Fun-Sized Advice

On even more fun-sized advice

How does a girl know if she’s the version of the Nice Guy Syndrome? Didn’t even realize that was a thing. Mind = blown.
Combine a sense of entitlement with unrequited romantic feelings and, regardless of anyone’s gender, you’re gonna wind up with some version of Nice Guy Syndrome.

Is it inappropriate to give a copy of your book to my therapist?
Nah, it’s a huge compliment. For both of us.

Why do I sometimes feel like I have a stronger emotional relationship with men who are not my boyfriend? Just grass is greener? I always tell myself off for this bullshit btw
You feel that way because you do have a stronger emotional relationship with men who are not your boyfriend. It’s not about the grass being greener. It’s about you protecting yourself. Holding back some of your emotionally availability is a defense mechanism that prevents you from being too vulnerable in your romantic relationships.

Why is so difficult for people to believe Amber Heard was abused?
Because she’s one of those actresses that radiates a sort of Machiavellian cool. She seems calculating, and that’s all it takes for people who don’t know any better to dismiss her accusations as some sort of opportunistic contrivance. (I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying that’s the way it is.)

Sitting at a bar waiting on a tinder date who’s gonna be at least 30 min late… WWCQD?
I’d order a drink and enjoy myself.

I broke up with my boyfriend and moved out over a month ago, and I’m still crying every day. When does the pain stop?
November 9th, 2016.

My therapist thinks I have a drinking problem, partially because I am open about my weekend indiscretions, and partially because ADHD can look like alcoholism. How do I clear this up?
Hey, fucknuts. You do have a drinking problem. The alcohol is interfering with your life. You’re just so used to it that you don’t even recognize the ways in which you’re suffering from consequences. Stop rationalizing and try spending your weekends relatively sober. See what happens.

Have you dated a man/woman from every race?
I can’t accept the premise of this question. The word “every” is throwing me off, as if there exists somewhere a definitive catalog of the races. That’s creepy and a little bit wrong-headed. I’ve dated a lot of different people from a lot of different ethnicities, nationalities, and yes, even different races, but I feel like your question presumes a world view that I don’t really share.

Do you think you’ve achieved your 10,000 hours?
No, not yet. It’ll take a few more years.


107 thoughts on “On even more fun-sized advice

  1. Elsie says:

    My cure for Nice Guy Syndrome is to passionately speak my mind. People either think I’m an asshole or value my presence. Occasionally both.

      • Brynn says:

        Because “nice guys” predicate their relationships on romantic attraction while misrepresenting their intentions under a guise of platonic friendship. Too spineless to express themselves, they concoct elaborate and narcissistic perspectives in which they are a victim of anything but themselves.

        If you consistently and passionately speak your mind… well, at least you won’t be misrepresenting yourself. But it’s also like always cleaning all your clothes with bleach. It is overkill, but your clothes are clean, and damn your whites are looking good (while they’re still in one piece, of course).

    • pwinks says:

      Junk, disproved social science from a garbage writer.

      (“…“Dangerous Minds,” a suspenseful tale of criminal profiling that shows how self-anointed experts can delude their clients and themselves with elastic predictions.”, from that last link, gets me every time. That’s some sharp writing.)

      • J Lynn says:

        At a party recently I did a mini-rant about Gladwell, then admitted I was just envious of his success, i.e., “he’s not that great, jeez!” I feel the exact same irritation about Michael Pollan, except triply so, because a) I think he’s a lot less clever than Gladwell, b) he’s such a Puritanical schoolmarm, c) he does all his preachifying from a cushy spot as UC Berkeley faculty. I liked his essay about how the marijuana plant has tricked us into being its servant, but everything else annoys me.

        If those guys weren’t worshiped by the NPR-type crowd, I wouldn’t give a shit. But success plus perceived mediocrity makes me grouchy when it’s brought up as party talk.

        Just my *personal* and admittedly cranky opinion, I don’t want to debate it or anything.

        • Just hatin says:

          I served gladwell at a restaurant once. I definitely got a “don’t you know who I AM?” vibe, but didn’t realize who he was until I ran his credit card. Went home that day and vaguely familiarized myself with his writing. He comes off as a hot air bag in person and on paper.

