This specific situation happened about 6 months ago, but similar situations have been happening more frequently to me as I'm getting older, so I thought it might be nice to have some input.
A female friend from high school (who is obviously more sexually experienced than me) took me out dancing with some of her other friends when I was visiting her city. At the club this guy who she had hooked up with last week started hitting on me. A night that started with a lot of smiles and laughter ended with deep conversation and her crying on my shoulder.
It's not that she really liked that guy in particular, it's just that she was feeling rejected a lot lately. One guy she really liked and had been hooking up with was flaking out on her, and that guy at the club just made a pretty full glass overflow, so to speak. In her words "people I have sex with don't really like me/aren't interested in me afterwards" (or something like that). Of course, as her friend I see her good qualities, and I tried telling her that. I told her I was really sorry, and telling her that life and love is pretty complicated for everyone. Everyone has experiences of being rejected by people they like, and rejecting other people who are into them; and it's rarely easy. And I also told her that I wished I could be but I was not one with really good answers.
But the thing is... I think she may be right in a way. I am probably more conventionally attractive than her and some of my other friends (even though I am still not completely happy with the way I look), and possibly better at flirting/being witty; and I do think I may have good intuition about people, in spite of my social anxieties. It doesn't mean I don't feel rejected and depressed sometimes -or that there aren't other girls who consistantly receive more male attention than I do, but I also have had the experiences of having some pretty nice and pretty cute guys really have the hots for me -and more often than not, I was the one who eventually pushed them away or messed things up in a pretty obvious way.
I just haven't wound up involved with any major "a-holes" the way a lot of girls seem to. Even one guy who I decided was too much of a loser for my taste, would not have been seen that way by a lot of other girls. So when my girlfriends are having guy problems, or feeling like guys aren't respecting them, it makes me really sad. But I'm starting to think there may be some truth to when they accuse me of being "interesting" and "pretty" and attracting higher quality guys (they're not spiteful about it at all, it just comes out when they're feeling bad about life). How do you be supportive of people who feel that way, or who face different challenges than you do?
It almost reminds me of when a childhood friend I'd grown more distant with was diagnosed with a terminal illness -here my head is all wrapped up in my own problems, and yet I find other people I want to/have to feel more compassion for. And I want to say/do something to make it better -but I'm at a loss.
First, I think you're doing the right thing by reminding her of her good qualities. But, I can see how this would be difficult to do if your related qualities are, in all honesty, better. Make sure to remind her that life is NOT about comparisons - you can be beautiful without looking as good as a supermodel, and you can be witty without telling jokes as well as a stand-up comedian. If everybody did that all of the time, everyone would be depressed except for movie stars and professional athletes.
Another idea is to focus the source of the "problem" outside of the person's characteristics - and in this case that seems like it might not even be stretching the situation at all. What I mean is, instead of her trying to blame how pretty or interesting she is on her problems with guys, it may very well be the guys' problem (you made it sound as if it were only guys, so I'll assume that's the case - if not, my apologies). This sounds especially true in this case if she remarked that "people I have sex with don't really like me/aren't interested in me afterwards" - this very well might not have anything to do with how pretty or interesting she is, but with rather with what these guys' interests are. They might simply be looking for one night stands instead of relationships. Then it wouldn't be her fault if she can't maintain their interest after sex because they were never really interested in going farther from the beginning.
Hopefully something in that ramble helps.
Posts: 16 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2007
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I am sure often times the guys she's tried hooking up with know from the getgo that they don't want anything serious.
I think the stickiness comes in that she doesn't seem to attract guys who are nice and who /are/ looking for something more serious. And I don't think she always necessarily wants a capital R Relationship or something serious either. She just wants guys who will be kind to her and make her feel desired -that's pretty easy to understand. And of course it's not her "fault" if she's having trouble getting that.
It's not like she can't tell when a guy has started to be a jerk. I think we both acknowledged that the guys she was having problems with were idiots. It's just that that's only so comforting when she's lonely b/c she can't seem to meet guys who won't act like jerks/or act disinterested.
And not every guy is very visually oriented or shallow, but a lot are. Like I've noticed among some guys I know who sleep with a lot of people that when they start to get really emotional/serious about someone, it's usually about some of the better looking or cleverer women they've been with. And it doesn't mean that girls who are less conventionally attractive can't find really great guys. But it does seem to me that a lot of girls who are particularly plain do essentially just "settle". I think having a fulfilling love life is probably more likely the closer you are to cultural ideas of attractiveness, is all.
My favorite qualities of hers are mostly related to the fact that she is very creative and bohemian (as I am somewhat, too). This also tends to come with emotional people and certain attitudes about sex that can complicate things.
I guess I still feel it can be an effective strategy to focus the source of the problem on some outward focus... for instance, maybe the reason she "can't seem to meet guys who won't act like jerks/or act disinterested" would be because she's looking in the wrong places, and again, not because something is wrong with her. (I apologize if I offend anyone, but the guys I know who hang around clubs looking for women are not the type of guys I would consider to be highly respectful to women. I'm sure they are out there, but in my experience they're not that numerous.)
As to the comment that "not every guy is very visually oriented or shallow, but a lot are," that's definitely true. Although this seems to me to imply that females aren't the same way, which my experiences disagree with. Is your friend's definition of a "great guy" a guy who is both conventionally attractive and has a great personality? I feel strongly that even if she isn't exactly what society's description of attractive is, she can still find guys with great personalities and have a fulfilling love life... but if her idea of a fulfilling love life means that those guys are conventionally attractive as well, that seems a little unrealistic, and I have no idea how you would deal with that situation. If she's isn't "visually oriented or shallow," then... I dunno. Sounds like bad luck to me, and she shouldn't have to settle... eventually her creativity should pay off and she'll meet a great guy. You just have to be there for her until that happens, reminding her that these things take time (even though nobody wants them to!). I could go into a long anecdote describing how glad I am that my friends did exactly that, but I don't want to bore you.
Sorry, I wish I had some better, less-cliche advice to give you, but I don't. However, it sounds like you are trying to help her and comfort her whatever way you can, which is absolutely the best thing you can be doing at this point!
Posts: 16 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2007
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