Privilege, Entitlement and Dating

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So over the past few days and the past few articles, I’ve seen a pair of issues come up over and over again: the idea that men somehow have it “harder” in dating and that women set the social agenda in order to make men leap through hoops for their amusement. It’s come up when we’ve talked about issues with men displaying “creepy” behavior. It’s come up in dealing with online dating and the different approaches that men and women take with regards to screening out potential undesirables. It’s come up when we’ve talked about using Pick-Up Artist material.

Frankly, it’s rather annoying how often it’s ended up being a topic of discussion, usually derailing the conversation in the comments threads… but it’s also extremely symptomatic of a deeper issue when it comes to men – especially men who aren’t the most socially adept or experienced – and dating.

It’s about fear mixed with a sense of entitlement when it comes to women, sex and romance. And it’s costing men potentially rewarding relationships because they simply cannot seem to look past this issue.

So I think it’s about time we actually sat down and talked about it.

You Aren’t Owed Anything

Somewhere along the lines, a lot of men have developed the idea that the world owes them a woman. Sometimes it’s a specific one – The One, in fact. Sometimes it’s less specific; a man may not think that he’s owed Kat Dennings, to pull a completely-random-and-not-at-all-because-she-won’t-take-my-calls example, but he is owed a woman of equivalent hotness, regardless of his own physical appearance or level success, talent or achievement.

“Just keep walking, nerd boy.”

There are plenty who will take umbrage at the idea that no, they can’t have a woman who’s a perfect 101 without some significant accomplishment of their own; they will rant and rage about how it’s unfair that in order to have a beautiful woman they have to be beautiful themselves, richer than dreams of avarice or more talented than a god.

And really, what could be more fair than being able to attract a woman of unparalleled beauty without having to put in any effort at all on your part? I mean, shit, I think it’s totally unfair that I have to work for a living instead of getting paid just for being awesome. 

To quote one of my favorite movies: “You say [that it’s not fair] so often. I wonder what your basis for comparison is.”

Newsflash: Life ain’t fair folks, and that goes doubly so for dating.

It’s not surprising that the idea that we are somehow owed a beautiful woman is so deeply entrenched in the male psyche – after all, it’s an integral part of popular culture. I’ve covered this before, but just about every form of consumable pop culture with a male protagonist has “hero gets awarded a princess” at the end of the story. If the story isn’t about the actual courtship – which will end with them overcoming whatever bullshit drama Hollywood decided to throw their way  – then the hero doesn’t completely win the woman until after he achieves something. He blows up the aliens. He saves the Rec Center. He finally graduates from college. As soon as he does: he gets the girl of his choosing.

When you grow up on a steady diet of women as the prize in the CrackerJack box, you start to think that you too are owed a hot babe for… well for something. For being you. For being her “friend” and collecting enough Nice Guy coupons until you can trade them in for sex.

Unfortunately, real life isn’t the movies and women in the real world tend to take offense when you assume that they are somehow obligated to give you access to their person, regardless of their wishes.

It’s Just So Rude To Be Attractive But Unavailable.

On Monday, I wrote an article about why women might not be writing back on dating sites when the topic of screening came up. Some women will add qualifiers to their profile – that they’re not there to find dates, only friends, that you should only message her if you meet X, Y and Z or if you’re not looking for sex…  A common complaint that men have – one that was echoed in the comments on the article – was that this is somehow a violation of the Dating Site Contract. That women who, say, create an OKCupid for the various quizzes and aren’t looking to meet men are somehow Using It Wrong.  If you’re on a dating site – so the implied contract goes – you’re supposed to be willing to consider anyone who stops to email you.

To a woman, saying something along the lines of “I’m interested in meeting as friends, if something more develops, great” means “I want to take things slowly and make sure that the person I meet up with is willing to respect my pace and boundaries.” To a man with entitlement issues, it’s putting up a barrier between herself and any men who might want to get to know her; after all, who is she to set the terms of how to meet her? I’ve seen far too many people for whom the idea that a woman has decided that she is only open to certain types of relationships or why certain types of individuals shouldn’t bother trying to contact her is a personal insult. In fact, copping an attitude is one of the most common mistakes men make in online dating. Just about every woman I’ve known who has tried online dating has received a variation of “FUCK YOU, YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO NOT LIKE ME” when she didn’t respond immediately with a “YES, TAKE ME NOW IN A MANLY FASHION” to his unsolicited email – or worse, didn’t respond at all. It’s rather startling to watch “You’re really pretty I think we should go on a date” turn on a dime to “Fuck u, ur an ugly ho u crazy bitccccch” when the woman in question didn’t respond in the pre-approved manner quickly enough.

The perception that placing some sort of artificial restriction on the men who are “allowed” to communicate with her bothers these people because, frankly, they resent the fact that there’s a woman that they’re cut off from. Men already have a complex stew of entitlement issues and serious insecurities warring in their heads. On the one hand, any man who isn’t in the top 10th percentile of whatever metric you might want to use to gauge male sexual desirability is painfully aware of this fact. On the other hand – tying back into that “fairness” issue I mentioned before – they resent the fact that they might not get the hottest/sexiest/richest woman because of it. However, instead of turning their attention inward – dealing with their self-esteem issues, working on improving their lives, accepting that maybe they hold women to impossible standards- they decide to externalize their anger… and put the blame for their lack of dating success firmly on women because they’re rejecting the unwritten rule that men are owed their sexual attention.

Of course, in many cases it goes well beyond the idea that somehow women aren’t keeping up their end of the social contract… it’s a full blown conspiracy! Y’see… women are in total control of every social interaction they have with men and men are forced, forced I say!, to accede to their wishes.

What? You didn’t know that? Oh well, then you just need to ask yourself this one question:


Women, or so the theory goes, have it easy in the dating world. Women are in the cat-bird seat; they control the social dynamic because they don’t need to take action to get laid. No, you see, women just have to sit back and let the sex come to them. Of course, when you have all the options in the world, one tends to get a little bored, so why not make sure that they have to fight to win the right to have access to your nethers? Make them jump through hoops just to see who wants it bad enough and who’s actually worthy of the sex!

Men have to be rich, handsome, talented or some combination of the three or no love for them! They have to make the first move because, c’mon, it’s not like women have to lift a finger to find sex! They have to know exactly how to demonstrate alpha behavior, monitor themselves for any behavior that might make a woman uncomfortable and submit themselves to the approval of others – via social proofing – before she even deigns to consider them as a sexual partner! And if they don’t… well, ve haff vays of makink you pay for hyour arroghance! Submit! SUBMIT TO THE WHIMS OF WOMEN!

Dance! Dance for our pleasure!

Obviously, this is unfair of women; after all, how they’re not only denying men the sex that they’re owed, but they’re giving it away! To other people! 

These increasingly elaborate theories of female behavior – which is alternately blamed on laziness, arrogance or cowardice, depending on who you talk to – are supposed to “prove” that it’s women who are at fault, not men who seem to assume that they’re oppressed by the fact that the woman they like may not want to fuck them. If you’ve ever spent time around a Nice Guy (or, used to be one, like I did) then you’ll hear a lot of whining and complaining about how cruel women are to taunt and abuse someone who just wants their love and is that so wrong?

The anger generated over the fact that women “get” to spurn men at will is based on the idea that not only do women control all the rules of social engagement but also that men have no choice in whom they might date. Men are forced – forced – to play a numbers game because women have all the power. Men simply cannot sit the game out because otherwise THEY ARE DOOMED TO SEXLESS, IMPOTENT LIVES!

Of course the idea that women have it easy and men have to fight for their right to paaaaaaaahrtay requires some willful blindness; yes, women can get laid with minimal effort… but so can men. It’s very simple: men just have to lower their standards… just as women would have to if they wanted sex on demand.

Women do get approached more often than men, true – it’s part of how both men and women have been socialized for generations, and that sort of deeply ingrained social programming is hard to toss off. However, the fact that a woman is being approached doesn’t mean that those men are automatically the ones that she wants to meet. The fact that sex is offered to them doesn’t mean that it’s the sex they would want to have.

Men, contrary to popular opinion get approached by women all the time too… by women that they have no interest in because those foolish females simply don’t measure up to the standard that the men think they deserve. They aren’t the hottest of the hot, therefore they get ignored in the calculus of “who has an easier time geting laid?”  Sure, Dude X could’ve hooked up with the  woman who approached him on OKCupid or at the bookstore, but that totally doesn’t count because she was too fat/thin/awkward/nerdy/dumb/crazy/poor/trashy/ugly/whatever.  It’s not just that he’s owed a woman, he’s owed an incredibly hot woman, one that makes all of his friends jealous! The sort of woman that he’s been fantasizing about since he realized that women were more than just boys with long hair and weird toys. The fact that he has to compete for those women with people who outstrip him is a source of anger and resentment… toward the women who reject him. It’s her fault for making it harder for him to get what he wants!

Creep Shaming: Threat or Menace?

In principle, you wouldn’t think that the simple act of talking to women would be that difficult; you open your mouth, flap your lips, words come out. Hopefully you manage to string them together in a way that’s vaguely intelligible. And yet, going by the level of anxiety that a lot of men feel at the idea of approaching a woman, you would think that the mere act of indicating you were interested in someone meant that you were risking certain doom if it doesn’t go absolutely perfectly. In fact, according to some of the so-called Men’s Rights advocates, if you have the temerity to approach a woman and you are not her exact type… well, shit son, you’re about to get Creep Shamed.

A dramatic recreation!

The idea behind creep shaming is that women use “creep”, “creepy” and “creeper” as ways of keeping men in line and punishing them for having the nerve to approach a woman without actually having washboard abs and a six-figure balance in his bank account. It’s a way that women discriminate against the socially awkward and stick men in a double bind by demanding that men be the aggressors in a relationship and then smacking them down when they make their move, am I right, or am I right? Of course I am. Pound it.

Now, in fairness, there are plenty of guys out there who are socially awkward and may inadvertently trigger a woman’s spider-sense without intending to cause offense. The problem is that when it’s pointed out to them that the way that they’re behaving is creeping people out, a lot of guys will automatically default to “well, it’s not fair, I shouldn’t have to change who I am/my behavior.” They don’t want to take the time to learn how to read social cues or moderate the way they act. Why? Because, once again, they feel that they’re entitled to what they want and it’s the woman’s fault for keeping them from what they want. Why take responsibility for your actions when you can put the onus on women by shouting “Creep shaming!” as a way to shut her up?

The truly insidious thing about creep shaming and how it relates to misplaced senses of entitlement is the fact that creep shaming goes beyond a man’s right of access to any woman he desires; it also means that he is entitled to his comfort above hers. Creep shaming is all about telling a woman that not only does she not have a right to decide who she talks to, but she doesn’t have a right to how she feels. This isn’t about discriminating against those who need to work on their social calibration, this is about telling women that their desire to be safe is less important than a man’s right to hit on her.

How Entitlement Ruins Your Dating Life

The attitude that one is owed anything in a dating context is a potentially toxic one, and it ends up poisoning every aspect of your life. Believing you’re entitled to women is lovely as a fantasy, but when it meets the hobnailed boot of reality, it tends to leave men bitter and resentful. They direct their anger towards women because this is what we tend to do when we’re upset and angry: we lash out at the thing we think hurt us.

These fantasies of persecution are just that – fantasies. They’re ways of justifying failure without accepting responsibility or even involvement; you’re not getting rejected because women don’t like a guy who thinks that they should immediately fall in lust with him just because he deigned to show up, you’re getting rejected because OMG WOMMMINZ ARE CRAZY BITCHEZ who graduated from playing with Barbies to playing with real people. You’re not avoiding approaching women because you are dealing with approach anxiety – something that everybody feels – you’re striking a blow against the unjust system that allows women to be lazy and requires men to do all the work!

After a while, holding on to this belief leaves you unable to talk to women like a goddamned person. Instead, every interaction with women is seen as de facto adversarial; you’re resentful of the fact that these women are refusing to give you what you deserve and keep putting up barriers that you have to overcome. You’re no longer interacting with them on a personal level, you’re treating every conversation and meeting as a struggle for social value and frame control, trying to dominate every moment and demanding compliance.

Hey girl. Nice nails, are they real?

Or you may go the other way and end up as The Nice Guy, trying to get your way by appealing to a woman’s sense of obligation; instead of looking for easy answers and trying to reduce human interaction to a flow-chart of social pressure and mind games, you try the passive-aggressive approach. You attempt to back-door your way into a woman’s heart and panties by lying to her and  pretending to be her friend, all the while trying to buy her affection, collecting “good guy” tokens by doing favors and buying her gifts in the hope that you can eventually trade them in for the hot, hot sexing that you really want.

The end result is the same: you cripple yourself emotionally. You make it next to impossible to have a “real” relationship with a woman as your equal and partner. You may achieve a certain amount of success with one-night stands and short, shallow relationships but in the end, you’re letting your belief that you are somehow owed a woman to cut yourself off from them.

Entitlement Vs. Deservedness

I’ve talked about the difference between entitlement and deservedness before, but it’s worth bringing up again: there’s a difference between believing that you deserve love, happiness, a satisfying sex life and a relationship that fulfills you emotionally and believing that you’re entitled to it.

Deservedness is a matter of self-esteem; many men of the nerdy and geeky persuasion convince themselves that they are undeserving of love because they don’t measure up in some way. They’re not as outgoing as other guys. They’re not as popular or as socially gifted. They aren’t into all the “cool” hobbies or sports. They are – in their estimation – pathetic; no woman could possibly love them because they just aren’t good enough the way other guys are. The reality of their situation doesn’t matter – despite the fact that a lot of women love geeky guys, these men can’t see it because they have built up in their heads that they are unworthy of affection. They can’t get past the idea that they have nothing to offer and there’s no way that someone could find them attractive.

“No, it’s ok. I wouldn’t date me either.”

It can take a lot of work to build yourself up to a place where you can actually believe that yes, you aren’t worthless and you have the same right to seek out a happy, healthy relationship as everybody else is.

But you aren’t owed one.

There’s a reason why the Declaration of Independence says that the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right. You can and should pursue a relationship.

But you have to earn it.

You need to put the time in to get yourself to the point where you can attract the woman you want. This means putting aside the idea that you are somehow entitled to her and taking responsibility for your own actions and your own mistakes. It means that, as tempting as the “Call Me, Maybe” scenario is, you need to be willing to accept that you can’t just wait for opportunities to come to you because you’re afraid of rejection. You need to be willing to accept that getting good with women takes time and practice. You need to accept that you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to blow approaches. You’re going to say the wrong things. You’re going to get frustrated and wonder why the fuck you’re doing this.

It can and will be rough, especially when you’re trying to overcome habits and beliefs that have been ingrained in you over a lifetime.

But when you can honestly relate to women as people rather than an antagonistic Other, when you realize that you’ve surpassed what you thought were your limitations and you can achieve so much more than you ever believed you could…

… well, it’s fucking worth it.

  1. I hate rating women on a numerical scale, but sometimes it’s a necessary shorthand for the conversation []

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  • Max

    Alrighty, since at least part of this post was directly targeted at me, I feel like I should defend myself a little bit.

    First of all, when I said I didn't understand why people would choose "just looking for friends" on a dating site, I didn't mean "WHY WON'T THE PRETTY GIRLS TALK TO ME," I meant it like "It doesn't make sense to me why people do this." And then a number of people responded and explained to me why people do this, so now I know.

    However, the responses sort of highlighted to me why exactly it's bothersome when someone chooses "just looking for friends" on a dating site; it's because I have no way of knowing what that actually means. It could mean "I just want to take the quizzes" or "I am only looking for platonic friends" or "I'm interested in dating, but I'd like to be friends first" or "I'm interested in dating, but I want to weed out the creeps" or "I'm interested in dating, but I don't want to admit it online." It ends up being a vague non-answer.

    Again, I get that it's a free country, and people can do what they want, and I'm not entitled to anything, etc. I get that. Also, I feel like I should point out that I actually do get a fair amount of responses on OKC, so I'm not just raging because no one will talk to me. Again, it's more a minor annoyance than anything else.

    • epeeguy

      It doesn't matter whether it makes sense to you or not. Lots of people do things that don't make sense to me: Release a DVD for a new movie, then release infinite special editions at 6-month intervals for the next couple of years? Put tags in shirts whose sole purpose is to irritate my neck? Subsidize rediculous portion sizes when there's an obesity epidemic?

      Yeah, none of those things make sense to me. In that I find them illogical. But, do I understand why they do those things? Absolutely, most certainly do. Okay, maybe not the garment tags thing. But I understand why some might do these things in order to sell products.

      I apologize to every woman reading this, as I'm not trying to compare your behavior to selling to consumers. Just it was the only illogical things I could come up with as examples.

      Do I get why a women might put "Just looking for friends." in her profile? Sure. I may not agree with the approach, but it makes sense if a woman might want to screen guys out who may not be what she's looking for. Whether that's casual sex, or overly enthusiastic, creepy guys, whatever. It's a hint, a signal, a nod that says: "I might not be what you're looking for." And if you're confused about it as a guy, then you can either say "Hey, I saw that in your profile. I wasn't sure if I should write because I am interested, but…" or "Well, then I'll look elsewhere."

      You can call it a game, but human behavior when it comes to this kind of stuff is not always "Full disclosure." Sometimes you have to read between the lines, or ask to make sure. It's like the "nice guy" thing, which I've been, and not been fully clear on my intentions. That's my mea culpa, and I've had to do a lot of soul searching on that. But things are murky when it comes to these kind of things, more as a matter of protection from hurt than being a "game."

      But, personally, I feel this all gets at the heart of what every guy needs to have when it comes to dating and eventually relationships: Empathy and understanding. Even if it doesn't make sense to you or you don't agree with it, it's their choice and you can either recognize that it is THEIR LEGITIMATE CHOICE TO MAKE. Accept that's how it is and move on; you won't be any happier for fighting against it, and you're more likely to just feel worse at the end of the day.

    • saraha

      Well, I would say this.

      If you are annoyed, that's okay. Because that's your emotional reaction to something that happens and you have the right to your emotional reactions.

      But what your right to be annoyed entitles you to is the the right to walk away from people who annoy you. It does NOT give you the right to expect or demand other people change their behavior to make things easier on you.

      Now maybe you are just blowing off steam about an annoying thing that happened to you. That's fine. But there ARE other guys who say the exact same thing and what THEY mean is that women are crazy, dishonest, or/and stupid. And that right there is another example of how two people can say exactly the same thing and mean something totally different.

      What people – male and female – are looking for in life cannot be reduced down a multiple choice question. Websites can be helpful as pre-screening tools but they are not a substitute for actual human communication, which is full of nuance, shades of gray, and personal experiences that shade meanings slightly differently for each person.