          • J Lynn says:

            Did he tip well? Always the follow up question. 🙂 You really learn about someone when you serve them their food. Or serve them in any other way, come to think of it.

          • Just hatin says:

            I seem to remember him tipping exactly 20% on like an $18 tab. Like down to the penny. Which is also telling.

          • Just hatin says:

            It’s not a big deal. I certainly never got upset about it, but it is telling. Generally it’s easier just to round up or down. As someone who has lived on tips, I always round up and then throw a few extra dollars in because I know how much it’s appreciated. If you take the time to calculate exactly 18 or 20% down to the penny on an odd-changed bill, you’re likely the type of person that understands and adheres to social contracts, but doesn’t feel compelled to be extra generous when given the opportunity.

          • Rainbowpony says:

            You say it’s not a big deal, but then you basically say tipping 20% is for people that just want to look like they are being good but aren’t actually generous.

            I hate tipping. I want tipping to be replaced with straight up decent wages. I’m tired of it being a thing of performative generousness: what you are supposed to tip goes up by another percent every year. I dont want to be tipping 30%. Im stopping at 20%. And fuck you if you give me shit for not taking an extra 15 to 20 minutes to hunt down an atm before i go out yo eat just so i can pay in cash. Who the fuck has time for that? Luckily I live in a state that has a reasonable minimum wages for servers. I consistently tip more, but in my state if you tip 15% and the person is waiting 2 or 3 tables, you’d consistently be making more than I did when I was a post doc.

          • Just hatin says:

            Dude, chill. First of all, you’re straight making shit up. Secondly, I could go on for days about how flawed your shitty argument is, but I won’t, because none of that is relevant to my original point, which is that the way you tip given the current pay situation of servers is telling of some small facet of your personality.

  2. Richard says:

    Yeaaaaah if your therapist says you have a drinking problem, you got a fucking drinking problem. Why on earth you though Coquette would take your side is beyond me.

    • Strangely Rational says:

      Potentially, but they’re not always right. For example, my psychiatrist thought I had a substance abuse problem because I got busted for pot.

      Um, no. Smoking a little weed occasionally on the weekend is not substance abuse. It’s simply illegal in my state at the time. I was never addicted and it and it never interfered with anything else in my life. (If anything, it was extremely helpful in reducing anxiety.)

      She sent me to a substance abuse group and when they got around to me and asked about what addiction I was struggling with, I had to tell them I’ve never been addicted to anything, unless you count a few withdrawal symptoms when I went off Zoloft. I refused to go back.

      Some mental health professionals just disapprove of recreational drug use in general and will call it a problem if you do it at all. I’d want to know the nature of these “weekend indiscretions” and whether it ever happens during the rest of the week before I could say for sure.

      • ADHD says:

        I’m the person that asked the question.

        My therapist thinks I’m an alcoholic because I see her at the end of the day when my adderall has worn off, so I’m usually acting weird. I have bad balance and run into things, I’m exhausted, I’m more emotional, and I yell more when talking about difficult things. If I’m really tired I slur my speech. This is just who I am and always have been without medication. I was literally born this way.

        Compound my baseline state with stories about getting drunk with your friends on the weekend, and people think things. It’s difficult to explain to people what this even is.

        • Strangely Rational says:

          Yeah, my husband has a lot of these issues – he doesn’t have ADHD, but he has PTSD with psychosis and a ton of anxiety. He does have a history of substance abuse; however, he will start slurring his speech sometimes when anxious or tired, and I’ve been with him the entire time and know for a fact he hadn’t had anything to drink. Same thing happens with his eyelids getting heavy – sometimes it looks like he’s stoned. He also has bad balance due to a number of things, but partially a bad ankle.

          I worry when he goes into appointments in that condition, because especially with his history, he seems like he’s on something. Fortunately, his psychiatrist and therapist are understanding.

          I feel for you. I have ADHD myself, so I have a lot of the same issues and I’m pretty much a mess before my meds kick in. Fortunately, I don’t have issues with the meds wearing off, since I’m on Vyvanse and it lasts until I’m ready to go to bed. (I was diagnosed later in life, in my early 40s, and still in the early stages of being medicated, just on 30 mg. of the Vyvanse. I know that eventually my tolerance will build up to the max dose and I’ll wind up needing to switch, probably to Adderall.)

