Paging Dr. NerdLove Episode #06: How Your Attitude Affects Your Dating Life

Ever realize just how much your attitude affects your dating life? Are you letting self-limiting beliefs and negative attitudes towards women and dating hold you back? Dr. NerdLove talks with Pandagon’s Amanda Marcotte about this surprisingly common problem.

Got a dating issue that you need Dr. NerdLove’s help with? Call (512) 522-6513 to record a question for the podcast.

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  • Jules

    While Amanda offers some insights, I find the continual harping on how terrible things are on a daily basis for women to be rather annoying. Of course, you are guilty of the same.

    I am not saying women do not face some challenges. What is quite interesting is this fact: the majority of the "damage" done to women is done by bad boys or alpha males! Why do you NOT point this out.

    What she is really saying is women feel ALL men have the potential to do harm. Yet, it is the very men that women are biased for that do the most damage to them.

    Finally, this might sound a bit picky. Why does she seem to think everything is so funny? She laughs and giggles at almost everything. She just laughs too damn much. It becomes very annoying.

    • The Simple Man

      Oh look at you, blaming women for going of guys you deem as bad boys and alpha males. Yeah your not really listerning are you? With your comment is not surprising!

    • Rena

      You really weren't listening were you? At least not with open ears. I'm so tired of this "women are biased towards the bad boys" rhetoric. It's bullshit. Like they pointed out, women are a varied bunch and are attracted to varied qualities in people.

      Why do you care so much if she laughs? What does it matter? This focus on how women come across is friggin insane! If she spoke with a more serious tone you'd probably be calling her a hateful bitch or something. I remember reading an interview or article with Anita Sarkeesian (FeministFrequency on YouTube) a while back where she had to be careful about the tone of voice she chose to use on her show, and how she delivered lines. Too high/feminine/fast/disbelieving/whatever she'd be called hysterical, shrill, irrational, etc. Despite making a really conscious effort to keep her voice and delivery calm and in the "mid-zone", people still comment endlessly on her voice and execution (I'm talking specifically about these things) as being hysterical, robotic, shrill, and the list goes on. A common comment on female critics usually goes something like: "while I appreciate what she tried to do, if she had come across as less angry, or too-airheaded (often their synonym for feminine), I'd be more receptive..blah blah blah." This is an attention to detail I always see applied to women who address problematic issues, especially as it relates to male behaviour.

      • Robert

        "A common comment on female critics usually goes something like: "while I appreciate what she tried to do, if she had come across as less angry, or too-airheaded (often their synonym for feminine), I'd be more receptive..blah blah blah."

        This actually got me thinking for a moment. When it comes to how right or how valid your argument is, how relevant is stuff like tone of voice and body language? Because I always thought the answer was not at all, and that the only purpose for those things was to facilitate communication (which is still a pretty damn good purpose). Yet apparently people are dismissing other people's arguments as invalid because the arguer came across as a lunatic. Isn't that just ad hominem?

        • Dr_NerdLove

          It comes up most often as a way of dismissing women. It's not very often that you will hear a man (or at least, a white man) criticized for being “too angry” or “too shrill” or whatever rather than discuss the merits of his argument.

      • Jules

        Yes, I did listen carefully to what she was saying.

        Essentially, she did acknowledge that women needed to change in terms of approaching men. However, she thinks it is unlikely given the unique risks women face when encountering men.

        The problem I have is in her world and Dr. Nerdlove's world ALL men are to be feared by women. Hence, men must be dealt with in a cautionary manner. It is just so absurd. This is like a Black person thinking ALL white people are evil because a few (tiny few) have exhibited negative tendencies towards them.

        Yes, women are varied and so are their tastes in men. However, nearly all women prefer a confident man. So, there is a bias in one direction verses the other. Hence, alpha males and bad boys get the nod. A lot of these women will go so far as to have sex with these men while thinking so little of them that they would even date these men. But, these men can have all the sex they want! But, when it comes to man that a woman really likes and desires to be with, the bar is raised for that man to get sex. It's a double standard. And it very wrong.

        But, just because a man lacks confidence does not mean he is not a good and decent human being. Sometimes the person just needs some encouragement. They simply need a little support! What is wrong with a woman saying, "He is good guy. Bit lacking in confidence. Maybe it's something we can work on together…? I see a lot of women not having an issue taking on bad boy projects that usually do not succeed. But, in real life, if a man lacks confidence, he is ignored instead of embraced. Just saying.

        I totally reject this business that so many men are out here doing bad things to women. It is a tiny minority of men. Yet, Amanda Marcotte is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

        Again, I just detected cynicism with the snickering and laughter. No attempt of my part to pick at her because she is a woman.

        • Mel

          1. It's not just a "tiny few" men who have problematic views about women and try to cross women's boundaries. There's actual data The population of US & Canada combined is about 350 million, half of those women, so that's close to 50 million women. Even if every perpetrator assaults 50 women each, that's still a million guys out there sexually assaulting women, just in North America! And that's specifically assault–far more men may never outright assault someone else, but still think it's okay to keep badgering a woman after she's indicated she's not interested, or to get upset if she doesn't want to talk to them, or to pretend to be friends with a woman solely in the hopes that eventually she'll sleep with them.

          You aren't noticing it because the men aren't doing it to you. But if you read the comments and posts women have made, you'll see that just about every woman has experienced this, and most have experienced it multiple times from different guys. I've never met a woman who thought all men are "evil", but that doesn't mean we don't have reasons to be cautious.

          2. You don't have to be an alpha male or a bad boy to be confident. Confidence doesn't mean you think you're better than everyone else; it just means you're happy with who you are and what you have to offer. You can be quiet and thoughtful and non-aggressive and still be confident, and lots of women (including myself) like guys who are confident but not alpha male.

          There's a good reason why people tend to prefer being around other people who are confident. You are the best judge of who you are. If *you* don't even like yourself enough to be confident that you'd be a good romantic partner, then why should anyone else think you would be? And if a woman does come along who "encourages" you, then your confidence will be dependent on her, rather than on yourself the way it should be. Which doesn't lead to a healthy relationship at all–no one enjoys feeling responsible for someone else's self worth, and it's hard to stay happy for very long while you're under that pressure.

          3. Yes, women treat different men differently. They have sex with men they're physically attracted to, sometimes even if they know they wouldn't want a relationship with them. (Don't *men* also sometimes have sex with women they're physically attracted to but don't want a relationship with? There's nothing wrong with doing this as long as both parties are consenting, and not under false pretenses.) They may choose to delay having sex with a man they want a relationship with to make sure he's interested in more than just sex, or for a variety of other reasons. They may not want to have sex with some men at all. Sometimes their interest in having sex with a man may be related to how confident or not he seems to be.

          This isn't a double standard. A double standard is when two people who are doing the *same* thing are treated differently. e.g., A man sleeps with five women in a month and is called a stud; a woman sleeps with five men in a month and is called a slut. Same behavior, different response. Treating people who are *different* (confident vs. not confident) differently is simply acting on personal preference. Something all human beings–including men, including you–are allowed to do, and do on a regular basis. You can't make yourself be attracted to someone–feelings don't work that way. So if a woman is only attracted to men who are confident, is asking her to pretend to be attracted to men who aren't confident really a good solution? It seems to me that both the women (who end up being with men they aren't actually attracted to) and the men (who end up with a romantic partner who isn't actually attracted to them–that's not going to end well!) lose out in that scenario. Better for everyone if the men who aren't confident to take steps to feel better about themselves on their own, so that they can actually be confident when they're interacting with women.

          • Courtney

            Dear Mel,

            You are full of win. Please accept this internet high five.


          • Mel

            Ack, I just realized my statistics got eaten. Maybe because I posted a link beside them? The data I meant to give, that those numbers are based on, is 1in 4 women in North America will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. If you google "sexual assault statistics", it'll be on one of the first sites that comes up, based on multiple government studies.

          • Jules


            #1 Bogus! Every one man is NOT assaulting 50 women. No where even close.

            #2 Narcissistic. Just because a person is shy and lack confidence does not mean he or she "does not love themself." Enough of this narcissistic "I don't love myself enough" crap. Teamwork often means helping others improve. It is NOT always a dependency.

            #3 Men and women can screw whom they wish. The double standard is when women make sex easy for a man whom they will not even date but for a man they wish to be with such a man must earn sex. The bar is raised. In essence, the man she desires the most is treated as a second class citizen. As a man, I am not going to take a whore to Ruth Chris but take my prospective wife to Burger King. This is exactly what a lot of women do to men whom they really want to date when it comes to sex.

            Attraction is a must. I will not argue with you on this point. Regardless of who a woman decided to fuck, usually their is some degree of attraction (even though it may be twisted). However, creating barriers for the man who you REALLY want to date and giving free reign to the physically attractive derelict is twisted in my view. .

          • Mel

            Jules, this is the last time I'm going to reply to you, because you're not even giving me the basic respect of reading what I've written, and you're ignoring my points in favor of arguing about things I didn't actually say or that I've already addressed. All of which gives me the impression that you aren't actually interested in having a conversation or giving any thought to what you believe.

            1. I never said *every* guy assaults 50 women. My exact words: "Even if every perpetrator assaults 50 women each…". I think we can agree that is someone has been assaulted, someone else has perpetrated that assault? The statistics show that 1 in 4 women in North America will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. (I apologize that this number, which was supposed to be in the original comment, was missing. I corrected that in a comment below. It comes from a government website citing several studies, which you can find the link to in one of my comments below.) That works out to nearly 50 million women. Which means either 50 million guys out there will assault one woman, or a million guys will assault 50 women each, or some variation on that. What's clear is it's not just a "very few" men who hurt women, as you previously claimed.

            2. I never said anything about "loving yourself", and I specifically noted that shy people can still be confident. Confidence = believing in yourself and your worth. Believing that you're a human being with some worth is not narcissistic. If you aren't confident, it means you don't believe in yourself. So I'll ask again, if *you* don't believe in yourself… why should someone else do for you what you won't even do for yourself?

            If you're using some non-standard definition of confidence, then perhaps you should define it before getting into debates about it.

            3. I defined "double standard" for you. Treating different people doing different things differently is not a double standard, not matter how many times you say it.

            Also, I know lots of women, and I've never known any who slept with guys they didn't actually like while treating guys they did like as garbage. I'm sure it happens, but it's far from the majority of women. If all the women you know do this, then maybe you should stop associating with such jerks.

          • Catiline

            Or, just maybe, women who do this don't feel that they have to be completely emotionally compatible with their casual sex partners – after all, they aren't intending to be in long-term relationships with those men. For men with whom they might like to be in relationships, they may take things slower, and get to know them more before having sex with them, in order to build an emotional connection.

            I'm not saying that's the only right approach, but it's certainly one logical approach. Sex isn't a reward women dole out to men. It's not at all the equivalent of taking your date to a fancy restaurant.

        • LazieLizzie

          Going by your logic, parents should stop teaching their children not to talk to strangers unattended because it's statistically unlikely for a stranger to be a pedophile or kidnapper.

          The only thing I know about a strange man is that he is significantly taller and significantly more powerful than me, and there is little to nothing I could do to stop him from hurting me if he so chose. Therefore all men are a threat until they prove otherwise.

          "This is like a Black person thinking ALL white people are evil because a few (tiny few) have exhibited negative tendencies towards them. "
          No, it's nothing like that. The average black person is going to be just as strong as the average white person, and therefore the average black person is going to be far better equipped to defend him or herself from the average white person than the average woman will be to defend herself from the average man.

          A better analogy is a housecat being cautionary in approaching a Labrador retriever. Statistically it is unlikely for a Labrador to attack a cat. But that does not mean that this particular dog is not one of the few that will try to eat the cat. And yes, a cat is fast and has claws to fight back, but does that mean it can run or fight back fast enough to keep the dog from snapping it in half with its huge jaws? Probably not.

          It would be stupid for the cat to rub up to the dog without first being sure it's safe to do so.

        • Actually, the black white thing is a great comparison.

          No, all white people are not evil. However, all white people have the capacity to inadvertently hurt other races (google "racial microaggressions"). So white people have a capacity to hurt black people in a way that other black people would be extremely unlikely to do. Granted, this is a very minor offense, and black people are socialized out of bringing it up for fear of looking "overly sensitive" but it still is very prevalent.

          This is just like the fact that all men have the capacity to hurt a woman, and it's much more likely for a man to hurt women sexually, than another woman. In this case, however, there's actual *physical pain* involved. So now all of a sudden, it's not surprising that women have developed defense mechanisms.

    • SarahGryph

      Just for the record I've suffered more emotional and mental damage from "Nice Guys" than anyone who could be remotely described as alpha male or bad boy. Just talking from my own experience and close friends but wow, take a "Nice Guy" who "Never Has Luck With Women" and I've seen some horrid manipulation, guilt trips and mind games. I still don't say "all" men are like that; but if you're talking unhealthy relationships and bad interactions then nope, bad boys and alpha males don't have the market cornered there. Anyone of any gender is perfectly capable of being a jerk.

    • Goldfinch

      Amanda complains about hardly anything in this interview, I found most of it insightful.

      I don't think she ever implies that all men have the potential to do harm, just that a large enough minority behave unpleasantly, as to make women uncomfortable with approaching. (If you've ever felt approach anxiety you ought to sympathise with this.)

      Also, if you find women's laughter annoying, you might want to take a look at that.