      • Max

        I just want to say on the record that I agree with this completely. I do actually just walk away (or whatever the internet equivalent of walking away is), and I don't expect people to change just to make things easier for me (honestly, if I had the power to do that, the OKC thing would be at the bottom of my list of things to change. My first priority would be people who walk too slowly in front of me when I'm in a hurry).

        • Robert

          "(or whatever the internet equivalent of walking away is)"

          Hitting the back button?

        • saraha

          Yeah! Or how about when all you want is a simple cup of coffee but everybody in front of you at the coffee place wants to order their decaf two shot latte with hand pumped extra hot steam made from raw cream that the barista has to milk from the cow they brought in themselves?

      • TD

        Beautifully put.

      • chris

        why are you so hostile? Seriously, you've gone from someone being annoyed at messed up dynamics on OKC or wherever to them demanding that the girls be into them. Frankly, it's insulting, and you should feel bad for doing it.

        Oh, and yes, plenty of women are crazy and irrational, or they've decided that they can make a big laundry list of requirements and expect them to be filled. Maybe that's why online dating is such a crapshoot – the people I meet in the real world aren't like this.

    • Mike

      "it’s because I have no way of knowing what that actually means."

      Maybe that would a good thing to ask a person if your interested in them? Seems like it would be a good way to show them that you've taken the time to read their profile and want to better understand where they are coming from, instead of the what-mind-games-are-they-trying-to-play approach. (Not that I'm being critical, as I've seen from the other comments and replies it's not something that gets you frothing mad or whatnot, but just an honest suggestion if you have really considered it before)

      • Elizabeth

        I don't know if asking random women what "just friends" means is a good idea. I think if you're already talking to her, fine – but messaging just for that is going to come off to women as creepy, whether you intend it as or not.

        The reason is because, speaking as a woman who does online dating, there are a ton of creepy guys on dating sites who try to talk women out of their strictly stated preferences (to give some other examples: age limits, not wanting to date long-distance, not wanting casual sex, or even women looking exclusively for other women) under the guise of "I'm just wondering…" It sucks for decent guys, but I think part of being a decent guy is learning to place the blame on the creepy guys, and not wanting to make women even more uncomfortable who have been victimized by creeps.

        That doesn't mean you can't talk to these girls, but I would try to talk about something else first and, then, if she shows interest in you, say something like, "You know, I'm confused about 'just friends' because it seems like you're sending me signals that you might be more than that. I've noticed different people use that to mean different things. So what do you mean by it?" (and I'm not sure if this is the best wording because I'm lousy at this, but personally, I would not be put-off by a guy who said it that way who had previously contacted me)

  • Yuki

    "After a while, holding on to this belief leaves you unable to talk to women like a goddamned person. "

    I think we saw this in the comments section last time…

    You know, I get really tired of guys complaining that they have to do all the work. They don't even bother to look at it from the woman's point of view, and get defensive when someone hands them a new perspective to look at, because it casts them in bad light. E.g: Making her feel unsafe.

    I absolutely hate that women are seen as a "prize". I mean, sure, the concept's fun as a romantic game, but that's assuming you've already started going out and this is just role-play. When you apply it to every-day interactions, it makes women feel like objects, not people.

    • FDr

      There are a lot of women who will refer to guys as prizes too. But then objectifying men is okay.

      • OhNoes

        No, it's not okay, and there are plenty of women who don't think it's okay. Things like 'The Rules" that are all about "bagging a husband" make me sick.

        • Layna

          I would agree with both of you. Women who see men as an appliance are no better than men who see women as an accessory. It turns out that teaching boys and girls that the whole point of a relationship is to make them and only them happy with no thought of the other person isn't actually healthy; who knew?

      • Elizabeth

        Objectifying men is not okay, but it's also not exactly the same thing, because of privilege.

    • Paul Rivers

      As part of the dance scene, combined with an ability to make friends and get people (both men and women) to tell me what's going on in their lives, I've had the opportunity watch what really works with guys trying to date girls.

      There's two mistakes I've watched guys make, that the guys who are better with women don't do –

      1. Thinking they can get a women as a "prize" without emotional involvement.

      2. They make the mistake of trying to treat women they've just met to much as feeling, caring human beings

      I don't know where these supposed nice guys referred to in the above article exist, but the article does do a good job of illustrating the female viewpoint on this stuff:

      Spend 2 hours talking to a girl at a party, feel like you really hit it off and you really like her? Get her number – you call her or text her and think that a normal human being would call you or text you back?


      Are you trying to get to know a girl you're interested in, rather than trying to nail that ass asap (say "wooo!" in a big frat boy voice)"?

      According to the female sentiment, you weren't trying to get to know her as a human being by getting to know her first – you were "lying to her and pretending to be her friend, all the while trying to buy her affection, collecting “good guy” tokens by doing favors and buying her gifts in the hope that you can eventually trade them in for the hot, hot sexing that you really want"

      Dr Nerdlove's argument is that there are **good reasons* why women make you jump through hoops to get with them (screening out assholes or something) – but even he doesn't try to claim that women don't make you jump through hoops.

      And since you're jumping through hoops and performing – well, the closest mentality is to view the goal of jumping through all these hoops as a prize.

      The mistakes I see guys making is either being to little, or to much emotionally involved. Lance Armstrong doesn't appear to approach the Tour De France with an excess of emotion, but he's not clinically detached either. If he wins the race, he gets the prize. If he loses the race, he's upset and disappointed, but doesn't spend all year bitching about how the race cheated him out of winning either.

      And what the "prize" is varies greatly from guy to guy as well – for some guys the prize was getting married, having kids, with a woman they love. For other guys the prize is nailing the girl. And an area in between of "I want to get laid right now, and hopefully the romance will work out as well".

      When women throw down gauntlets and tests for you to pass, you're playing a game. And as you can see from the above article, women feel no obligation to treat you as a human being either – you put effort into calling them, getting to know them, and they feel they have *no* obligation to even simply respond to turn you down, like a normal human being does to another normal human being.

      Once you acclimate to this, it's fine. But it is a game, and women are the prize. The question is what kind of prize you're after – a wonderful woman who you love, cherish, and will raise a family with and never even want to sleep with a different woman again is a prize as well.

      • Dr. NerdLove

        Well, as long as we're talking about mistakes Paul, let's talk about the ones you're making here.

        To start with:

        Spend 2 hours talking to a girl at a party, feel like you really hit it off and you really like her? Get her number – you call her or text her and think that a normal human being would call you or text you back?

        You're assuming facts not in evidence: that she's actually interested in you back. Just because you think you hit it off doesn't mean that it's on like Donkey Kong. There could be any number of events in play: she could be being polite but couldn't find a way to extricate herself from the conversation gracefully. She could have been interested in you, but you did something that pushed her back into thinking "you know what, never mind". She might have enjoyed the flirting but had no intention of it going anywhere. She might have enjoyed the conversation and given you her number and forgot who the hell you were the next day – something that's especially common when alcohol is involved. She may have had second thoughts. Whatever you texted may well have turned her off or even offended her. She may have given you her number as a way to end the interaction with you.

        I've stated this before but it's worth reiterating: in an age of caller ID and voice-mail, getting her number doesn't mean a damn thing. It costs her nothing to give her number out.

        You're doing a shitload of mind-reading when you have absolutely no idea what's actually going on in this hypothetical little scenario of yours. But here's a hint: if she liked you? She'd text you back.

        According to the female sentiment, you weren't trying to get to know her as a human being by getting to know her first – you were "lying to her and pretending to be her friend, all the while trying to buy her affection, collecting “good guy” tokens by doing favors and buying her gifts in the hope that you can eventually trade them in for the hot, hot sexing that you really want"

        Do your legs hurt? 'cuz that was one hell of a leap.

        Dr Nerdlove's argument is that there are **good reasons* why women make you jump through hoops to get with them (screening out assholes or something) – but even he doesn't try to claim that women don't make you jump through hoops.

        Apparently you either didn't read the article or didn't make it to the second page at all.

        And as you can see from the above article, women feel no obligation to treat you as a human being either – you put effort into calling them, getting to know them, and they feel they have *no* obligation to even simply respond to turn you down, like a normal human being does to another normal human being.

        Yeah, I can't see at all how your attitude might inform how women respond to you…

        • Robert

          Just wondering Dr. NerdLove, are you the only person who can do that special quote formatting or is that available to the rest of us as well? And if the latter, how does one do it?

          • Dr. NerdLove

            It's basic (and limited by design) HTML formatting. Anyone can do it if you know how; em for italics, blockquote for those pull-quote-looking things and basic A HREF for links.

          • Robert

            Ah. I wasn't sure if you just used HTML or if there was some sort of 'comment code' you had.

            Italic test

            Quote test

            Link test

        • Paul Rivers


        • Paul Rivers

          You’re assuming facts not in evidence: that she’s actually interested in you back. Just because you think you hit it off doesn’t mean that it’s on like Donkey Kong.

          I hope that I never reach that point that you're illustrating, where I've become *so* jaded about women that I think of myself as only being allowed to have the role of nailing her, or never talking to her again, like we're both nothing but complete sex objects with no attributes outside of that.

          When people who treat you like people give you their phone number, it means "I'm interested in hearing from you".

          There could be any number of events in play: she could be…

          I already figured out, and totally agree that all of the things listed out are reasons that she never gets back to you, some of which don't even have anything to do with you.

          But it's still the case that if she was treating you as a "human being", rather than someone running through her game, the normal thing to do is to feel an social obligation to at least communicate back once.

          I’ve stated this before but it’s worth reiterating: in an age of caller ID and voice-mail, getting her number doesn’t mean a damn thing. It costs her nothing to give her number out.

          I agree with you 100% that it definitely can mean nothing, though I would phrase it less depressingly as that it may mean something, or it may mean nothing. It doesn't mean nothing for *every* girl who gives you her number, some of them actually want you to call them.

          You’re doing a shitload of mind-reading when you have absolutely no idea what’s actually going on in this hypothetical little scenario of yours.

          Yeah, there's no point in what you've written where I didn't already know that's what was going on. It's exactly my point – it's emotionally healthier to view it as a game when one of the very possible options is that she only gave you her number to get rid of you.

          But here’s a hint: if she liked you? She’d text you back.

          Exactly. If you passed the level, you know because she texted you back. If you don't hear back, you gotta stop playing or play the level again with another girl.

          According to the female sentiment, you weren’t trying to get to know her as a human being by getting to know her first – you were “lying to her and pretending to be her friend, all the while trying to buy her affection, collecting “good guy” tokens by doing favors and buying her gifts in the hope that you can eventually trade them in for the hot, hot sexing that you really want

          Do your legs hurt? ‘cuz that was one hell of a leap.

          I agree it's a hell of a leap. Which is why I don't understand why it keeps getting repeated.

          but even he doesn’t try to claim that women don’t make you jump through hoops – Apparently you either didn’t read the article or didn’t make it to the second page at all.

          It's something you wrote on another article –

          "Women aren’t trying to make you jump through hoops for their amusement, they’re screening out assholes."

          And as you can see from the above article, women feel no obligation to treat you as a human being either – you put effort into calling them, getting to know them, and they feel they have *no* obligation to even simply respond to turn you down, like a normal human being does to another normal human being.

          Yeah, I can’t see at all how your attitude might inform how women respond to you…

          Actually, my insistence on treating people like human beings and being treated like a human being is one of the reasons why girls keep being interested in me. I've seen guys take advice like the stuff about girls owing them "nothing" no matter what was said, and eventually they turn into the nice guy "doormats" that you appear to loathe so much.

          Women don't respect you if you don't respect yourself. If you invite them to walk all over you – some of them will. If you expect that they'll treat you like a successful human being – some of them will.

          I've gotten to many "why didn't you pursue me when you were single?" questions from women that I was interested in, but only let me know they actually liked me later after they were dating someone else. The problem has been that I haven't understood that once I seem interested, they start playing a game with me where they expected me to push past their resistance, but I didn't know that they were playing a game so I just got kind of burned by it and dropped off at the slightest sign that they weren't interested in me. One girl told me "hahahahaha – no!" when I asked about dropping by. Sounded to me like she was offended I asked or something. Later she tells me that she found me so attractive, she was afraid she wouldn't be able to control herself and she'd have sex with me that night and she didn't want to…I mean she did, but she didn't…

          Since they treat you like someone playing their game, it only makes sense that when you're treated like this, to approach it what it is – a game.

          When women treat you like a human being, treat them like a human being. But when women treat guys as a player playing their game and not as a human being, it only makes sense that guys will end up treating them as a prize to be won if they win the game.

          And sometimes, that isn't even a terrible thing – if the "prize" is someone you've fallen in love with, they love you, you live happily ever after, etc etc.

          But if you keep treating people who are treating you as a player to their game as human beings – you're just going to keep getting hurt, which is going to cause you to get angry and upset – the natural reaction to someone you think is treating you like a human being instead treating you as a player to their game that they can discard at any time. Don't want to keep getting burned? It's a game – play it as a game. Try to enjoy the game for what it is.

        • Gentleman Horndog

          Apparently you either didn’t read the article or didn’t make it to the second page at all.

          This <del>probably</del> almost certainly isn't the place for it, but may I air a pet peeve about this site? The links leading to the rest of the article (ANY article) are annoyingly well hidden; I would totally understand a newcomer not reading past the first page, just because they didn't understand there were any other pages.

          If there's something you can do to turn off the pagination and make the links lead to the full article, I'd really appreciate it. I'm guessing I'm not the only one.

      • Jessica

        Those women who don't call/text back? They're not throwing down gauntlets or making you jump through hoops.

        They're. Not. Interested.

        • dave

          Let women do tha approaching in the first place, then you can KNOW that they are interested, and they cannot say that the man missed their "obvious" signals. Maybe men would gain more value this way way.

          • OldBrownSquirrel

            Reality: if 99% of men decide to go Galt on asking women out, the PUA 1% will still ask out large numbers of women, which will only result in making women think that all men are PUAs, and since PUAs already do most of the cold approaches, women won't really notice much of a difference in terms of how often they get asked out.

    • You might want to check out this video right here about the whole women as objects thing:

      I think all the feminists on DNL's boards should take a look at that.

  • Patrick

    It's not a notion that stands up to much logic or scrutiny, but ooh boy, was the idea that women are making guys jump through arbitrary hoops for their amusement a powerful one for my early 20s self. I'm not sure it was entitlement exactly – it wasn't like "I have two arms and I bathe sometimes, why aren't lots of women falling on my lap?". More like I believed I had something half-decent to offer in a relationship (and still do – my wife of 10 years might be inclined to agree) and it was distressing that no one seemed interested. And when you're in that self-pitying frame of mind, it becomes all too easy to notice that plenty of women are in relationships with assholes/abusers. But the fact is that if you're going after the same women that all the other guys are going after, of course you're find yourself against some stiff competition, and those women get to set the terms – so would you if dozens of women were after you. And if you're focusing all your energy on one woman, you're cutting yourself off from other opportunities.

    Suggestions for the doc: how about some nerd love success stories? I bet readers could supply you with some good ones.

    • Mike

      Seconded, Patrick. How about it, Doc? Would you be interested in some of us sharing the secrets of our success?

      Beyond, of course, livin' 25 hours a day.

    • Sam

      I third this suggestion! Maybe some success stories will help ease the self-pity spiral of entitlement that many men (and women to some extent) find themselves in.

    • Great idea! Chiming in that I'd love to read these. Might also give readers who are still in the thick of it a better idea that things can get better, too.

    • djteslarose

      I fourth that!

      • Nonpartier

        Agreed, but I gotta say, I'm extremely skeptical he would share his success stories. I dunno about the rest of you guys, but every time I read this site I get depressed as fuck. I don't know why exactly, maybe its because the way he talks about the nerd ways of thinking describes me to a T. Maybe its because he never talks about anything positive. Maybe its the way he goes on describing a nerd's thought process and then mercilessly crushes it. Maybe its because most of his advice basically boils down to "just fucking change (your body/clothes/hobbies/attitude)!!" Maybe its because this whole blog just feels like an ego trip for the good doctor. Oh wait, that's gotta be it.

        Have you guys noticed how he's never described his success stories? And yet every so often he throws in a show-offy anecdote about how he "banged so-and-so chick he met, but that's not the point"? How he talks about used to being a nerd, yet never discusses specifically how he actually became Awesome McStudmuffin? How whenever someone in the comments calls him out for something, he always responds in a very defensive, flippant, and dismissive manner (if he even bothers to respond at all)?

        See, I'm starting to think this whole thing isn't about helping nerds get girls, but to boost his own ego. He pretends to understand nerds' way of thinking while offering them the vaguest of solutions, while taking the female's side on every issue. He's got guys who are desperate for advice so wrapped around his finger, hanging on to his every word, while all the women sing his praises for "understanding us so much!" Which is why I highly doubt he would share his success stories. Because to do so would be to actually help all the socially awkward men get better at meeting women, which gives himself no benefit. I hope that I'm wrong, I truly do. But as someone who's been reading this blog for a couple months, as someone who is squarely in his targeted demographic, I see nothing here that can help us practically, "on the field" you might say, nor anything that shows he truly understands why some of us think the way we do.

        • Squirrel

          Wow. That's some next level conspiracy theory you've got goin' on there. Try going back through the archives and reading some of the posts marked "The Basics" if you want some practical help. As for the Doc's "success stories," he's already mentioned that he would need to get permission from the other half of some of those success stories before posting them.

          And I'll gladly attest, from personal experience, that the Doc is still, in point of fact, a great big nerd.

    • YoohooCthulhu

      But the fact is that if you’re going after the same women that all the other guys are going after, of course you’re find yourself against some stiff competition, and those women get to set the terms – so would you if dozens of women were after you.

      I maybe have slightly more sympathy for guys who think this way than you do. I don't think it's so much entitlement for certain girls as it is the asymmetry–constantly feeling like you're the one competing constantly gets old. Now of course, women have an opposite problem–finding guys who actually care about them. But unless you've really sat down with a woman and talked to her about how this situation feels to her (it's not a lot better than the guys feel having to compete for women), it comes off a bit like someone who has stale bread to eat complaining to someone who has no bread at all–it's hard for guys to wrap their mind around that and actually have sympathy for girls.

      The only solution is for guys to keep up their self-confidence with other activities to assuage the difficulty of dating. But that isn't really a GREAT solution; no really good solution really exists. The only thing that's sort of comforting is the idea that dating sucks for EVERYONE.

  • Beth

    Thank you so much for this post, truly Doc. It's making all verklempt and flaily.

