Why Is Women Not Approaching So Controversial?

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Post by reboundstudent on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:05 pm

Conreezy wrote:
Oh, totes.  I get that.  I just don't understand why she was attributing that guy's shitty behavior to the fact that she approached him, as if the revelation that he's an ass came about because of her.  I think she's being a bit harsh on herself, and not blaming the guy for being disrespectful, which he would mostly likely be even if he had approached her.

Well, the trouble is, this pattern has popped up in every single one of my relationships where I approached. It's uncanny how often these same problems tend to repeat themselves. When the same issue occurs over and over again, you have to look for similarities. When I do, I don't find any: met the guys in different ways, the guys have very different personalities (introvert, extrovert, lots of friends, few friends, passive, straight forward, etc.) except for one: I approached them. That's literally the only thing all of them have in common. All of these guys who dated me out of desperation, or boredom, or danced around dating me (never straight out said they were but also didn't flat out reject me completely), all of them started by me coming onto the guy. The worst relationships I've had, the ones where guys would go on and on about how ugly I was or cheat on me were the ones where I approached the most. The less I seemed to do at the beginning of the relationship, the better the relationship seemed to be.

Ya know what they say.... insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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Post by eselle28 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:23 pm


LOL.  I cook, clean, launder, plan her outfits and get told I'm not romantic enough.  I thought that if I cook and clean, she's supposed to buy me a nice dress every now and then. Razz

Being on the flip-side of expectations can be mind-blowing for everyone.

Fair enough! It's not that I don't think guys who are willing to pick up more on the domestic or emotional side of things aren't out there, it's just that they're hard to find sometimes. Smile

I should say that my perception on this is probably colored by the fact that I live in the rural Upper Midwest, where guys tend to be split into manly men who do manly man things and dudes who reject that but who lean toward sort of the intellectually aggressive hipster thing instead, which is initially more interesting but a lot of times less helpful in a more serious partner. RBS lives in a larger city, but I think she may run into a bit of this as well. And there are probably some guys who both of us aren't noticing who don't fit the pattern.
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Post by celette482 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:55 pm

I think eselle's hit the nail on the head as to why approaching guys might lead to someone "taking the easy way out." There are very few pieces of relationship work that are in the guy's camp (In Traditional Gender Roles as Proscribed by American Society) and approaching is one of the biggest. For a certain type of guy, getting a woman just hitting on him out of the blue, it's like having candy dumped in your lap. Candy you didn't pay for. I can see exactly how it would lead to less investment overall.

The real question is why the guys RBS approached were all so convinced that guys only had one real job in a relationship.

Now I'm sure there are a lot of guys who put more into relationships that just kicking them off, but for the type of (rather immature) person who just wants to coast through things, I can see how "Relationship with person I wasn't actually interested in but came with no effort at all" is worth at least saying yes. It's like how you eat the nasty hard candy at the bank because, hey, free candy! (not that RBS herself is free nasty hard candy, but any relationship with a person you aren't actually all that into has to be nasty hard candy)
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Post by reboundstudent on Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:47 pm

celette482 wrote:I think eselle's hit the nail on the head as to why approaching guys might lead to someone "taking the easy way out." There are very few pieces of relationship work that are in the guy's camp (In Traditional Gender Roles as Proscribed by American Society) and approaching is one of the biggest. For a certain type of guy, getting a woman just hitting on him out of the blue, it's like having candy dumped in your lap. Candy you didn't pay for. I can see exactly how it would lead to less investment overall.

The real question is why the guys RBS approached were all so convinced that guys only had one real job in a relationship.

Now I'm sure there are a lot of guys who put more into relationships that just kicking them off, but for the type of (rather immature) person who just wants to coast through things, I can see how "Relationship with person I wasn't actually interested in but came with no effort at all" is worth at least saying yes. It's like how you eat the nasty hard candy at the bank because, hey, free candy! (not that RBS herself is free nasty hard candy, but any relationship with a person you aren't actually all that into has to be nasty hard candy)

I think part of it may also be the other mostly-present commonality: the guys were nerds. Even when the guys had long, long lists of successful interactions/relationships with women, many of them seemed to still view themselves as "the nerd who isn't good with women." I remember one guy I briefly dated sophomore year; he spent one date talking about how nervous and shy he was around women, and how he just wasn't successful with them (cause women don't like nerdy theater types), and me just staring at him incredulously, because he had -no kidding here- 56 ex-girlfriends.

