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April 21

More on dating vs. hooking up

Filed under: Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:06 am

Some smart observations from Echidne on the study we were annoyed by* a few days ago:

The study defines dating as a traditional male-initiated process: The man invites the woman, he picks her up, he treats her, he takes her back home. He can ask for sex and she can refuse it. Hooking-up, on the other hand, is defined as a fairly egalitarian process about necking or kissing or intercourse or whatever. Either party can initiate it.

Note that there is no third alternative, such as some kind of egalitarian dating with going Dutch. It’s important to keep that in mind in evaluating the study findings. We have no idea how the study participants would have ranked egalitarian dating.

4. The checklists of items the study used (for the subjects to agree or disagree about) were not identical for men and women. An example about the possible benefits of traditional dating:

For the benefits of traditional dating, we listed 36 possible benefits for men and 34 possible benefits for women. Twenty-seven of these benefits were identical for both genders (e.g., “Traditional dating is romantic”), with the remaining possible benefits gender specific (e.g., for men, “You can ask anyone you are interested in on a date”; for women, “You have the power to reject a date”).

Similar gender differences were applied to the checklist covering the possible risks of traditional dating. The checklists for the benefits of hooking-up were identical for both sexes but the checklists for the risks of hooking-up were not:

Two items were gender specific. (“Risk getting pregnant” vs. “Risk of getting partner pregnant” and “Can get a bad reputation for being ‘easy’ or a whore” vs. “Can get a bad reputation of using women”).

Why would such differences matter if they are not about the questions discussed in the above summary? Because the overall experience might affect the answers one gives. For instance, men get reminded about their responsibility in the concept of traditional dating this study used, and that reminder is different from the reminders women get.

That’s why my point about the two choices is an important one. The study did not ask how students would have felt about egalitarian dating.

*In that post, by the way, I should have specified that by “traditional dating” I didn’t mean boy-always-takes-lead dating; I just meant going-on-DATES-dating.

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April 15

Men are from hookups, women are from dates?

Filed under: Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 6:32 am

A new study at James Madison University (based on a limited sample) suggests that “more women than men continue to prefer dating whereas more men than women rate hooking up above dating.” At least that’s the way Science Daily describes it. And that’s not wrong in terms of the study, but how come it takes a whole bunch more paragraphs to get to this part? “Overall, both genders showed a preference for traditional dating over hooking up…On the whole, men and women agreed on the benefits and risks of dating and hooking up.* It’s not that gender differences are never interesting, or worthwhile to note. But maybe if we paid more attention to what we actually — demonstrably — have in common, there’d be, well, even more traditional dating.

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April 2

What’s a nice girl gotta do?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:49 am

My heart will go on past March 23, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Why is it that every time you treat a guy like he is a decent, civilized human being he turns out to be a monster? And whenever you treat him like crap he is down on his knees begging for your love and care? I really wonder: will we good, nice, decent girls ever find that sort of guy who cares and really would sacrifice his favorite TV show for us (let alone sacrifice his life like in “Titanic”)?

— Lost White Lilly

Dear Lilly,

Guys! Hello! “Titanic” is a movie! Not real life! I mean come on, do you think that big strong boat really would have sunk so easily? Puuuuuure fiction.

Oh, wait.

(more…)

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March 26

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Boyfriend

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:22 am

The Curse of the Friend-Boy continues on March 23, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Hi, I just replaced the phone after a two-hour conversation in which the subject was “male bashing” (perhaps you know of it). My “girl”-friend had just been told by her steady that he had only wanted her for one thing (take a guess). Yes, I was as disgusted as she was and it set me thinking. I am used by a lot of people as a comfort from the tough times and although I am not unhappy, I am sick of hearing about all guys being chauvinistic pigs who look for one thing in life. I have gone out with two girls for a grand total of four days and after both, I was given the good old friends line. I know this is similar to other letters, but it is slightly different. I am not bad looking, I have a decent sense of humor, and consider myself romantic (flowers, candy, letters). The problem is, no one wants to accept me as more than a friend. I don’t see what my problem is. Although I am used as a stuffed toy when times are tough, it is not a position I would change for the world. Why is it that a) all the women around me seem to make the same mistakes even though I warn them, and b) How do I get over that “friends” line? It destroys me inside, and leaves me feeling inadequate as a guy, but more like a used tissue. What can I do to make myself appealing? Should I change or accept the fact that I will only ever be a friend?

Thank you kindly for all your help.
— Unlucky in Love

Dear Unlucky,

Everything I said before, plus a few points:

(more…)

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March 9

I’m on a horse.

Filed under: pop culture — posted by Breakup Girl @ 3:07 pm

Via Broadsheet:

Can you smell the aroma of manufactured manliness? Because there is an epic, and pungent, battle underway in the men’s personal care aisle. [Yesterday], Advertising Age declare[d] that we are seeing “the biggest array of product launches for men in nearly a decade and maybe ever.” The major competitors in this pissing contest: Procter & Gamble, which is responsible for Old Spice and Gillette, and Unilever’s new line, Dove Men+Care (apparently a plus sign equals masculinity).

