Earlier this week, one of my best friends asked me (along with a team of her fellow intellects) a simple question: "What "clues" do you (men) look for in a woman to tell whether or not she's interested? Do you believe that being persistent will win the girl over eventually?"
Since I've noticed that a hoard of bloggers have addressed this question, I'd like to share my response. I hope you've blocked out an hour of your day to read this one. It's pretty involved:
Even being a male, I have no problem admitting that we can be pretty unbridled when it comes to pursuing women. We hear a simple "hello" or receive 'the look', and we take off with it. Occasionally, we get lucky. But, more often than not, our pursuit backfires which, for sensitive men; creates room for hurt, disappointment, broken egos, etc. Other men, however, are too egotistical, proud, and narcissistic to accept rejection as the 'end all'. "If at first you don't succeed try, try again" is what they say. For many men, this philosophy resonates in their mind, even if the woman has shown that she is decidedly UNINTERESTED in him. So, to the end, some men are pretty indelible and...well, stupid when it comes to women. But, it's not all on the man...
I once saw a talk show (I wish I remember which one it was) where a guy met his future wife by calling a phone number he saw in a bathroom stall (you know, one of those "For a good time, call so-and-so..."lines). As a joke, he called her. Oddly, they wound up talking, eventually met, dated, and got married. There was another time (and WE'VE ALL heard stories like this) where a guy was interested in a woman, who totally dissed him. It was only because of his endless pursuit that he was finally able to "win" her.
Stories like those motivate men to continuing pushing even if things seem impossible. In fact, the more impossible and unlikely it seems to 'get the girl', the more captivated the man gets. The bigger the challenge, the greater the story will be that he gets to tell his children. Besides that, it doesn't really help the man's causes when society throws out terms like "The best things come to those who wait" or "She'll come around eventually". Stuff like that only provides men with MORE of a sense of foolishly idealistic hope. But, I'm not gonna blame all of this on men and society. Women play a pretty significant role in this whole thing, too. In fact, I actually blame a lot of this stuff on women folk...
**Moment of digression** I think that women are seductive and, often, manipulative creatures (I feel a good lashing coming on for what I'm about to say, but who cares?!). They use their looks, their smile, and their prowess to get stuff from men. This is an extremely powerful tool that only women seem to be able to wield effectively. There are a few men who can do this, but the number is HIGHLY disproportionate when you compare it to women. Women are able to bat an eyelash and get a guy to spend all sorts of money on her. They're able to pull out their 'ass-ets' and get men to fix flat tires, chase bats out of the house, and spend Saturday afternoons shoe shopping with them. With one whisper, they can turn a machismo, He-Man, beer guzzling, sports lover into a puppy dog who cries at movies, writes poetry , and buys expensive crap. I mean, why do you think women go through the trouble of painting their faces with makeup, waxing themselves, starving, squeezing their surgically enhanced breasts into little a*s bras, and buying weave? It's to equip them with what they need to control men.
Now that I've got that off my chest, let me get to my REAL point...
Women use their influence and the prowess all the time to get what they want. But, too often they don't use it enough to REPEL what they DON'T want. Sometimes, these two worlds collide. For example, how many times have you heard a woman talk about how somebody who she completely LOATHES just bought her some incredible gift? Even if the woman has NO INTENTION of EVER giving this guy a chance, they'll still gladly take advantage of his generous attempts to win her. This sends mixed messages to the man. The man will say, "You claim you don't want me, but you're accepting this necklace I bought you..." Now, to be fair, sometimes women are at least considerate enough to let the guy know -- in advance -- that they're not interested. Doing so forces the guy to sign an unofficial disclaimer stating that "She's already made it clear that she's not interested. Whatever you do for her is ON YOU!" But, even if the guy is stupid enough to still go after her, does it make it right for her to take advantage of it? At what point do we make exploitation acceptable?
Secondly...from personal experience...many women claim that they're not interested in certain men as mates, but they expect for those men to do things that are usually exclusive to couples. If we stop talking to certain women, stop giving them the attention that they crave, stop calling them so much, stop catering to their needs, and -- ultimately -- start avoiding them, then all hell is gonna break lose. You've "hurt their feelings, played with their emotions, dissed them, blah, blah, blah..." When we men decide not to be available at a woman's beckoned call, we're the ones who get vilified. Ironic, huh?!
So, my advice to you women who want to be absolved from overly-persistent men:
- Be as aggressive with turning down a man as you would be for trying to FIND a man. Simple rejections (i.e. "Thanks, but no thanks") just don't do it.
- Stop accepting stuff (romantic and sentimental gifts, especially) from men that you don't like...even if they INSIST on giving them to you.
- Stop expecting men to do things that are above and beyond the normal call of friendship. Simply put, don't expect men to respond to you as "more than a friend" if you're not willing to actually BE "more than a friend" to them.
There you have it: My take on why men are overly persistent with women.
If this doesn't motivate you to give back that two-carat diamond "friendship" ring, nothing will...