“Gillian” is a bellydancer that I met while I was out at a bar. A very beautiful blonde girl. I approached her on the dance floor in my usual fashion, and we conversed and got on pretty well. We swapped numbers and agreed to meet up.
We had some cocktails in a cool bar in Kings Cross, and we got talking about dating.
Her: I don’t think women should approach men, because that just makes things easy for the men.
Me: What if the guy is just shy and doesn’t know what to do?
Her: well if he’s too shy to approach, then he’s probably a really weak character, and he wouldn’t be a good match for me, anyway.
Me: you remind me of a girl I met at the Ivy. She said that men should be the ones to approach women because that’s tradition. I agreed, and added that women should stay at home and cook and clean, because that’s tradition. She didn’t seem to like that tradition.
Her: would you respect a woman who approached you?
Me: of course. It’s a very brave thing for a woman, or anyone to do. Provided she’s polite and respectful, I’ll always respect it. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be interested, but I’ll at least have a polite conversation with her.
Her: but don’t you think it makes things too easy for the guys?
Me: not really. You still have to see if you get on, and only a really desperate guy would follow-through with a girl he didn’t really like just because she approached him.
I’ll say to you what I said to that girl at the Ivy: you don’t think that men should approach women because of any tradition or sense of needing to work for anything. You think that men should be the ones to approach because approaching somebody that you’re interested in takes guts, and, like most women, you don’t have it. Some women do. Most women don’t.
Her: that’s rubbish! I chat to strangers all the time!
Me: having friendly conversations with people to pass the time doesn’t take much because psychologically, you have nothing to lose. There’s no risk of rejection. Seeing somebody that you are interested in, approaching them, starting a dialogue with a view to starting some sort of intimate relationship is a completely different prospect because, psychologically, you have ALOT to lose: there’s a big risk of rejection.
Her: If I approached a guy and he wasn’t interested, it wouldn’t be a problem for me.
Me: have you ever done it….?
Me: so how do you know it wouldn’t be a problem?
Her: I just do.
[there was a good-looking, sporty guy sitting a few metres from us. I point to him]
Go ask him out.
Her: [turns white]
and what if he says yes?
Me: well, then go out with him. He’s good-looking, and it would be the polite thing to do.
Her: [starts sweating]
….what would I say?
Her: [starts to shake]
do you want to see me get rejected?
Me: no, not really, but you did just say that getting rejected wouldn’t be a problem for you, so show me that it isn’t a problem.
Her: [starts hyperventilating]
Me: I’m waiting…….
Her: [tears well up in her eyes]
I’ve never had to think about this before……
Me: it’s difficult, isn’t it?
[She never made the approach.]
Still think it makes you weak and a poor match for someone?
Her: [no answer].
It wasn’t my specific aim to make her feel bad, although I must admit, a part of me was laughing hysterically at the fact that this thing that she claimed to be easy, and would ridicule a man for not being able to do, was actually something that
a) she had never done
b) had to confess that she didn’t know how to do
c) the mere prospect of having to do was literally giving her a panic attack.
Me: it must be nice to just sit there and have people approach you: you can just sit back, say yes to the ones that you want, and no to the ones that you don’t. It’s a nice side of the equation to be on. At least now you know that there’s someone on the other side of that equation, and it isn’t very nice for them. They have to actually DO something. And knowing what to say and what to do is, in fact, incredibly hard.
Some of you will know that there’s a way around this.
But that’s another story……….