          But yeah. ADHD is seriously crappy and I’m always worried about seeming too weird around other people!

          I hope you get things straightened out with your therapist.

        • Mil says:

          Hi ADHD, I might have a drinking problem, I also have histrionic tendencies, anxiety and insomnia, for which I try to go to therapy & take medication when I feel I need it.

          So, a few months ago, when I was tired & upset at work, I was reading up on how sleep-deprivation can mimic symptoms of ADHD: lack of impulse control, emotional instability, feeling clouded in the mind, etc. I flippantly thought to myself, could I have ADHD? But then I quickly remembered I never get enough sleep, likely because of my drinking problem. Also, I would never want to discredit something for which you take medication, I just want to relay that symptoms can be interchangeable for many different issues.

          Here are my questions to you:
          Why are you drinking (I’m assuming, heavily) on the weekends? You referred to your weekend activities as indiscretions, why?

          I’m asking because either I have some form of mild ADHD gone undiagnosed, which I hope my therapist would have noticed by now, or you have a drinking problem that you’re not admitting to, or an inexperienced therapist that cannot appropriately intervene / communicate said drinking problem.

          Forgive my aggressiveness here, I’m kind of using your original question as self-reflection on my own choices and behavior last night. I told myself I was only going to have a couple drinks, and I woke up from a bender in a state of existential crisis / emotional breakdown. I also get hormonal as fuck around my period, started yesterday, which could add to the anxiety and excessive dread, but look, even I’m still making excuses for my behavior. I went out, drank too much, and am now trying to come to terms with the fact that this isn’t healthy.

          Again, not trying to discredit a condition you need medication for; it just seems like many of these Aderall withdrawal symptoms you mentioned are also symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. (And I have a lot of them too. I am quite literally coming to terms with my shitty drinking habits as I write this.)

          Also, I appreciate Strangely Rational’s solidarity in y’all’s struggle with treating ADHD, but I noticed SR doesn’t have an “issue with the meds wearing off”, I wonder if SR has a “drinking problem”…

          Lastly, to, as soberly as possible, drive my point home without saying the words, d r i n k i n g p r o b l e m, once more:
          SR described their husband’s symptoms being similar to yours and cited that he has a history of substance abuse, history of substance abuse.

          I’m going to take Coquette’s advice to you.

          • Mil says:

            Ugh, I should have just waited and gone to bed before I sent that. It ended up sounding more like a journal entry to myself, which makes sense to me, instead of a question / message to you.

            I just wanna know why you don’t think you have a drinking problem…?

          • ADHD says:

            @mil- I don’t think I have a drinking problem because I don’t drink that much or that frequently. I don’t drink daily, and when I do drink on weekends with my friends I don’t drink that much because I get drunk really easily, and hung over even more easily. I also don’t drink so much that I get sick or black out, or make terrible decisions (I do that soberly, thank you, which is why I am in therapy, lol). I also monitor my alcohol intake closely because I’m trying to control my my diet – good nutrition plays a role in controlling ADHD, and eating healthy helps me. I realize that saying this to you is absolutely worthless, and that you aren’t going to believe me, but all of this is true.

            The issue is that I started seeing this therapist just before summer started, and summers in my city are usually pretty social. There were two instances this summer where I went out with my friends on a Sunday (both times to street festivals during the day) and felt sick the next day. I told my therapist about it because I felt I had nothing to hide, but now that’s something she’s tucked into the back of her mind and casually brings up.

            I realized that she thinks I’m attending these sessions drunk two weeks ago because I was exhausted during a session and that exacerbated my weirder ADHD symptoms. During that session I showed up late, bumped into some of her furniture upon entry into the room, cried, and told her a story about arguing with my drunk friend the previous Saturday night about whether or not she was racist for saying something racist. Toward the end of the session I said something with slurred speech (I don’t know why), and she said “I see the alcohol has started to kick in.” I was dumbfounded because I hadn’t had anything to drink for a few days, and I didn’t realize she thought I had a drinking problem until that very moment. Now I’m wondering how many other sessions she’d suspected that I was drunk when I was totally sober.

