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Friday, March 16, 2012

395

Sixth Senses, Approachability, and the Penniless Nomad Actors

My fiancee just returned from a three-week tour. He's a musician and his band was on tour opening for a national act. We've been together for about two-and-a-half years, known each other for five. I'm also six months pregnant. He called me pretty much every day or night to check in and never went MIA. He's never cheated on me in the past (that I know of), but I just have this feeling in my gut he did this time. I don't know what it is, but I just can't shake the feeling he did. It's like a pregnant sixth sense is screaming at me 'he's a cheater!' and I can't shut it up. Our sex life hasn't exactly been the hottest thing since I've gotten further along, but it's not like he's in a sex Sahara. The thing that really makes struggle to believe him is that he told me the rest of the guys in his band all cheated on their wives. While I'm not totally shocked, I was surprised they ALL did but him. Doesn't the law of averages or something apply there? Like, I'm supposed to believe they all did but YOU didn't? And why would he tell me that? To throw me off? Wow, I sound (and feel) crazy, but please dude, help me out because I would love to believe him and move on.

Just to review, this guy you've known for half a decade and love and trust completely, who is a rock star (awesome), who called you pretty much every night from the road like a lost puppy armed with a cell phone and opposable thumbs, whose child you are carrying, said he didn't cheat on you and gave no indication that he did, but you don't believe him.

Not to be combative, but that is, um, a tad crazy. (Your word choice, not mine.) I'm all about trusting women's intuition/sixth sense, but it's off this time. The fact he told you all his band members cheated is a good thing for you (if not their wives). Would he mention that fact if he had cheated on you? HELL NO. He would avoid the subject entirely. He probably told you because he thinks he deserves some credit for being the only one who didn't cheat. This is totally how our dude brains work. And maybe he does. Just think about the poor guy, all alone drinking beer backstage by himself while his band buddies went Guns 'n Roses on some groupies. Okay fine, maybe he doesn't deserve any credit. But there's no reason not to believe him. He loves you. He's faithful. He's wonderful.

So I've been approached by a dude I don't know maybe twice in my life and never been asked for my number, and I have this friend, about my age, who basically gets picked up wherever she goes. I think we're on the same level of attractiveness, although we look very different (she is petite with dark curly hair, and I'm tall and with light straight hair), so the most recent time she told me about a guy who asked her out at a conference, I started to wonder about my approachability. What makes women seem approachable to dudes? I know about flirting, on an objective level, touching someone's arm and what not. But that kind of stuff doesn't really come naturally to me. Should I just try to do it, even if it feels weird? Are there other ways of flirting? People tell me I'm friendly, but I guess not in a come-hither way? Just sort of in a "good to know you, from a distance" kind of way. I don't know. But it makes me feel sort of insecure which then heightens the approachability problem and so on, vicious cycle. So what should I do? Any advice?

First thing first, I'm terribly intimidated by tallish girls. You get up around 5' 10" (my height) and I start thinking about whether you're wearing heels, how I feel about my height compared to yours, whether I'm slouching, and it's downhill from there. Then, I start talking to the petite curly haired brunette. But, enough about my weird insecurities.

Where do you go to meet guys? Loud, dark bars? Loud, dark bars are the worst. Change it up. Go to a bar with ample lights. Go to the park. Go for a walk. Go anywhere. But not a conference. We've all seen Up in the Air. That stuff turns out terribly.

Also: smile. Just lock a dude's eyes and smile. That triggers some chemical deep within our brain that tells us you might want to talk to us.

Or hell, stop waiting to be approached and just go talk to a guy. It's scary, sure, but dudes do it. All the time. And we get shut down. All the time. It happens. We move on. You will, too, assuming the guy doesn't want anything to do with you. But I doubt that will happen. Reading way too much into 200 words, you seem cute, funny, and charming. Less come-hither looks, which obviously aren't your strong suit, and more saying stuff like you "know about flirting, on an objective level." I would laugh. If a guy doesn't laugh, drop him. If he does, touch his arm. It will feel SO NATURAL.

If nothing else works, go to Stockholm. Everyone there is tall and beautiful. It's terrifying.

How do I even begin. First, I am an actor. This means I am sort of a nomad. I go wherever someone is willing to pay me to dess up and speak words that aren't my own in front of a bunch of strangers. Second, I am quite possibly in love with a man 15 years older than me — also an actor.

I am freaked, A Dude. Said Actor is not Robert De Niro, or George Clooney, or Johnny Depp. He is just an Actor, meaning, like me, that he's a penniless nomad. UNlike me, however, he is penniless at the ripe age of 41. I am soon-to-be-26, and I have my eye on the prize in terms of somehow cobbling together enough savings to make a life for myself and my future children — 'cuz yeah, I think about having babies and dogs and a house and shit. So, I'm penniless, but at 25 it doesn't (YET) seem like a problem. At 41, it strikes me as a bit of a problem that said Actor — who says he is interested in having a family — hasn't been spending time PREPARING for that future. On top of this, I'm an only child, and said Actor's instability freaks the hell out of my parents, too. Plus, how do two actors/artists ever have a normal life together unless they're Brangelina? (Okay, I know they're a little supernormal, but, you know what I mean.)

Am I shallow in having concerns about my financial stability with this guy? I feel like a wicked princess in a fairytale who marries for money rather than love. I love this dude, even beyond the wrinkles and the decidedly NOT 25-year-old body he has — I love him. Everyone who knows him adores him. He's sexy to me. He's intelligent. He makes me laugh. He's devoted to me. We collaborate well as artists, and we drive each other nuts in a very sexy Kate-and-Petruchio kind of way. But his financial instability makes me question what he'll be like as a life partner, and it highlights our age difference.

Then, of course, there's a bunch of other age-related stuff . . . our friends are from two totally different generations, he'll die far before me, he'll be 70 when I'm 55 . . . whoa, A Dude. Could this ever possibly work unless he were, like, Hugh Heffner? Is this doomed and should I look for a nice 32-year-old who teaches art to elementary school kids? That sounds kinda sexy. Oh, did I mention that he's pretty much ready to commit to me for the rest of his life and at soon-to-be-26 I am definitely not ready for that? Yeah, that too. OK, A Dude, SOLVE IT!

How do I even begin? Two actors can absolutely have a normal life together, though I would not hold up Brangelina as my ideal. But yes, there are plenty of working actors who make it work. You two can be totally fine.

The money thing: yeah, it's concerning he doesn't have any savings, but not a dealbreaker. Money comes and goes, writes the broke freelance writer. He could get a job on Broadway tomorrow. (It happened to a friend of mine. He got fired almost immediately afterward, but that's beside the point.) He could learn from your financial wherewithal. He could work other jobs. He can start saving. (Note: 32-year-old teachers are also poor.)

The bigger issue here is whether you should be with him at all. I'll just come out and say it: I don't think so. I don't doubt you love him, but you're looking for outs. You throw up issue after issue. And there are plenty of them. Money. Family. Age. Maturity levels (yours: high. His: less so). It's like you have this romantic narrative in your head that you want to work, but isn't going to. The last part about commitment is the kicker. Get out, lady; you're not ready and it doesn't sound like he's the right one anyway.

I was offered my dream job this summer in a small mid-western town, and my boyfriend of five years and I decided I should take it. I had to move there quickly, and the boyfriend had to stay behind for six weeks for work.

My second weekend in town, I went out drinking with some new friends and met a guy at a bar, who was also new to town, and he tagged along with my group. We got drunk and ... I slept with him. I felt awkward and awful, as I'd never done the P-in-V with anyone other than my boyfriend. In the next week or two, I casually e-mailed the guy twice to try and be friends (I was stupid and thought, hey, we can be cool about this. No one needs to know), but he knew I had a boyfriend and didn't want anything to do with me. Fair enough. I didn't say anything to my boyfriend because it was a one time thing in years and I didn't want to hurt him, especially since he'd just given up everything to come out here. A few weeks later, my boyfriend moved out here and it's been wonderful for six months. I've had no further interest in straying. When I see the guy around town, I avoid him. It's all good.

BUT, that guy is now dating the intern at my office. She's a cool girl, but I'm careful to keep my distance when I run into them EVERYWHERE (it's a small town). They're getting more serious, and I worry it means he'll be joining her for office functions, happy hours etc.

I don't believe he's said anything, and that's great with me. But is this inevitably going to blow up in my face? Should I tell my bf about the one-night-stand I neglected to mention six months ago? Do I need to tell the intern? Is it okay if I leave well enough alone and hope for the best?

So here's the thing: telling him about it now, six months after the fact, is essentially transferring the guilt you feel about seeing this guy everywhere on to your boyfriend, who's going to be forced to sit calmly at company picnics and whatnot while trying not to murder the guy who had sex with his girlfriend.

It also seems like the only reason you'd be telling him now is because you started to see this guy more, not because you a) felt guilty about cheating on your boyfriend or b) some explanation that doesn't revolve around making yourself feel better. If I were the guy and I realized why you were telling me, I would be, justifiably, more pissed about your timing and reasoning for telling me than you cheating on me. Anger on top of anger. Mistakes like one-night stands happen and can be forgiven; telling him now to make your life easier is harder to stomach.

So, reluctantly, I'd say if you've held out this long without telling him, don't do it now.

Don't tell the intern. She doesn't need to deal with your problems (unless she was dating the guy at the time).

The lesson here, as always, is if you find the perfect job in a small mid-western town (congrats, btw! In this economy!), don't go out drinking with friends and have a one-night stand with someone who will eventually start dating an intern in your office. A problem as old as time.

Previously: Brolessness.

A Dude is one of several rotating dudes who know everything. Do you have any questions for A Dude? (300 word max, please.)

Photo by areashot, via Shutterstock



395 Comments / Post A Comment

atipofthehat

LW#1,

Always trust intuition about infidelity.

Follow up by asking him point-blank, face to face, eye to eye, as calmly as possible?

bitzy

@atipofthehat Absolutely. If you never do/say anything about it, it will eat at you forever. Ask him calmly and his face should tell you your answer. There is no "Just forget it."

hulia

@atipofthehat And in conjunction with that very sound advice: no snooping!

EpWs

@hulia Because it bears repeating: NO SNOOPING.

KaiMcN@twitter

@atipofthehat I have to agree, intuition (even when possibly clouded by pregnancy hormones) is worth listening to.

Killerpants

I don't know about intuition myself, but this is your partner in life...that means you TALK to him. About feelings and stuff. Like these feelings. So like "hon, I'm not sure why I'm feeling unsettled about this right now, and maybe we don't need to figure out exactly why I am because regardless of why the fact of the matter is I'm paranoid that maybe you cheated on me. Did you?" And then he responds. Most likely saying "No, I really didn't, I promise." And, barring direct (un-snooped) evidence to the contrary, you trust him, because you trust him enough to want to try to spend your life with him and raise a kid together. So you trust him when you he says he didn't cheat on you.

Killerpants

ps - I know it's not so easy as flipping a switch to go from Unsettled/Insecure to Trust, but that's why the talking, and being honest with him about about how maybe you're just having a bout of misplaced insecurity so not to take it personally, but hey really let's talk this shit over until I can get over my unsettledness. Which, even if it becomes tedious, he'll do because he loves you. Communication! It's for lovers!

Donovanesque

@atipofthehat Yeah, this is my feeling as well, especially if her instincts tend to be pretty dead on in general (I feel like mine are, though I often wish they were wrong.) She should ask about it.

gobblegirl

@atipofthehat This is just an idea that I’m throwing out there, if it’s terrible please tell me so:
I definitely think LW1 should straight-up ask her boyfriend. But maybe she can couch the conversation like “I know you love me and I trust you, but with the baby inside me I am already more stressed out and hormone-y about stuff, and I need some extra reassurance. So I need to ask to ask you this, even though it’s unpleasant, and I need an honest answer: Did you hook up with any other girls while on tour?”
If she makes it a bit more “maybe it’s the fetus” I think this might help it not become a fight. Or is this going to make him take the conversation less seriously and be like “pregnant bitches be crazy”? I don’t know!

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@atipofthehat: Communication is definitely the key here. However, gut feelings need at least some kind of seed to sprout from - LW doesn't speak of any evidence, whatsoever. The pregnancy and it's effects should be weighed heavily here.

mabellegueule

@gobblegirl I was thinking along the same lines, but I'm currently a bitter single lady and have never been pregnant so I don't know how much weight my words hold. Still, though, I think talking to him is key.

Tweets of Rage@twitter

@atipofthehat : Makes sense. She's stuck on "Did he cheat on me?" and the only way to move on from that is to ask him. Then, when he says no, she can move on to, "Is he lying to me?"

scully

@Too Much Internet I agree. I'm 6 mos pregnant and my husband just got back from a trip where he did some things that made me feel insecure and unhappy. But I'm pretty sure those things would not have bothered me much at all had I not been with child.
There is something about the vulnerability of pregnancy coupled with the hormones and (let's face it) body size and shape changes that really do a number on you.
If I were this lady I would ask my husband the question point blank, but fully acknowledge TO HIM that it could be pregnancy insecurities rearing their ugly heads & prompting me to ask.
And the final piece is to be satisfied with his answer when he gives it and not second guess( somthing I am having to tell myself right now too).

Vera Knoop

@atipofthehat Yes. Thank you. A Dude's advice here really bothered me. To me it sounds like maybe he did something that was grey-area according to the rules of their relationship, and that telling her about his bandmates was his way of differentiating what he did from "real" cheating in his mind.

Vera Knoop

@KaiMcN@twitter Clouded or supercharged. Hormones are funny that way.

Vera Knoop

@Too Much Internet The "everyone else in the band but me cheated; where's my gold star?" is the seed. It may or may not be something real, but that seems to be the source of her discomfort.

Cha dTuigim

@Vera Knoop I was kind of thinking this too. I haven't cheated, but I know that, especially when I was younger, one way I'd try to make myself feel less guilty for doing something I wasn't supposed to, is by coming out and mentioning other people's misdeeds, with the implication that hey, I may not be totally awesome, but compared to other people, I'm a saint!

reykjaviking

@scully Totally agree. Pregnancy hormones and becoming a mother kick a mama-bear instinct into overdrive. You want to protect yourself and your little from harm one at all costs, and I'm not sure that it's something that most guys can fully understand.

annev6

@atipofthehat I have to disagree. "Paranoia" and "intuition" are somewhat interchangable. The kicker of being in a long term relationship with someone who has to travel a lot is that you have to put yourself out there and just trust them, period. If he were the kind of guy who'd bang a groupie behind his pregnant wife's back and then come home and lie about it, she would've been having this feeling long before now. I'm gonna blame the pregnancy for making her feel insecure/paranoid.

JessicaLovejoy

LW1: Don't throw him out apropos of "nothing", but keep your eyes and ears open. I'm not as quick to dismiss your suspicions as this Dude is.

