Thursday, May 03, 2007

Blind Items: Dumb Blondes...and Brunettes...and Redheads

There has been an epidemic of bad romantic decision-making among the women I know, the likes of which I have never seen. Is there something in the mascara?

Let's examine the evidence, shall we? Names and identifying details withheld to protect the foolish (myself included):

Exhibit A: She's still getting over the break-up of a long-term relationship, but can't help from chronically text messaging a former one-night-stand-turned-fling who has done nothing but play head games with her, who is beneath her to begin with.

Exhibit B: She dragged things out with her sociopathic boyfriend for way too long, finally broke things off, and soon after ended up drunkenly making out with a guy in a serious relationship.

Exhibit C: She spent the night talking about what a wonderful, sweet, caring boyfriend she has, and a couple of days later made out with a guy who has been flaky and sketchy with her, and has psychological problems, as well as some kind of sexual dysfunction.

Exhibit D: She has been flirting online with a man in a foreign country who is in a serious (live-in) relationship. They've done nothing more than chat, and neither want to cross any boundaries, but conversation topics have included masturbation and pornography.

Exhibit E: She has such a rigid ideal of what her "type" is, she closes herself off from any potential suitors and has been on exactly one date in the last year, preferring instead to concoct theories about relationships and love that are grounded very little in personal experience. She's about to move to another country where her chances of meeting a potential suitor are even lower.

Exhibit F: She was told from the beginning that he was never faithful to a woman, but got physically and then emotionally involved. Soon after, he slept with someone else, came clean about it, and ended up hurting her despite the warning.

Exhibit G: She spent one night crying over her ex, the next night "getting over" him, the next night telling him how evil he is, and the night after that inviting him over.

What is wrong with all of us? How can a group of such smart, attractive women make such colossally stupid choices? I think sometimes it's because we want a little mischief or adventure, we want to cut lose and stop being sensible all the time (or, in the case of inaction, want to protect ourselves from deep emotional harm). Sometimes alcohol plays a big part in the bad behavior. In many of the above cases, we all got ample warning about what a Bad Idea it would be to get entangled, but went ahead anyway. Maybe we thought we'd be able to keep our hearts out of it. Maybe we didn't do much thinking at all and let our instincts and impulses carry us instead.

Part of me wants to get all self-righteous about it, give lectures about being more self-aware, having more self-respect, etc. But I don't think that's the problem. We're talking about a pretty bright bunch of ladies here. I think it's more that we need to get a little crazy sometimes. Or even a lot. So let's ride out this wave of madness and see where it leads us...

[ETA: In keeping with the gossip rag style of this post, I'm a little disappointed with myself that I wasn't able to work in the word "canoodling" in any of the blind items. Next time.]

30 comments:

Auntie Mom said...

Can I just weigh in as a sane woman with a great deal of self confidence and respect who is stable and happy and hasn't made a horrible romantic decision lately? And I have a friend who is the same! We do exist! How much do you think I should charge for lessons?

Seriously though, I think these are just examples of bad decisions; I'm not sure it's limited to women only. (Although women are a little dumb in love sometimes.)

MissCurious said...

I must be Exhibit F... ;-)?!

Dolly said...

Auntie,
I know we all make decisions that are less than wise, I just saw a whole bunch of examples cropping up all at once. It's actually kind of funny, looking at it all lumped together like that.

Miss C,
Hahaha, I certainly wasn't looking for you to out yourself. (All I ask is that nobody outs me!)

Auntie Mom said...

I guess I'm no fun because your list just makes me sad for our sex. Why do we do those things to ourselves? Where's our self-respect? Don't we feel like we deserved to be loved and treated well anymore?

Maybe I'm being too deep here...

Stretch said...

It's not just women. One of my good friends got married last weekend to a woman who is going to make his life miserable (she has done a decent job already) because, well, she's good looking, accomplished, and he apparently feels like it is time to get married. But reading this and interracting with my female friends has led me to believe that women are more masochistic than men when it comes to dating and relationships.

The interesting questions raised here is "why do women (and men) do this? Would they really be happier and better off if they acted (and, more importantly, thought) differently?" If you can unpack that one, you would be doing us all a favor.

I don't think that the things that cause men and women to be attracted to one another could have changed that much over the years. If you watch a movie like "His Girl Friday" and other old flicks you see Hollywood had many of the same (sometimes accurate) ideas about attraction in 1940 that it does today.

