0513: "Friends"

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Flewellyn » Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:59 am UTC

kjsharke wrote:Please don't overuse the word "creepy". Creepy is when someone hides (overtly) malicious intent behind smiles and candy. When you call 'nice-guy' creepy, I think you do two things:..
-you put people down, and make them feel guilty about themselves
-you water down the word


So, you don't think that emotional manipulation for ulterior motives is creepy?
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby thatguy » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:15 am UTC

This is art imitating life. Crazy.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby TemporarilyAnonymous » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:25 am UTC

I have had one longstanding crush. I'm mid twenties, was early twenties at the time when all this went down. I identified as asexual for the longest time, met her, realized I wasn't. We were friends first before I realized I was, in fact, quite heterosexual and 'into' her, some months after meeting her. She flirted, but I found over a year into knowing her that she had had a very long term boyfriend all along and was just the sort to flirt casually with friends. I swear I had my mouth open to finally ask her out when she casually mentioned her boyfriend. And I did one of those television things where I changed what I was going to say and said something really nonsensical as an excuse for having my mouth open. Then got home, considered it, searched the Internet for answers, discarded basically EVERYTHING I saw on the Internet because it was self-evidently stupid, and ultimately decided it didn't help anybody to tell her at this point.

I desperately do not want to be this guy. The guy in the comic. The Nice Guy with capital letters. I know he's inside me. He's the small part of me that hoped, I'm ashamed to admit, that her boyfriend would be a total jerk. I met him, and he isn't a jerk. Actually, frankly, he's a lot like me.

I moved to another country in large part to make sure I wouldn't do this BS to her. I didn't go to grad school like I planned but instead accepted a job offer (fairly lucrative...I can overcome shyness enough to pass interviews / get promotions, but I go to the job, interact with who I have to, go home, and spend the rest of the day and weekend alone, and frankly, that's the way I like it for the most part -- maybe it's best she didn't get a boring guy like that :)). The whole creepy stalker thing was a temptation that I hated hated hated.

So I do feel kinship with the main character, but I hate it.

I just refuse to break contact, though, even though seeing her in person can only happen at most once a year because of distance. She's my friend -- I guess I'm not a close friend to her, but still a friend. And, hell, like I said: I'm extremely shy. The friendship is one of the few real friendships I have, even if we only communicate once per month. How sad does that sound? I'm actually not sad about it, my introversion matches my shyness quite nicely. Although, why the hell do I have such an easier time typing on the Internet?

I set up a sockpuppet account in case she might read this forum and because I just generally don't want this story attached to me or any alias I use on multiple forums. I'll probably never use this account again.

So I should probably see someone for help with all this or some shit, but I won't. Ironically, I'm too shy to :). And anyway I'm basically a happy person pretty much all the time, believe it or not, given the downer nature of this post. "What are you smiling about, smiley?" say strangers on the street with alarming frequency, disrupting the thoughts that were making me smile, as though there's something wrong with a person just being happy. This is about the only thing that's ever seriously been unpleasant for me, and for a long while after I stopped seeing her frequently (for school) it was leaving me sobbing uncontrollably and feeling sick for half the day, but I've gotten better about that on my own, I think. Got later crushes, really just two of them, found out they had boyfriends much earlier on in the run-up to get the courage to ask them out, didn't take it too hard and the crushes passed in fairly short order, but it kind of means the pandora's box of heterosexuality is completely opened (again, I previously identified as asexual, and suddenly I'm attracted to even girls that I don't get such crushes on). I still have a crush on her, and still desperately don't want to be That Guy. Like from the comic. And an evil part of me still is.

I don't know if I'll ever get the courage to ask anybody out. And yes, I have heard 10 trillion times about confidence being attractive, but knowing that does not endow me with confidence.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Berk and Hair » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:25 am UTC

mythago wrote:
Berk and Hair wrote:It is not unreasonable for the guy to believe she may one day change her mind if her reason for not already having done so is unsound.


