The stealth date and the tease.

5 Aug

stealth date: when a male friend asks a female friend for a one-on-one outing, during which he tries to exert date-like behavior such as paying for the food/activity, going somewhere non-casual, or making exceptional plans for the outing, all the while never specifying that he wants it to be a date.

Over at Boundless in an article entitled “Help, I’m on a Date and I Can’t Get Out!”, blogger Tom Neven writes that his teenage daughter Hannah recently went on a stealth date with a beta male friend.  Hannah and beta male friend were talking about getting frozen yogurt, which turned into a trip to get said frozen yogurt.  Neven says that Hannah had a paralyzing moment of indecision as she ordered, suddenly realizing that she might be on a stealth date.  Which she was, as Beta Male Friend offered to pay for her as “his treat” before Hannah could pull out her wallet.  Neven writes with fatherly amusement that Hannah now faces the “not-fun task of letting him down — easily.”  Poor beta male.  He played it safe, and now it’s going to blow up in his face.  At least he will have the memory of one blissful afternoon of paying for Hannah’s Fro-Yo to sustain him during the inevitable darkness.

Normally I would put 99% of the blame on Beta Male Friend for not making his intentions clear at the outset, but Neven, after telling this story, then blithely reveals that Hannah knew that Beta Male Friend had a crush on her.  This changes EVERYTHING.

Ladies, do NOT go on one-on-one outings with male friends who you know have crushes on you.  This is usually called “leading him on” or “being a tease.”

I will cut Hannah some slack because she is a teenager and therefore probably doesn’t know better, but did she really think that she could go out one-on-one with a male friend who had already expressed interest in her, and not give him hope or the wrong impression?  It’s clear from Neven’s post that Hannah had not previously made it clear to Beta Male that she had no romantic interest in him.  She knew, yet continued to buddy around with him and voluntarily went somewhere alone with him and allowed him to pay for her.  What do you think was going through Beta Male’s head?  Yay, I love being platonic friends!  She will so appreciate my paying for her!  Tonight I will finish reading Wild at Heart and tomorrow I will think of doing something manly that will actually make her like me! Hardly.

But even if Hannah HAD said “No, there are 500 guys in line ahead of you that I’d rather date/marry/have sex with,” she still went out with this guy on an outing that had every appearance of a date, all the while knowing that he was romantically interested in her.  How is that not textbook teasing (albeit of the chaste, church teen variety)?

Yet Neven does not even acknowledge this.  Instead, he treats the situation as a rite of passage, an unavoidable bump on the road to maturity, and commiserates with guys who have had the LJBF talk.  Nowhere does Hannah receive any blame for what happened.  In Neven’s mind, this whole ordeal appears to be just a little adolescent misunderstanding, tee hee.

But this just demonstrates how deeply embedded secular dating values and feminism have become in the church.  On the one hand, we have a poor little beta male who can’t muster the courage to ask a girl out directly.  And on the other, we have a girl who leads on her interested male friend with nary a reprimand from her Christian father.  And people think that what churches need are a hip worship band and more social outreach projects.


42 Responses to “The stealth date and the tease.”

  1. Lover of Wisdom August 5, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    I left a comment there some time ago—advice for Hannah—but it hasn’t been posted yet. It was on the fact that she knew Beta liked her.

  2. Aunt Haley August 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    Lover of Wisdom, I don’t see any pending comments, so yours might have dissolved into the internet ether. :(

  3. Lover of Wisdom August 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    I found it. I’m comment 19. This is what I said:

    “My advice to Hannah, when she breaks the news, is to completely break off the friendship. Girls shouldn’t be friends with guys that are attracted to them. If the girl wants to just be friends and “hang out,” then the guy will still think there might be a chance something could develop, which won’t happen—It unfair to the guy.

    It is also questionable why a girl would want to stay friends with a guy she knows is attracted to her. There is an automatic asymmetry in the relationship in her favor. She gets the nice warm fuzzy feeling of someone liking her without having to reciprocate, while she waits around for the guy she fancies.”

  4. Aunt Haley August 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    Oh, you meant over at Boundless. DURRR!

    Good comment, btw.

  5. Koanic August 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Haley, whoever you are, damn your writing is spot on. It’s scary. I think you’re the only writer on the internet whose criticisms of Churchianity leave me doing nothing but nodding in impressed agreement.

  6. Hermes August 5, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    I can’t relate to this situation because I can’t fathom getting a girl to do anything with me without making it explicit that it’s a date. I mean, I know people do “hang out” with buddies of the opposite sex, meet for coffee or whatever, but I don’t understand how that works. As a certified omega male, I feel that, regardless of whether I was interested in the girl or not, any attempt on my part to suggest to a girl that she and I do something together would inevitably come across as a date request. I mean, I think that if I said to some female acquaintence “hey, we should meet for coffee on Saturday,” she would think I was trying to get with her. Am I wrong? Can someone explain to me how a guy casually suggests that a girl do something with himi without giving the impression that he’s interested?

