Good Girls Gone Crazy

SO…. yesterday, we talked about this trend of women actually liking men who make themselves seemingly unavailable.  And the worst part of it is this:  it perpetuates the cycle by validating to men on the dating scene that yes, they can indeed win women by being jerks.  UGH!  Once again, we women are sabotaging ourselves.

How did this start?  Why do they do it?  And what’s an honest, ‘say-how-you-really-feel’ girl to DO?

Let’s use today’s post to consider the many varied and estupido reasons that women would be drawn to a meanie.

A couple of my personal theories…  And then (since it IS voting day), we’ll put it to a poll.

A.  The self-loathing theory.

A large number of women (men too, come to think of it), have such little self-worth, that in some twisted turn of sub-conscious events, they seek out “proof” of their un-worthiness by only chasing after someone who’s treating them poorly or turns to the uninterested side, because that somehow validates what they already believe to be true.  Rather than face the cognitive dissonance of “I think I’m not worth much,” yet “he seems to like me,” they wait for a a guy to NOT like them, so they can remain in the belief that they’re not worth a better guy.  This is so sad.  And yet… I think it’s often the case.  I blame the terrorists.

B.  The Grass-is-Greener theory.

This one’s simple.  You have something you like, but because we’re self-absorbed people, we grow lazy/greedy and don’t do the work to cultivate the good thing.  So, it goes away.  But as soon as it’s gone, we realize we want what we now “can’t have.”  It’s the “can’t have” part that makes it so deliciously tempting, you see.  Like when you’ve finished your last bite of cake, but your friend still has a whole piece…and you REALLY want it.  We’re broken people.  We want what we can’t have.  Even if we had our chance to have it, and blew it.

C.  The In-The-Pocket Theory

This is a selfish, but oft-used plan to keep your options open.  It’s essentially putting every remotely viable guy into the “Duckie” category (from Pretty in Pink).
Unfortunately, this method of hedging their dating bets, is sanctioned….even suggested by dating ‘professionals.’  Acclaimed matchmaker and author, Patti Stanger, recommends always having a “Pair and a Spare.”  The idea is that you always have some less-than-my-prince guys in your back pocket to help you in your dating career/decisions.
(By the way, if you hadn’t already picked up on my disdain for her methods, you can read my review of her book, “Becoming Your Own Matchmaker” here.)

This “Pair and a Spare” should, according to her, include:  1. The Best Straight Guy Friend (“Harry” from “When Harry Met Sally”).  2.  The “Big Maybe” – this guy roughly meets your standards, but doesn’t thrill you.  Still, he’s enjoyable to hang out with as your second choice, and he’s not yet descended to the friend zone.  And the second part of the “pair” is 3.  The One You Really Like.  I guess, ostensibly, having the other two is supposed to help you not put all your eggs in the #3 basket, thereby putting you in a one-down power position.


D.  The Project Theory

We help create the distancing jerk and then insert our self in his life to help improve him.  This should be called the manipulative/controlling/passive-aggressive theory, but that seems semantically cumbersome.

You play the coy game to such a degree that the guy, in his frustration, backs off or lets go of you.  Then, you reassert interest in him in such a way that it seems like HE was the jerk, and then you can ‘save’ him.  And who doesn’t have a teensy bit of a savior complex in ’em?  This appeals to the nurturing manner in women.  We want to take care of our children, make our houses look nice, tend to the people in our lives and leave everyone a little happier, a little more ‘perfect’ than we found them.  But this is the ultimate recipe for future heartbreak, because the means not only aren’t justified by the end (a “perfect” guy), but they don’t even achieve the end, because they’re so manipulative that you either end up with a pissed off guy who doesn’t want to be controlled by you anymore, or you turn him into an emasculated doormat without opinions or passions.  Swoon.

E.   The “It’s Evolutionary, my dear Watson” theory

This theory rests on the notion that we women have a primal need to be protected – a desire for shelter and safeguarding.  And in a more primitive culture, we would be able to observe men displaying acts of physical strength to prove their merit on this front.  But, in our society where intellect and attitude are the new big rock and sheer force that take down the dangerous beast in our path, we want to see a man ‘show off’ his aggressive prowess, and we’re drawn to it.  The only problem is that, in our brokenness, we crave this to such an extent that we end up valuing meanness, confusing it for passion and protection, rather than seeking out thoughtfulness and a capacity for problem-solving where a man is intelligently defensive of us, rather than verbally or emotionally beating us up to win our cavewoman approval.

So, what say you?
Remember…it’s unAmerican not to vote… (or unCanadian… or unMalawian… or whatever lovely country you hail from).


And there are no non-swing states here,…no electoral college… your vote actually counts.  Well…to feed my curiosity, that is.    🙂

4 thoughts on “Good Girls Gone Crazy

  1. Bonnie

    I think at the end of the day, as human beings, we have insecurities and issues with ourselves. We all have them (maybe some of us more than others). The culture we live in certainly doesn’t do much to help us as women feel better about ourselves. And sometimes it’s tempting to play these games instead of focusing on resolving our issues. I think as long as we’re aware of where our insecurities are, that’s a good thing. But today’s blog is a good reminder of the sick games that we can lose ourselves in when we forget.

  2. TheIrishScion

    It’s always been my theory that this is a perverse sort of active feedback loop, as follows:

    Mary is somewhat interested in Bob, Bob is somewhat interested in Mary. They engage in enough social intercourse to determine that they’re not fundamentally, prima-fascia incompatible.

    Bob pursues Mary, but Mary suspects that she can do better. Mary partially or wholly rebuffs Bob, expecting Bob to redouble his efforts.

    Now one of two possible things happen; Bob redoubles his efforts, reinforcing Mary’s theory that she can aim higher. Mary continues to rebuff Bob. Alternatively, Bob sends Mary a note saying ‘It’s been real, so long sweet cheeks’ and suddenly Mary is on the back foot! Has Bob got a better offer? Maybe Bob _was_ as good as she could hope for? What’s wrong with her?!? Suddenly Mary feels insecure and bingo, Bob is back in. Of course, somewhere down the road, Bob will start showing his affection again and Mary will quite possibly lose interest again. That’s certainly happened to me. The dating gurus are recommending this plan because of how fantastically well it has worked. But it’s only effective so long as men don’t _all_ realize how the game works (I certainly never worked it out in my dating days) and as soon as we do, that technique will be effectively neutered. I like to think we’ll all return to a more civil approach when that happens.

    Fundamentally, as a species, we’re looking for the highest quality mate possible. Even if we’ve no active desire to breed with them on a rational level, our subconscious is still endlessly in pursuit of that one pinacle. Hence these apparently strange games people play with each other. Men can and do do much the same stuff, whether they realize it or not.

    Look back a few thousand years, we lived in relatively tiny communities. You had a very finite pool of potential mates to chose from and odds are it wouldn’t be at all hard to work out who the best you could aspire to was, then accept your fate and settle down. These days however, especially in the realm of internet dating, there’s a functionally infinite pool of potential, who can blame anyone for not settling, and worse yet playing silly mind-games?

    And of course we’re all looking for The One, don’t even get me started on that nonsense…


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