It’s all over the internet. On blogs. On Twitter. People bitch about it on Facebook. As you can see on this informative Tumblr, it’s all over OKCupid.
There is this whole idea that, just because a dude is nice to a girl she should want to fuck him. It’s an inherently misogynist perspective on what it means to be friends with a woman you want, but for whatever reason, cannot have. It implies that said woman owes you something for your kindness and friendship. Sorry “nice guys”, she doesn’t owe you a goddamn thing, and the friendzone is something made up by “nice guys” who would rather blame the girls around them for the fact that they are single than take a look at themselves. Why are those other guys getting the girls? It’s not because they are assholes. It’s because they go after what they want. It’s because they make themselves desirable—and I am not just talking about looks and money, I am talking about charm, wit, and a willingness to use them both when the times are right. I’m no looker, guys, and I am broke most of the time (hell, I spent two years way, way underemployed), but I have never had any problem convincing women to spend time with me. And I do this by virtue of 1. Humor and wit; 2. Intelligence and observation; 3. Not being a whiny little bitch who can’t take responsibility for my own shit; 4. The ability to say, “Hey, I totally dig you”; 5. The ability to accept it if the feeling is not returned.
So let me make something clear: You have NOT been friendzoned. You are a FRIEND. So, dude. Stop thinking with your dick and be a good friend. When your crush is telling you all about her relationship problems, don’t make it about you and whether she should be with you. If you must be narcissistic in the moment, then pay attention. You are learning what not to do in other relationships. Don’t decide that being an asshole is the answer. Don’t put that ridiculous bitterness all over the internet. It accomplishes nothing and—big surprise—makes you look like an asshole, and one that no woman is gonna want. Turns out, chicks don’t dig whiners. Weird, right?
If she doesn’t have romantic feelings about you, don’t whine about it. Your options are: 1. Decide you are cool being her friend and let go of the fantasy; 2. Let go of the friendship if you can’t let go of the fantasy (sticking around and pining isn’t going to change her mind about you, but moving on and growing will make you feel better and may help her see you in another light); or 3. Stick around doing the same old thing, pining and listening and wondering why she isn’t fucking you instead of that other dude when you are SOOO much nicer to her.
But dude, if you really think she owes you something because you have provided a willing ear, you are not a nice guy. If you really think she’s obligated to want to be with you just because you give her relationship advice and are always there for her, you are not a nice guy. If you think a girl should be something she isn’t just because you want her to be and you think you deserve it, you are not a nice guy. You are just a dude who needs to grow up and move on.
December 20, 2012 | Categories: Being Single, Dating, Observations, Really?, Relationships | Tags: communication, crushes, dating, desire, flirting, friends, friendship, friendzone, friendzoned, friendzoning, Love, misogyny, nice guy, Rejection, relationships, self-esteem, sex, shy, social awkwardness, women | 8 Comments
To my delight, this little placard has been making its slow way through Facebook and Twitter:
I would like to have this little placard in card form, so that I might hand it to new friends and new lovers, since asking them to go Google introverts and INTJs is like saying, “Yeah, I’m awesome and everything, but I’m assigning you some homework before we go any further.” However, it has been made abundantly and repeatedly clear to me that such homework is actually necessary.
Three years of my life were spent in love with an extrovert, and if that taught me anything, it’s that extroverts make the social rules by default. They are the point of reference for how such things as social aptitude and behavior are measured. They are the people against whom introverts are measured, which is inherently unfair, but true.
Media enforces this. It’s the rare movie or television show that allows introverts to remain introverts; most paint it as a triumph when an introverted character is brought out of his or her introvert cocoon to become a beautiful extroverted butterfly. Introversion has become something that can and should be “cured,” somehow. It is often conflated with antisocial behavior, which is bullshit, because introverts are often very social beings. Just not within the same parameters as extroverts.
Thus, in order to make their way in the world, introverts must somehow meet the social expectations created by extroverts. If they don’t, they are often misunderstood and shunned. If they do, this means they are constantly functioning outside of their comfort zone, which just isn’t healthy. It’s exhausting, and makes social interaction that much more work. I have managed to learn how to navigate as an introvert in a sea of extroverts, and because of this I have many wonderful friends. I fake it so well, in fact, that people still respond with surprise and horror when I tell them I am an introvert. However, the extroverts among my friends are generally pretty sensitive to the needs of the introverts in their midst. I would not be able to maintain the level of social interaction that I do if this were not true.