  7. Aunt Haley August 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Hermes, it has to flow naturally out of conversation. Sometimes the girl will give you an in, such as:

    GIRL: I’m hungry.

    YOU: Me, too. You want to go get something?

    GIRL: Sure.

    YOU: What are you in the mood for?

    GIRL: I don’t know.

    YOU: There’s a great place around the corner/How about [restaurant]?

    Or –

    GIRL: I’m so glad tomorrow’s the weekend.

    YOU: Why? You have big plans?

    GIRL: No.

    YOU: Well, we should hang out, then. There’s a [interesting activity] going on at [location] that I wanted to check out. You want to go?

    Note that these scenarios will only work if you have a comfortable rapport with the girl to begin with. If you have not reached that level with the girl, she may become suspicious or creeped out when you suggest doing something together.

  8. jack August 6, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    This is why good Christian guys should insist on marrying a virgin.

    If girls want to play the field and wait for better offers, they should not be giving themselves to men that they can’t attain for a permanent relationship.

    Otherwise, the spurned beta will resent her for:

    1) Rejecting him as unworthy the first time
    2) Giving herself sexually to someone else
    3) Coming back to him (or someone like him) 15 years later with the clock ticking or with another man’s child

    If she remains a virgin, at least when some sense comes into her head, he knows that she has not been with anyone else.

    For me, if a girl has been with more than two or three guys, I will no longer consider marriage with her.

  9. Cane Caldo August 6, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    It’s not questionable: She likes the asymmetry. She likes the fuzzy feeling. Haley, you make the same rationalization when you make an excuse for her age. You girls know those things right away.

    What’s salient to me is that she was fine soaking up the validation until it came time for the economics. The Boundless story focuses on the frozen yogurt excursion, and completely misses the point. How do you avoid a “stealth date”? Don’t hang out with known suitors that you’re not interested in. Pretty simple. The good news is that she at least has the decency to recognize that when a boy pays, she will owe him attention.

    For the record: the boy acted cowardly. He, too, realizes that if he pays she’s on the hook for something. Skulldatery at it’s lamest. There are no victims in this story.

  10. cleared in hot August 6, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    One “date”? Meh. She’s not leading him on until he makes his intentions clear, and buying a fro-yo just isn’t quite there yet IMHO.

    What probably will happen, though, is he will eventually come out and tell her his feelings/intentions and she will come back with some vague “I think you’re a great guy, but I just don’t know what I want right now” and never be truly honest about the fact that she’s not interested.

    But I’m not still bitter. ;)

  11. Koanic August 6, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    I fondly recognize my elements of my former self in this statement, and yet have nothing to say to him.

    Save, perhaps,

    The road winds ever and on, Jack.

  12. Aunt Haley August 6, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Hannah knew that Beta was romantically interested in her, yet she still agreed to go somewhere one-on-one with him and let him pay. How were his intentions not clear?

  13. Aunt Haley August 6, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Jack, I have read some of your posts over at Boundless. While you often make some salient points, you seem more interested in the drama of misery than in actually meeting and marrying a woman. There are many Christian virgins – yes, even over the age of 30 – out there if you just look for them. But I suspect you’d rather focus on all the 40-something divorcees at your church and feel sweet revenge for spiting their overtures to you.

  14. Aunt Haley August 6, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Hannah may have felt a prick from her conscience, but at that age, many girls don’t really understand male nature, and they also have a strong desire to believe that girls and boys can be friends even if the boy has feelings for her.

    The economics of dating – some people believe that dating is an exchange of goods (I pay for you, you put out in time/affection/sex), while others believe it’s a gift (paying is a gift, therefore requiring nothing in return). These two contradictory theories, because they are both out there, have created a lot of confusion in the dating market.

  15. Cane Caldo August 6, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Dating is a peculiar ritual of gift-giving that is subliminally infused with an economic transaction: men give the gift of provision, which is accepted by the act of submission.

    This shouldn’t be hard to figure out. It’s the same sort of arrangement that Christianity poses: accept His gift of eternal provision by offering your submission.

    “Men are men, but Man is a woman.” ~G.K. Chesterton

  16. Cane Caldo August 6, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Ooooooh! Target is down.

    Seriously: I demand you reveal the secret location of the hidden virgin base.