Pizzahut

@JessicaLovejoy I agree 100%. I hope this lady feels comfortable discussing her fears with her husband, and I think they should. Otherwise some short-term couples counseling might also be helpful in addressing her fears if they are unfounded in truth, or possibly caused by pregnancy hormones or the other associated anxieties with the impending changes to their family.

atipofthehat

@Pizzahut

In my experience, pregnancy hormones make women very, very sane.

bokkie

@JessicaLovejoy Agreed. I hate to say it, but I've never suspected someone was cheating and been wrong (and yes, unfortunately, there have been multiple instances of this).

hairspin

@JessicaLovejoy Yeah me neither. I'd say your intuition "may" be wrong this time

saul "the bear" berenson

@bokkie I'll tell you a story. I dated a guy for years. Not an awesome relationship, a lot of early 20's drama, he had some addiction issues, etc, but regardless of all that, we were in love. Then he started getting kinda mean and when I was like "hey what's up with the meanness" he ended it. Bam! Over. It was a shock, and I always always had a hunch that the breakup was about something else that he wasn't copping to, and he always denied denied denied that there was any other factor in the breakup. Cut to four months later when he started relentlessly pursuing one of my best friends. I had always had a funny feeling about him and her, like hmm, in another life, would they be a couple? And then after our breakup, they did indeed become a couple (and then broke up because he's a pot head... victory!) But yes, when I found out they were hooking up, the feeling of "oohh yes, THIS is what that was about" was both vindicating and nauseating.

Trust your gut. Just ask him about it.

The Lady of Shalott

LW#1: I have not personally been pregnant, but of my friends and family who have, they have said that the pregnancy and hormones can sometimes make women a little crazy. Maybe sitting down and having a nice, calm discussion...I suppose, as calm as possible...would help your fears on this count?

Also, this photo of A Pilot Dude gave me whiplash from how fast I checked to see if it was my douchebag ex-boyfriend the pilot. It's not, because he was not baldish, but still. MY EYES.

AnnaHowardShaw

@The Lady of Shalott I think we dated the same guy. My douchebag ex-boyfriend is a pilot who I would double-take for that, but not baldish as well. Uh oh.

The Lady of Shalott

@AnnaHowardShaw Please tell me yours wasn't from Ontario!

bangs
bangs

@The Lady of Shalott I know a few douchebag helicopter pilots from Ontario... Who I have thankfully never dated.

hallelujah

@The Lady of Shalott I don't doubt your people's experience, but getting pregnant has actually given me a lot of clarity, regarding my partner specifically. Outside of the occasional bouts of rage, I'm actually quite saner as a pregnant person.

pollykettle

@The Lady of Shalott being pregnant totally makes you crazy. im with the most trustworthy guy, but the thought of him with other women fucks with my head. the most insane thing about these thoughts is that he doesn't even hang out with other women, ever. i think i've just got some family-protecting hormone rushing around my brain- i can't wait to feel normal again.

MilesofMountains

@The Lady of Shalott Yours wasn't fishing mad, was he? With a name that starts with J (never mind, all pilots have J names for some reason)? Because I didn't date him, but I worked with a pilot who looks a lot like that photo, and I think he was from back east somewhere.

Dorothea

LW3: if you don't think that a dude is right and you don't want to break up with him, talk to him about your financial concerns! because maybe 41-year-old will surprise you and tell you that he is ready to settle down--and that includes getting a stabler, more remunerative job. or maybe you will realize that, if you really do want that stability, you will have to provide it yourself--you will be the one who has to get a stable job and save up the money. but either way, you'll be in a better decision to figure out whether this is a thing that can work for you.

and this is an aside that isn't totally justified by the letter, but the fact that you also have this unstable job that you don't think is appropriate for the kind of lifestyle you want seemed very notable to me. are you prepared to give up your dreams (or compromise them) to ensure that you can live the way that you want to, or is that something you only expect your partner to do? it might be okay if you want to be supported by somebody else, but you have to be realistic about it.

meaux

@blahstudent. Sound advice! What blahstudent said.

fuck fuck fuck

@blahstudent for real. also DAT PUPPY

M. Flourish Klink@twitter

@blahstudent Agreed, but dude, the worry about the age difference really stood out to me—because I'm 25 and happily living with a 40-year-old. I've thought about being 55 and him being 70, but the upshot of the thought is always, "and man, that means I'll always feel young and beautiful around him!" not "OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD SO OLD WHAT IF THERE ARE MEDICAL ISSUES." Because, you know, I love him and shit. So I think the original response was right on to say that this seems like a thing where LW3 is trying to talk herself out of something.

ThatWench

@M. Flourish Klink@twitter So many other me-people! I just turned 26 while living with a 40-year-old boyfriend person. However, mine is way more into his appearance than I am, so I don't often get the "I'm so beautiful in this room!" feeling (he thinks I am, I just get the same insecurities as everyone else on this planet).

But I do buy that something's nagging at LW about this guy. She could be over hung-up on the "supposed to"s of life (I have a number of female friends who spend their time talking about "never" dating anyone more than 5 years older; it definitely took me some getting used to), or there could be other legitimate dealbreakers around.

H.R. Vixen

M. Flourish Klink@twitter
oo oo me too! my boyfriend person is 47 and i'm 28 and we are starting to have the "should we live together? should we buy a boat and sail away?" talk....
and how do i refer to boyfriend-person? he for sure ain't no boy...

ThatWench

@rosebug I've always been a fan of "beau" for its relationship-status-ambiguity as well as all-ages-friendly-ness. (Seriously! Can't you just imagine a very serious 6-year-old talking about her kindergarten "beau"?) I also suggested it recently to someone who had a female partner of lightly-defined relationship status, and the suggestion seemed well-received, but we're generally a "fun with confonding gender norms!" gang.

Of course, neither my feller nor I have ever felt weird with the "boyfriend"/"girlfriend" labels, so we use them.

Sydney C

Hmm, I don't want to be a h8er, but a lot of these answers have a hint of "The problem is you, LW and not any of these dudes. Fix yourself, ladies" HMMM...

whizz_dumb

@Sydney C I agree, and I'm usually reluctant to hate. While I am all for blunt and direct honesty, this dude seems a little harsh and casual (casually harsh?) about blaming the LWs. Also in the LW2 answer, "Then, I start talking to the petite curly haired brunette". Well that doesn't help LW2 much, thanks for sharing though. And the overall lesson for LW4 is basically 'You fucked up, shut up and deal with it'? To be fair, she did fuck up and it is tricky one, but I think a little tact is in order to sympathize a little.

julia

@Sydney C Yeah, I could not get into this dude. yes. Casually harsh. "He's wonderful." Oh, really? Atipofthehat's advice up there is better than that. When you don't know much about either party, encouraging open communication is sound advice.

whizz_dumb

@julia he is a golden god, more than a man, a perfect saint totally devoted to you

Sydney C

@whizz_dumb

"Then, I start talking to the petite curly haired brunette".

Congratulations. How wonderful.

oeditrix

@Sydney C To be fair, we tall women are terrifying and unlovable. So there's that.

Faintly Macabre

@oeditrix Because my tallness means I can grab small animals from trees, I have sharpened my teeth for easier killing and consumption. I think that might be part of the the problem for some of us.

itmakesmewonder

@Sydney C etc. Would you rather the Dude lied? Clearly the LW's experience in actual life is reflecting this same attitude. I don't understand the antagonism for Dude admitting his insecurity about this issue.

selkie86

@Faintly Macabre Sharpened teeth-- oooh! That's what I've been doing wrong.

oeditrix

@Faintly Macabre So that's it! I was thinking it was because my chin looks too big from a low angle.

Sydney C

@itmakesmewonder I appreciate the honesty, although, as whizz_dumb pointed out, it's not the most helpful statement.

oeditrix

@itmakesmewonder Eh, it was more the way he said it: "Funny, I also prefer your friend to you! Which probably makes me ill-suited to give out advice, but I guess I will half-ass it anyway." He's not the worst, just seemed a little inconsiderate.

slutberry

@whizz_dumb I AM A GOLDEN GOD!!!... And you can tell Rolling Stone magazine that my last words were... I'M ON DRUGS!!!!!!!!!!

danpossiblytheman

@Sydney C For the record, I'm a dude, most definitely, and I also didn't like this dude [and from the start figured the comments would be going at him]. I just thought the advice was much less nuanced and understanding than usual. Also, WHY AM I ADDICTED TO THIS COLUMN. Theoretically I could just ask myself any questions.

As for tall women: Whatever. insecure guy is insecure. I'm over 6' and I get insecure talking to women for all sorts of reasons, and then I force myself to get over it. She should just smile more! That was the one really good piece of advice.

whizz_dumb

@Sydney C We could just ask ourselves any questions, as dudes. hahaha. I'm addicted to. I hate to naysay the one good piece BUT, my Mom (who's pretty cool) has said she hates it when people tell her, "You should smile more". Paraphrase: No, this is the face I make. I'm not gonna ham it up or be fake just so I can look pleasant for you. I say she should just make dry stone-faced jokes more and if the dude doesn't get it, F him. But you're right insecurities should be overcome, as with jealousy, etc.

Inkling

So I've been smiling more, at like, cute people I pass or whatever, and then the other day I looked in the mirror, and oh my gods. What. It was tight and worried and hungry. It was neither human nor expression.
So, there's also, make sure you're making a face like a sticker that gets put on good homework.

Also when a guy worries that I'm taller than him, it's the same reaction when they worry that I'm stronger? All I hear is "I'm uncomfortable that I am not physically dominant over you" and wow is that creepy.

chickaboom

@oeditrix agreed. this was such a legit question — some ladies get approached a ton, and it has little to do with their level of attractiveness — and A Dude basically phoned it in.

gtrachel

@Sydney C Agreed. I'm not a tall girl but I know some, and one of them in particular has this palpable disappointment before men who aren't taller than she is. If I were a guy, I'd be crippled with insecurity around her.

Vera Knoop

@Inkcrafter Obviously you need to smize more.

Cha dTuigim

@oeditrix Lies! Slanderous lies!

noReally

Pregnant woman, do not trust pregnancy intuition. It is your cavewoman brain telling you to be extra protective and careful and paranoid. That's its job. When the baby is born it will tell you to curl up in your den with your cub and bite anyone who comes near it. It is crazy, but you don't have to be. Well, for a couple of weeks post partum maybe you can just go with it. But only six months along, you're still the boss of it.

JessicaLovejoy

@noReally curl up in your den with your cub and bite anyone who comes near it.

Replace "cub" with "Chipotle."

candybeans

@noReally yeah, that's kinda what I was thinking. I don't think she's being "crazy," but I think there's something evolutionary going on that's making her paranoid and not necessarily evidence-based. Intuition is totally worth listening to, always, but i would be slightly more skeptical of intuition when you're just a vibrating mass of babymaking hormones.

BUT, i don't agree with A Dude on the topic of him bringing up the cheating of his bandmates as evidence that he def didn't cheat. I can imagine him dwelling on his cheat constantly, and feeling compelled to talk about it with you in some manner, and bringing it up in this way to get it out of his mind/gauge your horrified reaction to the other cheaters.

noodge

@noReally I kinda said the same thing below, but much more wordy. well done :-)

jaimie

@noReally I agree with you guys, and I think it's more than just the hormones, it's the stress of a major life changing event. I had a similar freak out on my boyfriend a couple years ago in the month before we were going to be going from long-distance couple to moving-in-together-in-a-city-1000-miles-away-which-neither-of-us-had-ever-even-been-to-so-I-could-start-grad-school couple, and the stress of that, worrying if he would back out, worrying if he would hate it, or me, after we got there, etc. caused me to have some major "intuition" moments where I was convinced he had been cheating on me without a shred of evidence.

So basically, don't trust your "intuition" under stress.

snuffleupagus

@noReally Yeah, I agree about this. I'm not a dude, but when I'm dwelling on a subject or issue I find it coming up constantly in my own conversation. I wouldn't say that him talking about the other dudes means he's not cheating.

LeafySeaDragon

@noReally my pregnancies never told me my husband was cheating on me. :/

maevemealone

Not to be a total underminer of A Dude, but from personal experience as an observer and target, I've never known the husband of a pregnant woman to not cheat, or at least try to misbehave. It sucks, and I'm sorry. It's lead to massive disappoint in even dear friends. I hope your husband is the exception of course! :/

JessicaLovejoy

@maevemealone HOLY SHIT. POPCORN GIF. OH HERE GO HELL COME.

thebestjasmine

@maevemealone Every single man you know whose wife has been pregnant has tried to cheat?

Daisy Razor

@maevemealone Wait, ALL of your pregnant friends have cheating husbands? Girl, where are you living? In a soap opera?

KatnotCat

@maevemealone Say whaaaaa

EpWs

@JessicaLovejoy I am hopping on this thread so I can get ALL the updates.

noodge

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher yeah, same.

meaux

@maevemealone. Wow, that's a pretty broad brush to paint with--every husband of every pregnant woman tries to cheat? None of the dads I know cheated on their pregnant wives. Pregnancy hormones can warp your judgment and make you overreact--this I know from experience.

mabellegueule

@meaux I also agree this is a pretty sweeping generalization. The "tried to misbehave" thing makes me wonder how strict her definition of cheating is, though.

angelinha

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Me too. Must alert all pregnant women about this very dangerous phenomenon.

leonstj

@maevemealone - As a dude who is in the "dudes I hang out with are becoming dads" age range," I can verify that there are a fuckton of dudes who, once their wife gets a belly full o' their mutual baby get all:

"Dude, you know all the shit I said about my wife when I said we were gonna get married, and you were like, why would you do that, did your dick fall off, and I was like, nah, I love her man? It turns out that like, the amount I thought I loved her then is fuckin' pennies on the dollar to now. This shit is wild."

And then they proceed to not fuck strange ladies (and man, I'm single and all, but the amount my dude-friends get flirted w/ at bars AFTER marriage vs before is INSANE) and stay loyal to their wives.

A lot of dudes do shitty things, but it is, in my experience, way less common for dudes to fuck around when their lady is pregnant.

dk
dk

@maevemealone Who are these men you're interacting with?! Jesus. I don't know a single dude who cheated on a pregnant partner. But thanks for giving me something to needlessly freak out about, 4 months into my own pregnancy. My husband's going to LOVE this.

EpWs

@leon.saintjean Point of clarification: do said dude-friends get flirted with MORE at bars after marriage, or less? INSANE could go either way.

Ophelia

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher ditto re: thread-following, and if my (happy-to-flirt-with-everything*) husband is any indication, the ladies flirt MORE. Maybe because it's "safer"?

*When I say everything, I mean women, men, kids, puppies...it's like he's running for office.

Megoon

@maevemealone - NEVER? How many observations are we talking about here?

EpWs

@dk "Hi honey, some person on the internet said you were cheating on me. Not you, specifically, but ALL THE IMPENDING FATHERS. So what have you done?"

Please photograph face response.

Lily Rowan

@JessicaLovejoy popcorn.gif is right!

dk
dk

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I just texted him "Lady on the internet informs me that every man she's known with a pregnant partner has cheated during said pregnancy. PLS EXPLAIN." I WILL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS.

Statham

@maevemealone Holy crap. Any time I've been in the area of a dude and his pregnant girlfriend/wife, he's mystified by the fact that there's a baby all up in there, and it's his. Like, "HELL YEAH, THAT'S MY SEEEED."

They're usually pretty stoked to have this family starting or continuing, and the last thing they seem to want to do is risk it by cheating.

noodge

@dk i am pleased as punch that you just did that...

(ETA: all my dude friends with kids seem to have thought, across the board, that their pregnant ladies were SRSLY SEKSY - apparently they just couldn't get enough of it. maybe that's as much of an anomaly as the group of friends that maevemealone is talking about?)

atipofthehat

@maevemealone

I didn't cheat or try to cheat when my wife was pregnant. I was too busy seeing to her every whim.

