thread: 2006-04-08 : That certain zing

On 2006-04-08, Charles S wrote:


I do see what you are saying, but it seems to me that it is also a matter of high school-college age women not understanding that if they have figured out that a guy they are interested in is interested in them, but the guy is not getting that they are interested too, then the solution (as Lisa says) is to make that interest explicit.

Of course, the pursuer model teaches women not to do that, and it teaches men to respond badly if they do, particularly since, if it is something you aren't trained to do, you are likely to do it badly.

Through that period (high school/ early college), I mostly behaved very cross gender (although fairly blindly). When I wanted to be romantically/sexually involved, I simply presented myself as available and then, when approached by someone I found interesting, made myself hang on their every word, and then said yes when they explicitly expressed interest. Really hard core signaling of the right sort is pretty effect for men too. I was pretty good at picking up signals, but had a very hard time figuring out how to approach. I got better at it a semester or two into college, and the next 3 relationships I was less passive in initiating.

The turning point was someone I met in my first semester at Oberlin, where we were both obviously attracted to each other from when we first met, but didn't get together until the very end of the semester (and she was, bizarrely, an inter-college exchange student, taking a break from MIT, so she was gone after that one semester), and only got together because she got so frustrated with my (and Oberlin men in general) refusal to initiate that she conspired with my girlfriend to arrange my seduction. Somehow, that freed me up to be more active in initiating, and my next three relationships I was much more active in initiation (although in two of them it was the dance where neither party ever clearly steps far enough past the signaling of the other party for it to seem like one party approached the other, instead, both parties signal interest by gradually approaching).

And I've certainly met women who were equally clueless. "Oh, you spent three months flirting with me? I never realized."

Of course, we don't (thank G*d) live in a society with a strict predator model, and we all have strong overlays of egalitarian model as well. It seems like in many situations, one model dominates, but there is definitely a mix.


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