  17. Aunt Haley August 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Cane Caldo–
    Thursday wrote about where to find virgins a while back:
    How to find a virgin to marry (if you are a guy)

    He has also written about the trustworthiness of statistics on chastity:
    Church girls who claim to be virgins are (mostly) telling the truth

    As well as the myth of players landing all the virgins:
    The myth of the player who marries a virgin

    And why church girls don’t get asked out (featuring commentary about yours truly):
    Why church girls don’t get asked out

  18. cleared in hot August 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Well, you might be right. Then again, you (and Hannah) might be doing two of those things that sometimes seem to come so natural to women…assuming facts not in evidence, and attributing motivations.

    Assuming it’s actually true that he is romantically interested in her, and that she knows because of something more concrete than a feeling, or some gossip with her best gf, then I do agree that it fits your definition of a stealth date.

    But paying for a small food item in a casual one-on-one with a girl isn’t necessarily signaling a date. Dinner at a nice restaurant, yes. But there is some social ambiguity around who pays for what when you’re out with a girl, regardless of romantic intent…even she recognized that: “Am I paying for myself? she thought. Should I get out money to pay?” Maybe he just wanted to be nice…we men like to be the provider sometimes. I don’t think we have enough information to know.

    You keep calling him a Beta, but who knows what their conversation was leading up to the outing…maybe he thought he was clear about his intent? In any event, she is obviously fine hanging out with him, he’s a nice guy and a friend. I still don’t think she owes him anything unless/until she get’s a “hey, I really like you” from him.

  19. Cane Caldo August 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    I do live in the South, which as Thursday writes is indeed a hotbed of religion and sex. No sarcasm. Baptist girls in the South are like Catholic girls in Italy. It’s what you do.

    But did you read the whole thing? Chinese Baptist Church of Urban Toronto? 10%? Most tellingly, he’s decided it’s just not that important. I read that as him having to confront the reality of scarce virgins so much; forcing him to spend large quantities of time thinking about what to do about it, and ultimaely deciding it’s not worth focusing on. In other words: he’s given up.

    As for the post about you: I’d say you’re average looking. Because you’re in your 20s, that narrows the field to half. And you’re in LA. I go to LA frequently. You’ve got a lot of competition. You’re concerned about the man’s Christian walk. I don’t know the percentages on that, but it’s a negative overall in the numbers sense. One of the worst things you have going against you (again, numbers sense) is that you’re clever. Intelligence is here and there depending on the topic, and people of different intelligences can find a way around that. Cleverness affects every exchange. You’ll want someone who can at the very least appreciate it, but would prefer that it be reciprocated. If he’s not as clever, he’ll never feel like he has hand, and neither of you will be happy.

  20. Cane Caldo August 6, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    By the way, what in the world did you to to Smashing Retard? He’s clearly in love with you.

  21. dalrock August 6, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    Hermes, it has to flow naturally out of conversation. Sometimes the girl will give you an in, such as:

    GIRL: I’m hungry.

    You really need to work on your flirting technique Haley!

  22. Aunt Haley August 6, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Hellooo, I was trying to write an example of how a man could wedge a stealth date into an innocuous conversation. If I were writing actual flirtation, it would be totally different.

  23. dalrock August 6, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    If I were writing actual flirtation, it would be totally different.

    True. Then you would have elbowed him in the side!

  24. Josh August 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    I’m trying to decide what bothers me about this situation.

    I don’t really mind Hannah taking advantage of her beta orbiter – the boy is a doormat, so if she walks on him, that’s her choice. If she did it in a knowing, calculating fashion, than that reflects poorly on her, but I could easily see an alternative situation. Perhaps she thinks she is being kind, or even taking pity, by accepting his invitation to “hang out”. After all, it wasn’t a Date, until it was too late. As you say, she’s a teenager, and they do dumb things all the time. This is pretty mind.

    I do somewhat mind beta orbiter’s pathetic nature, but again, this is not a huge transgression. At a certain age, girls become much more sophisticated much more quickly, when they learn to wield their budding sexuality as a social tool. Boys at the same age can be quite intimidated by that. He’s make an awkward move, and he’ll get burned for it. But it could have easily worked, if the girl thought he was “cute.” So, questionable tactics, but at least he’s trying.

    I think what really bothers me is the response of the father. A boy is attracted to your daughter, and is making designs on her. Does this not raise your concern in the slightest? Male sexuality is something that should be taken more seriously and respected by the church. If boys are so gelded in the church that they can be laughed-off as pathetic pests, than something is deeply wrong.

    What’s sad is that the father probably really doesn’t have anything to worry about. The girl could show-up in a bikini, and the boy probably would hesitate to touch her hand, or say two sentences while maintaining eye contact. Her beta orbiter is treated as a harmless, sexless being, despite the fact that he is in the very act of courtship. This must corrode at his soul – he is not being taken seriously as a man, either by the girl or the girl’s father.