#uxorious

EpWs

@dk For the love of all that is holy, PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT HE SAYS.

Daisy Razor

@dk You are my hero. This thread is making my life.

Ophelia

@atipofthehat I think that we should have you give Husband Lessons (although I imagine most of them will figure it out on their own).

dk
dk

@leon.saintjean I don't know if my husband gets flirted with more now, since he is CLUELESS as to when someone is flirting with him (rewind 3.5 years to me beating him over the head with my interest in him asking me out), but he did tell me that one woman went a little crazy on him once when he went to a bar with a friend (without me), pointing at his ring and yelling "WHERE'S YOUR WIFE, HUH?" and wouldn't leave him alone about it. She then proceeded to talk to him about why she prefers one night stands. My clueless husband is so cute.

Aw shit, I just realized I was pregnant when that happened. I bet he slept with her, didn't he. I'M TEXTING HIM AGAIN.

heyladies

@maevemealone I am currently more than 8 months pregnant and feel like I am surrounded by tales of infidelity from close family members and as unnerved as it temporarily made me, I realized my own situation is remarkably different. It forced us to have a conversation about cheating and he just wouldn't and doesn't want to. Hormone-wise, yes, just thinking about such things can be overwhelming. It can be hard to get a grip sometimes. I agree with the calmly talk it out method. Sometimes pregnant ladies need a lot of extra reassurance.

leonstj

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher - Oh, it's so much more. There have been nights when I have considered buying a wedding ring for myself (joking, obvs thats skeezy and I wouldn't, BUT STILL).

JessicaLovejoy

@dk Weird, I just heard a voice wail "DAMN YOU, LADY ON THE INTERNETTTTTTT" but I'm not really clear on where it came from.

KaiMcN@twitter

@maevemealone You've never known a dude with a pregnant lady that didn't try to cheat? Not ONE?!

maevemealone

@meaux @Daisy Razor et al It is what is. I'd say 8 out 10 guys I've known with pregnant wives got grabby/wandering hands, outright kissed, tried to kiss, put major moves on me or other female friends or slept with random women. Sometimes alcohol was involved, sometimes it was deliberate set up situations to put moves on someone, although that was a known scuzz ball dude. I hope you're all married to angels!

Daisy Razor

@maevemealone You need new guy friends.

EpWs

@maevemealone Whaaaaat, that is terrible. I am so sorry about that.

thebestjasmine

@maevemealone Maybe it's just that all of your guy friends are assholes.

dk
dk

@leon.saintjean I think that was the plot for that awful Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston movie, but I won't say more out of fear of outing myself as the one person who actually watched it.

joie

@maevemealone you'd think that because I was one of those pregnant ladies who was in fact cheated on (on my birthday, no less!) I'd be rushing to agree with you here....

NOPE. I know plenty of loving, devoted men (and women!) who have stuck with their pregnant partner and not fucked around on them. The ones who do cheat justify it as "I'm so freaked about being a dad! I must make sure I can still bone!" But, every single expectant father in the history of time?

NOPE.

EpWs

@heyits That SUCKS that you were cheated on, period. (plus pregnancy, plus BIRTHDAY? Guh, girlfriend.) Very happy and reassured to hear that you still believe in the ability of dudes to not be terrible. *hugs*

realtalk

@thebestjasmine True that. I hope (HOPE) that my guy friends would have more integrity and honesty. Or if not, why am I even friends with them?

joie

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher awww thanks lady. I'm definitely over it by now. It was 6 years ago and the baby daddy and I are on good terms. He's redeemed himself many times over and apologized for his juiceboxy behavior. And oddly, what's helped shaped my more positive approach to men has been watching my two closest ladyfriends and their guys. One has had 3 miscarriages in the past 9 months, and her partner has been so loving, patient and supportive. The other one is now 8 months pregnant, and her partner is madly in love, has built a cradle and carved all sorts of rattles and toys for the gestating wee one. So, opposite ends of the pregnancy spectrum, and both such wonderful guys. Dudes! Not all bad!

dj pomegranate

@dk I experienced so many emotions in quick succession while reading this thread.

KeLynn

@maevemealone Agreed with @thebestjasmine - who are you hanging out with!

chapstick

@JessicaLovejoy I'm more partial to http://imgur.com/plWks

I kinda hope OP comes back to defend her thread...

beanie

@dk I thought The Last Kiss (Zac Braff) was all about this phenom. EVERYONE DOES IT. EVERYONE.

Or you know, just juiceboxes do it.

PistolPackinMama

@atipofthehat I get the feeling you're kind of like that a lot of the time anyway. Like, attentive and nice.

Not that this means other men aren't attentive and nice but are all cheating bastards. Just saying... how much did your relationship change while she was knocked up?

maevemealone

@thebestjasmine @KeLynn Mostly they were coworkers or passing acquaintances, not people I'd call close friends. Hey, I'm glad you have had different experiences and mine has been the anomoly. Kudos to you all.

CyberAly

@maevemealone I have to agree - say WHAT?

As a recently pregnant woman who is seven weeks into the post partum hormone roller coaster, who even broke up with her boyfriend for a while during pregnancy, I still don't think he cheated, nor would I expect him to have. That said, hormones are a mindfuck beyond belief. I hate people who blame their bad behavior on hormones, but OH MY GOD it is ridiculously hard to stay sane sometimes. Looking back I was almost batshit crazy at points. Wow. I'm cussing a lot right now as I listen to Baby Einstein Pandora. Sorry about that.

heyladies

@heyits and now I'm teary eyed. that said, hearing the song "girls just wanna have fun" yesterday also inexplicably made me teary eyed.

AndSomethingElse

@chapstick OP did!

Agreed with Leon and others: the many dudes I know who have managed to knock their wives up have just been disgustingly in love with them about it. I am sometimes the "Guys night out!" guy, which means if they were going to misbehave I would be the one to see it. I've never seen it.

Married dudes do get flirted with more than single guys, because they're safe. But here's the thing: it only works until they respond. Married dudes who actually act like they'd like to hook up with said flirting women are like POISON DEATH TO THE ENTIRE BAR. The flirting girl will be revolted and run away and all her friends will run away too and now you're all pariahs. If you're a married guy and you feel like flirting, great! Have fun! But if you're a married guy and you feel like cheating, take the ring off. (And also, don't do that.)

thebestjasmine

@Alexander Yes, one time I was with a friend and a guy was flirting like hell with her and then I noticed his ring and gave her a signal about it. I think his buddy noticed that, because then the guy started trying to cover up his ring with his hand. Dude, we all saw it. We all think that you're an idiot.

atipofthehat

@PistolPackinMama

Ha, thanks.

We got closer and closer—and since the baby arrived, we've become a real team for the first time (a first ever for me). She was laid off while pregnant, so we had to move out of the city to cut our expenses in half, but that and a few other scary moments went well. There's a lot more sex during pregnancy than in the first 3 months after the birth. In those first 3 months, if the baby fell asleep, we would have locked eyes and said: "Quick! Now's our chance!"

...to get some sleep.

dk
dk

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Mr dk's response was simply "She sure has poor taste in friends." Word.

Hellcat

@leon.saintjean Sometimes one has a (non-wedding) ring one likes to wear, and sometimes it just so happens that it only fits well on that finger. You can't help what strange ladies might infer from that! Although if it's a type of lady who specifically prowls about for marrieds, maybe that idea is terrible after all...

AndSomethingElse

@thebestjasmine Ha...did he do the "Put your hand in your pocket and it comes out ringless" trick? That trick is great.*

* it is not great.

maevemealone

@dk Wow, thanks. Like I said, they weren't close friends of mine, I mostly just worked with them. It was very disappointing to me to find that guys I thought were devoted husbands turned out to be struggling with that role. It was an industry that involved a lot of travel and many broken marriages in the veterans, so perhaps they didn't have great mentors. After that job, I definitely eliminated dating guys in heavy travel related jobs. Anyways, my actual close guy friends I hope would be great during pregnancy.

Megasus

@leon.saintjean Maybe you should start wearing a fake wedding ring

thebestjasmine

@dk I hate to tell you this, but all men whose wives are pregnant will shoot them at some time in their pregnancy.

I mean, I should know this, because this has happened with all of the men I know in the maximum security prison that I work in.

whizz_dumb

@dk haha I was feeling bad for Mr. dk regarding your texts. But he handled that very well. Well done, sir.

slutberry

@everyone I was going to make a snarky comment but then I restrained myself.
The non-snarky version: I think that idea of "men always cheat on pregnant women" comes from several things: the misconception that pregnant women never want sex, the misconception that men never want sex with pregnant women, the misconception that having sex with a pregnant woman is bad for the baby,and the misconception that Dudes can't go nine months without sex, and the misconception that pregnancy is solely a Lady thing, and Dudes aren't excited about having a baby, too.

But did you notice how much I used the word "misconception"?

What makes me sad is that I think sometimes people internalize the misconceptions, so then when a Dude's Lady is pregnant, he's all, "Oh, but she won't want sex and we shouldn't have sex if she's pregnant! And I can't survive without sex!" and none of those things are true.

acookieaday

@maevemealone I really wonder about your group of friends. I've heard of people knowing one set of guys who all tend to cheat on their girlfriends, sometimes regularly, sometimes at bachelor parties (not just stripping, but stripper who also dabble in prostitution). I really think that there are whole groups of jerky guys who find each other while the rest non-jerks who are more likely not to cheat also band together. Get yourself another group cause those guys sound terrible.

acookieaday

@maevemealone I really wonder about your group of friends. I've heard of people knowing one set of guys who all tend to cheat on their girlfriends, sometimes regularly, sometimes at bachelor parties (not just stripping, but stripper who also dabble in prostitution). I really think that there are whole groups of jerky guys who find each other while the rest non-jerks who are more likely not to cheat also band together. Get yourself another group cause those guys sound terrible.

dk
dk

@acookieaday Get Rid Of Your Guy Friends, Seriously, They Are Revolting.

atipofthehat

@dk

If you're looking for him, he's making googoo eyes at Maeve right now!

saul "the bear" berenson

@dk I was waiting for this!

scully

@teffodee And Tom Brady. Don't forget Tom Brady.
Also I was having all the same reactions as you all over this comment, but then I realized that a dad-to-be tried to cheat with ME once!! I had totally forgotten about it. What a douche. But he wasn't all men ever.

EpWs

@heyits Oh my god, I want to give your friend who is struggling with miscarriages the biggest hug right now. I am sure that one would be heartbreaking enough, but three in nine months? She is a strong, strong lady, and I'm very glad she has a good man helping her out. /offtopicbutfine

joie

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher she's so amazing. I already admired her before all this happened, but now? All the props in the world to her. She's in her late 30s, and has wanted a baby for so long, but lacked the right partner. Now she has the right partner and her body isn't cooperating. I want to give her all the hugs in the world. She's just great. Aaaaaaaaand now I'm going to hop off the Hairpin to call her and let her know that. Thanks for the kind words, wordsnatcher! (sometimes I want to call you snatchy for short, but that seems...creepy.)

Gilgongo

@scully Me too, actually! This dude with a pregnant wife (my landlord's son) made the moves on me. But, that whole family was weird and scummy... so (his brother tried to make me put my hand on his junk LATER THAT SAME EVENING! And a few months later, we had to call the cops on our landlord for harassing us). I don't think it had anything to do with her being pregnant and everything to do with him being a tool. My husband was awesome and devoted and super super excited about being a dad when I was pregnant.
So, to summarize: a tool will cheat on his wife whether or not she's pregnant. I don't think a bun in the oven somehow changes a good guy into a cheater.

PistolPackinMama

@thebestjasmine Hey! What kind of prison work do you do? Can we be prison-work online-friends? And I am not surprised you do that kind of work, actually.

thebestjasmine

@PistolPackinMama Hah, that was a joke.

PistolPackinMama

@thebestjasmine And yet, a persuasive one...

rayuela

@thebestjasmine I see your maybe and raise you an almost certainly.

AndSomethingElse

@Gilgongo
"a tool will cheat on his wife whether or not she's pregnant."
And scene.

Dusk

@Statham I only have a experience pool of 1, but that was definitely true for us. My husband was all "Heyyy you're really sexyyy with that babyyy." Even he admitted it was coming out of left field for him (guys have hormones too!). That seems more likely than 100% cheating for everyone, forever.

Rubyinthedust

LW2 I'm a tallish with an addiction to shoes that put me over 6 feet, and i actually notice that I get approached more when I am sitting and guys can't tell. So maybe sit down in coffee shops more? haha jk. I've got nothing, except that its usually more successful if I just approach guys myself.

insouciantlover

@Rubyinthedust I'm over 6' when barefoot, and I am going to firmly go with the "approach guys yourself" thing.

It's not what anyone wants to hear, I know. But it's good practice on being open to flirtation, and while you'll likely experience some rejection, rejection actually helps you realize how entirely unpredictable romantic attraction can be.

Also, I don't have a very gracious way of putting this, but try to go out with someone other than petite brunette. I was wingwoman to petite blond for about 6 years and could never make myself available in the way that she could. This is in no way her fault, but it totally messed with my confidence. And I generally found that 9 out of 10 guys would rather hit on the super available, flirtatious petite blond than try to figure out if the "amazonian" (UGH) brunette was a bitch or just had a really strange sense of humor.

And unfortch, many guys are as intimidated by tall women as A Dude, and as he's at least aware of it unlike the majority of them. You'll get used to it, and eventually appreciate it since it helps you screen dudes who can't handle aaaalll of that *gestures at your fabulous statuesque body*.

Monkey

@insouciantlover Amazooooonian. Gah. The word that no matter how many times people insist it is, is never really a compliment.

itmakesmewonder

@all UGH, "AMAZON"!! I hate that shit more than words can say!

highjump

@Rubyinthedust Sitting down just leads to more awkwardness when you stand up. This is particularly funny/sad depending on your mindset when asked to dance at weddings.

@insouciantlover You have a good point, but I am reserved by nature. It is as big a part of me as my height. So I almost never take this advice unless pretty drunk.

insouciantlover

@Monkey omg I know. Tall fetishists are seriously strange.
"Do your legs go all the way up?"
"no I have internal organs and stuff."

Ophelia

@insouciantlover Ahh, my date to Junior Prom asked if I would wear heels, "so it'll look like I'm going with an Amazon." ...I'm only 5'8"!

insouciantlover

@highjump Drink more?

I know. It's a shitty set up. Dating got wayyyy easier for me when I started using the interwebs to snare my prey.

Faintly Macabre

@insouciantlover "try to figure out if the "amazonian" (UGH) brunette was a bitch or just had a really strange sense of humor." STORY OF MY LIFE. Or at least, of 90% of my interactions with non-gay males. Perfectly put.

tessamae

@Rubyinthedust RIGHT!? Ugh, I am 5'10" and spent most of my youth loathing my height something terrible. I didn't even own anything outside of a kitten heel until I was about 25, when my desire for pretty shoes began to squash my height insecurities. But I have always been firmly in the "rarely approached" category, though I too consider myself somewhat attractive and not a troll baby. One of my guy friends once confirmed that this is probably mostly due to my height, especially when in heels, which was hard to hear. Actually, he phrased it as "UGH. I hate when you're taller than me. It's weird". Nice.

Anyway. I used to get all bent out of shape over this apparent lady heightism, railing against how unjust it was and so forth. But then I realized that I sort of was the exact same way towards short dudes. I rarely look twice at a guy who's under 6', and even then I work to calculate the shoe heel height I could get away with and still be shorter.

