Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Why I don't have a girlfriend

I have just conducted a survey to try to ascertain the most likely reasons for my seemingly perpetual singlehood. (Not a real opinion poll, you understand. I mean, who would I have asked? Random strangers on the street? What would they know? What do they ever know about anything? My friends? Well, I considered the possibility; but I thought they'd probably take too long to get back to me, or wouldn't respond at all, so..... I decided instead to canvass the various paranoias of my own imagination.)

Here are the results:


Poll - Likeliest Causes of Froog's Girlfriend Famine


Too old: 24%
(People are always trotting out that tired old Charlie Chaplin example to me: "Oh, Charlie Chaplin was still siring children at the age of 78, or whatever." Yes, yes, yes - but it's not about the longevity of your genitalia; it's about whether you can still get laid at an advanced age. Charlie Chaplin was rich and famous. I don't have those advantages.)

Too nice: 89%
(Yep, I just can't do that 'bastard' thing that so many women seem to love.)

Too fussy: 58%
(I prefer the word 'discriminating'. And I don't think it's excessive.)

Intimidatingly intelligent: 23%
(I don't like to think that I'm "intimidating" in any way; but I have often found women who are not confident in their own intelligence tend to fear that I will soon become bored with them. So, perhaps that's more about confidence than intelligence? Maybe I'm intimidatingly confident??)

Too poor: 67%
(Personally, I think this is probably the biggest obstacle. I have no savings, no pension, no life insurance, no health plan, no real estate, no investments, no car..... and very limited employment prospects. I'm not even confident that I could keep a woman adequately entertained on dates, let alone try to support one in a life partnership.)

Too spiritual: 48%
(I have always been poor, and am likely always to remain so, because I am determinedly anti-materialistic. I have very little drive to amass chattels [other than books and music]. Women tend to be a lot more chattel-focused, I fear.)

Lousy in bed: 11%
(Not that I've received any bad reviews as such. But there is no data at all from the past couple of years. I am badly, very, very badly out of practice.)

Spend too much time hanging out with my friends: 35%
(Yes, possibly - but I'm usually [well on those rare occasions when I am seeing someone] quite adept at integrating a girlfriend with the rest of my social life.)

Drink too much: 8%
(Refer to comment above.)

Work too hard: 7%
(It certainly doesn't help that I work such eccentric hours, and have to make so many trips out of town.)

Spend too much time online: 18%
(By george, maybe that's it! I should be out a-wooing at this very moment, rather than wasting my time with this blog nonsense.)

Too set in my ways: 12%
(Yes, that's probably another biggie, I fear. I'm obviously doing something wrong, but I just can't be bothered to change....)


Any other suggestions, Dear Readers? Your counsel is always appreciated; but, please, be gentle with me - I'm feeling a little emotionally fragile of late.

37 comments:

Tulsa said...

Uh, I haven't added these numbers up yet, but the the various paranoias of your own imagination seem to percentage out to more than 100.

By the way "various paranoia of your own imagination" is both why you wouldn't have a hard time finding/keeping a girlfriend and also the reason why you would.

meaning -- your smart, your intelligent, your witty, your considerate enough not point out all my "your"s are mispelled an ought to be "you're" even though the error probably drives you up the wall..., you could easily keep another person entertained through a date or through a lifetime with your ability to come up with lines like "the various paranoia of my own imagination."

but, check out your pool. there is no doubt you are an intellectual. let's say 99% of the women around you are Chinese (which they are) and they know as much English as you know Chinese. For an intellectual to find satisfaction amongst a crowd that can't speak your language/understand what you're saying is near impossible. And then consider the remaining 1% (probably even less, but let's not get too complicated with the math) of expat women... of whom let's say three quarters are English speaking and of those maybe only half are native English speakers, with the rest ESL... are you getting my drift? your pool is very very small. You're asking a lot out of it.

But chin up, there is life beyond the girlfriend (or boyfriend, for that matter). So, of all the things China has to offer, even if a GF isn't one of them, well, you're probably benefitting all the more for everything else.

The British Cowboy said...

Ok - the one thing I will quickly berate you for is this whole "nice guy" vs "bastard" dichotomy.

While there may be some women out there looking for a bastard, the majority of times I see this mentioned it comes more down to "pushover" vs "confident."

Which is a very different distinction.

Froog said...

Yes, well, I already bemoaned the confidence problem.

But I do think it goes a lot further than that, Cowboy. I have spoken to a lot of - otherwise, seemingly very smart and confident women - who admit to having this fascination with 'bad boys'.

There may be a rebellion thing - dating people you know you're parents will hate in your teendom.

There may be a habit thing. You do it a few times, and it becomes all you know how to do.

There may be just that fascination of The Other - just as dating someone of different racial, religious, or socio-economic background can seem a fascinatingly novel and exotic experience, so dating someone of a very different (read 'arsehole') personality type can be strangely alluring.

With some women, there's clearly a masochistic dimension to it - some women just wanted to be treated like shit, seem to expect it, even perhaps perversely enjoy it at some level.

