I got extremely defensive and told her that I was just trying to be friendly, thinking, “How dare she say that to me?” I told her she was being full of herself and blocked her because I felt humiliated. I didn’t allow myself to accept the reality that she had rejected me and saw through me. The truth is, her accusations were 100% correct, but there was no way she could prove it with any type of certainty. Plausible deniability was on my side.
A few days ago, a similar situation happened to me on the other end. Someone messaged me and said he wanted to ask me about my gender identity, and I told him I was happy to help. As the conversation continued, he began sending me compliments and would say things like, “I really look up to you, I really admire you, haha…” I found myself not knowing whether he was just being friendly or flirting, but I didn’t want to assume the worst. And then, I began feeling uncomfortable when he started going through my Facebook pictures one-by-one to make inappropriate comments on my clothing and appearance. I showed a friend part of the conversation and she confirmed that this man was indeed probably trying to flirt with me.
The next day, somebody publicly told him on Facebook, “Stop hitting on Robin, she has a girlfriend.”
He became incensed and responded, “I’d never date a disgusting creature like that. I only go out with real women, not fake women who are dudes that dress up like chicks.” His turnaround occurred less than a day after he spent a half hour trying to win my affections.
The “I’m just kidding!” method is rooted in so much misinformation from sources including outdated romantic comedies and awful pick-up artist books. I read a book entitled “Double Your Dating” when I was 17-years old (the book totally worked by the way, because zero times two is still zero). The book basically said that women liked guys who were funny and arrogant. I don’t believe women were ever consulted in the writing of this Great American Novel.
From personal experience, it took my current girlfriend several months to go on a date with me because I would always “jokingly” ask her out and then chuckle nervously, using humor as a protective cloak–per the “Double Your Dating” book’s advice–instead of a complement to the rest of my personality. Instead of taking an actual risk, I let my fear of being rejected supersede my desire to actually want to get to know her better.
It wasn’t until I finally developed some self-esteem, dropped the act, and said–very confidently and casually–that I’d like to get to know her better and would love to have dinner with her that she finally said yes. I assume it’s because she finally saw me grow up.
I learned the hard way that there’s nothing more obvious than attempted subtlety, and “joking around” to protect oneself due to fear of genuine moments and making oneself vulnerable is immature. Instead of playing these childish games where nobody is saying what they’re really thinking, it would be beneficial for all parties involved if everybody learned how to approach their romantic feelings maturely, knew how to read the situation and, if appropriate, made their intentions clear at the outset, because there is nothing funny about this alleged “joke.” I wish I had learned this years ago. I would’ve saved many women from a ton of discomfort, and I would’ve saved myself from a lot of embarrassment.