You do realize that what you just said is:

"If I don't think your reason for saying 'no' to me is good enough, I will decide that you are not allowed to say no to me. This is particularly true if the reason your 'no' isn't good enough is that you were trying to be kind to me."



No, what I just said was...
"It is not unreasonable for the guy to believe she may one day change her mind if her reason for not already having done so is unsound."
That's a great rhetorical technique though. Replace your opponents arguement with a completely different one and attack that. Well done.
If a guy expresses an interest in you, you are perfectly entitled to say no, you don't even have to give a reason. But if you lie about your reason, if you say "but we're such good friends" rather than "I'm not attracted to you", you are inviting the guy to misinterpret you. You are not being kind by misleading him - you are being cowardly, and you are just as much at fault as he is if he keeps pining after you.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby arnstein » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:29 am UTC

This is such a fast growing thread.

So, dear women reading this thread, let me make it easier for you. Yes, all I want is sex. Ping me.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Flewellyn » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:38 am UTC

Berk and Hair wrote:If a guy expresses an interest in you, you are perfectly entitled to say no, you don't even have to give a reason. But if you lie about your reason, if you say "but we're such good friends" rather than "I'm not attracted to you", you are inviting the guy to misinterpret you. You are not being kind by misleading him - you are being cowardly, and you are just as much at fault as he is if he keeps pining after you.


But you don't know that she's lying about her reason. She may well not want to date you because she thinks of you as a friend, not a lover. She may well not think of you "that way". Or she may not want to risk ruining a friendship she values with a romantic relationship.

Why are you assuming she's lying about her reasons?
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby SneakyMongo » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:39 am UTC

He manipulated her into entering a relationship with him, build a deep connection, and eventually forged something greater. That he did this through duplicitous means is irrelevant.

It's like that joke about hipsters who voted for Mccain "ironically". It's still a vote for Mccain at the end of the day.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Klimpen » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:01 am UTC

SneakyMongo wrote:He manipulated her into entering a relationship with him, build a deep connection, and eventually forged something greater. That he did this through duplicitous means is irrelevant.

It's like that joke about hipsters who voted for Mccain "ironically". It's still a vote for Mccain at the end of the day.


Intent does matter. It's the difference between being a good person and not.

When it comes down to it for me, personally, I would hate to be in the situation of the girl, thus I actively prevent myself from being that guy.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby SneakyMongo » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:04 am UTC

Klimpen wrote:Intent does matter. It's the difference between being a good person and not.
.


Being a good person is irrelevant.

EDIT: To elaborate, both achieved a happy relationship that will likely last a life time. That she is wistful for more is a failing of human nature, not this particular endeavor. Thus, as both parties achieved a good outcome, that one party was Machiavelli is irrelevant.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Flewellyn » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:25 am UTC

SneakyMongo wrote:Being a good person is irrelevant.


Says who? You? Who died and made you Ming the Merciless?

SneakyMongo wrote:EDIT: To elaborate, both achieved a happy relationship that will likely last a life time. That she is wistful for more is a failing of human nature, not this particular endeavor. Thus, as both parties achieved a good outcome, that one party was Machiavelli is irrelevant.


But she's not really happy. She's "settling".
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Xiroth » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:26 am UTC

kjsharke wrote:I have been the "nice-guy" and the "jerk" and, for that matter, the "girl". But N.G. is the most natural for me because I am slow. I just don't feel it when I rush into things. That's fine, and I think that has been said before. My point is: don't perpetuate this society which makes people feel like their feelings are unnatural, or something to be repressed.

Over, and over, and over, and over. Maybe we could just get a bot to give this response?

It's not that the feelings are unnatural or something to be repressed - hell, they're the most natural things in the world, and if they were regularly repressed the species wouldn't have survived for long. It's not that taking things slow is bad. It's that the Nice Guy is hiding his true intentions (true intentions which she might just be happy to receive if he were up-front about it), pretending to feel something else, and waiting for a moment of weakness on the part of the girl to take advantage of when she trusts him - even if he's not doing that conciously. It's the emotional manipulation and misrepresentation which is the shitty way to act.