But I do have a sense that our generation does tend to orient itself toward short-term pleasures more than our parents did, and does so further into adulthood. Maybe it is just because we can (or think we can).

This more short-term orientation seems to be especially true in our romantic lives. I wasn't around back in 1940, so I can't say for sure whether this is a "good" or a "bad" thing. I can only speak to the evidence I have seen. And that evidence is I honestly don't know that many people who seem genuinely loving toward and in love with their romantic partners. And I see a lot of people walking around in an apparent coma, not aware of much other than the next thing on their "to-do" list or their next source of external excitement and entertainment. We really get in trouble when we look to something outside ourselves (like a romantic partner) to be the thing that causes us to engage the world and keep us from "getting bored."

So what to do? This Youtube clip on "In Praise of Slowness" seems like a good place to start.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=UhXiHJ8vfuk

~Stretch

Green Eyes said...

I'm feeling the need to chime in on this one. Speaking from my own experience, so much of this has to do with our self respect - along many other things too of course.

Is it our society that just beats it into our heads that we "should" be with someone else? Or that deep down we are scared to end up alone so we - from time to time - have little freak outs and grab what we can?

Having been involved with someone while attached with someone who was also otherwise attached, I know that my decisions stemmed from not enough self love and self respect (to demand more of what I needed) along with being very unhappy in my situation. Too often we do look to others to help make things feel better for our lives and ourselves.

Even women who seem content or confident can be a mess with men - like you said - but together in many other compartments of their lives.

I was able shed some light on my own stuff through some "soul searching" - cliche I know - and therapy sessions which helped an awful lot.

But we shall see what happens when I am not as happy or am not content.

Can we ever truly avoid these kinds of situations or decisions?
Nahhhhh...right Miss Curious? :)

Stretch said...

"We're talking about a pretty bright bunch of ladies here. I think it's more that we need to get a little crazy sometimes. Or even a lot. So let's ride out this wave of madness and see where it leads us..."

But the thing is, you already know where it leads us. It leads us to where we are right now, and will keep leading us there until we decide to do something different. I agree that there is no point to getting self-righteous about this pattern and lecturing, but if we are being straight with ourselves we have to admit that going on as we have in the past will keep giving the same results we have always gotten. The point being that although we might all be "riding a wave" in one sense, we also get to decide for ourselves HOW to ride it, and that makes all the difference.

Green eyes--very good point about self-esteem and self-respect being at the core of this issue. I can definitely see that among some of my friends. People who truly respect and believe in themselves do tend to be more careful about who they chose to spend their time with.

Aphexcoil said...

MissCurious said...

I must be Exhibit F... ;-)?!


How would you like to be my exhibit "O" for the night?

Aphexcoil said...

This more short-term orientation seems to be especially true in our romantic lives. I wasn't around back in 1940, so I can't say for sure whether this is a "good" or a "bad" thing. I can only speak to the evidence I have seen. And that evidence is I honestly don't know that many people who seem genuinely loving toward and in love with their romantic partners.

Stretch,

It really depends on your perspective and your life experiences. I don't think our generation is really all that different from previous ones. Every generation seems to think it is quite different from previous ones, but "what's old is new again" is the theme in life.

I've had a few close calls and a near-death experience. I've lost friends in my 20's when they were my age. We all wake up every morning under the illusion that we're guaranteed another day.

When it comes to love, I look at it as a chance to experience life. Women come in so many different flavors. I want to experience every one like a kid on a hot summer day standing on his tippie toes while looking through the glass at Baskin Robbins.

Society gives us a lot of false notions on what "true love" is supposed to be. A lot of people spend their entire life chasing phantoms of their own impossible desires.

Why not just go out and kiss and enjoy the company of a beautiful woman without wondering if one is connecting all the dots properly.

I'd rather be the victim of a thousand random yet exciting experiences than the purveyor of one false one.

MissCurious said...

Apexcoil,

Look sweetie, you talk a good game, but being my Exhibit O is achieving the impossible... if you think you know how to do it, write a fucking book... then hop on a plane and show me.

"I'd rather be the victim of a thousand random yet exciting experiences than the purveyor of one false one."

But then, maybe your 'thousand random yet exciting (& EMPTY) experiences' will inhibit you from finding that one experience which will transcend all.

Damsel Underdressed said...

Damn those little things called hormones! They've clouded my better judgement on more than one occasion.

Aphexcoil said...

