Judging a Man By the Company He Keeps

December 7, 2010




Jackie Berkman is a Berkeley student columnist who recently wrote about what he called “the sub-par dating scene in college.” No surprise there, but something in his article caught my eye. He reports overhearing a snippet of conversation:

[There were] two dudes walking in the opposite direction of me, and one of them, shaggy haired and with an earnest San Diego surfer voice said, “I mean he’s my friend and everything but the guy is a douchebag.”

Normally I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Several of the guys who regularly comment here have actually said they like having friends who are cads. Cads know how to have a good time – they’re lots of fun to hang out with. Since douchebaggery is generally reserved for the ladies, it need not affect a friendship between two guys.

But should it? Is it fair to judge one another by the company we keep? Some very wise people have said so.

He who walks with wise men will be wise. But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

Proverbs 13:20


Innumerable other examples abound. I’ve said in the past that a man’s character may be judged by the nature of his relationships. How does he regard his mother? Does he enjoy a relationship of mutual respect with his father? Does he have close friendships? Does he get along with people at work? Is he kind and respectful to strangers and service employees?

But I’ve never specifically questioned the relevance of a man’s choice of friends and confidantes. After all, sometimes our friendships go back to childhood. At other times, difficult people choose us, and we do our best to connect. Social groups include not just good friends, but friends of friends, and so on.

I had a conversation with a reader last weekend that touched on this question. Emma has been dating her boyfriend Scott for about a year, and the relationship is going well. Last spring, the couple introduced Scott’s best friend Brett to Emma’s close friend Tina. They hit it off immediately and appeared to be close for three or four months. When Brett revealed himself to be a cheating, lying cad, Tina was devastated. Scott has been understandably reluctant to discuss Brett’s behavior. Emma is stuck in the middle, empathizing with Tina, but not wanting to pit herself against Scott, who in his silence is loyal to his friend. However, when Scott recently invited Emma to bring some friends to a party, he specifically excluded Tina.

“Don’t bring Tina, that would be awkward for Brett.”

Emma was furious. “Awkward for Brett? Brett’s an asshole. Why should Tina stay home alone? Why are you even friends with that jerk?”

“Brett’s really fun, he’s a cool guy.”

“He’s not a good person! Why do you take his side?”

“OK, I’ll admit I wouldn’t let him near my sister. But we go back to college. Guys aren’t like girls about this stuff. It’s none of my business what he does with chicks.”

“Well, it should be your business when he dicks over my best friend.”

“Whoa, dicks over? That guy gets more ass than a toilet seat. Tina was stupid to get involved with him.”

“You thought it was a great idea to set them up! Why did you think that would work?”

“I was just looking out for my boy!”

Emma has a point. Is loyalty to a friend appropriate when that friend is a man of poor character? Is it OK to compartmentalize character? One standard for interacting with the guys, another for women? Should Scott feel obligated to tell Brett that what he did wasn’t cool? Scott is obviously unwilling to rock the boat, in fact hasn’t even indicated that he believes Brett is in the wrong. Emma will need to decide if Scott’s choice of friends, and his unquestioning loyalty to them, is something she can live with.

It’s clear that cads, and/or Big Men on Campus, not only enjoy being targeted by hypergamous females, they enjoy enormous respect among other guys. When I attempted to research this topic - Why are men friends with jerks? – Google actually came up empty. Instead I got pages and pages of why women dig jerks. Yet men dig jerks too. There’s a male to male social proof that is a powerful motivator. Just like the girl who wants to be admitted to the inner circle of the Queen Bee, it seems that many guys value their connection to the Douchebag.

It may be as simple as:

Jerks get girls ——-> Being friends with a jerk means getting to be around girls ——-> Orbiting the jerk on any given night may yield castoffs that I can hook up with ——–> Jerk friend status plus hookup cred = increased social status and poon for Me.

After all, incentives drive behavior. But at what price to one’s integrity? How willing are you to compromise your own values to be with a man who has compromised his? There’s no right answer. We human beings are a selfish bunch.

In the end, we are indeed judged by the company we keep, but perhaps not as much as we should be.

  • filrabat

    This one articles speaks encyclopedias about people’s collective mindset: value fun, action, excitement, charisma, and the superficlal above the boring-but-important elements of character. No wonder clique allies (note I refuse to call them friends) have so much drama and conflict: you value superficial, visually appeal, and an entertaining personality above all else, you naturally end up with superficial, visually appealing, and entertaining douchebags (or “douchettes” in the case of women). Why should this be rocked science?

  • filrabat

    PS: This is also why I say to NOT place getting a relationship, or even getting laid, very high on your list of priorities (to both men and women). You compromise other, higher, qualities you have. This is a huge part of why sex and relationships are overrated (or at least the desire thereof).

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    Why should this be rocket science?
    It shouldn’t! And yet sometimes the pull of social status is strong, and we compromise our values. You make a good point about allies – many of these relationships are probably tactical in nature rather than real friendships.

  • SayWhaat

    Females seems to have much shallower friendships than men. When a girl says “one of my best girl friends” it’s usually the equivalent of a man saying “he’s cool, I met him a few months ago at a house party”.

    Um. Not necessarily. Not at all? Girls are great at developing female social circles but that doesn’t mean we always bond closely with every girl in our circle. I have tons of girlfriends but I only call one my “best friend”; my other “best friends” don’t even go to my school and were friendships formed from childhood/high school.

  • SayWhaat

    But I agree, if Scott knew Brett would probably pull that kind of a move on Tina, he shouldn’t have set them up in the first place.
    .
    The thing that guys need to realize is that you really do need to be friends with/at least have the approval of your woman’s girlfriends. Girls rely on their girlfriends for advice on all sorts of things, the last thing you want is to have your girlfriend’s best friend hate your guts. Your girlfriend’s best friend’s attitude towards you can and will affect your relationship.

  • Mike C

    A lot of guys live vicariously through the men who are pulling a lot of tail.
    .
    Very, very true, and another reason guys desire friendships with cad/alphas.

  • Mike C

    Excellent, thought-provoking post.
    .
    Emma has a point. Is loyalty to a friend appropriate when that friend is a man of poor character? Is it OK to compartmentalize character? One standard for interacting with the guys, another for women?
    .
    There is an expression, “Bros before hos”. Many guys consider that a rock-solid principle.
    .
    Tough questions here, and I honestly don’t know the answers. Not sure even what I entirely believe. Look, in this commodified SMP, one principle is p*ssy is fungible while many guys might believe male friendships run blood deep. Is a guy going to alienate/throw away a friendship with a douchebag/cad that maybe goes back to gradeschool over a girl he might not even be with in a year. I think generally speaking unless you are 95-99% sure you are dealing with the “one”, the girl who will become your life partner, you are NOT going to go against a close friend for her.
    .
    I think Vincent is right based on what I’ve seen although maybe I’m wrong, but I do think there is a deepness to some male friendships that doesn’t exist for the most part in female friendships.
    .
    Anyways, I think it would be potentially a mistake to make a full judgement of a guy based on his friends. A guy can have loyalty to a “misbehaving” friend without engaging in the same conduct.

  • Vincent Ignatius

    If Scott knew Brett was going to screw over Tina, then he should have told Brett not to do it. If Brett wouldn’t have been willing to back off, then he’s not a real friend anyway.

    But how close is Tina really? Females seems to have much shallower friendships than men. When a girl says “one of my best girl friends” it’s usually the equivalent of a man saying “he’s cool, I met him a few months ago at a house party”.

    A lot of guys live vicariously through the men who are pulling a lot of tail.

  • puck

    From a another man’s perspective being a cad could be seen as a minor character flaw in an otherwise good man. Everybody has faults, how another guy does with women is, at least IMO, not a particularly large character flaw in male friends – an otherwise good cad certainly has no worse a character flaw than an otherwise good beta guy who is terrible with women.

    Now, the situation you posed raises questions about Scott’s personal judgment in not informing his girlfriend of Brett’s typical behavior before setting up Tina and Brett, but that’s a separate issue from who his friends are.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @puck

      how another guy does with women is, at least IMO, not a particularly large character flaw in male friends – an otherwise good cad certainly has no worse a character flaw than an otherwise good beta guy who is terrible with women.

      I do not consider being terrible with women a character flaw, though it’s obviously a shortcoming. However, it hurts only the guy himself, and does not involve practicing deceit. That’s very different than a cad who’s double or triple dipping.

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    In this scenario, he should have warned his gf that his buddy is a cad and not introduced him to her friend in the first place. Whatever Tina does after that is her choice. Of course, Tina also needs to take responsibility for herself – she got involved with a cad, it happens, but you can’t whine about it when you make yourself cheap.

    That said, Scott sounds like a bit of a twat, so the company he keeps is indeed fitting. I don’t think he’s “obliged” to do anything; he’s shown where his loyalty lies, and obviously Emma doesn’t like it. Where do they go from here? She could pray for his miraculous conversion and waste another year, or she could cut her losses. He could have a change of heart and drop all his unsavoury buddies… Yeah, silly me, he knows she’ll stick around hoping he’ll change (the longer she does that, the longer she’ll keep doing it to try to get a return on her investment) and if not, he can always reap the rewards of basking in the cad’s light.

    Some might call me cynical….

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    Oh, and it could well be true that a guy’s friends mean more to him than a girl’s friends. I think that’s generally true and probably someone smarter than me can explain the grand purpose of that.
    .
    Also, notwithstanding my cynical assessment above, Scott may just be coming across poorly because he screwed up a bit, doesn’t really know what to say because he’s probably damned if he does damned if he doesn’t, but he does sound a bit immature. It’s just that knowing females, she will probably hope for some gesture to “prove” he’s on her side, which I totally get, but am also aware of the unlikelihood of that happening.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    Females seems to have much shallower friendships than men.

    .
    This has not been my experience. While I can’t compare my history to the average guy’s, I have had several very deep and long-lasting friendships. My “BU Crew” was formed by the daughter of my oldest friend – we have been BFF since we were 13. Now our daughters are close. I graduated from college 32 years ago, but I’m still close with several women from those days. In fact, the daughter of a sorority sister came to dinner recently while in town for a conference. I also have a couple of women I am still intimate with from my Wharton days. Finally, I have several dear friends from my present day life in Boston. About half a dozen women I see at least once a month.
    .
    This is not to say that women don’t form alliances for short-term gain. They certainly do. But a woman without long-term female friendships is probably not relationship material. Female friendships are important to emotionally healthy women.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    A lot of guys live vicariously through the men who are pulling a lot of tail.

    Interesting. I never even thought of that.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Mike C
    Anyways, I think it would be potentially a mistake to make a full judgement of a guy based on his friends. A guy can have loyalty to a “misbehaving” friend without engaging in the same conduct
    .
    I agree with this. We need to cut each other plenty of slack. It’s not fair to hold one another accountable for the behavior of friends. Where it gets tricky is when one party’s friend acts badly toward the other party’s friend. Obviously, this can happen the other way round. It’s just as common, I’d bet, for the woman to say she wants to end it because she doesn’t feel “sparks.” Or to LJBF the guy into oblivion, avoiding his calls while she chases some other, more dominant guy.
    .
    Still, some behavior is so egregious as to call out for condemnation. I’ll agree though – no easy answers here.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    Of course, Tina also needs to take responsibility for herself – she got involved with a cad, it happens, but you can’t whine about it when you make yourself cheap.

    .
    I anticipated this, and we don’t have enough information here to know if Tina overlooked cad clues. My own sense was that Brett acted interested and expressed a desire to be exclusive. Oops. Apparently, he’d had that conversation with a couple of other women as well. I don’t think we can blame Tina, as she was clearly deceived. Most women have pretty poor douchebag radar.

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    I don’t think we can blame Tina, as she was clearly deceived. Most women have pretty poor douchebag radar.
    .
    I know I often come across as harsh and blunt, but the fact is this is exactly why trying to find a relationship through “hooking up” is not smart. I’m not exactly blaming anyone, but painting her as a victim leaves her powerless – with a poor douchebag radar and a “better luck next time.” I’ve been deceived by douchebags pretty badly myself and that would have been a lot easier to spot if I hadn’t clouded my mind with sex and the inevitable attachment that goes along with that. But I know, it’s so unrealistic and old fashioned to talk about abstaining from anything, even for a little while.
    .
    My two cents.

  • collegegirl1

    I just dealt with a similar situation recently. I was hooking up with a douchebag for 2 months and felt for the longest time that he was changing, because he was talking to me every day and generally acting nicer. However, he really messed up, and I stupidly complained to his friends about it. His friends are nice and have gfs, but somehow the guy I was hooking up with treats girls like shit. I pondered how this could happen–why they would be friends with someone like him? I’m still hurting because it was so recent and yes, my instincts knew the guy was not good news but I still let myself be with him–stupid, stupid, stupid–I know this now.

  • http://www.marriedmansexlife.com Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life

    Douchebag friends always try and put the moves on your girl eventually. Avoid them.