That's not what friends are for.

Basically, I'd say that there's two main pieces of advice for people who fall into this pattern:
1. Flirt - it stops it from coming out of the blue. This applies both for people you've just met and friends you're finding yourself beginning to become attracted to. Even if your flirting is awkward, it lets the other party know of your interest and causes them to think about you in that light (and a decent proportion of people find awkward flirtation endearing - nobody sane expects everyone to be Casanova), so shyness isn't an excuse here.
2. Ask them out when you know you're interested, but before you get too attached. This protects both you and her/him - you from the unpleasantness of suffering a massive emotional blow, and her/him from having to deal such a thing. If you realise you're falling for someone, be honest about it.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby judolphin » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:31 am UTC

Kokuro wrote:Oh me yarm! I'm going through this issue right now!... I'm not the greatest looking guy in the world, and I probalby don't deserve her love, but when I love someone, they're the only one I ever think of. So, wish me luck guys.


1. If you want her, go after her. Don't be ambiguous. Have some guts. You will not be happy being only her friend. Even if she rejects you, you will at least be able to move on. It will only be agonizing if you let it linger. Don't allow her to string you along.

2. It's good to be realistic about yourself, but you must never consider yourself unworthy of anyone's love. That's a sad state to be in.

Good luck... just go after her. If she says yes, great. If she says no, cry a little and do your best to move on.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby SneakyMongo » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:35 am UTC

Flewellyn wrote:Says who? You? Who died and made you Ming the Merciless?.


Why do you live life? Blah blah blah "happiness". This maximized happiness. Therefore, it is the correct action. (unless you've got a quirky central maxim like "Chocolate is it's own reward" or something)

Flewellyn wrote:But she's not really happy.


Support?

Flewellyn wrote:She's "settling".


Agreed.
Last edited by SneakyMongo on Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:38 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Flewellyn » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:37 am UTC

SneakyMongo wrote:
Flewellyn wrote:Says who? You? Who died and made you Ming the Merciless?.


Why do you live life? Blah blah blah "happiness". This maximized happiness. Therefore, it is the correct action.


Don't treat your personal philosophy as though it were proven fact.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby SneakyMongo » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:39 am UTC

Flewellyn wrote:Don't treat your personal philosophy as though it were proven fact.


It's the majority sentiment, but I do agree it isn't an absolute. Hence ma ninja edit!
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Flewellyn » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:44 am UTC

SneakyMongo wrote:It's the majority sentiment


I'm sure you have proof for that?
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Xiroth » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:55 am UTC

SneakyMongo wrote:Why do you live life? Blah blah blah "happiness". This maximized happiness. Therefore, it is the correct action.

Mmm, a local maximum of the possible outcomes, I'd say, but nowhere near the global maximum. He is 95-100% happy (presumably) and she is perhaps 70% happy with the relationship. But if they were both in relationships they enjoyed (most likely with different people), then aggregate happiness is higher - it just has higher risk for the man. Still, if you actually love someone, aren't you prepared to take a little risk for their happiness?
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Klotz » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:58 am UTC

Damnit Randall.

This one hits too close to home.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby SneakyMongo » Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:12 am UTC

Flewellyn wrote:
SneakyMongo wrote:It's the majority sentiment


I'm sure you have proof for that?


Do I have evidence that most people want to be happy as their motivation? I actually don't. I'd considered it a common sense thing.

But you raise a fascinating point. It is time for....A BULLSHIT SOCIAL EXPERIMENT!

Xiroth wrote: Still, if you actually love someone, aren't you prepared to take a little risk for their happiness?


Normally, yes.
However Randall has somewhat hurt his point by telling us she ends up with a jerk.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Xiroth » Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:22 am UTC

SneakyMongo wrote:Normally, yes.
However Randall has somewhat hurt his point by telling us she ends up with a jerk.

