"Yeah, I Saw That Online."
March 10, 2014 1:05 PM   Subscribe


 
what plane of snark do i need to calibrate to to parse this
posted by MangyCarface at 1:15 PM on March 10, 2014 [12 favorites]


I know this creep. I had to move countries because of him. I think this was his "How To" manual. I had to work with him for a year.

tl;dr EW!!!

#9 again please.
posted by infini at 1:18 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I look forward to the 21st century "reboot" for The Wizard of Oz, featuring The Straw Man, The Cowardly Drone, and The Old FUDdy Duddy (representing tactics of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt).

"Pay no attention to the government behind the curtain!"
posted by filthy light thief at 1:19 PM on March 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't think I've ever been this torn between "ugh what a piece of garbage" and "OMG SO YES".

Like, I get that they're being sarcastic and doing a sort of goofus and gallant "please stop acting like this" reaction to dating in the social networking era?

And, yeah, it sucks when dudes are super noncomittal and "i dunno wanna hang out i guess" and booty-texts are basically the worst. There really is a certain type of manchild I-Want-To-Get-Laid sympathetic magic/voodoo that I've observed and which is really not attractive.

But it really is hard to know when to friend the other person on Facebook, or whether it's OK to like their thing or comment.

And, seriously, the text message is the fucking best thing that ever happened to relationships. I'm not a huge texter, but the fact that you can just slide over a one sentence love note whenever the fancy strikes is actually a net positive, in my opinion. I feel much more confident in the early-relationship limerance "OMG SO DO YOU LIKE ME LIKE ME LIKE IN THAT WAAAAAAY" type stuff now that we can just resolve this with text messages.
posted by Sara C. at 1:21 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


10. Hover in non-restricted airspace above her house, silently, sending back video data to your masters at the NSA every time your face-recognition algorithm indicates she has stepped outdoors. If she spots you, pretend to be a bird by merging into a nearby flock of sparrows or pigeons.
posted by griphus at 1:21 PM on March 10, 2014 [47 favorites]


I love my text messages and I keep up with everyone I know online but I just remember an endless parade of guys making noncommittal, vague statements about maybe possibly having an emotion that one time. Not even in romantic relationships just like, regular human interaction. We don't have to talk face to face but at least pretend you're putting some effort into this e-mail so I can discern that you actually have a personality and opinions and preferences.

Then again my two most hated words are "chill" and "Casual" so what do I know.
posted by The Whelk at 1:23 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


10. Hover in non-restricted airspace above her house, silently, sending back video data to your masters at the NSA every time your face-recognition algorithm indicates she has stepped outdoors. If she spots you, pretend to be a bird by merging into a nearby flock of sparrows or pigeons.

Yeah, I saw that online.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:24 PM on March 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


I get the feeling that this article is really hatefully directed specifically towards me and that I totally deserve it.
posted by naju at 1:24 PM on March 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Wasn't the Cowardly Drone in the latest remake of The Wizard of Oz?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:26 PM on March 10, 2014


Gosh people are the worst for trying to make their way aren't they. Haha trying to find someone or something of value like a fucking rube.
posted by kbanas at 1:26 PM on March 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Yes, he was. I see that the Thief already explained that. Damn you, Thief!
posted by octobersurprise at 1:27 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


also my new policy is when someone says "lets hang out" I am whipping out my datebook right there and making plans RIGHT. NOW.
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM on March 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


It's maybe easy to feel like you're in a bind where on one hand, seemingly endless amounts of gross dudes are crassly hitting on anything that moves, and on the other hand, trying to be respectful, friendly and feel out whether there's a connection leads to articles like this, and navigating the middle ground isn't as easy as it appears.
posted by naju at 1:29 PM on March 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


I always get things backwards, because I feel like I've got #9 handled.
posted by adipocere at 1:30 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ Esquire. This isn't exactly "Frank Sinatra has a Cold", is it? Give the lists back to Buzzfeed and send this writer to interview at Gawker.
posted by dortmunder at 1:30 PM on March 10, 2014 [14 favorites]


I look forward to the 21st century "reboot" for The Wizard of Oz, featuring The Straw Man, The Cowardly Drone, and The Old FUDdy Duddy (representing tactics of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt).