  • NGII

    @Mike C, Susan
    .
    Mike C was right on spot, and “Bros before hos” is strictly enforced in the culture I’m originally from. In that culture, most men put their buddies over their girlfriends/wives, as well as their sons/daughters. My dad used my college funds to help out a buddy who ran into a major financial crisis. I don’t have a “best friend”, but I’m very sure that my high school buddies will cover my back if I ask for their help. I’m not saying it is the case in Western cultures, but I’m illustrating that men covering up for their douchebag buddies is not surprising.
    .
    I’m generally an outgoing person, but I’m not very good at ice-breaking, and I don’t have a lot of time to make plans to go out (busy school work). Some guys are just so good at getting people together to make a party or organizing a guy night out. I’m happy to go with the flow, and I know who to call if I want to hang out with people.
    .
    And people are multi-dimensional. Some of these “douchbags” I know (in the US) are actually the ones who get everybody involved in a social setting, helping me (as an immigrant fresh off the boat) to ease in the college life in an everyday sense (not partying/hooking up). They may be cads towards girls, but it doesn’t take away what they did for me. You may say they used me as their wing/social proof, I actually benefited from that. Their intention is not relevent here for me. It may be the same case for Scott to keep Brett as his company.
    .
    But I have to agree that Scott should have warned Emma about Brett’s character. Now, if he values Emma as a long-term material, he should admit to Emma and Tina he screwed up and suggest better communications in the future. Man up and admit (Yes, I screwed up. Sorry), then move on eliminates those big dramas that ruin relationships on all sides (Scott and Brett, Scott and Emma, Scott and Tina, Tina and Emma).

  • http://lovelysexybeauty.wordpress.com la vie onyx aka lovsexbea

    Wow, this topic couldn’t be more timely. I’m observing a very similar situation in my life right now, except where it’s the female’s *male friends* who didn’t say anything.

    The male friends of this girl (they all became close during graduate school of MD/JD/MBA kind), have known about her boyfriend’s cheating ways for years. These guys know aobut his ways because they became friends with him too, and accordingly got to observe firsthand his behavior at bachelor parties etc.

    But none of them (including my husband) told her what was going on. (In my husband’s defense, when we were dating [I'm talking about like, a year ago] he asked my advice about the situation, and that he was struggling with what to do, since it wasn’t fair to her, etc. I wasn’t sure what he should do either, extremely tough because she might not believe him, she was in so much love!]

    Apparently all the guys who are friends decided it would “hurt her too much” to tell her, or let her find out. Nice guy logic for ya. I would guess that since this is a fairly big social circle, if one guy steps out of the “group” decision to not tell her, he would have been ostracized a bit for going against the group decision. Just my guess. I think going against the bro code even in this situation would have resulted in a guy going down in rank.

    Well, she found out. And it came out that her friends may have known something. The drama… she was so angry at why no one had told her, and everyone rushed to either deny knowing anything or explain, “I never saw anything, I just thought he was just a flirty guy,” or “It was who told me that he was doing that stuff, but everyone knows way overexaggerates so I figured he was making up stories. I wanted to verify instead of just believing rumors from unreliable sources who like to cause drama.”

    What I learned? Don’t rely on others to tell you when your man is cheating. Especially don’t rely on other men to betray the bro code. Even if they see you as a sister, real or genetic.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      LovelySexyBeauty,
      Welcome, glad to have you here. You’ve touched on something that I do think is common, and that is that guys do cover for their friends, but they often feel guilty about it. Though in my example Scott has taken a “Who me?” approach, it’s entirely possible that he is disgusted with Brett, but doesn’t want to set the precedent of letting Emma control his friendships. Or just wants the whole thing to blow over. Both Emma and Scott are stuck in the middle on this one.
      .
      I know of another situation where guy friends knew their cad buddy was up to no good but never breathed a word. When the girl, also a good friend, found out he’d been cheating, she said, “I sure hope he never hooked up with both of us the same night.” She was met with an awkward silence. It took her a while to forgive them – and ultimately she just accepted that it’s “bros before hos.”
      .
      By the way, the friends of players are often pressed into service to vouch for their character. Especially in college, where guys get reputations for being a player, it’s not unusual for several of the guys to reassure the newest target that the Cad is actually a Dad, or is ready for something “real” now that he has sown his wild oats. I’m not sure if they believe it or not – perhaps the cad has claimed he is a new man. Or perhaps guys will say anything for a friend. Never trust an endorsement of a guy’s character from his loyal friends.

  • http://lovelysexybeauty.wordpress.com la vie onyx aka lovsexbea

    Yikes, not sure why para breaks didn’t show up. Apologies.

    Postscript: her guy friends who didn’t tell her about the cheating are now strongly advising her to leave him and not accept his promises to “change.” They are avoiding telling her the truth, but are trying to help her get out of the situation now (I guess). She of course, not knowing the whole story, thinks it was just a momentary lapse because she had gained weight recently.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      She of course, not knowing the whole story, thinks it was just a momentary lapse because she had gained weight recently.

      Ugh! She is still in the dark? Someone needs to set her straight! Why does her boyfriend even want to be in the relationship? She is wasting precious time with this guy.
      .
      BTW, this theme will not handle para breaks. Not your fault. Sorry, I need to figure that out, and change the CSS.

  • NGII

    @Athol Kay
    .
    I wrote before reading your comment. You’re right, but at least in the culture I’m from, your GF and your bros are usually in different social circles. There’s no chance your DB bro gets to know much about your GF.
    .
    You may want to manage social meetings/dates/hang outs in a way that both your GF and your DB bro do not meet each other.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Re Athol’s comment, I had not even considered that. Is a person who is selfish enough to lie and cheat on a woman capable of complete loyalty to a male friend? Again, it’s the question of compartmentalizing character – is this possible? Or do we overlook character because we enjoy the benefits of the association? I’m not making any value judgments – I completely understand the potential rewards for associating with womanizers. Women do it too – in middle school popularity is usually reshuffled to reflect which girls are most attractive to guys. At that point, there’s a mad scramble as girls try to affiliate with the new “hot” girls. Often that girl gets drunk on her newfound power, and turns into a “mean girl.” It never harms her popularity – in fact, it probably enhances it.

  • NGII

    @lvoal
    .
    From the culture I’m from, I’ve been told the quickest way to turn friends into enemies is to break up a couple. Socially smart people will not stand up to tell the girl the truth straight up. As a really good friend, you can only hint to her or take a risk to convince other friends to take a team effort to tell her the truth. Both are easier to be said than done.
    .
    The bottom line is you bear the sole responsibility to your own relationships. You should take effort to aware of what’s going on with your lover.

  • Jackie Berkman

    Hi, this is Jackie Berkman, the writer of the column you mentioned. I just want to clear up a typo you made. I’m a “she”, not a “he.”
    Thanks for this!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jackie Berkman
      Thanks for stopping by, and please accept my apology!

  • Santosh Anand

    I dumped my college girlfriend for covering up for her friend who was cheating on her boyfriend. Haven’t once regretted it a bit.

  • http://www.privilegedwhitemale.com Cessen

    Part of being a friend is calling your friends on their shit. Scott’s being an enabler to Brett.

    It’s not at all clear to me, though, that this is a male-specific problem. I suspect both men and women often enable problematic behavior in their friends (either through explicit affirmation or by turning a blind eye), in the dating/relationship arena and elsewhere. People often have a desire for strong cohesion in their group of friends. And that’s not an unreasonable desire on its own, but it can lead to weird things like this.

    And even if only for that reason, I think it’s appropriate to base some of your judgement of a potential partner on who their friends are. Because their friends will influence their behavior (and if they go to their friends for advice/comfort, which many people do, then thought processes too). No (wo)man is an island, as they say. ;-)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I think it’s appropriate to base some of your judgement of a potential partner on who their friends are. Because their friends will influence their behavior (and if they go to their friends for advice/comfort, which many people do, then thought processes too).

      I don’t know how true this is for men, but it is enormously true for women. Women generally give terrible advice to one another, not out of malice, but out of a desire to assuage hurt feelings. They’ll go through incredible contortions to paint a situation as more hopeful than it is, for example. This doesn’t harm anyone but the friend, who can lose sight of reality.
      .
      However, when it comes to behavior, women can exert enormous peer pressure, leading girls to drink when they don’t want to, hook up when they don’t want to, etc. If you don’t validate the Queen Bee’s behavior by copying it, you’re history. Based on frat/sports team culture, I’d have to assume this is also true for guys.

  • Robson

    One not clearly stated assumption hovers over this topic: that is one can choose new frend and switch social circle easily. Consider a men with a jerk-friends pack vs one with no one to hang out with: ask yourself which one is more valued on that “SMP”(*) thing. For some (how many?) there is a simple choice: either I party with that douchbag and his pack, or there’s no party at all.

    R.

    (*) Whenever I read this acronyme here I have to correct myself, that it’s not about symetric multiprocessoring.

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    It’s hard not to judge people at least somewhat by the company they keep. Your friends reflect you and your values to some extent, but then, dumping people for small offences could indicate a lack of character as much as not dumping them, if that’s what you do with friends every time they show you they’re human. But when I know of people who remain friends with seriously immoral people – like people who laugh about getting someone hooked on crack and ruining her life (I know someone who is friends with people like this – this is another reason I got rid of facebook, people from the past who I could really do without and have no interest in) – it leads me to question why on earth someone would be friends with a person like that. I lose respect for someone like that for not at least saying “that’s not really funny/ that’s sick.”
    .
    Again on female v. male friends, fwiw the best friends I have made were made at university, both male and female, and my best female friend who I miss still even though I haven’t seen her in years (she lives in England). I had a BFF from grade school who dumped me because she was offended by my political views and some comments I made about the Crusades re: Islam. I thought that was a bit silly; I don’t get rid of friends over stuff like that but then, if I did that I’d have no friends around here in Lefty town.
    .
    The loss of that friendship was hard too because that happened within a couple of months of my marriage break-up and I think she could have been a bit more forgiving knowing I was already having a hard time. Sometimes I think I don’t bother with a lot of friends because I’ve had this experience enough of people not being there when I needed them after I’d got them through some pretty severe rough patches, so I generally don’t count on people being there. I even had a female friend who I helped through a bout of cancer tell me she was watching the hockey game when I called because I wanted someone to talk to about something or other. So I can see why someone would say female friendships are not as strong as male ones.

  • EM

    in my experience, us guys are more able to hang out with other guys who are different

    we have that banter culture where we rag on each other mercilessly, especially about things unique to each person, but in the end we have no problem being friends even if we have little in common. Men are also loyal, so once we’ve formed that relationship, we’ll tend to stick to it.

    I’ve found females to not really understand this because they don’t behave the same way. In their circle of friends, being different means being ostracized, and there is just so much drama. Girls go from best friends to worst enemies in a heartbeat.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Girls go from best friends to worst enemies in a heartbeat.

      Very true. I think females do judge one another much more, in part because of the way friendships are formed. Women share intimacies and secrets – even the most mercenary alliances include this. So they’re generally very clued in to one another’s behavior, which can create conflict and judgment. It also makes betrayal easier – you know exactly what your friends’ vulnerabilities are.

  • John G.

    Long time lurker, I’m going to expound on Robson’s comment. I’m not blaming anyone, but the constant is the woman’s desire for jerks (see Susan’s equation above).
    For social situations, I can choose to go it alone and be labeled a ‘creeper’ and anti-social for not being in a group or having a lot of friends. Second, I can hang with a bunch of ‘betas’ and ‘afc’s dreaming about the opposite sex as we all play XBox. Or I can associate with jerks, and get a shot at getting some. I’m oversimplifying it a bit, but there you are.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @John G.
      Thanks for de-lurking. I appreciate your honesty, and it’s a good strategy. As I said, in the post, incentives drive behavior. I suppose the challenge is to keep your own integrity – and not be corrupted by a friend with a very different moral compass.

  • modernguy

    Come on, this has nothing to do with the company men keep. Most of these ‘douchebags’ actually have good qualities with their male friends. If these kinds of guys were cheating their male friends they wouldn’t have any. These guys treat women like this because for the most part, these women don’t deserve any better. Are you trying to tell us that after three or four months this girl didn’t know what she was dealing with? She knew from the start. She wanted to be the one to tame him. If this guy had suddenly turned into the needy nerd boy she would’ve dumped him like a sack of potatoes to chase after the next bad boy, so why should she get any mercy? What was Scott supposed to do? Warn her that he might cheat on her like some clueless white knight? This girl Tina was attracted to the thought that Brett might find her so irresistible that he’ll give up his playin’ ways and devote himself to her perfect beauty. Well, she played the game and lost. Too bad.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Are you trying to tell us that after three or four months this girl didn’t know what she was dealing with? She knew from the start. She wanted to be the one to tame him…This girl Tina was attracted to the thought that Brett might find her so irresistible that he’ll give up his playin’ ways and devote himself to her perfect beauty.

      WARNING: You may be spending too much time at The Chateau.
      .
      How do you know what Tina knew from the start? These people are in their mid-20s, and Tina was introduced to Brett by her friends. She had no knowledge of Brett’s character, except for the assurances from Emma and Scott that he was a “great guy.” Emma only knew him through Scott, and was unaware of his douchebag ways. Because Scott has been a good boyfriend, and counts Brett as his best friend, it was reasonable for her, and Tina, to assume he was represented accurately. FWIW, Emma was stunned to find out there was another girl in the picture. Apparently, Scott was also taken by surprise in this case, or so he says.
      .
      In fact, Tina does not have a history of chasing alpha cads. Nor does she believe she is a perfect beauty, as far as I know. She behaved with excellent character, took him at his word, and gave hers. You’re making assumptions here that I suspect are a very common way for guys to rationalize the behavior of their friends. If all women are spoiled rotten bitches, they deserve whatever guys dish out, right?