            I understand how she would conclude this, and if I were reading that story as an impartial observer I’d think I was lying. Please understand, I am telling you the truth. But I’m just functionally not right, and seeking help for those deficits. It’s frustrating for me to be misunderstood in this way, because I know that I’ve been misunderstood my whole life because of this.

          • The Coquette says:

            That’s an incredibly inappropriate remark for a therapist to make. Call her out on that shit. She’s the one fucking up, not you. This has nothing to do with whether you have a problem with alcohol. It’s about you feeling misunderstood by your therapist. Bring it up in your next session. Talk openly about it. This shit is important, because your therapy will go nowhere if your therapeutic relationship is crippled by mistrust and miscommunication.

          • ADHD says:

            Side note- It’s totally possible for you to have ADHD, and for ADHD to be contributing to your other problems. People with ADHD have a higher incidence of substance abuse problems (this tendency of others with ADHD is likely why I’m stuck in an awkward situation myself). Plus, people with ADHD also have sleep issues that exacerbate their ADHD symptoms. So, you’re presenting a strong case here for ADHD, even though you didn’t mean to do that. Neuropsych testing is the best way to figure that out.

            With respect to your question about the issues that I have with my medication that S.R. does not- we are on different medications. The purpose of vyvanse is to be a little gentler on the body than adderall. When I was first medicated I took vyvanse because I had strong negative reactions to adderall, especially when it wore off. I didn’t have this problem with vyvanse. After my dose of vyvanse lost its efficacy I switched to adderall and found that the side effects I had experienced before were greatly dimished, but that I was still super weird during the hour or two it was wearing off.

            I hope that answers your questions about those topics. I feel like it’s important to explain ADHD to people because it’s still really poorly understood.

        • Mil says:

          Thanks for replying @ADHD !

          That context is super important, because I definitely got aggressive with internet courage assuming you were just in denial. I apologize for sounding haughty or anything.

          As for me potentially having ADHD, that is VERY plausible now that I have read the symptoms. I struggle with almost every single one of the things listen under a page I just read about adult-onset ADHD. That said, I will definitely explore it, with my therapist. Who I am surprised hasn’t mentioned anything yet. Maybe she is just afraid of my reaction. Unsure. Or she isn’t as good of a therapist as I’ve thought. Or, like you said, it’s so misunderstood and dare I say stigmatized a bit?

          Speaking of subpar therapists, I’m really glad CQ said that. Good luck. That’s not okay what she did there. And I do believe you. For real, speak your mind, good luck.

          PS: I might still also be one of the fucknuts with a drinking problem. And maybe ADHD too now, ha. We’ll see what happens if I cut out the alcohol a bit more.

  3. VeryOn says:

    We really need a new portmanteau for “Nice Guy Syndrome” that isn’t gender based.
    Someone please get on this?

    “…from every race?”
    Omg, thank you CqT for putting your finger on what bothers me in a lot of discussions regarding race!

    Even this morning I heard a politician saying roughly “I am not a racist, I’ve served black people all my life.” I took this to mean that everything in his world is literally black and white.

    • Strangely Rational says:

      I wish people could understand that when they say, “I’m not a racist because something something black people,” they are identifying themselves as racially insensitive at least.

  4. Dime-sized-amount says:

    Coke’s personal blog recently betrays a pairing of a sense of entitlement with unrequited romantic feelings.

    I’m sure Coke doesn’t think of herself as a nice guy, and undoubtedly there are nuances here and Coke will bristle, but…someone had to say it.

    Maybe feelings get the better of us all sometimes.

    • The Coquette says:

      No, no, no. I’m not entitled to requited emotions, not at all, though I understand why you might think that. You’re reading the lines “I want those feelings. Those were supposed to be my feelings. Bitch came along and snatched what should have been his crush on me,” and you’re interpreting them as entitlement. It’s not, though. It’s cosmic frustration. I don’t actually think that those were supposed to be my feelings. I don’t really believe that his crush was snatched away from me. (That would be super creepy.) You’re giving a literal interpretation to a poetic expression of bitter fucking irony. I mean, I can’t stop you from reading it that way, but I would hope you’d give me more credit than that.

    • Damien Otis says:

      there’s a difference between feeling entitled to something and feeling angry/frustrated/sad at a loss. you’ll notice that Coke Talk used the past tense on her verbs. she’s feeling the loss, not feeling entitled. learn the difference.