  • OldBrownSquirrel

    A couple notes:

    One of the reasons that the whole "creep shame" thing upsets so many guys is that the word "creep" gets overused; it's used inconsistently both to describe behavior (lack of respect for personal space leading to physical fear) and certain aspects of physical appearance, independent of behavior. Specifically, "creepy" is so often used in the same breath as "old man" that some of the signs of aging (hair loss, graying, weight gain, etc.) are seen by some guys as defining characteristics of creepiness, such that anyone who's balding, graying, heavy, etc. is unavoidably creepy. Matt Smith may be sexy, but at 29 he's also the youngest Doctor ever; William Hartnell (not that I'm nearly that old) wasn't a sex symbol. Granted, there's the xkcd standard creepiness rule, under which younger women can objectively define me as creepy, and I'm OK with that, since it also defines women for whom I'm not creepy, at least as defined by age. Still, there's this anxiety that "creep" is a sticky label, part of the whole binary thing you describe, that the guys who are good with women are, at least in terms of their physical appearance, not innately creepy, though they're perfectly able to behave creepily, whereas guys who aren't good with women are, ipso facto, creepy, based on physical characteristics that are identifiable as such as soon as they walk into a room.

    OK, I could go to the gym and lose weight and look less like the stereotypical creep, but aside from that and, there's only so much "work" guys can put into their physical appearance to make ourselves less creepy and more physically attractive. Yeah, I could use Rogaine; I lost that genetic lottery. Yeah, I could dye what hair I have left to hide the gray. Yeah, I could get get electrolysis for my body hair. Yeah, I could go for distraction osteogenesis to gain a few inches where it's actually immediately visible. But really, there's nothing I can do to make myself completely immune to aging. Is it too much for me to expect a woman to accept those aspects of my physical self that can't be so readily changed through "work"? Is that so self-centered? How much "work" am I realistically supposed to put into my physical appearance?

    • Becelec

      I'm a little confused, are you upset at specifically young women calling you creepy? Coz in all honesty, whenever I've had a man much older than me hit on me, I've absolutely felt that he was creepy because he was much older than me and the fact that he doesn't see that as completely inappropriate creeps me out. Hence the term "creepy old man", because someone old enough to be my father is hitting on me, and that's creepy.

      • OldBrownSquirrel

        I have no problem with the xkcd "standard creepiness rule": divide your age by two, add seven, and anyone younger than that is too young for you to date. What bothers me with "creep shaming" is that it feels like it's turning into a witch hunt, with anyone who meets any definition of "creepy" being caught in the net. It feels like I've aged out of nerd culture.

        I'm upset because I'm labeled as "creepy" just for walking in the room or getting on the train, let alone hitting on someone. The notion that creepy men should be permanently barred from fandom is especially disconcerting, given that "creepy" is a euphemism for "middle aged"; it feels like there's going to be a ban on over-30 men at cons, like fandom has turned into "Logan's Run."

        Amanda had a blog post recently which was accompanied by a stock photo of a creepy situation; it showed an older man, with wrinkled brow and receding hairline, leaning on the shoulder of a clearly perturbed young typist; from the hairstyles and clothing, I'd say the photo was from the early 1930s. Consciously, people will look at that picture and note that he's in her physical space. Subconsciously, people will look at the picture and note that the man is older, and the stereotype will be reinforced: the creepy men you need to look out for look like this: forehead wrinkles, receding hairline.

        • Mel

          I've followed a lot of the recent discussions about creepiness, and I haven't seen anyone associate creepy with older age in general. I think maybe because it affects you directly, you're particularly sensitive to anything that looks remotely like calling all older men creepy (like that picture you mentioned–but look at all the "creepy guy" photos used in DNL's articles, those are almost all younger guys. Does that mean he's saying only younger guys can be creepy?).

          Has anyone actually called you creepy for walking into a room or getting on the train, or do you just feel that they have/will? Because I haven't seen any women in any of the discussions talk about a creepy guy was who didn't actually interact with them (at very least, sit too close when they didn't have to, stare, etc., if not actually push an unwanted conversation).

          I also haven't seen any call for banning people at random–the only men I've seen people say should be banned for cons were specific individuals who harassed and/or stalked women, who are being banned from only the specific con where that happened. These are patterns of problematic behavior that clearly go beyond "oops, I'm socially awkward and put my foot n my mouth" and that, most importantly, didn't stop when the women asked to be left alone. Where have you seen anyone suggest that every guy who makes an awkward comment should be banned?

          I see a number of commenters on these posts complaining that they'll be labeled as creepy unfairly, for things that aren't remotely creepy or infringing on anyone's boundaries, like the examples you give above. I haven't yet seen anyone provide actual proof that women are saying they'd consider those things creepy. If you aren't seeing women say this, you just "get the feeling" it's happening, then how is your complaining about women doing something you haven't actually seen them do any better than if women were complaining about any given man for something he hadn't actually done?

        • SarahGryph

          This got me thinking, in part bc for the record I do think it's important to be careful what words we use. I've told my female friends before that if they don't like hearing "all women are crazy" maybe they should reciprocate and not make "all men are stupid" jokes, hmm? However in a hypothetical "creepy old man" thing (which I've never run into either as JUST based on age, the way you're describing it) this is what I think would be going on. Woman is not interested in dating a man however much older than she is. (woman, NOT "all women") So woman is not giving out come hither looks to men above the age range she's alright with. Man above that range proceeds to flirt anyway using creepy *behavior* made worse bc she had no interest to begin with. Man is actually labeled creepy for the *actions*, but poor word choice makes it sound like it was the age rather than the behavior of persistant unwanted attention. Just something to consider; and also that it goes both ways, hence the "cougar" stereotypes.

          • SarahGryph

            Thinking on it more, I'm not trying to stereotype but I realized that in my geek social circle as we all hit 30 or beyond I know a lot more men than women who would prefer to date younger women than women wanting to date younger men. I'm not going to analyze that, or say it's always true; just something that occured to me. But I've still never found the age thing to be the reason someone is called creepy. Even though the goal wasn't (I presume) to date me, I've gotten some very sweet compliments from men old enough to be my grandfather that I have a lovely smile etc that I'd never call creepy. Probably bc they were just being nice guys wanting to give a compliment as opposed to..well, any of the creepy behaviors that have been talked about so much lately.

      • Jules

        So does that mean George Clooney, Alec Baldwin, and Jim Carey are creeps?

        • Robert

          They can be.

        • Becelec

          I have no idea, I've never met them.

      • Goldfinch

        I think you're kind-of evidencing his point there.

        Relationships with big age differences are fairly commonplace. Okay, so you personally are not attracted to older men; that's absolutely fine. And any man hitting on you in a disrespectful way is creepy. But to brand a man as more of a pervert because of his age doesn't seem fair.

        Do you consider older women who flirt with younger men equally sexually deviant?

        • Becelec

          I'm not calling him a pervert. I'm calling him a creep. A creep is not a sexual deviant. They are different. And yes I do find women who do that (eg Madonna) very creepy. Big age differences in relationships creep me out. They may work for some people but I find them absolutely creepy and it makes me think that the older person has some issues they need to work out.

        • Commonly known as X

          A lot of men who act creepily are very focused on much younger women, and most of us remember being creeped on by much older men when we were teenagers and in our early 20's. I think its a mixture of younger women being seen as most physically attractive and being less confident in asserting their boundaries. The type of man who tends to act creepily towards women are usually very focused on physical desire rather than other compatibility, and are also likely to find assertive women intimidating. Hence a lot of us remember "creepy old men".
          Age differences don't have to be creepy, but as there is a large potential for power imbalance, the older person should be very careful about checking the boundaries of the younger person and respecting their limits.

    • Goldfinch

      I think how much work you should be expected to put into your physical appearance depends on how much value you attribute to physical appearance in others.

      If you find older, larger, greyer, more weathered women sexy, then you're not guilty of double standards by wanting them to accept you as you are.

      But if you're hoping to date women younger and fitter than yourself, then you may have to invest a lot more resources into taking care of your body.

  • Rena

    I really appreciated Amanda Marcotte's insights into these topics, I loved how she articulated them. Just as I was thinking "oh I hope they mention [x] as related to [topic at hand]" she would expand the conversation to include it. Great guest!

  • Xenu

    9:33 "The reason that women don't approach guys, because if you are a woman and you approached a guy it probably went pretty badly."

    "You don't know if you are approaching a nice guy or not… and a lot of men aren't nice"

    Wait a minute… This absolutely goes both ways! Replace the positions of the words "guy" and "women" in these statements, and they would still be true. Not all of us are "waiting to be inappropriate" just like all of you aren't "waiting" to call us creepy. Some women are not very nice either! Guys have as many fears about approaching women as women do. No, they aren't worried about physical harm, but the potential for emotional harm is enormous and very real.

    Doc, perhaps you should start encouraging women to approach guys in "safe" settings like coffee shops, the supermarket, etc. to help THEM "shop" for who they want. Women can complain all day about the caliber of person that approaches them, but then they don't do anything to find the guy that they really want. I'd like to see that change.

    I recently had a good short-term relationship come out a woman who approached me while I was shopping. We found out that we had things in common, hung out as friends, then got romantic, etc. If she didn't approach me I would have never known she was interested because a) I wasn't trying to hit on anyone, and b) her body language wasn't conveying that message in the first place. Ladies, don't forget that even if you have the "open" body language that guys, especially the "right" guy you are targeting, will get the message. Not all guys read the body language articles on DNL!

    Around 18 minutes Amanda claims that she has never heard of a woman who called a guy a "creep" because she wasn't attracted to him. My personal experience is at odds with this. I have friends who have been called creeps who are the most upstanding gentlemen I know. Polite, well-mannered, and caring would be how I would describe these guys. But of course they must have said something wrong, or had the wrong body language, or god forbid they kept eye contact for a second too long… And of course their ex-dates wouldn't tell them why they were being called creepy. While I'm not saying these guys were not creepy (I wasn't at these dates) would it behoove the woman to at least say what sentence or physical act caused her to feel so strongly as to use that word so that these guys don't inadvertently creep on others in the future? Start providing some pointed feedback and make the world a better place, one person at a time.

    Its time to scale back on this negativity. We are not bad people. We are not all creeps or rapists or crazy people just waiting to strike out at all women. We just want to find to people to share a meal, a movie, maybe one day marry and have 2.5 kids and the white picket fence. A normal life.

    (Yes, I will get downvoted for this comment, just like every other guy who dares to bring up any point besides total agreement. I don't care.)

    • Catiline

      Regarding your friends and their former dates – well, wait a second. You say that's an example of men being called "creepy" just because women weren't attracted to them, but you also admit that your friends might have said or done something that actually did creep out the women they were dating. And however polite and caring your friends are in your experience, it's certainly possible that, for whatever reason, they act differently on dates than they do with you. Now, maybe they were nervous, maybe they were trying to come across as "aggressive" because they believed "women like that" – my point is, you're absolutely right to say that you don't know for sure.

      Now, on to your bigger point. I don't think anyone is obliged to spell out for their date why they don't want to see them again, whether because they feel creeped out, or for any other reason. First of all, a relative stranger's personal development really isn't your responsibility. Second, to tell someone what they did that I found creepy, I'd have to assume that they did it unintentionally (otherwise, what good would telling them do?). But if someone's just triggered my danger alarms, I have NO way of knowing whether it was accidental or not. That date who was all up in my space when I was clearly uncomfortable, or who made that rape joke, or whatever, might have just been socially awkward – or he might have been deliberately testing my boundaries. I don't know.

      And that brings me to a big reason I don't think it's fair to ask people (remember, men can feel creeped out, too!) to tutor their dates in how not to be creepy: You don't know how the date is going to take that. A few might accept the criticism, thank their date for the information, and use it to better themselves. Others will be hurt, and think that their date is being unnecessarily cruel by giving them such criticism. Some will assume that if they promise to fix/never repeat the creepy thing, they have a RIGHT to continue dating you. And some will get angry, potentially VERY angry. And if someone has – accidentally or not – scared you, making them angry is probably the last thing you want to risk if you don't have to.

      Just as an example, I actually did exactly what you suggested. The last time I went on a date with someone who creeped me out, I told him that, and I told him exactly why he was creeping me out. It didn't end very well. First, he zeroed in on just one of the things I mentioned, and was over-the-top apologetic about it – he was SO sorry he'd said X, he would NEVER say X again. And, to be fair, he didn't. But the other behaviour I'd mentioned, as well as his way-too-intense approach (which I'd said was the source of all the little things that were scaring me), just intensified further. And then, when I said that I didn't want to see him again because of it, he took it very badly. He got angry; he sulked; he argued; he spent weeks afterwards emailing me about how much I'd hurt him (this was a first date, btw).

      So, I'm not saying it can never go right. I'm saying it can get ugly.

      • Xenu

        I am nearly typed-out after the post I just made up-thread, so I'll make this brief. I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with that creepy guy when you gave him feedback. I still think you did the RIGHT thing by being honest with him and telling him what he didn't want to hear. You may not have reached him immediately, but your words will sink in and maybe 6 months down the line he will realize "wow, I did X… and that was pretty creepy" and he'll be a better guy because of it.

        I believe this because I have this awesome/shitty superpower where I can remember all criticism that is leveled against me. It sucks because the truly painful stuff lingers, but the honest, direct criticism is duly noted and considered in the future. I am a better person because others have been honest with their assessments of me.

        That said, not all guys are going to take criticism well. A lot of them have superiority complexes or other personality traits that will make criticising them pointless. I would suggest that in the future, try to feel out the kind of person that you are talking to. If they are creepy and it seems that they have a boisterous attitude, then don't waste your time telling him he is a creep and just cut contact with the guy. But if the guy seems normal and seems like he can take feedback well, and maybe this guy made a joke that came off the wrong way or stared at you for a few seconds too long, it would be a good think to say "hey, just FYI you may want to work on your eye contact and not stare as much." or "I had a good time last night, except for the part where you made this joke. That came off as creepy, so don't make that joke again."

  • Goldfinch

    Developing prejudices about "this is what women think" seems dangerous to me, and often appears to go hand-in-hand with defeatism.

    Men and women are individuals with wide-ranging attitudes and tastes. There's no global feminine conspiracy wherein all the women have got together and standardised "This is the type of man we collectively like now."

  • Goldfinch

    The problem with the "I should be loved or desired just the way I am." mentality is that it's always hypocritical.