I feel like that attitude, that idea of "I'm nerdy, so women will never like me" kind of breeds this idea of low standards and desperation. If you feel that very few women will ever like you, you'll say yes to anyone; you'll particularly say yes when she's the one doing the initial work. The funny thing was, I witnessed my exes in relationships after me, and when they were dating women they were genuinely interested and attracted to, they were very engaged. So it kinda seemed like desperation/low standards bred low involvement. The guys didn't think they only had one real job in a relationship; they seemed to think they only had one job when they weren't invested in the relationship.

I think there is also this idea of a "practice girlfriend." I've seen a lot of advice given to inexperienced guys to "date down" as a form of "practice." Hit on the ugly girl so you'll build up skills to hit on the hot girl. Date the 4 to marry the 10. This seems to be very gendered advice; men settle at the beginning for practice, women settle at the end for longevity (so the traditional advice-giving goes.)
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Post by The Wisp on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:08 am

eselle28 wrote:Approaching is one kind of relationship work, one that's associated with men in our culture. If a woman is concerned about ending up with a man who's rejected traditionally male work but who isn't willing to do traditionally female work either, and who ends up contributing relatively little to the relationship, I'd say it's a reasonable if not the only response to seek out a partner who demonstrates that he's at least able to pick up the traditionally male end of things by approaching.

I see what you mean.  I guess that makes sense.

The glib part of me wants to ask "but wait, weren't we just talking about how much work it is to be the approached?" Razz

eselle28 wrote:Well, I do sometimes, and I've certainly seen my female friends approach and my male friends be approached. I mean, it's completely correct that a guy can do everything right and not be approached. The same is true of a woman... Just as men who make themselves approachable don't always find that there are women willing to take the role of approaching, women who are willing to approach don't always find that there are any men around to pick up the other side of the burden and make themselves approachable.

I guess what I meant was do everything right over a long period of time and not be successful. Obviously, on any given night there's randomness there.

reboundstudent wrote:I think part of it may also be the other mostly-present commonality: the guys were nerds. Even when the guys had long, long lists of successful interactions/relationships with women, many of them seemed to still view themselves as "the nerd who isn't good with women." I remember one guy I briefly dated sophomore year; he spent one date talking about how nervous and shy he was around women, and how he just wasn't successful with them (cause women don't like nerdy theater types), and me just staring at him incredulously, because he had -no kidding here- 56 ex-girlfriends.

As a guy who actually struggles with women, I don't like those guys either Razz I can see how that attitude would make them date people they weren't attracted to out of an irrational feeling of scarcity. Sorry you had to deal with that so often, it sounds rough.

That one guy with the 56 ex-"girlfriends" must have used the term "girlfriend" very very generously to include even women he went on one or two dates with if he was only an undergrad like you.
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Post by eselle28 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:09 am

The Wisp wrote:I see what you mean.  I guess that makes sense.

The glib part of me wants to ask "but wait, weren't we just talking about how much work it is to be the approached?" Razz

Sure they do. Like I said, I think there's a bit of an impasse where women aren't approaching and men aren't doing much to be approachable.

I guess what I meant was do everything right over a long period of time and not be successful. Obviously, on any given night there's randomness there.

Again, same with women, especially those who aren't especially conventionally attractive. I'm not going to say it's not harder for guys who want to be approached than women who do, since there are fewer female approachers out there, but I just will again say that I think this is something that's a problem on both sides. If you're one of the women who's willing to approach and very few men are doing much to invite it, over a long period of time, you're probably also going to be a bit frustrated.
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Post by reboot on Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:38 am

The Wisp wrote:

reboot wrote:However there are men that are the equivalent of the women who never have to do anything and have relationships fall in their laps.  Such men cannot be too, too uncommon since I know about 6 men who never approach and are very rarely unpartnered and probably another two dozen who have been approached more than they approach.  And, of course, there are women who are never or only rarely approached. I just think both groups are invisible to many because they do not exist in the dominant narrative.

