single girls guide part 7

14 Jul 2011

I love HelloGiggles. The contributors post so often I just let the posts build up in my Google Reader and then pick the ones I want to read. This struck a chord with me today. Something us girls are always reminding ourselves and our girlfriends, but it never seems to stick. Repetition must help! (Obviously these are not my words at all. Click on Erin's name to read the rest of her Single Girls Guide on HelloGiggles.)
by Erin Foster
I feel like a lot of girls out there like to complain about all the losers they’ve dated in the past, and about what awful luck they’ve had in relationships. I’d like to address this issue directly to you ladies with the disclaimer that I used to be one myself. 
The thing you seem to always overlook is that the common denominator in these guys is YOU, the girl who put up with them! You’re the theme that runs through them. You picked them. You begged them to pose for photo booth pictures with you, and to put hearts next to your name in their iPhone. 
You saw the warning signs early on, but chose to ignore them. It’s because as women we think we have the ability to change someone. We think it’s our DUTY to change them. We make excuses for why they aren’t treating us the way we want to be treated, while simultaneously letting them know we’ll put up with anything. We don’t see these warnings for what they are, we see them as personal challenges. It’s why I’ve noticed a surge in guys playing “The No Game Game”. 
If a guy comes to you and says he’s not really looking for a relationship, and he doesn’t want to hurt you and he thinks sleeping together might complicate things, you are in shock. The idea that he’s being honest and willing to lose possible nakedness as a result doesn’t fit into everything you’ve grown to understand about men. The awareness that he’s not trying to sleep with you, kinda just makes you want to sleep with him. 
You feel compelled to prove that you can have fun and not fall in love. You also immediately assume that you can change his mind. Once he sees you in that one dress, and meets your friends, and eats your famous spaghetti bolognese, he’ll be hooked. He’ll obviously feel what you already feel. The sincerity of his intentions is almost offensive actually. You’re so accustomed to giving a guy a list of reasons why you shouldn’t sleep with him, and now he’s not even trying? 
Your dad never warned you about this tactic. So you end up submerging yourself in a bubbly bath of denial and forging ahead with the plan that at some point you’ll come up with a plan. And then when he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you, you’re pissed and you only have yourself to blame! The guy is stoked, he got laid and has nothing to feel guilty about because he did everything right. He didn’t play you, YOU played you! This is my point; stop blaming the dude for all your problems and take a look at how you got yourself here. While you’re whining about how terrible your ex boyfriend was, we’re wondering why you chose to stay with him for two years. We don’t believe it when a guy says something we don’t want to hear. We just turn it into what we assume he’s trying to say. 
Someone once told me the simplest way to get into a good relationship is to believe what the person is saying to you. Ok fine, it was my therapist. But it’s true. He says he isn’t ready for a relationship? Believe him. He says he never wants kids? Believe him. We make things so much more complicated than they need to be. How many women do you know who have a big complaint in their relationship like that he doesn’t want to get married? And how many of those women admit that he told them he wouldn’t want to right from the beginning? Like, all of em! You don’t need to tap dance and rearrange your life to get someone to fit into it. Stick to your guns. Take responsibility for your choices. There are no victims, only volunteers. My friend Josh said that to me tonight and I thought, that’s the perfect ending to this post!


  1. See, the problem I have with HelloGiggles is that they subscribe to this idea that guys behave in this way, girls behave in this way, and this is why things don't work.

    If people want something that really helps them understand the opposite sex, it's this: absolutely nobody precisely conforms to what's expected of their sex, so if you keep expecting them to do that, you will be constantly confused and disappointed.

    I've read a couple of HelloGiggles articles and they always seem to generalise in a really unconstructive manner. Firstly, in the articles I've read, they assume that their readers are heterosexual girls, which I kind of find annoying for a website that makes itself out to be so quirky and progressive. Secondly, they are saying things like "Women want to change guys". Seriously? Women who adhere to that stereotype do, and the millions of women who don't adhere to the stereotype, well, don't. And propagating that stereotype because some women do conform to it makes it difficult for everyone who doesn't, because everyone else is being judged inappropriately.

    Seriously, I'm so sorry to jump all up in your blog's face and be such a lousy buzzkill, but it's just something I've been thinking about a lot recently - reading Sociological Images and blogs like that, really critically thinking about stereotypes and social norms and what happens when people do or don't adhere to them.

    But I honestly think you stand to gain a lot from not making assumptions by sex or gender - because all the nice guys out there are the ones who don't adhere to the stereotypes, but maybe aren't comfortable letting you know that they don't adhere to the stereotypes because everyone's always talking as if they should be adhering to the stereotypes.

    Ever making generalisations about "women are like this" and "men are like this" is... it's just asking to make things more complicated and confusing than they need to be. Accepting that everyone is different and that you can't anticipate their behaviour until you get to know them properly and that you can't anticipate their behaviour based on categories like "male" or "female" - I think that would be a much more constructive and elucidating approach.

    (And oh my god I am so sorry again for jumping in here with such a comment, but I honestly do mean it with the best intentions!)

  2. And I do appreciate some of the points the article is making, but I don't think it's helpful for it to start pointing the finger at the reader - you're the common denominator in your string of failed relationships, it's alllll youuuurrr fauuullllt! Well, no, communication is a two-way street, and two people entering into a relationship have to be honest with each other. It doesn't just default to "women have expectations, men never live up to them, women are disappointed". Men and women have expectations and both men and women are capable of being adults and having conversations about issues that are important to them, if they want to take the relationship seriously.

    But to write as if it's always females trying to change males because males never want to commit - that's just insulting to all the females who don't try to force males to change, and to all the males who are open and willing to listen to their partner's beliefs and wishes.

    But if the sorts of sentiments that are in the article are just endlessly being propagated, then we just continue to create the social pressure that makes people think that's how they're supposed to act, and you'll get guys who think they're supposed to dodge commitment and who think they're not supposed to be good at communicating, when they might otherwise have thought differently.

    Also, I'm sorry but this makes me roll my eyes right out of my head:
    "How many women do you know who have a big complaint in their relationship like that he doesn’t want to get married? And how many of those women admit that he told them he wouldn’t want to right from the beginning? Like, all of em!"

    Yeah. All of them. Except... not. Seriously. Not all of them. Not even most of them, going by the people I know. I don't know who this writer's friends are but maybe they have some serious problems...


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