Author Topic: Giving single friends feedback on da[color=black]ting[/color] expectations.  (Read 6871 times)

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Winterlight

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Tell him to pull his head out of his butt and playing to the "friendzone" stereotype crap.  He needs to learn that conversation between two people, regardless of gender, isn't "leading someone on."  Don't beat around the bush.  Just tell him.

Agreed. If he wanted to talk to Lisa, he could have done so. If he decided to use the event as a chance to meet people in general, he could have done that. Now he's pouting because Amy wasn't single? He needs to grow up.
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DavidH

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I'm not sure how we got to

Really? So even if I find the person I'm talking to fascinating, and we have a lot in common, if I don't want to sleep with him I shouldn't talk to him got an extended period of time. What if i don't want to mingle with other people? That seems frankly offensive- like I owe him a chance at sex simply by virtue of being single and being interested in the same thing.

I don't think anyone was saying that if you talk to someone too long at a party you owe them sex.  I think the point is that it is not unreasonable to think someone is flirting if both people are single and they spend most if not all of a party talking to eachother and not as part of the general mingling at the party. 

I don't think the concensus is that he had the right expectations or should be angry, since if she introduces him to her BF, that's as strong a signal as possible that she's taken. 

On the other hand, this type of thing isn't black and white and there are times where one could reasonably feel led on.

Onyx_TKD

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I'm not sure how we got to

Really? So even if I find the person I'm talking to fascinating, and we have a lot in common, if I don't want to sleep with him I shouldn't talk to him got an extended period of time. What if i don't want to mingle with other people? That seems frankly offensive- like I owe him a chance at sex simply by virtue of being single and being interested in the same thing.

I don't think anyone was saying that if you talk to someone too long at a party you owe them sex.  I think the point is that it is not unreasonable to think someone is flirting if both people are single and they spend most if not all of a party talking to eachother and not as part of the general mingling at the party. 

I don't think the concensus is that he had the right expectations or should be angry, since if she introduces him to her BF, that's as strong a signal as possible that she's taken. 

On the other hand, this type of thing isn't black and white and there are times where one could reasonably feel led on.


If the two single people were of the same gender, would you still consider it "leading on"? I haven't seen any posts in this thread that suggest that having a conversation of that length, in itself, inappropriate. Instead, posters seem to be saying that it only becomes inappropriate and "leading him on" if A) the people are of opposite genders, B) there isn't mutual romantic interest, and C) the person not interested in romance hasn't established that they're "unavailable."

For example:
[snip]
So to answer cross_patch's question, I'd say that if you are going to spend several hours having an in-depth conversation with an eligible member of the opposite sex, then yes, you do need to slip into the conversation that you're taken. It doesn't need to be a major production. It can simply be something like "Oh, you like art? So do I! My boyfriend and I happened to see the recent Monet exhibition at the National Gallery the other week and it was wonderful. What do you think of the Impressionists?" etc.

I'm a single woman in a male-dominated field with no particular interest in starting a romantic relationship. Does that mean I can never have in-depth chats with like-minded guys just because we happen to have different plumbing? If I made up and mentioned a fictitious boyfriend to protect the fragile egos of guys like Ted, does it then become ok to converse? Is it ok if they think I'm gay? Or would that just make it wrong to chat at length with people of my own gender? Thedudeabides summed up the problem with this line of reasoning very succinctly:

This line of reasoning is offensive to many people, LifeOnPluto, because it treats members of the opposite sex as sexual objects and not as people in their own right who are interesting enough to have a conversation with.

