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billsmithglendale
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:08 pm    Post subject: How To Avoid Getting Used -- For Guys Reply with quote

So I was thinking about the past last night, something that I probably shouldn't do, as it is counterproductive to getting sleep and gets me worked up Embarassed

Let me preface this by saying that this isn't meant to be an attack on women -- men have their own version of this, which is to seek sex right away and not follow through with any relationship afterwards. So men chase sex, women chase resources -- getting used by a woman is sort of like a guy sleeping with a girl and dumping her right away or never calling her or taking her out on a date. They really are equivalent.

Anyways, one thing that struck me was how I got used so much by women in a certain age range -- like 19-20. At one point, several women in my dorm building were using me for any number of things -- academic help, attention, platonic escort, etc. So it got me thinking -- why did this happen, and what should I have done differently? Better yet, what changed, and how have I fallen into that same mistaken pattern later in my life?

One thing I did note was that when I was at my shyest, and didn't make an effort to talk to anyone at all or even make myself available, it didn't happen. So I can see why guys here on these forums who got used would crawl back into their shell, because it is one way of staying "safe." Unfortunately, it also eliminates most of your opportunity to make yourself happy or get a girlfriend.

I think what it was was that I was being social, but wasn't socially sophisticated enough to be able to screen out user female behavior. At the same time, I was vibing too much desperation and unconditional cooperation and help, rather than staying reserved and valuing my own time. I made it clear my own time was not valuable to me.

So rule #1 -- value your time. Don't give it away without some kind of concession from the other person, and not just being around them because they are a pretty girl. If it's a study session, you need to have something to gain from it compensation-wise. They should either be paying you, paying for your lunch, or know something about what they are studying that you don't know, so that you also gain. There are some exceptions to this, to be mentioned later.

The second mistake I made was that I misread the intentions of the women who approached me. I thought in many cases that it was a veiled attempt to spend time together (and thus create a relationship), when in reality, it was a business transaction for them. Here's the warning sign -- if there's actual learning going on, and the person is all about sticking with the "business" of the study session, and not just using it as an excuse for small talk, getting to know eachother, etc., you are being used (Rule #2) This applies to anything else -- changing her tires, helping her paint her room, etc. And if you are actually writing her essay for her, beware, because this is the worst kind of user!!!

Rule #3 -- Time spent with a user takes away from time you could spend getting to know someone else who might like you for you instead of what you can do for them. The only time I ever saw a user chick get jealous about me was when some other girl tried to move in on her territory, either to use me or out of genuine interest. User girl will do anything to sabotage that, and you will mistake it for romantic jealousy. It's not -- She's "getting the milk for free" and doesn't want to lose the benefit. It's like someone is trying to steal her car. That's what you are to her -- an object, not a real person.

Rule #4 -- If you're spending time on the phone with a girl all the time, spending time with her in person, doing stuff, but still not actually in a relationship (no kissing, real dates, professions of love, sex, etc.), you're being used for platonic attention. Sad but true. There are a lot of girls out there who want someone to be their passive audience, but not actually give up anything in return. They want to be on the pedestal, and you at their feet, forever groveling. They might even be afraid of sex or real affection -- whatever the reason, don't waste your time on them. This is time better spent somewhere else with someone else, even if it is just by yourself. This person will also sabotage any other chances that come your way, so don't think time spent with them is productive at all.

At this point, rather than go into the exceptions to the above, I'm going to stop rambling and let you guys chime in with either questions or comments, which I'll answer and hopefully achieve the same goal.
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veks
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very susceptible to this, and because of that, I usually avoid contact(eye contact, conversation) with women.
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deadeyexx
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably the best advice I've seen to keep from falling into the dreaded "nice guy" catergory.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I learned all this the hard way as well (except it was more when I was 16-17 rather than 18-19)... Even though I now know that pretty much no woman in existence likes me for who I am, it's still better knowing that than going with the naive thought that some of these girls might actually like me (when in reality they're just trying to use me)...
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veks
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDIT: Sorry for this post, it had very strong feelings associated with it.

Last edited by veks on Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:11 pm; edited 2 times in total
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MorbidMiss
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have made a few fundamental mistakes in this thinking. On the risk of seeming very Swedish... you would have been better served to make this post more gender neutral.


1. You are assuming that males cannot be used for "just sex". Not to be mistaken for a relationship either, sometimes guys actually do mind this. Being the "buddy" leaves you at a disadvantage when it comes to complaining when the other person decides to start actually dating someone else.

