I’ve mentioned before that on one of the message boards I read, there is a dating advice thread. Since the board is primarily female and college-educated, there tend to be a lot of feminist-inspired dating mistakes, feminine overanalysis, and questionable advice. For your reading enjoyment, I’ve compiled some of the most recent stuff.
Earlier this month, Female A, one of the board’s most prolific and well-liked posters who is internet famous outside of the board, posted that her mother had met a charming, extroverted young man at work who was brand new to town and had shown him A’s picture. The young man was intrigued by the picture, and A’s mother, in true Mrs. Bennet fashion, started scheming to invite him over for dinner so he could meet A, who has not met anyone new in a long time. The only problem is that the picture the young man saw is 13 years old, and A, by her own admission, no longer resembles the girl in the photo. Most crucially, she is much heavier now. A acknowledged that she didn’t think Young Man would be interested in her and that he could do much better than herself. However, she has been in such a never-ending dry spell that she’s willing to cling to any shred of hope.
Any time a woman puts herself down to other women who like her, that is an automatic invitation for the other women to pile on with “don’t say that” compliments. A 500-pound woman could tell her girlfriends, “No one will ever love me. I’m too fat,” and whether or not the girlfriends secretly agreed with her, they would tell the fat girl, “Don’t say that! That’s not true! There’s someone for everyone! You just need to find him! Don’t give up! You are the most loving and kind person I know and some man will be lucky to find you!” It’s one of the unwritten rules of female friendship that when a friend denigrates herself, you must prop her up with praise, disregarding reality if necessary.
Anyhow, this is exactly what happened in the thread. A lot of YOU STOP THAT RIGHT NOW, YOU ARE SO FUNNY AND SMART AND KIND, and GO FOR IT AND REPORT BACK!s. So far there has been no reporting back, so I don’t know if Mom’s Dinner has happened, but Dr. Haley’s initial assessment is that things are going to go only so far as Mom’s Dinner and no further. I’m guessing that Young Man is not going to like discovering that not only does A no longer resemble her picture, the main reason she no longer resembles it is because of her weight. And she’s 13 years older.
Female B attends a church that a Nice Young Guy (whom I’ll call Brad) also attends. They primarily see each other at church since they don’t live in the same town. B has been harboring a crush on Brad for several months. Finally they get to the point where Brad asks for B’s number via instant messenger. B spends several days in anxiety as she waits for Brad’s call.
A week later, B reports back that Brad didn’t call but then called to apologize for not calling. He’s been busy, you see, and he’ll call this next week when he has more free time. She confronts him at church and becomes upset when she thinks he doesn’t want to talk to her. So she approaches him after the service and asks if he even still wants to be friends. He immediately answers yes, and B susses out that Brad had no idea that girls get upset when guys don’t call. She also thinks he has never dated before. They make plans to hang out later in the week.
Two days later B reports that Brad did come over and they made out. Brad thinks she is beautiful and really likes her and just had to get over his nerves. However, they are not yet “dating.” B is glad she tolerated Brad’s shyness. Other women in the thread congratulate B.
Yesterday (about two weeks later) B posts that she is no longer livid that Brad stood her up twice and then called four days after the fact to inform her that he was too busy for her and that he didn’t want B to get her hopes up for a relationship. B is infuriated that Brad would kiss her and then do this. B tries to get the last salvo in by telling Brad that she gave up hope after he stood her up the second time. B’s girlfriends console her with talk of kicking him in the nuts.
Dr. Haley’s prognosis: Brad was never that interested in B. Most of the work in their “relationship” was on B’s end. Brad, however, was probably consumed with churchian guilt over using B for smoochies and hence broke it off.
Male C reports that things are “going well” with the girl he is dating, but for the fact that she often will not contact him for a WEEK. C finds this “frustrating.”
Dr. Haley’s prognosis: C is this girl’s beta orbiter. Her tingle for him, on a scale from 1 to 10, is around a 1.5.