Wednesday, 15 May 2013

What 'shy guys' are really saying...

This came up on my facebook stream yesterday:

It came in for a round of entirely deserved derision from both genders - 'the shy kid who met a girl that changed his life' is a supercilious, smug, patronising douchebag who deserves everything he gets. Particularly for that horrible, skin-crawly, almost certainly outright false line about being great in bed.

Thing is, I'm pretty sure it was only non-shy people providing the derision. The shy people looking on (by which I mean me) were busy staving off panic attacks caused by the rush of there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I dread. If I'd had Facebook when I was seventeen, my entire output would have been like this. I still get that feeling of 'Why won't you notice how wonderful I am?' sometimes.

But I'm older and wiser than I was at seventeen. I may still get the feeling, but I recognise it for the distorted view of reality that it is. I feel I'm qualified to translate the above message into non-distorted world-doesn't-revolve-around-me-speak. It goes something like this:

Dear Ladies,

None of us have any idea what we're doing.

(Creepy) love,

Actually, in all fairness, there is more to be said than that. Let me try again.

Dear Ladies,

None of us have any idea what we're doing. We don't know what you want. We do know, somewhere deep down, that when we ask what you want, we're asking the wrong question. We get this slight, creepy feeling that comes from the knowledge that we're in the act of trying to turn into this guy, and we're pretty sure you can tell that that's what we're doing, too.

And we know that the only way to honestly approach romance is to 'just be yourself', too. The problem is, when we try to just be ourselves, we realise we don't actually want to be with someone. We realise that the reason we don't feel able to pursue women the way the 'non-shy' guys do is because they're committed to it in a way we're just not.

And society tells us that means there's something wrong with us. So instead of standing out against society's arbitrary dictates, because that's scary, we tell ourselves it's not our fault. We blame you for being able to see through our attempts to fit in. The fact that those attempts are insincere and transparently so is conveniently forgotten.

So, uh, sorry, I guess. We'll do better, we promise, as soon as we figure out what that means. Some of us will meet ladies who we can commit to being with, and will hopefully manage not to be dicks to them (thus turning into non-shy guys). Some of us will learn to be happy on our own. All of us will try not to be passive-aggressive, supercilious douchebags (but many of us, sadly, will fail, because we're not good at this 'people' stuff).

Sincere but ultimately platonic love,

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