No, the 21st C version has Oz the Medical Imaging Technologist use his equipment to show the character that they have brains, hearts, and guts, and it's only the indeterminate growths that are hampering them. Extremely expensive surgery will give them a 30-50% shot at 5 year survival.

The ruby slippers are radioactive.


Also, I am on track to #9 without ever engaging in steps 1-8. Am I ahead or behind the curve?
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:37 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


5. If the chat flirting goes well, ask for her number and suggest you “hang out sometime.” Do not, I repeat, do not be clear and upfront and ask them on a date, that’s sooooooo 2013. Also do not suggest a day, time, or location, be as vague as possible. The more casual you make it, the less obligation you have to actually follow through on anything you say.

This needs to be stamped on the forehead of half the askers on AskMe. Christ people, if you want to know if he (or she) is interested in you all you have to do is ask.
posted by Justinian at 1:38 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Isn't "Let's hang out" the same as "Let's go on a date" the same way as "Do you want to go back to my house and watch movies" means "Do you want to go back to my house and get to whichever base seems right?"?
posted by josher71 at 1:38 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think my favorite thing about OKCupid is that it jumps me over the hurdle of having to make my intentions clear.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:40 PM on March 10, 2014


Isn't "Let's hang out" the same as "Let's go on a date" the same way as "Do you want to go back to my house and watch movies" means "Do you want to go back to my house and get to whichever base seems right?"?

In some respects, yes. But dates happen at times and in places, whereas you hang out whenever.
posted by Diablevert at 1:41 PM on March 10, 2014


I thought this was article was going to be either about flying military drones or bees. I am disappoint.

In any case, here is some obligatory bit of bee-related trivia:

The drones in a honeybee colony are males. They are larger than the females, noisier, and more scary-looking. However they cannot sting, as the stingers are modified ovipositors. They do not forage for food, nor do they contribute to the upkeep of the colony.

Instead, they spend their days hanging around, eating, and regularly venturing out looking for a chance to mate with a virgin queen. If they do successfully mate, the act generally kills them. If they don't mate, they return to the colony and try again some other time. This goes on until fall and the weather begins to cool off. When that happens, they are all unceremoniously herded out of the hive by the workers. To die.

The End.

What is the lesson here for would-be daters? I haven't the foggiest. Just...uh...be careful what you wish for or something.
posted by jquinby at 1:41 PM on March 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


Isn't "Let's hang out" the same as "Let's go on a date"...

It's dependent on context and if you're lacking the "dating" context -- which the pre-first-date atmosphere almost necessarily lacks -- then who the fuck knows (which is part of the problem.) If your best friend invited you to go to their place and watch movies that doesn't mean "let's fuck, ol' buddy!" right?
posted by griphus at 1:42 PM on March 10, 2014


BEE DATING TIPS: Remember to BEE a queen and hold your own in mid-air mating.
posted by The Whelk at 1:43 PM on March 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


It depends.

If "let's hang out" is followed by the word "sometime" and not accompanied by any specific details or ideas for an actual plan to see each other, then, no, that's not 2014 code for a date. That could be anywhere from "I'm not into you at all, please stop talking to me" to "I would fuck you but don't ask me to stay the night" to "I like you but because of my social privilege as a man, I'm going to put all the actual work of this on you because all social stuff and emotion-having is your job as a woman."

If the text is more like, "Want to hang out Friday night? I was thinking of seeing the new Wes Anderson movie," then, yes, "hang out" is code for "date".
posted by Sara C. at 1:43 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


When you were here before, I couldn't look you in the eye.
Your profile's an angel, your pic makes me cry.
You post like a feather, in a beautiful world.

They said to text her, cuz you're so fucking special.
But I'm drone.... I'm a coward.
What the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here...

