Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Are Nice Guys Jerks?: More on the Friend Zone (editorial)

Dr. Nerdlove has an article up on the Problem with Nice Guys. As always on the internet when the topic of Nice Guys and the Friend Zone comes up, there's an explosion of comments. This discussion is more civil than most, which is one of the reasons I like that particular website.

As for me, my feelings have evolved to the point where I don't know what they are anymore.

I used to identify with guys in the Friend Zone. I grew up believing telling a woman how you felt about her was cheating. You were supposed to win her over with your actions, behaviour, and personality.

As I became more assertive, I started to feel...well, Dr. Nerdlove summed it up pretty good in his article. Read it if you like. But I also felt a vague contempt for guys who wouldn't make their intentions known. Maybe it was because I wanted to believe I was better than them now.

Now I'm just sad.

I mean we're all human beings. Men and women have been dealing with this issue since the dawn of civilization (or at least the eighties, anyway, when I was in school) and we STILL haven't collectively figured this out?

It's times like this I wonder if the gender essentalists have a point--men and women really ARE fundamentally different. And until they understand how those world views differ, there's no way we can hope to understand each other.

This morning, I had a ton of theories: Men and women don't relate to the world in the same way. Women have personal relationships with their own bodies, where men see their bodies as tools. Women are obsessed with having choices and decision-making; men are about action and don't even realize there was a decision being made.

I like my theories. But ultmately, they're just theories. They could very easily be wrong.

Besides, theory does not bring about happy relationships. Happiness happens in reality.

If you're looking for specific advice, I've written about it here and here for those of you who like someone who you aren't sure likes you back and I've written about it here for those of you dealing with the situation of being liked by someone who you see as just a friend. These things have worked for me in the past, and I continue to see them work, both in my personal life and the lives of other people.

I've come to believe though, that a lot of people don't WANT advice. They want to be heard and understood. And sometimes we're trying so hard to be heard or to be understood or to be RIGHT, we aren't thinking so much about listening or understanding others.

Those walls are hard to get around. They can only be taken down from the inside.

That's why I feel sad. We all have enormous power. Regardless of how things turn out romantically with any one person, it's within each of us to make the dating pool a much cleaner place which will have positive effects for us and other people.

But we can't make others make that same choice.

It's hard to watch people spinning their wheels. It's hard to watch them refuse help and refuse to help themselves or others.

I guess we can only do what is possible. I guess I could take my own advice and focus on the things in my control.

I still feel sad about it.

I still wish I could do more.

-May All Beings Be Called Back

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

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