  • modernguy

    @Susan – there are plenty of safe good boys hanging around on Friday nights with their hands down their pants waiting for a nice girl to come around who they aren’t going to cheat on. But girls are not interested in those kinds of guys. If this guy was getting “more ass than a toilet seat” then it shouldn’t have been a surprise, and it wasn’t to Scott, quote:

    “Whoa, dicks over? That guy gets more ass than a toilet seat. Tina was stupid to get involved with him.”

    It was stupid of him to say he was “just looking out for his boy” and in general he played it badly. But this shouldn’t have been a surprise to anybody. If you go for a guy with a lot of options don’t be surprised if doesn’t pick you to be his one-and-only forever-and-ever. And anyway after three or four months, there are no excuses, if she didn’t know at the beginning she should’ve known by then.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @modernguy

      If you go for a guy with a lot of options don’t be surprised if doesn’t pick you to be his one-and-only forever-and-ever. And anyway after three or four months, there are no excuses, if she didn’t know at the beginning she should’ve known by then.

      Yes, this is reasonable. It’s hard to believe that in retrospect, Tina wouldn’t be able to think back and identify several instances where Brett was being shady. Either mysteriously unavailable, not taking her calls, getting lots of unexplained texts, etc. I do know of one case where the guy pulled off having one gf at school and another at home, and even then there were some clues that he was not 100% committed, even though he claimed to be.

  • Escarondito

    I didn’t even read the comments above so I might be treading a path someone already walked. But, Scott’s a bitch. Point. Blank. Period. Why you ask? And Susan I’m surprised you didn’t pick on this. Scott is letting Brett fuck up his pussy, and letting it slide because “He doesn’t want to rock the boat”. That a bitch ass dude. 1) Scott should know to protect his beast interests( His continuous pussy resource). 2) He himself states that he knows Brett’s character, he should know that Brett was going to fuck the whole things up. Who gleefully walks a ticking time bomb into his gold mine and defends the explosion when his gold rush becomes a trickle. 3) Now he’s supplicating to Brett, who will most likely end up fucking his girl(I’ll get to that in a moment), and making sure that after this party, anything he does int he relationship will get amped up by Tina bringing his gold mine shattering and falling into the Earth’s core never to open again.

    Susan, this is why I’ve told you before I’m always surprised at the dudes chicks get in relationships with. This dude doesn’t even defend his own nation. He lets genghis khan rape and pillage, cause the dude tossed him a maiden or two back in the day. This guy is just soft, and I don’t want to cockblock but Susan you should tell this girl scott needs to go. What Scott should’ve done to protect himself is told Tina straight up BEFORE she met Brett how the guy was while telling Brett to not fuck up his shit. So if they meet and Tina is still gung ho to go with him, which will most likely happen because the “Don’t go out with him” will spike intrigue, Scott is in a no foul situation. He pulled out the warning, so when Brett pulls out the pump and dump on Tina, any hate Tina wants to spew in their relationship can be deflected by the girl knowing Scott told her so. Instead of Scott’s girl being angry at him for not wanting Tina to come to the party, the girl will be sad saying “but I don’t want to leave tina alone, and she will feel so awkward at the party with Brett there”.

    tl ;dr: This guy needs some serious pussy management classes.

  • http://attractionreaction.wordpress.com/ Jeffrey of Troy

    A friend is someone who you
    a) like and
    b) can trust
    and who shares your
    c) interests and
    d) values
    .
    If a “friend” doesn’t fit that description, then why are you pretending he/she is your friend?
    .
    @Susan W
    “..guys do cover for their friends, but they often feel guilty about it.”
    Maybe so, but IMO that’s a violation of Rule #1: Treat yourself with respect.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      A friend is someone who you
      a) like and
      b) can trust
      and who shares your
      c) interests and
      d) values
      .
      If a “friend” doesn’t fit that description, then why are you pretending he/she is your friend?

      .
      Well put. Simple truth. In fact, what we’re talking about here sounds more and more like strategic alliances rather than friendship. If that’s the case, then Scott needs to reassess the cost/benefit of his alliance with Brett.
      .
      I think some relationships were friendships at one time, but people change and the friendship remains either out of habit or in deference to the old relationship. Perhaps Scott need not break with Brett in some dramatic way – there are always ways to let a relationship lapse over time. And he should certainly stop doing Brett the favor of introducing him to women. Scott is the big loser here, because now his character is being questioned. (Tina loses Brett, but that is probably a good thing.)

  • Escarondito

    Oh yeah I forgot to say why I believe Brett with fuck Scott’s girlfriend. If she is smart she’ll break up with Scott because he is a bitch to Brett (supplication), Tina will destroy that relationship, he clearly doesn’t care enough about her pussy to use proper pussy management, I doubt this is the first fuck up he’s done. If tina is still friends with Brett or if tina’s constant scott hating will destroy their friendship before emma breaks off with scott, Brett can get with her at the next party. Brett is the man her ex Scott bowed down to, and was able to wooh her friend. Though it ended badly the man her ex bowed down to probably had tina talking him up a storm during those few months it was great. His status is pumped up and he can get it. If she is angry at him, all he needs is a little honest talk with her, and boom he’s good to go. And guess what, it’s great payback to get with the guy your ex supplicated to. And you know what, when scott finds out, if he bows down again, it will either enrage her that her man was that much a bitch, or she will flaunt it in his face. But then that shows her character and not his. But mark my words, as long as she does not find herself with “the one” in 5 days or 5 months after that relationship is over, Bret is gettting it in.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Esca
      Wow, that is some analysis! Aside from the fact that I adore the way you express yourself, and laugh out loud at your ways, I think a lot of what you say sounds valid. It’s in direct contradiction to the whole “bros before hos” philosophy though – you are willing to put a guy friend on notice to protect the pussy gravy train. And you don’t doubt for a minute that Bret will push Scott aside and try to get with Tina. Which is just what Athol said.
      .
      I sure learn a lot about guys here. I hope hundreds of women are lurking and reading these comments. These insights are worth a lot.

  • Robson

    “plenty of safe good boys hanging around on Friday nights with their hands down their pants”

    I repeat my point: there are also those who stayed at home. Some of them because of having no company. I’ve seen many complaints about having no one to hang out with, but no a single about being corrupted by evil friends.

  • Escarondito

    @Susan

    Agreed. Maybe too much time at the Chataeu. Because we are also forgetting that Tina might have used this as a Barometer to test out Scott and may have seen bad signs but believed with the delusion that Scott wouldn’t set her up with a bad guy since he wants to make a good impression. She didn’t reason that Scott is a bitch.

  • Badger Nation

    “Females seems to have much shallower friendships than men.”
    .
    I think the key factor here is that men do not have “frenemies,” people they act nice towards but secretly hate or try to compete with underground. That means the average “shallowness” of a man’s friendships will be lower even if the median is the same (i.e. he has a few low-maintenance “bros.”)
    .
    Conflict between men is strongly encouraged to be resolved. It is not uncommon for two disagreeing men to have some kind of modern-day duel to bury the hatchet – a sort of rite of passage – and, bizarrely, become friends afterwards. It’s like we come to respect each other more for being on the up and up and (here’s a key factor in understanding men) for having the courage to compete.
    .
    Meanwhile, most of the women I know are deathly afraid of confronting another woman, and this is why frenemies exist will all that unresolved conflict. Many women I talk to can’t confront _anybody_ unless they’ve had a few drinks, and you can imagine how constructive those conversations wind up being. (Got a kleenex?)
    .
    Susan et al, if we’re going to ask why men have douchebag friends, let’s go both ways – how many women on this board have cut off female friends who have treated their boyfriends badly, cheated on their husbands/boyfriends, falsified abuse claims, raped their exes in divorce court or otherwise exalted their own selfishness? It’s my experience that women rarely if ever tell a friend something like “you know, you’re being a real bitch and you deserve to have him leave you.”
    .
    Talk to the men on the manosphere, many will tell you if they see their woman suborn or no object to the nasty behavior of a friend, he assumes she approves and the same thing will happen to him (what other conclusion can we draw?) – thus keeping a bitchy friend around might induce your own man to skip town. To be cynical, should men come to protect women from their friends’ actions before or after women protect their friends’ husbands from disgusting behavior perpetrated by wives?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Badger
      It most definitely cuts both ways. Everything in this post applies equally to women. The poor character choices are somewhat different, generally, but we all deserve to be judged by our associations.
      .
      A woman I know (and now loathe) recently left her husband and children b/c she wanted to explore her new feelings for another man. Her lifelong best friend, with whom the couple regularly socialized, terminated their friendship. She just said, “If you can do this thing, you are not someone I wish to know.” I gave her enormous credit for not enabling selfish behavior that is incredibly hurtful to her family.

  • http://thegatewayboyfriend.blogspot.com dan_brodribb

    @ collegegirl1

    I don’t think you’re stupid. You made a mistake and you’re learning from it. It’s okay to hurt and its normal to be angry at yourself, but I hope you also remember to cut yourself some slack as well.

  • rick

    He is a sleazebag for pimping out his girlfriend’s friend for a cheap lay for his friend.

    Way over the line. If Emma does not see this lack of character and act on it by dumping him, she deserves whatever she gets.

    It’s decision time for Emma. How important is honor to her? I would say that if she does not dump him, she is no different than him.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      He is a sleazebag for pimping out his girlfriend’s friend for a cheap lay for his friend.

      Yes, I agree with this. He really did act as a pimp. He strikes me as very immature for a guy in his mid-20s. He acts like he’s still in college. I advise women to seek out men who are 25+ for this very reason, but this guy seems nowhere near ready to stop acting like an idiot.

  • Joe

    There is a linguistic problem with all this that can’t be ignored. The word “friend” covers a whole lot of territory. I deliberately use the word “acquaintance” when talking about people with whom I associate, but would only call as last resort if, say, my car broke down.
    .
    The problem is there isn’t a common word to describe those people between acquaintances and genuine friends; a word to describe those people toward who you are friendly, but don’t want to hang around with an extended period or tell very personal things to.

  • http://thegatewayboyfriend.blogspot.com dan_brodribb

    On the subject of friends and dating, I’ve found it works better for my friendships if I let other people’s relationships be their own business. I’ll listen, but try not to give advice or opinions unless specifically asked…and even then in weird cases I often will say “do you want my honest opinion or do you want me to tell you what I think you want to hear?” The exception would be cases where I think someone might be putting themself or others in danger.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Dan
      I understand the hands-off approach, but in this case Scott actually played a role. Whether you consider him a wing or a pimp, he vouched for Brett’s character. That was his error. He compounded it by taking on Brett’s goal of not wanting to bump into Tina at a party. Emma is angry because of the role Scott is playing – she understood his loyalty to his friend initially, even though she didn’t like it.

  • Escarondito

    @Susan
    Actually it is Bro’s before Ho’s. You just didn’t get the full jist Susan. The telling of Brett and Tina of the situation IS making sure that friendship will last as well. Here is the difference between the two. Scott is maintaining the friendship through supplication. My way is maintaining the friendship through honesty. It’s not saying emma is his “one” it’s saying she his “one for right now” so don’t fuck my shit up.

    Susan I can guarantee you Brett has no respect for Scott or atleast doesn’t see him as an equal because Scott just showed that Brett will literally fuck up some shit in Scott’s life and Scott will defend Brett. That’s status ownership. That’s some real slave master control type shit. I know this because I’ve been Brett before. And pulled the Brett to Emma before. That’s why I know Emma would do it and Brett is capable of doing it. I’m actually in a situation like that right now with a couple in my martial arts group. I haven’t pump and dumped this girl’s friend or anything, but the girl and I harmlessly flirt all the time and this dude sits there and takes it. I know I won’t go further cause I am honest in trying to change that way of doing things, but I know and can see it in her eyes everytime she sees me, that if that relationship ever goes sour, one phone call and she is mine. It’s odd having that type of power, and I try to subtly hint to this dude to man up while I’m around, but he doesn’t get it and keeps digging himself when I’m around. Judging by Brett’s actions he doesn’t give those warnings, and will damn sure hit up Emma.

    Lastly, Guys and Girls are seriously fucking up the true definition of bro code. It’s not bro code to have your dude fuck you girl’s friend, not talk to her, and then you take the hit for him. You two aren’t really bro’s. True bro code is when my Korean friend stops me from hitting on his girls friend because he knows how I am. We smile about it and laugh it off later. That’s my Bro for life. Because he and I know that making sure that didn’t become a situation which would later lay in his mind as a reason to dislike me. We are honest with each other and understand each other. All that needed to be said was, “N*&&@, you ain’t dippin in this pond”, and boom situation was never made. I don’t expect girls to know bro code, but I always find it sad that most guys( middle-class and white really) don’t understand true bro code. If someone is fucking up your life or dragging you down on purpose, that’s not a bro. That’s a burden. That’s why my korean bro and I tell each other, that if you can’t check me when I’m fucking up honestly, then we aren’t truly friends. Because either you don’t care about me or yourself. Or maybe my definition of bro code is wrong?

    @modernguy
    Who the fuck wants to spend anytime with a dude who spends Friday nights with his hands down his pants. That’s just fucking weird and I would encourage no girl to go out with a guy like that, no matter how nice he is. The highlight of Friday night shouldn’t be wanking it to Sasha Grey. Tell that shut-in to go out and live life and stop doing that serial killer shit.