You don't care if I "liked" it, I favorited your whole wall.
I want you to "follow" me , I wanna perfect soul.
I want you to notice, when I say you're HAWT.
They said to fuck her, just text her, so I thought I was special

But I'm a drone, I'm a coward.

What the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here...

(He's running out again x2... He Run Run Ruuuuuuuuuuun)

Whatever makes you happy, whatever you want.
They said to fuck her, just text her, so I thought I was special

But I'm a drone, I'm a coward.

What the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here.

I don't belong here....
posted by Debaser626 at 1:43 PM on March 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


11. Make sure only to project neutral grey fields. Conceal your actual housing inside a shell made to look like a much older, clunkier model, and never admit to any connection with Special Circumstances or eccentric ship Minds in general.
posted by RogerB at 1:44 PM on March 10, 2014 [23 favorites]


It's dependent on context and if you're lacking the "dating" context -- which the pre-first-date atmosphere almost necessarily lacks -- then who the fuck knows (which is part of the problem.) If your best friend invited you to go to their place and watch movies that doesn't mean "let's fuck, ol' buddy!" right?

god i did my college years wrong.
posted by The Whelk at 1:44 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


If "let's hang out" is followed by the word "sometime" and not accompanied by any specific details or ideas for an actual plan to see each other, then, no, that's not 2014 code for a date.


To me, if the answer is "yes", then I think that means they'd like to go on a date with me. Then I can get about figuring out what that is.
posted by josher71 at 1:45 PM on March 10, 2014


also my new policy is when someone says "lets hang out" I am whipping out my datebook right there and making plans RIGHT. NOW.

This is high on my list of Things I Started Doing as a Grown Up That I Wish I Had Started Much Earlier.
posted by Aizkolari at 1:49 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


To me, if the answer is "yes", then I think that means they'd like to go on a date with me.

So wait, have you never encountered the hideously unpleasant (for everyone) experience where one party believes they're on a date but the other does not? Because my hackles are standing up just thinking about the ...possibly numerous... times that happened to me because "let's hang out" was taken at its word.
posted by griphus at 1:50 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess if things are really murky and ambiguous, and you're not good at social cues and/or flirting, your best bet is to use the word "date." Kinda a big point of this thing we call "flirting" is to make your intentions known in a kind of alluringly indirect way, so when you get to the point of "hey, are you free for that Wes Anderson movie Friday?" it should be 100% clear what is meant. But obviously this doesn't work well if you don't have those skills, or if you're communicating on a medium like Twitter where the rules of flirting are totally different. That's actually an article I would like to read: how flirting has evolved for the "digital native" set (lol that term I'm so sorry.)
posted by naju at 1:50 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


So wait, have you never encountered the hideously unpleasant (for everyone) experience where one party believes they're on a date but the other does not? Because my hackles are standing up just thinking about the ...possibly numerous... times that happened to me because "let's hang out" was taken at its word.

It has never happened to me, thank the gods. I typically try for some really conclusive flirting before "hanging out".
posted by josher71 at 1:51 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


also my new policy is when someone says "lets hang out" I am whipping out my datebook right there and making plans RIGHT. NOW.

This is high on my list of Things I Started Doing as a Grown Up That I Wish I Had Started Much Earlier.


I've always thought "let's hang out [but not at any specific time/place]" translated to: "I never want to hang out with you but am too polite to say so to your face."

So trying to set a time/place would be a little awkward?

Or maybe I've been wrong this whole time and what I've been assuming were diplomatically worded blow-offs were really people awkwardly trying to ask me out? If so: oops.
posted by rue72 at 1:54 PM on March 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


god i did my college years wrong.

Pretty sure I still have memorized every contour of the glove compartment at which I stared with superhuman intensity, trying to think of a way to change the unsaid subject after going in for a kiss that was neither expected nor wanted, as my "date" was dropping me off at home.

"...my ...my roommate has a dog. It's ... loud. It's a loud dog. It's difficult ... to live with a loud dog."
"Yeah. I bet it is. my friend has a dog."
"A lot of people have dogs. Sometimes they're good. Okay. I had a nice time. Bye."

