "gold digger" earlier in the thread?

4:47 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

Megan wants children. Unless she wants someone else to raise them for her and/or to take a big cut in her standard of living, she needs a husband who makes enough money to support a family in a middle class lifestyle.

If all she wanted was some guy to marry her and knock her up, she could have gone for homeless bicycle man.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for Ms. Passey, she really showed her true stripes, if you follow her advice maybe you should think of turning your website into an application process for "rich men" (her words) like she did.

I've been reading Jackie's blog for over a year now, and I'll be damned if I can tell which of her claims are true and which aren't. She doesn't have a job, yet lives an obviously affluent lifestyle on what she claims are advertisments and other referrals from her blog. Unless everything I've heard is completely wrong, it's very difficult to make any significant money off a blog, let alone the amount necessary to finance a multi-week trip to Bali. She also goes on all the time about how hot she is and how men flock to her like bees to nectar. I've never heard a woman brag about herself that way, either in real life or in the blogosphere. Something just doesn't compute.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

6:28 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Fucking CUT THAT OUT. No one gets bashed here.

If I want to say nasty things about a class of people, I'll start it. I do not intend to ever target that against any one particular person. No one who comments here may do that either.

Ms. Passey, I am sorry that some of my commenters have made personal attacks against you. (When/if you respond, DO NOT include anything about how that just shows they are losers. Instead, please show us how you can be genuinely gracious.)

Other friends, I am sorry if Ms. Passey's comments offended or hurt you.

I never intended for this place to be a forum for argument. I am simply not that interested. Discussion is great. Making fun of things is great. Seeing new sides of things is great. Argument? Take it somewhere else.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I'll bet this is the only blog I read where the owner wants you to make fun of her, but not the other commentors. Normally it's the other way around.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

Peter:

I actually make very *little* money compared to most of the pro-bloggers. See Business 2.0 magazine's September issue cover story.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2006/09/01/8384325/index.htm?postversion=2006100211

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's also quite possible that this professor was attached to another male or female. Or maybe, he prefers assured sexual contact with prostitutes than your average women.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Dropped Out said...

You're much more likely to land the "alpha male" -- the guy who screws you while stringing you along -- by waiting for guys to chat you up and ask you out then the reverse. They are assertive because they want to have sex with you and their assertiveness and wit have been rewarded with sex before. That's all it means. For the rest of us -- i.e. us males who actually value marriage and children more than sex, and thus are not hopping from one relationship to another as if women were to be consumed like steak -- for us these trite sexual urges can easily be gratified with porn. I've had enough sex with women to know porn is not, as the pretend-alphas claim, that much poorer of a choice in bed. I don't care to compete with the philanderers or the serial monogamists. When I date it is with the goal of life-long marriage and children, not to have sex.

The no-commit guys are exactly the guys who are charming and assertive. They love the sexual variety that is the reward for their talents and they are not going to give it up for something they consider to be as boring and restrictive as marriage and kids. They're having too much fun screwing you. You probably don't realize this when you are with these charming characters, but, hey, it's not really just men who are socially clueless.

The rest of us men -- the ones who
actually want to get married and have children -- have dropped out. Probably the English professor has dropped out. Women may say they want marriage and kids, but they don't act that way, and we have long since given up trying to compete with the charming nightlub hoppers who are just out for sex and whom you women prefer to date.

And no, it's not just we men who are socially clueless. It's also women who think that a man being charming and assertive means that man is more likely to want to marry you who are socially clueless. Quite the opposite is the case.

Like many men I don't put in the effort any more because it's not worth it. If you want a date with me, it is you who are going to have to chat me up and ask me out and otherwise show me that you're interested. It is you who is going to have to take the initial risk of rejection this time. I'm through with all that.

Loathe me if you like -- it no longer makes any difference to me.
But realize that the vast majority of single men who actually would like to marry you and help you raise children, rather than simply screw you, feel and act the same way as I do about this. We are not clueless, and we are not losers, and we are not gay, though of course we attract all that kind of slander if we actually say what feel. (Hah! And you think you want men to actually share our genuine feelings!) Many of us are not even particularly shy, especially not once you've unequivocally let us know that your think we are marriage and father prospects. We are just too disgusted with the choices of the women we have encountered in our lives to want to bother any longer.