    @Jeff of Troy
    Exactly. Part of true Bro Code as well.

  • Badger Nation

    Why do guys hang out with cads? Same reason as women – social leadership, social proof, access to fun.
    .
    I feel badly for everybody involved, but with all due respect, this story smells, and if I’m correct in assuming Susan is getting it all from Emma, I don’t think we’ve got the other side of the story. In particular, we don’t know if Tina ignored clear warnings. Critically, we also don’t know if Tina did or did not do certain things that signalled pump and dump material and influenced Brett’s behavior (was she flaky? Used her cellphone on a date? Did she make the pouty lips? Did Brett know an ex of hers who spread dirt?)
    .
    Scott is painted as the guy who initiated the setup. I find this difficult to believe, Emma surely had something to do with it (don’t call me Shirley). I also find it hard to believe Emma had no read on Brett’s character if he is her serious boyfriend’s best friend. I find it EXTREMELY difficult to believe she didn’t know he was popular with the ladies (this trait is apparent in almost any social situation). College/young 20’s men in general are not particularly interested in relationships. Young men getting “more ass than a toilet seat” are ESPECIALLY not interested in relationships. It’s not Scott’s job to re-educate her against her own willful ignorance or lack of interest in his friends.
    .
    I’m not saying it’s all teh wimminz fault but these are things we need to know to ascertain everyone’s true culpability.
    .
    I also don’t see any evidence Tina did her pre-game homework, which would include finding out if the guy has a sparse or packed history with the opposite sex. Most guys will tell you if asked straight up about their friend. (I am sympathetic to the fact that people normally “forget” to do that when presented with the opportunity to date an attractive person.)
    .
    .
    .INTERMEZZO
    .
    .
    “However, when Scott recently invited Emma to bring some friends to a party, he specifically excluded Tina. “Don’t bring Tina, that would be awkward for Brett.”
    Emma was furious. “Awkward for Brett? Brett’s an asshole. Why should Tina stay home alone?”
    .
    Culpabilities aside, I think Emma is out of line here. She is invited to a party as Scott’s guest. If she doesn’t want to bring any girlfriends that’s fine, but whatever Brett’s misdeeds she has no right to bring drama into his (figurative) house. (It also sounds like Emma and Tina are socially codependent, another reason NOT to mix their social circles in case something goes bad.)
    .
    “Why are you even friends with that jerk?” “Brett’s really fun, he’s a cool guy.”
    “He’s not a good person! Why do you take his side?”
    .
    Accusing someone of taking “sides” is distortive language. I don’t see Scott defending Brett’s actions as much as moving past them. This is not serious “loyalty” – this is Scott simply avoiding an awkward situation at a party. There’s also the chance he’s computed that the Tina incident is simply outweighed by whatever good things Brett has done over his lifetime. .
    Emma is also out of line in asking Scott to place more value on her friendship with Tina than on his own lifelong friendship with Brett. If Scott was personal friends with Tina in a way that was not simply collateral relationship from his romance with Emma, I’d say he has a lot more moral imperative to concern himself with her feelings.
    .
    Still, Athol Kay is right – screwy people will screw you sooner or later, or hit on your girlfriend. Scott would be good to say “I should have been more clear with what to expect from Brett.”

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Badger
      Totally valid point about knowing just a few of the details. My intent in writing this post was not to decide whether Emma should continue to date Scott, or to marvel over what a terrible guy Brett is. I think it’s fair to say that Brett behaved badly, in that he cheated and only admitted it when he was caught. It’s hard to know exactly what Scott’s culpability is – I was more interested in the question of whether it is fair to judge a man by his friends. Hanging out with cads undoubtedly brings some tangible benefits, but it may also cast doubts on one’s own character.
      .
      I disagree that Emma was out of line in resenting Scott’s exclusion of Tina. Tina was ill used, she has not been accused of any wrongdoing herself. Scott’s mistake was in inviting Emma to bring friends in the first place, probably because they needed more women, and then to disqualify Tina out of deference to Brett. Scott wants to have it every which way, and that is not going to work. He sounds like a people pleaser, and he’ll favor the person with the most power. Tina gets thrown under the bus by Scott for the second time.
      .
      Emma did not ask Scott to choose sides. I specifically stated that she avoided discussing it with Scott, so as not to put him in the middle or pressure him in any way. Though clearly she wonders why Scott would sacrifice her good friend to his in a situation where Tina was sure to be treated poorly. Emma did not ask for my advice re Scott, but I think she’s wasting her time there. If Scott loves his cad friend, and loves Emma, the best thing he can do is keep them apart as much as possible. Setting up any woman with a cad practiced in the art of deceit is dishonorable.

  • Badger Nation

    Don’t let me overplay my hand – I sympathize with Susan’s question. My girlfriend’s friends pretty well suck. Fat, bitchy, catty, with no understanding of how men work, loaded with inflated self-esteem and unrealistic expectations, quick to shame men and reject them for sport as “not good enough” for their entitled and ample bums. When we are around them they incessantly try to bust my balls. When I’m not around they insult me behind my back, telling her I’m abnormal and that I should spend more money on her. Vastly ironic on two fronts: with all humility, I’m a higher-quality social product than they will ever be, and I’m a higher quality product than they can attract to their side.
    .
    I’m never one to expect people to change, but I expected these “inertial friends” from high school and college would dissipate away as she made new friends as an adult. This has not really happened. Whenever the topic comes up I have to ask “why are you still friends with these people? They take advantage of your generosity, cut down your happiness and insult your boyfriend without regard for your feelings.” She herself has admitted she is tired of their behavior.
    .
    As I said above, men are frequently suspicious that women don’t call other women out on their behavior because they secretly approve of it. One at least one front, my suspicions have proven true. Multiple times she has engaged in ventriloquism, told me things along the lines of “my friends don’t think you spend enough on me.” I tell her they are wrong and I don’t care what they think anyway. She then reverts to “well I don’t think so either, they agree with me.” I don’t think she realizes how much it hurts her case to try to use people I don’t respect as voices of authority.
    .
    My gf is sweet and generous but uses these women to prop up her latent entitlement quotient. It’s not so much their behavior as it is the learned helplessness, she sticks with them like she can’t find better people. She often tell me “that’s just what girls do,” at which point I tell her she’s being misogynistic to expect women to engage in socially destructive behavior as a matter of their nature.
    .
    She says she wants her friends to like me. I sympathize – what person doesn’t? – but I have a hard time caring if people like that like me at all. I expect her to bring good people into my life, and I expect to do the same for her.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Badger

      I expect her to bring good people into my life, and I expect to do the same for her.

      This is totally fair. Your gf’s friends sound horrendous. First of all, it makes me crazy when women complain about how much a man is spending on them. Are they spending money on men? I’ve mentioned before how when I met my husband in grad school, he was broke, putting himself through with loans. I had an allowance from my parents. That meant that his gifts to me were thoughtful and extremely inexpensive, i.e. Pablo Neruda’s love poems. And I paid for just about everything we did together, although we did a ton of free stuff. He made me simple meals. I could not have asked for a more thoughtful and generous boyfriend. Valuing a man’s attention with dollar signs is a sign of very poor character, IMO.
      .
      It sounds like they are a terrible influence on her, planting seeds of doubt. I hope she will muster the courage to kick them all to the curb. That will not be easy – I’m not surprised she’s having difficulty getting rid of them.

  • Badger Nation

    “we have that banter culture where we rag on each other mercilessly, especially about things unique to each person”
    .
    This is the male form of shit-testing. Men tend to call each other out on things that are distinctive, not to criticize but just to see you defend yourself. It’s a social dominance test, an assay of how thick your skin is.

  • Badger Nation

    “If you don’t validate the Queen Bee’s behavior by copying it, you’re history. Based on frat/sports team culture, I’d have to assume this is also true for guys.”
    .
    As someone who made an entire social career out of resisting the aping of the group silverback’s activities, I can say it’s largely true. However, you can get around it – if you have enough “alpha-inspired omega” jelly beans you can project. I had friends who would offer me beer or pot in high school. I would politely refuse. They would give up, because they knew from experience I wasn’t going to budge. And as long as I didn’t condemn/narc their behavior or otherwise paint myself as a square, they respected me for it. I passed the shit test.

  • Withac20

    Longtime 25-yr-old female lurker from SF, love to read this blog and have learned a ton, but often don’t have much to add in way of comments since everyone is so insightful. I refuse to hook up nowadays as a result of my learnings from this blog and other places, though I was a late-bloomer and not promiscuous to begin w/. Also, contrary to belief, the SF dating scene really sucks for women (desperate women let men get away w/ no game, texting instead of calling…), and Silicon Valley types are not that great either, in my experience as a Stanford alum myself. But that’s another story.

    An unfortunate similar situation also befell me in October. Went on a couple dates with a friend of S and her fiance B, both who I’m close with. This guy and I were getting close when we went on an intense group hike prior to these dates, and he began pursuing me. The 2 dates were weirdly unromantic and I knew I was possibly dealing with a cad (just kissing, since we had talked about our general dating boundaries on the hike). I’ve always been a genuine beta lover through and through, and at the time couldn’t figure out where he fell on the alpha-beta-omega continuum, just didn’t have enough info.

    He thought we should hang out platonically, and then I developed feelings for him (yeah, I know – the pulling-away syndrome). Didn’t have any intention of acting on these feelings. Knew that we were emotionally and physically attracted to each other but he isn’t capable of dating or a relationship. But after his dinner party, he called me and talked for an hour – I let slip that I still had feelings for him, and then he said something to the effect of “Let’s hook up, I’ll give you a week to decide”. At the same time we both knew we were going on dates w/ other people (incl. his friend he pushed to contact me). Luckily I had my wits about me to refuse him, telling him he and I both knew he would treat me badly. He spazzed out and decided we shouldn’t hang out for a month. I doubt he has heard a girl tell him no in a long time.

    Anyway, I told my friend S and B what happened. This guy is a groomsman in their wedding next year. I was really appalled that such a guy could be friends/associated with S and B, who are incredibly morally upstanding people. I don’t know if B ever/will call him out on his behavior, though I think S was a bit shocked by this revelation into his true character. S says he is immature and misinformed. But for some reason, I’m looking for more of a “this is wrong!” kind of reaction from her to defend me even though I know there is nothing she can do about it.

    He is generally a nice person to his platonic friends, but since then, he has exhibited slightly assholish behavior mixed with niceties towards me, e.g. insisted on giving me a late ride home when I hung out with his sick roommate (who happens to be a manwhore I’ve no romantic interest in). I get the feeling that he doesn’t know how to act around me, because he does care about me on some level, but hasn’t realized how much he hurt me, which I try not to show except to my girlfriends. I get some narcissistic vibes from him and he is an all-outdoorsy extreme athlete (relating to your recent risk-seeker post).

    Now taking a short break from proactively dating…I hurt way too much from feeling so deceived, esp. after a lot of dating misses this year. Will have to see him at the wedding in a few months, so I’ll be putting my best self on. I am thankful that I dodged a bullet. Trying my best not to generalize about men and it’s hard when all I feel is distrust towards them esp. after shit like this happens. Sorry for the lengthy comment!

    P.S. Also found out that the girl he is now “seeing”, coincidentally pulled disappearing shenanigans on my guy friend, who is college friends w/ S. She also appeared to be “nice, great girl” to him and he was hurt. We commiserated together about players deserving each other. I can’t say good riddance just yet, since I’m obviously still feeling hurt. Small world.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @withac20
      Thanks for coming forward. I’m sorry you’ve had this experience. I guess I don’t need to tell you FIDO, this guy is NOT worthy. He actually sounds unusually manipulative – which is how guys get when they want the constant ego gratification. In other words, women aren’t collateral damage, they’re fuel for the fire.
      .
      Stay strong, don’t compromise your principles, but do tell your friends that you want to meet a good man with NO history of treating women badly.

  • Aldonza

    I’m with Esc. Scott is a bitch. His “friend” created major drama for a little tail. And this, from a guy who gets plenty of tail. Brett is not Scott’s friend, no matter what Scott thinks. A real “bro” wouldn’t make drama for his best buddy by fucking over a friend of his gf’s. A real bro would stick with the other anonymous tail.
    .
    Scott also tipped his hand by showing that he admires Brett’s ability with women. I think he was trying to cull favor with Brett by “feeding him” Tina. Scott should’ve just said something like “I don’t think Brett is right for Tina” and not even have to elaborate. There was no incentive for him to basically lie about Brett except as a favor to Brett.
    .
    So yes. Scott = bitch.

  • modernguy

    @Aldonza – Women are so eager to jump on the blaming and judging wagon after everything is said and done. Didn’t this Tina have any awareness of her own? This Scott guy wasn’t throwing bait to the sharks on a fishing trip, Tina is an independant human being with (supposedly) her own decision-making capabilities. I understand the tingle force can be strong, especially in poorly-raised North American girls, but come on, these guys aren’t that hard to spot if you detach yourself for a minute.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I understand the tingle force can be strong, especially in poorly-raised North American girls, but come on, these guys aren’t that hard to spot if you detach yourself for a minute.