  25. Thursday August 6, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Despite it not being an absolute requirement, the girl I marry will almost certainly be a virgin. I know that because the vast majority of the girls I date are. It’s not that hard to find them in churches, at least where I am. The idea that they are hard to find is completely wrong.

  26. Will S. August 7, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    I have long thought that fathers of girls often lose the ability to remember what it was like to be in the guy’s shoes, as their perspective shifts, upon sympathizing with their daughters; they only see it through her eyes, and not those of any would-be suitors. Sad, because ideally, they ought to be able to be sympathetic to, and understanding of, both perspectives.

  27. Lover of Wisdom August 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    It looks like they took the blog post down. I noticed that a lot of comments were rightfully critical of the father and her daughter. Perhaps he couldn’t take the heat and took his post down?

  28. Hermes August 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    That makes sense, but you’re depicting a situation where the man wants it to be a date. What I’m wondering about is what it looks like when both parties really are just friends and want it that way. See, when I read your little dialogue, I can’t help but think the girl would have at least some suspicion that the guy wanted to date her. Am I wrong about that? And if not, what does it look like when 2 people of the opposite sex hang out as friends and neither one wants anything more? How can a girl in that situation not think that the guy wants something more?

  29. tannen August 8, 2010 at 3:50 am #

    Too bad. I was hoping he’d keep it posted, dig in his heels and attack all the dissenters with typical holier than thou churchy shaming language. What a wuss!

  30. Hermes August 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I would guess he took it down because he realized that since he could be identified by name, his daughter and the boy could be identified in real life, and therefore he was broadcasting embarassing details about these kids’ personal lives over the internet.

  31. Aunt Haley August 9, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    I haven’t checked to see if the original post was removed (Boundless has a terrible habit of taking down posts that are too ~controversial~ – see: Ted Slater’s “bouncing beach ball” episode), but I did notice that Neven just posted a follow-up, in which Hannah steps in to defend herself. She states that she thinks that the DTR is the man’s job and not the woman’s, though, which probably means that Beta Boy is going to keep trying sideways and Hannah can enjoy more free Fro-Yo. Also, Neven clarifies that this wasn’t the first time that Beta Boy tried to date/stealth date Hannah, so it’s not like she couldn’t have seen it coming.

  32. Aunt Haley August 9, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    Probably something like this:

    GIRL: I’m hungry.

    YOU: Me, too. Let’s get something at McDonald’s.

    GIRL: Okay.

    [You and Girl go to McDonald’s.]

  33. Cane Caldo August 9, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    Snarky; passive-aggressive; self-serving…she’s a dream-come-true. I think my argument that she knows she’s using him ought to be clear by now. What friend says, “I want him to be nice and unrequited”?

    That boy is in for a lesson. I predict she starts sharing with him–as friends do–about some FCA dude she’s really tempted by. He’ll probably wimper a prayer for them.

    Ah, youth.

    Ah, youth.

  34. Hermes August 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Now you’re just being snarky. Is that a neg?

    I guess that little snippet of dialog doesn’t seem realistic to me because girls never say to me “I’m hungry.” Probably has something to do with establishing rapport, as you mentioned. I just invest too much in social interactions and come across as try-hard whenever I try to initiate anything social. (Goes for interactions with guys, too. I seldom try to get guys together to do anything, because when I do I feel like I’m asking them on a date.) The PUA advice is that you have to just practice acting like you don’t care, but no matter what I do, I don’t seem to be able to hide the try-hard.

  35. Hermes August 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    I could have sworn the post was no longer there around the time Lover of Wisdom posted. Maybe he temporarily hid it while he asked his daughter for permission to post about the subject.

    Boundless also removed all articles by Sam and Bethany Torode after they got divorced, and I believe they removed some stuff by Debbie Maken after her famous “many luxury vacations” comment, all without ever mentioning the deletions.

  36. jack August 9, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    For the majority of women, “romance” is just a pretty word for lust.

    Even the Christian girls want a guy who makes them all weak in the knees. They call it romance, or attraction.

    If a guy makes you that weak in the knees, the truth is that he can get a hotter girl than you.


  37. Aunt Haley August 9, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    It wasn’t meant to be snarky. Between two casual friends, that’s how things usually go down. I think you’re overthinking things. With a guy friend, the exchange would probably be:

    YOU: Dude, I’m so starving.

    DUDE: Let’s get McDonald’s.

    [You and Dude go to McDonald’s.]

    It is true, however, that you shouldn’t care. If your bro, female bro, or target says no to McDonald’s, it’s really not the end of the world.

  38. Hermes August 10, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    Now THAT has happened. Though the establishment in question is usually a pub with more palatable fare than McDonald’s.


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