Once I fully accepted all of this, it surprisingly made me feel much more confident about myself, which in turn helped with the approachability and so on, creating a much nicer cyclical effect.

gravie

@tessamae I used to wear heels to the bar on purpose so if a guy was at eye level I knew he'd be taller.
Now I like to be able to dance without rolling an ankle.

mabellegueule

@insouciantlover I'm 6'1. I want to hug you :) In a non-sexual, "I feel your pain" way.

I have to ask, though, is it really acceptable to flirt with people in public settings outside of bars? I feel like I wouldn't know where/how to begin approaching someone in a place that wasn't a designated pick-up place.

okaycrochet

@Monkey Especially because of the implication that I willingly removed one of my boobs in the name of accurate archery. WTF?!? If I am for real Amazonian, I am shooting your ass right now! Accurately!

PistolPackinMama

@insouciantlover YES THIS.

I was going to get all metaphor about how sometimes I feel like Obviously Pretty Friends is like the end display at Target whereas Unconventionally Pretty Friends (or self) are the equally good thing in the middle of the aisle.

But then I thought... ew objectifying. And then I thought remember that emotions are emotions and not accurate reflections of reality. And then I thought BE A SELF ADVOCATE, YO.

So YES. Go after them yourself. Like the nice old lady handing out samples at the store.

(Did I just go grocery shopping? Yes I did.)

insouciantlover

@okaycrochet my brother's most creative childhood insult to me was "you're just a wannabe ambidextrous amazon warrior!" My breasts hadn't grown in yet. Endearing, no?

insouciantlover

@mabellegueule I've never been the best arbiter of what is acceptable, but I say go for it. Although it's always more awkward without liquid courage, isn't it? But I think if you go in with the expectation of awkwardness than it's a bit more fun, and you can approach guys with non-sequitors and see how they roll before asking for their digits.

@PistolPackinMama Also also? I personally am attracted to people not for their conventional good looks, but for the things that make them uniquely attractive. I could hate on my nose bump and crazy hair all day, but for my boyfriend they're part of my "exotic" look that initially made me so attractive to him!

anise

@tessamae I used to have a thing about dating guys shorter than me but I apparently got over it; I'm 5'10" and 10 years ago I up and married a guy who's 5'4". We look kind of silly together, and sometimes I avoid heels because I don't want to make it worse--but that's totally my own thing because he'd love it if I'd wear heels more often.

I used to have the same problems as LW2 though - I never got the dudely attention and would get super sad about it. I feel like body language might go a long way toward making someone seem approachable or not. As a tall and gangly person I often find myself slouching or crossing my arms, which may not be the most inviting mode. It's especially bad if I'm feeling like a giant next to one of my friends (or my husband's sisters - seriously there's 3 of them and I can hold them all in my arms at the same time).

chevyvan

@Rubyinthedust Yep. The part where A Dude says, "and then I go talk to the short brunette," I was like DING DING DING DING. There's your answer, fools. Unforch, it's the reality of the society we live in today, amarite ladies?

Whenever I meet a guy and he comments on my height I know he is totally into me and also intimidated, but at least had enough nerve to go for it and I give him props. I'm not even really *that* tall in the grand scheme of things, but tall enough for it to cut down on my dating pool BIG TIME.

My best solution thus far has been online dating. Guys can see exactly how tall you are and it weeds out anyone who's not confident enough to date you. I only date guys who are 6'1"+ (if they say 6'0" exactly, there's an 80% chance they are lying). Currently dating a guy who is very tall, very confident about it, and told me he does not want to date the "short brunette friend" types. I can wear any shoes I want. It's great.

purefog

@chevyvan Not because I have a horse in this race or anything, but I feel constrained to point out that I am a guy and that I AM exactly 6'0". It has been entertaining and informative to learn that, were I to re-enter the world of online dating, I would be deemed shorter out of the gate. (Maybe if I said I was 6'3"? It's all so exhausting, as others have observed. . ..)

Rubyinthedust

@chevyvan YESSS agreed with everything you said. It took me years and I just finally realized after talking to several guy friends that yes, they are actually intimidated initially by tall girls and are way more likely to zero in on the short ones.

One night last fall I wore 6 inch heels out, was taller than every guy on the dancefloor but then locked eyes with this incredibly attractive but freakishly tall college basketball player who I ended up going home with. (He was 7'1'', I looked it up on the team roster)

So LW2, you could alternatively wear huge heels and find your niche with the giants?

Ham Snadwich

@chevyvan - I feel like short dudes and tall ladies have similar problems when it comes to dating.

atipofthehat

@Ham Snadwich

That's an insight I wish I'd had sooner, but I do agree. It's a barrier worth breaking.

needsmoresalt

@Rubyinthedust I'm tall and men still hit on me. I really think that a lot of guys will hit on anyone that appears to be female and has a friendly expression. Honestly, I don't think getting hit on by random guys is a good thing at all. It's so rare that you're going to hit it off with a stranger. Better to find someone you think you might have things in common with and be the one to hit on him, even if it's awkwardly.

Cha dTuigim

@Monkey I dated a (tall) woman who kind of used it enthusiastically to refer to herself, though there was a certain amount of tongue in cheek. Although... no, it wasn't 'Amazonian', it was something roughly equivalent in French. I can never remember the exact words that people use in French for some reason, it's always just the gist or my own mental translation.

angelinha

What? Why would you ever tell the intern?

KatnotCat

@angelinha God, leave the poor intern alone, please!

EpWs

@angelinha Interns have it hard enough without Inter Office Dramaz.

itmakesmewonder

@angelinha Unpaid interns will heretofore be paid in unearned emotional trauma.

itmakesmewonder

@angelinha Also seriously your userpic <3

noodge

hum. well, I for one think that the "trust your instincts" movement is a load of hooey. there, I said it.

My instincts are a combination of past experiences (let's see, bad across the board) and my neuroses (based upon past experiences and my natural anxiety levels, also bad). I have to imagine that is the case with many people, no?

when I trust my instincts, things tend to turn out badly. my instincts don't want me to trust ANY.BODY. and it's very difficult to build a loving, healthy relationship without trust. therapy and meditation are going a LONG way towards repairing me, and WOW life is pretty awesome when i'm not giving in to my effed up instincts!

Now, I wouldn't be QUITE as dismissive as A Dude... like, is there ANYTHING besides what you mentioned to make you think your guy is cheating? Anything? sometimes we see/hear things that almost don't register, but cause our intuition to get prickly.

but if he mentioned that his band-mates cheat, i think it seem unlikely he would? like, if he were doing something like that, would he really want to start a conversation with you about other people doing it?

I don't think you're crazy, I think you're needing a comfortable home for you and your baby, and you are worried about that based on his career and what you've heard about the other guys in the band. Your hormones/situation will demand that you have confidence in your home stability, and you mind will likely be doing things (like repeatedly worrying about cheating) in order to try to fireproof your life. You CAN talk to him about it, and I would suggest that as well to try to help allay your concerns.

EpWs

@teenie My instincts are often a Pile Of Hooey as well. (See also: PMS makes me think crazy things.) (See also: neuroses.) (See also: genetically predisposed worrywart.)

Remember A Lady (perhaps A Married Lady?) from several weeks ago--brains make thoughts like butts make poops, and none of it necessarily means anything? Lifechanging. Going on a throw pillow. Etc.

TheBourneApproximation

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher My period makes me think crazy things. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep makes me think crazy things. Spending too much time on the internet makes me think crazy things. Not eating lunch before 2 pm makes me think crazy things.

I dread to think what having my body and hormones overhauled by pregnancy might do to my bullshit "instincts."

EpWs

@TheBourneApproximation I'm not planning on having kids, but based on my mom's experience, I should probably start preparing for the Crazy that is menopause now.

mabellegueule

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Ahhh that was indeed a great A Lady quote! Thank you for reminding us all :)

atipofthehat

@teenie

He's in a band, was on a three-week tour opening for a national act. Is intuition really needed?

EpWs

@atipofthehat Are you suggesting that all Dudes In Bands cheat? Because when you add that to the aforementioned All Dudes With Pregnant Partners cheat, we are running out of Dudes.

Also, what if said Dudes In Bands have Pregnant Partners? Is cheating uber-inevitable, or do the cheating dispositions cancel each other out?

noodge

@atipofthehat well, I think you may be overgeneralizing. i have a number of friends who are in bands and tour... one of them i'm fairly certain is a cheater, the others i have full confidence that they don't diddle other ladies whilst on the road. i think it depends on the person, and the "people in bands cheat" paradigm is kinda played out and not true. if a cheater's gon' cheat, they'll cheat... whether they are in a band or not.

Megoon

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Oh god. When I think about my mom's menopause, I think that maybe I should just die at 55.

lisma

@teenie You are me.

gravie

@TheBourneApproximation I'd like to throw in that reading advice columns (not Hairpin ones, but the Dear Wendy site is a prime example) turn me into the most paranoid overthinker ever. And that's me on a full night's sleep with a good blood caffeine level, nowhere near my period.
I get the feeling I'll be a huge Pregzilla whenever I do get around to spawning.

lisma

@teenie let's make a Cheaters Gonna Cheat gif.

noodge

@ginalouise yessssssss...

EpWs

@Megoon 55? Try 45. My ass is DOOMED.

Blushingflwr

@teenie I don't think I've ever regretted going with my gut.
That is not to say that intuition is always right, but for me, that gut instinct is often really my subconscious brain trying to tell me what I really want/know as opposed to my superego trying to follow along with some script I think I'm supposed to follow or do what everyone else wants because I want to be conciliatory or I don't have confidence in myself. Or it's the subconscious that has been paying attention pointing out all the stuff that I haven't been paying attention to consciously.

TheBourneApproximation

@gravie Same here! I'm thinking crazy thoughts RIGHT NOW.

billie_crusoe

@teenie Oh god, me too. Trusting my instincts means TRUST NO ONE and be alone forever. That shit is hard. Therapy!

atipofthehat

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher

I'm suggesting that Dudes In Bands have many, many more opportunities. And that when, every day the bucket goes to the well, one day the bottom will drop out.

The celebrity exception, the unrepeatable combination...danger lurks. But, of course, just as there are people on tour who never drink or take drugs, there are people on tour who never have opportunistic sex when no one will ever know.

lisma

@teenie HOLY SHIT. Do not do a Google image search for "cheaters gonna cheat." Just saw the worst picture of a man who had horrible burning on his junk and all around. Evidently he was a cheater who cheated and then his girlfriend poured hot oil on his cheating junk.

noodge

@ginalouise wow, way to take one for the team!

lisma

@teenie anything for you guys.

scully

@TheBourneApproximation And pregnancy is pretty much exactly like all of these things combined! It's fun.

Vera Knoop

@teenie I think that mentioning it, in some personality types, is totally consistent with a guilty conscience. Especially if he did something he considers "not as bad" as whatever they did. It a) vents the obsessive thoughts he could be having about it and b) reminds him that whatever he did, he isn't as bad as his bandmates. I don't know whether he's that kind of person, but the LW probably does.

Not saying that this is what happened-- I don't have a horse in this race, and I'd rather she be wrong, obviously-- but since she knows him (presumably quite well), that is also part of her past experience and informs her intuition. My partner and I can't lie to each other at ALL; we're ridiculously transparent to each other, but probably not so much to other people.

BUT I completely agree with your ultimate advice: Talk to him, LW. Use your words, and listen to his!

Courtney Young@twitter

@ginalouise Obviously, I did some equivalent of RUNNING to the nearest google image search to be thoroughly grossed out. What is wrong with me?

apb
apb

@atipofthehat I've worked with bands for a decade, I've toured with them a lot over the years, & have a lot of band dudes/ladies who are friends, and I have no evidence that they're more likely to cheat than non-band-members. Musicians are more likely to be self-centered egotists without a strong sense of consequence (not all of them, but a disproportionate number - it helps them be geniuses & commit to the totally unsustainable lifestyle of a touring band), & on the whole, are therefore perhaps more likely to cheat. BUT, if your man isn't that type of guy? The fact of being a musician on the road won't make him a cheater. Touring is exhausting.

noodge

@apb yes, this. the one touring band person I know who has likely cheated is the type you described: a self-centered egotist. But the others are in all honesty just music geeks who are passionate about performance and making their music come to life... they are exhausted by the touring process, and regularly pine for their home lives whilst on the road.

Ginger Slap

for LW#2, I have been in a similar situation with my best friend, except reversed. She always wondered why guys would ask me out and not her. We are both attractive. I asked my boyfriend why he approached me and not my friend when we met, and his words exactly were "You just seemed like more fun." I'm tall (5'10" ahem), and I do get hit on frequently. I'm not saying that you're boring (my friend definitely isn't boring!) but maybe you just appear to be boring. Hard words to hear, but try to loosen up a bit.

WaityKatie

@Ginger Slap Ohhh my god, "maybe you just appear to be boring"?? Now I have to worry about LOOKING boring, in addition to actually being boring? (I am positive that I do look quite boring!)

I'm going to retire now.

chunk lite

@WaityKatie My advice: Wear an absurd hat or costume. Scream loudly with no explanation. Men love a MYSTERY!

atipofthehat

@Ginger Slap

Maybe she just needs to go to bars where the husbands of pregnant women hang out?

WaityKatie

@chunk lite Ladies be peacockin'! (Peahenning?)

leastimportantperson

@chunk lite Slap strangers across the face with no warning. Have no fingernails. Claim not to speak English while speaking fluent English. Levitate.

stuffisthings

@Ginger Slap I second this advice. I'm not intimidated by tallness, but always (used to) go for the "fun-looking" one, if only because they seem like they might be more receptive to random conversation with random bar-dudes like me. Like, I had known my current (and hopefully last) girlfriend for a bit but it wasn't until we hung out at a party and I saw her acting goofy and uninhibited that my interest was sparked.

Yup, now that I think about it, my exes/hookups are pretty varied in terms of appearance, dress sense, and other characteristics, but they all look pretty fun at bars!

chunk lite

@leastimportantperson draw a portrait of them. Scratch out the eyes so hard the pen goes through the paper. order robitussin on the rocks. wear a live possum as a scarf. claim to make snuff films.

WaityKatie

@stuffisthings But what if I'm not actually fun at bars? I don't want to create a false impression and attract the wrong person! Dilemmas!

yrouttasight

@Ginger Slap As a person who has mostly outgoing and fun-loving friends who get hit on all the time, I can vouch for this. I am a frigid bitch compared to most of them (I love to have fun and all, I'm just not so good with drunken small-talk with strangers). I did the pursuing in my single days because my natural demeanor didn't lend itself to me getting hit on. If I wanted a date, I was making the first move.
It worked out in the end, though- the mister says he always liked my slightly abrasive ice queen vibe.

Ophelia

@WaityKatie Go to whatever the place is where you ARE fun, and meet people there (maybe it's kayaking, maybe it's art class, etc.)

stuffisthings

@chunk lite Haha I was totally going to suggest wearing a silly hat. I don't know if this comment was a joke or not, but it totally works! "Haha what's with the hat?" is a much lower barrier to entry (heh) than "Uh I couldn't help but noticing your, um, boobies" or whatever.

stuffisthings

@WaityKatie Well I think "try meeting people at places where things you actually like are happening" is a great suggestion, it just so happens that the things I like mainly happen at bars so that's my only real experience. Presumably some of the same principles apply at other large gatherings of strangers?