2. You seem to be asserting that woman can only be used for sex. I am almost positive this is unintentional, but on the off chance... I had plenty of guys that I liked in school that had no interest in me beyond copying off of my paper in class. It isn't as if I were hideous or anything, just really shy and not inclined to be sexually active at that point in my life. (ie wasn't putting out). Anyway the point is that guys do not have the market cornered on the "I'm asking for tutoring, but actually want you to do the work for me" jerks. Or on people who just want to be friends either.

3. You viewing platonic relationships with disdain as if they are not important and you can get nothing out of them. Friendship is an important part of human interaction and not every girl (or guy) who wants to be strictly platonic is using you like an oh woe is me vending machine. It could be that they really find you stimulating company, but only mentally. Just because someone wants to be friends does not mean they want you groveling like Sir Lancelot (and lets not forget that eventually he got Gwenny anyway).

I believe you are confused about which are the exceptions here. Not everyone sucks. And of the people that were guilty of at least the "friend zone" situations, it could be that they were just emotionally confused. Not everyone is. I have had guys that I just wanted to be friends with come on to me, and not take no graciously. They felt that just because they listened to me complain a few times that they were entitled. I very quickly ended those friendships.
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ToadOfSteel
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDIT: since veks withdrew his statements, I'll withdraw my response...

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veks
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDIT: See post 2 spots above.

Last edited by veks on Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:15 pm; edited 3 times in total
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billsmithglendale
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi MorbidMiss -- Thanks for the feedback and rebuttals -- this was expressly why I posted this, to stimulate discussion, prove my points, and explain any exceptions.

MorbidMiss wrote:
You have made a few fundamental mistakes in this thinking. On the risk of seeming very Swedish... you would have been better served to make this post more gender neutral.


Perhaps, but I think men have more problems with this (at least at a young age) than women, who face a slightly different circumstance. There are of course women who are used by men for various reasons as well, but I see most of the emotional turmoil on these boards from guys. I'm also echoing my own life experiences, so it will of course be from a man's POV.

MorbidMiss wrote:

1. You are assuming that males cannot be used for "just sex". Not to be mistaken for a relationship either, sometimes guys actually do mind this. Being the "buddy" leaves you at a disadvantage when it comes to complaining when the other person decides to start actually dating someone else.


I have yet to see any man complain here about being used for sex. Not saying it doesn't happen, but that's not the problem men have here. I'd also like to point out that sex is a goal for men to such an extent that many men (I think around 36%?) would consider having sex with someone they just met in the past 5 minutes, as opposed to almost no women (like 7%, according to one survey I heard)

MorbidMiss wrote:

2. You seem to be asserting that woman can only be used for sex. I am almost positive this is unintentional, but on the off chance... I had plenty of guys that I liked in school that had no interest in me beyond copying off of my paper in class. It isn't as if I were hideous or anything, just really shy and not inclined to be sexually active at that point in my life. (ie wasn't putting out). Anyway the point is that guys do not have the market cornered on the "I'm asking for tutoring, but actually want you to do the work for me" jerks. Or on people who just want to be friends either.


True enough, I will concede this point, in which case, yes, the woman reading my points and finding herself in the same situation (the copying homework example is excellent, as I did in fact do this to a girl who later asked me out and was rebuffed) should take the same lesson from my observations.

MorbidMiss wrote:

3. You viewing platonic relationships with disdain as if they are not important and you can get nothing out of them. Friendship is an important part of human interaction and not every girl (or guy) who wants to be strictly platonic is using you like an oh woe is me vending machine. It could be that they really find you stimulating company, but only mentally. Just because someone wants to be friends does not mean they want you groveling like Sir Lancelot (and lets not forget that eventually he got Gwenny anyway).


True, but I think it is obvious in my example and to my male audience that I am in fact referring to cases where the guy does want the relationship to be something more, but the woman is quite content to lead the guy on or keep things as they are. The woman is content, the man isn't -- there's an inequity here that needs resolving, as one person is rapidly becoming more and more unhappy to the benefit of the other. This is truly the definition of being used.

MorbidMiss wrote:

I believe you are confused about which are the exceptions here. Not everyone sucks. And of the people that were guilty of at least the "friend zone" situations, it could be that they were just emotionally confused. Not everyone is. I have had guys that I just wanted to be friends with come on to me, and not take no graciously. They felt that just because they listened to me complain a few times that they were entitled. I very quickly ended those friendships.


