Friday, May 20, 2011

More About "Frustrated"

I was super excited yesterday to get some very interesting comments on some advice I gave to a reader, two of which said that they don't think the concept of an "emotionally unavailable assclown" or a person who is generally emotionally unavailable exists, and that a person's emotional availability will vary depending on how into a given person they are. I was going to just answer them in the comments section, but then decided I had a lot to say about it so it was worth its own post.

I obviously cannot sit here and tell you with 100 percent certainty that any given person who is acting like an assclown in one situation is going to act like an assclown consistently in his every interaction (I'm gonna just keep saying "he" for now but don't forget that Assclown Corp. is an equal opportunity employer). Also, it obviously does not actually matter whether someone would be like this to everyone or just to you because you should stay away from him either way.

However, I will tell you this: the vast majority of people you meet in life will not want to date you (no offense), and will also NOT be emotionally unavailable. The difference between this vast majority of people and an assclown is that the majority will not text you a thousand times a day, make sure you know all about the secret longings of their heart, be unable to keep their hands to themselves when they are talking to you, tell you they think it would be really fun to have sex with you, or otherwise seek to fill your world with false hope by engaging in boundary-crossing behaviour. Therefore, you are unlikely to get hung up on any of them.

A person who does the above-mentioned things who does not want a real relationship with you is doing so because he has low self-esteem and wants you to give him an ego stroke. The reason I say that he is emotionally unavailable to everyone is because people who have low self-esteem tend to only want people who don't want them. That is why, if you hang out with an assclown long enough, you will pretty much certainly hear that he is hung up over an ex (often an almost comedically long-ago ex) or some other person who doesn't want him. Now if this ex or whomever were to suddenly change her mind and want him badly, he would probably quickly realize he had overestimated his interest in her and move on to someone else who doesn't want him. This is because he is looking to justify what he already believes about himself, which is that he isn't good enough. So yes, he has the capacity to like someone a lot and want a relationship with her, provided only that she doesn't want him.

The thing is, you might as well believe me because otherwise, you may fall into the all-too-easy trap of thinking that you are not "good enough" for an assclown, when in fact he is the one who is not good enough for himself.


  1. Not quite sure that I see those behaviours as evidence for the conclusions you've drawn. To me, they seem just as consistent with a high self-esteem person seeking some easy sex and attention from someone he sees as accessible but not girlfriend material.

  2. I wonder if it's low self-esteem that causes EUA behavior, or if it's more just plain selfishness. When I've had experiences with EUAs, it turned out they were dating lots of girls and couldn't decide on one, or they said they were "confused" about what they wanted, which I realized was just an excuse to treat people (ie, me) badly. I feel like EUA's can't be bothered to consider how they're hurting others--particularly since Frustrated's EUA has been accused of leading girls on before and obviously hasn't changed his behavior. I definitely agree he's probably not being available to anyone, since if he was, he wouldn't be acting flirty with Frustrated. Anyway, good advice!

  3. Let me expand on my point a bit. Your argument, as I understand it, is: (1) boy behaves in a way that says "I like you"; (2) girl reciprocates with behaviour that says "I like you too"; (3) boy then retreats; therefore (4) boy must only want girls who don't like him. However, I think the signals being sent by both parties might be a little more complex than that.

    With the behaviours you've described, the boy is probably trying to say "I want you as a friend with benefits." Then, the girl responds with behaviour that says "I want us to have a serious romantic relationship." Based on this response, the boy reasons that the girl will not want to be just a friend with benefits. The boy does not want a serious relationship with the girl. Therefore, the boy loses interest.

    Based on my knowledge of how men think (and I am one, after all), this seems much more likely to me than the boy having some innate character flaw that makes him emotionally unavailable.

    1. this is not true, men in these cicumstances never say upfront "i want you as a fwb", they lie and futurefake a relationship to get trap the girl.

      /sorry for my english :)

  4. First of all, remember that the observation I am making is about people, not about men (who I cannot even pretend to understand). Equal opportunity employer, right?

    This is surely controversial; however, I will be happy to tell you that my view on people who seek out "friends with benefits" relationships is that they either like the opposing party more than is being reciprocated or are hoping, perhaps subconsciously, that the other party will like them more than is being reciprocated. You will not convince me that these relationships are not fraught with low self-esteem.

  5. I hope you're not getting annoyed at my interventions and not to belabour the point, but...

    I think your comment probably accurately describes women who seek out "friends with benefits" relationships, but not men. Men who can access sex without any commitment are a lot of things, but sad they ain't.

    EUA may not be an equal opportunity employer after all.

  6. I think Jennie's post focuses on the male species that are prone to a consistent pattern of repeating the retreat and retrieve behavior. Usually, when #3 happens, the guy leaves the girl alone or vice versa. In normal circumstances, that's where everything ends. However, I personally have known men who will come back and restart communication. When the topic of a serious relationship is brought about, the guy reverts to retreating and so on. Typical douchebag behavior. I agree with Jennie, anyone with a history of such behavior is not to be messed around with.

  7. I'm certainly not annoyed, and anonymous is correct that retreat and retrieve behaviour is one of the surest signs of low self-esteem. Do not doubt that this type of behaviour is very common for people who are ultimately told to get lost by someone they didn't even want in the first place.

    While there are surely men who do the friends with benefits thing that don't look sad, I have to question what would cause them to seek any kind of attention whatsoever from women who have low self-esteem unless they had low self-esteem as well, since people with high self-esteem are generally pretty happy to stay far away from people with low self-esteem. I believe this type of guy that you are talking about gets a kick out of knowing how much the other party likes him, which is typical low self-esteem thinking.

    Low self-esteem comes in many packages. It doesn't always look like a sad, mopey person who acts awkward in bars.

  8. People tend to date each other with the same level of insecurities.

    Insecure people are unable to contribute positively to the other person's emotional well-being. They're not doing it on purpose, they're just unable to do it. But the effect is the same.

    Totally agree with Jennies' last paragraph.

  9. If a man puts FWB on the table and the woman turns it down, that's fine. But sometimes, they PRETEND they want a proper relationship. Even talk about marriage.
    If she turns him down and he drops it and tries someone else, that's fine too, HOWEVER, the man often comes back again and again and again. Rejection piques his interest. That's a sign of low self-esteem whether you're a man or a woman. And, no, not everyone reacts that way to rejection. Some have enough self respect to drop it.
    Of course the woman has her chance to say no. Which is what she should do whether he's habitually EU or a knight in shining armour who just happens to be feeling like a user that day. Doesn't matter. Once you get the signal that a man/woman isn't on the same page as you - drop em. Life's too short to be asking yourself why someone doesn't like you. Waste of time.

  10. I like Harry's point. Also, any advice for an assclown who wants to reform??