Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Comments on a Blog (Part 1)

I really enjoy this blog, which seems to be a study of men's problems through a feminist lens.

Of particular interest to me was this post. I encourage you to read it (and the three parts that came before it, since it is part four of a four part series), since a lot of what follows is based on my comments on the thread, and it always makes sense to go to the source before reading my commentary.

For those of you who just want the quick and dirty version, the series is on men who call themselves "nice guys" and then complain no women want to date them. Ozy explores the phenomenon and in that particular post suggests the possibility that nice guys put women on pedestals because they don't like women.

I have a different take on pedestalization. I don’t think it always comes from misogyny. I think pedestalization often comes from misinterpreting well-meaning advice like these two paragraphs in Ozy’s article:

True Nice Guys™, as opposed to stage one Pseudo-Nice Guys who just happen to have a passive dating strategy, seem to regard dating as more or less like ordering something from a vending machine. If you put in the right sum of money and press the right buttons, then a relationship will be dispensed for you. This belief is, of course, incredibly objectifying: you’re not treating the people you might date as people, you’re treating them as objects that function according to a simplistic set of rules.

Nice Guys™ also generally regard people of the appropriate gender as being more-or-less interchangeable. When a boy texts you X, he will always mean Y. Always tease women, because that turns all girls on ever. But in the real world people are different. The most viable seduction tactic for me is to have a four-hour conversation with me, in which you explain to me several things I didn’t already know; the most viable seduction tactic for someone else is going to be dancing all night at a house club, arguing with them about NPR, seeming to be broken and in need of fixing, or wearing eyeliner. You simply cannot reduce the multiplicity of people’s turnons to “women like this and men like that.””

In my experience, a lot of guys see this advice and vow Not To Be That Guy. They're going to treat the Object of Their Affection as different and special. Unfortunately, they sometimes make the leap from "respect each person to “this person is different/special/not-like-other-girls,” and once that kind of thinking starts, we’re well on the road to pedestalization.

It’s a cruel irony that in trying not to objectify someone, we end up doing just that. And it’s equally weird to me, that my most romantically succesful moments HAVEN’T come from treating people as special or different. It’s come from treating them the same way I would treat anybody else.

That doesn't mean misogynists are immune from pedestalizing women.

Sure, it seems illogical to hate women and then put them on a pedestal to be worshipped. But misogynists wouldn't be the first and only people in history to put the thing they hate most at the center of their existence.

The human heart really is an amazing--and contradictory--thing.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

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

Friday, January 20, 2012

Diary Of A Gateway Boyfriend: School Assignment

As an effort To Serve You better, the Gateway Boyfriend (that's me) has been taking communication classes.

Last night, our homework, should we choose to accept it, was to watch television.

I like this kind of work.

The class was a negotiation class. Our instructions were to watch a televsion program with some interpersonal conflict and identify the issues.

I chose a married couple who travel through time and space accompanying the title character in Dr. Who.

I want to be a couples counsellor for time travellers. Their problems are a lot more interesting for me as a counsellor.

ME: "Let's see Mr. and Mrs. Pond. We've talked for a while and together you've agreed that the four most pressing issues for you to address are: 'Information sharing,' 'Travel,' 'Timing of Rescues,' and...ummm...'Marital Obligations and Romantic Boundary-Setting vis a vis Future Versions of Spouses from Alternate Realities'"

So where would you like to start?"

-May All Beings Make Appropriate Decisions With Future and Alternate Reality Versions of their Partners

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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Burnout Is Normal

(originally posted on my Hot Chicks & Strangers blog, this post sees apropos given how sporadically I've been updating this blog as of late)

I think dating burnout happens to most of us at one time or another. Whether you're maintaining a relationship, looking for a new one, or getting out of one, there comes a point where it doesn't seem worth it anymore where you just want to TAKE A FRICKING BREAK.

I think the feeling is normal. So if you get it, don't freak out.

I've been thinking and writing about relationships so long, I hit the wall a little while ago. I got this weird feeling where I don't want to talk about them or experience them or even DEAL with the ones I'm in.

I felt like I was losing my perspective, seeing everything through the lens of relationships.

Relationships don't define you, any more than you're CD collection or job does. They enrich you. You aren't a better or worse person for being single or not single or having a relationship end or go through a rough patch.

It's natural. It's normal. And if you need to take a few seconds or days or weeks to catch your breath, it doesn't make you weak. It makes you human.

You are okay, even if it doesn't always feel like it.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

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