      I’m calling BS on this. This is pure ignorance. Here’s a newsflash: Not all women are the same. We don’t all want the same men. We don’t all feel attracted to douchebags. In fact, it’s precisely the women of character who find them repulsive. Also, knock it off about North American girls being poorly raised. I have worked hard to raise my daughter to be a person of integrity and sound moral values. And I’m by no means unusual. And that’s in crazy liberal Boston, MA. It’s one thing to say that feminism ruined American women – a common claim in the manosphere. But poorly raised? Those are fighting words.

  • Snowdrop111

    I think it’s incumbent on Tina to nurse her wounds for a while, then go to parties when she is feeling strong enough to see Brett and not feel bad, and to assure Emma that she is “so over” Brett and can handle it.

    If women today think it is a good idea to risk their hearts by getting involved quickly, they can’t nurse their wounds too long or they blow the whole rationale of dating this way. They wind up sitting out too many parties because there are too many short-term relationships there that they ended up with hurt feelings.

    What I’m trying to say (not very well) is … either have sensitive feelings and don’t have sex early on. Then you can still go to parties and the worst that happens is Brett says “there’s that kinda boring girl, meh” Or steel your heart and hook up and expect it to last four months and on to the next and be able to go “Next!” real easily.

    Or else, there will be awkwardness everywhere you go because there will be four-month Freddies at every party.

    Tina will have more success overall, with her girlfriends and with dating, if she can manage to pull off the “Don’t worry I’m so over him” convincingly. She should sit out parties willingly until she can pull off the “Don’t worry, I’m so over him!” but she should be able to do it quickly or else don’t hook up so fast and protect her heart better.

    Otherwise she’ll start being a drag because there are Bretts everywhere.
    I’m not saying Scott is a paragon of virtue, but there are so many Bretts that Tina needs to learn to pull off “Oh him, he’s a loser, I’m so over him” quickly.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Snowdrop
      Yes, this is one of those times when women need to “fake it till they make it.” Tina’s dignity is on the line – if she shows up with her head held high and is fine, she will feel much better. If she stays home and licks her wounds, she’ll be portrayed as weak and give Brett the satisfaction of having crushed her. Of course, she should not go and act out, drinking heavily and trying to exact revenge. That would be much worse than staying home.

  • modernguy

    @Escarondito – I bet you a million dollars that this guy Scott was not the one that made the initial move to put these two together. Guys generally don’t play matchmaker, because we know it’s a complicated business. The chances are 99-1 that it was his girlfriend playing matchmaker (and building castles in the air) that thought it was a good idea, and that Tina jumped into it eagerly because the guy was attractive. These are adults, are we as men supposed to go around protecting women from their own carelessness? If his girlfriend took it upon herself (as women love to do) to combine these two, what was he supposed to do, forbid it? He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. The only solution is not to mix your social circle with hers. In this case, he allowed that to happen, probably out of short-sightedness, and now he’s getting blamed by everyone. What his buddy does with grown women is none of his business, what’s he going to do, scold the guy? Tell him “hey, she’s my girlfriend’s friend so you gotta be straight with her”? She’s an adult, it’s not his place to get between the sheets with them.

  • Snowdrop111

    As for Brett, I am sure he is used to awkwardness if he gets around like that. Let Brett be the one who gets to feel “uncomfortable.” Tina has as much right to be at a party as Brett and I’m sure there are sixteen Tinas at that party that Brett may “feel awkward” about. Too bad for Brett. He’s burning through his social circle…that’s his problem as well as Tina’s. If he feels awkward about it too bad. Some of the Bretts of the world can handle it with charm and Brett is not a very successful player if he gets all awkward when he sees one of his many Tinas. If every guy obeys Brett, pretty soon there will be no girls at their parties because Brett has burned through so many. Brett better learn to be at the same party with someone he’s disappointed and smooth it over before the other guys figure out Brett is burning through the entire campus. If people are going to hook up, they need to face each other and show their resilience. If they really aren’t resilient like that, then hookup culture just might be A FARCE.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      If people are going to hook up, they need to face each other and show their resilience. If they really aren’t resilient like that, then hookup culture just might be A FARCE.

      It is a farce, for all but a few. Only the truly promiscuous thrive in this SMP.

  • Escarondito

    @modernguy
    Aldonza was agreeing with my posts above in regards to my analysis of Scott. I don’t give a damn about Tina. Because this post isn’t about Tina, no matter how much we all know some signs should’ve clicked to her. Scott kind of fed this chick a fantasy by setting the scenario without realizing it of tina and her new boy Brett who she met through her girl emma’s great boy Scott. Scott is a bitch for letting Brett tarnish his image. Modernguy I don’t know your relationship with women but I hope you understand what is PPM. “Proper Pussy Management”. Even if you have the extremest of Roissy views that women are nothing so anything your boy does shouldn’t matter Scott i still an idiot. Because if it is his desire to continue to recieve whatever pleasure he does recieve from this girl, he added a potential rubber stopper on his flow of pussy. But even worse, looked like a bitch to the dude by defending his actions and making his girl defend Bretts actions by making sure she doesn’t invite her friend. Brett, that Brilliant manipulator that he is, has not officially created buffer walls of Scott, and Emma, from the shitstorm the woman scorned Tina could become. As much as Scott is a bitch Brett is a socially intelligent 5-star general. Doesn’t even have to force his troops to fight for him. His key lieutenant Scott is chomping at the bits to lay down his life for his master *cough* general. Dude rushes to the front line even if it allows unknown enemies to easily flank him.

  • rick

    Brett didn’t care about “uncomfortable”.

    He doesn’t want a past conquest cockblocking a new conquest.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Brett didn’t care about “uncomfortable”.

      He doesn’t want a past conquest cockblocking a new conquest.

      I suspect you’re right. The only awkwardness Brett might experience is if Tina makes a scene and cockblocks, as you say. He just doesn’t want to deal with her sadness, disappointment, anger, whatever. She is no longer useful, and so why even have her around?

  • Badger Nation

    “I think it’s incumbent on Tina to nurse her wounds for a while, then go to parties when she is feeling strong enough to see Brett and not feel bad, and to assure Emma that she is “so over” Brett and can handle it.”
    .
    I think this is a misguided strategy. She needs to get over Brett, for real, and then stop caring about whether or not he’s at the parties he’s at.
    .
    Putting on a show about how you’re “so over” somebody just shows they’re still in your head.
    .
    Taylor Swift released a song about John Mayer. She and her fans think it’s some kind of poetic revenge, Parthian shot, an “F U” song. To me and many others in the manosphere, it’s a vaguely pathetic sign she’s still hurting.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Putting on a show about how you’re “so over” somebody just shows they’re still in your head.

      I will agree with this. However, conducting yourself with good cheer and self-respect can never be misguided. That sounds like something Jane Austen would say.
      .
      Re Taylor Swift and John Mayer, I could not believe that. I would think she would be embarrassed to admit having fallen for that narcissist. Her immaturity shows in these situations. I hope she doesn’t write a song about Jake Gyllenhaal when that’s over.

  • Badger Nation

    “The chances are 99-1 that it was his girlfriend playing matchmaker (and building castles in the air) that thought it was a good idea, and that Tina jumped into it eagerly because the guy was attractive. These are adults, are we as men supposed to go around protecting women from their own carelessness? If his girlfriend took it upon herself (as women love to do) to combine these two, what was he supposed to do, forbid it? He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.”
    .
    That’s EXACTLY what I thought! Scott may be showing poor PPM tendencies here, but it’s difficult to believe it was HIS idea to put the two together, that he actively said “hey let me help my friend, who by the way can bag anybody he wants, get some poon with my girl’s girlfriend, here have you met Brett?…”
    .
    I understand the mistakes Scott has made, but I don’t understand why he’s being held accountable for the whole enterprise when Emma undoubtedly had some role too. If Scott was actively lying to her about Brett she’d have something to be upset about but this just looks like a bad situation nobody took the time to prevent and everyone is trying to pass the buck saying “it was YOUR job to keep me from making that mistake!”

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Badger,@modernguy
      Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that the whole idea was probably Emma’s. I’ve never known men to be hatching plans of setting people up. At least not straight men. Scott may have been somewhat hapless in this, though “looking out for his boy” with his gf’s BFF was a bad call, to say the least. Still, the fact is that by association with Brett, Scott has taken a hit to his own reputation. Whether he’s a bitch as Esca and Aldonza say, or just clueless, his gf is pissed at him and thinks he has bad taste in friends. She’s got to think he’s either weak or stupid.

  • Badger Nation

    “As for Brett, I am sure he is used to awkwardness if he gets around like that.”
    .
    I just thought of something else – Brett surely is used to handling these cases. Perhaps it’s Scott who doesn’t want the awkward situation in his face and uses Brett in absentia to play it off.
    .
    “Let Brett be the one who gets to feel “uncomfortable.” Tina has as much right to be at a party as Brett”
    .
    Actually, if it’s a party of Scott and Brett’s social circle, she has no right to be there. Emma herself might be better off not going to the party at all, but nobody has a “right” to be at someone else’s party – and no guest of someone else, which Emma is, has the right to insist who else she brings.

  • Michael

    I’m not in the habit of protecting people from themselves, but sometimes you have to do so in order to protect yourself. I have no ethical qualms with watching a cad con his way into a women’s life, but the situation with Scott is entirely different, he shat in his own nest.

    I agree with those who think he’s bitch.

  • modernguy

    @Susan – I realize not all women are the same, and there are good parents. I’m just making a generalization, and I think it’s pretty accurate. The fact that you set up a blog trying to draw attention to the negative aspects of casual sex should be proof enough. Properly raised children don’t need to be told this when it’s already too late. Anyway, it’s not just my generalization, most of the people I know who’s parents were immigrants have the same opinion.

    Also, it’s funny that this guy’s girlfriend might think he’s weak or stupid now, or that he’s getting any flak at all. Assuming that she did the setting up, she’s the one to blame for not judging correctly. In that case, she would be neglecting the responsibility involved in setting two people up. Anyone can throw two people together at random and pretend they’ve done something good, but it takes a bit of wisdom to actually put people together that belong together.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      The fact that you set up a blog trying to draw attention to the negative aspects of casual sex should be proof enough. Properly raised children don’t need to be told this when it’s already too late. Anyway, it’s not just my generalization, most of the people I know who’s parents were immigrants have the same opinion.

      The truth is that well-raised daughters exist within the modern SMP. It looks very different than the one their parents navigated. This is why I set up the blog. Parents had no clue what their kids were up to and up against. Girls were struggling, and I found myself advising first my daughter, then her friends, then friends of friends, and so on. Originally I set the blog up for them, then others found it, as is likely to happen.
      .
      Well-raised daughters may be less likely to make poor decisions, but the truth is that most young women have not been prepared for what awaits them when they get to college. This generation is dealing with the consequences (some unintended) of the Sexual Revolution in a way their parents didn’t have to. The fact that they read my blog, which often addresses issues of common sense, is proof enough that it’s not easy or straightforward.
      .

      Assuming that she did the setting up, she’s the one to blame for not judging correctly.

      We have really veered off topic here. I did not intend for us to sit as judge and jury on which of the four individuals bears the blame for this mess. In fact, I assumed from the start that it is Brett who bears the blame. The question is: To what degree can Scott be judged for affiliating with Brett, a man he knows is dishonest and opportunistic with women to get into their pants? Is he guilty by association? Is he an accomplice by virtue of the fact that he approved this set up without telling Emma about Brett’s true character? It’s surely not Emma’s job to vet Brett’s character when her boyfriend is prepared to vouch for him enthusiastically.
      .
      Guys have each others backs. They do look out for their “boy.” That results in collateral damage if their boy is a douchebag. It will always depend on the circumstances, but in this case it’s just not reasonable to let Scott off the hook, IMO. Even if he is guilty only of omitting relevant information, he played a role in introducing his GF’s friend to a player with the specific intent on feeding him some tail, as another commenter phrased it.

  • http://ft.com VJ

    Lots of things might be going on here. But among the many likely scenarios? A fundamental misapprehension of reality. Men & Women are different. Really. Different. You are asking of skills that many average guys simply do not often possess in concert or ‘together’. And most women just Know this. This is the fodder for so many sitcom premises from the ‘Honeymooners’ in the 1950’s (!) on up. It accurate reflects reality.

    Let’s open our sitcom with one Muffy C. (short for Millicent Fenwick Cambers-Ogden) talking excitedly to one or more of her equally excitable sorority sisters. It is mid afternoon in the ‘drawing room’ of the house. There’s an evening event. Muffy’s hurriedly texting.

    Muffy: There! It’s done. Everything’s set. (She smiles that wanly crooked smile that’s the family tradmark).

    Suzi Yarborugh: So he’s coming?

    Muffy: Which one?

    Suz: Well the one you want to introduce us too, right? (Quizzically).

    Muffy: (Suddenly distractedly). Umm Yeah. No…

    Suz: ????

    MUffy: Oh yeah, Quintin coming. (Looking again down at her screen).

    Suz: ?? But what about that dear dishy Mikey? The one you met up at the gym? The infamous ‘standing 8 count’ you recounted to us in painfully vivid detail? I really want to meet him!

    Muffy: Yeah. Sure. I’m going to let that big ‘ol dumb horn dog near any of our precious little sisters! Fat chance!

    Suz: Well Yeah, I thought that was the point!

    Muffy: No dearie. The point being that house mother Hazel will be in town soon too, to do the usual once through before she heads out to the bars for her traditional carousing. Quintin’s going to be batting first here.