I think you might be confused in that I didn't go into the exceptions yet. No one is entitled to anything, but there are clearly situations where one party is leading the other on, and this happens a lot to the guys who can least afford it and are the most easily victimized. I will go into exceptions later, either in another post or in response to exceptions posted by others here.
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Janissy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having a hard time seeing in what sort of relationship you WOULDN'T consider yourself being used by a woman.
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billsmithglendale
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Janissy wrote:
I'm having a hard time seeing in what sort of relationship you WOULDN'T consider yourself being used by a woman.


Great question -- here's the difference --

In a good or valid relationship, both people are equally happy being "of use" to the other person, and both people's needs are fulfilled. This is a simple but powerful equation. If one person feels inequity in the relationship, on some level they are being used.

Examples of good relationships:

Romantic --
Guy likes girl, for her body, her mind, the sex they have, the conversations. Girl likes guy for his mind, his importance, his job, the sex they have, the conversations.

Simplistic? Yes. But it could be even more simplistic, and still not be an unequal/user relationship if everyone's happy.

Quid Pro Quo (this for that, or something for something)--
Guy likes girl for her body and the sex they have. Girl likes guy for his money and the stuff she buys with it. If both people are happy with this, there's nothing wrong with this relationship.

Platonic --
Guy likes talking to girl as a friend and having coffee to talk about problems. Girl likes guy for exact same reason. Neither wants anything more. Both are happy.

Now, contrast this with the "user" situations I mention above --

User relationship:
Guy likes girl for her looks and body, wants to have a relationship. Girl likes boy for his academic prowess, wants nothing more. Girl doesn't pay guy for his time or knowledge or reciprocate in other way, but takes full advantage and doesn't think anything of using his time. Guy pines for a relationship, grows frustrated, realizes that he is not getting anywhere or being compensated in any way (emotionally, physically, or monetarily).

In every relationship, there's some kind of compensation -- physical, spiritual, etc. When one person is giving a lot more than they get back, there is something wrong, and when the other person knows this and still persists in pushing the relationship or enticing the other person to stay, it is a lopsided/user relationship.

Does that explain my point?
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makuranososhi
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is almost a supply and demand situation... just know that you control the supply, and create the demand.

There are reciprocal relationships, there are dependent relationships, there are co-dependent relationships, there are one-sided relationships, there are a great many variations - all of which will satisfy some people and make others unhappy. You talk about the age range of the prospective partners you were dealing with at the time - this is where I see supply and demand coming into play. When you have abundant resources and limited competition, then there is little incentive to do anything but take the best of what is needed. This isn't a gender-based construct, this isn't constrained to humanity; when there is opportunity to benefit, life often expands to take advantage. One thing I keep reading from members is how they give and give and give only to receive nothing in return; does it not follow that if the gesture is unappreciated that it is foolish to continue to leave the fount open? Again with supply and demand... I love steak, but even the finest cut would be tiresome if it were there constantly, every moment, and without effort.


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Fiz
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: How To Avoid Getting Used -- For Guys Reply with quote

billsmithglendale wrote:

Let me preface this by saying that this isn't meant to be an attack on women -- men have their own version of this, which is to seek sex right away and not follow through with any relationship afterwards. So men chase sex, women chase resources -- getting used by a woman is sort of like a guy sleeping with a girl and dumping her right away or never calling her or taking her out on a date. They really are equivalent.


I like the fact that you recognise that both men and women get used. This shows a good level of maturity in you in that you recognise what some people don't seem to do so on here in that both sexes can get hurt. You also seem to have learned from your experiences with women and are able to convey this without using derogatory slang and are, therefore, being a lot more helpful toward the audience to which this is intended by actually advising other men how to deal with it, so good on you.

billsmithglendale wrote:

Anyways, one thing that struck me was how I got used so much by women in a certain age range -- like 19-20. At one point, several women in my dorm building were using me for any number of things -- academic help, attention, platonic escort, etc. So it got me thinking -- why did this happen, and what should I have done differently? Better yet, what changed, and how have I fallen into that same mistaken pattern later in my life?


