Thursday, December 28, 2006

Unsolicited Advice, Pt. 2

Relationships are terribly paradoxical. Unlike other activities such as riding a bicycle or practicing tennis, being in more relationships seems to lessen proficiency. It's like starting a fresh instrument every couple of weeks: Though you may possess skills that will come in handy, you are ultimately playing something entirely new every single time. Having played 10 (or 2 or 22) instruments will not make you an expert at one. For the past week or so, I've been holding a handful of informal seminars for women lately. (Alright, a bunch of my sister's 14-year-old friends, my own girlfriends, and my mother's employees.) These lectures center around my three-tiered system of evaluating romantic prospects. The concept developed as a way to give advice in shorthand by replacing entire ideas with the numbers 1, 2, and 3:

Obvious disinterest exhibited by both parties. Minimum confusion. Predictable behaviour, low. Applicable to strangers and acquaintances.

Slight interest exhibited by one or both parties (though, usually only one). Observed behaviours are more predictable, generally because one party exerts greater effort to be noticed. Maximum confusion. Failure inevitable. Applicable to both the courtship stage and coupled equivalent.

High interest exhibited by both parties. Minimum confusion. Predictable behaviour, very high. Applicable to friends and couples.

(Before I begin to explain this wild musing of mine, I just want to explain that I will be using gender definers simply for clarity's sake. Switch and substitute as you see fit.)

MArt and I observed that women tend to want to believe they have choice, while men tend to think they can convince women to choose them. Both signify the need for power. Furthermore, I had also noticed that all my girlfriends wish they were in relationships, but have yet to be successful. Using the earlier observation as a jump-off point, I realized the secret to landing a man is to -- surprise! -- stop excusing his crap.

What sort of crap am I talking about? Please, gather 'round:

Behaviour #1: He's taking every opportunity to touch and talk to you. Ooh la la! And what do you do when he drags you onto his lap? You sit on it, of course, giddy from all the attention.

Explained: Basically, without doing much at all, he's gauged your interest and publicized it to discourage competitors. Hooray! With a few strategic maneuvers -- contacting you spontaneously, sweet talking you without making immediate plans, being just friendly enough to avoid your asshole detector -- your mind has been monopolized. (Hopefully, for a long time.) Congratulations! He just caught himself a reliable source of willing booty.

Behaviour #2: He seems to be having fun when you're together. You like him, he appears to like you. Someone makes a move (fake left, shoot right) and frees the arrangement from the platonic. Choo choo! All aboard the sexy train! Then suddenly, he stops calling. Oh shit, what did you do wrong?

Explained: Nothing. It's not like you surprised him with your dick up his ass. (Props for trying though.) What's there to apologize? If he refuses to discuss whatever you did to offend him (or made his interest flounder), he just wasn't into you enough to give you another chance and felt he could do better. Next.

Behaviour #3: *Fill in your own personal adventure*

Explained: If he thinks you're long-term material, you'll know from the get-go. He'll adapt to your behaviour whether or not it's considered typical for you. So you try something new and rape him on the first date. He may think you're easy, but he's too enamoured to care (or judge). So you keep your legs closed and make him wait. He's grateful you're still sticking around. The futility of guessing games is understood: Information is divulged voluntarily and dialogue is encouraged.

When women think they know what men want and act accordingly, they discredit the opposite sex as equally complex individuals. (Fuck, I'm starting to sound like a bad self-help guru.) How MArt puts it is if women want real choice -- i.e., the power to accept or reject *cough* an adoring mass of admirers -- they have to set higher standards all round. Don't pile every man giving you dirty winks into the same category (don't flatter yourself, they don't all feel the same way). Go and have a life beyond finding a mate. Cultivate a passion for a hobby. If you stop responding to every pass and advance men make your way, the womanizers will move on, exposing the serious ones. You'll find yourself in a position of dominance without even trying. What's that old adage? That the one thing women hate more than being checked out is not being checked out? No wonder some women are messed up -- nothing could possibly satiate such fragile egos. I mean, think about it: In the end, with all these unresolved insecurities, would you want to be attached to you?

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