But then, maybe your 'thousand random yet exciting (& EMPTY) experiences' will inhibit you from finding that one experience which will transcend all.

Who says any experience has to be empty? Just because you are no longer with that someone you once shared passionate moments with, it doesn't mean you still can't enjoy the experiences and how it helped to shape you as a person.

We're born alone and we die alone, everything in between is but a plentiful chance to share experiences with others.

Ps: "O" is not impossible, sweetie. You've just never been with a guy who knew how to twist it up inside of you in just the right ways while paying attention to some other facets of your sexuality.

Stretch said...

"I don't think our generation is really all that different from previous ones. Every generation seems to think it is quite different from previous ones, but "what's old is new again" is the theme in life."


Aphexcoil,

I hear your point that most generations probably do exaggerate in their minds just how different they are from their parents or grandparents. And, like I said, on a fundamental level I am sure we really aren't any different from any that has gone before. But the reality is that we are behaving differently from the generations that preceded us.

This is all detailed in a book Dolly referenced on this blog some time ago: "Unhooked Generation" by Jillian Strauss. In terms of the age at which we are marrying and the likelihood that we will marry, our generation is different. Strauss puts forward a variety of theories as to why that might be (people have more of a smorgasbord mentality about relationships and are more likely to view their partners as interchangeable or replaceable), but I have a strong sense that Something Is Going On in terms of the way people view themselves and their relationship to the world.

Things that are socially acceptable (and even popular) today would have gotten you voted off the island 20 years ago (take Howard Stern for example). In some ways this change is very positive (people might be becoming more fully expressed and less repressed / inhibited), but in other ways these changes are making our lives less satifying and workable. But it can't be denied that change is happening.

And you are right that both women and men come in all shapes and sizes, and what works for one person isn't necessarily going to work for the next. I also like your notion of love as a way to experience life through someone else. That said, men who marry and stay married make more money, live longer, and report higher levels of general satisfaction with their lives than those who don't. It might be true that we are born alone and die alone, but most of the research I have seen suggests that the time in between is most happily spent in deeper, more committed relationships than the ones we are seeing today.

This is probably sounding way too preachy and serious...but this topic does have some serious implications for the generations that will come next.

randombeatnik said...

The following post is an except from a post I made a while back on a few other forums that I visit.

"...the problem is people usually put up with too much shit that we shouldn't have to or need to. We have a strong loyalty to people and things we shouldn't. We eat fast food and it gives us heart attacks. We smoke cigarettes when they give us cancer. We drink and it leads us to do stupid things. Instead, why not find a medium that benefits everyone instead of being the greedy fucker you are and wanting everything your way?

I'll be the first to admit, there is a lot of shitty people in this world.

There are your two friends who ran train on your girlfriend while you were passed out asleep. There is your boyfriend who fucked your best friend while you were out of town. There is the boyfriend who knocked you up and then split. If we just made a more conscious effort at being a good judge of character then we wouldn't have nearly as many problems as we do in our life. Learn to call people out and don't put up with anyone's shit. Yes, you're circle of "friends" might get smaller. Yes part of your "family" might not be around anymore. Yes you might miss out on some good sex, but guess what?

In the end you'll lead a more fulfilling life. In the end you'll have fewer problems. In the end you'll know who your true friends and your true family are."

With that said I think it's in human nature to crave excitement, danger, passion, and things out of the ordinary. Being a little more realistic would save your sanity just a bit.

Although I admit it would be a bit difficult on a womans end due to the stereotype of you "feeling" instead of "thinking logically."

Stretch said...

randombeatnik--

Well said. The question we have to ask ourselves: is this insanity really socially acceptable? Or are we all just becoming insane in a socially acceptable way?

~Stretch

Cody said...

There are few things I want to say:

1. I would love to post this post on MY Blog. Asking your permission.

2. Really want to thank you for your blog, You have been giving Deep Insight of Women emotions and thanks to you.. I have a Lovely Relationship.
This is what my girl wrote about me:

http://seductivecody.blogspot.com/2007/04/my-girl-advocates-about-me.html

3. Its Not only Women who end up taking wrong decisions. It's same with men too.
I would rather use term NICE People. We want to trust this world. It's a good thing to do but we attach too many emotions to our trust. We have to learn not to EXPECT things from the world.

4. There is still debate running in my MIND, that were things better in 40s and 50s or they are NOW. Which society would be better place.