Faintly Macabre

@chunk lite Wear Mickey Mouse ears. Dress and speak like Carol Burnett's Norma Desmond. Smash all of the pint glasses within reach and announce that you will sleep with whoever can walk across them to you. Set a man's drink on fire with a votive candle.

WaityKatie

@stuffisthings Well, I do like the things that happen at bars, it's just more that my variety of fun consists pretty much of standing around, drinking, and making acerbic comments at a reasonable voice-volume. Oddly enough, this does not send men stampeding in my direction. Maybe show more boob?

whizz_dumb

@yrouttasight I know that ladies I've dated tend to have the "slightly abrasive ice queen vibe". It's a good quality. Phony, bubbly, social butterflies are really not my type.

leastimportantperson

@Faintly Macabre Take off your socks and put them on your hands. Take off your earrings and put them in your mouth. Stuff your bra with cocktail onions. Cry. Keep crying. Set a man on fire with a votive candle.

Faintly Macabre

@WaityKatie Show your boobs and make acerbic comments at them. Loudly. Use a mascara tube as a pool cue. Wear a skirt and regularly flap it at attractive men. Take the ice from everyone's drinks and announce that it is the subject of you, the ice queen.

Ophelia

@leastimportantperson Is that one of those horrible scavenger hunt lists they make for bachelorette parties?

stuffisthings

@WaityKatie (They're all joking, but keep an eye out next time you're at the bar and watch as the ladies in funny hats go home with all the best Dudes.)

JanieS

@Ginger Slap

EVERY TIME I DO THE 'hang out at places where things you enjoy are happening' THING, I END UP IN A ROOM FULL OF OTHER WOMEN. AND MAYBE ONE OLD, MARRIED GUY.

:sigh: (In case anyone's wondering, single men do not want to take writing classes, or learn how to paint with watercolors.)

For my next hobby, I shall carefully cultivate my FOREVER ALONE face.

Lorelei@twitter

@yrouttasight ooh, I hope my tendency to sarcasm and discomfort around large groups of strangers translate to "slightly abrasive ice queen." I always assumed I gave off more of a "scared child" vibe. But I think being 5'1" and baby-faced instead of 5'10" and...age-appropriate looking(?) probably ruins it.

I mean, I don't get hit on in bars or in public much in general, but I don't ever actually want to be hit on by strangers so I'm cool with it, I just want them to be avoiding me because I'm too awesome and aloof and not because, y'know, scared child.

SuperGogo

Go Manic Pixie Dream Girl or go home!!

Chesty LaRue

@whizz_dumb Ouch
~ not phony-but-bubbly social butterfly who likes shy dudes

whizz_dumb

@Chesty LaRue Ouch
~ out-going, listen-to-me-talk-about-myself dude
Who knows? Chemistry does crazy things to people.

WaityKatie

Re: flirting: but what if every time you try to "lock eyes and smile" with a stranger, you feel like some kind of weird mentally unstable person who is clearly terrifying everyone around her? Like, are you supposed to do this on the subway, or at restaurants, or what? This whole flirting thing is so alien to me.

KatnotCat

@WaityKatie Even when I am actively chatting someone up at a bar or party (not anymore, I guess), I have to avoid prolonged eye contact.

"Ooh, look at that guy playing pool over there! He looks so silly--let's look at him and chat sideways, yeah?"

olivebee

@WaityKatie Flirting is incredibly foreign to me, too. I have never been a flirt, never smiled at a stranger (well, a stranger who was a dude near my age), never chatted up a dude at a party/bar/etc. Part of it is because I have been in a relationship since I was a teenager, but a bigger part of it is that it seems completely unnatural to me.

chunk lite

@WaityKatie Samesies! I am smiling or touching arms through gritted teeth b/c I feel like I am drowning in awkward. Or like, I don't know when it is correct to do those things?

Like I just pop out of nowhere, basically slap their forearm and then apply too much pressure for like a 4 count (mouthing "one- one thousand...two - one thousand...", natch)while locking eyes with them so hard that should they try to avert their eyes, I move my face to follow theirs, smiling like a maniac.

This is less of an exaggeration than I would like. :(

WaityKatie

@chunk lite Haha, awesome.

leonstj

@chunk lite - Haha I'm the worst at flirting too. I do this thing where it makes me really nervous then I do all of the shots at the bar and then suddenly the room is spinning and I irish goodbye as soon as I think anyone might actually like me. HEALTHY!

laurel

Practice on people you're not actually attracted to. It's so much easier!

gravie

@WaityKatie Eye contact with strangers is the worst. Sometimes you don't even need to smile.

Related anecdote: I was at a bar about a month back and it was getting close to last call. Some guy walked near me and I did a bit of a double take (he looked familiar). He saw this and patted my ass. LOOKING AT YOU IN THE FACE IS NOT AN INVITATION TO TOUCH ME.

WaityKatie

@laurel This is so true.

WaityKatie

@gravie Horrible! I hope you set him on fire.

Marzipan

@laurel Ha, I suck at flirting. I mean, it's not bad advice, and just because it annoys me that some people are so good at flirting they seem to do in constantly, randomly, and indiscriminately WHICH DEFEATS THE POINT, doesn't mean you don't need to practice. BUT this did end me up in the situation where I was making out with some idiot and he thought I was way into HIM. "Gahhhhh no you were for practice you are terrible!" Although there definitely was the thrill of triumph that he had at least NOTICED I was flirting.

Basically, my only tip: sit next to them super close. I swear it works. And it's much easier for me to do because it can just happen, if they are showing you something, or you are watching something, just, invade their personal space, and since usually you are looking at something else during this manoeuver, it seems less awkward (for me). of course, you need to actually be talking/hanging out, I have nooooooo idea how people just MEET and then TALK TO and then DATE people they find at bars. Never has that ever worked for me.

beeline96

@laurel Until you've beguiled a person you're not interested in and they STALK you!!! (Just overreacting, this has never happened to me.)

AndSomethingElse

@WaityKatie OH MY GOD JUST DO IT

Here's the thing about when girls make eye contact with us:

a) We fucking love it, it makes us get all tingly
b) Even if it's only for a second! Seriously, just do it for a second. The moment he notices, look away. And if you look embarrassed and goofy that's actually even better (for the kind of guy you're interested in, who is probably the kind of guy who occasionally looks embarrassed and goofy himself, am I right?).
c) We may not work up the nerve to come talk to you even if we totally want to, but occasionally we do, and in the meantime what've you lost? Who cares? It's actually kinda fun to play eye tag with a stranger in a bar for 20 minutes, even if nothing ever comes of it.

The reason we are talking to the petite brunette, or Ginger Slap above, is that they made eye contact with us and looked approachable. That is the only reason. We might very well think you're prettier and more interesting looking, but we have no idea what to do about it. (No offense, GS - some of us think you're prettier! Just...not all of us.)

OH AND if we come up to talk to Ginger Slap and then you notice we keep trying to talk to you a little, too? It is because we're using Ginger Slap to get to you, and it's not working because you seem like you're really totally not into us, and we're pretty bummed out about it. OMG just laugh at our stupid joke already! It wasn't THAT bad.

laurel

@Marzipan Oh, yeah, practice flirting only works in like airport bars and stuff that you are leaving very soon and unlikely to return to ever or at least at the same time as your flirtery target.

Invading personal space is perfect. Leaning in and then looking up? down? over? and making eye contact is a sure thing.

stuffisthings

@laurel Or practice on married men with pregnant wives. EASY PICKINGS. Especially if they are in a band.

AndSomethingElse

@stuffisthings ftw

Laurel, if a woman I've just met invades my personal space I'm a little uncomfortable with it.

AndSomethingElse

@Marzipan "Gahhhhh no you were for practice you are terrible!" HAAAAAAAA...

Is it weird that I'd sortof love if someone told me this? I mean, not right now because I have a girlfriend, but maybe if they had. When I did not have a girlfriend.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@WaityKatie My problem with flirting has always been that it feels so dishonest, so insincere, especially because the people I've known who have been good at flirting have been the kinds of people who flirt compulsively and indiscriminately with everyone, whether they're attracted to the person or not. I was always incredibly uncomfortable with flirting, as it gave me a slimy used car salesman vibe. I've found that being nonflirty and just having real (non-small-talky) conversations doesn't pull in AS MANY suitors, but the suitors it does attract tend to be better prospects for you as an individual person. Though when I was single my signature move (according to friends who witnessed it) was to do THE LOCKING OF THE EYES, minus the smile, so I guess it was more intense and serious-looking. That move had about a 50/50 success rate.

FickleMoon

My three look flirting technique (patent pending):

Look 1 - smile, look over, slight tilt of the head towards them, look away and smile at your friends.
15 seconds later -
Look 2 - Eyes down, then flick back and over to them, down and back to friends. Smile at friends.
5 seconds later -
Look 3 - stare with devouring hunger and desire. Target should now approach.

Flirting is just really being like 'Hey I want you to come talk to me, I promise to make it easy for you to talk to me'.

The best advice I was ever given was to have a genuine good time - laugh, smile, dance like crazy with your friends and you will attract everyone to you and your happy, fun times you're having that they'll want to part of. Then when you talk to them, keep that going - smiley, laughy, happy - and at worst they'll walk away being like 'She was so HAPPY'. Yeah.

laurel

@Alexander Oh well I'll knock it right off then.

I think a little lean in can work but it's a move for after a rapport has been established, mos def.

redonion

@FickleMoon THIS is useful. A Dude kind of dropped the ball on Being Approachable 101. I usually feel like a maniac when I try to do the eye contact thing, and it typically devolves into "Oh god, he's with someone," or "Oh god, he looks like he's 23," or "Oh hell, it looks like I have a twitchy eye."

I think my problem is that I AM initially reserved about people, so I have a hard time working up to the "devouring hunger and desire" gaze. It's more like the "you look not unattractive and seem to be able to hold a conversation and that might be something I look for in a person" gaze, which is apparently is awfully similar to the look on a person's face when examine the contents of a petri dish.

WaityKatie

@redonion Ha, yes. I think I need to build my "looks" up from the current "god, why are all these humans so annoying?" to "it's possible I am not repulsed by you," with the eventual goal of reaching "ok, I would like to talk to you sometime." Baby steps.

staircases

@WaityKatie i've had some success with unintentional duck lips, and squint-flashing my eyes at men like a happy cat. YMMV

Passion Fruit

@WaityKatie Ha. I am a terrible flirt. I have been told by a few people that I make a lot of eye contact (too much?). I smile and laugh pretty loudly, and I'm pretty awkwardly direct. As in, I told my boyfriend before we met, "This date better not suck, because I am really excited about it," and "I would like to kiss you now." I do not have any diagnosable social dysfunction; I am way more normal around women, I am just an awkward turd around men.

ALSO, I would like to bitterly add that I got hit on a whole lot 40 pounds ago. >:[

Apocalypstick

@laurel But then you might accidentally go out with them!

Apocalypstick

@Passion Fruit Oh dear I know what you mean about lack of subtlety. Last three relationships: 1) Got bought a drink, lunged at her face with my face. 2) Bugged him about why he was acting weird until he informed me he wanted to kiss me, responded "Oh, ok! Want to have sex?". 3) Crawled into his bed in knickers under the pretence of watching tv, gradually wrapped self around him like a nymphomanic octopus. WHY CAN I NOT BE CLASSY. How the hell do normal women flirt?!

AndSomethingElse

@Apocalypstick "nymphomanic octopus" <- This is classy. NO SRSLY

FickleMoon

@redonion I also used to be quite reserved and have pretty much practised flirting until it came naturally. I am still shocked when I manage to open my mouth and say something interesting to a guy rather screwing myself up into a ball. I still find it easier to flirt when I'm not attracted to them though!

The looking and smiling is just to encourage - bearing in mind I'm too scared to go over and open the conversation, the guy must be pretty scared too, so let's make it easier for both of us. Past that, I reckon you know when you click with someone while talking - it's just keeping the conversation flowing with questions and picking up a kind of teasing tone.

'Scuse me, I'm going to go bat my eyes at someone in the office kitchen now.

Apocalypstick

@Alexander You are a true gentleman to appreciate my octopoid wiles.

AndSomethingElse

@Apocalypstick (And I didn't even know the adjective "octopoid," which is great.)

Apocalypstick

@Alexander I will admit to making octopoid up, but it does sound good. Also what that duvet cover is fantastic, and etymology-geekery-five. My favourite fact about octopus plural however is the delightful Hawaiian creation myth that calls them "the lone survivor of the previous, alien universe". I cannot make up my mind whether they are The Doctor or Proteans. (Speaking of: come on, Hairpin, I long rabidly for the next Video Game Crush column, do not tease us so long).

AndSomethingElse

@Apocalypstick Ha...I'm so sorry to break this to you, but you made up a real word. I looked it up and everything. You should be proud! The echoes of dead languages ring in your ear.

Apocalypstick

@Alexander Oo! I should bloody well hope they do, I've been steeped in them for the last three years. If I met Cicero I would punch him in the face. Excellent.

AndSomethingElse

@Apocalypstick Oh yeah? Cool! I love the Greek stuff. (Not that I've read any but the most obvious, and in translation.) What're you studying?

chunk lite

LW2: I tend to totally give more of a "kid sister" or "bro" vibe than a "girl whose mouth I want to put my mouth on" kind of vibe, evidently. I recently have been doing a lot of thinking about why that is since, I'm pretty foxy (and really, how much does foxiness matter? How many people are actually a collection of horrors sent from hell wrapped in human skin? Not too many! We are all probably pretty hot in our own ways!).

I wonder if it's because I historically, I've been a little...uncomfortable? with attention from dudes? I'm still parsing it out, but I've noticed that sometimes I didn't pick up on signals from peeps until I've just sorta ruined things by acting aggressively platonic.

I'm getting out of it now, but I still don't know how in the world people flirt without feeling like a ridiculous fraud. Not too piggy back too much, but any tips Hairpinners? Me and lovely, tall LW2 need help!

mackymoo

@chunk lite Seconded. I've pretty much only dated the two boys who have expressed interest in me. I haven't really been out there looking, but even in casual situations, like class or something, boys just don't really talk to me. Maybe I just don't talk to them? Maybe I am also uncomfortable with attention so I turn them off right away? I can't even pretend to flirt with my boyfriend.

Also, might be an introvert thing. Can't do small talk well either.

hahahaha, ja.

@chunk lite: I kind of have the same problem regarding the bro vibe. For me, it's because I'm in a male-dominated field, and my reaction to that gender imbalance has been to totally bro out with the dudebros all the time, brah, even the ones I want to bone (*especially* the ones I want to bone, sadface). In any case, I'm willing to bet that more guys have been into you than you think, but because you're uncomfortable your brain automatically makes up reasons for why that guy wasn't interested in you. I also have this silly kneejerk distaste for flirting, which is probably all rooted in insecurities and shit, and I've found that smiling + some eye contact makes a good bit of difference. It doesn't seem like flirting so much as just being friendly. Maybe try it on everyone, and see if that makes you feel more comfortable? Like, chat with the girl in line behind you at Starbucks. Bond with people in the bathroom over the lack of toilet paper. Being comfortable with people in general can translate into being comfortable with the dudes you want to bone, etc. etc.

Also, lots of cleavage. Boobs. Everywhere. All over the place.