Of course I don't get many dates, but so what? When a woman does ask me out, it's a quite good sign that she's interested. Thus the dates I do get are far more enjoyable than when I used to ask out women and they only said yes because they were lonely, or because they wanted to scam a free fancy dinner, not because they were genuinely interested in a relationship with me.

So the numerically few dates I get hasn't been a big deal to me since I was a horny teenager. I'd love to get married and have kids, but the way the women I meet behave it's just a theoretical notion by now. As much as many women protest that marriage and kids are what they want, what they in fact do is sit around waiting to see what sex-obsessed penis can chat them up the best. They thus attract the guy who has chatted up and screwed dozens of women already, and then they cluelessly wonder why they too get screwed rather than married.

As it is, I've dropped out. I would like to get married and have children, and I can guarantee you I'd be far more committed than the vast majority of the men you have dated. But the problem for you is that I've dropped out. I've not found it rewarding to chat up women and ask them out, so as a result I've long since stopped doing it.

Actually, I waited so long to drop out that I've developed a positive aversion to to the whole dating scene, except in the exceptional circumance where I get both chatted up and asked out and othrewise let known that I and not any other guy am and will be the center of their attention. Like another poster said, I'd rather go rock climbing (or, for me, swimming). Yes, I'm quite athletic actualy, which is probably why women on occasion do ask me out and thus I do occasionally get a date. I'm just not an assertive nightclub hopper that men for various pathological reasons like to brag that they are.

I should have dropped out much sooner. As it stands now, I hate chatting up women. I want women to chat up me. And I hate asking out women. I want women to ask out me. If women have so much better social skills than I, then why don't they use them? Women claim to have plenty of good reasons to not want to waste their time with men who are not genuinely interested in them. The same, however, is even more true for me. Do you think I'm going to waste my time and money paying for dates, finding "secret hamburger joints" I'm not otherwise interested in, and all the other garbage many women insist on in dating without reciprocating in kind, when the woman has not given me good reason to believe that she is actually and faithfully attracted to and committed to me? If you think I should do that you are nuts! If I found such a woman I'd move heaven and earth for her. But no woman has ever given me good reason to believe she is that one.

So if that doesn't happen -- if you don't chat me up and ask me out and use your "superior social skills" let me know that you are attracted to me and only me -- like
other men genuinely interested in marriage I'm not interested in raising some talkative nightclub hopper's children rather than my own -- both you and I are just going to have to remain single.

If I come to believe this is just too dire a fate for me, I can always get one of those mail-order brides. More likely, I will just be satisfied playing with my nieces and nephews, fully participating in the many other rewarding aspects of life, having sex with porn, and wishing the world was more a more friendly place for men who are actually interested in marriage.

I've made my peace with me fate; have you?

11:34 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

Hi David.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are superior nice guys. Guys want a family and are brilliant, educated, wealthy, physically active, passionate, and empathic.

They know they're going to find an amazing woman to be with, but they'd rather learn more about a person as acquaintances than immediately ask someone out - and hopefully avoid having to dump a nice girl who's really interested in them.

You're not wasting your time in pursuing seemingly cautious guys who you think might be good fits.

Also, regular assessments as to whether you're "wasting your time" is a self-fulfilling question. The act of repeatedly judging a relationship will starve it of the romance that I think you fundamentally desire, Megan.

As an aside, telling someone that they're not trying hard enough and to stop being a whining loser sack of waste is just as likely to make them shut down and withdraw as motivate them.
It's necessary to first evalute the person you wish to motivate, and determine what they're missing - critique? confidence? companionship?

Comforting set-backs is sometimes, and sometimes not, coddling failure.

People (including children) need very different types of encouragement, depending on both the person and the circumstance.

I don't think Megan needs a kick in the pants. I think she needs to take this at her own pace, perhaps with less advice cluttering up her headspace.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Dropped Out said...