    Suz: OK, I’m confused a bit.

    Muffy: Well Quintin Quarrels just will make the better ‘standard academic impression’ on folks here. With his Bio-Chem major and finalist for the Rhodes & Dean’s list & all. He’s ever so knowledgeable about world affairs too. Watches all the proper shows, reads all the current good books. Actually is double majoring in some sort of Econ too I think. (Playing with her longish golden locks distractedly).

    Suz. I guess that’s fine. But I thought you said you only went out once or twice to try and introduce him to mummy & daddy to assuage their fears about you dating your usual suite of monsters this semester? I mean it’s nothing serious with Q right? Have you done him?

    Muffy: Right. Sure. Yeah.

    Madison: (Just coming in from tennis). So how many does that make in the rotation this week sunshine? (Smirking & laughing as she leaves upstairs).

    Muffy: Well it depends on the week & the circumstances. Quintin is just ‘hot’ enough for the parental units. But he’s actually quite arrogant in his own nerdy little ways, and this annoys like serious academics like you’d not believe! So he’s a no go for the Dean’s dinner. I’ll be going with Nate.

    Candy: (Suddenly awake now). Nate! You hate Nate! Everyone hates Nate! He could bore the wings off butterflies! Drying paint dries faster in his presence so as not to endure him!

    Muffy: Yes, the perfect academic date kiddo. Like a guided missile actually. ‘Just set & forget’. All I’ve got to tell him that so & so is working on a particular discredited literary theory, and he’s on ‘em like a terrier. Won’t let go for hours worth of delicious argument. Whereas my dad? Would have shot him inside of the first 5 minutes. If he ran quickly!

    Ali: So I get it! You’ve got a new one for Each respective audience you need them for! And everyone comes away suitably impressed with not only your good breeding, but fine choice for ‘upstanding young gentleman’!

    Muffy: Yep. Works for me!

    Suzi: (Quite quizzical now). No really, who’s going to Do you after the tea & social hour is done?

    Muffy: Well someone obviously.

    Suzi: (Pressing now) Hmmmm???

    Muffy: Well I’m not too particular, really. They’ll all do fine. And do. Really! But yeah. Mikey is the dreamy one. He’s certainly in the batting order somewhere there.

    All: (Squealing with that special delight, perhaps only seen in B movies): Yea!!!!

    Suzi: (Smiling broadly at her friend, now lighting up a strange old pipe): Done & Done! It’s a date!

    Muffy: (Puffing quietly). Yep. All arranged. I can’t wait. (Smoke curls around her head as the scene closes).

    Freely used in almost every sorority I’ve ever heard of or experienced in the last, oh 40+ years. The guys? Are too often clueless & also graceless. The LESS they see your friends & you theirs? The better. Trust us on this one. Please! Most men? Not the social ‘butterflies’ that they’re sometimes depicted as in vintage movies. Not as adept in making good impressions on gaggles of strange & curiously judgmental women. Few are actually! Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • collegegirl1

    I am really hurting now over a hookup situation but I wanted to provide things I learned and see if you agree with me…

    I learned that if everyone is telling you a guy is not good (and you are better–That’s a real compliment when his guy friends say that!) you should listen

    I learned that if the guy has a history of cheating (which he did) and got away with it, no reason he’s going to change

    I learned that if a guy makes mistakes early on and apologizes and you keep forgiving him, then he’ll think he doesn’t really have to go out of his way to try hard to do the right thing. He will always have you.

    I learned if a guy is good looking, he’ll think he has a lot of options. This guy bragged that he was Ford Model! I have been told I’m just as good looking, but I guess I don’t have the confidence to think I can get any guy in the world, the way he thought so with girls.

    I learned that even though a guy says I have qualities of a girlfriend , if he tells me off the bat he doesn’t want one that’s a total offense right? Like he can’t see me being his girlfriend 3-4 months down the line? Then I shouldn’t hook up with him.

    I realize douchebags don’t always hang with douchebags. Not all his friends were great lookign and the ones that weren’t were genuinelly nicer. They told me he was bad news, but I wanted to prove everyone wrong..when he was just putting me on the back burner.

    I learned instincts are right. If you believe from the start the guy isn’t good then no matter what he SAYS to you you’ll end up getting hurt.

    I really, even though I am 21, am new to the hookup scene and really…just am not satisfied. I’d rather hold out for a guy who treats me right because the physical pleasure is not worth all the emotional pain that comes with it. I’m really going to look out for all the warning signs I’ve listed and apply it so I KNOW when to back off immediately, because the longer I hold on to things the more I get hurt.

    Any advice for me? I just..feel I need to be alone and focus on myself. I feel like letting a guy treat me like this proves my self-worth is lower than what I’d like it to be. Having confidence and self-worth is totally different- I am confident but maybe I don’t believe i deserve to be treated well. And I do. I am never mean to anyone and treat people with respect. The only reason I STAYED with this guy is because I wanted to believe the best in him when really, the best wasn’t there.

    He’s not good at all..and even though I admit to this I don’t know why I’m still upset. I don’t know WHY I still want to talk to him…and “be friends” like he said. can that really happen? Can you be friends with someone who treats you like shit?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Collegegirl
      You have learned a valuable but painful lesson. Everything you say here is true. I’m sure in writing this list some of these things stuck out as obvious (duh!), but they were anything but obvious at the time.
      .
      You are still upset because you were played, and that carries with it shame and humiliation. Feeling like we’ve been made a fool of makes things much worse, as we picture the douchebag not caring one bit, or possibly even laughing at how we fell for his routines.
      .
      You are only 21, but time will fly through your 20s. It is important that you use what you have learned to steer clear of men like this in the future. Many, if not most attractive young women get burned by a cad or two, but far too many keep choosing the same dominant types, unable or unwilling to learn the hard truths. You would be far better off with one of his less handsome friends with good character.
      .
      In any case, you should absolutely not consider being friends with this guy. That’s the height of arrogance – guys who shit all over girls and then boast they’re all still “friends.” Have more self-respect than that – he has no wish to be a real friend. Even if it makes things socially awkward for a bit, you will maintain your dignity only if you judge him unworthy of any affiliation with you at all.

  • http://www.privilegedwhitemale.com Cessen

    @Susan:

    I don’t know how true this is for men, but it is enormously true for women. Women generally give terrible advice to one another, not out of malice, but out of a desire to assuage hurt feelings. They’ll go through incredible contortions to paint a situation as more hopeful than it is, for example. This doesn’t harm anyone but the friend, who can lose sight of reality.

    I disagree that this only harms the friend. I can imagine that is often the case. But there is a lot of potential for it to harm the person the advice is about, especially if it is affirming unreasonable expectations.
    .
    For example, I was in a relationship once where I felt constantly guilty, and always in my partner’s debt. And in retrospect I realize that 90% of that was unreasonable expectations and entitlement on her part (of course sometimes I did screw up, as everyone does in normal human relationships). But when in the relationship, it’s often not obvious. I think this is especially the case for “beta” guys like me, who don’t always have the good sense to stand up for themselves, especially with women. (Having said that, I’m glad I dated her, because it forced me to figure out how to grow a spine. But it hurt a lot. Thankfully, she is the only woman I’ve dated who had such issues. :-))
    .
    Anyway, I don’t know if she went and complained to her friends and received subsequent affirmation. But I imagine there are many similar cases where that is part of the dynamic.
    .
    In any case, I think this is basically the same issue. Group cohesion. Both genders do it, it just manifests in slightly different ways. And both can be problematic.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Cessen
      That’s a good point, thanks for making it. Badger also gave a good example – if his gf’s friends constantly plant the idea that he should spend more money on her, he’s got to deal with her revised view of him as not generous enough, when in fact all was well and she was not dissatisfied before her friends worked her over.

  • Josh

    Hi Susan,

    Long time lurker among blogs you frequent, visiting from Haley’s Halo, Dalrock and a few others. Thought I throw in my two cents.

    Maybe I’ve never met a true jerk, but the commonly-claimed jerk is actually a finely-tuned, socially aware person. As Badger Nation mentioned, male dominance comes from constant verbal (and occasionally physical) jousting. This isn’t the destructive cat-fighting found among women, but from joking, casual insults, and verbal oneupmanship. It doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a test, to see if you’ll fight back.

    But it’s actually a fairly fine line, and there only so much provocation a man will take before he gets actually angry. Jerks dance particularly close to this line, occasionally stepping beyond it. They usually have some redeeming value that keeps them from loosing their friends. They may be naturally charismatic leaders, effortlessly organizing large parties. They may be wealthy, and happy to bankroll for booze. They may, in some instances, actually command respect and loyalty. They might show a particular bravery, and take point in antagonizing teachers, administrators, or whatever authority figures there happen to be. They might be good-looking, and attract a lot a women.

    Whatever the reason, being a jerk is a form of social aggression and dominance, but also a form of social peacocking. If you can be a jerk and still keep your friends, you must have something special going on. Truly nasty people have no friends at all. And I find that jerks, despite their infuriating behavior, can be fiercely loyal friends. If you need help moving, or a late-night drive to the hospital, they’ll do it. But again, maybe I haven’t met a real jerk.

    So I think there’s a little more to why guys like jerks than the theory that “Jerks get girls, live off the scraps.”

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Josh,
      Thanks for that comment. I am particularly delighted to welcome several new commenters in this thread!
      .
      I think you are right about jerks having charisma. In fact, I use the word jerk to specifically address how a man treats women, but he may be the greatest guy in the world with his male friends. I’m sure this is true of a lot of guys in frats, for example, or on teams. That same guy might also be the one that all the parents think is wonderful, and who easily lands a great job upon graduation. Furthermore, I think most cads will eventually settle down and marry. I wouldn’t take a chance on one, but we know that many women would jump at the chance.
      .
      I wonder whether being a dominant, popular person turns a person into a jerk/spoiled princess, or whether someone born with narcissistic tendencies exudes natural charisma that results in social dominance.

  • modernguy

    @Susan – The whole thing is very convoluted. Are you sure Scott was ‘feeding’ Tina to his ‘boy’? I have a feeling that he would say that to explain why he didn’t intervene. But why should he intervene? If Tina is looking for a meaningful relationship she shouldn’t be putting out that early. It’s not Scott’s job to go around policing the relationship habits of adults. If this girl wants something more than casual sex there’s an easy way to signal that – don’t have sex until you know what you’re dealing with. It’s her feelings and her responsibility. If a friend of mine is having casual sex with different girls what right do I have to intervene? They are adults. If this guy was going around like a predator preying on vulnerable girls you could say he has a poor character and you shouldn’t be friends with him. But by the time she is in her mid-twenties this girl should more or less know what’s out there. Any girl that uses sex as bait to lure a guy in is taking her chances.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @modernguy
    It really is impossible to judge based on the details. And I don’t feel comfortable going back for more. It was a conversation that I had, and got thinking about over the next few days.
    .
    I assumed the relationship was sexual – why wouldn’t it be after a few months? But I have no knowledge of the particulars. Tina is someone who avoided the hookup scene in college, so it’s highly unlikely she was using sex as bait. I think she got burned by a cad, and has learned a painful lesson.

  • modernguy

    @Susan – ok, I am just trying to make the point that actually there is no such thing as a cad. It is most women’s desire and to their advantage for there to be a competitive sexual marketplace (except the girls at the top who are guaranteed to get an alpha and for whom the other girls are just competition). They want the best they can get. ‘Cads’ are simply taking advantage of this fact. These girls are (whether they admit it or not) offering themselves to a guy who could get other women in the hope that he’ll pick them. All this guy is doing is taking the offer of sex and leaving everything else. The nerd is not guaranteed anything in the sexual marketplace so why should any woman competing for the attention of an alpha with other women be?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I am just trying to make the point that actually there is no such thing as a cad…All this guy is doing is taking the offer of sex and leaving everything else.

      No one said anything about an offer of sex! If it was indeed offered, it was by Scott, who had no right to offer it. For the record, I define a cad as someone who lies to get sex. Mystery never recommended this. Other Game bloggers lie whenever necessary, without regard for the feelings of the women they deceive. A player is not necessarily a cad, but smart women will avoid him.