So this placard, which offers a dozen very simple, but very essential ways to respect the introverts in our lives, to consider their needs, and to understand that they are not just waiting for somebody to turn them from sad little introverted seed pods into bright and colorful extroverted flowers, is just freakin’ rad.
Thank you, Internet.
April 4, 2012 | Categories: Being Single, Dating, Observations, Relationships | Tags: communication, dating, extroverts, flirting, friends, friendship, geekery, introverts, manners, Rejection, relationships, self-esteem, shy, social awkwardness, women | 14 Comments
So, for the first time in a long time, I was really, really excited about a girl. Excited enough to blog about her and my inability to think straight when she was around, and when she wasn’t around, and so on. It was nice. And despite the poor choices she made in communicating her decision to no longer date me, I don’t regret going for it simply because it reminded me that I could be excited about somebody.
I don’t regret it despite the fact that she broke up with me via text message. I don’t regret it despite the fact that she felt the need to tell me [edited for spelling, punctuation]: “I recently met someone that I really like. Which doesn’t happen very often.” I don’t regret it despite the fact that this text message would appear to mean that, despite the efforts she went to to make me think otherwise, she never really liked me. So, also, I got played.
I regret the fact that those things happened. But I don’t regret pursuing her.
I haven’t exactly regained my lost faith in love and relationships, but I can conceive of pursuing a woman again, of opening myself to the possibility of love and relationship, and despite the vulnerability and bullshit that obviously come with it, that’s pretty damn cool.
And while I will miss having somebody to be excited about, my heart is no more broken than it was when I asked her out for drinks.
I think I just broke even.
Now, hopefully somebody will inform her: You can’t text message breakup.
March 19, 2012 | Categories: Being Single, Dating, Observations, Relationships | Tags: break ups, breaking up, communication, crushes, dating, desire, flirting, Love, manners, Rejection, relationships, self-esteem, sex, shy, text message breakup, whiskey, women | 16 Comments
For the record, I know how this flowchart ought to look.
February 15, 2012 | Categories: Dating, Diagrams and Charts, Humor, Observations, Relationships | Tags: charts, communication, compliments, flirting, flowchart, friends, friendship, geekery, graphs, humor, looks, Rejection, relationships, self-esteem, shy, social anxiety, social awkwardness, taking compliments, women | 7 Comments
So, I have this problem: I have no fucking idea when a woman is interested in me. None whatsoever. All the signs in the world might be present, but if those signs are not written in Sharpie on card stock and if they are not extremely explicit (like, “HI WHISKEYPANTS I WANT YOU OMG SO BAD LIKE WHOA COME TAKE MY CLOTHES OFF I AM THE 99%”) and if I am not beaten over the head with those signs…? Turns out, I’m clueless.
Turns out, I miss a lot of opportunities.
This is plainly an issue of self-esteem. I always assume that the gorgeous, delightful, impossibly sexy woman with whom I am speaking (or with whom I am flirting, if I get up the nerve) has much better and hotter prospects and thus is not at all interested in me. Sometimes I am right. Sometimes I discover I am very wrong. Sometimes, after an encounter, I discuss with my friends and they say things like, “So then, you kissed her, right?” And then I say things like, “No. Was I supposed to?” And then they smack me upside the head and/or mock me, and I am left to wonder: Should I have kissed her?
Now, I know that I am actually a pretty decent catch for both short- and long-term relationships. I’m smart, funny, kind, and my looks frighten away neither small children nor animals. But knowing that doesn’t help me to know whether somebody is thinking, “Hey, I dig that Whiskeypants person.” And I don’t think I am ever going to be cocky enough to assume.
But you know, this post isn’t about the fact that I’m an idiot with regard to the beautiful women who surround me. Ultimately, that’s just fact: I am an idiot with regard to beautiful women.