    I will add, though, that's it's incredibly insulting for these men to accuse women of oppressing them with their ~sexual~ power. Yeah some women have the ability to make you want to rub your genitalia against one of our bodily orifices. And you have the institutional, cultural, and political power of the United States of America behind you supporting most of everything you think and do. So get over it and be thankful for all of the unearned, and very real power you have over women.

    • ARC

      "Be thankful for all of the unearned, and very real power you have over women."

      That sounds a bit bitter. Do you mean something along the lines of "Be thankful that you're not disempowered like women are?" It's not like I go walking around, thwacking women with an ivory cane and giggling with the power invested in me by the patriarchy.

      • Beth

        God forbid I sound bitter or even *gasp* angry.

        You don't need to thwack women with canes to be complicit in patriarchy. All you have to do to be complicit in it is to refuse to question it.

        • chris

          you have the right to be angry, but don't expect attention from me because you're bitter. That's entitled behavior and I don't have to deal with it.

          I've also found that people who throw out terms like 'patriarchy' are people I prefer to avoid. I imagine them spending a lot of time with cats and gardening.

        • Bridget

          Oh, please. Yeah, men have sooo much power over women. That's why men have all the birth control and reproductive decisions… oh, wait, that's women. Well, they can force a woman to have and pay for a baby she doesn't want… oh, no, wait, not that either. Well, it's not like the majority of college students are women… oh, whoops, they are. Well, it's a good thing that all of the shelters, support systems, and ads decrying spousal abuse and rape only support men who are abused and women who are abusers while pretending the other side doesn't exist… oh, no wait, it's actually the opposite.

          If your Patriarchy theory had any semblance of credibility, men would have been granted automatic divorces the moment their wives hit menopause. They would have forced women to go out and work 14 hour days, risking bodily harm the whole time, only to use their money to feed and support men. They would have ignored spousal abuse entirely and come down like the hand of God on any woman who struck their husband.

          Yet men created a system where they had to spend their whole lives working to support women, even after the women were done producing children. They were the ones risking their lives to feed and protect their wives and children. And when a man abused his wife, the woman's father and brothers were honor bound to gang together and beat him half to death to teach him a lesson. Meanwhile men who were abused were – and still are in most cases – arrested and publicly shamed for it.

          I'm not trying to say that sexism doesn't exist. But your Patriarchy theory, that demands that all women are always at a disadvantage because men are twisting their mustaches oppressing us, falls apart the moment you examine it closely. When you're living in a world where the majority of public money goes into women's issues, women live longer lives, have better health, and are less at risk for virtually every type of stranger violence, homelessness, suicide, and are more likely to receive help when they do, where the reproductive rights and decisions are all in female hands, and men are expected to get out of her way unless she needs them to pay for something, you don't get to whine that you're oppressed.

          • Where is that world, because I want to move there. Is it Europe?

      • Max

        I just want it to be known that, while I do go around thwacking people with an ivory cane, it has nothing to do with sexism and I thwack both men and women equally.

    • YoohooCthulhu

      And you have the institutional, cultural, and political power of the United States of America behind you supporting most of everything you think and do

      That's true, but it doesn't really matter. The men we're talking about don't have an extraordinary amount of privilege, which is predominantly why they're having a bit of a harder time. So it comes off to men pretty much the same way men whining about how attractive women have it so easy comes off to women who are less attractive than average.

    • Jessica

      THANK YOU. My breasts are not conspiring with your hormones to ruin your life/make you say something stupid/whatever. Your reaction to my body is *your* reaction and not my responsibility.

  • Gman

    "You need to be willing to accept that getting good with women takes time and practice. You need to accept that you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to blow approaches. You’re going to say the wrong things. You’re going to get frustrated and wonder why the fuck you’re doing this."

    As someone who is in the process of becoming better with woman – this is so true.

    Just yesterday something kind of funny happened – I tried to hit on a girl, everything seemed to go well, until she suddenly bolted out of the scene for no apparent reason. Just as I was about to move on and forget about her – it suddenly hit me that she looked kind of familiar – and then I realized (long after she was gone) that I actually made out with her a couple of months back and totally forgot about it for an unknown reason. The old me would have been driven mad by such an event – but now I pretty much find it rather amusing (and a bit worrying because I might be developing Alzheimer at such a young age LOL). My point is that I am trying to enjoy my experiences and at the same time I am trying to learn from them. What keeps me going are funny experiences like the one above, but also by simply looking at the HUGE amount of progress I have made in just a single year, since I began the process of becoming better with women. To someone from the outside my achievements might not look that big, but to me they mean a lot and serve as proof and inspiration to keep improving myself. Today I KNOW that I deserve to be loved, because I am a friendly, thoughtful person that has plenty to offer.

    So to all you people out there (both male and female) that, just like me, have issues when it comes to the other sex, I am here to say "Don't give up" – the road may be long and hard, but the with faith and a lot of hard work, things should start turning around for you all in no time.

  • Kelly F.

    Haha, Labyrinth reference. 😀

    • UnderOrange

      No lies, I had to take a break from reading to squeal like the excited fangirl I am at that reference.

      • Gman

        I have NO IDEA what kind of reference I have accidentally made, but if it makes you happy, then whatever LOL 😀

        • UnderOrange

          Sorry, Gman! It wasn't something you said, it was the quote “You say [that it's not fair] so often. I wonder what your basis for comparison is.” It's something David Bowie says in the movie Labyrinth.

  • (Not done reading yet, but I just wanted to say)

    I do get paid for being awesome.

    • Dr. NerdLove

      You, sir, may go to hell.

      • Hmmm… Pray tell of your success, good sir?

        I am awesome, and looking for a way to turn my natural talents into monitary gain. 😉

  • Synko

    "Men, contrary to popular opinion get approached by women all the time too… by women that they have no interest in because those foolish females simply don’t measure up to the standard that the men think they deserve. They aren’t the hottest of the hot.."

    Really? Where do I sign up to be approached by these women that I have no interest in? Man, I *wish* what you're saying here were true, I really do. Obviously this is a game of anecdotal evidence vs. more anecdotal evidence, which proves nothing, but the super-nerdy guys that I know would give anything if it would mean that they could get approached by women that are too fat/thin/awkward/nerdy/whatever.

    If my tiny sample (I said SAMPLE) here is at all representative, then it's pretty clear where some of the anger is coming from. It's not "I wish I could get it on with hotter chicks, but I'm only getting approached by ugly ones," but more like "I've had precisely 0 people show interest over the last decade, but women are always talking about the guy who hit on them last week, they must have all the power."

    Now obviously those guys are not entitled to >0 people showing interest in them, but if you accept my anecdotal evidence, it's not hard to see where the feelings of unfairness are coming from.

    • James (Thortok2000)

      First off, it's okay to have feelings of unfairness because it is, after all, a situation that isn't fair.

      Expecting it to ever be fair is where you go wrong. There's a difference between whining and venting, as well. Everyone needs to vent now and then, but take it too far and you're whining.

      One thing that's pretty insidious is the 'oh, but she doesn't count' that the Doc mentions. Even I have been approached now and then. Some of the women I've been approached by are pretty crazy. I try to be nice to them at least, and I can at least reply, but not interested is not interested.

      There was, however, a time where I wasn't approached by anyone. And I mean anyone. Absolute zero. I felt completely invisible. And ultimately it was my fault. My online profiles were horribly written and full of self loathing, some blatant and other bits subtle. In real life I would sit in dark corners and not talk and not ask questions and not smile and wonder why nobody came over to talk to me.

      I'm nowhere near as bad as I used to be, and the biggest improvement I could possibly offer is realizing that what you're thinking shows on your face, but also what shows on your face helps with what you're thinking. I can't stress enough how helpful 'smile therapy' was to just making me feel like a better, more outgoing person. People I meet have no idea I'm an introvert on the inside, when I'm in a good mood at least. =P And I'm in good moods much more often lately, it's amazing.

      Yes, it's frustrating, it's unfair, it's depressing, but it's a downward, negative spiral that you've gotta pull yourself out of. And it'll do you good to get out of it, not just for dating, but for your entire life.

      Have I gotten any dates? Not really, not in awhile. But I sure feel a whole lot better about it. And I'm starting to actually get approached now and then, and make some approaches myself and not get shot down instantly. (Lately it's been more of a "we just don't click" thing than a "go away you creep" thing.)

      And that's where you want to be (or better!) and keeping all the tons of other advice in mind, sooner or later something will come along.

      • Synko

        I agree with what you're saying, unfairness is life. But.. in that bit that I quoted, the Doc implies that things are more fair than they really are. That's what I was responding to.

        • There's also the not sitting in dark corners bit mixed with a little smiling at people that James was talking about.

          A lot of the people here, (and elsewhere on the web!) are typing up complaints that there's no one to talk to in their dark corners. You know who aren't here saying they can't find company? You'll not hear from them often because they're the people who are going out and having some fun.

          Go down the street, buy a pop from the bodega or whatever, smile at the attendant and ask if they're having fun today. You'll probably get: "Pfft! Yeah, right…" or something simmilar but (s)he will remember you tomorrow. You have a person to say "Hi" to that's not on the computer. Neighbors are also good for this.

          The point of that ramble is: Get out of the house and have fun! Meet people! You might be able to convince someone you're cool enough to drink with! Some of those people might actually be female…

        • James (Thortok2000)

          I'm sure if you think pretty hard, you can think of some women you've seen that you wouldn't approach. They're bitter, unfriendly, mean spirited, or crazy (or whatever else). You think to yourself "I really want to meet a woman, just not that one." Maybe you're not approached by this woman, but even if you were you'd turn them down anyway.

          If you're getting absolute zero approaches from women, then you're in that category from their point of view. ("I really want to meet a guy, just not that one.") You may not think of yourself as bitter, unfriendly, mean spirited, or crazy (or whatever else), but somehow you're coming off that way, and that's what you need to fix.

          And this whole 'but not that one' happens on both sides and that's the fairness the Doc is referring to.

          The problem is not seeing yourself as others see you. "I'm cool, hip, and I sway to the beat, why don't more women fall at my feet?" And this is where you have to pay attention to your outward projections. Sitting in dark corners, self-loathing and/or lack of confidence, crossed arms, lack of personal hygiene or style, no positive facial expressions, closed off conversation patterns, always bitterly complaining about something… Now pretend I was just describing a woman. Would you want to date her?

          Ultimately, if you're getting absolute zero approaches, the common denominator is you. Learn to show your awesomeness on the outside instead of keeping it on the inside.

          • djteslarose

            James, may I just say that you rock!

    • Beth

      Get over it. I am an attractive women and I never get approached. It sucks. But I don't harbor anger towards men for not approaching me at all; none of the lovely women I know who are also totally ignored by men harbor anger towards men (at least, not on dating grounds). Oh but the same exact situation happens to some dudes and they automatically get angry and resentful and start tin hatting about the ~majik sexual power~ women have over them. It's a a lot of BS.

      I wonder if you even read the post? You think it's "unfair" because you are a dude who was socialized to feel entitled to certain forms of attention.

      • Synko

        If this were about feelings of entitlement, it wouldn't matter how much attention the average girl on OkC is getting from men. I'd feel angry regardless, because all that would matter is what *I* deserve and not about what I'm getting relative to what the average girl is getting.

        But since it's a reaction to girls getting more demand from guys than vice versa (measurably, provably so — see OkC's own published reports), I think it's more about fairness than entitlement.

        I'm sure it's easy to tell someone to get over it, when you yourself are only a simple signup away from all the male attention you can handle. Whether or not you actually do sign up, you can change the fact that you never get approached on a moment's notice, and with almost no effort on your part. That's the "majik sexual power."

        • Beth

          I wasn't even talking about OKC in my comment to you. But for your information, I had to quit okcupid because the sudden surge in attention and overly sexual messages made me extremely anxious and overwhelmed.

          I still don't get why you're harping on the unfairness of e-dating stats in a conversation about male privilege and entitlement. You are kind of proving the point of this post. Sexual power is not a real power, and the fact that so many men with the full power of American social, cultural, and political institutions behind them think that a. it is, and b. that they are oppressed by it is a huge, but unsurprising problem.

          • Unbelievable. You got a surge of attention. Sorry you can’t complain about not getting approached.

        • James (Thortok2000)

          One of the most important things you'll learn in life is that "getting over" something doesn't require that it magically become fair first.

          It's okay to notice it's unfair. All anyone else arguing is saying that it's not completely unfair, and there's some similarities with some situations from women's point of view too. Nobody's arguing that the scales are equal, just that they're not extremely tipped one way or the other.

          But even if they were, you'd still need to get over it if you ever want to have any kind of success at all and get out of that bitter, negative downward spiral.

        • Patrick

          Beth – of course, sexual power, is *a* power, not the only one, maybe not the ultimate one, but part of the point of this blog is to acquire the skills that will increase that power.

          (and by power, in this context, I don't mean "dominance" or anything ugly – just having some degree of control – being able to increase one's options, and to choose rather than waiting around to be chosen).

          • Beth

            Yes Patrick, I am aware of that. Mt point was that is is insulting for men, who have very real institutional power, to act as though ~female sexual power~ is a real thing which can oppress them and their day to day lives.

            I've already been informed by a male commenter that I sound "too bitter," so feel free to use that age old derailing tactic as an excuse to ignore me.

          • latebloomer

            I have to comment on this, God help me.

            Women have sexual agency. Men are not allowed, by law, to see, want, and take. Women have the AGENCY to deny a man's sexual advances. The only sexual power women have over men is the power that men give them. Being able to say "No" is not sexual power. It is sexual agency.

            Men do not have to have sex to survive. They wanted, and the ones that feel that women have sexual power feel entitled to it, not just deserving of it. Women have the right to say no and we have the right to say yes and possibly have an underwhelming experience. Women (at least some) might have an easy time getting a one night stand, but that doesn't mean she's going to have a quality experience. Men are not stupid. Stop treating them like they are because some have a problem with women having sexual agency.

          • Patrick

            Beth – oh yeah, absolutely. "I'm alone because women have all the power" is a bunch of crap. But love and sex are extremely valuable things (at least for me they are!), and being able to obtain those things makes a whole lot of difference. And some people (of either gender!) do better than others in that department. Ergo, sexual power (my wife hates that term – I just had a big long discussion about it with her).

        • Mouse

          If you slap the modifier "wanted" in front of the phrase "sexual attention", you'll see that actually, things are pretty much equal for men and women. They get equal amounts of wanted sexual attention. Men probably even get more.

          Being a man is like getting an occasional apple. Being a woman is like getting an occasional apple wrapped in a boxful of shit you have to dig through to get to the apple. The notion that this system somehow privileges women is amusing, but untrue.

          • Mouse, thank you so very much. This made me laugh 😀

          • Squirrel

            And sometimes, even after you've dug through all that shit to get to the apple, you find out it's actually just a rock painted to look like an apple.

      • Max

        "I am an attractive women and I never get approached."

        It's almost as if a lot of men are judging you by something other than your looks, like maybe your personality or general attitude…

      • You think you are an attractive woman or you are an attractive woman?

        • GilG2u

          The former.

  • Shaj

    I run into the opposite entitlement issue often. It happens when for whatever reason I'm rejected, but she wants to be friends. I reply with something like "That's not what I'm looking for. Bye."

    This has gotten women more angry at me than anything else. I don't really know why.

    • OhNoes

      My read on this (and I'm a woman) would be that if you weren't interested in being friends then you were never genuinely interested in me in the first place, and *that's* what would pease me off. I would never date someone who I didn't like enough to be friends with, and it surprises and upsets me when other people don't feel the same way, because it makes me feel like a sex object and not a person. It wouldn't be about feeling entitled to your friendship so much as suddenly realizing that someone who I thought would be a good friend actually didn't like me at all.

      • Paul Rivers

        "I would never date someone who I didn’t like enough to be friends with, and it surprises and upsets me when other people don’t feel the same way, because it makes me feel like a sex object and not a person."

        It's not that simple, as a guy. There's a lot of issues that come up with being close friends with girls that just aren't a problem with guys. I was friends with mostly girls through college, and moved back to being mostly friends with guys because I ran into a number of issues.

        1. People start to assume you're dating when they see you together a lot. This isn't a problem with guy friends, and potential interests aren't scared off because of it with guy friends like they are girl friends.

        2. About 10% of the guys I've known will suddenly dissapear and you're not really friends with them any more once they get a serious girlfriend. With girls, it's been over 50% (in my experience) who will completely dissapear from your being friends once they have a serious boyfriend.

        3. Even for the girls who don't dissapear, and who make an effort to remain friends, things change a lot when she starts dating someone seriously. Suddenly everything you do together has to pass the "would my boyfriend be ok with this" test.

        Last week I had a late, late supper with a friend of mine and we were out until 3am – not a big deal for a guy friend, with a girl friend who has a boyfriend that could lead to "you're cheating on me with that guy you're supposedly just friends with!". Another guy wants to fly out to another state this fall – not a big deal since we're both guys. Imagine how well this plan would sound if he was a girl who had a boyfriend.

        Even things like "having a really fun time" sometimes start to make her go "oh, I can't have this much fun with you, I have a boyfriend and that would be innapropriate".

        4. Or the other classic – you're the surrogate boyfriend for them. They start getting you to treat them like someone they're dating – flirting, picking them up – they'll even start to act possessionistic towards you when other girls try to flirt with you. But you want to date them – no, no, you're just friends. But that other girl who was actually single and available – she's no good for you! You can do better! etc etc

        5. There's actually quite a number more, I just don't feel like writing them all down, lol.

        So yeah, there are reasons why I won't be friends with girls whereas the same person as a guy I *would* be friends with (I'm sure there are plenty of girls who would say the something similar when the genders are the other way as well).

        P.S. There's a couple of other important ones –

        6. This is totally non gender-specific, but at a certain point the bottom line is that my schedule is already full of plutonic stuff. Family obligations, work, existing friendships…there's just only so much time in my schedule, and it's either add another plutonic friend – OR – have time for dating.

        7. Very occassionally I meet someone I'm incredibly attracted to, but they're completely unavailable (married, long term relationship, etc). It's pretty rare, but when I meet that I can't be friends with them without it being very dishonest.

      • Ik

        "6. This is totally non gender-specific, but at a certain point the bottom line is that my schedule is already full of platonic stuff. Family obligations, work, existing friendships…there’s just only so much time in my schedule, and it’s either add another platonic friend – OR – have time for dating."

        Quoted for truth.

        It's unfortunate that things end up being this way and sexual objectification becomes the result.

        But this is probably the reason why even non-sexist people can be frustrated by repeated friend-zoning (it's not really a myth, just treated in an inaccurate and sexist manner).