My romantic "status" is not a primary consideration in my life. Hence, I don't shape my social interactions around figuring out who's available to form a couple with. I shape my social life around interacting with people whose company I enjoy. If other single people (like Ted) want to limit their interactions to either romantic prospects or people of the same gender, then that's fine--I can't imagine wanting to do that, but it's their choice. It's not ok to force others into those same limitations. People here are saying that to chat with someone of the opposite gender without either being open to romance or establishing one's "ineligibility" is leading them on. To me that implies that it's wrong to treat a new acquaintance as a potential friend first, rather than a potential romantic partner--completely backwards from my perspective.

gay folks can apparently manage to find romantic prospects without assuming that everyone person of the same gender and talking to them at length is flirting. I'm sure the straight folks can manage this, too.

siamesecat2965

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   My romantic "status" is not a primary consideration in my life. Hence, I don't shape my social interactions around figuring out who's available to form a couple with. I shape my social life around interacting with people whose company I enjoy. If other single people (like Ted) want to limit their interactions to either romantic prospects or people of the same gender, then that's fine--I can't imagine wanting to do that, but it's their choice. It's not ok to force others into those same limitations. People here are saying that to chat with someone of the opposite gender without either being open to romance or establishing one's "ineligibility" is leading them on. To me that implies that it's wrong to treat a new acquaintance as a potential friend first, rather than a potential romantic partner--completely backwards from my perspective.

 

I too am single, and feel the same way. I sometimes am in social gatherings and will end up chatting with the guys about sports, since many of my female friends could care less about them. Not the whole time, but some of it.  If I were in a r*lationship, and had spent a portion of time at a social gathering chatting with another guy about something, and came to find out he thought I spent too much time talking to him and that wasn't right because I was attached, and he thought I was leading him on, I'd be pretty offended. 

I had a similar situation back in college; freshman year two friends threw a NYE party, and all guests, but one, were friends from HS. One of the hosts, one of my closest friends, I thought, had invited someone from college, who, unbeknownst to me, she had a "thing" for. Well, everyone else was catching up, etc. and he ws kind of off on his own. So I started talking to him. I felt badly that he didn't know anyone, and my friend was off doing something else. Word got back to me she was mad at me for spending time talking to him, as she had a "thing" for him. Ok, fine, but if you invited him, perhaps maybe you should have made sure he wasn't sitting by himself! I had no romantic interest, I was just trying to make him feel a bit more comfortable. Since I had been in that position where I knew very few, and everyone ignored me.

DavidH

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The point I was trying to make is that at a party the expectation is to mingle and talk to multiple people there.  If you are single and talking to another single person for the entire party to the exclusion of others, it is likely to come across as more than the usual amount of interest, particularly if you repeatedly seek them out to continue the conversation.  In that case, it is not unreasonable for the person to have concluded that there might be a romantic interest there, particularly if there is one on their part and they have been or think they have been giving any signal to that effect.

It's not that you can't have in depth conversations, since life would be rather boring without those, but it is a good idea to at least be conscious of how you come across to others.  If you don't have lots of misunderstandings around this, then you are navigating the situations well.  If you have a line of people who have mistakenly thought you were interested in them, then maybe resconsider the signals you are giving them.

Note:  All are mean to be the generic you, not a particular individual.

Onyx_TKD

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The point I was trying to make is that at a party the expectation is to mingle and talk to multiple people there.  If you are single and talking to another single person for the entire party to the exclusion of others, it is likely to come across as more than the usual amount of interest, particularly if you repeatedly seek them out to continue the conversation.  In that case, it is not unreasonable for the person to have concluded that there might be a romantic interest there, particularly if there is one on their part and they have been or think they have been giving any signal to that effect.

It's not that you can't have in depth conversations, since life would be rather boring without those, but it is a good idea to at least be conscious of how you come across to others.  If you don't have lots of misunderstandings around this, then you are navigating the situations well.  If you have a line of people who have mistakenly thought you were interested in them, then maybe resconsider the signals you are giving them.

Note:  All are mean to be the generic you, not a particular individual.

How did we get to the bolded? In the OP, it said
Quote
they also got along well and were conversing both alone and as part of a group  (that included Amy's boyfriend) for most of the bbq.
I didn't see any mention that anyone (neither Ted nor Amy) was repeatedly seeking the other out to continue the conversation. Instead, it sounded like they were having a comfortable conversation, welcoming other participants, and neither made an effort to end the conversation and walk away.