Some of my friendships were formed from people initially using me for academic help believe it or not. But if people are serially using you and then not even returning any form of friendship or anything more, then that is bad of them. The only thing you, perhaps, should have done differently and should probably do differently in the future is, for example, if a woman keeps coming to you for academic help and nothing else, ask her if she actually has other friends she can go to for this help? Be polite about it and if she questions you or makes a derogatory remark about you not wanting to help her, just politely tell her that it puts you out helping someone who only calls on you for that purpose alone and nothing else. Why should you have to when you could be spending your time doing something you have to/want to do instead? If she then never comes to see you again, then she wasn't worth it was she and you shouldn't think anything else of her.

billsmithglendale wrote:

One thing I did note was that when I was at my shyest, and didn't make an effort to talk to anyone at all or even make myself available, it didn't happen. So I can see why guys here on these forums who got used would crawl back into their shell, because it is one way of staying "safe." Unfortunately, it also eliminates most of your opportunity to make yourself happy or get a girlfriend.


Unfortunately, this is a true statement. However, I do think that crawling back into your shell for a while after you have been hurt is a good strategy and one that I adopt until I feel I have 'healed' enough to carry on as normal again. I usually try not to spend too much time getting over people who use me as they are not worth my headspace. I start by erasing everything that is potentially a reminder of the perpetrator, such as their phone number, any photos I may have of them etc. I then vow to be normal again within a certain amount of time e.g. 6 weeks as I hate the idea of worthless individuals defeating me. Determination is the key to success whereas giving up and bowing to them is not.

billsmithglendale wrote:

I think what it was was that I was being social, but wasn't socially sophisticated enough to be able to screen out user female behavior. At the same time, I was vibing too much desperation and unconditional cooperation and help, rather than staying reserved and valuing my own time. I made it clear my own time was not valuable to me.


I am assuming now that you have made it clear that you do value your own time and don't appreciate your time being wasted? Screening user behaviour is not easy for anyone unfortunately, aspie or not. I think the key is to look for repetitive behaviours in people. Are they coming to you for the same reason every single time? Will you not see them for months (even years) and then, all the sudden, they appear because they think you might be able to help them as opposed to actually wanting to be in your company? If, for some reason, you are unable to help them, do they stick around and continue to chat or do they just simply disappear without another word (other than 'bye'?)? Or are they nice to you in only certain circumstances and are mean or ignore you in others?

billsmithglendale wrote:

So rule #1 -- value your time. Don't give it away without some kind of concession from the other person, and not just being around them because they are a pretty girl. If it's a study session, you need to have something to gain from it compensation-wise. They should either be paying you, paying for your lunch, or know something about what they are studying that you don't know, so that you also gain. There are some exceptions to this, to be mentioned later.

The second mistake I made was that I misread the intentions of the women who approached me. I thought in many cases that it was a veiled attempt to spend time together (and thus create a relationship), when in reality, it was a business transaction for them. Here's the warning sign -- if there's actual learning going on, and the person is all about sticking with the "business" of the study session, and not just using it as an excuse for small talk, getting to know eachother, etc., you are being used (Rule #2) This applies to anything else -- changing her tires, helping her paint her room, etc. And if you are actually writing her essay for her, beware, because this is the worst kind of user!!!


I think this is sound advice, although I don't think that having someone who's with you purely for study (the 'business transaction' you talk about) is a bad thing, so long as YOU know that's what it is. If they are leading you on to think that it's not, then it becomes a problem. I used to have someone come and see me purely for study and now, we no longer talk to one another as we no longer require each other. For me, that's fine, but then we both knew what the arrangement was.

billsmithglendale wrote:

Rule #3 -- Time spent with a user takes away from time you could spend getting to know someone else who might like you for you instead of what you can do for them. The only time I ever saw a user chick get jealous about me was when some other girl tried to move in on her territory, either to use me or out of genuine interest. User girl will do anything to sabotage that, and you will mistake it for romantic jealousy. It's not -- She's "getting the milk for free" and doesn't want to lose the benefit. It's like someone is trying to steal her car. That's what you are to her -- an object, not a real person.

Rule #4 -- If you're spending time on the phone with a girl all the time, spending time with her in person, doing stuff, but still not actually in a relationship (no kissing, real dates, professions of love, sex, etc.), you're being used for platonic attention. Sad but true. There are a lot of girls out there who want someone to be their passive audience, but not actually give up anything in return. They want to be on the pedestal, and you at their feet, forever groveling. They might even be afraid of sex or real affection -- whatever the reason, don't waste your time on them. This is time better spent somewhere else with someone else, even if it is just by yourself. This person will also sabotage any other chances that come your way, so don't think time spent with them is productive at all.