Not really. Just that she chose to date him next - it could very well be a short relationship and not go past a date or two, after all.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby SneakyMongo » Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:31 am UTC

Xiroth wrote:Not really. Just that she chose to date him next


Exactly. It is a large negative to her chances of independently finding a superior relationship.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby drustvold » Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:37 am UTC

The last pannel is actualy an infinatle loop with the 6th panel.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Klimpen » Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:57 am UTC

SneakyMongo wrote:This maximized happiness. Therefore, it is the correct action. (unless you've got a quirky central maxim like "Chocolate is it's own reward" or something)


That's entirely subjective.

Personally, I couldn't be happy in a relationship where I -knew- that my significant other wasn't happy with the relationship itself.

I'm sure a hedonist would feel quite different though. But they'd probably be a jerk in the comic's situation. :p
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby SneakyMongo » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:14 am UTC

Klimpen wrote:That's entirely subjective.


The man loves her, and clearly does not share your reservation about accepting the absence of its return.

Hence, my conclusion was not subjective. You've merely extended it to yourself.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby aprogressivist » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:16 am UTC

SneakyMongo wrote:
Xiroth wrote: Still, if you actually love someone, aren't you prepared to take a little risk for their happiness?


Normally, yes.
However Randall has somewhat hurt his point by telling us she ends up with a jerk.


I guess the point of the last panel was lost on you.

The "Nice Guy" has admitting to the girl that his desire for friendship is predicated on dishonesty, and that really he just wants to entrap her into a dependency with him, which he'll then use to exploit her loneliness.

In response to this candidness, the girl decides that she actually prefers the company of the "jerk". Because the "Nice Guy" has actually admitted to being a bottom-of-the-barrel-scraping dishonest manipulative schemer.

To which the "Nice Guy" responds, in a statement loaded with presumably unintentional hypocrisy on his part, that the "jerk" doesn't respect her. Since the point seems to have been lost on some readers, it is perhaps worth to examine the question: What, precisely, is respectful towards the girl in the Nice Guy's exposition?

Now, this individual "Nice Guy" is not necessarily indicative of every single Nice Guy out there, but it's an exposition of the syndrome; it's a parable, a warning for some people who might fall into that target demographic that really, as self-lessly they might try to paint their motives, as much as they might try to justify their methods through personal weaknesses such as shyness, being dishonest and manipulating someone is much more jerkish behaviour than that of the so-called "jerks".
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Protagonist » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:24 am UTC

aprogressivist wrote:
SneakyMongo wrote:
Xiroth wrote: Still, if you actually love someone, aren't you prepared to take a little risk for their happiness?


Normally, yes.
However Randall has somewhat hurt his point by telling us she ends up with a jerk.


I guess the point of the last panel was lost on you.

The "Nice Guy" has admitting to the girl that his desire for friendship is predicated on dishonesty, and that really he just wants to entrap her into a dependency with him, which he'll then use to exploit her loneliness.

In response to this candidness, the girl decides that she actually prefers the company of the "jerk". Because the "Nice Guy" has actually admitted to being a bottom-of-the-barrel-scraping dishonest manipulative schemer.

To which the "Nice Guy" responds, in a statement loaded with presumably unintentional hypocrisy on his part, that the "jerk" doesn't respect her. Since the point seems to have been lost on some readers, it is perhaps worth to examine the question: What, precisely, is respectful towards the girl in the Nice Guy's exposition?

Now, this individual "Nice Guy" is not necessarily indicative of every single Nice Guy out there, but it's an exposition of the syndrome; it's a parable, a warning for some people who might fall into that target demographic that really, as self-lessly they might try to paint their motives, as much as they might try to justify their methods through personal weaknesses such as shyness, being dishonest and manipulating someone is much more jerkish behaviour than that of the so-called "jerks".

They're rationalizing it by saying they'd be much nicer to the girl.