DavidH

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I was responding to other posts, I think everyone agrees that the person in the original post was being unreasonable.  I was trying to say that there are degrees to this.  One extreme being the intense private conversation for most of the party and that as one gets closer to that extreme then the chances of the person interpreting things wrong go up. 

Deetee

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I spent a while thinking about this because I find this man's attitude so disturbing. He extremely quick to blame another party for his own actions and feelings. He meets a girl at a party and talks to her. He knows she has a boyfriend because he checks afterwards that the guy "is really her boyfriend".

He then blames her for "leading him on" for talking when she was not interested in him as a potential romantic partner. Nope, she was interested in him as a human being that she enjoyed conversing with. Somehow he is unable to return that favour. And he also manages to blame her for his inability to connect another girl. This is especially egregious. If he wanted to talk to the other girl, he should have gone and talked to her.

I'm not going to hold it against him that he went to a party to meet a romantic interest (It's a not a trait I find very appealing personally, as I find such people can be a bit black and white in terms of relationships) But if he wanted to meet romantic interests and there are two girls at a party that you find attractive and you only talk to the one who is there with her boyfriend, that's your own fault.

He was disappointed that the girl he "wasted" time with wasn't available. But that's not her fault the time was wasted. It's his. because only he wanted something that wasn't available and he couldn't or wouldn't accept that.

ClaireC79

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He knows she has a boyfriend because he checks afterwards that the guy "is really her boyfriend".

or he didn't know and then later on saw her kiss him/hold his hand and suddenly it dawned on him?

Black Delphinium

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He knows she has a boyfriend because he checks afterwards that the guy "is really her boyfriend".

or he didn't know and then later on saw her kiss him/hold his hand and suddenly it dawned on him?
If he didn't know at all, wouldn't he have asked "who was that guy?" instead?
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

peach2play

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The next time you talk to him, bring up the incident and say:

Dude, you're not that special.  Not every woman who speaks to you, glances at you, happens to sit next to you at a sporting event etc is even remotely interested in you as anything more than a human being they will interact with for a short while and may or may not talk to again.  Grow up.  Hearing you speak like this about a good friend of mine just brings to light how emotionally immature you are and it is a much bigger reflection on your character than anything else.  I know you are feeling really lost and hurt suddenly finding yourself single and it can be a tough world out there, but you shouldn't make up scenes in your head just to make yourself feel better.  If you need a boost there are plenty of cute puppy pics on the internet.  Honestly if this continues, I don't think we can hang out.  It's not fair of you to attack someone's character just because you're feeling insecure.

Then see where it goes.  Either he's the kind of guy who will internalize, figure it out and change or...well, do you really need friends like that in your life?

blarg314

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Ted talks to Sarah (who is single)  who finds him interesting, but she isn't interested in a romantic/physical relationship with him.  However, she knows 15 woman,  of which 7 are single

If he acts entitled and slightly angry that Sarah isn't into him, she will not think of him the next time she has a party, so he won't get invited.  So he will miss out on meeting the 7 single women Sarah invited to the party.

If instead, he's an interesting conversationalist, treats Sarah with respect and is courteous, etc.  Then Sarah will not only think about an invite him to the party, she may make a point of mentioning him to her 7 single friends as this great guy she met.  But that's only if he's genuinely interesting and respectful.
 

This may be a good way to put it for things like parties - he's expanding his social circle, rather than trying to pick up that particular woman.  If Ted really does think that the only reason to have a long conversation with a woman is the hope she will date him, he really is hindering his chances in todays dating world.

I find that with younger people (compared to their parents or grandparents), the male/female dynamic has changed a lot. A few generations ago you had a society where men and women's social and work spheres were much more separated, and any interaction between men and women tended to be hedged around with rules and expectations, mostly to do with sexual/romantic behaviour. Now, men and women work together and socialize together, there are lots of male-female platonic friends, and you can no longer automatically assume that people you meet are even heterosexual (and as others have said, dropping that into a conversation is a lot less simply than dropping a mention of an SO).