I'm curious, which contexts are they approached? Do you know?

The contexts ran the gamut. Bars and clubs, restaurants, social events, classes, community events, at bookstores, at grocery stores, etc. Whole spectrum from cold to lukewarm to warm. One time the server even gave my friend her number on our bill another time a woman came up and bought a different friend a drink. So not so helpful for someone to learn from.
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Post by kath on Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:26 am

The Wisp wrote:Furthermore, so many women, particularly young women, have stories of relationships literally falling into their laps as they go about their day-to-day lives. Now, certainly, if you want to be approached at bars and parties and so on regularly, then that takes some effort. But, c'mon, I've heard so many women say relationships "just happened" and the like, which is code for "I wasn't trying at all".

I also think people describe relationships that evolve in ways other than "someone cold approached me" as "just happening", even though the work there is probably sill comparable. When a couple was friends before they started dating, it doesn't seem like the work to develop the friendship - which doesn't always feel like work, especially if you meet in a context where you're already together a lot so there's not a lot of conscious work planning to get together from either party - actually happened, even though the work did happen, as evidenced by there being a relationship.

So like for me, OK, my husband asked me out in grade 12. But, he's not exactly Mr. Outgoing / Mr. Smooth, and we were friends beforehand, and both of us made the friendship work. And, we became friends initially because we both ended up in the same social circle by happenstance (his best friend started dating one of my friends from band who I ate lunch with every day, but I already knew him because we'd been going to school together, in a small and rather close-knit program, for two years before that). So he did the work of actually asking me out, and he may have been conscious of "crushing" on me before I was conscious of "crushing" on him, but we built the emotional intimacy that lead to our relationship together.

So from my POV, that relationship feels like it "fell into my lap" -- I wouldn't describe it like I put a ton of conscious effort into being approachable, or looking super hot so my now-husband would ask me out. I pretty much bumbled through the whole thing. But, I totally did do work to be a friend to my husband, and our growing intimacy is something we built together, before either of us were crushing. We just weren't thinking of that as work to get a date (or work, really).

I don't think that sort of "relationships that fall into your lap" are comparable to getting cold-approached at a bar without effort, and I think this may account for some probably not-insignificant number of relationship that happen when you're just "going about your daily life" (which is certainly what "making friends with someone in my social circle in high school" felt like). Unless all the stories you're describing as that explicitly stated that they were cold-approaches occurring outside of bars, and even so, that doesn't mean the woman wasn't doing the "be approachable" work, as others have mentioned.


Last edited by kath on Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by celette482 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:46 am

I'm with kath. Sure, my husband and I met on OLD and I did the first message (he was the one who suggested meeting in person, so who "approached" is perhaps up in the air). But my other serious boyfriend was a friendship that blossomed into something more. I think it's important that this was in college and kath's experience was in high school. When we're students, we're more likely to have big groups of mixed gendered friends who hang out... ALL THE TIME and that seems to be a great environment for love to flourish. Once you get out of school, it gets harder to have relationships fall into your lap in that particular way, because you no longer live in the pockets of people in your peer group.

RBS: yeah, I definitely didn't think they had no relational skills, BUT people who recognize intellectually as well as intuitively that relationships require work from start to finish don't sign themselves up for work they don't want. OR you could have been the straw that broke the camel's back, the moment they realized that they DO have to put in an effort. OR, and this is my most cynical and therefore most likely, you fit girlfriend-hole for free and that's that.

This makes me think of a service one could provide. "Your Real, First Girlfriend"- I will enter into a relationship with you with no effort on your part to woo me, and then I will be very specific about the sorts of things I want (all common things other women might expect) as a way to train you to have a girlfriend. You not only get my tutelage but you get the social and emotional benefits of being paired. Then, when you find a woman you ARE interested in, you can end things, but you must do so in a respectful manner, because ending a relationship is as important as starting one. Consultant's rates would apply.
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Post by The Wisp on Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:20 pm

reboot wrote:The contexts ran the gamut. Bars and clubs, restaurants, social events, classes, community events, at bookstores, at grocery stores, etc. Whole spectrum from cold to lukewarm to warm. One time the server even gave my friend her number on our bill another time a woman came up and bought a different friend a drink. So not so helpful for someone to learn from.