I'm really disappointed with you all. After reading this, I was hoping more would say that they'd never thought about what it did to her, rather than continuing to be the manipulative creeps that they are.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby aprogressivist » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:39 am UTC

Protagonist wrote:They're rationalizing it by saying they'd be much nicer to the girl.

I'm really disappointed with you all. After reading this, I was hoping more would say that they'd never thought about what it did to her, rather than continuing to be the manipulative creeps that they are.


Cognitive dissonance is a powerful thing, unfortunately. :-/
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Xiroth » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:11 am UTC

SneakyMongo wrote:
Xiroth wrote:Not really. Just that she chose to date him next


Exactly. It is a large negative to her chances of independently finding a superior relationship.

Uh...why? What, you don't trust her to be able to find a relationship she actually likes, deciding for her instead? That's definitely going to turn out well.

Even if she were dating abusive men by preference now, people do grow up, you know - if given half a chance. You can't do that for them.

Protagonist wrote:They're rationalizing it by saying they'd be much nicer to the girl.

I'm really disappointed with you all. After reading this, I was hoping more would say that they'd never thought about what it did to her, rather than continuing to be the manipulative creeps that they are.

Yup, I had a similar reaction.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Random832 » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:12 am UTC

mysterious red text wrote:Merg'd with other one. Please try to only post in the earliest created thread? I understand people like to post in the one with the correctest formatting, but this usually gets sorted out at some point anyway.


Well, posting in the one with correct formatting used to be the rule, and then when it changed it was not announced for a while, and then when it finally was, the announcement was laced with a surprising amount of hostility towards posters who had no way of knowing they'd done anything wrong. And once people have started posting in either thread, people will tend to generally post in the one where, you know, the post they're replying to was posted in. I.e. if someone has made a response in the "wrong" thread that I want to respond to, it's simply unnatural to expect me to click the quote button, copy, back out, go into the other thread, click reply, paste, and _then_ write my reply. Once there are replies in both threads (and thus the original poster can't do your mod work for you even if they wanted to), how much more work is it to merge vs deleting the "wrong" one?
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby valiance. » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:26 am UTC

I have to say this comic is brilliant and the alt text is the icing on the cake. The Nice Guy (TM) is truly a friend with detriments i.e. a friend-- He's WORSE than a normal friend.

TheAmazingRando wrote:It isn't like people need to give reasons for not dating someone, anyway. Any reason is just a rationalization of a particular feeling (or, really, a lack of feeling), and it's those feelings, not the reasons for them, that matter. It doesn't matter if the reason is entirely honest (and, really, we're probably all guilty of lying a bit to avoid hurting the feelings of people we care about), the point is that she just isn't into you, there's probably nothing you can do to change that, and entertaining hope to the contrary is just going to hurt you (and possibly her) in the long run.


This is really brilliant. I've tried and failed to think of times when the reasons behind the no might matter. Never thought of this. This and what mythago said. There's also a difference between telling a little white lie to a guy to spare his feelings and lying to a girl to protect your own fragile ego from the shock of being rejected. Even though the former is dishonest, at least the intent is selfless; in the end the Nice Guy (TM) isn't looking out for anyone but himself.

I can't say I don't enjoy all the nice guy whining, since some of it is pretty funny; but it's always wholly inaccurate and misdirected.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Random832 » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:51 am UTC

Blurgle wrote:
NoahTheDuke wrote:I agree with all the people who say that the "friend" is a jerk. That said, I also think this is quite relevant:

DragonflyBlade21: A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much.


And she knows this how? She probably thinks he is interested in her AS A FRIEND and ONLY as a friend.

Does it really take a Ph.D. in psychology to figure out that if you show no overt sexual interest in someone but hang around with them, they are going to assume your interest is not sexual? I don't think so. You are sending the message that you are not interested in the woman by not asking her out, but at the same time you are expecting the woman to magically figure out through her invincible psychic powers that you really are interested in her.

She sees him strictly as a friend.


Of course she does. Did he have the guts to ask her out? No.