  • Badger Nation

    I think Susan is right that we’re getting away from the point she wanted to discuss, although that’s the nature of posts containing detailed and controversial anecdotes.
    .
    How useful is it to judge a man by the company he keeps? Quite honestly it really depends.
    .
    First you have to evaluate if a guy’s “company” is really that bad. Not all guys are conscious gamers – it just comes easily to some and that doesn’t make him a bad person. Attractive guys with women all over them are likely to make a few mistakes managing their opportunities. That is different from true sociopathy.
    .
    Secondly you have to determine how much a guy supports, defends or enables his company’s behavior. The fact is that compartmentalization is a way of life in the male world. Men are encouraged to collaborate and to suppress disagreements for the good of the team. You could call this cognitive dissonance if you were cynical, but it’s a survival strategy.
    .
    Think of Shaq and Kobe – these guys hated each other, but collaborated to win three NBA titles with some of the best basketball in recent memory. Guys don’t have to like everything about each other to enjoy their company in certain contexts, and unlike girls, they won’t rant behind his back about how they don’t like this or that, or bias the group against him, they will just take him as he is and if they don’t like something they just won’t bring it up or participate as his co-conspirator.
    .
    The point is that guys are friends for a lot of reasons. Some guys are wingmen and sarging buddies; others are advisors and mutual mentors and don’t party with each other. In this particular case Scott’s are sins of omission; it’s not his job to screen Tina’s suitors, but he allowed a situation to get out of hand which has made him look ineffectual and inconsiderate of Emma’s general comfort (girl’s best friend mad/sad = reduced probabililty of poon [PoP]).
    .
    Wrt specific character flaws: as much as women wish otherwise, guys are just not in the business of judging other men’s sexual choices. Most men don’t have the opportunity for as much poon as is available to their cad friends anyway, so the usual reaction is “good for him if he can get it” combined with the sense that they don’t have any standing to tell him what they’d do in that situation, since they’ll never be in it. Asking men to be the social equivalent of a single-issue voter – “well if he’s a douche to girls I’m not going to be friends with him” – is just not a realistic expectation.
    .
    Eventually, though, Brett and Scott will find the chickens come home to roost. Anybody recall “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”? Mike Damone sleeps with Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) after his protege Mike Ratner has fallen for her, and Rat asks him “you can have any girl, why you gotta get with Stacy??” Rat denounces their “friendship” on the spot.
    .
    (Rat, btw, is a classic clueless pedestalizing beta, afraid to escalate sex and completely unaware of the fact that Stacy lied to Damone and may have induced him to pay for an abortion of a child fathered by another man, and then allowed Phoebe Cates scrawl “PRICK” into the side of his car. Stacy goes back to Rat when, her sexual curiosities satisfied, she decides she wants a “relationship.” But that’s for another thread.)
    .
    Now for the other side: I absolutely judge a woman by her company. Unless she specifically and vociferously denounces their dysfunctional parts, I usually presume that a woman with distasteful friends will either be programmed by them, or try to live a double life of trying to make both sides happy. It rarely ends well. My personal experience is that women have a much greater tendency than men to be slaves to their group’s opinions, no matter how misguided she knows they are. Another brick in my theory that something in American youth culture is churning out young women with very low social agility and social self-worth.
    .
    Roissy has a classic post where he advises men that if a woman tells you she’s talking to her friends about you, assume they are trying to cut you down and poison her mind and you need to game the entire group to save your romance. Boy do I know what that’s like.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Attractive guys with women all over them are likely to make a few mistakes managing their opportunities. That is different from true sociopathy.

      Agreed, though dishonesty, when employed to cheat, is more than a mistake. I hold to the view that if you wouldn’t want the other person knowing about it, you shouldn’t be doing it. This obviously only applies when a couple has agreed to be exclusive – if it’s no strings, you might prefer the other person not know what you’re up to, but the fact is they don’t have a right to ask.
      .
      reduced PoP – haha, I like that.
      .
      The fact is that compartmentalization is a way of life in the male world. Men are encouraged to collaborate and to suppress disagreements for the good of the team.
      . and then this?
      My personal experience is that women have a much greater tendency than men to be slaves to their group’s opinions, no matter how misguided she knows they are. Now for the other side: I absolutely judge a woman by her company.
      .
      Seriously? You’re going to introduce a new double standard based on the differences between men and women? I understand the argument you are making, and you’re obviously free to judge people how you see fit. But it strikes me as unacceptable that men can hang with douchebags with impunity because they’re better able to compartmentalize. Some would call that having less of a conscience. There are examples of collaboration in the 20th century that were deeply immoral. Perhaps the bumper sticker that says “If a woman ran the world, we’d have no more wars” is correct. I don’t see how that’s any different than living a double life to make both sides happy. Isn’t that exactly what Scott was doing?

      Re Scott, we’re not going to agree on this one. I agree with Aldonza – the statement that he was looking out for his boy = increasing PoP for Brett, in hopes of being Brett’s #1. He tried to have it both ways and got burned. He was stupid not to see it coming – he obviously knew Brett wasn’t going to be the devoted boyfriend.

  • Badger Nation

    BTW, is it me or is Judge Reinhold of Fast Times fame a dead ringer for Jason Segal of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, How I Met Your Mother and Freaks and Geeks? They both played high school students in works set in the early 80’s? Sounds too fishy to be a coincidence.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Susan…”I wonder whether being a dominant, popular person turns a person into a jerk/spoiled princess, or whether someone born with narcissistic tendencies exudes natural charisma that results in social dominance.” Probably a little of both…although there seem to be as many jerks among the unpopular and passive-aggressive as among the popular and dominant. Re narcissism…if a person considers *themselves* interesting, then as long as this is done in moderation, it probably causes other people to consider them interesting as well. However, if done in excess it will turn other people off, and also if the reality doesn’t quickly live up to the advertising, then people will not stay attracted to the individual (cf Barack Obama.)

    On the average, a slightly higher level of narcissism seems to work for women than for men.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @david foster
      In light of NPD being removed in the newly drafted DSM, it occurs to me that there’s a fine line between healthy self-respect and narcissism. Many of the world’s great leaders, business tycoons and artists have certainly been narcissists. Their need to be on top often serves as an engine for progress. We need them around, but they are best enjoyed from a distance, IMO.

  • Aldonza

    @ModernGuy
    “I was just looking out for my boy!”
    To me, this indicates culpability on Scott’s part. He knew what was going on and was an active participant. In fact, in “Chick Code”, being setup with a friend of someone’s boyfriend is a tacit approval and recommendation of that guy as being decent. Women do try to look out for their friends and they don’t want the drama either.
    .
    As for Tina, not a lot is said about her except she accepted the setup, went out with this guy and got fucked over. We don’t know if she was a hypergamous fool, or just another woman who thought he might be a nice guy. I think it’s a red herring to try to pin it all on an unknown woman.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    To collegegirl1: Don’t ever stay friends with an ex. People swear up and down it can work, but in my opinion, it’s totally silly and a waste of time. That person should be cut out from your social and emotional life, and at best become an acquaintance. It might sound really cold, but it’s the best thing to do.

  • Badger Nation

    collegegirl,
    .
    Thanks for sharing, you are not alone in suffering in the SMP.
    .
    You might find it useful to take Tom Leykis’ advice on youth. His many other aphorisms notwithstanding, he advises young men and women not get into serious relationships before they are 25 (he does say if people can handle casual sex at that age then more power to them.) I think he’s inspired by the fact he got married AND divorced before he was 23.
    .
    Whatever the age, I think a couple of years unpartnered is a good idea. This requires some emotional management on your part (don’t let your butterflies carry you away) but can be done without advertising a “no-dating” policy or anything like that.
    .
    In any case, extricate yourself from the man’s sphere. Don’t be his “pivot,” a social-proof wingwoman he can use to snag other girls. Being “friends” to show you’re over it is sometimes a strategy for people to save face, but I advocate just getting away. As came up in this thread with the advice that Tina show Brett she is “over him,” social niceties after bad relationships are vastly overrated and usually completely unproductive.

  • modernguy

    @Susan – But the offer was implied. Why else would a guy like that spend time and effort chasing after a girl he is going to cheat on anyway? He went for the sex and dumped the rest. This girl wouldn’t be so hurt if she didn’t feel she gave him something for which he didn’t compensate. That’s the crux of the whole issue. If sex wasn’t on the table he wouldn’t have been interested. After she gave it, she found out that’s all he was interested in.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      If sex wasn’t on the table he wouldn’t have been interested. After she gave it, she found out that’s all he was interested in.

      The most adept players will work to take down a chaste girl for sport. He may have figured he’d score easily with her, and when she proved a challenge he hung in there until touchdown, then Game Over. For all we know he might have been banging other chicks on the side while romancing her and pretending to wait. When she gave it up – possibly in month three or four (unheard of!), he probably deleted her number on his way home.
      .
      Of course, all of this is pure conjecture, but just as likely as your scenario.

  • Hope

    People of good character reject friends of poor character, even if it means not having a social circle at all. My husband did it, and he didn’t do it for me or any other girl. When I met him, he played video games on nights and weekends instead of going out. Yeah it didn’t get him meeting lots of girls, but he wasn’t interested in that. Likewise I also didn’t have a social circle, so he couldn’t know anything about me aside from what I told him, and what he observed of me.

    It seems to me that meeting people via friends has become a total drama fest, and there’s no point in “vetting” someone’s character by asking that person’s friends. Better to keep your eyes open and judge for yourself. Trust your instincts and don’t do anything physical until there is real emotional intimacy and bonding. In our case we talked for a long time day in and day out, even sometimes while at work, and there wasn’t any indication either of us was “playing the field” or just wanted to be “casual.” No social circle game needed.

  • Escarondito

    @hope
    Yes I’m not alone. I never understand how people say they stay friends with their ex unless it is a serious long relationship or they went through something profound together. Otherwise, it seems like they are just waiting to get together again.

    @Susan
    Someone brought this up earlier that women staying silent, or rationalizing with their friends bad behavior, is a bad sign to a man which it is. But I feel it is the same way with women. If emma’s man is rationalizing brett’s behavior it is perfectly fine to judge him on that. However, if either man or woman is silent in front of their friend but when speaking honestly to the significant other calls their friend out on their shit then that’s cool. But proper reasons should be made for why they aren’t calling out their friends shit to their face.

  • Badger Nation

    Following up a couple of items before we all move to the new thread…
    .
    “A woman I know (and now loathe) recently left her husband and children b/c she wanted to explore her new feelings for another man. Her lifelong best friend, with whom the couple regularly socialized, terminated their friendship. She just said, “If you can do this thing, you are not someone I wish to know.” I gave her enormous credit for not enabling selfish behavior that is incredibly hurtful to her family.”
    .
    This warms the cockles of my heart. Good on you and your friend.

  • Badger Nation

    “First of all, it makes me crazy when women complain about how much a man is spending on them…Valuing a man’s attention with dollar signs is a sign of very poor character, IMO.”
    .
    Thanks for the backup – this is one piece of advice you might give your readers more clearly. Young men are already relationship-shy because of the time cost. If it looks like they’re also going to get hit financially too, they will doubly stay away.
    .
    “Are they spending money on men?”
    .
    Ha, I’ll give you one guess, but it’s not even worth that, since they don’t have any men.
    .
    “I’ve mentioned before how when I met my husband in grad school, he was broke, putting himself through with loans. I had an allowance from my parents. That meant that his gifts to me were thoughtful and extremely inexpensive, i.e. Pablo Neruda’s love poems. And I paid for just about everything we did together, although we did a ton of free stuff. He made me simple meals. I could not have asked for a more thoughtful and generous boyfriend. ”
    .
    That’s real sweet, and also a great demonstration of long-term investment by a woman. If a woman is willing to stand by her man in the leanest times, he’s a hell of a lot more likely to stand by her when her “assets” begin to depreciate.
    .
    “It sounds like they are a terrible influence on her, planting seeds of doubt. I hope she will muster the courage to kick them all to the curb. That will not be easy – I’m not surprised she’s having difficulty getting rid of them.”
    .
    This is steadily becoming a huge problem for us, a sign of a larger issue of her not being very proactive in personal growth.
    .
    I would never tell someone to ditch certain relationships or give them ultimata, but I hope for her to realize their poisonous attitudes and behavior are incompatible with her relationship with me and more importantly with her living a happy and successful life per se. It’s part of growing and learning so I am not expecting it to happen instantaneously. As I said, I expected they would gradually vanish as life moved on but the replacement friends have not emerged and she’s stayed with them by default. It also concerns me that she may be subconsciously using the comfort and security I provide as a crutch to not improve other areas of her life.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @badger
      Uh oh. Are these the same friends who are demanding to know why you’re not setting the date? They sound like they are definitely headed for Dalrock’s aging spinster pile!

  • Badger Nation

    One more thing…now that I actually read the Berkman article you linked.
    .
    “This convo was between two ladies who were also walking in the opposite direction of me, and the excerpt was something along the lines of: “I can’t just stand outside of his dorm room and slap him across the face, can I?” I don’t see why not”
    .
    I DO see why not. Despite what chicks see on sitcoms, in movies, etc, you can’t “just slap men across the face.” That’s assault. If you don’t respect men’s legal and physical boundaries, don’t come crying to us when they don’t respect yours (and you have no right to cry “DV!” if they slap you back).
    .
    I’ve noticed women excusing violence towards men with a simple, solipsistic “he deserved it,” an unfortunate trend of hamster-rationalizing a man’s distasteful but not illegal misdeeds into a criminal case that requires vigilante justice. Unprovoked violence, keying his car, etc simply puts a woman in the true “psycho” box.
    .
    That little comment set up some more misandry…
    .
    “something that guys and girls can agree on: the undeniable douchebaggery (douchebagism?) of college aged guys.”
    .
    Pffff. Classic case of confusing “guys” with “the small cohort guys I’m attracted to and/or have hooked up with.” Come on, I’ve been to Berkeley – the vast majority of young guys walking the streets there have no douchebaggery in them. There are douchebags of every age – the behaviors change slightly but the mindsets don’t. If chicks didn’t sleep with them, there’d be a lot fewer of them.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan,
    .
    Interesting discussion. I think a Badger has commented quite well on a lot of the male perspective, so I’ll only elaborate a little bit.
    .
    Typically, if a guy is friends with a cad, it’s usually one of two scenarios:
    1) The cad has redeeming values outside his relationships with his female partners. He’s probably a good, loyal friend, a good brother, a good son, or whatever. A lot of guys will tend to have a “don’t ask too much, don’t tell too much” policy about interfering with a friend’s relationship, so we can compartmentalize those separate aspects. The only exceptions would be a female relative, or close female friend, in which case, yes, we’d warn off the cad friend (in the case of the relative), or maybe give a female friend a heads up: “He’s never been the relationship type, so engage at your own peril”.
    .
    2) There some self-interest involved: beta orbiters hoping for table scraps, fraternity brothers not worth alienating, etc. These aren’t as close friendships, so there wouldn’t be much reason to get involved in the other persons private life, and vice-versa. I think Badger mentioned Shaq-Kobe as this type of situation.
    .
    i imagine, the case in question is more like case 1), and while I think Scott isn’t the worst in this scenario, he really should have given Emma a heads up about Brett and his player ways. This type of situation is also a reason guys don’t tend to play matchmaker.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      This type of situation is also a reason guys don’t tend to play matchmaker.