Okay. More evidence that dating success comes down much more to luck and intangibles than I wish were the case (though even then, I personally am not even doing the things "right" that I have under my control at the moment).
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Post by reboot on Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:34 pm

The Wisp wrote:
reboot wrote:The contexts ran the gamut. Bars and clubs, restaurants, social events, classes, community events, at bookstores, at grocery stores, etc. Whole spectrum from cold to lukewarm to warm. One time the server even gave my friend her number on our bill another time a woman came up and bought a different friend a drink. So not so helpful for someone to learn from.

Okay. More evidence that dating success comes down much more to luck and intangibles than I wish were the case (though even then, I personally am not even doing the things "right" that I have under my control at the moment).

All of these guys have one thing in common that I can put my finger on. They are very open and approachable people that genuinely enjoy meeting and talking to others. Not necessarily extroverts, as none need the company of others, in fact 1-2 are pretty introverted. They all like meeting other people, men and women, and I think that enthusiasm draws attention and approaches. Hell, I approached at least 1/2 of them because I found them attractive and they seemed "friendly", for lack of a better word.

So not just luck and circumstances, although both help
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Post by Autumnflame on Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:16 pm

My current main dude is the same way, actually. Kind of blew my mind when he said he'd been the approached in all of his relationships and most of his flings.

It helps that he's really conventionally attractive, but he's also super-open and friendly and likes talking to people and being a bit of a social butterfly. He asks pretty much anybody he has interactions with (including sales clerks and people in line, etc.) how they're doing and genuinely responds to the answer, and smiles easily and often.
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Post by Guest on Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:16 pm

The Wisp wrote:
reboot wrote:The contexts ran the gamut. Bars and clubs, restaurants, social events, classes, community events, at bookstores, at grocery stores, etc. Whole spectrum from cold to lukewarm to warm. One time the server even gave my friend her number on our bill another time a woman came up and bought a different friend a drink. So not so helpful for someone to learn from.

Okay. More evidence that dating success comes down much more to luck and intangibles than I wish were the case (though even then, I personally am not even doing the things "right" that I have under my control at the moment).

Seconding this, but fully agreed with reboot's following comment too. Luck really helps when actually meeting someone. If you're lucky, you both actually meet and you're both either in the right state of mind to hit it off or at least not in the wrong state of mind.

I've been told the relevance of luck drops drastically after actually meeting someone you hit it off with but I don't exactly have personal experience with this. Razz

That said, I don't like how much luck can factor into things. I already dislike unpredictability.

Autumnflame wrote:My current main dude is the same way, actually. Kind of blew my mind when he said he'd been the approached in all of his relationships and most of his flings.

It helps that he's really conventionally attractive, but he's also super-open and friendly and likes talking to people and being a bit of a social butterfly. He asks pretty much anybody he has interactions with (including sales clerks and people in line, etc.) how they're doing and genuinely responds to the answer, and smiles easily and often.

Oh, how I am jealous of people that can do that. It's a pain such a simple thing can be such a challenge for some people, myself obviously included.

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Post by kath on Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:46 pm

reboot wrote:All of these guys have one thing in common that I can put my finger on. They are very open and approachable people that genuinely enjoy meeting and talking to others. Not necessarily extroverts, as none need the company of others, in fact 1-2 are pretty introverted. They all like meeting other people, men and women, and I think that enthusiasm draws attention and approaches. Hell, I approached at least 1/2 of them because I found them attractive and they seemed "friendly", for lack of a better word.

So not just luck and circumstances, although both help

And those are probably things that women who get approached a lot also have. I don't get approached much* and I hate hate hate talking to strangers out of context, and I am pretty sure people can tell. Or they can tell pretty quickly when I give one-word answers when they try. I actually don't think shy women (or at least women who are shy like me, in that they get decidedly un-approachable so that they can avoid dealing with strangers, because strangers are stressful to them. There may be some other way of being shy that doesn't manifest in those cues) get a ton of approaches from strangers. But that's based primarily on my experience.