        I personally don't have very much requirement for platonic friends. Typically I only know one or two people closely, and my friendships never get as close as most peoples. I don't really do things with my friends much. Making friends feels natural, in so much as human interaction does, but I do it very, very slowly. Meanwhile, I am rapidly getting more and more desperate for a lover. I strongly suspect that my ideal lovers have very different characteristics from my ideal friends. If I try to just become friends with somebody, it won't work very well. I don't want to objecifyingly tell them to take a hike if they are not interested in a concupiscent relationship. And there doesn't seem to be a way in normal person-person interaction to signal such an interest. (When I make up ideas for cultures, I usually include symbols for sexual interest and disinterest.) Online matchmaking probably gets better as it is a designatedly romantic/sexual situation, but have not tried it yet. I'm still just in college.

        I know not to be the freaking Nice Guy. I am capable also of maintaining friendship in the face of desire, but generally the desire was hopeless while the friendship was very strong.

      • YoohooCthulhu

        It really depends on how full your social calendar is. The times when I've said that to women ("no, that's not what I'm looking for, sorry"), is because I don't actually have any additional time in my social calendar for more friends. Between existing friends and trying to meet new women to be in a relationship with, I don't always have time to add another person. And rather than flake out, or be evasive, I'm just upfront with the fact.

      • chris

        It's not like that. If I'm into you romantically and you aren't at all interested, that gets in the way of us trying to be friends. I'm better off hanging out with people I'm not into and leaving you to do the same. Call it friendzone if you want, but it's a shitty thing to experience, so i avoid it.

    • marzipan

      My reaction to that would really depend on WHEN you said it. Basically, if you've been pretending to be my friend for a while, and then you ask me out and I turn you down but say "I still want to be friends though", and THEN you say, that's not what you want and bye… well yeah, I'd be really upset because you were pretending to be my friend just on the hopes of getting laid, and that's a really shitty thing to do.

      On the other hand, if you asked me out shortly after meeting me, I wouldn't really care at all. I'd kind of think you were missing out on a good friendship though. Really, if a girl is cool enough for you to be interested in dating her, isn't she cool enough to be your friend?

      • Beardy

        I have a small, close circle of friends, mostly because it takes time for me to trust someone. I have to put in a lot of effort to maintain friendships and there are nights where I just want to stay in and not do anything, maybe not even talk to anyone. The more friends I have, the more difficult it is for all of them to understand that.

        I wouldn't be asking her if she wasn't cool enough to become my friend, but if I'm looking for a romantic relationship, I don't want to end up putting in the effort to form a platonic one (and believe me, it is a LOT of effort on my part).

        Now, being acquaintances, that would work.

      • Shaj

        Interesting, both of you. If I weren't attracted to them, I probably wouldn't have a problem being their friend. I don't really know how to get across that I don't want to be around a woman that I'm attracted to that finds me unattractive, and that I especially don't want to hear her talk about other guy's she's dating. It's a bit like the nuclear option that the good Dr. is a proponent of, but I do it a bit more liberally since I have issues I'm working on.

        Of course I guess I don't have to – I'd just rather them tell other people I'm an asshole.

        Also for the most part, these women are just acquaintances, not friends.

        • Beardy

          Keep in mind that what you view as an acquaintance-relationship, someone else might view as a friendship.

        • Jessica

          "Interesting, both of you. If I weren’t attracted to them, I probably wouldn’t have a problem being their friend. I don’t really know how to get across that I don’t want to be around a woman that I’m attracted to that finds me unattractive, and that I especially don’t want to hear her talk about other guy’s she’s dating."

          Have you ever tried saying just that?

          If a guy acts like he's my friend, asks me out, I turn him down, and he's like, "Ok, I never want to see you again," I tend to think, "Ugh, he was only trying to get in my pants this entire time and doesn't care enough about me as a person to want to be around me if I'm not going to give him sex. What an asshole!"

          On the other hand, if he had said what you just said, which came across as totally honest and a little poignant, I would completely understand and think he was a decent guy, and in fact a confident one for being willing to show a little chink in the armor.

          • chris

            > Have you ever tried saying just that?

            have you ever tried being 'friends' with a guy you wanted to jump? How'd it go?

          • Shaj

            Not to her, but to my friends who think I'm a jerk. Some of the times I couldn't articulate it well.

            The reason I don't tell her? Because I never want to see her again – I avoid all contact as well as I can.

      • Steve

        Not necessarily. Many guys already have all the friends they need or want. Adding one more to the pile would be pointless and require too much time and commitment. If you have all the friends you want, and are now looking for a romantic relationship, then you won't be interested in being just friends.

        Let's say, for example, that you already have a TV in every room of your house, but no Blu-Ray player. So you decide you want a Blu-Ray player. You go to Best Buy and ask to look at Blu-Ray players. The salesman tells you "sorry, we don't have any Blu-Ray Players, but I could sell you this beautiful, top-of-the-line, 70 inch HDTV." Are you then going to buy that TV? No. But it's top-of-the-line! It's a great TV! Still no. You already have all the TV's you want. Why would you spend your money on another one? You came to buy a Blu-Ray player. If they don't have any there, it's time to go check Fry's.

        Now, before anybody accuses me of saying women are something you purchase from Best Buy or some other such nonsense, let me point out that the above example is an allegory. The house is a metaphor for your life, and there is only so much room in it. You also need different things from different people, just as you need different appliances and furniture in your house for different uses. For example, you only need one good father, but you will need dozens of teachers during your lifetime. Sometimes, you need a mentor, so you form a bond with someone who can mentor you. Does that mean you want to hang out with them as buddies? No. Does not wanting to hang out as buddies with your mentor who's older than your parents make you a bad person? Of course not. There are only so many social roles to be filled in a person's life. If the role you want is already taken, that's no reason to demonize the person.

        Now, in addition to, but as a separate thesis from the above, I also wish to point out that if you really have strong romantic feelings for someone and they just want to be friends, it can be really painful to hang around them and not have your feelings reciprocated. It might feel like a knife in your heart every time she introduces you to her latest suitor. Why subject yourself to that? It's painful for you, so you will receive no joy from the friendship, plus it's dishonest to both you and her to say you're ok being just friends when you're really not. DNL also made a whole post about that. If friendship isn't what you came for, it's only right to say so and walk away.

    • bathilde

      Good, more guys should do this rather than pretending to be friends (friend zoned) in the hopes of eventually getting her as a girlfriend. Don't let angry women get you down.

  • Spirit

    Thanks for another great post, Doc. I have to say that as a female I find your posts interesting from both sides: I appreciate how you express empathy for the female side of the dating world, but I also find myself taking a lot of the advice that you have for geeky guys–because, after all, geeky girls can be just as prone to awkwardness, poor social skills, and self-pity.

    So I can also vouch for the BS that is "women have it easy" when it comes to dating. I have gone through long periods of nobody expressing any interest in me whatsoever, while finding myself rejected by those who I have attraction for. I often find myself wondering whether I should attempt the online dating scene, but I don't know if I could take the barrage of creeps.

  • One thing that bothers me about so many of the discussions here is how much generalization goes on. While the good Dr. claims to be arguing against generalizing women, he turns around and generalizes men. In almost all of his posts, men are either blinded by entitlement or crippled by low self-esteem and play passive-aggressive nice-guy games. And everyone seems to jump on the bandwagon. While he is correct that either approach is wrong (not just incorrect, but morally wrong), it is not true that every behavior or opinion can be explained by one or the other mindset. Some times guys are nice-guys because that is the way they were raised. They may have been taught that if they are just nice then women will like them. When it doesn't work, they just try harder at the only thing they have been taught.

    It is definitely true that when it comes to MEETING members of the opposite sex – for people of average attractiveness – women do have an easier time of it. Many women will tell you so themselves. All most average-looking women have to do is dress nice, do their hair, perhaps show some cleavage, and stand there. SOME men will approach them. Now that doesn't mean that women are actually dating any of the men they meet. And, unfortunately for the women, often those men who did approach them, and did appear to be a good person, and the women did eventually trust them enough to go to bed with, ended up not calling the next day. So, while women have an easier time with the brief moment of actually MEETING someone, they have a much worse time of it when it comes to the rest of the interaction. Therefore, they become even more wary. That wariness can often be interpreted as standoffishness.

    But, again, what disturbs me is how the Dr.'s diagnosis for any implication that women have anything easier than men, is that it is a sure sign if MES (Male Entitlement Syndrome) rather than possibly just a statement of a very narrowly defined fact.

    Now, from the young men's perspective (the young men who don't even know how to go about accomplishing that very first step) it CAN all seem very one sided. These shy men see less-shy men approaching all kinds of women all the time. They see women exchanging phone numbers with these men. So, it looks as if all the women are getting all the action they want and the cool men are getting their share and the shy-guy's share as well. But what the shy guys don't see is that after sharing those phone numbers, the women have to do a very careful dance to try to filter out the players while not chasing off what may be a really great guy. Those women may never date any of those "cool" men who approached them and got their phone numbers. They aren't doing it to EFF with men's heads. They are doing it out of self preservation. (OK, I have met a few women who readily admitted that they did like messing with men's heads. But that is only about five out of thousands of women I have known over my lifetime.)

    But young men – who don't have a very well developed sense of empathy – don't see those caveats. All they see is that women don't have to go through the agonizing ordeal of getting up the nerve to talk to anyone. Even though some young men may have responded with hateful comments, I seriously doubt the majority of young men – even nerds – hold this opinion. I think most young men merely respond with confusion. They just aren't vocal about it. And to accuse them all of having a serious case of MES does nothing to help them. Just as some young men need to learn to empathize with a woman's situation, I think it might help if we could empathize with what I believe to be the vast majority of young men who are simply confused and need some enlightenment.

    Yes, some women are just out to get laid sometimes. When they are, research shows that they aren't looking for the nice guys. To quote Paul in Paul, "It's evolution baby!" So, if a shy or nerdy guy wants to play the casual sex game, he will probably have to do a lot of work to look and act more like an alpha, as well as actually get up the nerve to talk to women.

    For the rest of us average men and women – people who just want to meet a good person – I think it would be nice to see more empathy from and for both sides of the equation, and fewer accusatory generalizations.

    • emily

      "So, it looks as if all the women are getting all the action they want and the cool men are getting their share and the shy-guy’s share as well."

      Their SHARE?

    • Ik

      I don't think he meant that as an entitlement way, as much as just expectation.

      • Nonpartier

        Thank you, Grant. You said everything I've always wanted to say better than I could have ever said it. One of the things I've noticed in browsing the interwebs recently is that the word "entitled" gets thrown around a lot (mainly from the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy) and its generally used in a fashion that allows the user to ignore the opinions of those arguing contrary to him. To go off on a slight tangent, many game reviewers and publications threw "entitled gamers" and "whiny fans" around without even trying to understand (or caring) why fans disliked the ME3 ending, no matter how civil the responses, how well-thought-out the arguments were, how organized the Retake ME3 movement was. The fans were just bitching and they're wrong.

        Now back to Nerdlove. He seems to assume that all guys, even shy, not-very-socially-skilled guys, are swarmed with women, just not the supermodel 10s they want. "You've got tons of women around you, its your fault you can't get laid because you ignore the less attractive women and only ogle the hot ones!" Well, that just could not be further from the truth. I know several guys who only have male friends, and would be happy as a clam to have even ONE, yes ONE female friend. The fact of the matter is, there are geeks out there who, for whatever reason, ended up bonding only with other guys due to similar interests, social groups, or plain dumb luck, and would be happy just to have a female friend. A female friend not so they could eventually sleep with, and maybe not even so they could end up in a romantic relationship with, but who would be fun to hang out with, who could maybe help them out with girl advice, provide a female perspective on things, and maybe, if they're really lucky, introduce them to the girl's female friends that they could possibly date.

        Nerdlove also seems to assume that men don't like being called creeps because they feel getting attention from a woman is more important than her feelings of personal safety. *Gasp* But what if, just what if, men don't like being called creeps because they dont like the idea of women making quick judgments of them based on an ill-thought-out phrase or garbled words coming out of their mouth before they've had a chance to properly introduce themselves? As geeks would know, its hard enough approaching a beautiful woman, let alone carry an engrossing conversation where every word, every line, is delivered with perfect clarity and appropriate light-heartedness. So when a geek, standing before an attractive woman, with his palms sweating with anxiety and brain functioning at only 28% capacity, mumbles something stupid, not even perverted or threatening, but stupid, he'd rather the woman give him the benefit of a doubt and not immediately scream "GET AWAY FROM ME, YOU PSYCHO! I WILL NOT END UP CHOPPED TO PIECES IN YOUR FREEZER!!" Was that last part a little over the top? Maybe. But I only say it because Nerdlove loves using that hyperbole. A LOT.

        Grant is absolutely right. It does nobody any good to generalize geeks as entitled any more than it does to assume the only thing they want is to to get into a woman's pants. Oh, and all that insight into the geek mind? About what a socially awkward penguin MIGHT be thinking instead of what Nerdlove ASSUMES he is thinking? It came from me. My experiences. Yep.

        • Ginger

          "So when a geek, standing before an attractive woman, with his palms sweating with anxiety and brain functioning at only 28% capacity, mumbles something stupid, not even perverted or threatening, but stupid, he’d rather the woman give him the benefit of a doubt"

          OK. So what's in it for her? I'm not saying it's tit for tat, you give her something and she'll give you sex – I'm saying her desire is half the equation here. If a guy tries to chat me up and fumbles it a bit, but basically seems like a nice, interesting guy, then I'm not going to run away. But if he actually cannot hold a coherent conversation with me then I can't really enjoy his company, and if I can't enjoy his company then…we don't have anything to work with. There is no potential for a relationship to grow. Seriously, I've been the tongue-tied geek too, and I acted kind of weird around people I liked, and they didn't like me back, and frankly I don't blame them because I was not a very enticing prospect. Most sane people don't enjoy being around someone who's terrified of them. It's tense, awkward and just no fun.

          Therapy helped a lot.

          • Ginger

            I meant to add this to my penultimate paragraph:

            And tense and awkward can feel pretty much like creepy, as can the sense of someone reeeally wanting you when you don't yet know if you want them. It doesn't mean you're actually a threat, it just means you're not that great to be around when you're in sweaty-palms mode.

        • stencilsniffer

          This is an advice site for nerds who have problems dating. Generalizations are the best way to deliver advice without mile-long disclaimers. Rather than get defensive about being unfairly generalized, it would serve you much better to simply deselect yourself from any groupings you're not actually in, and understand not everything is directed at you. It's hard to hear anything negative about our beloved subcultures, but if there weren't valid criticisms of the Nerdosphere, this site wouldn't need to exist.

    • Paul Rivers

      Grant, you said everything I thought about the trends on this site far better than I've been able to.

      In almost all of his posts, men are either blinded by entitlement or crippled by low self-esteem and play passive-aggressive nice-guy games. And everyone seems to jump on the bandwagon.

      What's deeply ironic is that many of the women who jump on this bandwagon also spend their time complaining that men objectify women, don't care about how they're making women feel, etc etc. I don't know who these "soulless" nice guys supposedly are, but all the nice guys I've known are the very people who care the most about women's feelings and trying to anticipate how their actions will make women feel before doing anything. Then they get attacked more than any other group for it, by the same people complaining that men aren't doing exactly what they are doing. It's weird.

      Some times guys are nice-guys because that is the way they were raised. They may have been taught that if they are just nice then women will like them. When it doesn’t work, they just try harder at the only thing they have been taught.


      For the rest of us average men and women – people who just want to meet a good person – I think it would be nice to see more empathy from and for both sides of the equation, and fewer accusatory generalizations.

      Yeah…I've certainly been guilty of taking an adversarial approach myself a lot of the time, I can't take the high road for me on this one. I wish I could find a site like you describe – that has more empathy towards either side, rather just constantly resorting to vilifying and attack everything.

      • Jay

        Paul, why are you even on this site? I've already seen you link other sites around that you like better, and your comments consist mainly of introducing MRA concepts and vilifying feminists. Why are you still here?

    • Jess

      It's not that all guys are blinded by entitlement, playing passive aggressive nice guy games, or have low self esteem, it's that those three things can be huge problems, and the blog is about fixing problems. Each of those problems are complex and difficult to unravel, so we're talking about them. That's a good thing. It isn't an attack. Relax. Let's all try to understand other people's perspectives.

    • LokiTetch

      I like the Dr.'s articles, but yeah his negative generalizations about all men being entitled and ignorant to privilege and his absolute refusal to admit that women have any sort of advantage in any way is annoying and led me to stop reading him for a while. Of course in general women have it harder in society and experience more discrimination but dating is fairly skewed in women's favour, not that men should give up or get resentful or anything. Women sit back and get overloaded with attention and have to filter out the good guys from the assholes, there is effort involved in making themselves attractive and risk involved if they make a bad choice. Men receive no attention so they have to approach and stand out from the assholes, it's more effort and more risk. Admitting your attraction to a woman and having her say she doesn't like you back is crushing and it's something that women never have to go through unless they choose to approach. Some men get resentful and angry at women over it but we're really just supposed to learn to not care.

  • marzipan

    I feel like my experience might be somewhat relevant here.

    I'm an attractive woman, mid twenties, I get hit on a lot. But the fact is, I'm pretty much asexual, not interested in dating or sex right now and probably not ever. And yes, I've tried.

    But I still go out a lot with my friends, and let me tell you there are A LOT of guys out there who act like just being single and decent-looking but not open to sex/dating is *false advertising*, and it makes them MAD.

    These guys just can't or won't understand that a single woman might not be looking for a hookup/boyfriend – they take the rejection really personally. It sucks. I wish I could say it's just alpha-male types who have this attitude, but it's geek guys too (I have a lot of geeky interests, so most of the people I hang out with are geeks).

    I only mention this because of the "just looking for friends" on Okcupid thing – she might be telling the truth, and it's not about putting up barriers, or thinking you're not good enough.

    So basically, just know that when a woman seems uninterested, it might have nothing to do with you – hell, she might think you're awesome and fun and she'd love to be your friend, but she won't try to be, because she knows you're interested in her romantically and she doesn't want to be accused of leading you on.

    Just my perspective.

    • Whenever someone mentions asexuals there'll be a comment that their numbers are so infinetismal that they don't matter. It's about 2% of population. To put that in perspective, that's a good deal more than the population of Japan.

      "So… where you from?" – "I'm from Japan." – "Is that even a thing?!"

      • GentlemanJohnny

        An interesting number, since it was also the percentage of the population that were "gamers" in the 1990's and roughly the same percentage as neo-pagans today. So yeah, its a "thing".

    • Robert

      marzipan, your comment reminded me of something that happened once upon a time at my old school. It was during class and there were four of us in the class, three of whom were girls (no prizes for guessing who the odd one out is).

