All men are jerks...or are they?
Over the weekend, I had witnessed a fascinating trend on a number of social media circuits. A woman posed a question to a discussion group about something a man she was dating did that upset her. Let me just preface: what he did was, indeed, peculiar, to be sure. However, I need to assure you that peculiar was all it was: there was no violence, abuse, insult or even good old fashion perversion. It was, nonetheless, upsetting and confusing enough to his date. Regrettably, instead of calling a girlfriend, she decided voice her her concern to thousands of her cyber friends. What followed was a litany of "poor you, how could he?" After a few hours, the conversation evolved into "how dare he?" before it crescendoed into "he is a drunk and a drug addict and you should stop dating him as soon as possible!" and finally died in "all men are scum—there are no good ones left."
Simultaneously, another brawl was taking place on a different cyber board where a woman complained about a stupid line a man she just met used on her. Again, to clarify: the line was not only stupid but also cheesy and creepy. However, once again, there was no crime or even a misdemeanor committed in the process. It was just that: a stupid (and failed) attempt on a man's part to pick up a woman. Nonetheless, the free-for-all that followed was very similar to the one above. Fellow women (with an occasional man hoping to get into the good graces of these damsels in distress) very quickly escalated the conversation from "what a jerk!" to "that's what happens when men have a drinking problem!" to "where have all the good guys gone?" Sadly, the thread ended almost identically to the one above. All men are scum; the good ones are either taken or dead.
Both of these conversations took place on a Saturday morning. They lingered all throughout the day late into the night and still had women contributing Sunday morning. Occasionally, the women would unite in a chorus of 'woe is to me, no wonder I am still single—it is because all men are scum!' No, ladies. You are single because instead of getting out there during the weekend, you sit home and blame men for all your problems. Worse: you commiserate with a bunch of miserable strangers and feed off of each other's negativity. Newsflash: men are not the enemy. After all, if you found your 'prince,' you would prance right into his strong, loving arms, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, a prince will not just fall on your head. You will have to look for him and, what's more important, have the ability to recognize one when he is standing in front of you. For that to occur, you will first need to change your attitude and approach to dating. You cannot change every man out there, but you can do something about your own mindset.
Here are a few things to remember:
- Sometimes a bad pickup line is just a bad pickup line. You would be shocked, ladies, how many men really don't know what to say to attract a woman. For some it's fear of rejection. Others are just not good at small talk. A bad pickup line is not necessarily indicative of a rapist or a jerk. Sometimes it is a façade covering up an unsecure, but otherwise perfectly lovely man who is just trying to tell you he likes you.
- Men are not the enemy. They are just like you, trying to do what they can to get by from day to day. Yes, they may occasionally spit in the middle of the street and yes, they pee standing up. Otherwise, underneath their thick skins, they are human beings (very similar to you) looking for love.
- Where are you meeting these men? Many of you make the mistake of attending singles events organized not by professional coaches or therapists but club promoters or meetup groups in hopes of finding your 'happily-ever-after.' How is that working for you? Singles events are a green light for men to try out every sleazy and ridiculous pickup line out there. After all, you are there to pick up a man, aren't you? Therefore, you're fair game. Instead of single mingles, try joining a group based on your interests. You would be shocked how much more easy and natural it is to bond with a man over your love of museums or in a cooking class.
- Get off social media. As in the cases demonstrated above, women tend to migrate into these large discussion groups hoping to get the support they need to get them through their single life. What many find, unfortunately, is that instead of getting out of these so-called support groups, they become comfortable in their self-pity and anger and tend to stay there and serve as sounding boards for like-minded negativity. Instead of progress, these groups breed stagnation. If you want support, join a dating support group where instead of blaming everyone you can learn together how to date better and easier.
- Get out of the house. Seriously, ladies, a man will not fall through your ceiling as you are spewing venom on yet another social media discussion about all guys being scum. Get out of the house! Go to the park, museum, coffee shop or an art gallery. Even if at the end of the day you did not meet the man of your dreams at that art gallery, you saw some good art.
To clarify: if a guy is behaving like a jerk, it is not your fault—it is his. However, you cannot change him, nor can you change all men that behave like jerks, can you? The only things you can affect are the ones that you can change. And that starts with you.