Posted by: Lula in London | November 7, 2007

Why Guys Hang Out, Part I: Staking a claim on the new guy.

Stake Your Claim, found on Flickr.com by Justin Metz.

Despite apostles saying guys should date instead of hanging out, too many men are still waiting for the angel to wake them in the middle of the night and tell them to make that life changing step of asking a girl to eat dinner and watch a movie with them.

Hey guys, we’re that angel. And we’re sleeping.

The reasons that hanging out is easier than dating are obvious. Dating can come with a lot of pressure, managing expectations and “defining the relationship” in each awkward step. Part of this is our fault, part of this is their’s.

Let’s start with us.

Take for instance the new (possibly good looking) guy that just moved into your ward. He is being watched and he knows this. He has to take his time figuring out the ward dynamics before he strikes, if he doesn’t know what he’s getting into there could be drama.

And like what happens to all of us, the second your roommate sees him at FHE she tells you she thinks she might like him. You were thinking the same as her, but now that she’s staked a claim on him you have to back off. Otherwise you will be trying to move in on her man, and she will use up all the hot water the next time you want a shower.

So keeping your ear to the ground, you listen for other tremors of other girls staking their claims. Now camps start forming: the “my roommate likes him” camp and the “I like him and my roommates are watching your every move” camp.

These camps are very good at what they do. They watch his every move and report it back to the girl that’s staked her claim. He’s been talking to her, I heard his roommate said this, I saw him walking on campus or driving home from work, I think he’s starting to like so-and-so. These camps can have nightly meetings in their apartment villages. They plan strategy and coordinate efforts. The tools are sharpened and they go out into the next ward activity ready to attack, with subtle unplanned charm and wit.

Now, if the guy doesn’t know which camp you are in (and he likely doesn’t) this can be bad. Take for instance the time when the guy that your roommate liked asked you out on a date (or hypothetically pretend anyway). You have these massive feelings of guilt, “should I say no to spare my friend’s feelings and try to push the date onto her?” “Is it really all is fair in love and war?” “Can I just mail order a RM and forget the whole thing?”

No matter what you choose, a situation has been made. Not by the guys, but by the girls. Someone who has no relationship with the guy, but rather turned learning random facts about the guy into a full-time hobby. It’s these hobbies that are getting in the way of dating.

If we could stop having “hobby” relationships and instead say “He’s cool, he’d make a great guy for several of us” that would be fab. In theory, the pressure would be a lot less on the guys to wait until the PERFECT opportunity/girl comes along and there would be more dating (well the potential would be more anyway).

Stay tuned for Why Guys Hang Out, Part II: A date is a commitment.

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Responses

  1. HA! I love it. I just so happen to be that new “good looking” guy in the ward. After reading this I am definitely going to keep my eyes peeled. You hit it right on the head when you said we are trying to figure out the dynamics to minimize drama. Some girls waste no time in attaching themselves to you which makes it super difficult when you want to ask their friend out. “Do I ask her friend out and risk the hurt feelings, or do I just say forget it and move on?”

    Good post.

  2. Hehe—nice. Although, here’s the funny part–when you are the new guy in the ward and you know everyone’s watching you…until word leaks that you’re not an RM and everything goes back to business as usual. I have never had a sister try to attach herself once it leaked that I was a mid-20’s convert. Funny part is, before I quit the dating scene, I didn’t hang out. I only dated.

  3. i stumbled onto to this blog who knows why. and as a guy if girls really are doing this i just want to say i hate you all. just going to get that out there. though ive suspected they do as it seems girls in the YSA seem to form high school cliques and clans. that to get a date i have to break through a series of defenses. and being the shy loner type well thanks im not breaking through all that often


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