Over my last four years in High School I have been snubbed at every corner in the romantic sense. That said I set out to make myself into a gentleman, determined to treat women with dignity and respect. Not to look them as objects but to treat them as equals! You know what? I am still getting snubbed.
"What does this have to do with servitude?" You ask. Well in the classic sense a gentleman serves women and treats them with respect. This does not mean that women like gentlemen though. Women like men who are strong and confident, who are unpredictable and wild. (I am generalizing I know) Who will sweep them off their feet and give them a challenge when it comes to "civilizing" them. A gentlemen is no challenge. I can infer your questionable looks at this point. So on to the main course!
If men and women are truly equal now then why do women seem to desire men who make them subservient to them? This is in tandem with the trend that women are now just as much about looks as guys are. This has resulted in many popped pills and a major expansion of the personal trainer industry. So clearly both men and women are looking to impress with their looks and personalities. So who holds the upper hand now, and who is serving who? Are women choosing to become subservient to men who have domineering personalities, or are men becoming subservient to women? Since women are now gaining more degree's it is now more likely that the woman is the bread winner. So why choose the man who thinks he is in charge? Gender roles are blurring and we could use some definitions I think. You know, besides just saying "they're equal."
Each sex, in a general sense, likely feels as though they have to serve the other one.
Some girls and some guys are worse than the others, but they're assholes and should be left alone.
The only thing I can say is don't date anybody with expectations that offend or annoy you. You're going to have to do something for them but if it isn't equal or agreed upon it's bullshit.
I set out to make myself into a gentleman, determined to treat women with dignity and respect. Not to look them as objects but to treat them as equals! You know what? I am still getting snubbed.
That's a good quality to have, and once you hit about 25 when those girls have been chewed up and swallowed by the guys who should have treated them well, you're going to be seen as the stud muffin your behaviour says you actually are.
This does not mean that women like gentlemen though.
I think when you ask the question about who is serving who, you make an intelligent point, and abreo answered by saying both male and female feel like we have to.
Also those girls might not be used to the concept of a gentleman. Like any person, male or female, people want to be treated with respect and dignity and you're offering that. But culturally I've noticed that what is understood as respectful and dignified isn't associated with what 1) girls are taught they deserve 2) boys are taught are romantically valued attributes. i.e. what people want, and what the culture says we ought to want or do, may not be the same thing.
So the long and short of it is, keep being yourself. show dignity and respect to yourself and others because that's who you are. In time you will attract a person who appreciates and shares these qualities, and that sounds like to me, the basis of a good relationship.
Thank you Abreo and CD for the advice. It is nice to hear that treating women like people and not objects will eventually pay off. As for the cultural norms of dating I think there is a potential for a great discussion here regarding what modern culture values in terms of relationships and whether or not this is substantially different from previous cultures. For example, in the 1800's the woman was always approached by the man and there were entire rules books about courting women. At that time in history being a gentleman pretty much meant not rubbing your superiority in their face. (metaphorically speaking). However women tended to try and marry up in these situations, to men who were wealthy and well connected. Was this system objectively worse? Morally it is unquestionably worse since the woman is merely an object to be fought over, but did it benefit both sides more than the current system?
Given a choice between the Victorian era and today, as a woman, I can say that for me there is no way in hell I would want to go back to what was.
That doesn't mean that the lingering aftertaste of bullshit has finally dissipated. In short, we've got a lot of improvements to make. And modern culture has many flaws.
Also, one small thing. It's an interesting thing I noticed awhile back. I am pretty sure April Fools, in western Europe (or at least England) was the one day of the year when women would propose marriage to men. I think that may be the origin of the tradition. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
In Scotland women were legally allowed to propose to men on Leap Day (ages ago, of course). April Fool's Day originated because of festivals for pranks and general foolishness, it seems.
There are few things. First of all, choosing to turn yourself into a proper gentleman is the best course of action. If nothing more, you will at least be respected for being respectful.
I can relate in that I don't have too much luck with relationships either. But perhaps I can give you some advice that you might find helpful.
Before all else, know that being nice does not warrant a romantic return, part of being a true gentlemen is to accept that a woman has the right to reject your sentiment whether or not you're nice. You being nice to them does not mean that they somehow owe you some return of affection.