Chances are you’re already familiar with Old Spice’s latest offering –namely Isaiah Mustafa, the charming star of its viral “I’m on a horse” ad, which bashes “lady-scented body wash” and orders dudes to “smell like a man, man.” The spot is full of satire and swagger — a winning combo, especially for men whose choice of personal armor is ironic cockiness. And as AdAge notes, “An ad for Gillette’s body wash, with a fairly obvious proxy for the new Dove product in the shower, pointedly says, ‘Just because it says it’s for men doesn’t mean it is.'” Nyah-nyah, Gillette just said you smell like a woman! Whatchu gonna do about that, Dove?

Nothing, judging from the Dove “Manthem,” which you’ll find below. Above all else, a Dove man is comfortable. Really, really comfortable. He doesn’t need to thump his chest to prove his manliness — that’s what his wife, three kids and home are for, it seems. He’s succeeded as a man (read: a pro-creator and provider) and so he can calmly retreat to his bathroom sanctuary and lather himself with an unpretentious body wash that doesn’t scream “FOR REAL MEN ONLY.” He is settled in his domesticated bliss and doesn’t need a damn horse, OK?

I don’t know about you, but I am fascinated by these dueling masculine identities. Bring on the advertainment.

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March 3

Soccer guys are so sensitive (and need BG bad)

Filed under: Celebrities,media,News,Uncategorized — posted by Amy @ 7:43 am

Okay. While we were all watching Apollo Ohno and rooting for the Canucks (depending), strange things have been going on in England. Maybe you’re heard of soccer, which those crazy kids call “football?” And the World Cup, which happens this summer in South Africa? Very big deal. VERY big deal. And the English team looks like it’s destined to punk out because of a post-breakup fol-de-rol that seems like something that’d happen only in a BG comic.

Try to keep up, now: Wayne Bridge is a member of the English national football team. A couple years ago, the serial modelist hooked up with a French model named Vanessa Perroncel. They had a kid. Then they broke up.

Repeat: THEY BROKE UP.

After the breakup (repeat: AFTER THE BREAKUP), Vanessa apparently availed herself of some revenge sex with Bridge’s best mate, John Terry.

Bee eff dee, right? Professional athletes having sex with various pretty ladies. I mean, we’ve all seen Footballers’ Wives, right? (P.S. It is awesome. — BG) Except no. First, Bridge threw a wobbly. Then, Terry was stripped of his role as captain of the English national team. There were various overwrought events in between — a handshake refused, yadda yadda. Then, this week, Bridge resigned from the team completely.

I hate to keep repeating myself, but: He resigned. From a World Cup team. Because his friend had sex with his ex-girlfriend.

There’s more sordidness to be had if you like that sort of thing: a reported pregnancy, a cuckolded Mrs. Terry packing up her kids and her mom and running off to Dubai, a furious Perroncel demanding an apology for being dragged into the whole mess. Saddest mostest, some say Bridge’s star is fading and this was probably his last shot at World Cup glory.

We know not what to say about this. They were broken up. It’s the World Cup. And they’re professional athletes. Not to perpetuate a stereotype, but COME ON. Groupie tush is not in short supply, and this isn’t Helen of Troy. When will this nasty love triangle stop making England cry?

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February 4

Settle down, people!

Filed under: books,News,pop culture,Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 12:04 pm

Author (and FOBG) Lori Gottlieb appeared on the Today Show this morning to discuss her — to me, bizarrely — inflammatory book, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, which basically urges women to be picky about the important stuff (kindness) and not picky about the not-important stuff (height), and which Lemondrop summarizes rather equitably here. What it’s left in its wake is a lot of women feeling very rankled and defensive about being told they should “settle,” which is not really what Lori is saying. That said, I understand the defensiveness. Women, rightly, do not like to hear, which they often do, over and over, that they are “too picky.” (Yes, picky. About the person you are going to spend your life with. Urr?) Not that there aren’t women (and men) who are indeed “too picky.” But to be told that, or to get that message from our culture, which single women do, over and over, can be insulting, dismissive, unsympathetic. For one thing among many, it puts the dating onus squarely and only on the woman, whereas it’s not like every still-single woman is surrounded by terrific uncomplicated men on bended knee, just waiting for her to get over her thing about bowties or “no lawyers” or whatever. Women who have gone on a million dates with and given a million chances to a million perfectly nice guys who for whatever legitimate reason leave them lukewarm do not want to hear that they are “just being picky.” They are tired. They are trying. Go away.  That’s part of my theory, anyway, for why Lori’s message, fairly or not, has left so many women so totally steamed.

I also wonder this: to the degree that men are paying attention to this tempest in a coffee-date, how does this message make you feel? If I may render it in the shorthand of stereotype, it’s basically “give the short bald poor guy a chance.” Do you feel that Lori’s advice, for those who follow it, could spell triumph for the common man? Let us know in comments!