This post is just to say:
If you are at all into me, if you think you might want to hang out, or make out, or get drinks, or let me carry you to my bed—IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, UNHOLY, OR JOSS WHEDON PLEASE TELL ME.
I don’t care how you tell me. Note, e-mail, text message, smoke signals, semaphore signals, sign language, messages coded into the TARDIS—it doesn’t matter. So long as you LET ME KNOW.
This information will make things much more fun for the both of us. Please, take pity on me.
December 6, 2011 | Categories: Being Single, Dating, Humor, Observations, Random, Really? | Tags: crushes, dating, desire, flirting, help, manners, Rejection, relationships, sex, shy, social awkwardness, women | 3 Comments
When I tell people I have a guitar, very often they say things like, “Are you in a band?” or “Will you play a song for me?” or “That’s nice, let’s watch TV.” And I have finally figured out why that last reaction is my favorite.
I love guitar, and I love music. I don’t love the fact that I am essentially unskilled, but I love that I can learn new songs by finding lessons on the internet and sing them to my cat and inadvertently to neighbors who are, I assume, pretty pissed off at this point. But I get major performance jitters even when there’s only one other person in the
roomhouse. I have no intention of ever really performing. So, why am I bothering to learn and practice and even occasionally come up with new ways to sing covers?
Sure, there’s reward in all of these things—learning, mastery (for some definition of the word), entertainment, growth, creation and love. That’s the trite bullshit I’ve been telling myself from day one. But I realized today that I’m really doing this for one reason: potential hostage situations.
I’m doing this: learning new songs, and practicing semi-regularly because—and this could totally happen—I might someday be in a situation where I have to be able to play between one and five songs competently if somebody hands me a guitar and holds a gun to my (or somebody else’s) head. Alternately, I could find myself in a Goonies-related situation where every chord I play correctly helps get me and my friends across a booby-trapped floor. Or I could be surrounded by a horde of hippie zombies and have to fool them into thinking I’m one of them by lurching about and gently playing Bob Dylan.
This is why I do it. Music saves lives.
At some point in the last several years, I figured out that I was lovable.
It was one of the best light bulbs to light up over my head, ever. Bright, colorful, and flattering.
[Please note, this is not a Whitney Houston-boosting-greatest-love-of-all post. This isn't about loving yourself. That's a whole other post that I will likely never write for a whole host of reasons. This is also not about ,,loving,, yourself. That's for other blogs. And video.]
You may recall, from the post I wrote about being shy, that I have mentioned the rather arduous process of building self-esteem and how it helped me learn how to be social and make friends. However, knowing I was worth keeping as a friend did not translate to understanding that I was worth keeping as a lover or partner.
This is partly to do with the fact that I’m a slow learner (I’m still surprised when people call me “popular,” and I still want to look around to see who else they might be talking to). It’s partly to do with the messages I have gotten from various ex-girlfriends—one of whom told me one night, “You aren’t easy to love,” which I took to heart until it occurred to me to put that statement into context with all of the other emotionally abusive crap she pulled on me. And it’s partly to do with just the default way in which I have approached women—unsure of myself, unsure of my attractiveness: the underlying assumption was always that I’d be the one getting lucky if they were to see any value in hanging out with me.
All that changed as I began to look at myself and consider all of the qualities that I had to bring to a relationship, qualities I choose not to list here because I’d rather not turn this post into a personals ad. [Single brownish Whiskeypants ISO an utter lack of bullshit and drama...] And everything changed. The way I approach women, the way I approach singlehood, the way I approach relationships has changed into something stronger, more confident, more solid.
I have noticed that being single is a lot less onerous when you don’t need anybody else to convince you that you are lovable. I would argue, in fact, that knowing that you are lovable in the absence of somebody to love you is far less empty than being in a relationship and not knowing. The day you stop needing somebody to tell you that, you have won the game.
Admission: knowing you are lovable plays wicked havoc with your standards. When, “I so don’t need to deal with your bullshit” replaces “I can weather this because she loves me,” you have won the game.
When you realize you are lovable, you have won the game. (The prize: MOAR GAME. And, arbitrarily, an espresso.)