... just kidding, don't do that. Unless you want to, in which case, you go girl.

chunk lite

@ietapi yesss. I bro out more with the ones I want to bone. B/c I'm scared that they will know i like them? Maybe? I guess my form of flirting is mostly thinking nice thoughts about them while acting aggressively asexual and like, shoulder punching them.

I'm trying to learn and I literally was talking to a boy I like and one of my coworkers/best bros was like "what in the world was THAT?! you were giving that dude insane person eyes!". I totes thought I was winning at flirting that night. NOPE!:(

hahahaha, ja.

@chunk lite: Oh goooood why do we have these problems with flirting?? :( :( :( Seriously, back in college, a dude who I'm pretty sure was into me (this feeling was somewhat reciprocated) brought some buddies to hang out w/ me and my friends, and I decided that the best thing to do was to turn on Super Smash Bros and play with my friend until they all left, and someone was like "whyyyy the fuck would you do that" and I was like "I dunno, I thought it would impress him and make him like me :( :( :( ."

chunk lite

@ietapi we are soul friends. insanity. on the upside: you sound fun as hell!

hahahaha, ja.

@chunk lite: Hahaha, thanks, you too! I like bonding with people over a shared propensity to act like twelve year old boys wrt romance. :) :(

KeLynn

@ietapi I think that was a sound plan. Seriously, I would by lying if I said I've never tried ignoring a guy while dominating Nintendo in order to get his attention. And sometimes it works! But sometimes it's just awful and awkward. Whyyyyy! This should be the #1 thing men look for in a ladyfriend, in my opinion.

treeskier170

@chunk lite Just meet us dudes halfway. You don't need to be all, "I want you in my pants now" or anything remotely close. Just express an interest. So much pressure is put on dudes to make the first move, and the first move is generally terrifying. What do I say, how much eye contact, is it okay to touch her, what kind of stuff is she into, etc etc. Then there's the whole, way too many dudes are creepy douche canoes and they f it up for the normal ones. So again, just meet half way. Chances are if you even just say hello to a dude, he's going to talk back to you. The conversation flows and pretty soon you find out you're both into hiking and the world is a happy place.

Veronica Lemmons

@chunk lite It sounds self-aggrandizing and maybe it is, but I really think a majority of guys you're likely to find on a random night out are easily intimidated by women who don't obviously want romantic or sexual male attention. How did I come to believe this? After being told many times, months or years after the fact, that this or that guy had a crush on me back when we first met, but didn't think I was interested or assumed I didn't want anything romantic because I treated him like a friend. Unless I was in straight-up cruising mode, in which case it usually wasn't hard to find a taker, I approached new guys the same way I approached all new people, and for some reason a lot of guys weren't into that or couldn't handle a frank conversation with a woman. I dunno, maybe that's bullshit. Whatever the case, it certainly doesn't apply to all guys. I know this because my boyfriend-of-3-years-and-just-recently-turned-fiance didn't care the first night we met that I was wearing no makeup, had a long-workweek ponytail, and just wanted to get drunk and shoot the breeze at the dance party we were at. I was sending no vibes whatsoever (that I knew of?), but he could carry an adult conversation and liked to dance. Sold.

AndSomethingElse

@ietapi speaks the truth. I was just posting about this directly above this thread, but this is pretty much what I was saying.

"I'm willing to bet that more guys have been into you than you think [YES THIS IS TRUE], but because you're uncomfortable your brain automatically makes up reasons for why that guy wasn't interested in you. I also have this silly kneejerk distaste for flirting [THIS IS A PROBLEM], which is probably all rooted in insecurities and shit, and I've found that smiling + some eye contact makes a good bit of difference [GOOD ENOUGH!]."

Eye contact and smiling is like 80% of it! Small talk is helpful! Otherwise we think you don't like us, and then we stop flirting with you because we don't want you to think we're an asshole who can't take a hint.

Chunk, I dunno who these dudes are who you're failing to hit on but I learned what it means when a girl punches me in, like, fifth grade.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@chunk lite: "How many people are actually a collection of horrors sent from hell wrapped in human skin?"

Hey, don't talk about Say That's Cool like that.

chunk lite

@Too Much Internet I was trying to flirt with him by saying that. :(

Passion Fruit

@treeskier170 I'd prefer you use the term "creepy JUICE canoes." Thank you.

Apocalypstick

@KeLynn But dudes say they'd love a woman who's enthusiastic about video games and not clingy! Boo.

LeafySeaDragon

@chunk lite my flirting technique is to be obnoxious. generally i stand near someone i think is hot and just horn in, usually with a "i'm totally eavesdropping and this is what i think about XYZ." no one ever approached me when i was single, i also have tall snotty ice queen demeanor.

AndSomethingElse

@Apocalypstick Not all dudes say that!

Esmeralda

LW4 - I had a short term fling-esque thing with someone who was a poor decision. Unfortunately we will be connected forever as he will be the uncle to my niece or nephew (his sibling + my sibling).

It's fine and we're friendly enough towards each other, and he's dating someone now and I'm friendly towards her. Very few people know about our mutual poor decision (and there would be a huge blow up if they did). I guess his girlfriend might know though? We were all out last weekend and she saw us talking (about the upcoming child, but it was loud so he leaned in) and freaked out and broke up with him and then got back together the next morning.

I dunno. Long story short, just be cool. It prob won't blow up. Unless he's a total d-bag, which I like to believe the best in people. So. Just put it in the past, unless you really want to hurt the person you're with.

Ginger Slap

@WaityKatie haha well isn't that the problem? If you think you are boring then imagine what the guys think. I think staying in on a Friday night with a pint of ice cream and a Franzen novel sounds like a ragin' time, so I just so happened to meet a guy that also thought that sounds fun. Own your own version of boredom and make it LOOK fun is the key.

WaityKatie

@Ginger Slap This sounds exhausting.

Ginger Slap

@atipofthehat not the kind of fun I had in mind ;)

highjump

First thing first, I'm terribly intimidated by tallish girls. You get up around 5' 10" (my height) and I start thinking about whether you're wearing heels, how I feel about my height compared to yours, whether I'm slouching, and it's downhill from there. Then, I start talking to the petite curly haired brunette.

As a 6 foot tall (straight haired, incidentally) woman this is everything I have feared. Thanks for your honesty. I guess I have to move thousands of miles away now? This dude is not my favorite dude.

JessicaLovejoy

@highjump Just put your shoes on your knees and walk around like every "great" comedian!

atipofthehat

@highjump

No, please! That's only one man! I have been out with many tall women, and had a wonderful time.

I did not approach them on stilts, or ask them how the air was up there. I just got to know them and they were VERY well worth getting to know. And the mythical height-difference problem turned out to be the problem of other people.

itmakesmewonder

@highjump This particular dude aside, I find that the 5'8"-5'10" zone is the epicenter of height insecurity, because those dudes have most often lied to me about how tall they are, for whatever reason. Who can say.

insouciantlover

@itmakesmewonder I think any guy who I ever met online who said he was 6' was actually 5'10" and spent the whole date insisting that I was actually lying about MY height. So much fun!!!!

@highjump You wouldn't want to date him anyway.

highjump

@atipofthehat Thanks, especially for refraining from height cracks. I feel like I have been a target of negging before due to my height. It sounds like I'm really wallowing in the unfairness all over this thread, but 99% of the time I embrace my height. My favorite shoes are 4.5' wedges! Haters gonna hate and so on.

@itmakesmewonder You speak the truth my friend! Why do guys think they can lie about this? Especially online when I have clearly listed my own height (and do you think I would lie about being 6 feet tall?)? But the delusion runs deep, I have had a couple of guys tell me that I must be at least 6'2" because they are DEFINITELY 6'/5'10"/whatever.

highjump

@insouciantlover YES! And the patriarchy says it is ladies who don't understand numbers.

alliepants

@highjump GUYS. I normally experience the same, but I'm dating someone who's "my height" and he is NOT INSECURE. It is SO WEIRD. Awesome, but weird.

Tuna Surprise

@atipofthehat

Just in case you're wondering, the air up here is awesome! Clean, crisp, refreshing. Also, there's a ton of stuff on the top shelves that is super awesome but only I can reach.

itmakesmewonder

@insouciantlover The best/worst/??? is dudes who are tall but slouch several inches worth and still want to call themselves the tall height. Because anybody cares how tall you are for the one second every week when you stand up straight??

alabee

@insouciantlover Men do that all the fucking time! Drives me bananas.

Signed,
5'11 Girl Dating Wonderful 5'10 Man Who Doesn't Give a Shit about Height

stuffisthings

@highjump Yeah I never got the height thing at all. Though I do insist to my girlfriend that she is exactly my height even though I secretly know she is 1" taller.

oeditrix

@highjump The idea that me being 5'11 in heels could make a man feel like less of a man . . . doesn't speak highly of that man.

beanie

@Sydney C no bitchface saves us from being approached as much (I hope). Or else it just makes people come up and tell us to smile and then I promptly light them on fire.

beeline96

@beanie This is why I ought to carry a lighter or 2 sticks. Don't tell me to smile, frightening stranger on the street in the evening -- or I will light you on fire. (But will I break in to a smile as I do it, or will I keep my bitch face?)

H.E. Ladypants

@atipofthehat I am 5'9˝ and have found this weird thing where dudes who are signifigantly taller than me generally don't give me the time of day- almost exclusively I end up dating/hooking up with dudes around my height. Mr. Ladypants is pretty much exactly my height.

This has led me to believe that the average heighted man, is less easily intimidated than his taller counter-part. :)

@highjump I've been talking to dudes in bars before, stood up and watched them go, "ohh... nevermind." (Usually with an up and down eye look and then a quick exit.) So I understand! You can be hella self-lovey but there are still those stings.

atipofthehat

@Tuna Surprise

There's something on the top shelf I really need, do you mind? I have to tie my shoe.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@highjump: Forget that guy. Keep your shoulders square, your back straight, and wear any shoes you fancy. Self esteem outshines any 'drawback' from being tall by a factor of about x10000.

Next weekend I am hanging out with a girl who is 6'1". I am 5'9", and I'm not bothered in the slightest.

snuffleupagus

@highjump To be fair, I am a petite brunette (5'2") and when I was going to bars attempting to pick up guys (in my pre-married days), I would NEVER get hit on. It must have been something about my face/ass/personality/whatever, but the only guys -- to this day -- who have ever bought me a drink are friends/boyfriends. It's a mystery to me. I even tried to hit on guys and was met with the most resounding rejections (one guy rolled his eyes and walked away). And I swear I'm not a horrible mutant!

Lily Rowan

I am tall, but I also KNOW I give off a pretty severe "STAY AWAY" vibe unless I'm working to not do that. Because that is the vibe I want to give in public 90% of the time! Ugh, no I don't want to talk to you, stranger! And this is why I only meet people on the internet...

WaityKatie

@Lily Rowan Yeah, I mean, it's kind of hard to switch back and forth from "don't touch me or interact with me, freaky subway/street stranger," to "approach, attractive male!" I spend most of my day in the first mode, so not sure how to flip back to the second, and then quickly flip back again the moment I step outside so I won't be constantly harassed by horrible people? Maybe this advice works better for people in small towns.

WaityKatie

@snuffleupagus I have had guys blurt out "I have a girlfriend!" to me when I tried to talk to them. Just talking! No touching or leering! I should have responded with "Congratulations. How wonderful." Will do next time.

Lily Rowan

@WaityKatie Honestly, I've known people in NYC who were generally willing to talk to strangers.... and at least one of them got asked out by a decent guy in line at the ATM! No one would dare approach me when I'm in line at the ATM.

Ginger Slap

@waitykatie isn't dating the most exhausting thing ever?

WaityKatie

@Ginger Slap Yes. Yes it is.

WaityKatie

@WaityKatie Swimming is second.

mabellegueule

@Ginger Slap Yes. Resounding yes. Followed by an uuuuuggghhhhhhh!

olivebee

LW2, I rarely get approached/hit on by guys (who aren't homeless or construction workers, sigh). It might be the wedding ring on my finger, but I'm more inclined to believe it's because of the following: I have been told by women a few times that before they met me they thought I was a bitch. I have a naturally frown-y mouth, and I (as much as I hate to admit it) put a lot of effort into my appearance. I am a very jovial person, but I guess I literally APPEAR mean and unapproachable (at least to girls). It sounds goofy, but if you are anything like me (i.e. frowny), maybe you just need to slap a slight smile on your face most of the time when you are just hanging around. A big grin would look weird ("why is she smiling at nothing?!?") but a cute little, closed-lipped smile.

Megoon

@olivebee me too! I'm also kind of sarcastic and roll my eyes without realizing it, so people tend to think I hate them. I did a mock interview once and the evaluator told me I had "dead eyes." Harsh but actually really good advice - like you said, I now try to smile lightly any time I'm around new people, even though it feels really unnatural.

dj pomegranate

@olivebee Samesies. I have chronic bitch face. One thing I've found has actually helped a lot is consciously focusing on relaxing my face muscles...like, I literally close my eyes, take a deep breath, and think to myself, "Look pleasant, relax your face, relax your face..." until I feel less...tense? It's very yogazen. But it absolutely makes a difference in how people perceive me: "frigid" vs. "chill" if you will.

stuffisthings

@dj pomegranate I think I have chronic jovial face. Like, I walk around pretty much all the time thinking about horrible stuff/judging the people around me/worrying about money, and have more than once had people say things like "Oh, I saw you walking the other day, you looked like you were really happy about something!" Not sure if this is really an asset for a Dude, though.

fabel

@olivebee I am the same way-- girls who I'm now cool with admit to me they thought I was a stuck-up bitch on first impression. I'm pretty quiet with new people, so that doesn't help. I try to smile now :)

Faintly Macabre

@dj pomegranate My life! Though mine's more despondent face, I think. Mostly because when sitting/standing alone, I will either space out/worry and look sad, or start cackling and smirking like a maniac at some random memory. To the point where a guy I had a crush on once walked past and said, "Cheer up." Enticing I am not.

chunk lite

@stuffisthings I have jovial face, too! My friend was shocked at how frequently strangers flock to me to ask questions about directions, their boyfriends, or the time - even when I've got ear buds in, my hood up, and my book out. I just look mad approachable in a customer service-y way? but not so much in a makey outy way.

TheBourneApproximation

@olivebee Great things I was told in high school, delivered by my Model UN partner at a conference: "The other delegates totally think you look like a priss and a bitch, but I've been telling them you're actually cool!" Gnarrghh.

On the plus side, it means I never get bothered in bars or on the subway.

stuffisthings

@chunk lite Oh god yes the people with their directions. I also smoke, so I end up giving away about half of each pack.

olivebee

@everyone except the jovial-faced people

My people! I wonder how many potential new friends I have repelled by being kind of quiet and having permanent bitchface.

WaityKatie

@chunk lite I have this too! Everywhere I go people ask me for directions. This happened a lot when I was in Germany, too. I do not speak German! It was awkward. Also, I have possibly the worst sense of direction of any human on earth, so maybe it is like the thing where cats always go to the people who hate them?

queenofbithynia

"He probably told you because he thinks he deserves some credit for being the only one who didn't cheat. This is totally how our dude brains work."

man, I'm getting a little sick of the hurrr hurr men are loveable dumb assholes, aren't we cute schtick that so many Dudes seem to feel compelled to affect. maybe could we start a petition to have an advice column written by A Guy, instead of A Dude? I know tons of guys who seem just like people.