5. NOthing is completely wrong in this world.Even clock which isn't working is right twice a day.

6. I would like to know qualities you seek in your IDEAL MAN and what are things which you can give pass TO.

coasta said...

It does show that:

Being a dick is a good way to get a woman hooked....Even smart successful mostly well adjusted ones.

When you want to settle down, ease up on the throttle a bit.

There may be better ways to go about getting girls, but if you are struggling in this area.....default = dickhead.

Dolly said...

Stretch,
Loved In Praise of Slowness, very good book. For me, it's not a matter of speed, though, as much as it is undivided attention.

Green Eyes,
I know in the past some of my ill-judged behavior stemmed from needing some sort of affirmation, but this time around, I think it was more a need to break from my personal routines and conventions. And hey, I had fun AND learned something, which isn't too shabby!

Aphexcoil,
I thought you weren't going to comment in my blog anymore?

Damsel,
Maybe we can ask chemists to come up with some kind of pheremone shield for those more emotionally vulnerable times?

Aphexcoil,
Seriously, you said you were going to stop commenting. Not a man of your word?

Randombeat,
I think it's about balance, knowing when to be realistic and when to give in to the fantasy. Too much of either is where things can get boring/dangerous.

Cody,
Feel free to post, as long as you include credit and a link. Thanks! And I'm flattered that you were able to glean insight from this blog, that's wonderful.

Coasta,
I hate it when people stay crap like that. It's not the assholic behavior that got us hooked on these guys, it was them being caring and interested and good to us! The assholic behavior is what leaves us hurt and confused, because we already got attached during the Nice phase, so it's toughter to remove ourselves during the Not Nice phase. Even if you're being sarcastic, advocating being a dickhead is ridiculous and is only going to wreck the dating landscape more. It's not about being a dickhead, or being a cold bitch, it's the qualities of intrigue, fun, and unpredictability, a slight edginess. You can still be a nice person and have those traits. You don't have to be a jackass to be exciting.

randombeatnik said...

stretch

Sanity and normalcy are relative.

Everyone has issues. Some people are just better at hiding them than others.

Regarding the asshole thing...

The problem with being an asshole is that you have a lot of the same characteristics as someone who has their shit together. Confidence, unpredictability, excitement, etc. When you're an asshole, you go about predictability the wrong way.

I'll quote Robert Greene's 3rd and 20th steps of "Phase One" (laws of seduction if you will) from "The Art of Seduction"


Send Mixed Signals

Step 3

"Once people are aware of your presence and perhaps vaguely intrigued, you need to sir their interest beforeit settles on someone else. Most of us are much too obvious-instead, be hard to figure out. Send mixed signals: both tough and tender, both spiritual and earthly, both innocent and cunning. A mix of qualities suggests depth, which fascinates even as it confuses. An elusive, enigmatic aura will make people want to know more, drawing them into your circle. Create such a power by hinting at something contradictory within you."

Step 20

Mix Pleasure with Pain
"The greatest mistake in seduction is being too nice. At fist, perhaps, your kindness is charming, but it soon grows monotonous: you are trying too hard to please, and seem insecure. Instead of overwhelming your targets with niceness, try inflicting some pain. make them feel guilty and insecure. Instigate a breakup-now a rapprochement, a return to your earlier kidness, will turn them weak at the kness. The lower the lows your create, the greather the highs. To heighten the erotic charge, create the excitement of fear."

Dolly said...

make them feel guilty and insecure
That is the worst relationship advice I have ever heard. Anyone who would strive to make another person feel that way to attract them is a piece of shit.

Stretch said...

"Exhibit A: She's still getting over the break-up of a long-term relationship, but can't help from chronically text messaging a former one-night-stand-turned-fling who has done nothing but play head games with her, who is beneath her to begin with."

This "assholic" behavior isn't something guys are born with. Unless he was one of those sadistic types who took pleasure in burning worms alive when he was 10 years old, no guy grows up naturally wanting to play "head games" with a woman. This is a learned behavior. And women teach it to men--not with their words, but with their actions and choices they make in who they date.

I have never met the guy from "Exhibit A," but I am sure that at some point since the day he hit puberty he figured out that it is easier to keep a woman interested in you if you play "head games" with her than if you don't. Which, sadly, has been my experience as well (if you consider feigning disinterest and being more selfish than you would normally to be a "head game"). Guys wouldn't play these games if women like "Exhibit A" didn't reward them for it.