      • Mil says:

        Yeah, what I think people forget, is that the Coke Talks are a creative outlet for CQ. I’ve made that mistake too.

        But gawd, you do write so beautifully Coquette. I think I’ve said this before, but is it worth going to a creative writing workshop just for shits? I work in healthcare, so it’s not like I’m trying to become a writer or anything.

          • M says:

            The last workshop I went to was pretty awful – the guy who ran it was there to hear himself talk and little else. Is finding a good one just chance?

          • J Lynn says:

            Sorry you had a bad experience, M! On workshops:
            There are two types, first the official creative writing class at a school or institution that you pay tuition for; and then on the other hand (2nd) the free/inexpensive community-based workshop or writers’ group.

            In theory the first one should actually teach you something from structured exercises and discussions, and should be taught by an experienced, published writer and/or an experienced educator. To investigate beforehand, seek out word-of-mouth from past participants. You might also try a brief meeting (over phone/skype if far away) with the instructor to get a feel for him/her. The formal class-type workshop may also be selective of its participants, so your fellows will probably be at least half-decent writers you can learn from.

            The second kind of community-based workshop or group is more of a grab bag quality-wise — could be fantastic, could be awful. You could try the same prior investigation techniques as with the formal class, or just show up and give it a try. A lot of times those are open to anybody, so you’ll get a variety of experience levels and preferred genres and styles among the other writers, which could be really cool and awesome, or less so.

    • Rainbowpony says:

      There’s a difference between action and feelings. Sometimes you can’t help what you feel, but it’s a problem if those feelings become intrusive for other people. Nice guys feel entitled to act (in a smarmy sly way) to get what they want.

  5. WhoAmI says:

    Some men actually have a physical bucket list of ethnicities and peculiarities to fuck. One of them told me once he has always wanted to fuck a cripple (but not one who looks too funny, ya know ??). Disgusting.

    • Gaybeard says:

      I think curiosity and wanting to try new things is harmless.

      Putting it in such disgusting terms as “fuck a cripple as long as they’re not too ugly” is fucked up and dehumanizing.

      • WhoAmI says:

        I don’t know, i feel like the whole “i want to fuck at least one person who is black, and a white, and an asian, etc” thing is based on the whole idea that people from different origins and backgrounds are totally different in bed according to said backgrounds. Sounds pretty racist in itself.

        • Gaybeard says:

          If you put it in those terms, especially if you’re counting, I think you’re totally right.

          If you’re into trying new aesthetics I think that’s perfectly fine. I don’t think that it has to be paired with an assumption about how a person is in bed. Example: I’d love to sleep with an asian girl (preferably more than one) because I think they’re really hot, not because I buy into the bullshit fantasy that asian women are submissive and docile. Honestly, all the asian girls I’ve known have been the opposite^^

          • Q says:

            I think I understand what you’re getting at Gaybeard, however your use of the word “aesthetics” and the example you provided still strike me as mild fetishization of people, based on their race, e.g.,
            “I’d like to sleep with an asian girl…because I think they’re really hot.”
            To you that statement probably sounds like a compliment or a benevolent statement about Asian women, and I don’t doubt it was intended as such, but generalizations based on race (or any factor) are still sloppy and dehumanizing, even when presented as praise or spun in a positive light. I am most likely guilty of making similar generalizations at some point or another and I imagine many of us are. It’s micro-aggression type of shit, and obviously not a mean-spirited brand, but it’s not completely innocuous. Also, it can irk the shit out of people to whom your race or “aesthetic” based pseudo-compliment is directed (in my experience). Just my two cents.

          • Gaybeard says:


            It’s not meant to be a compliment, it’s a statement of personal taste. I don’t think anyone should be flattered if I find them attractive.

            What’s objectionable about stating that people from different places are aesthetically different? Yeah sure, it’s a generalization, but that’s because people in Asia generally look different from people in Europe, and people in Sub-Saharan Africa generally look different than people from South America. If we want to pretend that there are no generalizable physical differences between ethnicities, sure, fine, whatever. At the same time, I don’t think there’s any harm to being curious about what it would be like to be with someone who doesn’t look like you, or even have a preference for a generalized physical type. What makes it fetishization instead of curiosity? Where exactly do you draw that line?