Reginal T. Squirge

@queenofbithynia Seconded. No, this is how you and your dumb friends' dude-brains work. Some of us are not this way.

leastimportantperson

@queenofbithynia Wouldn't it be nice to claim to be "stupid" and "too dumb" for things that are standard semi-shit parts of being an adult, i.e. accepting not being patted on the back for every non-shit thing you do? And still be able to rule the world anyway? Haha! A girl can dream!

okaycrochet

@queenofbithynia How this works in my head: Girl is told dudes don’t bring up cheating if they’ve cheated. Dude brings up friends cheating. Girl believes dude didn’t cheat. Dude does secret happy dance because he finally figured out how to SAY WHAT DUDES ALLEGEDLY SAY WHEN THEY ARE BEING DUMB/LOVEABLE while being a cheat all the while.
LW1, I am not saying this is your life. I am saying that dudes be able to evolve, man. This column’s Dude will soon learn the ways.

Vera Knoop

@queenofbithynia Don't know why your last line has me LOLing so hard. He thinks he's people! (But also, I 100% agree with all of this).

Vera Knoop

@leastimportantperson See also every commercial or sitcom ever. He would love to help out, but he's just too dumb to figure out how that swiffer works! Ugh.
I don't know any dudes who are like this in real life. My guy friends want a partner, not a mommy.

alliepants

LW2: It's totally about approachability. But who wants to date someone who "approaches" them randomly at a bar anyway? I've had the same issue with tons of girls I know, but I've never really regretted the fact that I don't have sketchy dudes hitting on me everywhere I go. I think this question is more "AREN'T I PRETTY?" and less "I want strangers to hit on me!" Well here's your answer: yes, you are pretty, and it's probably a little intimidating, but believe me, the kinds of guys who try to "pick up" gals at bars and conferences, etc. are also the kinds of guys who see gals as trophies and not people. The intimidation factor is like the best juicebox-screen ever.

LW3: I think you're really asking whether it's okay to NOT want to build a life with someone you're in love with. And the answer is duh, yes. I'm assuming you hang out with lots of artsy "LOVE ABOVE ALL" types, but there are also other important considerations in life, like being able to eat and stuff. There's nothing wrong with being practical. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't date him, of that you don't love him, or it just means that you will probably move on after a while (or say no if he proposes) because you guys want different things. Or the same things at different times, or whatever. But still, regardless, it doesn't seem like it's gonna work.

Reginal T. Squirge

@alliepants I don't entirely agree with your assessment that "the kinds of guys who try to 'pick up' gals at bars and conferences, etc. are also the kinds of guys who see gals as trophies and not people". BIG. FAT. FALSE. Some of us don't have friends that can hook us up with single ladies and have to WORK for a relationship. Nothing good in my life happens unless I make it happen so any other way of finding a gf is not an option.

KatnotCat

@alliepants I actually met my boyfriend when he picked me up in a bar, and he sees me as a person and we're very happy.

It's true we were probably initially both looking for a hookup, not a long term relationship, but I think it's very possible that tall LW may also be looking for random hookups. No need to begrudge her curiosity.

Hellcat

@alliepants I found that I wanted to date a guy who'd approached me in a bar, and have been doing so for just about three years now.

dj pomegranate

@dk I experienced so many emotions in quick succession while reading this thread.

Blushingflwr

LW3: Here's a theatre analogy for you - If Juliet had married Paris, she would have lived, probably pretty swankily. She married Romeo, and killed herself. There is something to be said for considering financial security and long-term stability above romantic passion. You say you are "quite possibly in love" rather than stating that you are. That tells me that you're very possibly in what we like to call "NRE" or "new relationship energy" - that happy, giddy, honeymoon period where his farts smell like rainbows and all your brain chemicals are out of whack. It's not enough to build a life on. You're allowed to have an awesome, passionate, dramatic fling with him and then settle down with someone who is a little bit more practical.

beeline96

@Blushing Flower@twitter Brilliant. Thank you.

OneTooManySpoons

@Blushing Flower@twitter This is wonderful. And I'm going to say pretty much the same thing, but in a much more boring way: there is a difference between loving someone and wanting to marry yourself to someone. Learning this distinction is incredibly important if you want to have a successful marriage, and it's not like I have any statistics to back this up, but I'd be willing to bet that a large amount of marriages fail because people didn't learn the difference beforehand.

Wanting to marry someone with financial security is NOT the same as being a gold digger. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting stability in your life and deciding that you cannot have that if you legally bind yourself to this man. Even once you are past the "New Relationship Energy" stage--even if you really, truly are in love--this can still be the case. Many people have come to the realization that they just can't marry someone even though they love them. It's devastating, but it's the right thing.

fuck fuck fuck

LW#2: i don't know if this is good advice in general really, but it has always brought me results. when you're out at a bar/party, try hanging out somewhere alone, just watching everyone. my personal technique is to look slightly condescending, like i think i am usually smirking? (for me, this is a maneuver reserved for states of tipsy+.) for some reason it works! i

mabellegueule

@lighter fluid I _love_ that your photo is Will Arnett looking slightly condescending/smirking.

WaityKatie

@lighter fluid This is pretty much what I do at every bar/concert, always, but it has never worked! Maybe I'm just not very attractive? Blah.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@lighter fluid Well, I'll tell ya this. A couple of weeks ago I got home from work to discover that To Have and Have Not was on TV, and I got ensconced in watching Lauren Bacall doin' what she do. The look in her eye, the way she stood, the way she walked, the way she talked...JUST DO WHAT LAUREN BACALL DOES. YOU'LL GET ALL OF THE MEN. ALL OF THEM.

WaityKatie

@werewolfbarmitzvah Be 19 and a movie star? Getting on it...

roadtrips

@lighter fluid Also, this sounds, dorky, but bring a prop! I do not like to initiate conversation really, and I am about medium on the approachability scale (I have been told both that I am very approachable and that I am intimidating and aloof). HOWEVER, almost every time I have shown up at a bar with my embroidery hoop at least one dude (if not more) have approached me. It's easier than a book, because you're not totally absorbed in what you're doing, and it's an excuse to start a conversation. The only thing I would avoid here is drawing in a sketchbook - this is a one-way ticket to people thinking you are nineteen. (If you are nineteen, do this now! This worked for me LIKE A CHARM for years - "wow, you are such a good artist - I'm an artist too, what are you working on? You have such amazing eyes")

merbear

LW#2: I'm 5'11" and I had this problem for years - though I was wing woman to a 5'8" Claudia Shiffer look-a-like, so same but different? Anyways, I basically realized that once I started going for guys who I had previously thought were way out of my league (attractiveness wise) things got a lot easier. Super confident babe-dudes are, for the most part, not intimidated by us tall ladiez!

chevyvan

@merbear This is so true. I always end up with guys who I originally thought were way out of my league. Not bragging...just kind of astounded by it. I think it's partially their confidence, and partially b/c I just assume they won't be into me (or, "he's so nice to me, he must be gay!") so I relax and act like a normal human.

Hellcat

Oh my goodness, two of these letters (#1 and #2) hit home but, luckily, just a little bit.

I don't think my musician BF would ever cheat on me, but sometimes the fears can sneak up on a lady, even though he's a non-touring one--just bars and weddings and parties and sometimes freelance studio stuff. But those places are still full of ladies that are not me, often drunk, hotter, younger (and not likely to bitch him out for leaving no ice cubes in the tray or for sleep-kicking), and sometimes these things happen to people and what if I am one of those people...? But that's just unfounded "what if?" worry, and not a whole new and different suspicion that was not there before. In the case of the latter, I think I might ask because why would one particular situation make me feel so different than I always had... though I do realize that if you're wrong, it could make him feel untrustworthy and all that. Ugh, yikes, yikes, yikes--I hate the idea of infidelity; it completely unnerves me.

As for the second letter, I had this friend too! We worked together and took the same train every day, except when she was late and got the next one (often). Every time she'd come in to our office, she had another story of some guy hitting on her while she minded her own business. I didn't really want this kind of thing for myself, but I started to wonder what the hell? anyway. I'd rate us both equal lookswise, though we are complete opposite (she = brunette and curvy; I = blond and... less so).

fabel

Is it possible to like this A Dude, & yet disagree with almost every piece of his advice?

fabel

Like okay, telling LW1 there's NO reason to believe her husband cheated is off, to me. If she feels this way, then she should TALK TO HIM.

Also, calling every night doesn't mean he's being faithful. He could be calling her first so she's not calling him later, while he's boning a groupie. I mean. Not to make her paranoid, but don't completely dismiss her feelings.

Vera Knoop

@fabel DING DING DING. I see the calling and the tattling on bandmates as guilt-assuaging/suspicion-averting tactics.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

Sort of re LW2: I feel like it's gotta be height. I've met women who felt like they had to move out of the neighborhood where I live because of getting hit on by guys on the street constantly, but my wife, who is 5'9", basically never gets catcalled.

Obviously there is a big difference between "approaching" a lady in a bar or other social setting and street catcalls, but I have my doubts that the catcalling types see the distinction.

beeline96

LW2: If you're your friend's wingwoman and, let's say, she gets approached by guys who also have wingmen, are you chatting it up with said wingmen? Assuming they aren't juiceboxes, couldn't you be getting the better end of the deal? (Maybe the juicebox-y looking ones just have their bitch-faces on, too, because their goofball friend always approaches the ladies and they never do, because they're kind of shy?)

I'm a petite person but my flirting with strangers results have indeed varied based on whether I'm having fun OR whether I've got my bitch face plastered on. Sometimes, honestly, the "having fun" look was indeed a little forced, until after a while it became real (until it became me yawning and ready to go home). Fake it 'til you make it! You can do it!

To be further honest... I've had the best flirting success being introduced to friends of friends or acquaintances, probably because the friend/acquaintance can verify that I'm not super crazy! So I may not be entirely helpful.

hallelujah

Not into this A Dude, at all. Nope, nope, nope.

fabel

I feel like the last letter is being neglected? So LW4 (there's 4 letters, right?) I think you should "leave well enough alone and hope for the best", as you put it. I'm sure you're imagining all sorts of scenarios where your boyfriend finds out, but try to step back & think "How plausible is this, really?" It's probably not plausible at all. If he's dating the intern, he'd probably be blowing up his own spot by outing you, right? Unless he's a drama-filled vindicative asshole, I don't see why this would all come out. I know it feels like it will (OMG MY BF AND THE GUY I CHEATED ON HIM WITH ARE OCCUPYING THE SAME SPACE. SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE) but that's not how the world works. (DISCLAIMER: Usually.)

JanieS

@werewolfbarmitzvah I can turn into a luminous beauty/smoldering sexpot just by wishing? Cool beans.

ReginaSavage

LW#3, I'm you in 5 years, okay?
And if I had it all to do over again I would RUN SCREAMING FOR THE HILLS!!!!

Because you know what happens? I ended up giving up all MY dreams to support us because HE couldn't. And when he's out of work and depressed I have to support him both financially and emotionally. When he's working things are great and its cool, but that only happens 50% of the time. And when things aren't cool we go for DAYS living in the same 1 bedroom apt not even speaking to each other and me resenting him for every single little thing that is wrong with my life. I haven't even been able to go away for a weekend once in the last 3 years because we have no money.

I love him and that's the problem because I think that as long as we're together it'll all work itself out. EXCEPT NO ONE EVER TELLS YOU THAT THIS NEVER HAPPENS!

editrickster

@ReginaSavage Yes, OK. I feel like Tall Lady and Pregnant Lady are getting all the attention. LW3, listen to me. Being broke all the time is no fun times, but if it's just you who is broke, then fine, whatever. I dated a 28-year-old dude when I was 24 (I'm now 29). I had a degree and a job at a newspaper that paid ok, not great, for just me, living in a small midwestern city.

But when I met him, he didn't have a job, or a degree (but he did have plenty of debt). He eventually got a job working at the mall, and later working for a cell phone provider (a big one, not LocalCellForCheap) whilst pursing his dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. I wish I was joking.

But still, since I was the "breadwinner" in that relationship with my oh-so-well-paying journalism job, I ended up paying for a lot; at first everything, and later, most things, and I really grew to resent him for it. It wasn't my job or my desire to support his vile ass! In particular, I detested his lack of financial planning. Not that everyone needs to (or can be!) that Lady from a few weeks ago with $34K in savings, but he had no basic concept of compound interest, or why you should save some bit of your paycheck each week. He literally did not see why it was a good idea to save up for a rainy day.

We broke up after about a year of dating, and after about two weeks I was gloriously happy, even though I was still broke. It is ok to choose yourself over broke dead weight.

oopsicle

LW4 --> Please read this!

I agree with the bottom line that A Dude offered: no, you probably don't have to tell your boyfriend. BUT, that said, I think his analysis of the situation is wrong. Why, A Dude, would you insist that she wants to tell him so she feels better when she clearly states that her concern is that it will blow up in her face and he'll find out anyway through acquaintances? If it were really about her feelings of guilt needing to get out, she would have told him a long time ago. Guilt about cheating eases with time, and she has a perfectly valid reason to consider telling him now. A Dude, you are wrong.

So, anyway, LW4, you have to weigh the chances of the boyf eventually finding out from someone else. Is there a 1 in a million chance or like 50/50? If he finds out from someone else, you are not in control of the situation, and I think it's pretty likely that he will be much more hurt. If you tell him yourself, you can control which details come out, explain the circumstances leading up to it, litter the whole story with apologies, make sure you're not telling him at a bad time (no recent family deaths or whatever?), and also explain WHY you haven't told him up until this point. That way you can set the stage for earning back his trust, instead of having to back track and explain your story once he's already flushed with fury.

However, if there's not a good chance that he will find out, don't tell him. You've gone this long; it gets easier with time. Soon, it won't even be on your mind anymore; it will become a distant memory of a youthful mistake. Just make sure you don't do it again. I can't imagine how much it must suck to run into the guy you slept with and have to worry about him talking to your boyfriend. That makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. But, you know what they say: don't shit where you eat. Lesson learned, I guess.

ALSO, LW1, re: cheating...A Dude, I'm guessing you don't have very much experience with cheating? Not that you should; I'm sure you're a lovely person. But, I'm not loving your advice to any of the LWs (take note, Edith!), and your advice to LW1 is definitely off. I see the whole comforting a pregnant woman thing, but, seriously, if you're going that route, at least be nicer and less blamey? LW1- Speaking from experience, the whole "all my friends cheat but not me 'cause I'm so good at stuff like monogamy" is totally a thing that some cheaters do. It's the kind of comment to drop once or twice max, in a serious but simultaneously off-handed way, and only if the friends really are big fat cheaters. Most likely he's totally trustworthy and loyal to you, but you wouldn't be crazy for talking to your fiance about it. I hope everything works out, I really do. Good luck, and congrats on your pregnancy.

And, yea, I had to make a separate account to leave this comment because I'm a very careful CPOS. But I've gone years since The Incident, so I feel like I know a thing about carrying the guilt and keeping it inside to protect my partner.

oopsicle

@oopsicle ugh...I meant a thing OR TWO. Can I just say "I know a thing"? Is that a thing?