Illustration: I think I may shut down people who are starting to try to get an open for a conversation, particularly when I'm not comfortable to being with. I was in line for a drag show on Friday, already anxious because I wasn't with the people I was meeting and I hadn't been to that venue before and I wasn't sure which line I was supposed to join, and there were two guys behind me in the line nearest the direction I approached from - and they didn't seem to be a couple. I left the line to see if I was in the "already has a ticket line" or not, and then came back when I just gave up trying to figure it out. (Luckily, a woman behind me went to check and she explained it to her friend, so I found out in the end.) When I returned, the two guys offered to let me go ahead of them, and I insisted it was OK, then they said "hey, if you tell us a funny joke, we'll let you have your spot back," and I insisted I didn't know any funny jokes and would stay where I was - I'm not sure why I'd pay the price of a joke if I wouldn't take the favour of my spot back when they offered it without requiring a joke. When we got to the head of the line, I think they may have told the doorperson I was with them, but I didn't hear what they said. Then I got in a booked it to find my friends and didn't look at them when I passed them in the coat check line so as to avoid giving them the opportunity to say anything else. For all I know, they were just trying to be friendly / they were a couple - and really, they weren't doing a bad job of trying to be friendly, I just wasn't comfortable enough in that situation to roll with it - particularly when your version of opening a conversation is to demand a stand-up comedy performance, but w/e.
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Post by KMR on Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:15 am

kath wrote:
And those are probably things that women who get approached a lot also have. I don't get approached much* and I hate hate hate talking to strangers out of context, and I am pretty sure people can tell. Or they can tell pretty quickly when I give one-word answers when they try. I actually don't think shy women (or at least women who are shy like me, in that they get decidedly un-approachable so that they can avoid dealing with strangers, because strangers are stressful to them. There may be some other way of being shy that doesn't manifest in those cues) get a ton of approaches from strangers. But that's based primarily on my experience.

This matches my experience as well. I am not very approachable, but I don't try to be, because conversations with random strangers, whether they're men or women, friendly or flirty, just make me uncomfortable and I prefer to avoid them in most contexts. If a stranger starts talking to me, I'll do the bare minimum to be polite and not seem like a jerk, but I'll often avoid eye contact and give very brief answers. So it doesn't surprise me that I almost never get approached in real-life. In fact, on the rare occasions that I have been cold approached, it was generally by someone who pushed past my discomfort in order to do so and would persist even when I showed no indication that I was interested, which is not a good idea when it comes to cold approaches.

So my experience is that relationships don't just happen unless I'm doing some work to help make them happen. My first relationship started as a friendship and all of my dating/relationship experiences since then have been through OLD. Basically, when I wasn't investing a certain amount of time and energy into online dating, then I just didn't get to date.
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Post by kath on Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:36 pm

And just to sort of put a pin in it, even if one is naturally more outgoing / likes to make oneself approachable / etc, that's still a set of behaviors / social cues you'd be "doing". So people who do make themselves approachable, whether or not it's "easy" for them to do, are doing work. We who don't make ourselves approachable have to do other work, whether we're men or women.

Unfortunately, I do think a lot of the things that make it comfortable to be approachable are similar to the things that make it comfortable to approach (for cold approaches, not sure this would hold for warm ones, that's sort of a different set of risks). Either way you sort of have to be comfortable talking to strangers (obviously), and a man who doesn't like approaching won't necessarily find it easy or "natural" to do the "be approachable" work, in just the same way that the reasons I don't like to be approached my strangers make me also not particularly enthusiastic about approaching them.

(I'm not sure which role I would find easier to attempt to adopt, if I were going to make a project of it. It might sort of come out in the wash, or I might find myself killing two birds with one stone and improving my performance of both roles, if I were going to work on one or the other.)
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Post by reboundstudent on Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:50 pm

kath wrote:
Unfortunately, I do think a lot of the things that make it comfortable to be approachable are similar to the things that make it comfortable to approach (for cold approaches, not sure this would hold for warm ones, that's sort of a different set of risks). Either way you sort of have to be comfortable talking to strangers (obviously), and a man who doesn't like approaching won't necessarily find it easy or "natural" to do the "be approachable" work, in just the same way that the reasons I don't like to be approached my strangers make me also not particularly enthusiastic about approaching them.