Did she have the guts to ask him out? Also no. And if her not asking him out is because she's actually not interested, rather than simply due to conforming to gender roles, then she'd presumably say no if he asked anyway [since she's not interested] so there's no chance they'd end up going out no matter what he does.

He hung around her without making a move; that says to her that he's not sexually interested in her


Whoa. Time out. Why's it his [sole?] responsibility to signal interest anyway?

"You are sending the message that you are not interested by not asking her out" - is she sending the message that she's not interested by not asking him out? You're putting the woman in a passive role by putting it in terms of "figure out ... that [the guy is] interested in her" rather than "decide she is interested in the guy" - As if his feelings are the only ones that matter, or at least significantly more important than hers. "does not ask therefore is not interested" is no more valid a conclusion for either party to draw than "hangs out with therefore is interested" - people are more complex than either of those.

valiance. wrote:There's also a difference between telling a little white lie to a guy to spare his feelings and lying to a girl to protect your own fragile ego from the shock of being rejected. ... Even though the former is dishonest, at least the intent is selfless ...


Whatever the intent, the effect can be a bit tragic on an aggregate scale - get enough or "just want to stay friends" and guys start to think that that's how all women really think (since that's certainly what they're hearing from everyone _they_ ever ask out), which is what causes stupid shit like ladder theory.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby aprogressivist » Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:31 am UTC

Random832 wrote:Whoa. Time out. Why's it his [sole?] responsibility to signal interest anyway?


Gender roles do confuse the issue, unfortunately, but as a general rule, if X wants something from Y, it is fair to expect that the onus is on X to signal interest.

Simply hanging out with a girl/guy you like is a very bad way of signalling romantic interest; it can be used to create opportunities to signal interest, but on its own it's not enough
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby SneakyMongo » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:39 am UTC

Xiroth wrote:What, you don't trust her to be able to find a relationship she actually likes


She's not a robot. His manipulation only exists insofar as he is positioning himself for when the time comes she is weak. He isn't brainwashing her.

Xiroth wrote:Even if she were dating abusive men by preference now, people do grow up, you know - if given half a chance. You can't do that for them.


Yes, it's called settling.
Something she has done, but which was presented in a negative light.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Mavketl » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:41 am UTC

Random832 wrote:
He hung around her without making a move; that says to her that he's not sexually interested in her

Whoa. Time out. Why's it his [sole?] responsibility to signal interest anyway?

I think because he's the only one who has sexual interest in her, in this particular scenario?

It works the other way around just as well. She's not making any move, so he's free to assume she has no such interest.

If you have feelings for someone and never tell them, you can't expect them to know how you feel. They will think you're their friend.
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Questioning Creepyness etc.

Postby xinu » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:43 am UTC

One thing there is no doubt about: The guy in this comic intentionally planning to manipulate her; trick her into a relationship, while fully aware that she will never really love him -- this is definitely creepy.

However, as some (few) people pointed out, this conscious, negative train of thought in the comic is highly ironical on purpose. Certainly very few actual people ending up in such a pattern really have this kind of creepy intentions. Rather, most of them -- including all the "story of my life" posters here, I am sure -- will be really wanting to become friends (friends is something), while also hoping that perhaps someday she will actually genuinely fall in love with them... (Which, according to various posts here, seems a perfectly possible outcome.)

But many many people here exclaim that trying to become friends with a girl, while wanting a deeper relation, is already creepy by itself! I wonder, is that really so? I must say that I fail to see why it would be. Seriously, what's wrong with trying to become friends, while -- secretly or not -- hoping that it might develop into more in time; that the deeper feelings will be requited too? It's certainly gutless, and in a way dishonest, if the hope is kept secret. It's probably also not the best working approach to get the desired. But creepy? Manipulative? I can't see anything of that. It's not like she suffers any harm from him having stronger feelings... On the contrary, she might get a very good friend.

