On occasion, I’ll get a request for advice on a situation that’s more layered and complex than a typical Ask Dr. NerdLove question. These questions typically need a deeper dive into just what went wrong, a sort of exploratory emotional surgury – a dating Post-Mortem if you will. On other occasions, the circumstances require more than just surgery. Sometimes it requires a session with The Chair Leg of Truth.
So come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab. It’s time to put on the scrubs and dig into this particular corpse.
A few days back, my girlfriend bumped into someone she knew from school but hadn’t connected to since at the subway stop. They chatted for a bit, and then her train came. To her surprise, the guy got on the train with her despite the fact that it was not going in the direction that he was. During the trip, he mentioned several times how lonely he was, and how bitter and angry that makes him. In school, my girlfriend had been kind to this person after his diagnosis with Aspergers, during which time he shared that he had suicidal tendencies. Now, she’s worried that he doesn’t have anyone with whom he can share these feelings. Other than a mutual appreciation of the same TV series, they don’t have anything in common.
This evening, the person sent my girlfriend an email asking to go to a movie together. On one hand, she feels like she has a responsibility to help someone so obviously in need of companionship. On the other, she has no interest in spending any more time with the guy, and has neither the time or energy to become this person’s emotional support system, because she’ll be starting an intensive program in Engineering soon. She doesn’t want to agree to one meeting and give the impression that she wants to be his BFF, but she doesn’t want the guilt of ghosting him or turning him down and later learning that he had hurt himself or others. He doesn’t seem to take hints very well, or he wouldn’t have followed her home.
Should she give him the one hang out he wants, or should she find a way to turn him down gently? She wants my advice, but I don’t know what to say.
What About Bob?
What is it that makes one person creepy and another person attractive? Why do some men set off women’s Spidey-sense while other men can do the exact same things and be perfectly fine?
Guys – especially ones who aren’t the most socially well-calibrated – worry a lot about being creepy by accident. They worry that being a creeper, even if it’s entirely unintentional – will start be the start of a long process that begins with being called creepy and eventually leads to their dying alone in a cave because they’ve been kicked out of all society, everywhere. But what is it that can cause even seemingly perfectly normal behavior to make people feel uncomfortable… and how can you avoid it?
- Why being creepy isn’t about who’s hot and who’s not
- How society makes it harder for women to trust their instincts
- The psychology behind why certain behaviors make women uncomfortable
- What behaviors trigger women’s sense of danger and why
- The key to avoiding being a creeper
…and so much more.
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Dear Dr NerdLove
First of all here’s a little background.
Due to some mental and physical health reasons I moved from my home to San Francisco where I am currently attending college. I have had little to no success with dating outside of a relationship I was in through OkCupid that ended about a year ago. I also used to do approaches at my old school with some friends of mine and we had some minor successes.
I saw your video on when and when not to flirt and I found it both informative and troubling. When I did used to do approaches I would almost exclusively do it at school, but since you said that doing that is normally seen as rude or bothersome I have been hesitant to try it here. The thing is when I’m at school is the only time I am around women on a daily basis. I can only go to bars once every two weeks or so because of my poor college kid financial situation. This has been taking a toll on my mental state in terms of provoking feelings of depression and self-hatred when I see a girl I find particularly attractive. I feel powerless and alone.
TL;DR: I wanna approach girls, because it feels like it’s the only thing I am doing that might work, and everything else I’ve been doing doesn’t. It is making me unhealthily sad. Please help.