(Exeunt to apartment door, possibly breaking limits of speed and/or sound.)
posted by griphus at 1:54 PM on March 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


It's maybe easy to feel like you're in a bind where on one hand, seemingly endless amounts of gross dudes are crassly hitting on anything that moves, and on the other hand, trying to be respectful, friendly and feel out whether there's a connection leads to articles like this, and navigating the middle ground isn't as easy as it appears.

just

do the thing

the thing you're supposed to do

it's not that hard

just

DO THE THING

no I will not tell you what the thing is
posted by Sebmojo at 1:55 PM on March 10, 2014 [12 favorites]


also my new policy is when someone says "lets hang out" I am whipping out my datebook right there and making plans RIGHT. NOW.

Seriously, do people not use the calendar app built into every smartphone ever?
posted by brand-gnu at 1:56 PM on March 10, 2014


I've always had the good luck to be able to mostly avoid the whole weird dating rituals thing, it's almost always been just hanging out and doing friend stuff with people who were cool to hang out with and then one day the whole "So... we're spending a lot of time together, are we dating?" "Oh, huh, I guess so!" talk happens like, whoops, we just accidentally blundered into a relationship Mr. Magoo-style.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:57 PM on March 10, 2014


This article solidifies my desire to never again attempt to initiate a relationship, spending the rest of my life celibate. What's the going price on an orchidectomy? It'll be easier without a sex drive.
posted by idiopath at 2:09 PM on March 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


I think the key with that transition, jason_steakums, is that the person has to be a relatively new acquaintance. If I meet a potential partner (correct gender/orientation, they are single, age-appropriate, etc), we start hanging out a lot, and things get flirty/physical, then, yes, we can immediately transition to a romantic relationship without anyone needing to ask anyone out on an explicit date.

Problems arise when there is a complicating factor. This is why I think there is a kernel of truth to the concept of the "friend zone", because if two people hang out platonically with nary a flirt or a glance or a touch or a datelike activity for long enough, yes, the issue is going to get tabled and precedent is going to be set that we are Just Friends.

Note that I think the solution to the problem of the "friend zone" is for the person who wants it to be dating to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT rather than the "liking your facebook post" cargo cult stuff. Yes, you risk rejection. But it will free you up to go ask out someone else rather than sulk into your fedora about getting friendzoned yet again.
posted by Sara C. at 2:09 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Dating is creepy.
posted by poe at 2:27 PM on March 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


I've always thought "let's hang out [but not at any specific time/place]" translated to: "I never want to hang out with you but am too polite to say so to your face."

So trying to set a time/place would be a little awkward?


At least if they get awkward about actually setting a date, then you know. Plus I have a girlfriend so I'm just making friends, not dating, so the stakes are a lot lower and things are more relaxed.
posted by Aizkolari at 2:30 PM on March 10, 2014




Problems arise when there is a complicating factor. This is why I think there is a kernel of truth to the concept of the "friend zone", because if two people hang out platonically with nary a flirt or a glance or a touch or a datelike activity for long enough, yes, the issue is going to get tabled and precedent is going to be set that we are Just Friends.

This is worth repeating, because it's been obscured by UGH PUA REDDIT FEDORA AMIRITE. We make up the world by expected behaviours. Our table reliably holds up our breakfast so it is in the breakfast zone. A hat reliably keeps our heads warm so it is in the warm head zone. If a friend acts like a friend then yes they are in the friendzone because that is what they are acting like so that is the expected behaviour.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:41 PM on March 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


The friend zone isn't even that bad. Oh no, more friends! Friends are preeetty great, you guys. You just need to know when to take a breather from the relationship if it's an unrequited love kinda thing because you will start acting bazonkers if you don't.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:46 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


HIGHWAY TO THE BREAKFAST ZONE
posted by The Whelk at 2:47 PM on March 10, 2014 [20 favorites]


Can I just say that I am *so* glad I'm married, because I am very very bad at the whole dating thing? Basically, if Mrs. Example ever left, I would be reduced to "BEEP BOOP WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE NOURISHMENT AND VIDEO-BASED ENTERTAINMENT, HU-MAN FEMALE?" levels.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:48 PM on March 10, 2014 [23 favorites]


It's conversations like this that make me appreciate my wife of 22 years even more than I already do.
posted by COD at 2:53 PM on March 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


NOT ME MAN! CAN'T TIE THIS OLD DOG DOWN! NO WAY, JOSE.
posted by josher71 at 2:54 PM on March 10, 2014


I mean, we just had this conversation, right?