          • RocketGrunt says:

            Guys saying, “I’ve always been into [category based on appearance] girls” is always super creepy and low-key degrading. My friend frequently gets unsettling “compliments” from guys about how they’d love to fuck a redhead, and guys occasionally weird me out with comments about how they’re into nerdy girls. Throwing race into the mix adds a whole new level of sketchy.

          • Q says:

            First off, what you call “personal taste” is far from that. CQ breaks that subject down beautifully in one of her old posts (“On Personal Preferences”), so I won’t linger on that one…
            When your “curiosity” is fueled by unchecked assumptions about someone based on his/her “aesthetic” it fetishization. No one is pretending we all look the same. It’s that the differences in aesthetics just within the places you mention, Asia, Europe, South America, or Sub-Saharan Africa, let alone across them, are so vast it makes your attempt to categorize people along those lines look hella silly. It’s silly, of course, whether categorizing along line of race, ethnicity, or general geography, as you have in your posts. The fact that you use those terms somewhat interchangeably makes it difficult to have this discussion but also helps explain it.
            You seem to genuinely believe being with someone who doesn’t look like you is in and of itself a fundamentally different experience, based on what you perceive as his/her “otherness.” That is the essence of the problem. To borrow a line from CQ, your statement “presumes a world view that I don’t really share.”

    • Chris says:

      Yes, Tucker Max listed the races and not-races, such as:

      – black person from Africa
      – friend’s mom
      – mom’s friend
      – midget
      – amputee

      It reminded me of Coke’s reply to the woman who said, “Is it bad that he’s had 58 partners?” and the answer was, “no, it’s bad that he’s kept count.”

      As someone who’s had a very small number of partners, I can say that if pressed, I’d have to think of the number, and would likely forget someone. I’d feel bad for forgetting her, but, honestly, I’ve got other things on my mind – like getting my oldest ready for tennis season, teaching the youngest how to throw a punch (secure your thumb and you don’t punch something, you punch through it), and a variety of other things.

      • Chris says:

        Thinking about this again, I’m reminded of a person who recently said that he’d been to Europe 39 times, and that he has no interest in other continents.

        In the context of this and the conversation, it seems he’s fetishized the continent, and it helped me see that my initial feeling of weirdness was correct.

    • Damien Otis says:

      ADHD (often, tho not universally) involves challenges with impulse control. alcohol impairs impulse control. but that’s sorta besides the point.

      • Jessica Sen says:

        Dunno about you but my strategy is to be as strong-womanly as possible. That’s not always easy. First one had to be strong, second one has to be feminine. Being strong seems a no brainer but it frequently involves intellectual and ethical challenges over a sense of self. Being feminine is demonised, but not necessarily so. It becomes more about playing a role than about accurate character portrayal.

        • Guiliana says:

          “Being feminine is demonised, but not necessarily so. It becomes more about playing a role than about accurate character portrayal.”

          I am curious what you mean by that. Could you please elaborate?

    • Kait says:

      ADHD is a deficit of dopamine in the brain. This means that those with ADHD can often self-medicate to raise their dopamine levels, however the only substances with lasting and effective effects seem to be amphetamines (Vyvanse) and methylphenidate (Adderall) medications.

      • WhoAmI says:

        It’s way more complicated than a chronic shortage of dopamine in the nervous system. Norepinephrine is majorly implicated too, and so are a couple other neurotransmitters too (choline, glutamate, maybe gaba and ghb too). Brain structure and development play a major role too (linked to but not entirely dependent to previously cited neurotransmitters).

      • Damien Otis says:

        do you mean effective for you or just plain effective? there are many other medications available for ADHD, including non stimulants like strattera, anti depressants, etc not to mention good old fashioned caffeine.

  6. J Lynn says:

    My comment isn’t exactly about Nice Guy/Gal Syndrome, but it’s adjacent to it. I’m talking about silent pining that doesn’t necessarily include a sense of entitlement (like what I’ll abbreviate as NGS) but does include a “stuck” sort of preoccupation, even obsession with someone who seems to see you platonically.

    Women are unfortunately socialized (at present, hopefully changing) not to make the first move or ask men out. In parallel — if less explicitly — some men perceive that women who do make the ask are less desirable than those they have to pursue. This backwards socialization creates the conditions for female NGS or at least its milder form, let’s call it Pining Away Syndrome, because you’ve got a desire with less of a socially acceptable outlet. The outlet being, voicing your interest and making a move!

