Today I am going to deviate from my normal topics and touch upon that age old subject of women, men, and romance. The catalyst for this is a recent series of Facebook interactions where, once again, a complete stranger messaged me telling me:
Laurel i really don’t know you, but looking at your profile and picture, I must say your the most beautiful woman i have ever seen and you also remind me of my ex who passed away peacefully from cancer…… Hope we could be friends if you don’t mind…you must be as young as 28 don’t know but if am wrong, please tell me. What’s the secret to your beauty?
Twenty years after airing on the BBC, women still love Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle as Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin, a novel where good manners and integrity win out over flattery and deceit.
In essence, this is a variation on a tried and true pickup line routine. Tell a woman she’s beautiful, tell her she looks younger than she obviously is, and abracadabra you’ve just had a magical night of hot and heavy sex rivaling the contents of a best selling erotica novel and with absolutely no obligation to see her after breakfast.
For some reason that escapes me, men actually think this works. It’s a routine I hear at least four times per month on social media and (for some bizare reason) on skype, usually from men serving in one of the branches of the US armed forces.
There is nothing of course in this that gives a woman ANY reason to respond. Okay, you gave a generic complement that may or may not be sincere and you are actually delusional enough to think it’s flattery. The sheer fact you exist and said the words “pretty,” “beautiful,” “young,” or “sexy” is supposed to be enough for us to 1) want to talk to you, 2) be massively interested in everything about you, and 3) immediately do for you a strip tease resulting in a nice one night stand.
Really? And you expect women to take you seriously? This is egotism and it’s based apparently on the fantasy that anyone with a functioning penis is good enough for a woman, that she owes you sex any time you want just because you can get blood flowing down there.
Newsflash guys: you are not the only male with a functioning penis. The fact you have one (every male does) is not a reason to interact with you for five seconds, let alone have sex with you, especially if you are a stranger. Furthermore, every woman over the age of 25 has heard this lame blarney before, perhaps even fallen for it when she was too young to know better, especially if she came from a conservative family where her parents and her religious community treated the proper functioning of the human body as dirty and taboo.
In my 20s I fell for the blarney, in large part because I received no guidance growing up beyond “don’t have sex before marriage.”
Indeed, I will affirm that women from conservative backgrounds are more vulnerable to sexual manipulation from men simply because our parents don’t offer constructive guidance beyond “don’t have sex until you are married.” No wonder lazy men target American women; women in America are so much less likely to be provided with proper sex education and proper guidance on how to spot blarney and predatory sexual conduct.
But past a certain age women, even American women, learn to spot the blarney. We learn that flattery has but one purpose: exploitation. We learn to be skeptical of any man offering a complement, especially when it is about our bodies. We have difficulty enough believing we are beautiful. So when you tell us, as the chap this week did, that we are the most beautiful woman you have ever seen, we know at once you are lying. Very few of us look like the standard of beauty we are given in the media. So don’t tell us we meet that standard; we don’t. We’re real women, not photo-shopped fantasies.
But let us suppose for a moment that you really do find someone attractive. You genuinely want to get to know her — not just how she feels naked in the dark. What should you do?
RESEARCH HER. Approach her from a stance of common ground. Find something on social media that is genuinely a common interest and start by asking her about it. For example, “what do you think about the latest poll numbers showing Bernie Sanders surging ahead of Hillary Clinton in (insert state name here)?” or “what do you think about the latest film starring (insert favourite actor here)?”
When you approach her from a stand point of common interest you are showing 1) you like her enough to spend a few minutes learning about her on your own time and 2) you are interested in who she actually is and what she actually thinks.
Gone are the days when “hey baby, you’re hot; let’s have sex” will work with grown women. Women are more intelligent, better educated, and much more civilized than that. Despite what you might have seen in the entertainment industry, women are actually quite picky about sexual partners — as females across nature tend to be. Just look at what most male birds have to go through in order to woo their way into relationships! It’s lady’s choice, guys and you have to offer more to us than simply a functioning penis. Because we really don’t care yours work, especially if you are a rude, egotistical bore. Given the choice between your egotism and a man of good manners and courtesy, we will take the well mannered and humble gentleman every time.