      I don’t know why anyone would want to play matchmaker! When I’ve attempted it, it’s been a disaster. I had one dinner party where the woman wore some kind of fur vest, and the guy I invited for her immediately gave her enormous grief, like he was a member of PETA or something. She was a doctor, and he started telling her that doctors are seriously overpaid. Honestly, he was terrible, and she handled it poorly too. Never again.

      Matchmaking does have an implied responsibility, and that’s a lot to take on unless you know both parties very well. Lots of happy couples meet this way, so it’s definitely worth doing if someone offers to set you up. But I don’t want to be the person who’s trying to make it happen.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan,
    I agree, matchmaking is a difficult business. The only time I’ve seen men do it is in the case 2) scenario, where the guys aren’t that close. Sort of like: “hey, there’s a bunch of girls I know at a party, you interested in tagging along?”, so no responsibility is taken for any of the outcomes. Usually, we guys try to discourage it.
    .
    Now, having a close female friend or relative who tries their hand at matchmaking isn’t necessarily a bad thing (I met my wife through the wife of a close college friend). However there is an implied responsibility, and the person doing really needs to know both people pretty well. Even then, she knows the matches as friends, and may not have a good grasp of what the parties are looking for in a romantic sense.

  • Vincent Ignatius

    Another 2 cents from me.

    Most men want to be like their friends who are getting a ton of tail. Only a minority of men would turn down the opportunity for more sex assuming they are not in a committed relationship.

    Also, girls shouldn’t be surprised that “nice guys” are friends with players. Just because a man has some qualities you don’t like, it doesn’t mean he’s a monster. That jerk who broke your heart in college, I bet you he loves his parents, looks out for his sister and takes care of his grandma. And if he’s like most men, he is far more loyal to his “nice guy” friends than you are to your girl friends.

  • Sox

    A lot I generally disagree with in this thread.
    .
    First off, these cads you’re denouncing don’t get that label until they fuck one of your girlfriends over. Seriously. Many times I’ve warned women about a particular acquaintance of mine only to hear “no way, he’s nice!”. I don’t know if it’s true obliviousness or a hamster at work, but guys generally know an asshole before women do. The guy could be a million things, but a cad he won’t be until he cheats or dumps your girl.
    .
    Most normal guys aren’t friends with true cads. Any guy who is might be trying to live vicariously through him or something, but honestly, I have no respect for that. The douchebags we’re talking about are usually pretty terrible guy friends too.
    .
    However, there’s a whole ‘nother class of guys that like I said, don’t get that label ’til the girl gets burned. They’re otherwise well-adjusted, social, normal guys. Many of these guys have a lot of great qualities. I have guy friends that are heartbreakers that would probably be labelled cads by women here, but I honestly don’t think they are. It’s easy to Vilify the guy here, and I’m a little skeptical to buy into it without knowing more.
    .
    Knowing the way women usually operate, I doubt a warning would’ve made a difference anyway. I’ve gone out of my way to warn about a known player. This guy’s seriously worked his way through a whole HOUSE of roommates, each one knowing the previous one’s story. I recently warned a friend that my roommate has never had a girlfriend, because he simply doesn’t date. Surprise surprise, they’re hooking up now.
    .
    Scrolling up I think Vincent got at what I was trying to say about this cad everyone’s dog piling on. I just think there’s a lot of bias going around.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Sox

      I have guy friends that are heartbreakers that would probably be labelled cads by women here, but I honestly don’t think they are

      Yes, this happens a lot. That’s why I distinguish between a player and a cad. A player says up front either directly or via his history and reputation, that he is only interested in casual sex, and wants to remain free to have sex with a variety of women. Caveat emptor. Women don’t get to ride that as long as they can and then bitch they were fucked over. They knew going in exactly what the terms were.
      .
      Sometimes only two people really know the deal, and one or both may be dishonest after the fact. In general, I’d have to agree with lots of the commenters here who have said they want no part of being involved in other people’s relationships.
      .
      And yes, some women want players like Pooh wants Hunny. Vincent is proof of that.

  • Badger Nation

    “Seriously? You’re going to introduce a new double standard based on the differences between men and women? I understand the argument you are making, and you’re obviously free to judge people how you see fit. But it strikes me as unacceptable that men can hang with douchebags with impunity because they’re better able to compartmentalize. ”
    .
    Let me rephrase – based on my life experience, I find the flaws of a man’s friends to be less predictive of his overall character than the flaws of a woman’s friends are to her character. I don’t think it’s a double standard as much as a measured judgment from which to start my evaluation. Those are my observations, if you don’t like them I have others.
    .
    “There are examples of collaboration in the 20th century that were deeply immoral.”
    .
    Goodness, are we comparing sexual fidelity in college hookups to war crimes and the Holocaust?
    .
    I can’t be friends with true sociopaths, but as an athlete I had plenty of attractive friends who had a bit of player in them. People are complex and I felt their overall character and loyalty (including to their female friends) far outweighed those actions. I know some women want to make alleged misogyny into an uncompensable sin, like racism in American politics or support for abortion in the Catholic Church, but people are complex and life is short.

  • Badger Nation

    Susan,
    .
    “Uh oh. Are these the same friends who are demanding to know why you’re not setting the date? They sound like they are definitely headed for Dalrock’s aging spinster pile!”
    .
    Haha! Thankfully that discussion has not gone on yet – to my knowledge. There ARE people in her life she and I have already tagged as future cat ladies.
    .
    Sox,
    .
    Good comment. Some people won’t take a warning if you write it on their bathroom mirror. If you want a heavy dose of “the guy gets the cad/douche label once he doesn’t do something the girl wants,” head on over to Haley’s Halo.

  • modernguy

    These things are going to happen because it’s just the nature of the mating game now. The girl who gets burned by a player after putting out is exactly the same as the nice guy who gets burned by the girl he’s always giving emotional comfort to. It’s just a situation of one party trying to win favor with the other party by giving them what they want.

    This is just what happens in a culture like this where dating is done in a large pool of people who barely know each other or have never met before, and have very weak social ties linking them together. But in a way, it serves both parties, women have a larger pool of alphas to choose from (and dream about) and the alphas have a larger selection of women to use. The ones losing out are the ‘alpha’ females who are only burdened with the extra competition and the beta males who have to sit on the sidelines while their female analogues fight each other for the unattainable (and are used up in the process).

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      The ones losing out are the ‘alpha’ females who are only burdened with the extra competition and the beta males who have to sit on the sidelines while their female analogues fight each other for the unattainable (and are used up in the process).

      Exactly right. So how about those two groups get together?

  • Badger Nation

    “I had one dinner party where the woman wore some kind of fur vest, and the guy I invited for her immediately gave her enormous grief, like he was a member of PETA or something. She was a doctor, and he started telling her that doctors are seriously overpaid. ”
    .
    Sounds like a colossally mis-executed attempting at negging… :P

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Sounds like a colossally mis-executed attempting at negging…

      Haha, those are unfortunately quite common. Negging is an art form. I think getting it just right is very difficult, and presupposes a certain level of charm, or at least sense of humor, in the guy. A guy with a very serious expression telling you you look like Elmer Fudd is not going to be successful.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Sox and @Badger

    I’ll have to second the “some people won’t take a warning if you write it on their bathroom mirror”. My brother, who’ll I’ll label as a player, not a cad (as per Susan’s distinction, though the ultimate results are the same for the women), would be in situations that brought out the “White Knight” in me, and I’d “warn” his marks, but it never worked. In fact, he’d joke to me that it made them even more likely to pursue him. The women are grownups, so it’s their responsibility to know what they are getting into…

  • karen

    I think something that some people don’t realize is that it is really hard to dump some douchebag friends and make new friends. I’ve been living in my current location for over a year now and I still have trouble meeting people because many people in my age range already have their cliques. When I do meet somebody in my age range, I find out that they already have friends and aren’t really trying to meet new people unless it is for hooking up/dating. People get comfortable in their situations and don’t want to change. Why should some guy risk calling out a cad of a friend if he thinks it might lead to him getting ostracized with his group of friends? People in general don’t like to rock the boat. Just my two cents.

    I know this if off topic but I have a question for the guys. I would like to add that I have no romantic feelings for this guy. So a male coworker was having a birthday party and he invited me to it but said he’d given me the directions to the location later. I was the only person he invited from work. Well he never called so I didn’t go to his birthday party. Then he later got a new job and invited me to a party celebrating his new job. Again, I was the only person from work who he invited. He actually asked me several times that day if I would go. I said yes. Well, once again he didn’t give me directions or the time of his party. Why does he invite me to his parties, repeatedly ask me if I’ll go and then not send me the directions to his parties?

  • Badger Nation

    “Negging is an art form. I think getting it just right is very difficult, and presupposes a certain level of charm, or at least sense of humor, in the guy. ”
    .
    Mystery said the same thing. Lots of people don’t get the neg, many women included. They think it’s some kind of asshole insult. It’s not a sarcastic chop-busting insult, to be laughed off with “I’m just joking, Vanessa!” It’s just a comment, a statement that exists alone, that is neither complimentary nor negative – designed to stop her psychological/verbal “he’s hitting on me” automatic program.
    .
    If she feels insulted, you didn’t neg right. If she feigns insult, then she’s parlayed the neg into a shit test and you have something to work with (women don’t shit test without at least a sliver of interest).
    .
    My gf and I have become acutely aware of negging as a pervasive verbal art, and so we often say “see, he just negged her” or the hilarious “you just negged yourself.”

  • Badger Nation

    Karen,
    .
    I would chalk that up to pure flakiness. Lots of people “invite” friends to parties and never get around to following up. Without further IOI, I wouldn’t take that as anything more than the old “we’re going out for drinks after work, you should come” followed by next week “aaah yeah brah, sorry we forgot to let you know we were leaving for the bars.”
    .
    Question: is he on equally friendly terms with other people from the office? Is it strange for him to invite only you from work or do you two have a better working relationship that his other coworkers?

  • Mike C

    The most adept players will work to take down a chaste girl for sport. He may have figured he’d score easily with her, and when she proved a challenge he hung in there until touchdown, then Game Over. For all we know he might have been banging other chicks on the side while romancing her and pretending to wait. When she gave it up – possibly in month three or four (unheard of!), he probably deleted her number on his way home.
    .
    Of course, all of this is pure conjecture, but just as likely as your scenario.

    .
    Not sure about this…or at least how common it would be. I would say it is only a minority of cad/alpha types that are looking to “take down” a good girl. I’ve known and been friends with more then a few cad types, and that just isn’t the way they generally play it. They try to identify the “slut”/party girl type, get the lay, and move on to the next one. I don’t see them spending 3 months romancing a girl solely to score, and then delete the number. Really, that isn’t cad behavior…but flat out sociopath/evil.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Mike C
    Yeah, that’s probably right. That’s the plot of Dangerous Liaisons, and the John Malkovich character was evil.

  • Badger Nation

    Mike C/Susan,
    .
    There’s a tendency in gender relations to view the other side as Machiavellian and long-term-thinking, and it’s usually a fallacy. Especially when someone feels hurt, they want to project mens rea onto their antagonist.
    .
    A lot of guys who are good with women are slaves to their subconscious motivations just like a lot of women are. A lot of guys are romancing some girl, they’re having a great time, they have all the feelings, then after they blow their load in her, they feel empty and not that interested any more. A lot of times it’s not a conscious “hunter game,” it’s just the novelty-seeking way their hindbrain operates.

  • Lavazza

    A player friend many years ago once said, at a time that everybody else in our group were in LTRs since a while, that he would often be invited to friends in LTRs because they were longing for his kind of stories, which they no longer had access to. He said that he did not like and that he felt like a dancing monkey invited to do his show.

  • Withac20

    @susan
    FIDO, indeed! You are SO right about him being manipulative. I don’t notice it until afterwards, probably tried rationalizing it away. He does not deserve any of my time, including any nanosecond of my brain time. So glad I didn’t get involved in that potential mess. The great loneliness in the SMP can be extremely tough, but the drama and emotional rollercoaster is so much more hurtful.

    @collegegirl1
    Absolutely in agreement with following instincts. As generally nice people, we hope for the good/best in people. But as you said, sometimes the best isn’t there.

  • Jeff

    this is spot on … a man (or woman) can easily hide their true attitudes and beliefs thru acting or lying but it is nearly impossible for them to hide the attitudes or beliefs of their associates. If he hangs out with alot many jerks, guess what he’s most likely a jerk.