Another thing to consider is confidence. Confidence is a wonderful balancing act, you have to work to be an independent individual before you can really hope to add to someone else's life. And this is the problem with a large number of relationships, there's a big gradient of confidence problems. People with too much confidence too much confidence can really harm the relationship by not meeting the needs of the other party. But more common is that one member of the relationship lacks enough confidence and becomes too needy. This is quite common and people usually find it really annoying.
Another thing is whether or not you put yourself out there. Consider if you're in places and situations that people want to meet people for relationships.
With me, I tend to be overly analytical and try and figure out whether or not the girl I'm interested in, or who is interested in me, is worth the trouble. Yes, it sounds like a pompous thing and maybe it is. I just try to step outside of myself for a bit and reassess what I'm thinking and see if it's what I think is best for both.
Hopefully some of this gives you some food for thought.
My brain is currently munching on these delicious ideas that you have shared. My grey matter is practically salivating over the concept that being nice does not elicit a romantic response. I hadn't really thought of it much but you're right. Being nice does not guarantee that a girl will have feelings for you. It rather is an expression that you respect her as a person. That said, showing someone respect does not in exchange generate love. I also have a similar problem when it comes to trying to ask a girl out, I have to know what their opinion is of me. I like to hedge my bets, but is that showing a lack of respect? Anyway, thank you for your thoughts on this topic Hutch Hogan.
I liked Hutch's points too.
The old saying "the best relationships begin with friendship" come to mind. Trying too hard, which may be a product of your anxiety (and is 100% normal, every one goes through this so don't feel bad about it), may be one of the reasons why you're being 'snubbed' as well. Even though you want to treat her with respect, and (good on you) it has occurred to me that she might be thinking you're only doing that to get in her pants, which is, of course, in her view, not respectful at all. Although there is no true disrespect intended by you, and although humans generally are very good at [mis]reading body language, there is a statistically likelihood of females being more sensitive to body language. So sometimes its not what you say, it's how you say it, but also how she interprets that. And she might be [mis]interpreting your behavior.
The simplest thing to do, is to try not to worry about getting a girlfriend at all. And just make friends. Which will bring you both all sorts of learning experiences that even if you don't become a couple, you will learn to navigate 'the opposite sex' more successfully, which will make you a better boyfriend later on. Besides, you'll have a new friend, which is always awesome.
If by some chance nature says you both want each other that way, nature has it's own ways of making that happen. So let friendship reign, and nature decide later.
I would echo Hutch's post, and add something else. Beware the risk of turning into a stereotypical "nice guy". There's absolutely nothing wrong with being nice, and gentlemanliness (probably not a real word) is laudable, but if you are being nice to women just because you think it will help your romantic future that is neither gentlemanly nor nice nor respectful.
A genuinely nice guy is nice to everyone because that is just who they are, not because they think it'll get them laid. It takes a lot of confidence and a lot of self assurance to lead that sort of life. I can't guarantee that women will take notice, but it's worthwhile for its own sake. Also, women are likely to take notice (not guaranteed).
Now, i'm not saying that being a spineless wuss is bad, just that it is as unattractive as being the self-centered, muscle-brained pretty boy who swears that all women live for him and him only. Being a total gentleman is good; having tire tracks up your backside & feeling like roadkill all the time isn't. Take heed, and live well.
I don't want this to sound like I'm accusing you of this sort of behaviour, but it might help in your introspection.
I love that quote and it applies equally well to women. I'll rephrase it though:
Now, i'm not saying that being a spineless wuss is bad, just that it is as unattractive as being the self-centered, beauty obsessed femme fatale who swears that all men will fall at her feet in worship and do her bidding. Being self confident and looking after yourself good; having tire tracks up your backside & feeling like roadkill all the time isn't, just as running over other people is equally sucky. Take heed, and live well.
In short, it's about balance.
I am very thankful that so far this thread has offered some great relationship advice for the gentleman in training, however I think it is also important that we discuss gender roles in society and how they are affecting relationships. For example, is the high rate of divorce due to women and men being taught to value the wrong characteristics for a partner? Also, has the desire for physical intimacy (and whole sale promotion in pop culture) impaired the ability of couples to actually become emotionally intimate? As crazy as that sounds remember that the pill changes the hormonal levels of a woman and actually causes her to desire men who are more genetically similar to her. This is an evolutionary no, no and after she is off the pill she will be repulsed by her lover. This has also been suggested as a reason for higher divorce rates.
This is a huge can of worms and most definitely worth a long discussion.