Every single woman I have been interested in and been "nice" to for an extended period of time without exhibiting at least a couple of these "assholic" traits has lost interest in me. I don't intend to make anyone feel guilty or insecure; I am just intentionally exhibiting the behaviors and attitudes that have worked in the past and avoiding those that got me the "what-a-nice-boring-guy-now-let-me-check-my-cell-for-a-text-from-that-guy-who-never-calls-me" reaction. If given the choice between being lonely and "nice" vs. busy-dating-beautiful-women and "assholic," which one do you think I'm going pick? You might say this is a false choice, but my experience has been otherwise, regardless of what women might claim on comment boards like this one.

I love to treat women well...I really do. But at least in the early stages of a relationship, women vote with feet too consistently for "assholic" behavior for a guy who is interested in her not to consider playing some sort of "head game." See Exhibit A.

Jack Roy said...

Maybe I watch too much television, but this just made me think of that Seinfeld routine (misquoting from memory):

Jerry: You like him because he doesn't like you.
Elaine: But that's so sick!
Jerry: That's the way God planned it! He doesn't really want anyone to get together!

Tynan said...

Dolly, I'm shocked that even after hanging out with the PUAs for a while, you still believe that being nice is an effective means of attracting a woman. It's not.

Given a spectrum from "pure nice guy" to "pure asshole", your ideal behaviour is somewhere in the middle (different for every girl). But if you have to choose one extreme, "pure asshole" will get you girls far, far more often than "pure nice guy".

strech's comments on this topic are completely on point and totally jive with my own experiences over the course of my life.

Welcome to the perverse and absurd nature of female attraction. Guys who know how to attract women didn't make these rules, and we don't like playing by them. It honestly stresses me out to deliberately ignore and walk away from my girl sometimes. I don't like deliberately ignoring her calls. I don't like teasing her and gaming other girls in front of her.

I hate these things but I still do them because I know that if I don't, I will lose her.

(also note that I am calibrated so I do nice things as well, always in a carefully calculated balance between indications of interest and indications of disinterest)

Tynan said...

(note: im not tynan as in The Game Herbal)

Aphexcoil said...

Seriously, you said you were going to stop commenting. Not a man of your word?

Well, if you're going to be like that, fine. I was just trying to contribute to some interesting conversation.

Bye for good.

Cody said...

Just Keep writing your blog.

It is actually insights for MEN on how women procoess thier emotions no matter what she is. She knows about PUADOm or She knows something else...

Deep Down She is still going to live her Dating & Relationship life with her emotions and it also is writing about how you process those emotions.

Someday for sure, I would like to meet you.

Also btw Do you which DVD are you on in CLiff's Convention?

Omar said...

The people here claiming that women like assholes are on crack.

This is one of those myths that just wonlt die.

There is NOTHING, literally NOTHING about being an asshole that is attractive to any reasonably normal person.

If you see a woman being attracted to an asshole, it is because he has something independent of his asshilishness that makes him attractive. He may be warm ad compassionate much of the time, he may be sexually confident, he may be something else.

Ethical women will find ethical men attractive, not "assholes" (whatever that means).

LaMa said...

Interesting and fun to read post. By the way, I know a lot of men (including myself) who do the same sort of silly things as your assortment of Exhibits of the female species. Love or a longing for love just makes a fool of all of us.

Stretch said...

Not long ago I went to a memorial service for a Jesuit priest who recently passed away. At the service they told a story in which someone once asked him how he managed to accomplish so much within his lifetime. His reply:

"Celibacy."

coasta said...

Ok, in the interest of brevity, my comment was poorly worded. What I was trying to point out was this:

On some level, women love not being in control. And they'll take that feeling wherever they can get it. Dickheads or even guys who mess with their heads provide this drama, push-pull, antidote to boredom, whatever you want to call it. It's the same addiction as when women are swept away in heady romantic bliss. As Eric Carmen said, "make me lose control."

And Dolly said it best herself: "it's more that we need to get a little crazy sometimes. Or even a lot. So let's ride out this wave of madness and see where it leads us..."

For practical purposes, it does not matter whether the guy is a good guy or a dickhead. It only matters that he provide the feelings.

REAL jerks or badboys...generally are nice and interested at the start...then they shift...and that is the addiction.

Now would you want a guy to be a good dude AS WELL AS provide these feelings? Absolutely. However, 'the dark side' does work as well.