      The teacher had left to get something, so the girls started chatting amongst themselves (I wasn't really paying attention to what they were saying, I just wanted to get my work done). Suddenly, one of them said something like "I bet Robert fancies you", and the next thing I know, these three girls are asking me how much I fancy each of them. The first two times, I just told them that I thought they looked ok but I didn't fancy them. The third time, I told them I wasn't interested in getting a girlfriend. One of them asked me why, and I said something about not being ready for one (a fact that I had 'found out' mere months prior to this), which caused even more confusion.

      Had the teacher not returned a couple of seconds later, I might have ended up saying something like "Oh I'm sorry, I forgot I'm supposed to have the hots for every girl I happen to see. And heaven forbid that I don't want a girlfriend right now when I'm 17!" If a situation like this happened today, I'd phrase my response in a less antagonistic way.

      So yeah, the idea of not being interested in dating/sex seems to range from confusing to infuriating for most people of both sexes (maybe with a tendency towards one end of the scale depending on sex? idk). But it sounds like you know all about this already.

      • marzipan

        Yikes, what an awkward experience, I hope those girls grew out of that kind of obnoxious behavior (I'm thinking they must have, or they're going to have a hard time in the adult world).

    • Max

      Are you actually Marzipan from Because that would totally make sense with this comment.

      • marzipan

        I use that username from time to time, so no relation to this post – but yeah, I picked it because I like homestar runner. 😀

  • marzipan

    Don't you know? Japanese people don't exist, they're just a made up thing on the internet. 😉

    • marzipan

      That was supposed to be a reply to Igor Galic, if it wasn't obvious.

  • Max

    I don't think women run into this issue as much as men (if I'm wrong, let me know), but it can be really, really hard to just hang out with someone who you have feelings for.

    It would be like if someone put a delicious cake in your bedroom, but then they covered it with impenetrable glass with holes in it. You can see the cake, you can smell the cake, but you will never eat the cake. Also, you can't just ignore the cake, because it's right there in your bedroom (and before someone says something about me objectifying women, it's a metaphor, calm down).

    If a guy is interested in dating you, is interested in you as a person, regardless of whether or not he wants to be just your friend (unless he's a scumbag who's just trying to get into your pants, but I like to think most men are better than that). Most guys don't want to be Just Friends first, because that means he is in the Friends Zone, a notoriously difficult place to get out of. That's why most guys aim for the Dating Zone, which usually means hanging out together for a while, but with the promise that they'll move into the Relationship Zone if things go well.

    • Kath

      Some women look at this very differently. Like, many of us actually don't want the main thing you think about when you first meet us to be the 'cake'. We would like to engage with you as a fellow human on a non-dessert-related level, and then if both are interested in the respected desserts on offer, investigate a confection-related communication. Like, if the cake were full of high ideals and interesting thoughts but still under a glass case, would you not still want the high ideals and interesting thoughts?

      That's why not being able to ignore the cake is a problem for some women.

      Also, lots of women think the height of romance is marrying someone who became their best friend over time. Because someone who is your best friend hopefully respects you for reasons not related to cake. Which is very important to me, anyway, and I think many women share this opinion. I'm not saying that just because you don't want to be friends with a woman you find attractive means you don't respect them as a person, but it's certainly not communicating to the woman that you feel that way.

      Also somewhat concerned by your use of the word "promise" there :). Prospect?

      • Max

        I was imagining that the "cake" represented an intimate relationship, not just sex. The difference between being friends and being in a relationship is more than just whether or not you have sex.

        As for the word promise, that's why I added "if things go well." There's probably a better way to phrase that, but I think you know what I mean.

      • Ik

        I think that the interesting thoughts and stuff are not inside the cake. They are accessible.

        To hell with metaphors. I know from experience that it can be VERY frustrating to maintain a friendship with somebody you are strongly attracted to, especially if the person seems potentially available but not to you. And some women (due to sexist conditioning to be really meek and stuff?) will keep hope alive in a really annoying way.

      • Patrick

        It makes perfect sense that someone would want to be friends with a potential partner before getting involved on a more romantic level.

        However, guys get some serious mixed messages in that department, and we're often told that if you act like a nice-guy-good-friend, you will get treated like one (i.e. friend-zoned). Dr Nerdlove frequently implies this, and indicates that it might be wise to send subtle cues early on that you're interested in more than just a platonic friendship.

        My personal experience: with both my wife and my ex, the relationship went from 0 to 100 in very little time, with no just-friends phase to speak of (of course in both cases we did become close friends as well as romantic partners). I have also been told by female friends on more than one occasion that it's a big mistake to start out being friends when what you're looking for is a romantic relationship.

        Plus, well, sometimes your friendship needs are already being met elsewhere, and your romantic needs aren't. Any good romantic relationship will also include friendship, but you're looking for more than just the friendship. You want to love and be loved, and sometimes that desire to be more-than-friends gets distorted here as "I want a personality-free sperm receptacle that I can bend to my own will and not have to treat like a human being", which, uh, isn't quite the same thing.

        • Crowbones

          I'm a girl. 2/3 proper relationships I have had really did start off as Just Friends (I was fairly good friends with these guys for over a year) and the other one, well, he was a friend too. He just made it pretty clear when we *started* hanging out more that he was interested in me, but I got the impression he'd be OK with being friends anyway. We did know a lot of the same people anyway.

          Its all about timing. A guy I'd known for a few days and turned down I wouldn't be too bent out of shape about not being buddies with, when it is a few months, or years, that is hurtful and insulting. I'd expect them not to want to see or talk to me much for a while but to flat out say "No I don't want you at all now, bye" is shitty.

          Also, i can't speak for anyone but myself, but when I say "I hope we can be friends" to someone I have known for a little while and turned down I don't mean "I hope we can do lots and lots of things together and go out all the time and call you to gossip and be best buds" I really mean "I hope there are no hard feelings and we can say hi and catch up every so often if we bump into each other and maybe I can invite you to group things occasionally". and that is what I think when people say that to me too.

          "Let's be friends" has a better ring to it than "Lets be acquaintances" (anyway, we were already acquaintances? Maybe I use the word 'friend' more loosely than others?)

      • Tim

        I would disagree. Because from what I've seen in most dating and hooking up is that people express their intentions right from the beginning. Friendships b/w men and women are ok if they develop naturally due to being in the same proximity and having shared interests. You just need to be 'acquainted' with someone to make a move. You dont need to be friends first.

        If you observe people who date a lot, their mode of action is to get acquainted, make their move and quickly move on to another one if the person is not interested.

  • FDr

    Good for you, but there are a lot of women who do feel resentment that they haven't found their man yet. Especially when their biological clock starts ticking; they feel entitled to it too. As evidence, I'd present all of the "why are guys playing videogames and not getting married grr!!!!!" articles.

    • Tim

      These women can usually still actively date and have sex with men. Most of them admit that finding short term companionship and sex isnt a problem. Its finding a man willing to get married thats difficult. Thats why their complaint is usually along the lines of "Men are immature" " the dating scene is full of players and losers" and "where have all the good men gone".

  • Junaid

    I never understood why men like the OP suffer from so much inferiority complex with women. Do they think they'll get some dates with hairy feminists by writing stupid articles such as these?

    • Spirit

      Are you worried that he won't save any of the hairy feminists for you?

    • Max

      Your use of the word "OP" makes me inclined to ignore your opinion.

    • E

      You say hairy feminist like it's an insult.

  • This is perhaps one of your best written articles, Doctor. And given how well-written most of the content is here, that is saying something. I pop on here quite frequently to read these, and this one I just had to comment on as it was a particularly impressive piece. Well done, it was a great read!

    I particularly liked when you were talking about the mindset of being "owed" a beautiful woman as that's something that I see frequently (sometimes I even catch myself feeling that way). I think that perhaps this could provide a possible future article about how a nerd feels when he loses his "Princess" and how he allows it to damage his future relationships (it kinda touches upon things you've done in the past, but it could potentially be interesting).

    Either way: I dug the shit out of the article.

  • Ally

    I wish I wasn't so ugly… I never experience this because guys never talk to me…

  • Matt

    I don't know whether it's entitlement so much as guys being repeatedly told by society that the type of woman they can attract is a measure of how much of a man they are. Not "you're entitled to a woman because you're a man" but "the fact you can't attract an 'attractive' woman shows that underneath you're a less worthy man". It's stupid but it's perpetuated everywhere – I guess it's the other side of the coin that tells women they have to be slim and 'conventionally pretty' or nobody will want them.

    It's much more of a deservedness thing than an entitlement thing in a lot of cases. Even the online dating thing – for a long time I felt like online dating was just paying a monthly fee to be kicked in the nuts. The resentment doesn't come from being angry that these women aren't obeying some implicit command to throw themselves at you – it's because in your head at least, when a woman rejects you it can feel like she's saying "bah! You're less of a human, go away!" nobody of either gender likes that.

    Two other things I'd like to comment on down here about previous posts. Paul Rivers – spot on about female friends, I've run into all the issues you describe. Doc, how's about an article addressing some of these difficulties? I'd sure be interested to hear your opinion.

    The second thing I want to comment on is a tendency I notice and that was alluded to by Grant above and (somewhat by Patrick's comment about female friends further above). It's really easy to swallow the stereotype and forget that guys want intimacy too, not just sex. The hard-line feminist who views everything guys do as adversarial is making the same kind of generalisation mistake that the hard-core PUA makes by looking at women as 'the enemy' (I know feminism isn't about man-hating and correlation is not causation, hopefully you guys get my point, which is that viewing the opposite sex as 'the enemy' and taking any viewpoint to an extreme can be counter-productive).

    • Matt

      ^counter-productive for either sex doing it.

    • Matt

      Argh, one more thing…. I was a little too general in my statement "The hard-line feminist who views everything guys do as adversarial…." For the record I'm definitely not referring to women having to keep themselves safe – in no way are the supposed threats perceived by PUAs as coming from women the same as the real things women need to look out for.

      What I specifically meant was that the person who perceives everything that all men do as coming from an entitlement problem is making the same mistake that a person makes assuming that everything all women do is coming from a place of wanting to have power over men. Both absurd generalizations that IMHO don't hold up to real scrutiny.

    • Spirit

      I've been thinking about this recently, how a lot of the male behaviors that are criticized on here are behaviors that men can feel pressured into. Going against prescribed "masculine" behavior can be dangerous business for guys. Being perceived as masculine is very highly valued in society, and if treating women as sex objects appears to make them more manly, and society rewards them for that, then why would they change?

      I don't know, I think it's a complex issue that's tough to pin down, because a lot of this is unconscious and people aren't all the same and stuff. But I think it's one of the things that makes male privilege so hard to dodge, because it is constantly self-perpetuating like this. The moment one guy seems to be diverging from the privilege code, others are quick to shame him. Which is why it takes more than one to unravel some of those codes.

      • GentlemanJohnny

        On the other hand, let's be honest, people who are openly geeky are already used to being outside the social norm.

        • Spirit

          Agreed, which is why sexism kind of hurts more coming from geeks. You expect it from the fratboy dudebros, you avoid those people and seek out someone who looks like a kindred spirit, only to get the exact same behavior.

  • Paul Rivers

    "Some women will add qualifiers to their profile – that they’re not there to find dates, only friends, that you should only message her if you meet X, Y and Z or if you’re not looking for sex… A common complaint that men have – one that was echoed in the comments on the article – was that this is somehow a violation of the Dating Site Contract."

    You go to a car dealership, they say to you "we don't sell cars here". And you go – wtf?

    You go to McDonalds and order a burger, they say "we don't sell food here". And you go – wtf?

    You pull to the car was to wash your car, they say "we don't wash cars here". And you go – wtf?

    You go to a dating site, and they say "I'm only looking for friends" and "I just signed up to for the questionares!" or "I'm not interested in sex". And you go – wtf.

    Oh wait, the response to that is –

    "If you’re on a dating site – so the implied contract goes – you’re supposed to be willing to consider anyone who stops to email you."

    Gosh, that's kind of a huge jump isn't it? Because that's not what they were complaining about – they were complaining about going to a dating site and finding a bunch of people claiming that they're not they're for dating.

    The problem is –

    "To a woman, saying something along the lines of “I’m interested in meeting as friends, if something more develops, great” means “I want to take things slowly and make sure that the person I meet up with is willing to respect my pace and boundaries.”

    This is exactly what women really mean.

    Many of these guys – like I was – were indoctrinated into a philosphy – that in retrospect is kind of stupid – of actually believing that what women write / say should be always taken seriously.

    They're upset – not for the reasons you claim (at least the majority of people posting comments here aren't) – but because they're brain cannot aclimate to assuming that women are lying.

    The vast majority of the guys writing comments (in my opinion) on this blog would NEVER be complaining if women actually wrote “I want to take things slowly and make sure that the person I meet up with is willing to respect my pace and boundaries".

    In fact, they would *love* that.

    I don't know how many of the other kinds of guys their are, that repeat the nice guy rhetoric but just want to get into your pants this instant without any concern over the girl's boundaries and actual wishes – but I don't think *those* guys are spending their time commenting on this blog.

    • Squirrel

      Your analogy is false. Leaving aside the implication of Dating Website As Retail Purchasing Experience, it's more like you go to a car lot, you point to a car and go "I want to test drive that one!" and the employee says "I'm sorry, you can't, that belongs to someone who works here." And then you go "But WHY can't I dirve it? This is a car lot! There shouldn't be any cars on this car lot that I can't test drive whenever I want!"

      Or you go to McDonalds and demand to be allowed to purchase someone else's burger.

      Or you go to a carwash and they say "I'm sorry, but this carwash isn't designed to handle Smart Cars."

      Or you go into Starbucks and demand to taste someone else's coffee.

      Or you go into a bookstore and whine that you can't buy the book that someone has purchased and sat down to read in the cafe.

      There are plenty of reasons you might go to a retail location and find that despite all ads to the contrary, you can't actually have it your way.

      • Paul Rivers

        Obviously I don't not agree that my analogy is false, but to reflect what I'm saying your analogy doesn't work either.

        For your analogy to work – with the point I'm getting at – is that the car in the car dealership would have a for sale sign on it, the McDonalds would have the item on the menu but refuse to actually sell it to you, the Starbucks would also have an item on their menu then tell you you can't order it, and the bookstore would have a book on the shelf but when you went to buy it they tell you you can't actually buy it.

        If you're uncomfortable with the sales analogy, it's like you invited someone to join your bowling team they say great and come out – then don't want to bowl. And then you ask someone else, and they do the same thing, but there's something odd about it – you get this feeling something else is going on. Maybe they're trying to act like they're better than "those losers" who "have to resort to bowling", or they seem like they want you to talk them into it despite their insistence that they aren't there to bowl, or – the most annoying one – despite not bowling themselves, they don't just sit there – instead they engage other people in intense conversation and act miffed when that person gets up to bowl their turn.

    • Sally Strange


      Women aren't things for you to purchase.

      Comparing us to consumer goods makes you sound creepy.

    • Dr. NerdLove

      “If you’re on a dating site – so the implied contract goes – you’re supposed to be willing to consider anyone who stops to email you.”

      I'm beginning to wonder if you're incapable of understanding sarcasm in print.

      Because that’s not what they were complaining about – they were complaining about going to a dating site and finding a bunch of people claiming that they’re not they’re for dating.

      Guess what? Some folks use OKCupid to find friends and activity buddies. Hence the possibility of only checking "Friends" "Pen Pals" and "Activity Buddies" in "Looking For." Some folks are there just to use the forums. Don't like it? Don't message 'em.

      But you don't get to whine about people not being there for dating. Sorry. Accept that they're unavailable to you and move on.

      Just as being in a singles bar does not require a woman to be willing to talk to or accept drinks from anyone who comes up, being on a site like OKCupid or Geek2Geek -I can guarantee you aren't gonna find that on Match or eHarmony – doesn't require that she MUST ONLY be there for sex, dating or relationships. Dating sites are about facilitating meeting people. Each person gets to decide who he or she wants to meet, why and for what purpose .

      Don't like it? Start your own dating site with whatever rules you like. Require that women MUST respond to each and every man who messages her or risk being kicked off the site. Insist that anyone suspected of being there for reasons other than dating or sex will be banned.

      See how well that works out for ya.

      Many of these guys – like I was – were indoctrinated into a philosphy – that in retrospect is kind of stupid – of actually believing that what women write / say should be always taken seriously. They’re upset – not for the reasons you claim (at least the majority of people posting comments here aren’t) – but because they’re brain cannot aclimate to assuming that women are lying.

      Yes. Women are all liars when they say what they want. There's a healthy attitude for you.

      • Paul Rivers

        I’m beginning to wonder if you’re incapable of understanding sarcasm in print.

        If you're being sarcastic for the bit you quoted, you're right – it hasn't sounded like sarcasm from how I read it.

        But you don’t get to whine about people not being there for dating. Sorry. Accept that they’re unavailable to you and move on.

        Everyone has the "right" to whine about whatever they want. Whether it's productive to do so is a different topic.

        Just as being in a singles bar does not require a woman to be willing to talk to or accept drinks from anyone who comes up, being on a site like OKCupid or Geek2Geek -I can guarantee you aren’t gonna find that on Match or eHarmony – doesn’t require that she MUST ONLY be there for sex, dating or relationships. Dating sites are about facilitating meeting people. Each person gets to decide who he or she wants to meet, why and for what purpose .

        Your analogy would only make sense if I was saying that women on dating sites *had* to respond to everyone (which is a separate issue from simply being frustrated when women don't respond).

        The analogy close to your analogy – is going to a singles bar, and finding a number of married monogamous women there, you'd be like "…why are you here at a singles bar?".

        Don’t like it? Start your own dating site with whatever rules you like. Require that women MUST respond to each and every man who messages her or risk being kicked off the site. Insist that anyone suspected of being there for reasons other than dating or sex will be banned.

        See how well that works out for ya.

        That doesn't relate to what I was saying at all.

        However, if you had some sort of mind-reading device that actually let you start a dating site that only let in women who were genuinely looking to date (not just in it for the attention, the thrill, or to flaky to actually show up), and only let in men that were genuinely looking to date (not just sleep with women) – you would make a FORTUNE. People would pay a thousand dollars a year for it.

        If your magic device could only let in both men and women who were emotionally capable of being happy in a long term relationship – people would pay *several* thousand dollars to join.

        Yes. Women are all liars when they say what they want. There’s a healthy attitude for you.

        No, the important part of what I wrote was the **always** be taken seriously part.

        When a woman writes “I'm looking to make friends” on their profile, you're supposed to realize that between that and that she's lists that she's only interested in meeting men, what she really means is “I want to take things slowly and make sure that the person I meet up with is willing to respect my pace and boundaries".