So where does "What do 'hang out' and 'date' mean?" rank on a scale from "Which way do you put the toilet paper in your bathroom?" to "Do you declaw your cats?"
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:54 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


"BEEP BOOP WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE NOURISHMENT AND VIDEO-BASED ENTERTAINMENT, HU-MAN FEMALE?"

If it makes you feel any better, I'm pretty sure this is an actual message I sent someone on OKCupid.

The degree to which I pretend to be a robot causes me to wonder what kind of crippling psychological problem I'm masking.

Too bad I don't have Data and Counselor Troi to help me work through it.
posted by Sara C. at 2:58 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm in the pro-"dying alone" camp. I'm yelling "just give me some goddamn privacy please" on my deathbed.
posted by naju at 2:58 PM on March 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


HIGHWAY TO THE BREAKFAST ZONE

My day, it has been improved tremendously by the song now running through my head.
posted by davejay at 3:00 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


So... what's my takeaway from this article supposed to be? "If you're interested in someone, avoid communicating with them on social media or text messaging"? Liking someone's posts is an act of cowardice?
posted by Crane Shot at 3:00 PM on March 10, 2014


11. No matter how attractive she seems to you right now, you need to have some perspective and some courage and remember that nerve stapling is an atrocity condemned by the Charter, no matter how nicely she asks.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 3:02 PM on March 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


LOL tempora! WTF mores!
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:02 PM on March 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


"If you're interested in someone, avoid communicating with them on social media or text messaging"?

"Don't assume intentionally ambiguous/barely liminal signals of attraction are functioning as such" is more my takeaway.
posted by griphus at 3:03 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think the takeaway is "don't move ever-so-slowly into the possibility of something resembling a relationship eventually, outside of the context of dating; instead, move early and definitively by just asking a person out on a date and learning about them in the context of dating."

The upside is everyone knows what's going on and what it is you're doing. The downside is you end up breaking up with, or being broken up with, or suffering rejection from, a lot of people as you make your way through the process. Some people navigate that extremely well, and some people feel devastated every time (even if they're doing the breaking up), so not every strategy works for everyone and presumably this was written by someone for whom the cycle of dating someone new/breaking up relatively quickly is familiar and/or rejection is a somewhat foreign concept. Having said that, I would say it's still the right strategy (the dating lots/breaking up lots/rejection risk one), and maybe articles saying to do that (rather than saying what not to do) would help more. Wouldn't get as many clicks, though.
posted by davejay at 3:04 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I read that as LOL Tempura and WTF shrimp or lotus root.


/didn't we have this talk already?
posted by infini at 3:15 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


> I've always thought "let's hang out [but not at any specific time/place]" translated to: "I never want to hang out with you but am too polite to say so to your face."

Odd, your profile doesn't say you're from Seattle.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:22 PM on March 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Too bad I don't have Data and Counselor Troi to help me work through it.

Oh man, that episode was probably way more influential to me as a child than it should have been. In retrospect, showing a bunch of eight year olds who already idolize Data and want to be like him a character their age doing exactly that was probably a bad idea.
posted by heathkit at 3:23 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Somebody ought to come up with a language that simplifies the whole issue. Like Newspeak or the Atreides Battle Language.

Like that dude who got dumped for his small junk would put DoubleplusunHung on his profile

Or if you ask somebody if they want to hang out you also make a hand signal that indicates you're actually looking to fuck

That sort of thing
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:04 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Darmok and Jalad, at Tanagra?