There seems to be a general assumption that when there are intentions for a deeper relationship on one side, the friendship necesserily must be faked, not a true one. I think this unfair. And it doesn't make any sense. (Well, unless he just wants sex -- in that case, it would be damn creepy indeed. And damn stupid too: There are certainly much more effective methods for getting laid, than spending years trying to get in with a girl who is probably not even attracted...)

When someone falls into such a pattern, it seems perfectly reasonable to assume that he actually cares for her; that he really *wants* to be near her, *wants* to support her when in need, *wants* to do her nice deeds -- in short: wants a true, genuine friendship. Surely nobody would go to all this trouble if he didn't truely like her a lot? The existence of secret hope for more shouldn't be an obstacle to the friendship I would say.


Another thing I'm a bit sceptical about is the invariable advice to be open and tell the girl about having a crush on her. Is this really the best thing to do in *every* circumstance?

Someone mentioned that besides of the fear of being rejected by her, there can also be an apprehension of putting *her* in a painful situation, when she has to openly reject someone she actually really likes -- only on a different level. I do know a girl who was so much afflicted when she had to reject someone, that she cried afterwards... And I know from a friend that she was also rather anxious at a time, when she suspected that perhaps I might have a crush on her.

Moreover, if I *know* (from own observation as well as from a friend who had it from her in unmistakable words) that she isn't interested in me, is there really any point in telling her that I might have a crush on her? What for? I don't like the dishonesty, and I seriously contemplated telling her -- but I can't see any good coming from it. It wouldn't help me, and it wouldn't help her; it would be awkward and painful for both; she would be less open from now on; and I would see even less of her. (Though admittedly there is not very much to loose on that last account: She doesn't avoid me so far, but doesn't seek my company either.)

There is an additional awkwardness in this case, namely in the "might": I don't even know myself whether I have/had a crush on her, or really just want friendship. (This probably sounds strange, but for me it is really hard to tell -- in this case even more so than in general.) Why confront her with feelings I'm not even sure of myself?
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby lysandra » Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:03 pm UTC

I wouldn't date a guy I couldn't be friends with. If they can't be a friend without being creepy, I doubt they'll be able to be a boyfriend without being creepy either.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Jez » Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:16 pm UTC

Sounds like every teenage crush I ever had... then I found out that only happens when you force it... and if you're not forcing it she actually loves you too... was best mates with my now fiancee for years before we got together, until I read this comic I wholeheartedly regretted not realising she liked me too sooner and it could work, now I kinda realise if she'd been another teenage crush it would have ended like that, or like all the others
Last edited by Jez on Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:17 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Thundercloud » Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:16 pm UTC

Oh man, like so many other people here this is just me to a T. Except I didn't quite realise (Or accept) that the reason why I was still friends with them was because of that long-term plan.

It doesn't work well I found. The last person this happened with, she started going out with my flatmate and both don't speak to me now. Lovely :)
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby newhouseb » Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:18 pm UTC

(Though admittedly there is not very much to loose on that last account: She doesn't avoid me so far, but doesn't seek my company either.)


Been there done that, two choices:
A) tell her, be rejected, put her in an awkward situation, bumble around trying to convince her that she should date you, destroy any hope of further friendship
B) tell her, be rejected, disappear and take time to enjoy being a loner and then start talking to her when you can say you never want to date her, and be good friends into the sunset.

i recently chose A and boy do i regret it
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby mikbeth » Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:30 pm UTC

There's also a difference between telling a little white lie to a guy to spare his feelings and lying to a girl to protect your own fragile ego from the shock of being rejected. Even though the former is dishonest, at least the intent is selfless; in the end the Nice Guy (TM) isn't looking out for anyone but himself.


You're making the assumption that a white lie to a guy to spare his feelings is selfless, which I would posit is not. Whenever I have ever lied to a girl to protect her feelings, it has almost always admittedly been to not have to deal with the bad feelings. Pain is something we don't want to deal with, but is often a necessary outcome of certain situations, especially relationship situations.
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