        When a girl invites you to come in for coffee after a date, you're supposed to realize that's probably an invitation to get physical, and not turn it down because you're not actually in the mood for coffee.

        Women I've been friends with or dated have actually gotten mad at me for taking what they say to seriously or to literally.

        • Jay

          Women I’ve been friends with or dated have actually gotten mad at me for taking what they say to seriously or to literally.

          I'm a woman and I've had women get mad at me for taking what they say too seriously or too literally. It's how a lot of women are socialized and it really fucking screws things up for everyone else. You know what? If someone has that kind of communication problem, that's their problem and not yours. So, respect what they say at face value. That way, you don't run the risk of pressuring or coercing them if you misread the situation, and they learn the lesson that they need to say what they mean to get what they want.

    • assman

      Or the classic: you go to a dance class in which the girls outnumber the guys and you expect that you will be dancing with a girl. But you aren't. Yep that's a real WTF. Girls who go to dance classes to learn the guys role.

  • Paul Rivers

    "The anger generated over the fact that women “get” to spurn men at will is based on the idea that not only do women control all the rules of social engagement but also that men have no choice in whom they might date. Men are forced – forced – to play a numbers game because women have all the power. Men simply cannot sit the game out because otherwise THEY ARE DOOMED TO SEXLESS, IMPOTENT LIVES!"

    …are you joking? Because that's what this blog has been saying for…as long as I've been reading it. In fact THIS post says that – that you're going to put in the effort if you want to date.

    You're contradicting *yourself* in your own post…? Come on.

    "It can take a lot of work to build yourself up to a place where you can actually believe that yes, you aren’t worthless and you have the same right to seek out a happy, healthy relationship as everybody else is.

    But you aren’t owed one.

    There’s a reason why the Declaration of Independence says that the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right. You can and should pursue a relationship.

    But you have to earn it."

    That's exactly what you're saying, if you don't put in the effort.

  • Paul Rivers

    "The fact that he has to compete for those women with people who outstrip him is a source of anger and resentment…toward the women who reject him. It’s her fault for making it harder for him to get what he wants!"


    I don't know about the rest of the people out in the world.

    But the people who take the time to comment on this blog aren't. They're angry because they HAVE been putting in the effort, doing what they've been told they should do to attract women. And it isn't working for them. A lot of times they've been *killing* themselves to be the kind of guy that women have been *telling* them women want – and it's not working.

    This picture:

    Should be "My mom told me that what girls really wanted was a guy who is nice to her and listens to her feelings and problems – and so did tv! And the internet! They all said 'what women want is a guy who's being himself". That's what I'm doing! Why isn't this working?? Everyone told me that women hate pushy guys and what they really want is a guy who isn't pushy and aggressive.

    There's a big difference between someone unwilling to put in the work and effort, and someone who's been killing themselves to be what women said they wanted – they get angry and resentful when they find out that women actually want something totally different than they've been saying.

    • E

      Maybe they do want exactly what they say they want. But you aren't as "nice" as you think you are. Maybe you are, AND THEY'RE STILL JUST NOT ATTRACTED TO YOU.

      Your last paragraph—-you think you're what women say they want. And when they don't end up wanting YOU, your response is to accuse women of all being lying whores.

      Yeah, that's fucking entitlement right there.

      • Paul Rivers

        If you want to write a comment that actually addresses my post, feel free to.

    • Ginger

      OK, first off – women aren't some kind of hive-mind, all wanting the same thing. They told you what they wanted? What, all of them? Give me a break. We don't have secret meetings and issue bulletins, you know. You absorbed some ideas and they may even be good ideas, but they're not the magical key to Being Good With Women.

      Secondly, they're not the key because there IS no key. Nothing is guaranteed to work. Nothing. Women are humans, and humans are not robots that will perform X function on Y command. There's stuff you can do to help yourself – smell good and wear clothes that fit, aim to be your most awesome self, be respectful, be honest, be prepared to understand where the other person is coming from – but there is nothing you can do to guarantee that you'll get a yes instead of a no. Almost everyone wants sex and/or a relationship in some form or other, but not everyone will get what they want, or even a vague approximation of what they want. It sucks to be that person, a lot. It is also nobody else's problem.

      You can make all the effort in the world, and still nobody will owe you sex or a relationship. That's a simple fact. And frankly, there's very little specific advice anyone can give you without having the minute details of interactions that went badly for you. "Not pushy and aggressive" could mean respectful honesty and a willingness to take no for an answer, or it could mean a total inability to even ask a woman out until you're already seething with resentment at her for not magically diving your sexual interest. Or it could mean any number of things in between. Here on the internet, we have no idea what a guy is actually doing, we only have his version described briefly in text. It's not enough to pronounce with total accuracy, "Aha, that's where you went wrong. Next time, do this instead and a successful, mutually fulfilling encounter will ensue."

      Hell, there isn't one answer to please even a specific woman, never mind women in general. I want a kind, clever, funny guy who's probably taller than me, politically left of centre, doesn't drink a lot, like world cuisine. That's my basic list of criteria. The world is full of guys like that! Am I attracted to all of them? No, of course I'm not. But by your way of thinking, I should be, because that's what I said I wanted, right? And it makes a kind of sense, right up until you run into the fact that women are people too, with very specific likes and peeves, differing (and even conflicting) desires, and the absolute right to say no at any time to anybody.

      Not only is there no easy hack, there's no guarantee of anything even if you break your back trying. Sorry. You're not owed sex or love. Anger and resentment are only appropriate when someone's actually done something wrong, and turning you down is not wrong, no matter how many other women have done it too. Sadness? General frustration at the unfairness of life? Sure. But *resenting* women for not wanting you is gross, immature and totally counterproductive.

      • Plotjunkie

        This. A million times this!

      • Ginger

        "Diving your sexual interest"? Erm, that should have been "divining". Go go sausage fingers.

      • Uiley

        the resentment doens't come from feeling like you're owed something. it comes from being treated with a specific behavior from most girls throughout the course of your life.

        i personally feel like girls have a very unrealistic and weird way of looking at realtionships which causes a lot of good opportunities to be filtered out.

        to a guy, every girl is a potential partner worth getting to know. if they get to know each other for a bit and she's not suitable, he moves on. but he's still willing to get involved with most girls.

        but to a GIRL, she must feel that she is special. if the guy doesnt act like shes the only girl out there, he is not interesting to her.

        you do the math. it doesnt add up!

        i find that most girls seem to want their object of desire to be a "story" rather than a human being. like, if theyre attracted to someone, they dont just want to go up to them like a normal sane human being to try to get in touch with him. instead they want to do the classic old "accidental bumping into each other in the corridor" or they want that person to single THEM out because THEY are special.

        but they're not!!

        i think girls need to realize that they're not special at all. they need to FIRST get in touch with the guy and THEN they can start getting to know each other. NO GIRL IS SPECIAL until the guy has LEARNT that theyre special.

        yet, girls expect you to think theyre special and act like there are no other girls out there before you've even gotten to know them.

        i find it so stupid and it makes me really bitter and resentful. ive found out lots of times that girls have told others that they think im sexy or that theyd like to get to know me but that i havent approached them so therefor i cant be interested.

        how can i approach them when i have no clue theyre even interested?? WHY NOT JUST TALK TO ME INSTEAD????


        • stencilsniffer

          Focus on your own behavior and stop wasting time resenting things you can't force other people to do. Anger here is just failed manipulation.

        • latebloomer

          I wrote out something long and incoherent… but I don't know if you're as single as your bitterness implies or not. You sound lonely and annoyed that girls aren't falling over themselves to be with you… but let's face it… if you aren't super hot and have money the girls you'll notice and who are bold enough to make it obvious aren't going to be fawning all over you.

          And a lot of you might find this weird in today's social climate, but some women are looking for a man who will make a good husband and father. I was never out looking for a fling and a boyfriend. I was looking for a man worthy of being my husband. Now, you might think that is conceited, but I also wanted him to believe that I was worthy of being his wife. I wasn't going to waste my time with someone who didn't fit my goal in a relationship.

          And you know what? I did a good job of it, too.

          I also believe that deep down, very few women want to be casual flings or "fun girlfriends". They want a stable, satisfying relationship that fulfills their needs, whatever they may be.

          • Denise

            So true, latebloomer! Hear, hear and I feel the same way

      • Paul Rivers

        …but like the previous post, your post doesn't quite respond to what I actually posted.

        The point I made was that I think was to say I think it's a bunch of crap to claim that "nice guys" don't want to put in the work, and bla bla bla resentful because things didn't fall magically into their lap, when I've *never* seen that attitude. Maybe it exists, but it's not the "nice guys" I know.

        That's just not why they're frustrated. They're frustrated because they bent over backwards to try to consider women's feelings, be respectful, etc etc – and after all that "working on yourself" that they did, it turns out that actually following that advice turned them into someone that almost no women actually want to date.

        The main source of their bitching isn't even that women do or don't want them – it's complaining that they were taught that they were morally supposed to treat a women in a way that turns out to be the opposite of how she actually wants to be treated, and they've often practically killed themselves to get there – only to find out that they were being lied to, women actually want something different.

        The only reason I keep bringing this up is that there's this stupid claim that nice guys expected to sit back and have a woman fall into their lap, bla bla entitlement, bla bla bla bla.

        That's just not the reason they're frustrated. It's the exact opposite.

        I don't mind people saying some of the ideas they were taught were stupid. Or unintentionally manipulative. Ok. Some of them were stupid. For example, it's irritating for people of either gender when someone is waaaaaaaaa to oversensitive about accidentally hurting their feelings. It's like "come on, things are weird when you are super afraid to disagree with me".

        Finally – telling guys that "they deserve nothing" is counter productive, because a guy who doesn't believe that he deserves *a* girl will never be confident enough to actually get one. Again and again "confidence" is listed as something a guy has to have to be attractive – telling him to have no confidence in deserving a girl is not the right direction for that.

      • Denise

        Thank you Ginger!! This is the best thing I've heard… EVER.

    • Matt

      Paul, I totally get where you're coming from about the whole "Mum told me girls wanted…." and "Everyone told me that women hate pushy guys…." I got that message growing up too. But here's the thing; as I've looked back over the last year or so and questioned these beliefs, I'm having a hard time finding the evidence that I actually WAS told those things.

      12-year-old-me watched sitcoms and talk shows about sexism and came away with the idea that women hated pushy men too. So when my mum told me 'Women just want a nice guy' I ALREADY HAD IT IN MY HEAD WHAT 'NICE' MEANT, so mum's lesson was coloured by my OWN interpretation. Nice is such a loaded and broad word and means so many different things and as a youngster I didn't have the experience to discern the subtleties (like the fact that women on talk-shows about sexism are a small minority expressing their views about their particular experiences in a format that's tuned for shock value and vitriol rather than education). So I was the one that decided for myself what NICE meant and that definition was just wrong, or at least incomplete.

      So I don't think it's useful to turn around and say "society taught me this" since, did it really? I remember countless times when I was young that I got GOOD advice but ignored it because I'd already formed an opinion about not being pushy.

      I think sometimes what happens is we take a lesson seen through the eyes of our 12-year-old selves and then forget that what we actually 'learned' was a conclusion that we came to AT THE TIME and isn't necessarily 'how it was'/a fact.

      The questions I've been asking myself – did mum really say "Be really passive and don't offend the girl and don't ever make a move"? No. Did I ask a bunch of girls their actual opinion or I was I just discerning from observation? Discerning from observation. Could I have been wrong? Yes. Were my intentions good? Yes. Were my basic assumptions wrong? Yes. Should I revisit them now that I'm in my thirties? Hell yeah.

      • Paul Rivers

        Matt, you're totally right, you got a lot of different ideas and not all of them were actually the "don't ever risk offending girls" ones.

        But that kind of misses my point – which was that all the "nice guys' did what they did not because they were spineless or whatever other b.s., but because they were trained that that was how they were *supposed* to treat women – nicely. As people. Getting to know them first before asking them out, rather than dating and dumping. Trying to like them for their personality, rather than "God those tits look great! I should ask her out right now!".

        It's true that some of that advice was itself bad, waiting to long, waiting for "just the right moment", etc etc is – not really comfortable for either people, usually. Or maybe people just took it to far.

        So – I don't really disagree with you, I just think that's different than my original point that all the nice guys I've known are that way because they were taught that acting that way was being respectful to women, not because of these b.s. "entitlement" issues.

        P.S. Another funny characteristic – I don't think I've ever seen an actually nice guy tell a girl that he's a "nice guy" or get angry about that part of it. The only people I've seen do that were guys who were obviously jackasses just trying to say whatever they thought would work to get with a girl. It's kind of ironic, really…

        • Denise

          Interesting, where are all these "nice guys" you are talking about? Every "nice guy" i've ever met whined about just how nice he was, just to try and get into my pants… you're right, a truly nice guy wouldn't say that he was, but a truly nice guy, would back off and take no for an answer if he was truly nice, and not be resentful about it and call me a hateful bitch for it later.

    • Everyone is allowed their preferences. As a woman, I don't get bitter that the majority of men are not attracted to me because I'm tall and curvy, I'm happy to wait for the man who is. However, I get so much hate mail on OKC for refusing to date men who don't have a job, have kids, weigh 300+ lbs. Being nice is not enough. It's not even the bare minimum. Would you date a woman solely for being nice?

      • carlo

        Yeva, you miss the point. These men, me included, have been raised their entire life with the brainwashing that"you MUST be nice to women, women like nice guys, you are a potential rapist and your sexuality is the one of a pig, so if you want to be wanted by a woman, you MUST be nice and sacrifice any persdonality you and conform to the definition of men we women think we want". Once you've sacrificed yourself listening to women, not only you discover that women don't like that, no, they hate it to their guts and top it with saying 'you're a spineless men so desperate for pussy that you gave up your own self".

    • Topaz

      "Women" aren't some kind of hive creature, with only one thought, one preference, one attitude shared amongst all of them. I doubt you've had a chance to annoy ALL the women in the world. Yet.

      It is entirely possible that the women whom you HAVE met DO want a guy who isn't pushy and aggressive. That doesn't necessarily mean they want YOU, just because you aren't pushy and aggressive. Maybe they want the guy who lives two doors down, who ALSO happens to be not pushy and not aggressive. Just because you meet two of the criteria doesn't mean you meet all of them – certainly not all of them for all women.

  • Sally Strange

    A lot of these problems stem from the fact that guys and women are trained to treat sex as a consumer commodity dispensed by women for a price to men.

    Sex is a collaborative activity.

    Start treating it that way and you'll have better sex. Possibly even more.

    • Paul Rivers

      You know, on this one I actually agree…

      • Paul Rivers

        …it's not just one gender or the other. They're both trained in flawed ways to think that way.

      • Rebecca

        You "actually" agree?? Of course, you should agree, and with everything that this person has written throughout this post. You're response echoes the whole disparity and unequality between men and women. You've lowered yourself to agree with her. How really condescending of you, Paul…

        • Paul Rivers

          (rolls eyes) I guess I can see how my comment could be read that way, in this case I was *actually* agreeing, in contrast to several of my other comments that disagreed.

  • Max

    Your metaphors don't really work, because of the whole icky "comparing women to commodities" thing.

    A better metaphor would be one of those speed dating things that I'm pretty sure only exist in movies, where you sit at a table and talk to someone for like 5 minutes, then everyone switches. It would be like going to one of those (or maybe a singles only mixer would work, too) and having the woman tell you that she was only here because the chairs were comfy and it was air-conditioned. You'd probably be confused and a little annoyed, right? Because there are plenty of places with comfy chairs and air conditioning that aren't set up for dating. Also, most of the women there are only there because of the comfy chairs and air conditioning, so you feel like you sort of wasted your time (and possibly money) with the whole thing. You might be a little frustrated, right?

    • Paul Rivers

      "… It would be like going to one of those and having the woman tell you that she was only here because the chairs were comfy and it was air-conditioned. You’d probably be confused and a little annoyed, right?"

      Right! That's exactly what I meant (along with the rest of your analogy).

    • Frustrated with the venue that it markets itself for dating but then cultivates a wifi-cafe-style customer base, yes. Completely justified. If the business wants to be a cafe, it should be a cafe. If OKCupid wants to be a site that's about making any type of interpersonal connection, it would be more considerate that they market as a Connections site instead of a Dating site.

      But if you're annoyed that the women spent THEIR money to enjoy those particular chairs and AC because it interferes with YOUR ability to get a date/laid? That's where it becomes an entitlement issue. They are paying to be there and the business owner creates his services to be utilized in such a way. You, as a fellow customer, have no right to demand that female customers only be there if they want to get hit on. Especially because in our culture, many men (#notallmen) consider the [i]entire world[/i] to be a place where women should only be if they are interested in male attention.

      You can ask the business owner to change his business model, but if he refrains? You are entitled to nothing but to take your money elsewhere. It's a free market capitalist economy, homeboy. Takes your money (or ad-sale boosting free user membership) to Tindr or eHarmony.

  • Amanda

    Holy Comments, Batman!

  • Paul Rivers

    I dunno about the rest of you guys, but every time I read this site I get depressed as fuck

    lol, yeah, if you take it to seriously it would be totally depressing, I totally hear where you're coming from.

    If you want a view that's less "change everything about who you are because you're never good enough, and by the way everything bad that ever happens is all your fault", try Hooking Up Smart –

    I'll say one other thing though – a few years back I was starting to get really depressed about everything. I was spending waaaaaay to much time reading the internet about what women supposedly wanted (from the women's perspective) and it was just a bunch of vitrol and hatred, and and I was getting really depressed about it.

    Then I was fortunate to get a job at a company where there was an entire sales department of women that I had a reason to interact with. And I found out that – almost none of them subscribed to any of these hardcore, man-hating theories about "misogyny" and "male privilege" "the patriarchy" – etc etc etc. In fact, most of them actively rejected these entire philosophies as being destructive to their relationships, causing an inability to see other people as – people. It was a HUGE eye opener to me to realize that these topics for women are actually **niche** topics that the majority of them didn't subscribe to.

    It was amazing to me to see that once I was their friend and they trusted me, they had no problem talking about how women were often totally selfish and bitchy. (I mean it was never "them", it was always "other specific girls – lol") – but they didn't that thing that you often see on this blog – always blaming men for the way women behave. They were perfectly happy to blame the guy or the girl, whichever way they saw it.

    My point is – if all you get is the internet, and experiences on dating sites and clubs, you *will* develop a very jaded view of women. But – it's not an accurate view either.