You see?
posted by Sara C. at 4:07 PM on March 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Temba, his arms wide!

Groucho, his eyebrows waggling!
posted by JDHarper at 4:09 PM on March 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Shaka, when the walls fell!

(at this point drop trou)
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:15 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


The boy and girl in the Rockwell painting, with two straws.
posted by Sara C. at 4:16 PM on March 10, 2014


When Harry Met Sally

vs.

When Harry Met Sally And It Was New Years
posted by Sara C. at 4:16 PM on March 10, 2014


If she spots you, pretend to be a bird by merging into a nearby flock of sparrows or pigeons.

...and sucking them all into your engines.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:32 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Maybe the "dating" in the title should be like "radiocarbon dating," and the drone is cowardly because it just wants to test bones rather than going back in time and directly confronting the saber-toothed tigers, like it's bolder cousin Action-Adventure Time-Traveling Drone.

Just sayin'
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:35 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]




The boy and girl in the Rockwell painting, with two straws

You know part in The Dreamers when Eva Green goes on a self-consciously performative "American" date with Micheal Pitt, complete with two straws in the milkshake? I've always wanted to do that.
posted by The Whelk at 5:28 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I feel like The Dreamers was basically "Darmok" in Paris 1968.
posted by Sara C. at 5:43 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm tired of women hammering on guys who don't know how to date. There's a simple fix. Don't date 'em. Lazy piece made me cranky.
posted by Bella Donna at 5:52 PM on March 10, 2014


HIGHWAY TO THE BREAKFAST ZONE

"I feel the need ... the need for a nutritionally complete breakfast!"
posted by octobersurprise at 6:31 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Or if you ask somebody if they want to hang out you also make a hand signal that indicates you're actually looking to fuck

Clan of the Cave Bear dating is so retro.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:57 PM on March 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


The thing with this article is that tons of men totally do this shit (and I probably do much more than I realize) and it is bad and ineffective and they should stop BUT!

Those men also have been conditioned to act this way because to them the intricacies of dating (and, let's be honest, rejection) are both imperative and terrifying and the best advice that one can usually give them involves a lot of, "well, be attractive."

There's an old Jim Gaffigan joke about how someone smiling at you can either make you think, "that's nice," or "get away from me," depending on whether you're attracted to that person. While that's an oversimplification, the fact is that it's rough for a whole hell of a lot of people, that fact is true for both men and women, and articles mocking beta-dudes for not acting more like alphas is kind of how we get more PUAs.

But not calling it out is how we get more Nice Guys™.

I don't know how it stops, honestly. On the one hand, I feel like maybe social media just exacerbates this kind of thing, but on the other hand, well, one of my closet friends was exactly this guy for the longest time (but in person, mostly) until he went on How About We and met his now-wife on the first try. Meanwhile I myself was great in person for most of my life, but now am in a position where it's just better for me to meet people online so that when we meet in person we're not doing the dance quite as much. And maybe that'll shift around again soon. Who knows?

But basically, guys who act like this, are acting like this because they've had, essentially, "teaching" moments where they've touched the stove and been burned. And the women who are frustrated by it are frustrated for similar reasons. People are people, and people are, at a certain point, generally fragile and vulnerable, at least in certain areas.

There's a point often made (and for good reason) against MRA types that when they talk about things being easier for women, they are thinking solely and specifically that "things are easier for women who I'd like to sleep with, because they have the power to say yes to sleeping with me." This thing isn't exactly that thing, obviously, but it's worth remembering that the men acting this way are doing so because they want to make it less awkward to reject them, and less humiliating for themselves to be rejected.

Except for the ones just trying to weasel around, hoping to find some back door into romance.

Damn, but people are frustrating and complicated.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:47 PM on March 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


and, let's be honest, rejection

I think this is the key to the whole thing.

So there's this generation of men who think they shouldn't ever have to experience rejection. They're so afraid of rejection that they're willing to hedge and hedge and then get angry when women don't fall onto their dicks.