And that's why I think seeing a woman's/women's decision to not approach as "taking the easy way out" is a disingenuous reading. Speaking for myself, I actually find it far easier to approach. I have a very easy time striking up conversations with strangers. I'm pretty good at just spontaneously seeking folks out, and I think I do a pretty good job of "leading" (asking questions, finding common ground.) I do feel hurt by rejection/the person not being equally enthusiastic about me, but I still find that my usual behavior is to approach first. I see being approached as more work because it's not my usual habit, it's not my usual behavior, and I'm having to entice people instead of just kind of shoving myself into their space. It's a lot harder to force myself to hold back and wait for others to notice me/want me, than it is to just charge into the spotlight and try to win their attention through force.

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Post by reboot on Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:08 pm

kath wrote:
reboot wrote:All of these guys have one thing in common that I can put my finger on. They are very open and approachable people that genuinely enjoy meeting and talking to others. Not necessarily extroverts, as none need the company of others, in fact 1-2 are pretty introverted. They all like meeting other people, men and women, and I think that enthusiasm draws attention and approaches. Hell, I approached at least 1/2 of them because I found them attractive and they seemed "friendly", for lack of a better word.

So not just luck and circumstances, although both help

And those are probably things that women who get approached a lot also have. I don't get approached much* and I hate hate hate talking to strangers out of context, and I am pretty sure people can tell. Or they can tell pretty quickly when I give one-word answers when they try. I actually don't think shy women (or at least women who are shy like me, in that they get decidedly un-approachable so that they can avoid dealing with strangers, because strangers are stressful to them. There may be some other way of being shy that doesn't manifest in those cues) get a ton of approaches from strangers. But that's based primarily on my experience.
....

That is very true for all but one of the women I know who get approached a lot. For the not shy ones it is a friendly outgoing demeanor. For the shy ones, it is a type of shyness that comes off as friendly, but demure and very traditionally coded female behavior, so it is a vibe of wanting to talk/interact. My one outlier gives off this vibe of sensuality and decadence that even my het female self notices. I cannot really capture her vibe in words, but it is decidedly attractive despite her not very open and friendly demeanor.
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Post by reboundstudent on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:00 pm

reboot wrote:That is very true for all but one of the women I know who get approached a lot. For the not shy ones it is a friendly outgoing demeanor. For the shy ones, it is a type of shyness that comes off as friendly, but demure and very traditionally coded female behavior, so it is a vibe of wanting to talk/interact. My one outlier gives off this vibe of sensuality and decadence that even my het female self notices. I cannot really capture her vibe in words, but it is decidedly attractive despite her not very open and friendly demeanor.

I have a friend kind of like that too. It's interesting, because if you described her behavior in words, she'd come across distinctly unfriendly. Like she's very abrupt and blunt and... cold isn't the right word. Maybe sort of hostile? But she seems to mix that up with some kind of sensuality and mystery that it comes off as sort of teasing-hostility; sort of "See if you can climb this giant wall of Nope, big boy." Guys just go nuts for it (I have had not one, but three boyfriends who adored her.)

Of course the unfortunate thing is she can't seem to switch it off or really get the message through "No, I'm not kidding, these are my boundaries, you are violating my boundaries" because so much of her body language and je ne said quoi kind of plays with that "I say no, but mean yes" sensuality.
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Post by reboot on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:17 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
reboot wrote:That is very true for all but one of the women I know who get approached a lot. For the not shy ones it is a friendly outgoing demeanor. For the shy ones, it is a type of shyness that comes off as friendly, but demure and very traditionally coded female behavior, so it is a vibe of wanting to talk/interact. My one outlier gives off this vibe of sensuality and decadence that even my het female self notices. I cannot really capture her vibe in words, but it is decidedly attractive despite her not very open and friendly demeanor.

I have a friend kind of like that too. It's interesting, because if you described her behavior in words, she'd come across distinctly unfriendly. Like she's very abrupt and blunt and... cold isn't the right word. Maybe sort of hostile? But she seems to mix that up with some kind of sensuality and mystery that it comes off as sort of teasing-hostility; sort of "See if you can climb this giant wall of Nope, big boy." Guys just go nuts for it (I have had not one, but three boyfriends who adored her.)