    • stencilsniffer

      You seem over invested in making women the bad guy. You also seem to take it personally when people point out that misogyny exists, and equate that with man-hating. Is there a link here? If I had to guess what was at the root of this dynamic, I'd say you have a strong notion of gender essentialism. If you're not looking at gender as something performed and fluid, it makes total sense that you'd be offended and frustrated when problems with the current state of masculinity are highlighted.

    • Louise

      Paul, “none of them”? “Most of them”? “For women”? You are lumping a diverse demographic into a broad category, and making generalizations.

      Here’s my advice (not to you specifically, I wouldn’t be that presumptuous, just using your words to highlight a point) – take each person as they come, regardless of gender, desires etc. Treat them like individuals, regardless of gender. DO NOT buy into the ‘what women/men want trap’. Even worse, DO NOT buy into the ‘All women/men are…’ trap. DO NOT assume your desires/opinions etc, reflect a demographic, or the truth. People are diverse, even the ones that you can lump into a demographic.

  • Jess

    Just because I hate the arguments that come around about how evolution drives everything about the male sex drive, I'd like to point out that sexual selection has driven some of the most astounding features and behaviors of the natural world. A peacock doesn't complain that his tail is heavy and a female can still reject him even though he has one. He lifts it up and shakes it.

    If evolution creates functionality, sexual selection fills the world with magnificence. Sorry that you feel that pressure guys, but it is literally how the world works, and the world is beautiful.

    • Uiley

      Thanks Jess, that sure makes sexual and romantic frustration a lot more meaningful. I'm glad you can sit here and tell us that the reason why we have to deal with these things is because "the world is beautiful." Sure takes a load off!

      / Sarcasm

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  • Jess

    I just find it amusing that I hear the "we're biologically programmed to spread our seed as far as possible," so dang often in dating context when men want to justify why they just can't be monogamous, but this issue has a far greater prevalence across thousands of species, and yet I never hear, "well, that's nature, time to step it up my fellow men."

    Yeah, there's pressure, but that is what life is, pressure to compete for resources. Saying that is unfair is a waste of energy. Instead of lamenting that you have pressure to become a better individual, we should acknowledge that life is pretty good if we're not fighting for survival and see self improvement as an opportunity not a curse.

    Like I said, a peacock doesn't lament his tail, and when he reveals it, everyone stops to look. It's amazing. The challenge for guys with low self esteem is to realize they all have that tail. You have to learn to show it off. Find your awesome, make it more awesome. Allow that awesome to spread to new areas of your life, and you will have something to share with others.

    And for the record, in spite of what it feels like, both sexes are under pressure to be awesome enough to earn the admiration of the opposite sex. So, use it as a motivator and get on with life.

    • Matt

      Goddamit this page needs a Like button.

      • Denise


    • Paul Rivers

      "Like I said, a peacock doesn’t lament his tail"

      That's because peacocks don't talk.

      Also, peacock tails are often used as in discussion of runaway sexual selection, where traits desired by the female (but not actually helpful for survival) are taken to a ridiculous extreme until finally they reach a point where male starts having them to such an extent that they cannot survive and die.

      The peacock tail is a bit like men liking women with huge boobs – it doesn't have any real world advantage, and if let run amok to far, all women would have to get potentially dangerous surgery just to meet male expectations – that's the human corollary to peacock tails.

      Or with the genders the other way, the Rihanna and Chris Brown kind of situation, where sexual selection leads her to go back to a man that beats the crap out of her. However, when the genders are reversed one notices that there's no shortage of complaining about it, there's no common sentiment (and rightly so that there isn't) that says "everyone should just accept that hot chicks need to be smacked around to keep them in line, it's just like a peacock tail – just accept it and move on".

      • Jess

        That peacock is still around, and earned the admiration of not only peahens, but us. Consequently, until peacocks go extinct, I say that is part of a successful strategy.

        As for girls sticking with abusive men, I really don't understand your argument there. Women stay with abusive men for lots of reasons, but I don't see how any of them relate to sexual selection leading to better and more desirable mates.

  • Peter

    This article is plagiarism. Douchebag.

  • Matt

    You know thinking about it more, I think much of the frustration for guys comes from 'having to read between the lines'. With other blokes, we say something, they say something, they usually man what they say.

    Seeing "I just want friends but if something happens, great" on a profile can cause A TON of cognitive dissonance for a guy if he finds reading between the lines frustrating. I think a lot of the resentment comes from the frustration of thinking "why the hell don't women just come out and say what they mean instead of tip-toeing around everything!".

    Still, it isn't useful to resent women for that. You just learn to read between the lines then get on with it.

    • Paul Rivers

      "You know thinking about it more, I think much of the frustration for guys comes from ‘having to read between the lines’. With other blokes, we say something, they say something, they usually man what they say."

      Well, exactly.

      "You just learn to read between the lines then get on with it."

      You sound like you're new to this, you'll find that if you try it for a while you can get better at it but the dream of being able to read what she's saying clearly *never* shows up. The problem is, it's deliberately designed *not* be to clear. Often it's to avoid other girls figuring out what's going on, and just as often she's lying to herself, or even telling you she's not interested in sex because that's what she's "supposed" to say (and yes, I've known girls who have admitted that they have no idea why they feel compelled to turn the guy down when they're actually interested in you).

      There is no "read between the lines and figure out the system". The best you can do is get better at reading the signals, but then accept that you're going to have to tick some girls off when you make a move on them and it turns out they aren't into you in order to find the girl(s) who *are* into you.

      A friend of mine (who has become much better with women than I am, and is much more interested in sex without a relationship than I man) calls it "plausible deniability" – when she sends a "signal" she deliberately hides it behind a normal sounding excuse so that she can claim/feel that she wasn't "really" hitting on you if she gets rejected, and so no one else can know for sure and give her crap about it either.

      One of his funniest stories is that he offered to continue the evening with a girl who he had made out with several times before back at his place. She tells him "we're NOT going to have sex" he says "yeah" or something similar. So they go back to his place. Make out a bit. Then he decides, for his own amusement, to actually act like he believed her. He suggests that he's tired and she should go. She drags her feet, keeps talking, keeps making excuses about not leaving yet, when he finally walks her to the door says goodnight and closes it, he says the expression on her face was priceless – she just couldn't believe that he wasn't actually trying to push past her resistance to sleep with her, and she was really, really annoyed that he wasn't ignoring what she said and making the moves to do it.

      Someone else posted this video a while back which was pretty hilarious –

      She's not "just' doing it to guys – it's part of her social conditioning to deliberately greet both her best friend and her worst enemy the same way, and unless you know her really well they appear exactly the same. You can learn to read the better – but you'll never learn to read them like a book, because they are *deliberately* designed to be misleading.

      It's not "learn to read the signals and move on", it's "learn that you're going to have to make a move, and sometimes get rejected and have them get pissed at you – it's just what you have to do" and move on.

      • Denise

        What the hell, Paul?

        “She’s not “just’ doing it to guys – it’s part of her social conditioning to deliberately greet both her best friend and her worst enemy the same way, and unless you know her really well they appear exactly the same. You can learn to read the better – but you’ll never learn to read them like a book, because they are *deliberately* designed to be misleading.”

        What is wrong with you? Have you read nothing? Why do you assume that all girls are the same way? “It’s part of her social conditioning?” This is really chilling… I feel like we’ve just taken a step back to the dark ages where we can just make “scientifically proven” generalizing remarks about whatever race, creed, etc. “Blacks are just less intelligent” to “Jews are devils” to “Well, you see, it all comes down to a woman’s social conditioning; they just can’t help that they ALL don’t know their minds are manipulating EVERYONE, even their own best friends!” This is the mindset echoed by Victorian and Edwardian “doctors” and “social psychologists” of decades ago! I really hope more guys today don’t think like you, because honestly it’s frightening and that’s enough to turn ANYONE off (male or female), and maybe this is mean, but no wonder you’re having trouble.

      • Matt

        I dunno, too much generalization. How do you know the girl in his story just didn't change her mind? Or maybe she just wasn't confident enough to come out and say she wanted sex? Maybe SHE had been conditioned against it like you say, sure. Doesn't mean that ALL women are like that. Everyone's an individual.

        You're right you can't learn to read everyone like a book, that's not really the point though. So what if you think a girl likes you and it turns out you're wrong? Like you said, it's what you have to do to find someone that's into you. I don't see it as fair or unfair that we have to do that; as Denise points out below women have to do that too.

    • Denise

      But girls have to "read between the lines as well"… I find it so frustrating, and this is the main porblem that I'm seeing with a lot of the posts on here, is that it feels like many of the guys on here keep insisting that they either have it worse than women, or their problems are different. Do you know how many guys give off mixed signals that confuse the hell out of me? Do you think you're the only one who feels like you have to mind read? Stop thinking that your half of the population ONLY has these problems, BECAUSE, YOU DON'T.

      • Matt

        Yeah, that's true too, good point.

  • NekoOnna

    Fascinating post, fascinating comment thread. I came here via Pandagon, so I am obviously a feminist, looking through a feminist lens. I really feel for nerd guys- I'm a nerd girl, and my pain is similar to yours. When I was in HS, I had it pretty rough. I moved to a small town in 8th grade, and I just didn't fit in. I was a typical "brainiac"- on the debate team, loved politics and sci fi, read like crazy, etc. That was not going to attract the guys in that town. And I couldn't hide it- I was a full year younger than everyone in my class because I was skipped up a grade, so it was totally obvious what I was. Cue strains of teen angst. I really felt unlovable, and worried that I would eternally be alone. I got to college, though, all of that changed. I was suddenly in a place with lots of nerdy guys who thought I was dandy, and I did just fine. Looking back, I realize things changed for a lot of reasons- the available pool of partners increased exponentially, I was in a place where my liabilities became strengths or non-issues, possibilities for meaningful social interaction increased, I kicked off my teen angst gloom because I was basically a kid in a candy shop and loving every minute of it- but most importantly, college was a place where the old gender stereotypes broke down considerably, and I was able to be the pursuer, not just the pursuee. The sexual politics of traditional gender roles are the enemies of nerds everywhere- male and female. Those rules favor the people with a lot of traditional gender traits we tend not to have, and punish us for our strengths. Wanna do better with girls? stop treating them like things. Reward them for pursuing you and being honest. There is tremendous pressure on females to feign disinterest because that is the "traditional" role. Turn the tables, and show interest in the girls who are brave enough to show interest in you. Don't like the games? Don't play them. Don't like unrealistic beauty standards? Don't have them. Want girls to see you for the nuanced, fully rounded, awesome person you are? Look at them the same way. Whatever you do, don't "slut shame" the girls who are brave enough to be forward, or take advantage of them. I think Dr. Nerdlove is dead-on when he talks about shedding those old assumptions- for both sexes.

    • latebloomer

      It doesn't help that women who don't want to have sex before they are in a stable relationship are ridiculed for not wanting have sex. Both men and women do it. It is annoying and frustrating. People look at me like I am crazy for only ever having sex with my husband. I am less of a woman for not sleeping around and having casual sex. I would be shamed if I did. Can't win for losing.

      • NekoOnna

        Yeah, damned if you do, damned if you don't. That's part of the old framework that's got to come down.

  • Benjamin Gunn

    The prince charming complex is the exact same thing as a man's expectations for a "babe" but it seems hypocritical of anyone to deny the connection between physical and emotional relationships. Women expect things in the midst of relationships too because they require co operation or they expect the next person they date to have certain attributes based on personal traits or past discrepancies… just like men do. This unfortunately narrows ones compatible matches, meaning it may take longer to find a spouse… which people of all different varieties seek.

    We are all owed something in any social context. We're owed common courtesy, consideration, emotional support. I am not owed a beautiful Woman but I am searching for a Woman to love me which includes being owed an aspect of fidelity (to be discussed) and honesty and consideration as anyone in any satisfying relationship deserves, be it friends, lovers, bf's/gf's spouses or otherwise.

    Entitlement is a 2 way street and has more to do with personality type than sex. Yes, men are socially expected to be the pursuer but that cant be the responsibility of an entire sex; if you'r interested in someone talk to them… even if it is awkward, it's good practice AND DONT EVER DISCOURAGE IT!… unless someones is blatantly rude or insulting. For some people it's really difficult to be themselves in the face of attraction. Let them down easy if you must and be honest, most I know appreciate polite critique. We're all Entitled to a recognition of our sense of self and we'll all keep looking for that until someone gives it to us.

    Just because you look a certain way or are charismatic in class or sports or whatever it may be, doesn't mean that that person is comfortable around the opposite sex. Often I force myself to say something to a woman I find attractive and I'm sure it sounds forced and mundane, like a pickup line but if I want to meet someone there's no other way but to talk to them. I am not myself in the face of attraction but I try and hope that someone will take the time to get to know me. I have never had a Woman initiate conversation in an uncomfortable silence but I have had gay Men break the silence to try and meet me.

    Personally I have found this blog sexist and part of the problem why people hesitate to initiate. I hope that you and everyone you've either encouraged or discouraged finds a lifelong social partner who'll accept all of their awkward fumbles or graceful poux pas'.

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  • asdfasdf

    I find it quite funny how you can claim men have their standards to high while at the same time dismissing that women may have their own standard to high.

  • Hilary

    As a woman, I totally see the entitlement here, and how destructive it can be.

    But if I may say, I see the exact same thing among women.

    As women, I've been taught that I'm owed a sensitive, smart, sexy, attractive, and rich husband. That it's men's job to look past all of my flaws – both physical and emotional – and see the true beauty inside. If a boy I'm interested in is showing interest in anyone else, it's because she's a fake-titted bitch who must not have any personality or intelligence and men are just too shallow and stupid to appreciate an intelligent, sensitive woman like ME. And once any man crosses me, all men are douches. Now he's are still required to offer me his hand in marriage but it's now also his job to "break down my walls" and prove me wrong about all men.

    Now I'm not trying to say that every woman is like this – I don't actually feel this way – but neither is every man; it's an ugly, entitlement driven attitude that both genders can suffer from. And it doesn't look any prettier on women than it does on men.

    • I troll around on this social network site called, so I can attest to how dead on that attestment is…there are some WICKED people on that damn site that are the polar opposite of what DNL preaches here. My "filters" for the little news feed is for females only, so yeah. There are dem shallow bitches who decree "ALL MEN ARE DA SAME ASSHOLES" everytime they go through their first high school break up…in college…or beyond…

      Some folks just need to grow up/

  • Glides

    It goes both ways. Both men and women have a certain sense of entitlement about relationships, and I've seen evidence of both. Women are taught to value marriage and men are taught to value sex, that simple. That's not to say that it's wrong for either to do the other, but you get the idea, it's a society thing, not a moral thing.
    Although I gotta say that these articles are making me feel better about myself all the time. I never even realized how awful relationships were until I went on this site (Just a joke, kind of).
    I may be forever alone, but at least I'm going to get good advice and some laughs out of this site.

  • Saywat?

    *Place fist here, bro.* Suddenly: Broken computer screen.

  • Spike

    Of course life is unfair little Miss-Androgynist with little intellect past her own ego-centric view of the world!
    It was unfair that women did not have the vote. It was unfair that they could not own property. It was unfair that they could be beaten at will by their husbands or burned at the stake for being a witch. All these things and more still exist in the world and they are morally and socially wrong yet we choose to address them in the West and move forward for everyone's benefit . As is your feminist-centric view of the world morally wrong, all you have done is shift your mindset to where men used to be and relish it. It comes across as nothing but considered spite!

    Your sex bemoan that men emote little and are undemonstrative, yet when they do you delight in punishing them! To paraphrase Shakespeare "What a piece of work is (wo) man". Welcome to the world you create and a lifetime of loveless nights. Reap what you sow!

    I had twenty wonderful years with my lovely wife because we treated eachother as human beings. You could learn a lesson from that!

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  • DanicaShroud

    Once again, I love that this issue is being discussed–it's not the first time I've seen it talked about, but this is definitely the most in-depth article I've seen. To address the issue of women being "lazy" and making guys ask US out, let me say that is total bullshit (please let me say it, I haven't been allowed to before). I used to ask guys to do stuff–friendly, non-date stuff–until I was told that I shouldn't do that because I appeared to be "chasing after" or "throwing myself" at these guys, that I came off as desperate, and would drive them away. This is the stigma that women live with that apparently a lot of guys don't understand. We're still looked down on if we ask a guy out (to do practically anything, really). I suppose this ties in with the idea mentioned in this article, that women don't have to ask men out because they can get sex whenever they want it (because sex is the ultimate goal, of course), and so any woman who does ask a guy out either isn't accepting her "role" or doesn't fit in that role for whatever reason (she's not the prettiest, usually).

    Just wanted to respond to that part of the article. Thanks for that chance!

  • Tim

    It is difficult enough to attract average looking women, let alone the 9's and 10's.

    When a man complain about sexual frustration, it is very likely he would've dropped his standards reasonably low to consider a very large pool of women. I dont believe the guys whining in the manosphere are simply whining because they cant get the 9's and 10's. They are whining because they cant even attract ordinary looking women who might well be their equals. In which case their whining may have some merit.

    The unattractive men who feel they're entitled to hot cheerleaders usually only exist in Judd Apatow movies and sit coms.

    • eselle28

      Ordinary looking women end up dating and marrying too. Most of them aren't ending up with amazingly gorgeous men. They're saying yes to somebody. Beyond the basic number theory stuff, there's always going to be some noise in dating. People have types. People have personality preferences. People have lifestyle preferences. Sometimes it works in a man's favor, and sometimes it means things won't work out. And men have those preferences too – not every average-looking man is willing to date every average-looking woman.

      Also, while I wouldn't say that there are many characters from Judd Apatow movies walking around, I do think there are a lot of men who expect their partners to be thin (even if they are not) and younger (in the case of men past a certain age, sometimes substantially younger). In some cases, those expectations end up eliminating many of the women who would be interested in them. Which is fine, but tends to make complaints about no women wanting to date them a bit irritating to women who are seldom asked on dates.

      • Tim

        I can only say that I have no sympathy for men who except to attract women much more attractive than themselves and complain when they fail.

        But I can assure you there are countless men out there who struggle to attract ANY women at all. Its quite an epidemic and the issue does require to be considered with some compassion.

        It is tempting to open the can of worms here by making comparisons b/w the grievances of men and women. The less attractive women who are seldom asked on dates may have it much better than the 'whiners' who never get asked at all, for instance.

        • eselle28

          Let's at least be accurate here: there are men out there who struggle to attract any of the women who they approach. Some of them are approaching a wide variety of women. Some of them are approaching a narrow band and perhaps not a very well-chosen one. Almost none of them are approaching the least desirable women in the dating pool (which is fair, no one should have to date anyone they don't want to).