I'm not bothered by the idea of a friend zone. I'm bothered by "getting friendzoned". There's a passivity there that makes me really uncomfortable. Not because I can't handle the idea of a passive man, but because it's evidence that we've ceded so much of emotional and cultural duties to women, that men expect to not really have any role in their own dating life.
posted by Sara C. at 8:51 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I totally agree. But not all of these unfortunately passive guys are the angry ones.

This is a tough one for me to talk about, because, as I've hinted at above, I'm a little of both active and passive.

It's taken me a while, but I honestly do not believe that any woman owes me anything. That knowledge has been helpful to me, beyond it just being, you know, good for all. It has also combined with other things to make me less assertive a lot of the time.

I love and try to promote the idea that feminism frees both men and women from the traditional roles thrust upon us, and I try to keep to that. In that spirit, I only propose that men can be hurt and vulnerable and moving forward, and sometimes feel the ned to do that gingerly.

Again, some men are just cowardly jackasses. But people are different.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:02 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Esquire is still solvent? Gay Talese and Norman Mailer are dead.

(Then before I posted I checked and Talese is still alive! That's great but Esquire should die pronto.)
posted by bukvich at 9:07 PM on March 10, 2014


Was I alone in thinking the tone sort of shifted after step #7? Until then, she seemed to be describing how crappy some dudes are, but then she's like "...and you didn't even pursue me after our horrible date!" A variation on the "the food's awful, and the portions are stingy" logic of complaint.
posted by clockzero at 9:30 PM on March 10, 2014


Everything I needed to know about dating I learned from Go Dog Go.
posted by Pudhoho at 10:46 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Honestly surprised by some of the pushback / resentment of the original article here. My own read was not that starting to get to know someone in this tentative manner was a terrible thing, but rather that continuing never going beyond this level of effort or engagement, to the point when the most you put yourself out is sending half-assed booty texts, is a very poor way to treat somebody.
Dating and dating rules are clearly touchy subjects, but some of the "oh god forbid a man try to be RESPECTFUL" comments are in danger of coming across as a little Nice-Guy ish, or at least stupendously defensive.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:59 AM on March 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Clan of the Cave Bear dating is so retro.

Wouldn't that be paleo dating?

It is low in carbs but unfortunately high in kidnapping.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:49 AM on March 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


Can I just say that I am *so* glad I'm married, because I am very very bad at the whole dating thing? Basically, if Mrs. Example ever left, I would be reduced to "BEEP BOOP WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE NOURISHMENT AND VIDEO-BASED ENTERTAINMENT, HU-MAN FEMALE?" levels.

I somehow got my name added to my alma mater's list of "people you should call and interview for your social science thesis," which is how I ended up talking to some precocious 21-year-old sociology major about online dating and how it's changing human interactivity norms. (N.B.: I am married to someone who I met via online dating. She must have taken pity on my woefully underdeveloped social gland, or something)

In her email, this poor undergraduate told me the interview would take half an hour. I was off the phone in eleven minutes. This may have had something to do with her second question to me, which had something to do with boundaries and expectations in early dating situations, and I pretty much paraphrased the aforementioned sentiment, describing gradations of "hang out" versus "hang out" versus "hang out," and vividly described an incident freshman year where I was 100% sure I was actually on a date with a girl, until I went to get some pretzels and came back to find her making out with some other dude. Then I sort of segued into an angry demand for a statutory ban on the use of coded language in all interpersonal communication, and... well, I don't know, I kind of blacked out right around there.

Pretty sure I could actually hear the sound of her interview notes being torn in half over the phone.
posted by Mayor West at 6:00 AM on March 11, 2014 [5 favorites]


How many zones are there, anyway? Strangerzone, Friendzone, Bonezone....?
posted by josher71 at 6:20 AM on March 11, 2014


I suppose a lot of it is about control. Being able to control the narrative and relationship form. If you remain as noncommittal as possible leaves plenty of space for a change of direction. I don't think that is a trait that is gender specific.
posted by asok at 7:06 AM on March 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm recently back in the dating pool and just avoided giving my email address to someone I've been chatting with on OKC. I gave her my mobile number in case something comes up before our first coffee date, but not my email address. And that's entirely because I'm not ready for gchat. Most people I know are at least passively always on gchat (perhaps this is more of a DC thing) and I don't have enough conversational wherewithal to sustain pre-relationship chit-chat for ages. Nor do I want to be modern age rude by either ignoring her chat invites or her actual chat. Plus I actually have to get things done!