    Unless you are absolutely open-minded about the appearance and personality of who you would date (and I don't believe anybody is) you have to accept that other people's tastes will be applied to yourself in the same way.

  • Mel

    Xenu, the thing is, guys *don't* have just as many fears about approaching women as women have about approaching men. As you pointed out yourself, guys generally don't have to be worried about physical harm.

    If you're a guy approaching a woman, you may be scared of rejection, of feeling embarrassed, at worst of being mocked.

    If you're a woman approaching a guy, you'll also be scared of rejection, of feeling embarrassed, of being mocked. But you'll *also* be scared that the guy you're approaching will turn out to be one of those who thinks an approach is an open invitation to do anything they want with you, and who'll at worse attack and rape or even kill you. (And remember that there is no totally "safe" public place–a guy can follow you from a coffee shop or a supermarket to somewhere more private where you're at more risk.)

    It seems to me that it makes sense for the people who have fewer things to fear when approaching will end up doing most of the approaching. Plenty of women do go up to guys they find attractive and chat them up (I have!), but until they have fewer things to fear, not all women are going to be comfortable doing that, and most women are only going to be comfortable doing so in very specific circumstances.

    The best thing you can do to change this is not to tell women that they need to stop being afraid. It's to tell the guys who make presumptions and cross boundaries and do get violent that it's not okay. It's to challenge the culture we live in that blames victims for rape and normalizes things like coercion through alcohol. Exactly the things DNL and his guests are trying to do. When women have fewer reasons to be afraid of approaching men, they will approach men more. If you don't change anything about the world we live in, why should they be less afraid? Just because you told them to?

    Secondly, it doesn't matter how wonderful your friends are with you–you don't know how they behave on dates, because as you admit, you're not there. If they did something so creepy that a woman actually called them "creepy" to their face, it must have been pretty darn creepy! Most women try to avoid conflict and potential hostility if things get uncomfortable on a date, and will just grin and bear it and then avoid seeing the person again, unless it's so extreme that they have to speak up. I have to wonder whether the women in question did actually call the guys creepy, or whether your friends just assumed they had come off as creepy as a reason why the woman didn't want to see them again. Maybe the women just weren't interested for a variety of other reasons?

    In any case, if a woman does feel creeped out, it means she's not longer sure the guy will respect her boundaries–she's not longer sure he's safe. So why should she have to extend the interaction by instructing him on how he could do better? She doesn't know whether he's doing it unknowingly, or whether he's purposely overstepping. The safest thing she can do is remove herself from the situation as quickly and cleanly as possible, so that's what women generally do. One person's hurt feelings don't trump another person's personal safety.

    • Mel

      Sorry, I meant to post this as a reply to the comment above.

    • Xenu

      The fear of physical harm is being blown out of proportion, and unfortunately is influencing a large percentage of women to distrust men that otherwise may be great friends or potential dates. I'm sure if we crunched the numbers that we would find driving to be at least 100x more dangerous than talking to a stranger. There is always the remote possibility of us being murdered in a myriad of ways, becoming poisoned every time we eat, of our lives being torn apart by terrorists or radicals at any time. Yet we still go out and live our lives. We can't live in fear.

      I understand that women have this fear, but I believe that a healthier way to approach fear of sexual assault/rape is to have awareness (aka watching out for the REAL creep signs) but not letting that fear stop you from living your life.

      I am aware that as soon as I get in my car later that I could be hit by a drunk driver. I could be picked off by a sniper from a mile away. I could be mugged tonight. Anything could happen. I can't let that stop me from living, because if I let my fears take over, then the fears win and I lose.

      Now lets not all go out and walk around empty subway stations after dark. Even I don't reciprocate most contact when using public transport or on an empty street at night. There are times are places where I think it is safe for a woman to approach men for dates.

      Go ask out the cute guy that you see at the coffee shop. Go chat up that guy at the supermarket. 999 times out of 1000 you're going to be just fine.

      On the creeper thing, no, I don't know how they behave on dates. From what one friend told me the person he was with had her arms crossed nearly all night, a sour look on her face, etc. Negative body language. She later texted him (I saw the text) saying that HE was "acting creepy." Of course I don't have all of the details, but it sounds like my friend never got all of the details either. Maybe she had something going on at home? Some family or work troubles and she was in a bad mood? Maybe he wore something inappropriate? Some off-hand comment? This didn't sound like a "I think you are a threat" creep-usation. This seemed more like a "I want to break up with you but I don't know how to articulate it better than calling you a creep."

      It just seems like better communication could have solved whatever issue was going on there. If my friend was doing or saying something creepy, what's stopping the date from saying "Hey, that was creepy and offensive. Stop that!" or just leaving? Why would a woman subject herself to creepy behavior for a few hours and only point it out later in a text message?

      • Mel

        I'm going to have to disagree with you about the numbers. See, people have actually crunched them. The statistics I gave someone else in another thread: 1 in 4 women in North America are assaulted in their lifetime. ( ) Now, granted, it also says 80% of the perpetrators were friends or family of the victim, but about 50% happen on dates, so presumably "friends" includes "guys the women is going on dates with". So approximately 1 in 8 women will be sexually assaulted on a date. Even if every woman in North America will be injured in a car accident sometime in her life (which seems unlikely), it's only eight times more likely than her being sexually assaulted on a date. And sexual assault doesn't include various behaviors that are still very scary and threatening that men experience far less from potential and actual dating partners than women do, like stalking and verbal abuse (I'm talking about yelling and swearing and threats, not just a harsh rejection).

        Women aren't "living in fear." We're still going out into public places, talking with people, going on dates, living their lives happily. Like I said, many women *do* go up and talk to a guy if they take an interest in him and the situation seems safe. But you seem to be saying that it's only right if women approach men *just as much* as men approach women. Do you disagree that women face more of a threat when approaching a man than a man does approaching a woman? Doesn't it make sense for the person who faces less of a threat to put themselves out there a little more? It isn't that much different from, when two people are deciding who's going to drive somewhere, picking the person with a better driving record.

        I'm not saying that it wouldn't be nice if women weren't conditioned to feel it's not their place to ask guys out. A lot of social programming is problematic for everyone. But you seem to be ignoring the fact that a lot of other things need to change too; that it's not just a matter of women being overly scared. When the mainstream media is still treating getting a woman drunk so she'll sleep with you as a joke and/or an acceptable technique, and portraying obsessive stalker behavior from a guy as a romantic gesture that any woman will eventually appreciate, and questioning a woman's clothing and motivations whenever she claims she's been assaulted, it's clear that our societal approach to relations between men and women is very problematic, in a way that usually puts women in the role of having to defend themselves.

        Re: your friend's specific problem, it sounds like in that one example, there was something off about the woman, something going on that had nothing to do with your friend. I have had people who are jerks or going through their own issues say a wide variety of untrue, unkind things to me. It's only indicative of a widespread problem when the same thing is happening over and over again. Your friend being apparently unfairly called creepy once isn't really on par with women who get hassled by guys who won't take no for an answer as often as every day.

        • Max

          I hear that women are afraid of approaching men because they think that some men might look at it as a free pass to do whatever they like all the time on this site. Is that really a thing that happens? (honest question; I ask because I don't know).

          It seems to me that being asked out/talked to by a guy is just as risky, if not more so. At least if you initiate the conversation you have some control over who you're talking to.

          • Mel

            I appreciate that you're asking with an open mind. 🙂

            I've found that if the woman approaches the guy, she's much more likely to get angry and/or hostile accusations of "leading him on" or similar if after approaching him (or after the first date or two) she decides she's not interested after all. The approach, especially since women don't do it that often, is seen by many guys as an indication that the woman really likes them, or at least is a little desperate, and a promise of things to come.

            I've actually had it happen to me even with online dating–the one guy with whom I had to suggest we meet up in person (we'd be been talking for a few weeks by email and he was clearly interested, but hadn't made that move yet) was also the one who got most upset when after we met I wasn't interested in dating. He even specifically said something along the lines of that I shouldn't have asked to meet him in person if I wasn't sure I'd like him that way, because I'd gotten his hopes up. (Not sure how I was supposed to know how I'd feel about him in person before meeting him in person… That was the whole reason I wanted to get on with it.)

            We're cautious when guys approach us too, but in a way, we're more in control there. We haven't "offered" anything yet, so the guy can't have any expectations–and if he does, it's clearly his fault. Whoever is being approached gets to set the pace of the interaction, and decide how far it progresses. Consider how much easier it is for a woman to end a conversation with a guy who walks up to her when the first thing out of his mouth is offensive or creepy, compared to ending a conversation if that happens when she's walked up to the guy. She's just going to turn around and walk away again? It's at lot harder to do, especially since we're socially conditioned to feel we should be nice and considerate, and how rude is it to go up to someone and then tell them you don't want to talk to them?

            There's also the opposite worry if a woman approaches a guy, that maybe he isn't all that interested in you, but because you "offered" yourself, he'll act interested in the hopes of getting sex. I know not all guys are like that, but there seem to be a significant number who'll happily have sex with a woman who's willing even if they don't see her as dating material. And not necessarily tell her they're only in it for the sex. Yes, a guy approaching a woman may also only want sex, but the woman knows he at least found her appealing enough that he chose to approach her in the first place.

          • SarahGryph

            "He even specifically said something along the lines of that I shouldn't have asked to meet him in person if I wasn't sure I'd like him that way, because I'd gotten his hopes up." Yes, this! I'm sorry to hear it's happened to you, too but at least I'm not the only one. Your online experience almost mirrors one I had pretty recently; and before that it's happened both in real life *and* in situations where all I did was talk to someone online. I don't want to downplay the fact that for some women and in some situations it may be a physical threat or danger that holds them back from approaching; but for myself it get harder each time I get "blamed" just bc once we got to know each other the interest wasn't there.The stereotype is the clingy woman, and I know that can happen as well, but good lord I run into a lot of guys with that reaction if I was the one to approach. If I were to go from just what most men have told me (which I don't, I know not everyone is like that) then I am a bad person anytime I approach without being 100% sure it's a love for the ages. O.o

          • Mel

            It's so frustrating, isn't it?

            I think it comes down to the whole sex-as-commodity view that unfortunately seems to be so common. Girls "have" it and guys want to "get" it. A guy going up to a girl recognizes that she hasn't "offered" it to him yet, so he has to "bargain" for it, and may not succeed. But a girl going up to a guy is already "offering" it, so it's cheating if she then "reneges" on that deal.

            I do think dating would be a lot less conflict filled if we all just thought of ourselves as looking for a partner to enjoy spending time with, where both parties are enjoying themselves, rather than some sort of exchange of things one person wants more than the other.

          • Max

            It sounds like this mostly happens after approaching strangers or people online. In which case, yeah, I totally understand the hesitation.

            What about approaching guys you already know, like friends of friends (or even just friends)? It seems like you'd be able to figure out if they were a creep beforehand that way.

        • Xenu

          OK, so 1 in 4 women are assaulted at one point during their lives. Lets assume that you are one of the four, that you are approached on average 3 times per day, and that you will be approached by men from the ages of 18-50.

          3 * 365 * 32 = 35,040 lifetime approaches

          Now if you were unlucky enough to fail your 1d4 and in fact are in the 25% who will get sexually assaulted once, then I am sorry for you when that happens. Sexual assault is wrong and I wish that the few men who do it get punished appropriately. BUT, all that means is that ONE, out of over 35 THOUSAND interactions, will go sour for 25% of females. You can rest assured that, no, you will not be sexually assaulted all the time, or even once per year. You might meet one guy who is a bad apple, but 99.999% of men that you meet in your life will be normal, non-violent people.

          If you don't want to run with that mindset, that's fine. But I think that you are missing out on lots of great contacts, dates, maybe even a great potential husband if you are letting these statistics stop you from living your life.

          I think you are reading too many blogs about creepers and sexual assault and need to step back to see the whole picture. We are not all trying to "get you." The overwhelming majority of us are not creeps, or stalkers, or hateful men. Most of us are going to be respectful and be aware of boundaries. It just seems that we are all terrible because that's what the feminist blogs point out.

          Think about the elevator creep at Dragon*Con. He was one guy that was creepy. There were at least 30,000 guys at that convention. Did the other 29,999 guys who were at the con get their own widely-read blog posts? No, just the 1 guy who pushed things too far. You see that post about that one guy, maybe a few women chime in about one other guy, and to you its easy to think "every guy must be like this…Activate anti-creep shield!" You know that this isn't true, that all guys aren't creeps, but when the creep perspective is reinforced over and over again with no real counterpoint, its easy to fall into that line of thinking.

          These blog posts only show one perspective. No one writes about the 99.9% of guys who will treat you like a normal human being, because that is boring and mundane. Readers don't flock to blogs about the mundane. Blogs make money when they post interesting things, like the shocking stories about creepers, about that .01% of people who are genuinely unseemly. People like those posts, the blog gets hits, the blog makes more money. Its just good business.

          Try out this exercise the next time you are hanging out at your local bookstore or other chill place. Take a minute to count how many of the people around you are NOT creepy. Actively try to notice the normal, mundane joes and janes that will comprise the majority of people at the store. Don't just look at people who are attractive to you, but try to notice everyone who looks to be at least 18. You will not see anything special, and that is the point.

          On the media thing, yeah, that stuff pisses us guys off too. Those media portrayals and romantic comedies are offensive and only fuel the negative feelings towards men. I dumped cable about a year ago and never went back, partly because I was sick of all of the vapid crap that was on the air all of the time. The media is not your friend. It is just a business, and it will push whatever it think will get you glued to the screen so that they can make money off of advertising. I can't speak for all guys, but I wasn't raised to "get a girl drunk to have my way with her."