Another lonely Friday night blogging for the both of us eh? But I'm not David. Maybe David is out getting some for a change?

2:01 AM  
Blogger Bob V said...

Dropped out, that was wonderful. It's interesting that you say that in asking a woman out, a man is exposed to the same kind of vulnerability I think a woman is exposed to in asking a man out, which I guess makes sense.

Could you answer this: when a woman asks you out, how do you know she is being sincere and interested in marriage and kids? It isn't clear to me that such a woman would be.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dropped Out, that rocked my world. What's your age and location?

10:03 AM  
Anonymous David Alexander said...

Hi David.

Hi Jacqui. You're quite adept at discovering my posting style and my viewpoints, so I'll congratulate you on your achievement. :)

1:10 PM  
Anonymous dropped out said...

Thanks, Anonymous. But you first. Those are my new Rules. :-) Although I can let the world know I'm in California.

Bob V: I think vulnerabilty is highly variable. It depends on your personality, on whether you are in the presence of friends, and on whether you are very interested in the particular person (in which case you want to be very careful) or just trolling nightclubs for sex (in which case who cares, just throw caution to the wind).

Gender is less important. It is often assumed that men generally are less vulnerable, but that's because the men who assertively chat it up are more likely to be the ones trolling for sex than those who want to establish a relationship. If Megan assumes _all_ valuable men are assertive that shuts out the very kind of man Megan is looking for: a man who is more interested in a relationship with her, in particular, than in imminent sex with the most attractive and willing woman in the room.

As for how I know that a woman who asked me out is more interested in a relationship than sex, it's just statistical: most women are. And unlike men there is no good reason to believe that more (nonsexually)assertive women are more sluttish women. It's assertive men, nonsexually or otherwise, who are more sluttish than non-assertive men.

In the odd case that she's more interested in sex than a relationshp, I usually soon find out. Women tend not to make a secret of their desire for commitment (and if they do, they're foolish: the kind of guy you'd scare away by talking about commitment is exactly the kind of guy you want to scare away. You should start talking about your interest in marriage and children, at least indirectly, on the first date. Contrary to the movies, you aren't going to "convert" or "fool" a slutman into becoming committed: you will only fool yourself).

Besides, even though I'm primarily looking for a relationship, I will not usually be emotionally hurt by a one-night stand if that's what she wants. Another big gender difference. Still, you make a good point -- it's entirely possible I've wasted my time in relationships with such a woman as you describe. But I've concluded from my experiences that it's uncommon and easy to discern when it happens. The gender-reversed situation is of course quite different.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Bob V said...

Dropped out, you said:
But realize that the vast majority of single men who actually would like to marry you and help you raise children, rather than simply screw you, feel and act the same way as I do about this.

I would agree that the vast majority of the people on this blog might be that way, but do you mean that the vast majority of men has dropped out of the asking-women-out game?

Also, how would you respond to a woman making these two claims:
1. "I know a lot of men who approach me are sluts. That's why I test them in different ways to make sure they are committed to building a relationship."
2. "If finding a nice, long-term relationship were really that important to you, you would go ahead and power through the difficulties you have faced. Sure, you are going to come across some duds, but no one said finding love was easy. The fact you have dropped out means you just don't care enough."

9:10 PM  
Anonymous dropped out said...

Bob V: 'I would agree that the vast majority of the people on this blog might be that way, but do you mean that the vast majority of men has dropped out of the asking-women-out game?'

No. The vast majority of men have either (1) turned into philanderers and serial monogamists, having found treating women as consumable vaginas to be a more pleasurable use of their social skills than staying in love, working on relationships, and actually helping to raise their wife's children, or (2) dropped out because, while often very talented in a wide variety of ways, lack the narrow oral skills (talking, I mean) needed for success of any kind in today's pathological dating culture. They thus have experienced little if any reward from approaching women or from dating, compared to the great amounts of time and money expended and heartache received.