Once again, sound advice. Although platonic attention, again, can be good provided you get something out of it in return, whether it be sexual or non-sexual satisfaction. If you are not, then you cannot class it as platonic. But overall, your advice is great and people would do well to follow it Very Happy
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billsmithglendale
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Fiz,

Thanks for the comments --

Some additional info now -- The period I speak of with respect to myself was probably a low point for me in terms of the quality of my friendships and male-female relations. This was about 14 years ago, and since then I have gotten married (almost 11 year anniversary for us) and also had a long time to reflect and experience alternate versions of some of the using I mention here.

I do want to make it clear that, like you and others have said, this is not gender dependent, but the main reason I posted here in this particular part of the forums using the examples I did is that a lot of guys here do have this specific scenario play out time and time again, and the frustration they feel is specifically romantic frustration. Having had time to reflect, and also having been in some quality relationships before and after the period I mention, I really feel like I have some good advice to pass on to those who might find it interesting. And while my intended audience is mostly male, I welcome feedback from all genders and encourage both to apply it to their lives and circumstances.

I think that there is nothing wrong with situations where both parties use eachother, but both must be equally informed and have equal expectations about what the end goal or state will be. In the case of study partners, it does make sense if they are equals, and can both benefit from it (meaning I know more about A than you do, and you know more about B than I do, so when we study together, we end up both knowing a lot more about A and B than we did before). However, the circumstances I mentioned were more like I knew all about A, and she didn't know jack squat Wink. Or worse yet, she knows I have a crush on her and want to spend time with her, and meanwhile I'm practically writing her essay for her (my lowest point), only to have her turn around and spend her time (and she already had a BF who lived out of town) with yet another guy (not the BF either) who had not committed any of his time at all with her. In that scenario, I have been played for a fool, clearly used, and had my trust betrayed. Fool me once, shame on her, fool me twice, shame on me. I'm trying to make sure a lot of guys here don't get fooled twice (or more).

Like I said, this is a mostly moot point now, but sometimes in the dark hours of the night, I reflect back on bad treatment from other people, and get emotional. I had such a moment last night, and woke up today with the desire to pass on some life lessons to some of the younger (and older) guys here who haven't found the happiness that I've found. I think if I had had more male guidance at that age, I would have done a lot better, so I'm hoping to do my part to fix that with others here.


Last edited by billsmithglendale on Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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billsmithglendale
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So that I don't come off as just talking about the negative, I'd like to use a real-world example where a fulfilling relationship came out of an interaction. Now, I'll warn you, on the surface this might sound like it violates some of the very rules I mentioned here, but I think if you think about it for a bit, you'll see what was different and what differentiated it from a "user" relationship.

I was taking an upper-division class in college. During that class, at one point I sneezed, and someone said "bless you." I noticed the girl who said it, and she was on my radar from then on (and I suspected I was already on hers). Over the next week, I realized both of us walked back to the dorms the same way, and lived near each other.

I finally wound up the courage to talk to her one day on the way back. During the next week, we made small talk, and at the end of the walk, we decided to exchange numbers, and to meet to "study." During our study session, neither of us were really very focused on the topic at hand -- we talked about anything and everything, our lives, what we liked, etc. Pretty soon I talked her into letting me give her a massage, and things snowballed from there. A week from then, we were boyfriend and girlfriend.

So what was different?

Unlike other occasions, in this case it was I who made the move, who prompted the relationship, with someone who wasn't aggressively seeking me to help them because they saw I was good at a particular subject. The common point of interest between us wasn't business, it was personal (the Godfather rule reversed) -- her asking me to "study" with her was just a ruse (for both of us, since I was very aware at this point that she was interested) for us to meet again. During our studying, we didn't really get anything done (I already knew the topic, as did she, and she wasn't that into studying) -- we just wanted to spend time together and bond. And things happened right away, as we knew they would. We both wanted it -- that's what was different.

In contrast, with the other people, it usually started where they barely noticed me early on, and only got interested after they saw me studying intently or doing well on a test. That's when all of a sudden it was "Hey, let's study!" (because she sucked at the class or knew she didn't have great academic skills). Had I not been so socially naive and desperate, I would have put up my protective barriers and either deferred or put up some other kind of limitation. Instead, my desperation shone through, and I got used like someone who didn't know what price to charge for his services. The motivation was never personal, it was all business for her, though for me, it was "OMG, I get to be around this pretty girl for hours!" Sadly, that's as good as it got, and I wasted time I could have used on someone who actually liked me, and been much happier.

I'm hoping this clarifies some of the difference between a mutually satisfying opportunity, and one that ends up with one party very unhappy and used at the end of the day.
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