          That is another area where women, if they feel that a guy is trying to do that to her, should stand up and call the guy out on his actions. If more women stood up to the real creeps and jerks than society's norms will start to change. A lot of these negative attitudes towards women come from the conservative mindset of patriarchy, where the man of the house is the leader, his authority is final and women are supposed to be put in their place. That's why one political party in the US wants to let government dictate how you control your vaginas, wants to keep your pay unfair, and I have even heard some ultra-conservative pastors lament about how "The country has been in decline since women were able to vote." Yeah, someone actually said that… in 2012. Its partly up to you to stand up against these so-called "traditional family values" that lead to the "man knows best" BS that is at the heart of the bad behavior.

          On the friend thing, I think you are right. He hasn't been called a creep since, so its probably just some personal issue. Who knows?

          I have more to say, but this is long enough as it is. tl;dr: There are a lot of bad beliefs, behaviors, and misconceptions that both genders have of the other. Lets try to cut through the BS and learn to treat each other with equality and fairness.

          • Mel

            3. You've then turned around and *blamed* women for the disrespect we do receive. Direct quotes: "If more women stood up to the real creeps and jerks than society's norms will start to change." "It's partly up to you to stand up against the BS that is at the heart of the bad behavior." Where do you get the idea that we're not standing up against it? Why do you think we blog about it and try to raise awareness, campaign against the awful politics and the harmful media portrayals?

            The issue isn't that women aren't fighting it (though sure, there are some women who aren't, and it'd be nice if they did too), it's that very few men are willing to acknowledge that there's that much of a problem. It's that an awful lot of men (like you, and others here in these comments) are actively trying to *avoid* changing the way they think and telling us that the problem is us being too paranoid and wary, not men behaving badly. Women are trying to stand up to the creeps and jerks (as much as they can without putting themselves in danger), but change is only going to happen if everyone participates. We need men–including you–to recognize that there is a problem, to make sure you're not a part of it, and to stand up for women's right to decide who they talk to and when without being harassed for it. That is all we're asking for, and you're responding as if we're imposing on you by asking you to recognize that we have valid reasons for being wary.

            How is that treating us with the "equality and fairness" you claim to value?

            And by the way, thank you so much for your concern, but I happen to have a very happy and fulfilling life that includes a great husband, and being wary of men I don't know hasn't stopped me from enjoying it in the least.

          • Xenu

            "and at the exact same time you're showing yourself to be the opposite"

            So polite disagreement is disrespectful? I can't disagree with a woman? Is that what you are saying? I shouldn't have thoughts or feelings of my own? I can't feel persecuted for what YOU are saying?

            YOU are the one who is attacking ME! Women like you are the ones who have been brainwashed by feminist bullshit to attack all men because of these negative stereotypes. Because of your attitudes against men, the good guys suffer.

            1. I'm not ignoring anything you said, I'm just not going to sit on here and waste my time writing a book to someone who is so biased against men that nothing I say will change her mind. You keep harping about a minority of men who do these creepy behaviors, yet fail to acknowledge how mean and petty some women are at the same time. The creepy behavior that some men show is a byproduct of years of hateful rejections by a few women who decide to make of men, taunt them, and play mean tricks on them. Would it be fair if I called all women stuck up bitches? NO. Its not fair to call all men creeps either.

            2. I never said that you were incapable of thinking for yourself. I just think that your perspective on this issue is inaccurate, perpetuated by confirmation bias from the feminist movement and all of the blogs and other media you consume. Yeah, hundreds of women go online to talk about that one guy who harassed them. Where are the MILLIONS of women who were NOT harassed? Again, normal is mundane. It doesn't sell. It doesn't generate ad revenue. The creepy posts make $. No one reads a blog that says "Nothing special happened today. I met some normal guys and they acted completely normal towards me and respected my boundaries."

            That's why you get all of the confirmation bias instead of the truth, which is that the vast majority of women are not harassed like this. You will never hear from that silent majority because it is a waste of time to write about mundane things, and probably because, like me, they would just get attacked for daring to insinuate that life actually isn't that bad for the average woman.

            That sucks for you that a few guys can't read body language and are disrespectful. Not cool. That's why blogs like this exist. However, I am not going to sit here and degrade myself because a few guys were mean to you. I, me, this guy, is NOT a creep. I don't do any of those things. I don't like being told that I am somehow a terrible person because I share the same gender as people who do.

            You are painting all men as these evil, terrible beings that can do no good. I'm not going to stand for that. This feminist propaganda is misguided, and is drumming up conflict where there is none. If you keep attacking men over your warped perceptions, then maybe I should start a men's movement to levy false claims against your gender. You wouldn't like that, would you?

            How is attacking all men for the actions of a few different than a racist attacking all blacks because one robbed a house in his neighborhood one time? Or claiming that all Muslims are evil-doers because a few of them are legitimate terrorists? You are doing the same thing with your feminist rhetoric.

            Yes, Mel, I think on average a woman is getting approached two or three times per day. Even if the actual average is only once per day, that's still thousands of encounters over three decades. I know this from people I have talked with that they are being approached numerous times per week. Because you are married and I assume you are wearing a ring many guys will not approach you. Your numbers will be lower as long as you have a ring on your finger.

            No, there is no general problem with how men treat women. There is no grand scheme to ruin your lives. No secret cabal to make you miserable. No creepy-conference where guys all just decide to be creepy. There are just a sparse set of people who misbehave, and a whole lot of socially awkward guys that you are unfairly persecuting simply for being themselves. You want some sort of perfect world where guys magically leave you alone, except that's not how life works. I want to live in a world with no crime, poverty, or racism, but I'm not going to get that pony from Santa anytime soon. You will never stop a few guys from acting this way, just like I will never be able to stop a minority of women from being stuck-up and vain. That's life.

          • Xenu

            3. Your feminist movement isn't getting anywhere for exactly this reason. You are wasting your time trying to blame every man for every little thing that happens to you that YOU don't like, painting us all with a broad brush, instead of focusing on bigger issues like defeating anti-women conservatives and fighting for equal pay. I'll stand with you in those fights. I will not stand with you as you attack an entire gender based on the actions of the few.

            "You've then turned around and *blamed* women for the disrespect we do receive. "

            No, you're not to blame for this. I am not to blame for this either. All I can do is change my own behavior and talk to my friends to help them avoid coming off as creepy. YOU have some responsibility in this too. YOU have to step up and denounce creepiness when it happens to you. None of us are going to be there with you when you get creeped on, so yes, it is your responsibility to act at that time. There's no magic "de-creep" wand that you can wave to make all guys avoid you forever. You have to work on it one approach at a time.

            "We need men–including you–to recognize that there is a problem, to make sure you're not a part of it, and to stand up for women's right to decide who they talk to and when without being harassed for it."

            There is a problem. Its not as big as you think. I am NOT a part of it. You have NO right to dictate how people get to talk to you. Like it or not, we live under a Constitution that gives people the right to speak to each other. We can't censor the Westboro Baptist Church crazies either. The best you can hope for is what the Doc is doing here by trying to influence behavior.

          • Dr_NerdLove

            Like it or not, we live under a Constitution that gives people the right to speak to each other.

            You seem to have a rather profound misunderstanding of how the First Amendment works.

          • Xenu

            and here come the down votes…

            "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

            Hmm… I didn't realize this was changed to:

            "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances… unless that speech is annoying to Mel."

          • Max
          • Trooper6

            Nobody here is a member of Congress. No one is trying to pass legislation to abridge your free speech. Look here Xenu, your posts come off as not only creepy to me, but also misogynistic. I would never want any woman I know to date you, because every word in your posts indicate that not only do you not listen to or respect women, but you don't even seem to like them.

            Also while the sexual assault numbers are "only" 1 in 4, the sexual harassment numbers are much much higher…and so much of what you think is probably your right to approach is actually harassment.

          • Mel

            Really? You call this polite disagreement?

            "Women like you are the ones who have been brainwashed by feminist bullshit"

            Yep, that sounds reeeaaally polite to me. And calling me brainwashed isn't at all the same as saying I can't think for myself.

            "Because of your attitudes against men, the good guys suffer."

            Blaming me for the suffering of all good guys! Also very polite.

            "You are painting all men as these evil, terrible beings that can do no good."

            I believe I said that a significant number of men do things that make women uncomfortable. But definitely, exaggerating what I said to an incredible degree so you can be outraged by it is also a sign of respectful polite disagreement.

            "There is no grand scheme to ruin your lives. No secret cabal to make you miserable. No creepy-conference where guys all just decide to be creepy."

            More incredible exaggeration! Can you show me a quote where I claimed any of this was true? If you have to make up things to argue against because there isn't anything you can easily argue in what I actually said, maybe you should consider that some of what I said might actually be right… But no, it's much more polite to pretend I said things I didn't.

            I've given you statistics and concrete examples, and all you are giving back are statements claiming that you know more about my personal experiences than I do (pretty amazing, considering you know almost nothing about me), arguments against things I never said (see above), and vast generalizations with nothing to back them up. (How do you know there are millions of women who've never once been harassed by any guy? I've never spoken to one of these women. *Guys* seem to have no problem disagreeing with women about this, so am I really supposed to believe that of all these supposed women out there who don't have this problem, not a single one can ever be bothered to speak up?)

            If this is how you politely and respectfully disagree with someone, I'd really hate to get into an actual argument with you! As it is, I think I'll bow out. Your words speak for themselves, and you clearly are more interested in getting upset about things I'm not saying than actually listening to me and giving the points I *am* making some thought.

          • Xenu

            It WAS polite disagreement, but then you had to show your entitled self and spew your hatred all over this page. No wonder that the feminist movement is failing!

            I was trying to be nice, but you had to keep spreading your sexist, hateful stereotypes. I am not going to apologize for calling you out on your man-hating. And before you mention your husband, no, the "but I have black friends" argument does NOT work!

            You have an irrational fear of men, and I am sorry that society has corrupted you in such a negative way. I hope you wake up and tune out from all of the hatred and indoctrination. Maybe one day you will realize that you are wrong, and that mankind isn't your enemy. Today is not that day.

            "Blaming me for the suffering of all good guys! Also very polite."

            Do I need to qualify every statement that I make so that you can process it properly? The good guys you end up in contact with will suffer. How hard is it to infer that from the sentence? And yes, YOU are to blame when they get treated like shit because of your attitudes. Learn to take some responsibility for yourself!

            "I believe I said that a significant number of men do things that make women uncomfortable. But definitely, exaggerating what I said to an incredible degree so you can be outraged by it is also a sign of respectful polite disagreement."

            Are you not generalizing against all men? I didn't see YOU qualify your statements with "some men" or "a few men." It is always, at best, "a majority of men." Yeah, that's a really healthy attitude to have… Does it make me less of a racist if I said that only "a majority" of black people were thieves?

            "More incredible exaggeration! Can you show me a quote where I claimed any of this was true? If you have to make up things to argue against because there isn't anything you can easily argue in what I actually said, maybe you should consider that some of what I said might actually be right… But no, it's much more polite to pretend I said things I didn't."

            Wow, you can't even take an inference?!? Do you understand that not all language is literal?

            No, you're not right. Your attitudes towards men are hateful and destructive. I am trying to help you by making you realize that your crusade against men is flawed. If you want to be miserable and secluded in your headphones while hiding from strangers because you were conditioned to fear men, go right on ahead. Its your life.

            "and all you are giving back are statements claiming that you know more about my personal experiences than I do"

            And which statement, exactly, made you think that I said anything like this? I never claimed anything about your personal experiences. I have attacked your thoughts and arguments, not you as a person. Your conceptions about men are flawed. That doesn't mean that YOU are flawed! Stop being so sensitive!

            "How do you know there are millions of women who've never once been harassed by any guy?"

            Its simple math. Even if you assume that for every woman who speaks out about harassment there are 10,000 who remain silent, you're still looking at maybe several million women worldwide who have been harassed compared to the BILLIONS of women who occupy this planet. How do you know there aren't millions of women who've never once been harassed by any guy? And why would they speak up? They are living their lives instead of sulking on feminist blogs!

            Of course your points have been given thought, and I gave mine as well. You don't think they're valid because they clash with your feminist perspective. That's too bad.

            I am not going to treat women like some special snowflakes that will blow away if I am not perfect. I will treat women with respect and I expect them to respect me as well. You want guys like me to live in fear of being "creepy" and I refuse to do that. I will not stop saying Hi to women just because someone on the internet thinks that I am a bad guy for doing so.

          • Becelec

            Mel I don't know why you even bother. Xenu's either got to be a troll or about the most thick-headed person ever found on the whole wide internet. I give you about 1000 house points for your patience. Reading his crap makes me want to vomit all over my keyboard.

  • Goldfinch

    I found most of Amanda's comments very reasoned and insightful.

    But the denial of the "creep shaming" thing really irritates me. Because in my experience there are a sizeable minority of women who will unfairly brand a guy as a pervert as a way to rationalise their disinterest in him.

    But as a guy, it's difficult to know when this is the case, and this can understandably make us self-conscious.

    For instance, I was once introduced to a girl who acted revolted by me when I was just being sociable. I later found out through her friends that she allegedly has a "phobia of short people". (She seemed to have a similar dislike of black people, so go figure, I think I dodged a bullet there.)

    Another girl gave me a lot of signs of interest, then utterly snubbed me when I responded and was overheard describing me as a pervert. It eventually transpired that she seemed to have some self-esteem and sexual guilt issues that led her to aggressively pursue many guys, then develop resentment towards all those that reciprocated.

    But until I found better explanations for their reactions, I assumed that I had said or done something inappropriate.

    Now, Some men (like many in the PUA community) take the attitude that "If women are threatened by you, that's their problem. Just keep ploughing. You don't get results without collateral damage." But myself and many others really don't want to be that guy.

    So it's not at all helpful to be told "If a woman thinks you're creepy, it's because you are." We need a better system than that for judging what is and isn't appropriate behaviour.

    • Mel

      To add to what DNL's saying above, this is where you need to look at averages. That's two women out of how many that you've talked to? If you talk to a hundred women and only two treat you like you're awful, then you should be able to assume that the problem is those two individuals, or a really unusual understanding, and not you. It's when many or most of the women you talk to respond negatively that you need to worry.

      If you let the reactions of two women outweigh the (presumably not awful) reactions of all the other women you've talked to, that's not a "women creep shaming" problem, that's your self esteem.

      • Goldfinch

        Well, it wasn't just those two. But yes, you're right; I should have noticed that it was a minority, rather than a trend, and not taken it to heart. (I've since found with self-improvement goals like that, keeping a journal helps factor out those sorts of cognitive biases.)

  • Goldfinch

    That's become clear in hindsight; but at the time I had no way of gauging whether or not it was my fault.

    What helped me most was having good female friends whom I could confide in and gave me honest opinions. But friends like that can be hard to come by.

  • Colin

    From what I've heard, being the proactive one in dating is a good strategy for both men and women of any orientation, assuming a reasonably safe environment. (It's not like you're safe just reacting to approaches, either – the dangerous people out there are just as likely to be aggressive approachers as quiet lurkers.) You get to talk to people you are interested in, not just whatever randoms show up (and honestly, there's nothing you can do that will mean only 'the right sort of people' approach you). Plus there is an undertapped market of people who like to be approached but rarely are. If you're afraid of an over-enthusiastic reaction, then be selective and only make the moves on someone you really like; but that's still being proactive. Anyway, it's not like excessive, clingy responses to romantic attention are unique to one gender.

    The only advantages I see in being reactive are self-esteem related: One is that when someone fails to approach you, it's usually much less obvious and personal than a direct rejection. The other is that you often get a middle outcome of being approached by people you aren't interested in: this can be a self-esteem boost that you are at least attractive to someone. By contrast, someone who has to do all the approaching never sees this middle outcome, because they never approach the people they aren't interested in. (In fact I think a lot of men are so conditioned to be the approachers, it's as if women they are not attracted to don't count as people and become invisible, because there's little chance of interaction. So they base their opinions on women's role in the dating game in general on the women they find attractive, which is of course a biased sample.)

    Re: women put in lots of effort in dating by dressing up and so on: yes, they do, and they are often pressured into doing so. But I feel like a lot of that effort is wasted because it's so generic. I might notice that a woman in some social setting has made a lot of effort to look good to men in general, but how is that supposed to encourage me specifically to approach her? Dressing up for a date is different, but even then, unless she knows about my tastes in clothes and so on, it's a lot of effort for not much advantage. Maybe I prefer the way she normally looks to the way she looks when she's trying to impress.

    • Mel

      See my reply to Max above about the concerns women have about approaching (it's not just about outright physical danger). Also consider that in most cases, when we're talking about approaching, we meant people you don't already know. So you can't only approach people you "really like". Sure, you can see that you find a person physically attractive, but how can you know if you find their personality appealing until after you've gone over and talked to them? I used to "smile" at guys when I was on an online dating site that I thought looked cute, and a lot of the time if they messaged me I could tell pretty quickly that we wouldn't actually get along after all. You can't usually tell if a guy is an obsessive or controlling jerk by observing him from afar (a lot of the problematic responses guys have only come out in the context of being in a potential dating situation).

      I suspect women are much more likely to initiate a romantic relationship with guys they know socially (friends or close acquaintances), where they do have a pretty good sense how how much they like the guy and what he's like. It's cold approaches that carry the most risk.

      I wish we lived in a world where it was seen as totally normal, and not desperate or forward, for women to approach men just as much as men approach women. I also wish we lived in a world where no men felt it's okay to get pushy or even abusive if a woman disappoints them in some way. But at the moment, we don't, and all of us are just trying to navigate the world we do live in as happily as possible (while trying to change things do we can have that ideal world someday).

  • Mel,

    How many guys have you approached? Out of those approaches, how many d

    Ended with the guy acting like you were too desperate, too forward, or took it as an invitation to be crude and disrespectful?

    I’d like to direct this question to all female posters on this board.


    • Mel

      I don't know how many of the guys I approached thought I was too desperate or too forward, because just like women, guys don't give you a play-by-play of their thoughts when they aren't interested. And my "approaches" were mainly on internet dating sites, because I have trouble approaching anyone I don't know (women included) in person.

      None of the few guys I've struck up conversations with in person and attempted to flirt with flirted back or made an effort to take things further (could be they were turned off by the fact I approached, could be they just didn't find me attractive, as I said, I don't know). With online dating, this was almost ten years back so my memory's not perfect, but I know I got a much lower response rate when I sent a message to a guy (which you had to pay to do, so most women didn't) than if I just sent a "smile" and waited to see if he'd message me. And the one guy who initiated the conversation, but with whom I was the one to suggest getting together in person, got quite upset with me when I decided I didn't want to date him after that first meeting and ranted about how I'd led him on.

      On a number of occasions, I've also had guys take a polite smile as I'm walking past them as an invitation to make a crude remark or to follow me for several minutes making conversation while I'm trying to get out of that conversation because I have things to do. I can only imagine how they're have responded if I'd offered more than a smile!

      I've never had a positive interaction come out of approaching a guy. I've had the one really negative one, and several no or not much interest ones. All my at least initially positive dating experiences happened when the guy approached me. I was still open to approaching guys (before I met the guy who's now my husband), but when you pair the experiences i mentioned with the frequent societal messages that guys want the "thrill of the chase" and think women who make it easy are "easy" in other ways, I don't think it's surprising that I felt cautious and not super hopeful about doing so.

      • I appreciate your response, but you kind of twisted the question, and conflated it with your own negative experiences.

        Specifically, where you said some guys who you just gave a polite smile too, began to engage you, and just imagine if you had done more than that.
        That’s an unfair generalization of guys, lumping those creeps with guys you might want to talk to. Those are two different types of people, and you wouldn’t approach the guys you just give a polite smile to.
        The point of my question was I don’t view girls who approach in a negative light.
        Most of your posts seem aimed at discouraging guys from approaching girls, and vice versa.

        You say you don’t know how guys felt that you approached, but that isn’t what I asked you. I asked how many responded in a crude and disrespectful way that you approached in person, that’s something you would know, or have an idea of. I wasn’t asking about online either, those aren’t approaches.

        You aren’t giving me a number, but my guess is you didn’t get a whole lot of negative reactions from approaching guys, which is why you tried to mention guys who come after you after you smile, and guys who disrespected you online, to drive home your point that guys are all after ‘it’. That’s YOU and your perspective. That is not all guys.

        Approaching guys can’t be as bad as you make it to be.

        • Mel

          I think you've twisted my responses. For one, I smile politely at people I think look like normal, non-creepy folks who I simply don't have time to chat with because, y'know, I'm *walking past them* on my way to somewhere, like I said. They aren't a "different type of people"–I don't smile at guys who already look unnerving in some way. Most of the people I smile at, I'd be happy to talk to if I happened to have the time (based on what I can tell of them looking at them). There is no magic beacon over the head of any guy who's going to act offensive or disrespectful to warn you ahead of time.

          Second, you didn't just ask which guys treated me crudely or disrespectfully, you also asked which guys acted like I was too desperate or forward, and I think it's perfectly legitimate for me to say that I can't tell whether a guy didn't pursue me because of that or some other reason.

          And third, you didn't actually specify you were talking about in person approaches only. I noted that I rarely approach anyone (male or female) in person out of general social awkwardness, which is why I gave you online stats as well. I don't keep a running tally of exactly what number of guys I've initiated conversations with, and it's hard to count from my memory because I've been with the guy who's now my husband for several years, so it's been a long time since I'd have wanted to approach a guy in that way anyway. I was trying to answer your question as thoroughly as I could, which was difficult because my direct experience is limited and in the past.

          I'm not sure where you get the idea that "most of my posts are aimed at discouraging guys from approaching girls". Have you read my comments across the various articles here? I've spent a lot of time offering suggestions to guys who are having trouble approaching women, to help them figure out how to get over their anxiety, and/or how to have more success in their approaches. I've never once said anywhere that guys shouldn't approach women.

          I've also never said that women shouldn't approach men. In fact, I've stated on more than one occasion (including here) that I think it's unfortunate that women aren't able to feel more comfortable approaching, and that I would still be approaching guys (albeit cautiously) if I was single.

          I don't think all guys are after "it" and that's never been a point I've tried to make. I also don't think that approaching guys is a bad thing. I *do* think that women have more reasons to be nervous of approaching men than vice versa, and that's all I've ever argued. And I've argued it not to convince women not to approach, but to explain why I think it's unfair for men to blame women for not approaching just as much as men do. Which I think I've stated very explicitly wherever I've talked about it, including here.

          If you're going to criticize me, I'd appreciate it if you do so based on things I've actually said and done, not *your* apparent perspective of how a woman thinks.

          • Fair enough, I'll qualify my question, please kindly, if you want, provide an answer to this: how many guys have you approached in person that responded in a crude, disrespectful way, or made you feel unsafe? This is completely separate from unwanted approaches from guys, so don't put that in in your answer, or because this or because that. Just a number.

            I'm hammering on the point where you specifically said you don't approach guys because it isn't safe, based on the fact that some guys follow you off a smile.

            I somewhat to an extent, agree with the other poster on this board that says you magnify the issue of a woman's safety. A woman's safety is probably most likely at issue when there are not other people present, or possibly walking down the street in a bad neighborhood. I know because I myself get nervous when I walk to work, because the overflow of bums has made the police start regularly controlling our building, and some of these bums are dangerous.

            But saying a woman is unsafe approaching a guy at a bar or club where there OTHER people present, a grocery store, a bookstore, a coffee shop, when there is other people present?

            That doesn't make any sense to me. And when you switch the question from how many guys have you approached in RESPONSE acted in a way thats vulgar or make you feel unsafe, you answer with creepy guys who follow you after you smile and try to engage you in unwanted conversation, and say imagine if i gave them more than a smile!

            I took that as a very negative connotion you were using to fit your overall narrative: don't approach guys, see look what happened to me, when in no way shape or form, have you introduced a single example of approaching a guy in person that pans out into a crude, vulgar, or unsafe response, so you instead bring up unwanted approaches YOU got as proof of why girls shouldn't approach guys, when we're not even discussing those guys in this question.

            I don't see how girls have more reasons to be nervous than guys about approaching, that's ludicrous on its face. Approaching a guy at night alone in the wrong part of town? No of course not. But in a bar, club, bookstore, where millions of other people are present? Please

            And you did say that guys are 'after it', and thats the problem, its all about sexual, and sleeping with a girl. Millions of guys get shot down who do safe approaches, everyday. I'm sorry none of those ever happened to you.

          • Mel

            Johnny Doe, I don't feel that I can have a real conversation with you, because you persist in putting words in my mouth and ignoring what I'm actually saying. Cases in point:

            "you specifically said you don't approach guys because it isn't safe"

            Where did I say this? Things I have said: That I *have* approached guys (just rarely, mainly because I rarely feel comfortable enough to cold-approach anyone, male or female), that I would still approach guys if I was single, and that some women are hesitant to approach strangers because they don't know if any particular guy is safe. Saying you're uncertain about whether something is safe is very different from saying it's definitely not safe.

            "your overall narrative: don't approach guys, see look what happened to me"

            Where did I tell anyone not to approach guys? I don't believe I have, and I wouldn't *want* to tell people that, so I don't see how that can be part of any "overall narrative" of mine.

            "And you did say that guys are 'after it'"

            Again, where did I say this? I've reread my comments here to make sure I'm not forgetting something, and I don't see anything remotely like this. It's certainly not something I think. (In fact, if you look at the most recent article here, you'll see me arguing with another commenter that it's *not* true that most guys are only interested in sex.)

            I think I've explained my reasoning about why women have more to be worried about when approaching pretty clearly in my other comments here. I doubt my repeating those reasons is going to change anything, especially since you already have such a definite idea in your mind about what I believe that you're incapable of listening to me even when I tell you directly that I don't believe those things. If you don't agree with my reasoning, that's fine. It really doesn't affect me one way or the other.

            I'm not sure why you're so concerned about convincing *me* of your arguments, when many other people who frequent this blog have given similar reasons for why women are more hesitant to approach men, here and in other articles, including Dr. NerdLove himself. I'm far from the only person who's put these ideas forth.

          • I'll gladly debate you on you terms, I don't need to convince, its right there in your own words.

            Your own quotes about how women shouldn't approach guys:

            "if you're a woman approaching a guy, you'll also be scared of rejection, of feeling embarrassed, of being mocked. But you'll *also* be scared that the guy you're approaching will turn out to be one of those who thinks an approach is an open invitation to do anything they want with you, and who'll at worse attack and rape or even kill you. (And remember that there is no totally "safe" public place–a guy can follow you from a coffee shop or a supermarket to somewhere more private where you're at more risk.) "

            Name how many times this happened to you. Exactly like you say it. You talk to a guy at a coffee shop, initiate the interation wherever and whenever, and he follows you out the shop after you've made it clear you are no longer interested, where you fear for your safety.. My guess is zero. Getting ignored or the flirting isn't reciprocated back is no way shape or form proof of how a girl can get physically harmed.

            "I've found that if the woman approaches the guy, she's much more likely to get angry and/or hostile accusations of "leading him on" or similar if after approaching him (or after the first date or two) she decides she's not interested after all. The approach, especially since women don't do it that often, is seen by many guys as an indication that the woman really likes them, or at least is a little desperate, and a promise of things to come."

            AGAIN, i would, ask, what are you basing this on? How did you come to find its much more likely? Because you also said you haven't approached many guys in person. I don't think unwanted approaches from men in any way shape or form, gives you the right to say girls are more likely to be pursued by guys where its not acceptable if they initiate.

            So you're not exactly an authority to comment that its a risk for girls to approach guys. This is exactly what you said to the first time I asked how many guys you approached, regarding numbers, and you never gave a number, though i suspect again, its close to zero:

            "And my "approaches" were mainly on internet dating sites, because I have trouble approaching anyone I don't know (women included) in person."

            "I've never had a positive interaction come out of approaching a guy. I've had the one really negative one, and several no or not much interest ones."

            If i re-defined negative one into crude, vulgar or disrespectful, you have had exactly one bad experience approaching a guy in person.

            And FYI, in reference to your online dating, the flip-side of the coin of online dating, I have noticed, directly from female friends, is that, NONE of them ever actually go out on dates! They sift through profiles and loads of inbox material, and they just can't find a guy they like. From a guy's perspective, you're thinking if a girl finds you cute, you think she's cute, you can arrange a safe place to meet up, you can at least go out once or twice, no big deal.

            That's why its called a 'dating' website. But alot of girls have turned into something else. . . its just a place where they practice dating, exclusively through messaging. Some maybe have had bad experiences, but many, from what i have seen, and spoken to directly, do have a complex about meeting up a guy alone, no matter how safe the environment.

            For guys who are actually expecting to meet girls who are serious about looking for someone to date, and it turns out to be this instead, it can be very frustrating, especially if the guy turned to online dating in hopes of facilitating interactions with the opposite sex which he isn't getting in his everyday life.

            And this is where you say guys are more or less after sex:
            "I think it comes down to the whole sex-as-commodity view that unfortunately seems to be so common. Girls "have" it and guys want to "get" it. A guy going up to a girl recognizes that she hasn't "offered" it to him yet, so he has to "bargain" for it, and may not succeed. But a girl going up to a guy is already "offering" it, so it's cheating if she then "reneges" on that deal.

            It sounds like a generalization of guys if you ask me. You use the term "so common".

          • Mel

            All right, since now you're referring to what I have actually said (which I don't think are odd terms for a debate), I'll clarify where you're misunderstanding.

            The first paragraph you quote is *not* me saying women shouldn't approach guys. It's explaining *why* some (not all) women are hesitant (not completely unwilling) to do so. I'm talking to a guy–I'm explaining to him a woman's perspective on the risks involved. He wanted to know why women don't approach as much as men, I was telling him one (not the only!) reason. Would you rather I'd ignored his complaint or pretended this isn't a reason that exists?

            I'm basing the idea that men can become disrespectful or even aggressive if approached by a woman not just on my own experience, because I know that's limited, but on things I see and overhear around me (I've seen guys make crude comments to women approaching them; I've overheard guys talking amongst each other about women who were "so desperate" for asking them out), on experiences other women relate (you have noticed that there's another commenter who replied to your initial question mentioning one guy she approached called her a slut and another sexually assaulted her?), on responses I've seen guys make when a woman is harassed or assaulted after approaching a guy (there are always plenty saying it was her fault for initiating the encounter), and so on.

            That's the thing you do, even when you have a lot of experience with something, but especially when you don't. You gather information from all the sources available to you so you can have as full a picture as possible. I've never been raped. Does that mean I have no right to say that women can be raped, just because it's never happened to me? It's ridiculous to say that I can't talk about things that happen if they haven't happened directly to me.

            There are over a million guys just in my city. I have maybe attempted to initiate conversations in person in the hopes of getting a date with five of them. Just because those five didn't go overtly badly doesn't mean I have no right to believe it's possible for such an approach to go badly, especially when I have had it go badly in another context (online), and I've seen it happen and heard about it happening to lots of other people.

            Your rant about how none of your female friends actually go on dates has nothing to do with this conversation. I did go on dates with guys I met online; I've encouraged some of my female friends to try online dating (and to actually go on dates with people); I *married* a guy I met online. I'm sorry you know women who are too scared to ever meet up with a guy, but if it bothers you, it would make much more sense for you to take it up with them, not me.

            Finally, the sex as commodity view: this is a societal view and influences how many guys think about sex. I never said guys only or even mostly want sex; I said it's common for guys to view sex as something they have to get if they want it (rather than something they share with another person who's equally enthusiastic). A guy can want a long term deeply romantic and committed relationship, and still see sex as a commodity.

            Dr. NerdLove talks about this view in an article here, if you want more detail (scroll down; the relevant section is toward the end):

            I want to reiterate this point, in the hope of avoiding further misunderstanding: I am in no way saying that women should avoid approaching men because of the risk of harassment or assault. I did not say the risk is particularly high (only, higher for women than for men) or that more than a minority of men engage in this behavior. I did not intend anything I said here as a message toward women. I am merely explaining to the *men* who complain about this *one* reason why *some* women are hesitate to approach as often as men approach them.

          • kilo

            "I said it's common for guys to view sex as something they have to get if they want it (rather than something they share with another person who's equally enthusiastic)."

            I don't really understand why these models are mutually exclusive. To stay in Millar's example of musicians playing together, if a band does not have a drummer, it seems plausible to me that having a drummer is something "they have to get if they want it", but actually playing with any particular drummer as "something they share with another person who's equally enthusiastic". One is about interactions in themselves, the other about the logistics of how the interactions happen.

          • Mel

            Yes, but in your example, what they have to get is a drummer (who will be an enthusiastic participant), not the act of drumming. They wouldn't see drummers as elusive people who will only drum for others if they're convinced–they'd see a drummer as someone who enjoys drumming and will be happy to find a band to join.

            Seeing sex as a commodity means you feel the *sex* itself is something you need to get–that you have to convince someone else to "give" you, who wouldn't want to share it with you just for their own enjoyment too. Thinking "to have sex, I need to get an enthusiastic sexual partner" is very different from (and much healthier than) thinking "to have sex, I need to convince a woman to give me sex."

            Does that make sense? If you read the link I gave, DNL goes into a lot more detail about how exactly this way of thinking is harmful to both men and women trying to have mutually enjoyable relationships.

          • I see what you're saying.

            I just got a bit frustrated, just because from my perspective, a guy who doesn't date, doesn't approach women, and gets bombarded with these messages everyday 'men are pigs" "men just want sex" "so many guys ask for my number", "guys objectify women" it gets to the point where I do genuinely feel like girls want to be left alone, entirely. There's no chance of me offending them if I just keep to myself. The one avenue I would ever have to talk to girls is if they approach me first, so I can't really condone what you're saying.

            No girl can say I'm a guy whose a stage-five clinger, a creeper, or anything of the sort. I figure its best to just let a girl be, i'm sure if she's interested, I would know, and probably gets approached 100 of times in an unwanted way, just like you.

            As a result, I go on zero dates, meet zero women, and exclusively interact with them through work. There isn't a single woman in my life who i interact with that isn't a professional relationship.

            And I'm sure that its better that way, because if i let a girl approach me, it must be comfortable for her as well, otherwise she wouldn't, and I also won't be one of those guys *you* describe.

            And then i read your thing saying "girls have a higher risk than guys in approaching", I can't stand for that, because alot of guys WONT approach for the same reasons I don't, but you don't know there is flip-side to what you are saying, which is most, and YES, i say most guys won't approach out of respect. Those guys who don't do it for legitimate reasons, from my opinion AND my experience, vastly exceed guys who will be crude to a girl who does it. And I will go to bat and say this is based on my experiences, and that of others. There's good reason NOT to approach a girl, if she's with friends, you can get a very rude response (i have, at least 7-8 times).

            The closest thing to interaction I've had with a girl is i've bought her a drink, and i immediately walk away, because I don't want her to think I just bought her a drink, and she owes me her time or anything at all. And isn't that what its about? I'm not entitled to anything?

            There's a million guys who don't approach at all because a) they've been hurt by a girl badly, b) usually the rejection is pretty rude, I know, i've been there, or 3) they just don't feel they could just talk to a stranger. The second a girl gives me a funny look when I talk to her, why on earth would I want to continue? she's obviously not comfortable.

            So i do to an extent feel that your posts you marginalize or downplay men like me, and there are lots of them. We just don't get talked about as much by women, only the creep guys do.

            I make good money, I'm not hideous, I have never cheated on a woman, never hit a woman, never harrassed anyone, I don't go chase after supermodels, but you know what?

            I don't date at all. . .i feel like girls are so bombarded by these bad advances that chances are, they don't give a fuck, what i say, do, think, or feel, and they don't need to.

            It's reality, but it is sad and depressing to accept at times, that no one gives a fuck about you but you, it can feel brutal, when you ask what am i doing wrong? whats wrong with me that no one wants me? I do everything society asks of me, but I'm still alone.

            So when I also read "girls have a higher risk of approaching guys", i hope you can understand why as a male, I find that somewhat offensive, and so do the many other guys who aren't all about those bad interactions you have had.

            I making a POINT for it to be known men like me are NOT a minority, we just don't speak up as much.

            I've already accepted I'll never have a gf or anything, and I'm not going to bother any girls with approaches, but there is noooo way I'm going to agree with you and say approaching guys is a bad avenue too for safety reasons.

            And yes, one girl here said that one guy called her a slut, correct me if I am wrong, but that's one bad experience out of how many? I don't know, she didn't say.

            And the sexually assaulting, I read that guy was convicted years later of sexually assaulting someone else. But again, that's a bad example out of MANY. BTW i hate sexual harrassment and assault. I threw a guy into the wall once at a club the second he puts his arm around my female friend where it was totally out of nowhere. Hell, i've seen creeps get their ass beat up at a club just for talking to a girl right after she said dont talk to me. Many times over.

          • part 2 – sorry this is part 2 of my post, the first part is below under kilo's post.
            That's why in jail guys who get convicted of rape are completely open targets in prison, because even prisoners hate guys that do it. The Mafia is probably the worst form of retribution a guy will receive for doing anything inappropriate to a woman. But again, these things somehow never make it into magazines.

            I can offer you examples of my bad experiences with girls that could also point to why its bad to go out with girls who approach, but i won't say its the norm, or it makes any more likely i shouldn't be open to girls approaching me.

            I once had a girl openly tell me via text, after she dropped me, "i couldn't like you though tried, you had no good qualities, and i was unattracted to you and uninterested in the things you had to say after awhile. I'm sorry i feel horrible but i'd rather not lie" We started going out after she was very forward about meeting up alone to kick it, and went on to 2 months of texting compliments to each everyday day, just being sweet and wholesome to each other, making out in public completely sober, going to nice places to hang out, her saying she missed me and wish she had her arms around me, and me totally not pushing her to go out with me, or me being after "it".

            I also later found out she'd been dumped by a guy very recently, in a pretty harsh way, and dated lots of guys at the same time, which she had lied to me about. That was the first time I dated in over a year.

            The direct experience before that was, another girl got my number from someone else after meeting me at a party, called me up, asked me out, we made out after a real fun night of drinking, made plans to meet up again, next day she called and said she felt real uncomfortable making out with me in my car, even though she asked me to come to her place for some water and to sober up after we did it. Two weeks later she got engaged, and I found out the whole time she had been seeing someone.

            Another girl I met once who pulled me onto a dance floor, put her arms around me, complimented me left and right, said im handsome, i got big muscles, I'm great bf material, but she just needed to get to know me better, and couldnt go on dates w/me, but could hang out with friends. My friends told me to chase her, to go for it (by it i mean get her to hang out with me, not fuck, cuz I don't think that far ahead), and it was the one time I did really put myself out there. We did go out once, but it was a double date because she insisted she couldnt do it alone, and I just cooked her and her friend dinner. She later told my friends i tried too hard.After hanging out one more time, I just stopped trying, and strangely, she told mutual friends to bring me out cuz she wanted to see me, but never once picked up the phone, called me, and asked me to go out alone, even though we'd already kick it 3 times alone and she had my number. I never once pressured her into sex, or dates, or anything. I just wanted to spend time with her b/c i believe she liked me and I had a chance and i liked her personality. I didn't, I was wrong. She also said she didn't do bfs, she only went out on dates if she was considering a guy to be a husband. 3 months later she had a bf.

          • Part 3-
            I have never recovered from these experiences, afterwards asked a few girls out, all of whom said no, or changed their mind about meeting up ever since. And I haven't really spoken to a woman in a setting where i was interested for over a year now, and just became all about making money and my career about myself. Just got tired of getting shot down, and reading stuff like the stuff you read, and figure I get lumped right into it without girls even giving it a second thought. No one owes me anything.

            I may not care about whether someone likes me or not, I sure as heck don't go online posting general statements about how its more likely than not girls who act like they show interest to guys right away really are doing it for some other reason. That's just what happened to me unfortunately. And I am sure that there are way more girls that wouldn't treat a guy this way. And that is ultimately, the way i feel about bad guys versus good guys.

            With respect to your post on online dating, I just brought it up because that's something I'm really sick of hearing from girls as well, and it needs a counter response.
            "Guys just email me for sex or have bad grammar, can't they comment on my profile". I've sent out at least 100 emails, no bad grammar, short or long, and maybe got 2 responses, messages that tried to comment on the girl's profile, show I'm not all about sex, like HER profile requested and none of which were to a girl who conventionally would be considered way out of my league, or at least I'd like to think so. So do hundreds of other guys. We don't get discussed in women's magazines or forums about dating though. EVERY single message a woman gets is about sex? I'd just once, like to hear a woman admit, yes I have gotten messages that commented on my profile, and I just didnt like them for personality or looks, or whatever, so I didn't respond. That's totally ok, cuz then at least its admitted there are men who do try to respect a woman's boundaries when making an interaction, women just don't happen to feel those guys for totally legit reasons, rather than oh I don't meet someone because all guys who approach me are creepy or just want sex, which is what I feel the flavor of your posts are, they are slanted in guys who pose a physical harm to women.

            I can't say it doesn't happen because that isnt true, but the number of places it doesn't happen and can be easily found by women, or saying its more risky for a girl to do that, I can't agree. A few bad times it happens isn't any worse that a few bad times a guy gets told to fuck off by a girl or a girl and her friends at a public place after making a respectful approach.

          • Mel

            Look, I understand that you feel frustrated and upset because you know you have good intentions and yet you've had bad experiences with women and you're not sure what to do. You're entitled to have those feelings, and I'm sorry you've had so much trouble with dating. But it seems that because of your feelings, you're taking my comments here very personally, as an indictment of you and all other guys, when (as I've said very explicitly) that's not how I mean them at all.

            Unfortunately, I can't help you with this. If you've read everything I wrote, including the parts where I noted that I don't think women should avoid approaching, and that I know the risk of assault isn't very high and that most men wouldn't do that, and you still see me saying that all men are bad and approaching them is bad, that's something going on in your head. Because the exact opposite is there in my words.

            When a woman says, here is a reason I'm nervous approaching men, she's not talking about you personally. She's not making a statement about the behavior of all men. She's only making a statement about her own feelings.

            Similarly, when we're talking about general trends in people's ways of thinking and behavior, we're talking about just that–trends. We're not saying we know what any specific person will think or do in any specific circumstance. We're not saying that all or most or even many people who are influenced by those trends will necessarily act in harmful ways. We're not even saying that those people who make mistakes or have some problematic ways of thinking are bad people. We're just pointing out that these issues exist in the hopes that awareness of them will lead to change.

            If knowing reasons why women feel nervous about approaching men, or hearing people talk about problematic trends in gender relations, makes you feel crappy about yourself, the solution isn't that everyone should stop talking about those things, especially when other people *are* interested in hearing about them. The solution is you shouldn't get into discussions about those topics until you can participate in those discussions without taking it personally.

            No one directed this conversation at you, as a statement of your worth or of blame; no one made you come here and read this discussion that was basically finished a month ago. *You* are the one making it about you, and so you are the only one who can solve that problem.

            And no one on this blog is asking you to never approach women. I am not asking you to never approach women. I, and lots of other women on this blog (as well as the men), frequently offer suggestions of good ways to approach women. If you've decided that you just won't approach women ever, that is *your* decision. No one here forced you to make that decision. So it's unreasonable of you to direct your frustration at me, or anyone else here, over a decision you've already made that had nothing to do with us.

            I don't feel there's anything else I can say to you that would make any difference. I hope you're able to work through your frustrations and difficulties in time.

          • I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read everything I wrote, and the experiences I went through with the girls I liked.

            You are correct, no one directed this conversation at me, or anything. I wasn't trying to direct my frustration at you – but rather bring to your attention – I am a man who does not do anything you've described, and I am probably the most invisible guy to women, and that there are lots of guys like me who don't speak up about it.

            If you did actually read everything I wrote on my dating experiences, which you described as my trouble with dating, would you feel its more accurate to characterize it as 'being lead on'? Do you feel its possible as a guy to never have bad intentions, yet you are on the receiving end every single time? Because thats what I was trying to show you. You hit the nail on the head, had good intentions, and got hurt. Do you find that sad at all? That some guys wanted love, wanted romance, exactly what you probably have with your husband, but never found it, and don't have any love left to put out there?

            Just once in my life, I'd like to see an article about that. Guys who dont date, and dont fit the profile of what these trends you speak of. Guys who would have sex as something enjoyable for both partners, but never ever would get to do that, because 1) they can't get a date, and 2) chances are, they dont even think about sex because getting a dating in itself is naturally a pretty big deal, because unlike girls, they don't have as many options.

            Guys who don't push for sex, cat-call, talk to women in a crude or vulgar manner, are completely ignored, or harshly rejected by girls.

            You think I don't want that, to just get confident, get some passions, and hopefully someday meet a girl I am in love with and be happy and leave the past behind, and totally not disrespect her or anything, but just feel like that is no longer possible? Sometimes I don't even want to leave my house or go to weddings anymore just because I am sick of seeing couples everywhere, and just magnifies how alone I feel.

            This past Valentine's day i just shut off the TV and started crying, because it was the 7th valentine's day that I'd been alone.

            I can't even get a girl to respond on dating website, and guess what? NEVER wrote a crude message in my life. I'll even show you them if you want. I really want to see a girl's inbox, desperately, just to confirm that they get 100% messages about "hey baby want to have sex", because they must have somehow missed mine, or saw it, and decided I wasn't good looking enough for a response. And maybe not every message was perfect, but man, 100% of them were wrong? In fact, take that as a lie, there's no way a girl could get 300 messages from a dating website, and every, single one, fails to comment on her personality. In fact, I just sent out 4 messages last night, and guess what, trying to comment on their profile and be funny, exactly the way the girls on this website describe, oohh i wish a guy did that, and guess what? zero responses. Big surprise.

            Thank you for your well wishes on working through my frustrations and difficulties, although I don't really know what you mean, since I've already tried to do everything I read women want in a guy, empathize with the plight of women, try to not to be THAT guy like you describe, and I still ended up single and unnoticed.

            I can't really see how getting called by a girl i never gave my number too, go out and have a good time, only to be dropped the next day, then find out she's engaged, is in any way, shape or form, proof i have trouble with dating, as much as it is reflective of getting lead on, at the expense of my own feelings, and not the other person's, who guess what, happens to be a girl, not a guy.

            The worst part about it is that infrequently, I have been complimented on my looks, not to the point where I have an ego, but just enough to know I'm not like hideous, accomplished things through my work ethic, and the best one of all – my personality, which increasingly has lead to so much self-doubt 'if this is all true, then what the fuck is wrong with me? how come i can't even just go on a date with a girl, with zero expectations? why is that in itself such a challenge?'

            I'm sorry for the unwanted women attention receive from men, it must suck, but I don't know anymore that I really care anymore, because I'll never know what that feels like, to be wanted by so many people of the opposite sex I just hit delete, and where I really do have the option to let some good potential partners go, because I can, I have that many options.

          • part 2 –
            I may never know what that is like, but you will never, ever know what is like to be a man in this new, harsh world of dating, to go through key events in your life with no one at your side, for years. That's how I feel. When I worked 70 hour weeks and hit the gym up six times a week, got into grad school with a scholarship, graduated grad school, passed my licensing test, closed my first big business deal, got my first nice place, got my first job offer, my second, the whole time, was alone. I've never quite understood why guys me get zero, zero sympathy from the year world. Its our fault, and its a strike against us. Like i know RIGHT now, any girl reading this is saying "this guy has been alone for years, he clearly is not a guy I would go out with". BAM. Just got crossed off.

            I tried even to sign up for a dating website that was all about suggesting places great for dates, so I thought it would take the focus of are we not going to go on a date or are we, versus where are we going to go thats fun for us? Again, ZERO responses, and didn't message exclusively 'models' as some girls try to say about guys who complain about a lack of a dating life.

            But anyways, I gotta go now, cuz im getting a lump in my throat just thinking about the lack of harm I've caused to women, how good my intentions have been, and how many times I've been hurt/ignored/rejected by the opposite sex for a date, and not sex, a date, something fun that both of us could enjoy together =(

          • Mel

            Johnny, you seem to be trying very hard to get my sympathy. I told you I'm sorry about your troubles. I'm not really sure what you want here. Is it going to help you if I tell you I think it's sad when a person gets hurt frequently, or has good intentions but isn't able to succeed? I do think that's sad. I don't think I or anyone else here has indicated that we wouldn't.

            You also seem determined to read malicious intent into everything I say. When I referred to your trouble with dating, I simply meant that as you made clear, you are having bad experiences when it comes to attempted romance with women. Trouble = things not going well. I didn't say that those bad experiences were your fault.

            *Most* of the articles on the Dr. NerdLove blog are aimed at guys with good intentions, who don't cat call or talk to women crudely, who just aren't sure how to get a date. There are articles here giving tips on how to have more success with online dating, posts about how to build confidence, posts about how to approach women successfully, and so on. There is tons of sympathy for guys who are struggling to date. It isn't really fair for you to come into a discussion specifically about why women don't approach men, ignoring all the other articles and discussions that are more targeted to your situation, and then complain that no one ever cares about or addresses your situation. Take a look around the blog. Read through the archives. You're much more likely to find something that will help you there than here in this thread.

          • I will, and you do not have malicious intent. I'm sorry if I sounded like I was saying that. Thank you again. I'll try to read some of the other articles here. I'm just so far down my hole I feel like there's no way to dig out of it, with respect to dating.

            FWIW, I did go read some of your other posts, and I did notice you do give some really insightful advice.

          • I don't hate you or anyone, I just hate my situation, and I wish I knew, or at least someone saw me and could tell me what I am doing wrong, because I don't really know. I know they say you got to wait and be patient, and you can't rush trying to meet someone, but after 7-8 years alone, its like, how much longer should I be patient. I'm just confused and hurt right now, and I apologize if i sound like I was taking it out on you. You are correct, you aren't responsible for it, and neither is anyone else. I just feel like its unfair sometimes hard I have to try and I keep failing when I think I coudl really be a terrific person to someone else if given the chance.

          • Mel

            I understand why you'd feel that way. It's hard for anyone online to give you really in depth help because we know a limited amount about your situation, and what we do know is only what you tell us. I second eselle28’s suggestion that you have a friend look at your profile–a female friend, preferably–and ask her to honestly tell you if there's anything she feels you can improve. You might even ask a female friend if she has any ideas of things you can do to improve your chances with women in general. (I know you've been trying for a long time, but maybe there's something you've missed; it's worth checking.)

            The most important thing is that you don't place any pressure on the friend to answer one way or another. If you ask and then tell her how you've been trying so hard and you don't think you're doing anything wrong, she's going to be hesitant to tell you if she does see something you're doing wrong because she can see it'll upset you. So be easy-going and calm about it. And if she does point out something, thank her and maybe ask a few clarifying questions to make sure you understand, but avoid getting upset or arguing with her, even if you don't agree. If she does what you asked and then feels you're rejecting what she offered, she's not likely to try to help again in the future.

            And if you're feeling so confused and hurt you're not sure you can keep trying, that might be a good time to talk to a counsellor or therapist if you aren't already.

            Oh, and as far as online dating goes, I think in the past DNL has let people post links to their dating profiles on his Facebook page so readers can give suggestions. Not as good as someone who knows you, but at least you'd get feedback based on people actually seeing part of what you're doing. Not sure if people can still do that, but you can always ask.

          • ok, i'll do that, and keep an open mind. And yes, I am doing something wrong, I just want to know what it is, I don't think it would upset me, because I want to fix it, even if it takes time.
            Yeah, people looking at it would be great. Thank you again for your help, and listening, and for the help you give other readers to this board.

          • Trooper6

            Johnny, I wish you could have more empathy for women…because that might improve your chances with them. You say you do…but you don't really. The way you talk about women does not indicate you have a lot of respect for them. You are heading towards Nice Guy (TM) territory for me rather than a guy who is nice. If you were a kind and well adjusted dude:

            You might realize that there are *lots* of women who are as invisible to and ignored by men as you are. There are lots of women who are alone on Valentine's day for years, crying. The image of the "wallflower" or the "spinster" exists for a reason.

            You might believe the things women say, rather than basically calling them all liars. ["I really want to see a girl's inbox, desperately, just to confirm that they get 100% messages about "hey baby want to have sex", because they must have somehow missed mine, or saw it, and decided I wasn't good looking enough for a response. And maybe not every message was perfect, but man, 100% of them were wrong? In fact, take that as a lie, there's no way a girl could get 300 messages from a dating website, and every, single one, fails to comment on her personality."] You don't believe what is in a woman's inbox. You don't believe women get harassed when they approach guys. This doesn't read as respectful or empathetic. That comes across as aggressive and hostile.

            You don't understand that harassment is not "attention" and the people who harass are not dating options. Harassment is traumatic and scary. ["I'm sorry for the unwanted women attention receive from men, it must suck, but I don't know anymore that I really care anymore, because I'll never know what that feels like, to be wanted by so many people of the opposite sex I just hit delete, and where I really do have the option to let some good potential partners go, because I can, I have that many options."]

            Also, I'm a man (which means I understand the present world of dating), and I'd never date you. Not because you haven't dated in a while, but because of your desperation and your entitled privilege. Let me explain.

            Desperation: It is my policy never to date someone who desperately wants a date in general. I want to date people who want to date *me*–not people who desperately want to get married in a year or who are miserable alone. Those people tend to result in unhealthy relationships because they need therapy to deal with the unhappiness they have with themselves, or they are using me to fill up the relationship sized hole in their life and I won't be used.

            Entitlement: You wrote–"When I worked 70 hour weeks and hit the gym up six times a week, got into grad school with a scholarship, graduated grad school, passed my licensing test, closed my first big business deal, got my first nice place, got my first job offer, my second, the whole time, was alone. I've never quite understood why guys me get zero, zero sympathy from the year world."
            Are you white? You sound like a guy that is dripping with privilege. You've got education, money, a body, a career–you've got a lot of power in our Western society and you are complaining you don't get to "have" women as well. Cry me a river.

            No one–no one–is entitled to a date. No one *deserves* a date. And you wanting women to do things they don't want to do because it is better for you (i.e. date you) does not smell like you respect women.

            But here is my advice:
            1) Go to a therapist to work through your self-pity and entitlement issues…and your attitude towards women…and your internalization that if you don't have a romantic partner you are alone.
            2) Since you have money, rather than online dating sites, you might want to try a matchmaker service. They cost money, but also involve coaching to help you be more successful in dating. I think you need some advice from people who know you in person who can be objective.

          • A few things I wanted to clarify on your points
            1) yes you are totally correct, I am painfully aware that I am single, and I don't date. I don't know if that equates to desperate since I never approach women in real life.

            2)I don't disbelieve women get harrassed. I believe they got lots of bad attention that doesn't count, and maybe there is some good attention there as well, that gets overlooked, for whatever reason. I wasn't trying to say that women are liars – the inbox example is just my experience. That's what i read in every single dating profile i've ever read, and i make sure to send a reasonably well-thought out message. So since I make such a point not to be that way, I do get to thinking, "is that really the case? or does she get messages like mine all the time, and just hits delete because I'm not good looking enough, she doesnt like my profile, or whatever? That's COMPLETELY fine, that's her option, but then it isnt really true that 100% of guys that message are horny pigs." That's all I was just to say. And again, its just my own perspective on it, not saying thats correct, you're right, I don't know what its in her inbox.

            3)On your comments about privilege – first I want to clear up some things, I am hardly in shape now, far from it actually. I pointed out that i worked 70 hour weeks, hit up the gym, at a time when i was younger, and more confident, and more hopeful about life in general, and that I was a hardworking person trying to succeed in all areas. And I'm not super successful, I don't even make six figures, but I do decent.

            RIght now, I have a career, which is mine to lose btw, everyday, I don't have a body, I've got some money, but I wouldnt equate that to privilege. None of the things I pointed out that I accomplished were handed to me.

            A little under a year ago, I worked for free, and went through a ton of bad job interviews. I got so desperate to succeed, that I snarked and clawed (not literally, but through extreme confident and almost insane positivity) my way into my current place. WIthout saying what I do, my profession is in a stage of the worst job market in american history.

            I don't think I am 'entitled' to a girl, or a date, or anything. It's more about self-doubt, like is it i've done things society says women like, be fit, make money, be hardworking, be nice, and I can't even get a date? It's not blaming women, I'm blaming myself, like wtf is wrong with me. So I'd have to say I don't feel like I carry some type of Western privilege you are talking about, I was citing to to show I try so hard in other areas of life, (exercise is one I really, really need to come back, but has disappeared due to work schedule), and I've failed so miserably in this one. And no, I am not caucasian.

            3) I think I do need some serious, brutal advice from objective people on how to get better with women. In fact, that's what I noted to Mel above. I do take responsibility for where I am, but I don't know if its all my fault. There was another article on this site about how some people just naturally don't feel good when they see their friends go in and out of relationships like nothing, and they can't even just get a date, and its much harder when you see all these articles in society about dating and relationships, and you just feel totally left out of the process. I apologize if that makes me sound desperate and 'entitled', but that is just how i feel.

            Do i think the answer is some girl should magically want to date me? NO! I want someone who wants me and I want them back, and we can enjoy each others company, I'm just not sure how to go about it, and if you've read any of my posts above, you'll see i have tried, i have had good intentions, i have went out on dates sometimes with girls, none of them just panned out, and I'm back to square one again.

          • Trooper6

            Note these two statements of yours:

            "I wasn't trying to say that women are liars – the inbox example is just my experience. That's what i read in every single dating profile i've ever read, and i make sure to send a reasonably well-thought out message. So since I make such a point not to be that way, I do get to thinking, "is that really the case? or does she get messages like mine all the time, and just hits delete because I'm not good looking enough, she doesnt like my profile, or whatever? That's COMPLETELY fine, that's her option, but then it isnt really true that 100% of guys that message are horny pigs." That's all I was just to say. And again, its just my own perspective on it, not saying thats correct, you're right, I don't know what its in her inbox."

            "I apologize if that makes me sound desperate and 'entitled', but that is just how i feel."

            Then note this one:
            "I don't think I am 'entitled' to a girl, or a date, or anything. It's more about self-doubt, like is it i've done things society says women like, be fit, make money, be hardworking, be nice, and I can't even get a date? It's not blaming women, I'm blaming myself, like wtf is wrong with me."

            Okay, women like different things. Not all women demand you be fit, for example. Also desperation and entitlement are rarely attractive…so if you are projecting that, that may be one of your problems. Lastly, you say that you are nice, yet you repeatedly doubt women when they tell your their experience and try to lawyer them about their experiences…that isn't nice behavior. So maybe you aren't as nice as you think you are–or maybe you don't come off as nice as you think you do.

            Okay, but I'm going to go to my honest advice:
            1) Therapy, if you aren't doing it already.
            2) Matchmaking service rather than online.

            None of us know you in person so we can't say, "Hey Johnny, you keep talking over your date–that might be one of the things putting people off," or "Hey Johnny, you're fine…it is just that you are x in a location where everyone wants y…you should move to Place C!" or "Wow! Do you come off really negative…that turns people off," or "Johnny, you keep approaching women who have quality a and b…but people with quality a and b, tend not to be compatible with your quality c…that is likely causing the trouble."

            But a professional in person can help you out.

          • Anthony

            From reading your posts, your problem is attitude. You accept that things aren't going well, and are willing to fix them. But you're continuously thinking of the problem, and not of the solution. And the 'solution' to dating issues is generally never an easy one, and it's usually one that requires a lot of self assessment and possibly some really awful admissions of your own short comings. I had to go through that, and it sucked. But things improve, afterwards. You're stuck in the gear 'Woe is me.' You need a jolt to bump you into the 'Fixing things' gear. Without knowing you, I can't say what that bump could be. A professional therapist might, or a matchmaking service, or an acquaintance or friend who may have some insight into your problems.

            Also, there doesn't need to be an article about the existence of guys who do things the right way. You shouldn't be kind or empathetic to women because you're looking for them to say, "Good job." You do it because it's the right thing to do. People should never generalize a statistic and say something like "100% of my inbox is requests for sex," but even when they do, realize it's probably not true.

            Also, you use the word girl(s) a lot in your posts. Sometimes our word choice is completely innocent, but you saying this could come from two different things – you have women associated with girls in your head, and people can pick up on that association subconsciously, and this can sabotage your interactions. Or, you're meeting adult females for whom 'girl' is a more appropriate term, in which case, finding more mature women may help you (although will not be a solution by itself).

          • sorry, all my replies are under Kilo's post, i should posted right under here.

          • eselle28

            A little bit of a digression, but in defense of your female friends, most of of the material they're sifting through in their inboxes isn't very appealing. I have a profile and get a decent number of messages. However, about 80% of them are from men far outside of my age group, men who either didn't upload a picture or bother completing a profile or both, or badly-spelled one-sentence come ons.

            Once those basic requirements are met, there are some a few further stumbling blocks. As a child-free atheist, I find that it's mostly just a waste of both people's time to go on dates with men who include God and their children in the six most important things category. While I'm not terribly picky about looks, there are some situations where it's unlikely a physical attraction will develop. And then sometimes I won't get along with someone, not even in messages.

            It adds up to about one date a month, but that doesn't mean I'm not actually looking to meet someone. It just means that finding potentially compatiable partners is hard.

          • eselle28

            Ok, that ended up being more of a digression than I meant it to be. My basic point is that a fairly large portion of the men on online dating sites aren't very serious about meeting someone, either. They might be messaging people, but some are primarily looking for sexting and cybersex, and quite a few others are so focused on youth and appearance that they put most of their efforts into messaging women who are unlikely to be interested while ignoring those who might be more compatible. There's a lot to gripe about when it comes to online dating, and I think there are some faults with the way both genders behave on those sites.

          • most of the material? What was the remaining material like?

            At least you can go, at least you can pick and choose between different people to consider. My inbox is zero, with probably 100+ messages sent out.

          • eselle28

            The other 20% of the messages I get are polite, reasonably well-written notes from men who completed their profiles and who are roughly in my age group. Above you expressed a wish to hear a woman confirm that sometimes she rejected men online because she didn't like their looks or their personality in their profiles. I'll confirm that this is the case. There are perfectly nice-seeming men who write to me and who I don't write back to because I think it's unlikely we'll have any physical attraction, or because their profiles seemed to indicate that we'd be unlikely to have much in common or get along, or because something about their lifestyles seemed very incompatible.

            I'd remind you that you pick and choose as well, at least if you're not messaging every woman in your geographic area. You may not think you're being overly picky, but neither do I. We could both be correct, but that wouldn't change the fact that we're picking and choosing.

            I'm sorry to hear that you've had so much difficulty, though. I'm going to assume that you're writing to women who are roughly your peers in age, education and lifestyle and that there's nothing obvious to explain why women aren't interested. If those are ruled out, I would say you're having unusally poor results and that it might be worthwhile to have a friend look at your profile.

          • eselle28

            Oh, but if you do want one suggestion, I have seen dating sites that focus on people going on fun dates. If that's the only site where you have a profile, I would suggest you instead concentrate on one of the mainstream sites (Match, OkCupid, perhaps Eharmony if you're older or religious, perhaps JDate if you're Jewish).

            Gimmicks like focusing on date locations aren't going to substantially change people's dating behavior or make them more open-minded about their date partners. Add in that there are going to be fewer women to choose from on those sites, more abandoned profiles, and a risk of there being fake profiles maintained by the service to make it look active, and I don't think that's your best bet.

          • no, i just have one profile on OKCUPID. You are totally entitled to be picky, that's your freedom, there's no requirements. My frustration stemmed from reading profile, after profile, after profile, that said 'don't message me if you just want a one night stand' or some variation, of, and I haven't once done that, and I can't get a single response. But yeah, I did want to hear what you said, because it isn't really mentioned much outloud – btw, if you do write a nice message, commenting on my profile, but I don't like you, your profile, your photos, or the message, for whatever reason, I'm just not going to reply.

            That second part doesn't get mentioned a whole lot to me, but in any case, it does tell me that, my messages are wrong some how, my photos are not great, my profile isn't great, or all 3, and I need to change it somehow.

    • Commonly known as X

      Hi, I have approached quite a few men. Most guys look at me shocked or uncomfortably at first, though many recover for a conversation. Like with mens' approaches to women thats usually as far as it goes. One guy told me he wasn't into sluts. One guy (that I was actually just making polite conversation with) told me he wouldn't buy me a drink. One guy I knew through friends thought I was more interested than I was and the last time I saw him he was being sentenced for sexually assaulting me (that knocked my confidence out for a few years!) I've made a few friends.

      I' had one guy literally run away – he is the epitome of the shy nerd, but he asked me out later and we are now married.

      • Commonly known as X

        When I said he ran away, he said "I'll think about it. I've got to go", and then just bolted. As we were really good friends I was so upset – I thought I'd blown it. He told me he was just so totally shocked it was like his brain shut down.

      • Dr_NerdLove

        I am willing to bet money that the one who told you he wouldn't buy you a drink had read The Game. That's something that was drilled frequently in PUA culture in the early days: never buy women drinks, it's a shit test, etc. etc.

        • Commonly known as X

          Well, as I hadn't asked him to buy me one it just came across as really, really rude.

          PS. What is a shit test? All the examples on PUA websites just seem to be a woman teasing them – adversarial flirting stuff, so I don't know why they see it as negative.

          • Dr_NerdLove

            A shit test in PUA parlance is – supposedly – women “testing” men to see whether they are indeed as high-status as they pretend to be. In theory this includes telling men to do things that would be subservient or supplicating such as buying her a drink, holding a purse, being rude or sarcastic to him or otherwise putting up “bitch shields”.It's one of the hold-overs from when pick-up was based almost entirely on meeting women at clubs and bars, where you were more likely to find people with attitude problems and the behavior got mapped onto *all* attractive women ever. The hotter the woman – so the theory goes – the more likely she's going to test you to see if you're worth her time or make you jump through her hoops.

        • partially based on that and partially based on truth. I've had girls come to me at clubs talk, twirl their hair and say so you gonna buy me a drink? And then I do and then they go "thanks!" and go back to their friends

          • Anonymoose

            Don't buy a stranger drinks, because then you're just buying a drink and not necessarily time.

    • eselle28

      I approach guys semi-regularly, so I'm just going to stick with interactions that have occurred since this summer:

      -guy at a coffee shop who seemed uncomfortable and disinterested (fair enough, I frequently feel that way when I'm hit on)
      -guy at a bar who seemed uncomfortable and disinterested
      -guy at a bar who turned into a one night stand (no, he wasn't crude or disrespectful…I started off with a tipsy, "Hey, you're really cute…" so that's pretty much what I was interested in as well)
      -online guy who agreed to meet up…and then took me somewhere so he could introduce me to his friend (awkward, especially since I somehow let myself be convinced to go out with the friend)
      -online guy who I met up with several times, but who pretty much expected me to do all the traveling, make all the schedule compromises, and put up with frequent lateness and sudden cancellations (no clue whether that had anything to do with him thinking I was desperate or if he treated everyone he went out with that way)
      -a couple of other online guys who didn't write back

      • eselle28

        By the way, I still think it's good to be proactive even if it's not a perfect solution. I don't think guys necessarily have negative stereotypes about women doing the approaching. I think what's more likely is that since we were mostly raised with the expectation that men are responsible for initiating, the fact that a guy hasn't shown any active interest may mean he's not interested or that he's only very marginally interested. Still worth it, since there are a few cool guys out there who are too reserved to make the first move.

    • Becelec

      I'd just like to add to this I think a lot of this might have to do with culture. Outside of the States I think it might be more normal and acceptable for women to approach men. I just wanted to put that out there before I say that I approach guys frequently, and I've never had a problem with any of them being nasty or anything less than keen to engage in a conversation. I'd guess that around 80% of the guys I've been with I initiated it, so not all women are uncomfortable approaching and not all men are uncomfortable being approached. That said, from everything I've read, attitudes sound like they're a bit different in the States, so I'm not trying to counteract anything that the other ladies on here are saying.

      • Mel

        Yep, I think attitudes vary a lot across different cultures–about dating and gender relations overall, really, which then affects feelings about approaching. If the society around you doesn't portray sex as something women "give up", for example, you're less likely to see it as a negative when a woman's sharing her attention more freely.

        I've heard it said that there's a lingering Puritan influence in N. America that contributes to fairly restrictive ideas about sexuality. Not my area of study, so not sure how true that is, but it could be a factor.

  • I apologize for the typos, getting used to my phone

  • Pats

    I don't get why you have so many women on the show. Women give the WORST advice on getting women. no offense. great show overalll.

    • Commonly known as X

      For a start, not all the advice is for straight guys. Don't take the tagline too literally.

      There is often a complaint about women giving advice, and I don't know why you think "women give the WORST advice on getting women". Everyone the good doctor has talked to hasn't had anything radically different to say than him. It's all variations on : be honest with yourself and others, communicate what you want effectively, keep on trying if at first you don't succeed, don't be abusive.

      Actually I think learning how to "get" women includes learning how to talk to them, and I'm afraid that does include listening to us.