Of course the unfortunate thing is she can't seem to switch it off or really get the message through "No, I'm not kidding, these are my boundaries, you are violating my boundaries" because so much of her body language and je ne said quoi kind of plays with that "I say no, but mean yes" sensuality.    

It is weird to behold, right? My friend has this Gallic contempt, disdainful, world weariness thing that overlays this sensual/erotic/decadent vibe. It seems to inspire people (she gets hit on by all genders) to strive to get her notice/approval despite all signs that she wants to put her Gauloises out in their eye and encourages more aggressive pressure. Her vibe is more a "Convince me. I am convincible for the right person, despite my no" rather than "I say no but mean yes", but it leads to the same aggravating boundary pushing. It is quite frustrating and has led to us leaving places more than once.
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Post by reboundstudent on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:49 pm

reboot wrote: It is weird to behold, right? My friend has this Gallic contempt, disdainful, world weariness thing that overlays this sensual/erotic/decadent vibe. It seems to inspire people (she gets hit on by all genders) to strive to get her notice/approval despite all signs that she wants to put her Gauloises out in their eye and encourages more aggressive pressure. Her vibe is more a "Convince me. I am convincible for the right person, despite my no" rather than "I say no but mean yes", but it leads to the same aggravating boundary pushing. It is quite frustrating and has led to us leaving places more than once.

That's exactly it! I think your "Convince me" line is more accurate for my friend than my "I say no but mean yes," but I lacked the words to articulate it. It does seem to be this sort of contemptuous but mysterious and sexual air. I have never bought the idea of a "bitch shield," but in the case of my friends (and other gals like her) I could kind of see where such a theory comes from. It absolutely is frustrating for the person experiencing it, but I admit, I find it fascinating. Here is a combination of behaviors that should never work in flirtation/dating, but does. It works so well in fact that it's a time-honored romance trope (the world-weary, disdainful bad boy/girl who melts for the right individual.)

I'm not sure you could ever write out a step-by-step guide on how to do this, though; it strikes me as something that needs to be naturally done (or else it comes off as false), or something that is like Varsity-Level Flirtation.
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Post by Conreezy on Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:20 pm

It is weird to behold, right? My friend has this Gallic contempt, disdainful, world weariness thing that overlays this sensual/erotic/decadent vibe. It seems to inspire people (she gets hit on by all genders) to strive to get her notice/approval despite all signs that she wants to put her Gauloises out in their eye and encourages more aggressive pressure. Her vibe is more a "Convince me. I am convincible for the right person, despite my no" rather than "I say no but mean yes", but it leads to the same aggravating boundary pushing. It is quite frustrating and has led to us leaving places more than once.

I get drawn in by this, despite what my head and pride say. Never been any sort of successful with that type of personality, so I've always wondered what type of person is.

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Post by reboot on Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:26 am

Conreezy wrote:
It is weird to behold, right? My friend has this Gallic contempt, disdainful, world weariness thing that overlays this sensual/erotic/decadent vibe. It seems to inspire people (she gets hit on by all genders) to strive to get her notice/approval despite all signs that she wants to put her Gauloises out in their eye and encourages more aggressive pressure. Her vibe is more a "Convince me. I am convincible for the right person, despite my no" rather than "I say no but mean yes", but it leads to the same aggravating boundary pushing. It is quite frustrating and has led to us leaving places more than once.

I get drawn in by this, despite what my head and pride say.  Never been any sort of successful with that type of personality, so I've always wondered what type of person is.

In the case of my friend, no one. She has never been in nor desired a relationship, never expressed attraction to anyone, etc as long as I have known her. The times I have asked her if she ever wanted a partner, she says, " I am not sentimental* that way". And it is not like we do not have very intimate conversations, we are very close and have talked about crazy private things. If I had to hazard a guess, she might be asexual/aromantic, which makes her ability to attract people rather unfortunate for her.

* Sentimental=having those types feelings for feelings of any type is a translation quirk of hers since French is her first language and thus does not have the judgey connotation it has in English
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