Albeit, there are still some men who haven't come to the realization that these are the only realistic choices they face in our urban culture, and live lives of heartbreak as a result of actually trying to work towards having a family of their own. But women who wait to be chased by socially skilled men end up going out almost entirely with group (1).

Bob V again: 'Also, how would you respond to a woman making these two claims:
1. "I know a lot of men who approach me are sluts. That's why I test them in different ways to make sure they are committed to building a relationship."'

In my experience most women do not do this, while many others do it with quite insufficient care and competence. The man-sluts are far better at disguising themselves as caring men than most women are at detecting this rewarding ruse. The men socially competent enough to get a date with wallflowers are also the ones socially competent enough to defraud them. You only have to witness how naively trusting the vast majority of women are to see how easy it is for the articulate nightclub hopper to be successful against even women who think they are being cautious and conservative.

2. "If finding a nice, long-term relationship were really that important to you, you would go ahead and power through the difficulties you have faced."

Everybody has their limits. I will only take so much hell in my life before I give up.

"Sure, you are going to come across some duds, but no one said finding love was easy. The fact you have dropped out means you just don't care enough."

It means I don't care as much about the immediate reward sought by the vast of majority of men women will find chasing them -- sex. And like most people -- men and women -- I don't have the stamina to put up with unrewarded suffering for years on end until I reach the distant desired goals.

The womens' version of the inability to maintain a frustrating life for such a long period are the women-sluts who give in to the short-term reward of sexual pleasure to men they know or should know are not and will not be committed to them. In our different ways we find there is too much short-term (where "short" can be many years or even decades in our pathological dating culture) frustration and postponement of reward to be tolerable, and we give up seeking what we ultimately desire for the sake of alleviating our present and foreseeable suffering. You can't blame me for dropping out any more or less than you can blame a 30 year old woman who really wants marriage and children for not having waited to lose her virginity to the future father of her children.

12:08 AM  
Blogger Bob V said...

Dropped out,
"consumable vaginas"? Nice, man. Some more questions:
1. How often do you get asked out by women? Is it often enough to make you think the average guy who drops out can successfully find a relationship?

2. You seem to believe it is virtually impossible for the average guy who actually wants a relationship to compete with the professional charmers out there. However, haven't these people also found mates historically?

3. I absolutely agree with your thesis in a night-club context. The nerds seem to have no chance because the women select for the philanderers. Do you think that women you might meet in other contexts might value other attributes?

4. How would you respond to this comment from Mr. Jack Mackie Paisley Passey?:
"You need to learn that the game is played the way it is played. This means that even if you are a good little nerd and respect women and all that nice stuff, you must develop the skills to operate in the environments in which you meet women. There is no reason you can't develop the same skills as the philanderer and use them for good rather than evil. And yes, along the way you might get used for sex or a free dinner. However, by intelligently selecting the venue in which you meet women (eHarmony.com), you will eventually meet the right person."

8:22 AM  
Blogger amanda bee said...

Why eHarmony? Am I missing something?

9:32 AM  
Blogger Bob V said...

Amanda,
JMPP somewhere in this thread recommended eHarmony as a good place to meet people who are a bit more serious about having a relationship (as opposed to craig's list). If you search on this comments page, you should be able to find where she talks about it.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JMPP somewhere in this thread recommended eHarmony as a good place to meet people who are a bit more serious about having a relationship (as opposed to craig's list).

Most of the online dating sites suffer from a severe gender imbalance, however, with substantially more men than women among their members. It's not surprising that online dating tends to be a better option for women than it is for men.
Granted, I met my wife via online dating, but that was almost a decade ago when the concept was still in its infancy and gender balances might not have been so skewed. In fact, IINM all of the sites were Craigslist-esque message board rather than formal pay sites like eHarmony and Match.com.
What would be a terrific idea for an entrepreneur is a dating site like eHarmony that guarantees a roughly equal balance of men and women. It of course would be challenging for men to get their ads accepted, perhaps a lottery arrangement could be used, but those who were accepted might be willing to pay very well for the privilege as they'd be much more likely to get satisfactory results than with a typical fiesta de chorizo site like eHarmony.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

10:59 AM  

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