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January 27

Valentine’s Day hook, claws

Filed under: pop culture,Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 12:11 pm

The first press release we got from LeaseTrader.com was mostly just puzzling. The next couple were forgettable, reaching so far for a hook that we’re sure someone injured a rotator cuff. But this one? Notable. Here’s what a fellow recipient had to say about it in an email to BG: “This is a fascinating press release about the many men who face intense pressures from marriage-hungry girls who force them to either change their Facebook status, step up the relationship, or propose on Valentine’s Day, all of which apparently leads to a terrible next-day hangover in which they must give up their sports cars because sports cars are incompatible with the emasculation of commitment to women, and also because there is no room for Ken’s sports car — only the Glamour Camper — in the garage at the Barbie Dream House in 1982, which is the only place where the universe depicted in this press release exists.” Behold:

It’s no secret that Valentine’s Day is a big date night, but nobody talks about what many men face the day after. With Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday, this year the day after could provide one heck of a case of the Mondays. Our company (LeaseTrader.com) was needed to help one guy get rid of his sports car after he and his new fiancée had “the talk,” which got us thinking of other situations men face after Valentine’s Day.

*First Date* – Having your first date on Valentine’s Day is already filled with enough anxiety. The next day some men will face the inevitable talk to change their Facebook status. Men used to worry about the blackbook but now it’s all about the Facebook.

*Next Step* – If you’re already in an exclusive relationship on Valentine’s Day expect the “when are we going to finally live together” talk which means it’s time to take that next step. Her talk with you will include changing the décor of your home or commenting on why you’re still driving that ridiculous sports car?

*Engagement *– Every man who proposes to his girlfriend wants the day to be unforgettable for her. For many men this means a Valentine’s Day proposal. Believe it or not, LeaseTrader.com has helped many men ditch the sports car when their brand new fiancées quickly remind them they’ll now be a family man.

And what should you expect if you’re already married? Perhaps a conversation pointing out you completely forgot about Valentine’s Day.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with a LeaseTrader.com executive about this story let me know.


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January 8

Why can’t we be friends?

Filed under: Advice,blogs,issues — posted by Christina @ 8:01 am

Can men and women be friends? Ah, a question for the ages: one that men and women have wrestled with and debated until TOTALLY JUMPING EACH OTHER’S BONES.  I kid.  In fact, I have always been a firm believer that those of opposing genders should have no issue getting beyond those barriers — people are people, after all. Why should gender have such a big impact on who we hold near and dear?

Well, yeah, OK, I guess isn’t always that simple. Erin Scottberg at Lemondrop doesn’t think so either. Yes, she says, it is perfectly normal and possible for men and women to  maintain friendships. But as we orbit around the sun, each year adds an extra challenge to bringing new opposite-sex friends into the mix.

According to Erin, there are two basic guy-friend categories. The seriously dear pal who you’re Just Not Into (otherwise known as Boy BFF, or BBFF), and the seriously dear pal whom you’ve hooked up with but it’s so not a thing. (No, really.) But!

“Now that I’m older,” she writes, “it seems that — unless the men in your life have been grandfathered into your post-college world — these two categories no longer exist. From a guy’s point of view, every stranger is either a potential screw … or nothing. But the thing is, as a single lady, when I meet a guy who I think is cool, but I’m not physically attracted to, I want to be his Just Friend.

I’ve discussed this with friends and think maybe my recent platonic dry spell comes down to geography. People who live their adult lives near where they grew up or attended college have plenty of friends, male and female, and are set with their circle. They don’t need anyone new. As one friend said, “When a guy tells me he wants to be just friends, I think ‘You’re in your late 20s. Don’t you already have enough?'” But when you’re new to a city, the answer to that question is usually, “No.”

Or maybe it’s just that as we get older, relationships get more serious, and, sadly, a good friend of the opposite sex is almost always a threat — while your high school BBFF’s girlfriend may realize you’ve “been around forever,” the girlfriends of newer BBFFs might not be so understanding.

I have been in both situations. I have two very close male companions (we eloquently describe ourselves as “The Holy Trinity”). I’ve known them since the ripe old age of eleven and have been close as could be with them ever since. One I  dated briefly in my youth in that “aw it’s so cute they just kissed” sort of way, but we always fell into that category of being ‘Just Friends’. The other has since gotten married and as a side note, his wife and I get along swimmingly. Gender has never been a barrier here.

In fact, I’d have to say that a vast majority of my friends are men. Some I have know for what seems like forever and some I met just a short while ago. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but sometimes it REALLY works. Ya see, the boy who I was “best friends” with turned out to be the love of my life. Does it prove the “When Harry Met Sally” theory? Not really. If that were the case I’d probably be a bigamist.

As a woman working in the video game industry about 95% of my coworkers are men. I’m sure one or two may have had more than friendly feelings for me, she says modestly, but for the most part gender has never had a role in how we communicate. I think most friendships are rooted in common ground, and if you can relate to this person (male or female), everything else becomes less of an issue. Does it become more challenging? Yeah. But then again, everything gets harder as we get older  standing up, seeing small print, etc.). I think making new friends as we get older is complicated enough on its own without throwing male and female parts into the mix.

Can we be friends? Well, I hope so. It’s lovely to meet you.

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December 10

Target Women: How To Get Hot Chicks

Filed under: Comedy,pop culture — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:46 am

How did we miss this?

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