Bullish: When Guys Just Want to Be Friends

Career success is irrelevant to dating

Quoth Tina Fey on being “the thinking man’s sex symbol”:

“What I’ve come to realize is that when people say, ‘The thinking man’s whatever’ — there’s no such thing. The thinking man also wants to fuck Megan Fox.”

It’s true! The thinking man does want to have sex with someone who looks fun to have sex with. I love Neil deGrasse Tyson’s work, but I’d rather have sex with Channing Tatum. I’m not sure this is sexism so much as being a human. Guys don’t want you for your career. I don’t want guys for their careers. Careers are just not that relevant to sex and relationships.

I have turned down many very unattractive men who are angry and confused because pop culture led them to believe that ugly-but-awesome dudes always get the supermodel in the end, so why won’t girls who clearly aren’t even supermodels just recognize that their engineering degree is awesome and thereby submit to being a human merit trophy?

I have also specifically had to tell a long-term boyfriend who was useless at home but amazing in his career that, “Your career doesn’t benefit me! It doesn’t help you be a better boyfriend! We are not married and you do not support me. Very little of my life is related to impressing people by telling them what my boyfriend does for a job. So you can’t use your career as an excuse for being grumpy every single evening and not cleaning up after yourself.”

Having come from a blue-collar background, I also have met plenty of really smart people who didn’t go to college, or who went to unimpressive colleges for entirely legitimate reasons, and whose careers have continued on that track. (Here in New York, I meet plenty of rather average people whose rich parents wheedled their way into school and now subsidize their lifestyles.) I’m not sure that what people do for their careers is that much of a totem for anything else.

Having a certain kind of job or education doesn’t make you better or worse at relationships. Accept that you’re just like everybody else in that regard.

When you’re an ambitious sort, it’s easy to get caught up in being ambitious about everything, or assuming you’ll be good at everything just because, well … you always are, right?

It can be freeing to be a beginner. Sure, you have a PhD, but you suck at Latin dance (for instance). When it comes to dating, you’re about where everyone else is. It takes some of the pressure off.

Good luck! And many happy walruses.

Send in your questions to bullish@thegloss.com or follow on Twitter @jendziura. See a Bullish archive here.

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    • Fabel

      I’m not currently dating–or seeking anybody– but I did read this whole column & just wanted to say that I always love what you write about introversion. As an introvert, everything rings so true.

    • Mike

      “I’m pretty sure the problem is with these pathetic cads and not with me”

      First things first, get over the “its not me its them thing” If you’re not in the relationship you want its you, believe me. ( guy or gal) But the good thing once you admit its you then you can do something about it. The truth is though most people in this situation would rather be right than honest. In that case feel free to keep banging your head against the wall while basking in your righteous superiority of how awesome you are.

      Second guys aren’t that complicated. They want fuckable, supportive, nice, reasonably happy partners (where talking long tern here For shorter and shorter relationships eliminate items on that list in reverse order.) Aaaanyway, At no time are we really looking for awesome that’s what your girlfriends admire.

      Yes, It’s very important that my partner be happy and supported in whatever decision she makes: career, personal whatever but you know what those are things I want for her because they make her happy. Personally I could care less if someones a scientist or works in a supermarket or if they’re, cool, trendy, opinionated or particularly smart for that matter. In my personal case I like arty, smart types but simply being nice trumps those other two by a hundred fold.

      Which brings me to my last point. I think the value of simply being a nice person is a vastly under rated quality among women. They value independence, respect, strength and somehow see niceness as a weakness or at the very least as compromise to men. You ever notice your sweetest friends have the least problems getting dates. Its totally admirable to be an intelligent independent person but unless your genuinely sympathetic and nice as a person please don’t wonder why your single

      • Eagle Eye

        Eh, I disagree, as someone who no one would quantify as ‘nice’ or ‘sweet’ in that I’m pretty sure my intensity kinda overpowers the two adjectives above – I don’t think that the OP would really want to be with someone whose looking for a ‘nice girl.’ My boyfriend of 3 years certainly isn’t a ‘nice guy’ he loves and supports me (although certainly not blindly and neither do I simply blindly support him – if I think that he’s making a mistake I tell him, and he does the same). Instead, he thinks that I’m awesome and I think that he’s awesome and together we’re just more awesome. Our mutual intensity compliments one another, whether that means heated political debates or decided to find the perfect recipe for pan seared steak.

        And I don’t think that I’m an outlier here since of my friends in serious relationships, most of them are pretty intense – and few of them would be considered ‘nice.’

      • Sandra
      • Mike

        haha all i did was add some basic guy perspective that was sorely needed to this post. But of course women are natural experts on the subject of guy behavior. That’s why this chick went on 30 dates and doesnt have a boyfriend. Oddly imo not once does she even wonder if its something about her.

    • Daisy

      Where oh where can I get a walrus print dress? Also, “Andie” sounds like a truly awesome person! I do hope she’ll take some of your advice into consideration and lands herself a good man.

    • Mike

      I didn’t mean to suggest you cant get into a good relationship if niceness is not your strong point I’m just saying your drawing from a much smaller pool. I will say as a guy if you took a poll, after sexual compatibility “nice” and “supportive” (being blindly supportive is not really support) would be at the top of the list. Sorta like i imagine employed and not living at home might beat the top of a woman’s list.

    • Faith

      I love this article. Love, love, love it.

    • d

      Somehow I feel if a guy wrote about “When Girls Just Want to be Friends” people would be labeling him a nice guy/creep/loser…

    • Renee

      I’d rather fuck Neil deGrasse Tyson than Channing Tatum…no question.

      • e jerry powell

        And you would be absolutely correct.