I'm a female in a male dominated industry, and I didn't even really think all that much about flirting at a social gathering even when I was single. If I stopped to evaluate whether every guy I talked to was interested in conversation or flirtation, then I'd be exhausted at the end of every social event - I'm used to thinking of guys first as people rather than as potential romantic partners.

It sounds like Ted's background is more conservative, with more rigid definitions of how men and women behave. That's fine if it's what he wants, but he'll be better off looking for dates in an environment where he'll meet women with the same idea. But if he's going to try to meet women through the OP and her friends, he'll have to adjust his attitudes, or he'll get a reputation that will make him undatable.







LifeOnPluto

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I'm not sure how we got to

Really? So even if I find the person I'm talking to fascinating, and we have a lot in common, if I don't want to sleep with him I shouldn't talk to him got an extended period of time. What if i don't want to mingle with other people? That seems frankly offensive- like I owe him a chance at sex simply by virtue of being single and being interested in the same thing.

I don't think anyone was saying that if you talk to someone too long at a party you owe them sex.  I think the point is that it is not unreasonable to think someone is flirting if both people are single and they spend most if not all of a party talking to eachother and not as part of the general mingling at the party. 

I don't think the concensus is that he had the right expectations or should be angry, since if she introduces him to her BF, that's as strong a signal as possible that she's taken. 

On the other hand, this type of thing isn't black and white and there are times where one could reasonably feel led on.


If the two single people were of the same gender, would you still consider it "leading on"? I haven't seen any posts in this thread that suggest that having a conversation of that length, in itself, inappropriate. Instead, posters seem to be saying that it only becomes inappropriate and "leading him on" if A) the people are of opposite genders, B) there isn't mutual romantic interest, and C) the person not interested in romance hasn't established that they're "unavailable."



If two people were of the same gender, and preferred relationships of the same gender (and each one knew the other was inclined to the same gender), then yes, it could potentially be "leading them on".

It is a bit tricky though, since the majority of people prefer partners of the opposite gender. So in most cases, having a long, exclusive conversation with someone of the same gender at a BBQ might be a tad anti-social (to the rest of the guests) but wouldn't constitute "leading them on" in a romantic sense.

cross_patch

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I'm not sure how we got to

Really? So even if I find the person I'm talking to fascinating, and we have a lot in common, if I don't want to sleep with him I shouldn't talk to him got an extended period of time. What if i don't want to mingle with other people? That seems frankly offensive- like I owe him a chance at sex simply by virtue of being single and being interested in the same thing.

I don't think anyone was saying that if you talk to someone too long at a party you owe them sex.  I think the point is that it is not unreasonable to think someone is flirting if both people are single and they spend most if not all of a party talking to eachother and not as part of the general mingling at the party. 

I don't think the concensus is that he had the right expectations or should be angry, since if she introduces him to her BF, that's as strong a signal as possible that she's taken. 

On the other hand, this type of thing isn't black and white and there are times where one could reasonably feel led on.

We got there because I was responding to LifeOnPlutos original post.

artk2002

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I don't think anyone was saying that if you talk to someone too long at a party you owe them sex.  I think the point is that it is not unreasonable to think someone is flirting if both people are single and they spend most if not all of a party talking to eachother and not as part of the general mingling at the party. 

Where's the cutoff? 15 minutes? 17 minutes 30.5 seconds? I'm being sarcastic because I find the idea of some time of "too long" to be ridiculous. I talk to people, not dating statuses. It's possible to have an interesting, 1:1 conversation with someone for hours and there not be one bit of flirting at all. And then, it's possible to be flirtatious in 15 seconds or less. Thinking that time is the sole, or even major, indicator is just silly.

Flirting, or expressing sexual interest in someone is more than about the duration of the conversation, or even whether it's 1:1 or in a group.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain