Thursday, March 9, 2006

On Getting Shot Down

In my survey of men on Passive Man Syndrome (PMS), one answer came up again and again: Men don’t pursue women or ask them out because they are afraid of being shot down. Some men even said that women, as a group, are mean. Women’s signals are apparently too obscure for some men. It was suggested more than once that women should be the assertive force, take advantage of being in the “driver’s seat," flirt better, send clearer signals and ask men out! It’s a fact that dating takes some level of risk – someone has to put their heart on their sleeve or their neck on the line at some point. If men aren’t doing it, should women? Apparently some men think so.

Not being a sociologist, a geneticist or a sexologist, I have no idea if either sex is wired or evolved to be better at asking out the other sex. Apparently, the demise of male self-esteem with changing roles in our society contributes to the change from a male-dominated dating ritual to a female-dominant pattern. Issues of women’s safety and wanting to avoid being considered a “stalker" were also sited.

Regarding your low self esteem, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - cry me a river, guys! Expectations are exceedingly high on women, too! It occurred to me some time ago that everyone I meet is insecure about something – maybe it’s their ears, their big feet, their wide hips or their spelling or bad jokes. When I realized this, I ceased to be intimidated. It doesn’t mean I didn’t get shot down sometimes – there was an especially embarrassing incident trying to get someone to light a cigarette – but I moved on and I’m having fun now with people I might not have started up with otherwise. Just be compassionate to yourself and the other person.

Regarding stalking – just don’t do it. No means no – if I ask you not to call, don’t call. If I give you my number or email address, you aren’t stalking if you contact me. You aren’t even stalking if you write or call more than once before I get back to you. You are, however, perceived as creepy or desperate if you fill my inbox or voicemail before I get back to you. I would also not use the word “giddy"…ever.

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