    Of course, it’s hard for ANYBODY to risk rejection and make the first move, but for women it comes with an additional risk of being looked upon with contempt for violating gender expectations and/or looking “desperate.” Thankfully, socially and psychologically confident men are pleased and flattered when a woman asks them out, even if they don’t reciprocate the attraction and have to say no. But insecure men (a not-insignificant plurality of teens/20s) act as if an undesirable-to-them woman approaching them somehow diminishes their own status. Caveat: Not saying some women don’t think that way, too, e.g., getting stupidly offended if someone they consider ugly asks them out, but the social conditioning surrounding the scenario is different.

    Anyway, here’s the upshot: One of my regrets as a woman was not making the first move more in the past. Instead, I too often ended up with whomever came my way, “giving them a chance” as I was socialized to do, instead of being more actively going after those whom *I* particularly desired.

    I’m not single now, so it’s not presently relevant to me, but if I were to start dating again, I would want to be more assertive in stating my attraction to people than I was back then. Like, own it!! There’s nothing to be ashamed of in being attracted to someone. (Unless you’re an adult and they’re a minor, of course.) Plus, rejection “unsticks” you, so you can redirect that pining energy elsewhere. So that’s my advice to others. Just speak up and ask them out (if they are available and not your boss/underling!).

    • WhoAmI says:

      I fail to see the gender-exclusive part in the experience you shared. Men who don’t take on automatically asking out women are like that too, ending up with whoever comes along. Some of them get extra salty about it, and we call them Nice Guys.
      Men are socialized to always make the first move, so of course for several of them anxiety ensues (it can get extra weird when said move is to be made between two gay men).

      But yeah, being assertive in your feelings is way more healthy, and it saves everyone in it a lot of time.

      • BlondeBlue says:

        I think anxiety over the presumed gender roles you described is much more universal than “several” guys suffering from it.

      • Strangely Rational says:

        Anxiety isn’t gender-specific, but when it comes to asking people out, there is absolutely a different dynamic for men vs. women. It’s changing, but very much still there, and more pronounced in older generations for whom gender roles were/are considered more inviolable.

        Men may have anxiety about making the first move, but that anxiety does not include the added pressure of stepping outside society’s gender expectations. That’s what’s exclusive to women – that specific situation.

        Men have a similar but different situation when they go against gender expectations by not making the first move, although it’s less obvious because it doesn’t involve any interaction.

        Years ago, I lost out on what could have been a great relationship with major chemistry because I was the young woman too fearful of making the first move and expressing my feelings to a shy coworker I was insanely attracted to and who was flirting back with me. He was too intimidated to ask me out, though. (And I am now quite certain he was interested in me – the signs are so clear in retrospect that it makes me wonder how I possibly could have been such an idiot to be unsure, but I was very insecure at the time about my desirability.)

        So we spent a year flirting with each other. The best I could muster (and this took everything I had) was to ask him to go get a bite to eat after work or see a movie I had gift tickets for – which he happily accepted – but they weren’t “officially” dates. And he didn’t ask me out.

        Dammit, I wish I’d been socialized differently and could have been more direct. At this time in my life, I could do it, but not back then.

        • WhoAmI says:

          Oh my god, the same thing happened to me. With two different guys. Thank god dating apps are a thing because I’m very clueless as to how to approach a guy.

  7. Joe S says:

    To the Fucknuts with the drinking problem, check the book Addictive Thinking: Understanding Self-Deception by Abraham J Twerski.

    That’s the book that convinced me to enter recovery.

    Yes, it’s based in 12-step-ism, and no I am not AT ALL a fan of 12-step programs. I still found the book incredibly useful in getting me started.

    I attend (and host) a recovery meeting called SMART which is vastly superior to 12-step programs in my and most people I’ve met in SMART’s experience.

    Best of luck, recovery is fucking worth it.

  8. Jessica Sen says:

    10,000 hours of trying to figure out how to be human.

    That’s gold.

    Do I try to fit in as a sheep amongst wolves?
    Or do I pretend to be a sheep so that I don’t have to be a wolf?