          I can have some sympathy for these men who have trouble finding compatible partners without thinking that they're entitled to have the women they want return the feeling.

  • qwf

    This is very, very true.

  • Gil

    Interesting article. I half-agree with and half-don't. However "deserving" is also a word closely related to entitlement. People don't "deserve" anything either. It goes back to loser guys looking at Charlie Sheen with his two "goddesses" after the fallout from "2&1/2 Men". It could be argued he isn't "entitled" to beautiful women nor is he "deserving" as that would confirm his status as a Super Alpha Male. Nonetheless he has earned their love and companionship (and sex).

  • This was totally written for all of the dudes who reject/use/mock me because I am fat sex worker. They don't even realize they are what they loathe. You're the same beast, and you pursue relationships to improve your image, not your life. So sad.

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  • Sun

    Anyone who starts with "You aren't owed anything" gets deemed as retarded and is outright ignored by me (and anyone with half a brain). This is touted so much (many times by Feminist trash), that it is nauseating. People should seriously just stop reading after that and stifle readership.

    This Dr. Nerdlove is stupid and love to set up strawmens and stupid rhetoric.

    • Okay I'll bite. You object so you must have reasons.

      What things are you owed?

      • I like Nerdlove generally, but I roll my eyes when feminists talk about male privilege, it's more of a dogma that they spit out more than a coherent thought. When men get angry at women for not reciprocating their feelings, it is NOT an example of entitlement. There is no link that can be made logically between men getting angry and entitlement and feminists need to wake up to that.

  • A while back, out of nowhere I received a message from a Facebook friend. I knew this guy from an old job of mine, he was hired as a supervisor but left after a few weeks. Anyway, apparently we shared some classes in high school and he was talking about how he always had a crush on me, and he gave his phone number and asked me to text him. I sat there for about thirty seconds trying to figure out how to respond. I had recently moved several hours away for college and wasn't interested in any long-distance relationship. I also didn't know the guy very well and the news of his crush on me was pretty sudden. After the thirty seconds had passed, he said "okay, or not". No time to think about it, barely any time to respond. His response didn't seem so bad… Until immediately afterward he posted on his Facebook page about how women are too mean/finnicky/whatever and he was getting sympathy from his friends and family.

    So, guess I dodged that bullet.

  • brian

    This is true for those that it applies to. As for the rest of us, we try, get rejected, which further lowers our already low self esteem. And we dont always “reject women we deem not good enough” sometimes we accept them, then they change their minds quickly once we make some mistake. Also, why do you adamantly defend women for naturally wanting to choose who they have sex with, while attacking men as having too high of standards when they do the same? This is obviously a sexist feminist article

  • All

    To be fair, the whole being "just friends" or "more than friends" can be hazardous. If the girl isn't interested, then the friendship is well and truly over. Far less hazardous to simply try and date/have a relationship with a girl you don't previously know/aren't that close to. Also, as for the whole "nice guy" thing, I was brought up on women complaining that "men are (insert insult/accusation here)" and "where are all the good men", only to get this sort of reply when trying to meet these standards. Frankly, it gets confusing. We men are not mind-readers. If you want "bad boys" then at least try and make it clear. If you don't want "nice guys" then make it clear. As for me?

    OK maybe I've been guilty of a BIT of entitlement syndrome in the past but I've largely laid it behind. What does scare me is missing out on being young and free like my friends, and living with the lifelong regret of not having relationships (or even sex) until my 30s. I've got the idea that I'm handsome enough to meet the "standards" of a relationship with a beautiful and loving woman, but no luck. It's downright confusing and frustrating, and frankly I want to know what I'm doing wrong. It really makes me feel like a freak.

    Also, when I was 12, a girl I knew once asked me out but I was too scared and paranoid to say yes (and she'd been kind of mean to me in the past), only to verbally abuse me and physically assault me for the remaining four years we were in school together (women can be entitled too – just take a look at women thinking they can "have it all" – nobody can I'm afraid). I never hit her back because I was taught not to, but it took a herculean effort to maintain my self control during that time. It kind of ingrained a fear and mistrust of women worse than normal that I've only just recovered from. (It's pretty hard as a teenager to see women as human beings when you're told they're entitled to slap you, kick you, or physically and verbally abuse you like I was – female entitlement?)

    And later I managed to be friends with girls later on, but got loads of guys saying you need to "insult them, be a bad boy" etc when it really always went against the grain for me. I actually have aspergers syndrome, so it makes me more scared that I'll accidentally upset someone. I'm naturally a compassionate person because I was brought up by parents who made me that way, but I do get paranoid that I'll be seen the wrong way because PUAs say if you get it wrong, it's curtains. Usually, as a result, if I get any form of resistance, I just assume the worst and give up on that particular girl.

    I'm not trying to rant (sorry if it comes across that way) but I kind of need to lay my cards upon the table in order to reply to this article.

    Final question to you ladies, if you came across a guy in his mid 20s whose never had a girlfriend, would you say "oh what a loser" and run a mile? Unfortunately I suspect so, but I hope I'm wrong.

  • xyz

    It's complete BS that men get approached all the time too, by attractive or not women. No woman that wasn't a member of my family has ever approached me in my life. Are you suggesting I should lower my standards to the point of incest, sth, which can get me thrown to jail?

    • eselle28

      Men do get approached – not all men, but some men. Unfortunately for the dating market's efficiency, women who approach men are often approaching the same group of reasonably desirable guys. On the other hand, men who approach women also tend to target the most desirable women. People who aren't quite as attractive sometimes need to take the initiative (or be fairly patient) – and that goes for less attractive women as well.

      If women who are members of your family are approaching you for romance or sex, I would say that first you may want to seek out some therapy for what are presumably some terrible family issues.

  • No man

    Wow, what a bunch of ANGER and HATE towards man this article is. I gave up after a while.
    (And after reading several articles, my bet is DR. NerdLove is a woman.)

  • abc

    "yes, women can get laid with minimal effort… but so can men. It’s very simple: men just have to lower their standards… just as women would have to if they wanted sex on demand."
    This this this! I think it is easier to get some random hookup with someone not necessarily that attractive if you are somewhat alright looking and female. However drunken (and probably bad) hookup with random douchebag from club……….well its not exactly the stuff of fairytale endings haha. The main reason it is easier for women to find people is also the way we are taught to behave according to our gender like the author says. There is a culture of men being sexually aggressive and forward, and those qualitites are encouraged in men while women are shamed for them.
    also, men are seen as playes and alpha if they have been with a lot of women, while women are called sluts etc, although this has more pertinence in hook up scenarios than dating, but there is crossover!
    Also I dont think guys understand how uncomfortable unwanted sexual attention is, let me tell you its very verrryyy uncomfortable. I have to say it generally does come off as creepy – possibly because it generally is! It's not just a matter of unattractive men being "creep shamed" too. If someone you are not into just respectfuly and sweetly asked you out or something it would not usually come off as creepy, but a cringy pick-up line or being overly forward? nope! does not help if it is someone much older than you and a somewhat innapropriate scenario

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  • Asdfgh

    I didn't bother reading after the first page, and here's a comment on some stuff on the first page that seemed pretty retarded to me.

    The author declares that life isn't a movie and men aren't owed a (hot, or at least decently desirable, or whatever) woman by the world, like the hero in movies gets after accomplishing his heroic deeds… And also declares that a man shouldn't feel "entitled" to having a woman of "10" quality (and LOL at the hypocritical "I hate rating women, but" thing), unless the man accomplishes something worthy of such women. As far as I can tell, the author actually more or less SUPPORTS the "movie" world view when telling men that they should accomplish something outstanding if they want to have a right (?) to dream of a high quality woman. Really sounds like the same "the prize has to be earned" thing to me, and the author just seems to add "and you're not getting it because you're not good enough, accept it and shut up".

    I'm not going to go into the "you're not owed anything in life (so shut up about your grievances)", "life isn't fair (so shut up about your ideas of fairness)" thing any more than just say that that conservative stance is not quite the be all end all of social politics and philosophy. Just saying.

    One more thing I feel like mentioning is that it looks pretty idiotic to me that the author apparently thinks men don't have a right (?) to get angry about, or even criticize, some behaviors of women such as setting setting certain criteria on men who are "allowed to communicate" with them, or to resent the fact that they're not valued by women (or whoever) as highly as some other men (or whoever), and so on. Seems entirely natural and human to me to do such things when confronted by such circumstances…

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  • Ok, so I agree with all of the "thou shalt not" parts of this post:

    – Thou shalt not feel entitled
    – Thou shalt not get angry at rejection
    – Thou shalt not be adversarial


    And, it is also true that everyone, men and women, should work on their self esteem, live a good life to the best of their ability, and treat one another as fellow humans, not sex prize machines. I'll even add that probably the best bet in finding someone who will be attracted to you, man or woman, is do activities where like minded people are.

    But while it is also true that less conventionally attractive women do in fact have a hard time, maybe harder, than most men, I would argue that average looking men have a harder time than average looking women. My argument, though, isn't about them having power, it's about them having fear.

    I'm 43 years old. Over the course of that time, I've been asked out by maybe a dozen women. I would say I'm average, maybe above average (I have great teeth :^) )

    That's not to say there haven't been more women interested in me than have asked me out.

    During the past year, my finances were in shambles and I realized I had lost sight of what I wanted in a relationship. So I took a sabbatical for about 15 months from dating, relationships, and sex. Over that time, I made a point of observing others and observing myself.

    What I found was that there were plenty of women I would bump into – at events, in restaurants, stores, public transportation – who clearly had some interest in being approached. I even started up conversations with some of them, knowing in my mind that if they were to ask me out, ask for my number, etc, I would be open to it, but that I would not make any moves of my own. I would be respectful, charming, outgoing, but I would not be aggressive in any way.

    In every instance, nothing further happened. There were a couple of times immediately following where I thought "I should have done something," but I reminded myself that it was time I took the reins. However, I wouldn't allow myself to miss out on something if she took that initial risk. But none of them ever did.

    Now, I could have thought (and I admit, sometimes I did) that it was something wrong with me – I said the wrong thing, smelled bad, etc. But as I observed them, I realized, it had nothing to do with me. Either they were waiting for me, or they were too scared. And I imagine there were at least some who were disappointed, or even went further, and thought they weren't attractive enough, smelled bad, said the wrong thing. I feel a little bad about that, but such is life.

    For a time, I was convinced that women had to start asking men out.

    I haven't changed my opinion: if more women asked men out, if they were encouraged to rather than shamed for it, if they were trained the way some men are on how to approach and handle rejection (or success), I truly believe it would solve a myriad of problems.

    However, I also realized that that isn't what is happening today, and that if I didn't want to be alone for the rest of my life, I might retain my idealism, but I'd have to live with the reality.

    I'm still working all of that out.

    But I definitely believe that a lot of anger on the male side, and confusion on the female side, would be greatly reduced if we made the decision to change society to encourage women to ask men out more. Men would better understand what women have been going through, and vice versa. Women would be far less likely to be outright mean to a man approaching them (and I don't mean just expressing non-interest). Men would be far less likely to react angrily when they are rejected.

    We seek equality. I think it's a good goal, and I think that equality in dating, which hopefully will happen someday, is a big component to solving what remains of inequality in genders today.

    In the meantime, though, we all need to rethink how we meet people, why, and how we react. Nobody is entitled to anything: men need to get rid of their rage, and women need to get rid of their fear.

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  • Dennis

    No men aren’t entitled to sex, affection, dating or a relationship. Someone take this take this as I don’t owe them anything including being decent and treating them like a human being. I think everyone make or female is owed that consideration. Also every time it seems a guy is only looking for a relationship and not to be friends someone is immediately shouting sex. Me personally I’m looking for a relationship and something meaningful I’m not looking for sex. I think people have a hard time being upfront. I think both are equally true creep shaming and guys who are genuinely creepy. Also, women feel just entitled as men do seems like the article and comments are only telling men they are wrong for it. That being said the whole men thinking they deserve perfect tens. Women who start getting so much attention they start to believe they are entitled the same way that these guys are. I know when a girl is out of my league. I also know when they are delusional.

  • KaranSjetsCat

    Frankly, the concept of a "male entitlement to sex" as a phenomenon concerning a majority of men is total bullshit. It's a perfect example of the problem, that all these discussions around feminism, nerds, nice guys, male rights etc. are just projections of the good old "battle of the sexes" going way back past any emancipation movements. And real political issues and goals don't seem to matter anymore in gender debate.

    In my view, women and men are different, not talking about biology or cultural influence here, just the daily experience. I experience women and men behave differently and recognize these differences in group thinking and acting. These differences can make interaction between men and women difficult, sometimes annoying. Men tend to see just their side, the same with women. Frustrated people project this annoyances in false or even bullshit theories like "all women have it better in dating" or "women want to be treated badly" or "men always chasing pussy, never want to commit" etc.

    But still, to me, there is no concept of any entitlement to sex or a relationship, not today and doubtfully in patriarchal past with it's courtship rituals and severe concepts of social hierarchy. Maybe the duties of daughters in arranged marriages, to "produce offspring" can be interpreted as kind of an entitlement of the Husband. But can we know, that it necessarily always was felt that way and is such a concept of any relevance in a society, built on ideals of democratic free choice.

    Just wanna say that I NEVER MET ANY MAN, WHO SINCERELY TOLD ME, THAT HE'S ENTITLED TO GET A WOMAN AND MY PARENTS SURELY DIDN'T TEACH ME ANYTHING IN THAT DIRECTION NOR DID THE PARENTS OF ANY OF MY FRIENDS. Just because frustrated guys and bragging Bullies, Wannabe-G's and Pimps saying stupid things, doesn't mean, that there has to be some kind of entitlement concept programmed in their personality. And if you really think, media and pop culture promote that, then you have no goddamn clue about the basic concepts of western cultural traditions. The hero get's the girl, because she CHOSES him, not because some institution give her to him as an entitled reward. In a sense, the girl herself rewards him for his heroism by falling in love with him. There is however a concept behind it: A man has to earn the love of a woman by proofing himself worthy, meaning proofing his manhood in manners of courtship rituals. This concept still has some influence today, it is in fact are shining trough your text too. These hero stories however shouldn't be seen as commentaries of reality, but as fiction, imagining an ideal world. I think most people can distinguish the both, therefore i see no harm in that. Don't wanna say, that such traditional ideals aren't problematic at all, but their impact on modern life in western societies seems exaggerated to me.

    By the way: Women say stupid things and can follow bullshit ideas too. Stop lecturing guys in this moralized way and stop playing the white knight in shiny armor yourself. Women don't need your Protection.

    Have a nice day

  • Jabrosky

    There ARE too many men out there who blame the entire female sex for not dating them, but this isn't an exclusively male thing. The ENTIRE fat-acceptance (er, "body diversity") movement that has hijacked Third/Fourth Wave feminism is the female equivalent of those irritating neck-bearded Nice Guys. They have the same goddamn mindset: blame the opposite sex and/or society for their sexual frustration rather than getting themselves into better shape. Let's get real, if you want sexual intimacy, then taking care of your physical health is the prudent thing to do. After all, the very reason physical attraction evolved in the first place is to filter for healthy (and by proxy reproductively fit) mates.

    I don't know about this particular blog, but the attitude so many pseudo-feminists show on the topic of physical attraction is excruciatingly hypocritical. Yes, men who hate women for friend-zoning them are assholes. But so are women who whine about how men are shallow (or brainwashed by "conventional beauty standards") for not sticking their dicks into them. And I'm disgusted that you don't realize that.

    • A_Side_of_Salt

      Yeah, there are asshole women out there hiding behind legitimate movements such as feminism, but they aren't quite to the same epidemic scale as the "Nice Guys," nor are they as dangerous. I don't remember any mass-shootings from under-sexed women.

      As for your statement on how weight factors in to attraction, let me just point out the "BBW" section on most porn sites.
      Everyone is attractive to someone, which is why you should only change your body if YOU want to change it.

    • KaranSjetsCat

      In my over 30 years, I knew exactly one guy, who had a "nice guy"-phase of about two years. The overwhelming majority of men between 20 and 40 years is or was recently in a relationship and therefore, all the possible common "normal" relationship problems aside, usually don't feel that unattractive to get that kind of a victim-complex. Even a lot of the so called "nerds" i knew, got a partner or at least some sexual experiences in there mid- or late-20's. I hear a lot of shit-talking about relationships from both men and women, but just don't see a serious systemic issue, comparable to wage-gaps or lacks of female or minorities representation in political, economical and cultural elite. Or we could at least discuss really reactionary discourses that refuse to die out, like the infamous "men can't be real men anymore nowadays" or "evil liberal teachers oppress boys from living out their 'real nature' in schools".
      But what about the Nice-Guys of OkCupid? My god, how fucked up has someone to be to whine about his miserable love life ON A DATING SITE PROFILE! So why should they be relevant? And then to link the motifs of some psychopathic murders and a mass shooting to a profile of male cultural psychology is outright disgusting and offensive. It's simply and plain misandric.

      And your comment about the fat-acceptance and body-diversity-movements seems rather rude. Sounds like you have no imagination, how psychologically devastating it can be for people to be shamed or feel ashame for their bodies. As if these movements only are about "nobody wants to fuck me"…

  • Labyrinth reference.

  • N3rdyGirl83

    I doubt anyone will read this since the post is from 2012 and there are already 5 pages of comments, but here's my experience:

    I'm a girl (32 years old, limited dating experience), and I've spent time on dating sites off and on since my early 20s (I'm in an 'off' season while I work on some personal development). In my time on them I've noticed two things:

    1) guys I message (who are usually guys I'm interested, but not the hottest ab-tastic guys that men seem to think all women want… in fact I avoid these assuming they are shallow and/or 'dumb jock' types… which isn't really fair to them, but I digress) rarely reply back (I assume because I'm not 'traditionally beautiful', but they could have been swallowed into an alternative dimension), OR, if they do, the conversation usually fizzle out after a couple of replies (I'll admit, I'm not the best at conversing, so maybe I bore them?)

    2) Those guys that do contact me (without me initiating contact) are usually sending out messages to dozens (maybe hundreds) of girls at the same time, just hoping to 'get a bite'. If I do actually show interest, I'm usually disappointed when the guy didn't even want to go out with me, he just thought he'd put in some of the 'ugly' girls in his spamming, but he's really holding out for the 'hot girls' that he really wants to date/sleep with.

    I have had a few offers for no-strings-attached-sex on these sites, but it's not something I'm interested in… so, maybe I'm a bitch because a few guys out there wouldn't mind using me as a fleshlight, but I'd kind of like to limit 'the sex' to something I would enjoy and/or to be with someone I actually want to hang out with when he's not getting off.