August 22, 2011 | Categories: Dating, Humor, Observations, Relationships | Tags: communication, dating, desire, flirting, Love, relationships, self-esteem, sex, shy, social awkwardness, women | 1 Comment
Nobody believes that I am shy. In fact, when I tell folks that I am shy, they tend to tell me that they think I am full of shit. This bothers me, so I am going to explain a few things, in far too much detail.
Admittedly, these days they have no reason to believe me—except for the fact that I tell them, and that it’s the truth. I’m shy. I have, over the past decade +, managed to overcome socially crippling levels of self-doubt and low self-esteem and to mask my shyness in more social behaviors, such as actually getting out of the house, introducing myself to people, and then talking to them afterward. I have managed to tame and control the sarcasm and snark that seem to be part of my genetic code in such a way that they are no longer hurtful defense mechanisms, but are instead tools for bringing more laughter into the world.
All of these things felt virtually impossible when I was younger. Terrifying, even. I was an extraordinarily lonely child, a fact I tried to hide under a too-tough and too-cool exterior. I escaped a problematic and troublesome childhood through books. I read more books in a week than some children read in a year. Books saved me from having to talk to people even as they refined my understanding of language and how to listen to people. They were part of my armor, yet another way to say, “Stay Away.”
At some point I began to look up from my books and realize that I wasn’t in high school anymore, that I wasn’t a child anymore, and that the conscious and unconscious cruelty of youth was not nearly as dangerous to me as it once was. And when I did that, I realized that there were people in the world I wanted to meet, and know, and hold close to me as friends, or as lovers, or ultimately as members of my chosen family.
But if I was going to find them, I was going to have to change.
It took years. Years to learn how to shed the armor. Years to learn how to break down the walls and fortifications I had put up (with good reason, by the way). Years to realize that my self-esteem was growing as I became the person I wanted to be. I was, after all, not always the funny, kind, loving, dead sexy Whiskeypants who writes this blog today. I did not always have the same amount of integrity that I do now. I was not always as considerate as I am now (when I’m considerate, anyway). Everything I am is part of a conscious effort to improve myself. Of course, none of it was easy. And of course, I’m far from finished.
However, I never shed the shyness, not really. It’s always there, behind my handshake when I meet somebody new, behind my requests to get to know somebody better, behind every flirtation. It’s there in the books I never leave home without, to this day. Every time I leave my house, there’s a moment when I know that some part of me really just wants to stay, because every time I put myself out there it’s a risk, and I have never really gotten over my fear of that risk. I just bulldoze over it, because my will is stronger.
In short, I am a great example of fake it ’til you make it.
Gentle reader, when somebody who appears outgoing and friendly tells you he or she is shy, don’t call bullshit on them right away. You don’t know the path that person has taken to get to that moment, and you don’t know what it took for him or her to get out of the house that day, and place themselves among people, and take the social risks that so many people in the world take without a second thought.
This morning I disappointed a dear friend in her (admittedly very gratifying) assumption that I am always charming and witty. I will admit that while my wit rarely fails me in the majority of situations, there is one situation in which it always fails: flirting.
Well, wait. I can flirt, so let’s be more specific: when a woman flirts with me. When a woman, especially one I find very attractive, flirts with me, it usually results in one (or more) of the following scenarios:
I. I am clueless:
- Woman: *flirts*
- Whiskeypants: I have no idea what you are talking about. *turns back to friend/book/computer*
II. I am paralyzed:
- Woman: *flirts*
- Whiskeypants: *freezes*
- Woman: *waits*
- Whiskeypants: *tries to find something witty to say*
- Woman: *smiles sympathetically and wanders away*
- Whiskeypants: *comes up with ten witty things to say*
III. I am a buffoon:
- Woman: *flirts*
- Whiskeypants: *walks into wall/trips over foot/spills food or drink*
- Woman: *smiles sympathetically and wanders away*
IV. I may or may not have drooled on myself:
- Woman: *flirts*
- Whiskeypants: *turns bright red, forgets the English language, and has potentially drooled*
- Woman: *Buys me a drink and follows me home.Sidles away cautiously*
Yep. They really love number IV, lemme tell ya. 60% of the time, it works every time.