    Great questions. So little time. Turn on the wacky lights. It’s time for some real no-bullshit answers.

    • VeryOn says:

      If I may; realize that being subservient is not the same thing as being attentive.
      Honesty is not the slave of kindness.

      • Brynn says:

        Also, when you treat kindness as a means to an end, you are treating the victim of your ‘kindness’ as a means to an end.

        People are an end in and of themselves.

        Your presence is the gift. Not the ego-stroking. Not the martyring yourself with unrequested favors. Not the pricey shit you buy on their birthday. Not the note. Not the mixtape. And certainly not your expectations.

        Their presence is the gift. Not the strokes they won’t give your ego. Not the favors you’re afraid to ask for. Not the pricey shit they don’t buy you. Not the notes they don’t write. Not the mixtapes they don’t make. And certainly not their bodies.

        • goatsandsunflowers says:

          So nice guy syndrome just encompasses the thing where you expect something in return and are bitter about it? I’ve been feeling sorry for myself, in a bitter ‘alas, it is never me’ way, though not in a ‘it should be me’ way. I’ve been fearing that veers too close to nice guy syndrome, like being alone so much is turning me into a monster.

          Is there a name for what that is, the lonely no friends, family or lovers, no belonging at all? And whether there is a name for it or not, is there a way to fix it? I’ve been here for four years, and despite trying most of the time it feels just as bad and hard and lonely as when I got here four years ago in an attempt to get away from family that doesn’t like or care about me all that much.

          • Mil says:

            @GoatsandSunflowers, are you having trouble finding friends where you live? Am I understanding correctly?

  9. Liam says:

    People question Amber Heard because they’re seeing too many inconsistencies with her story and evidence. The “Machiavellian cool and calculating” thing just adds to it. Of course it’s possible that Depp was abusive though.

    • Mil says:

      What inconsistencies in story or evidence? She is a famous actress (so is he) so anything we read on these here interwebs is going to be skewed for more media attention, and Depp’s PR team trying to secure his career. The whole story is for the court. And her actions of self-protection, that could have led to any inconsistencies, were definitely because she knew shit was gonna hit the fan once she took him to court. I think it’s boss she did though. Another cheer for women’s rights!

      My personal reaction to when the story broke was that, as a critically-acclaimed actor, with children, I didn’t want to believe Depp was capable of this. Then, I remembered he has been arrested for a brawling before, and he dated Kate Moss.

      I’m glad you acknowledged that he could have been abusive, because he was. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have gotten a restraining order.

      • Liam says:

        One big thing that stuck out to me early on was how her friend, Raquel, said in her statement that there was swelling on Ambers face. There clearly isnt any in the photos she provided the court.
        Obviously someone can look at his issues from the past and go, “okay it progressed into something more” since until now he has never been publicly accused of DV. Just because he didnt hit exes doesnt mean he didnt hit her. And Amber being arrested for it a few years ago for DV doesnt mean its impossible that she was abused by Depp.

        At the end of the day we dont know either. Depp has been in the public eye more so we may think we know him better but we dont. Even if I have my doubts about her I cant pretend that I know anything for a fact.

        • Mil says:

          No, but Kate Moss has been in the news for drug abuse issues. And from the sound of other stories, she could be a bit mentally unstable. That said, and I’m assuming here, a person like Depp, who may or may not have abusive tendencies would gravitate towards a person who is unstable. Because he could exert some manipulative power over them. Similar to a relationship an abusive alcoholic would have with a codependent partner?

          So actually yes, I’m sure Kate Moss has been with other abusive partners as well. (See: her most recent harrasment by the paparazzi.)

        • WhoAmI says:

          And for Vanessa Paradis, an abusive relationship is the default mode for her. She started by dating notorious asshole Florent Pagny (she was 15, he was 26). After that it was Kravitz, Depp, and her last one was notorious drunk and asshole extraordinaire Benjamin Biolay. Child stardom fucked her up.

          • Liam says:

            Hm, cant say I know much about people she dated other than Depp. She always seemed fine in interviews though. I’ll do more digging when I’m not supposed to be working.

          • WhoAmI says:

            She does a lot of hard drugs and she used to be alarmingly anorexic too (probably still is).
            But yeah she’s probably a very kind girl.

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