Yes, I could turn off gchat or go invisible. But I do have reasons for generally leaving it on, and I want to talk with friends during the day.

The modern world and constant connectivity are a blessing and a curse. It's nice to be able to communicate with people in different ways, it's nice to have differing levels of communication commitment. But a lot of these waters aren't completely charted, the Ms. Manners or Emily Post rules have not been set. And I'm a guy, I'm sure as a woman it's a much different world, opening yourself up to cyber stalking and harassment.
posted by X-Himy at 7:26 AM on March 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't think that is a trait that is gender specific.

I think where this gets difficult is when this new dynamic of "both partners want to remain as noncommittal as possible" hits up against the old dynamic of "man asks woman on date".

So, on the one hand, we're now in a dating landscape that is a lot more gender neutral than it was 50 years ago, where anybody can make any move they want to make, and there's relatively little fear of social backlash from going about it Wrong.

On the other hand, there's a whole new set of cultural mores that have sprung up to fill that void. And those mores are a mix of face-saving strategies and "keeping your options open", which itself is a really new and strange idea in the world of dating.

I like the idea of it being about control.
posted by Sara C. at 9:31 AM on March 11, 2014


idiopath: "This article solidifies my desire to never again attempt to initiate a relationship, spending the rest of my life celibate. What's the going price on an orchidectomy? It'll be easier without a sex drive."

Think of all the money you will save on razor blades!
posted by Samizdata at 10:17 AM on March 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Strangerzone

If your brain can read this in anything other than a Sterling Archer falsetto, you are incorrect.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:34 AM on March 11, 2014 [5 favorites]


Lana, would you agree that we are heading into a kind of zone?
posted by The Whelk at 10:51 AM on March 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


The thing with this article is that tons of men totally do this shit (and I probably do much more than I realize) and it is bad and ineffective and they should stop BUT!

Those men also have been conditioned to act this way because to them the intricacies of dating (and, let's be honest, rejection) are both imperative and terrifying and the best advice that one can usually give them involves a lot of, "well, be attractive."


It may or may not be of interest, but I do some of this with most of the women I meet, but that's because I was raised with two older sisters, taken to girl scout camp (my mom was a troop leader) and basically ended up a guy who thinks women are people and should be treated as such rather than just taken as potential dating partners. Consequently, I treat most of the women I meet like most of the guys I meet, except the women I meet tend to engage with me a lot more on a regular basis (and so lots of texting and such, whereas the men I meet tend to engage for specific events like lunch or karting or whatever.)

Every so often, I'll be attracted to a woman I meet, and then I watch for signs they're attracted too. If those signs are there, dating happens (assuming I see the signs, which I don't always, or they're a bit aggressive to make sure I don't miss the signs.) Have I missed out on many dating opportunities? Absolutely. Is that better than hitting on people who'd rather not be hit on? I suppose it depends on each person's feelings on the subject. I do know that many ex-girlfriends (and one ex-wife) have stayed very good friends with me, so I can't be doing it all wrong, can I?
posted by davejay at 2:59 PM on March 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


How many zones are there, anyway? Strangerzone, Friendzone, Bonezone....?

Forbidden Zone is the only zone you will ever need.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:35 AM on March 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh shit, Jor-El totally put me in the Phantom Zone.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:36 AM on March 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


ring ring ring ring ring ring ring
BANANAZONE
posted by jquinby at 12:11 PM on March 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


« Older Supreme Court Deals Massive Blow To...   |   Single Link Post, putting SubaruBlue on the Blue. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments