Another installment of Bitch, Please, in response to “6 Signs You’re Scaring Boys Away”

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When I first read 6 Signs You’re Scaring Boys Away I found it to be the most asinine and offensive dating advice that I’ve ever read.

Once my anger subsided and I read it again, it occurred to me that this Shannon Robb person was mostly talking about her own dating life rather than saying these things in general will always scare a boy into the next time zone.

Nevertheless, I can’t let things that irk me this much go un- “bitch, please”-ed. So, we have yet another installation. Also, Ms. Shannon is apparently 26, so I am qualified to do this as the older and “wiser” person. Below are her six reasons and some excerpts:

1. You know a lot about sports: I know a lot about sports, I love sports, I watch sports, I can hold an intelligent conversation with a guy about sports. You’d think I’d have my pick of the litter, right? Wrong. For some reason, my knowledge of sports tends to scare dudes away, or gets me immediately friend zoned because they know they can talk shop with me and I’ll understand it and contribute to it while knocking back a beer. HOW ANNOYING!

Bitch, please: Girl, I feel you, I really do. I was at a bar once when I was like, 23, talking to boys about sports when my best friend pulled me aside and told me not to talk so much about sports because the guys were probably intimidated by me. I kindly told her to fuck off. (For what it’s worth, she did apologize a year or two ago). Advice numero uno on this is that if you are getting friend zoned by dudes because of your sports knowledge, this is not someone you would want to date anyway. Let me ask you – do any of them have girlfriends? Let me guess, they do, and none of their girlfriends like sports, and they complain about that…to YOU. And in fact, think about it the other way – you wouldn’t want to date someone who wasn’t as in to sports as you are, would you? I have legitimately been on first dates with guys who had never heard of Villanova. I’m sorry, but if you can’t talk to me about the 1985 Final Four, we have no future together. Just kidding. Sort of. Anyway, chica girl, if your sports knowledge is scaring these weenies away, they are doing you a favor. Trust me.

2. You’re up front about what you want: No, I’m not looking at your breeding stock. But I am looking for someone who has that potential. And, ladies, we know how much this scares guys away! Why? It’s so hard to be honest about what we want without sounding crazy.

Bitch, please: First of all, you’re only 26. What you want might change a lot between now and several years from now. I know it has for me. But I have some bad news for you so I’ll try to say this as nicely as possible. We’re all crazy – gender irrelevant. Everyone has their issues and skeletons and what have you. Some hide them better than others.  If you think about it, the same reasoning from above applies here. If you being up front about not wanting anything casual scares someone away, he’s doing you a favor. Sure, he may end up in a serious relationship with someone else a year later, but in that year he’s going to be a giant man whore and break a lot of hearts. It’s like a reverse Taming of the Shrew – someone will eventually make him want to settle down, but if it’s not you, don’t be offended. Likely, it has nothing to do with you – which brings me back to my previous about everyone being crazy. Someone scared by commitment has issues, and they are his and not yours. So carry on, girl. There is nothing wrong OR crazy with being up front about your feelings.

3. You’re smart: I don’t want to have to pretend I have no idea what’s going on so you can ‘man-splain’ things to me. I hate that. This is a dangerous middle ground though, because smart girls can be a turn on, but we don’t want to come off as pretentious, or better than the men we’re looking at.  On the flip side, we shouldn’t have to hide our impressive brains.

Bitch, please: First of all, what is this ‘man-splain’ thing that you speak of? Second of all – yikes. You should never pretend anything, because if you are, then everything you said about being upfront with someone goes out the window. You can’t be all, “I like, TOTALLY want to get married, and by the way, what’s like, up with Chechnya?” Being smart means you’re smart enough to know you don’t have to hide it. Why would you?

4. Flirting is hard: I find that I can flirt with just about everybody except the object of my affection- then it is totally foot in mouth city for me. I’m sarcastic and quippy and I think it throws a lot of guys off, which sucks because my humor is sarcastic and quippy and I’m just trying to be funny, you know!? Sometimes we come on too strong and don’t leave enough room for the chase, sometimes we act too aloof and dudes think we’re not interested. It’s all about finding a balance, and it is a hard recipe to perfect.

Bitch, please: Flirting sucks. It really does. But there is no perfect recipe. It depends on the two people. You have to first get an idea of their general personality and adjust accordingly. For example: Just on Saturday I was at a bar with my ladies and one of them suggested I put my coat down on an empty bar stool. Well, a gentleman returned from the bathroom to inform me that he was in fact sitting there. The first thing I did was blame Courtney. “It was HER idea,” I said. Luckily he caught on to the fact that we were just slightly embarrassed, so started joking about it – the interaction lasted less than two minutes and I’ll probably never see him again, but he was easy to flirt with because he picked up on my sense of humor immediately. (And all of those thinking, “What sense of humor?” can BITE ME).

5. You’re confident: How many of us have heard dudes say they love a confident woman? I know I have from, like, every guy I’ve ever known. But, sometimes it seems like guys get really scared by confident women, they almost seem to not know what to do with us.  Finding the right balance between being confident and showing a little insecurity is important- men like to feel needed and wanted and we should be able to show them that they are.

Bitch, please: Okay, I disagree with all of this. The right balance between confidence and insecurity? So men know they are needed? Are you kidding me? I met this guy a couple of summers ago, who, within two hours of meeting me said, “I can tell you have no self-confidence, and I don’t understand why.” They pick up on these things, apparently. So they can probably also pick up when we’re bullshitting them. Isn’t just wanting to be with them enough? Do they have to be NEEDED? I might be a rare breed here but I love my alone time and the thought of someone NEEDING me for some sort of validation is enough to send me running.  Again, there is no such balance in existence. Or if there is, it comes naturally. I’m going to use a friend as an example to attempt to illustrate my point: she was sick one weekend (years ago) and didn’t want to go out with her friends. Only on Sunday did she venture out with her boyfriend (now husband) simply to get some food and fresh air. Her friends, for whatever reason, were less than understanding and in fact called her a bad friend (for reasons I am still not clear about, but whatever) – and her boyfriend was very supportive of her and was there as a source of comfort, that she did need as she was inevitably very upset – but none of it was forced. It just was. And that’s why it worked.

6. You’re the right girl at the wrong time: A lot of romance issues stem from the fact that guys just aren’t ready to settle or get serious. And, that’s okay because it’s not on us, even if we think it is. Sometimes it is, but usually it’s more about how together a guy wants to be before he really wants to move on to the next stage of his life.

Bitch, please: The right girl at the wrong time is an illusion. She is what we use to comfort ourselves during heartbreak. Haven’t you seen or read He’s Just Not That Into You? My best example is from when I was “dating” Mr. Titspervert. He didn’t want to settle down. I wanted to be exclusive, he did not. He’s now engaged. I wasn’t the right girl. She was. I have made MANY a mistake thinking physical attraction automatically equaled emotional compatibility or vice versa. There are so many things that go into these relationship things. I know they say timing is everything – it’s because when the time is right, you’ll be the right girl at any time for the person you end up with. Am I talking out of my ass? Maybe. But I still stand by there is no such thing as the right girl at the wrong time.

Yes, I get it. Dating sucks. I am CLEARLY inept at it. Hell, I’m writing a book about sucking at it. But from all the bullshit we deal with, it boils down to one thing: when you meet the right person, there will be no games. There will be no balancing being smart but ditzy but flirty but aloof but into sports but like, hey what it that pass interference thing all about but confident but timid but honest but agreeable to whatever he wants. It will just happen, and it will be fine. So, as an older, potentially wiser, but completely fed up with all the bullshit games, but yes still very single person, I am pleading with you to stop finding the right combination of anything, and just be yourself. I sense that yourself is better than any balanced combination of something that doesn’t actually exist.

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