I just went on the first date I’ve been on for almost a year. Unfortunately, I didn’t know it was a date for most of the night. And because this is a sorta-friend I’ve known for a long time and have no romantic interest in, I was able to get through it calmly and blissfully ignorant.
It’s weird to go into a casual hangout thinking you’ll have a jam session or walk around the town, only to find out you’ll be taken to dinner and asked to take your shirt off. And to see a different side of someone you had respect for.
I realized that, damn, this half-grown guy will say a lot of asinine things to assert his dominance. Maybe he thinks that it gets him out of the friend zone, or gets girls in the mood. Sadly it just makes him sound like he’s read a couple chapters of The Pickup Artist but haven’t gotten enough experience or confidence to genuinely understand women. For example.
“You should try that dish and experience something new.”
What I hear: Being older, more worldly and masculine, I can teach you so many things.
My reaction: Not unless you’re Aladdin on a magic fucking carpet.
“Come out here.” “Do this.” “Sit here.”
What I hear: Ordering you around will make you feel weak so I can swoop in and protect you.
My reaction: I’ll listen to you right now because whatever in ten minutes I’m out.
What I hear: I’m throwing in a gratuitous sexual word to plant that seed (ew) in your mind.
My reaction: “Horny!” Then I’m going to use the word too in a perfectly casual way to neutralize any romantic tone in this conversation.
“Are you feeling ok?”
What I hear: Neither of us are really drunk but I wish we were. Maybe through the power of suggestion I will render you tipsy.
My reaction: nothing.
Plus a few other lines that I pray to God were meant ironically. (But I think the rule is if you aren’t sure, it’s a no.) For the record, I don’t think my friend was exactly thinking these things, but I do believe the overall strategy of domination is engrained in his typical mating ritual. I also think he’s a good person who wants connection, and I’m definitely coming down on him hard. If he wasn’t my friend, I’d assume he was a misguided, awkward person. But I know he is so much better outside of dates, and that’s what baffles me.
One last thought–I’m getting into dangerous territory, but I can’t help wondering. Is this tactic more common in Asian dating culture? Having gone out with only like four Asians, I’ve never experienced it to this extent before. But considering that traditionally, girls in Asia were very coy and needed to be “lured” out, and that the Western stereotype of Asian men is effeminate and non-aggressive, maybe they find it natural to adapt the caveman approach. Or, maybe, I just went on a bad date. And it’s no surprise that most of my free time is spent with lesbians.
P.S. The first guy I ever dated is coming through town and we’re getting lunch this weekend. Haven’t seen him in over three years. Though a lot of things were “off” about us, he had hands-down the greatest pickup lines ever. Proof that the right line can absolutely get you out of the friend zone.