Inkling

@oopsicle
Oh man, I wish you were the A Dude! Thanks for stepping up.
About the mentioning cheating friends thing, I knoooow. Why would you even bring that shit up?? Is he bragging, does he think it's funny, I mean seriously. The only time I would say that is if I was extremely:
-lonely
-drunk
-feeling unappreciated
-seeking validation
-on the phone with my sister, who I can say selfish things to.
And then she'd say "hah does that make you special?" and I'd be embarrassed, even in that state. Seriously, why.

Poubelle

Wait, tall straight-haired blondes get ignored for short, curly-haired brunettes? Did I stumble into opposite planet? (Though I will say petite blondes seem to do the best. Also most people who are shorter than me are actual children, so my feelings on this are probably skewed.)

Also I think redheads are really being neglected here.

WaityKatie

@Poubelle Redheads are neglected... AS USUAL. Sigh.

Poubelle

@WaityKatie Which is a pity, because redheads are clearly the best.

...that's why I've spent so much money at the salon trying to become one, anyhow.

Hellcat

@Poubelle Petite blond here, and I've never done all that well on an... ongoing basis, I guess is the term I'm looking for. Like, I was never the one whose friends' faces got a "here we go again" look because the boys were flocking. Here and there, I've had some good runs of luck... and now I'm wondering if those were the times that I left the ol' bitchface at home? Or drank just the right amount? Or wore very short things? More likely (and so cliched), those times probably happened when I didn't have little "Bah. I never meet anybody" thoughts rattling around my head.

PistolPackinMama

@WaityKatie I want to be all dramatic and say REDHEADS... THEY ARE THE REDHEADED STEP CHILDREN OF ROMANCE. But I don't think that is true, probably. I am just a red-headed step child of romance, and I don't think it's the hair.

WaityKatie

@PistolPackinMama I think it's that guys either hate and disdain redheads, or REALLY REALLY LIKE redheads. The REALLY LIKE ones are a definite minority, but very passionate about their choice. Kind of like civil war re-enactors.

sevanetta

@Poubelle Yeah, I have been reading everything on this theme shaking my head. I have curly brown hair, I'm 5'2", and I have spent the last three years getting pretty much zero attention from going out or real-life interactions - 99% of my dates were from online dating. Not a bad thing, just saying, apparently I come off as cold in real life too.

I'm not complaining, because I just met the most wonderful bloke ever, but ... Please don't be blaming short women with curly brown hair, some of us don't look approachable either.

supernintendochalmers

This actress sounds a little dramatic. "I feel like a wicked princess in a fairytale who marries for money rather than love." Relax. Nobody's proposed to you. It sounds like you're trying to create a dramatic storyline for yourself in a relationship where there is no real conflict. Just see where it goes. You're 25.

Poubelle

@twinkiecowboy Somebody's being dramatic in the theatre. Alert the authorities!

slutberry

@Poubelle OH NO OH NO!!! CALL THE SENTIMENTALITY POLICE!!!

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@teffodee: The Sentimentality Police drive old Volvos through sputtering rainstorms, looking wistfully out the window across fields of wildflowers (all in black and white.)

supernintendochalmers

@Poubelle This is literally unheard of.

slutberry

@Too Much Internet No, no. The sentimentality police burn old videos and drive flashy shiny cars and shoot anyone with puppy-dog eyes.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

Alright, it's clear we need a Hairpin Flirting conference.

All LA 'pinners, meet me at The Edison on the first Saturday night in April. You can all practice your flirting on me.

*rubs hands together slowly, in a way that is not at all creepy*

slutberry

@Too Much Internet I will come and stare at you while slowly running my thumb along the blade of my Bowie knife in a way that is not at all creepy (or suggestive).

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@teffodee: Hot, but somewhat threatening. I give you a B-.

slutberry

@Too Much Internet WHATEVER I DON'T EVEN LIVE IN LA ANYWAY

:huff:

joie

@Too Much Internet I often wonder when I read the 'pinup message boards over on the google group if there's any hairpin hookups/romances that have happened? I guess we'll never know...

atipofthehat

@heyits

Hairpins have unlocked many doors

joie

@atipofthehat ....that many awls have prodded?

Terrifying Wife-Avatar

LW3, I have tons of Feelings about your situation because I married a 51-year-old when I was 33 and have been confronting similar issues about financial stability, albeit for different reasons. But I'm tempted to say that the age thing, the stability/future life plan thing, and your reticence to commit as quickly as he'd like are all separate issues. My experience suggests that the age difference doesn't have to be a big deal in & of itself, which is a good thing, because you can't do anything about it! The other 2 problems, you should talk to him about. For my own part I find it hard to speak up for what I want and need and then when I make myself do it, problems resolve with surprising ease. I think being with someone who has more life experience and thus resists my tendency to overthink & complicate matters is good in this respect. If he is a standup guy and really wants what he claims to want (a future together, a family, etc.) then he should be willing to participate in making plans toward that end, even if he has not been a big planner in the past. OTOH, if you are really Not Ready, then the financial concern could provide you something of an easy out--"It's not you; it's me...and my need for a well-funded retirement plan."

karion

Okay, LW#1, I am usually in the "trust your gut" camp, but lo, the pregnancy brain can do odd things to your instinct.

But my question to you is bigger. Let's say you're right - that he fucked around with someone while on the road. As is evident from LW#4, sometimes, people do stupid and selfish things with seemingly little thought for long-term consequences.

So let's say he fucked around once, as a one-night stand. Play that tape forward, all the way. What would you do with this information? You think he cheated, yes? Not that he is cheating now? If you confirm that he did something utterly stupid and selfish and fucked around once, with someone who is not any part of his life now, will it add anything positive to your life?

Aside from the very real worry about him being unsafe and exposing you to STDs, which you can alleviate at a routine prenatal check, I don't think the knowledge that he fucked around once will enhance your life.

The reason I mention all of this? I think it might be easier to move past it if you deal with the worst case scenario, rather than agonize about the suspicion. I have a feeling that nothing short of a confession is going to alleviate your suspicion anyway.

All that said, I would tell him that your spidey sense is going off the rails, most likely because of pregnancy brain, being apart during the height of it, and all the stereotypes of band dudes on the road. I would tell him that you couldn't imagine anything more painful than finding out that he was fucking around on you the way his bandmates do. That you wouldn't be with a man who wanted a wife and family at home, but felt free to fuck around while touring - that this is not the relationship you are in, or want to be in. And that you want him to know that about you - that he HAS to know that about you, so that if he ever decides to fuck around on the road, it will destroy your trust and your family.

And then your lines are brightly drawn and unambiguous, and you have asserted some measure of control in a situation where you probably feel the need to have more control.

liznieve

btw, my dude is 24 years older than me and I love him to pieces. LW3, something tells me your issue is not with his age (does it freak me out when I'm 50 he'll be 74? Eh, a little, but not enough for it to be a dealbreaker. I'm just happy he's in my life right now, and for whatever time we get together. I might get hit by a bus! Who knows?), and more about you freaking out about how unstable your own life is. If you knew that you could be financially stable on your own, then what does it matter if he isn't? Is it just your expectations that by 41 he would have Figured Shit Out? Because a fairy doesn't just come down from above at your 30th birthday and grant you these powers of realization and age doesn't magically bestow riches upon you. It's something you have to work for and toward... and it's also something you need to do for yourself or be honest about your expectations of your partner.

crocuta

Ugh, the tall thing. I'm pretty gangly and I get all kinds of kind of weird negs from dudes about it, like "You know, I'd totally have a crush on you if you weren't so tall!" And, of course, the flip side is the guys who fetishize it because it would be some kind of novelty (cf that one Seinfeld scene where George wants to sleep with a tall woman) or a boost to their manliness (because they get to "conquer" an Amazon).

Seriously, most of the time I like being tall, but it does make dating even shittier than normal.

atipofthehat

@crocuta

If you weren't tall, whatever you were would be the problem. I've even heard "Well, I'm too beautiful, none of the nice guys dare approach me, I only get hit on by aggressive creeps—wait, why are you kissing me?" and other such complaints. This business goes smoothly for almost no one.

Just do what you can to ignore the mild idiocy and get to the real dude who is past the nervous stupid comments, maybe one will turn out to be worth you while? If it were easy for them, they wouldn't constantly be making lame, ridiculous remarks.

joie

@atipofthehat you're killin' it today, tip!

blackjellybean

I'm a little late to the discussion, but I agree with noreally - pregnancy hormones make one crazy. So do post pregnancy hormones for that matter. If you can't stand the feelings, talk it over with him in your best "I'm feeling so crazy right now...I really need some (fill in the blank)". And you can both have a good laugh about it when Baby is around two.

Scarlton Banks

@blackjellybean And this is why I'm frightened of baby showers.

Scarlton Banks

To Ms. Tall Blonde (LW#2)-Although I'm a short brunette with dark hair (I flatiron the curls), I completely empathize! After many years of social outings, my internal analytics have concluded that, when I'm out with another female of equal attractiveness, I am almost always the introverted, less-hit on friend by comparison. I'm also always the shorter one, so hopefully that dispels the The Dude's notion of guys generally defaulting to shorties.

Either way, I think you realize what the main difference here is--your more extroverted friend is giving off crazy Flirt With Me Vibes to several guys, and your style is probably more conducive to deeper one-on-one connections. Does that mean you should attempt to imitate these Vibes, or try awkward stuff like touching people's arms? NO WAY. Here are some reasons why:

1) The frequency of one's flirtations does not correlate with the quality of one's relationships. I have observed that my gregarious femme friends have more volatile experiences with people, and new dudes disappear as quickly as they came. (heh heh, get it?)

2) In a similar vein, Flirt With Me Vibers tend to hook up with their own. Are you seriously looking for a guy that hits on girls so frequently? You probably aren't, which leads me to...

3) Guys can pick up on your scent. If you are really out on the prowl, they'll feel the energy and move accordingly. Being insanely prowly is probably the base essence of the Flirt With Me Vibe. Do you really want to be prowly, or do you want to just chill and enjoy being yourself, and whoever may (or may not) come along?

Cheers! Sorry for the length.

PS - Try going out with a shyer female friend and test out the theory! It's worked for me.

joie

@Scarlton Banks yes to all of this! I've been on both ends of this, and it's led me to this conclusion: trying to find a meaningful relationship in a bar/nightlife setting is hard. Not impossible! There's plenty of couples who are always the "but WE met in a bar! look how in love/healthy we are!" but it's not that easy.

Passion Fruit

@heyits Yeah, bars/clubs never worked out for me. I met my Mr. Boyfriend on the internet, just like how I met all my new best friends [points at every single Hairpin commenter.]

joie

@Passion Fruit <3

gtrachel

@Scarlton Banks Love your advice!

idealogicRoom

As a dude, question 3 and its answer is absolutely HEARTBREAKING. I understand that people make mistakes in the heat of the moment, but not telling someone you love that you had sex with someone else is horrible. If my girlfriend ever did that to me we would be enemies for life. I don't understand the thought process "I wont tell him because that would hurt him." WTF, how about dont go around boning dudes after only TWO WEEKENDS. You are an absolutely shitty girlfriend and human being. You're making a huge life decision for someone else. How about you tell him and let him decide? Hopefully he finds out and dumps your terrible ass.

Vera Knoop

@idealogicRoom As a dude, how do you feel about LW#1?

idealogicRoom

@Vera Knoop IMO, she should go with her gut, and don't be scared of being accusatory especially because she's pregnant and has a lot riding on this dude. If my girlfriend accused me of cheating, i would be mad (because I would never), but I would do everything in my power to prove that I loved her and didn't. On the other hand, I had gut feelings about my current girlfriend during our first few months that turned out to be entirely false, and definitely made things a little rocky. It's a shitty spot to be in, but hopefully her husband has stayed true, and if not, has an ounce of honor to be a good person and tell her

Oliver St. John Mollusc

You are all the cutest re: flirting (so are you, LW 2!). Don't think of it as being all slimy and fake and trying to ensnare dudes with your feminine wiles. Think of it as going to a party/bar/weenie roast/whatever and having THE BEST TIME and helping someone else have the best time too. I am being totally serious. If you have a friend who can be counted upon to have the best time no matter what, take her along. If you don't know anyone who fits this description and you strike out on your own (in which case, high five), find some girls who look like they're having fun and crash their party. Ask people to weigh in on something trivial but highly divisive, like whether Alien or Aliens is the superior movie. If a song you know comes on, make up a dance in which you act out the lyrics. Tell a story about that crazy thing you saw on the subway this morning. Or whatever works for you! Just don't get hung up on the idea that flirting is this weird and unnatural mode of behavior reserved for when you're trying to put the moves on someone. Flirting is just you having fun being your awesome self and helping someone else feel good too. Try it, you'll like it!

anna to the infinite power

LADY FROM THE FIRST LETTER! SCROLL DOWN!!!! I know it's a day late and a dollar short, or maybe I should read to see what other people are saying but fuckit: as someone who is just coming out of BEING the piece of shit who cheated, people's guilt eats them up in weird ways and if you really know him all you need is a sense that this happened. the weird comment just helps nail it down. ask him things directly and watch his face as he answers you. if you picked up on this and you've been together for years and you love this man and you have a kid together, the truth can make you guys stronger but you may have to drag it out at first. this is from someone who just walked across the abyss and my husband, who obviously doesn't have women's intuition but is pretty intuitive, blew my everloving mind with how much he sensed. he had to go on a little hunt for evidence but you can just talk and let him know you are there for him with acceptance and i think you guys are gonna make it. if you have SUCH a hunch, you just sound like you two are close despite this and you have to believe you can be closer than ever if you are right about this too. i wish the best for you two.

anna to the infinite power

@anna to the infinite power Sry it's prob bad form to reply to myself but wtf this is a pretty lame dude. Not saying he's not a dude that perhaps has done a good one in the past. But all these answers are weak as hell verging on wrong.

Glass

@ LW Numero Uno: In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell talks about how our subconscious mind can pick up on things our conscious mind has somehow overlooked. Could it be some pregnancy hormones causing feelings of insecurity without merit? Yes, it’s possible. However, I think it’s bad idea to dismiss those feelings on that basis without looking into much further. What has caused those feelings to pop up? Is it more than the time apart coupled with the knowledge he’s in a cheating rich environment?

Has he seemed over emphatic that he’s been faithful, as if he’s trying way too hard to convince you? Has he become secretive about certain aspects of his trips? Have there been inconsistencies in his accounts of what he’s done while away?

I don’t believe in sixth senses in the WOOOO sense but I believe our subconscious picks up on things our conscious mind misses. Maybe what’s going on is that your pregnancy is making you more attune to your subconscious?

kayjay

My instincts also told me my boyfriend was cheating on me for all the years he was touring and playing music in front of hot Italian women. My instincts also tell me to eat lots of cheese, drink too much during important functions where it would be truly embarrassing for me to get stinking, black-out drunk, and that I MIGHT be able to pull off skinny jeans. My instincts are shite. They are built on a shaky foundation of being screwed over one too many times and insecurity. Sounds like your man is okay. Until he gives you a reason to think he's cheating (and it sounds like he hasn't), try to quiet your inner-freakout voice and just love him. I thought a lot of crazy things when I was pregnant. Mostly involving cake, though.

Apocalypstick

@kayjay Distrust all instincts that do not involve cheese. That one's right on.

kayjay

@Apocalypstick Oh I would! Except cheese destroys my stomach. My brain, however, still loves it and tries to convince me daily to eat large amounts of it. See? Lame instincts: I've got them.

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