The likeliest psychoanalytic model for the origins of all this kind of behaviour is, I think, the difficult daddy. Girls tend to idolise their daddy, but he's often not that accessible: works late, comes home in a bad mood, would rather hang around doing guy stuff with his buddies most of the time, whatever. I think most girls get used to their male ideal being extravagantly attentive to them about 5% of the time, and decidedly offhand or short-tempered or completely absent for the rest of it. Much the same often applies with brothers - especially elder brothers - come to that.

Froog said...

Tulsa, I was actually quite proud of the (hastily improvised, not to say faked) mathematics in this. I was allowing myself 4 picks from 12 each time, so it totals to 400%. I could then have divided by 4 to give a 'true' percentage, but the bigger numbers look more impressive!

Froog said...

I know plenty of Chinese women with near native-speaker English ability. Is that good enough for me? Well, perhaps not. But I think I'd be willing to experiment, if other factors seemed to be there. Language really isn't the reason why I don't date Chinese girls; I just don't find most of them very physically attractive.

However, all these relationships where this is little or NO common language between the partners?! They baffle and appal me.

Froog said...

Tulsa, I just did a 'you're' for 'your'! I blame you - I think your talking about it in that comment subconsciously 'programmed' my brain into making a similar slip to show solidarity.

I do generally (rather over-obsessively proof-read the blog-posts themselves to weed out any typos, but I can't usually be so bothered with the comments..... and I am alarmed at how many have been creeping in of late. It is a sign of diminishing brain function, certainly - I hope it's just a short-term thing caused by overtiredness, rather than the beginning of the long slide into senility!

fg said...

I enjoy the percentages! :-)

It reminded me that these things don't hold up well to analysis. Although I'm all for self improvement - so long as it doesn't just raise the 'its all about me, me, me percentage'.

This 'bad boy' thing is an interesting question. I guess it comes down to intentions on both sides. Maybe women who say they like 'bad boys' are covering up their trail of heart breaks. After all without that (dodgy) reasoning what are they left with - being fantastically bad judges of character? Its always easier to blame it on what the other persons lack of... rather than ones own.

I think TBC is right to a certain extent.

Your "Girls tend to idolise their daddy" theory is a good one. Hotly discussed I'd say this is key. But it is too simply for women (AND men) to blame the way their parents raised them. Sadly it sometimes seems that generation after generation can't break the habit.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't kick you out of bed for eating biscuits...

Froog said...

Oi, Hurley - NO!!!

The restraining order is still in place, and it covers pestering me on my blog as well as chaining yourself to the railings outside my house (ah, those were the days, eh?).

Come along now, love, it's time to move on with your life.

Froog said...

Show me the biscuits, and I will earn the kicking-out.

Froog said...

Or.... after finishing the biscuits, I will head off to the corner store at 3am to get some more, run into some of my guy friends, discover there's a European football game on, go to a bar to watch it..... and never see you again.

Sorry.

Froog said...

Nah, I was kidding about that last one. That makes me sound commitment-phobic or something.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am totally committed to the biscuits.

snopes said...

Did you really have a dalliance with Ms Hurley? Or is this another one of your little jokes?

I don't suppose your anonymous admirer is the mysterious Madame X, by any chance? You have been strangely silent about her recently.

Anonymous said...

I'm not Hurley, be that of the Liz variety or of the restraining order variety either. Nor am I the mysterious Madame X.

Who's Hurley anyway? Not a name I recall being mentioned before. Sounds like an intriguing story... please share it with the rest of the class, Froog.

Anonymous said...

What would be your biscuit of choice, Froog (and everyone else)? Hob Nob anyone?

Anonymous said...

May I be so bold as to comment on the suspect taste of some men?

Why do guys (yourself included, Froog) have a tendency towards high-maintenance women?

Why do you find such high maintenance a challenge as opposed to an irritation?

(Chocolate Suggestives do it for me sometimes... but then again, Wispas have made a comeback. While I appreciate the Wispa is a technically a chocolate bar as opposed to a biscuit, it is a rather pleasant accompaniment to a tea-break brew.)

Froog said...

Ah, it's you, L....

The biscuit fetish gives you away!

Hmmm, Hobnobs..... Don't torment me! Can't get 'em over here. Chocolate digestives, yes (always thought Chocolate Hobnobs was gilding the lily a bit, though). Very partial to a McVitie's Gingernut as well.

There is a school of thought that says that all women are high maintenance, it's just that with some, this problem might be a little less overt. Others have put it thus: "There are two types of women - high maintenance and ludicrously high maintenance."

I don't think many men find "high maintenance" appealing in itself, but there is an insidious theory that highly neurotic women are more fun in bed. I wouldn't like to comment, myself - not really having had enough experience to generalize.

Froog said...

Ms H and I were neighbours for a while (during one of her ruptures from HG). I will say no more. Discretion is ever my watchword.

The British Cowboy said...

Honestly I think men and women are both looking generally for similar things... actually I don't mean that. I mean there are pretty similar numbers of men and women looking for the same ranges of things, though there are very many different groups of things for which people are looking, if that makes any sense at all.

It isn't the silly line of there is someone out there for everyone. But there are pretty much as many women looking for X in a relationship as there are men.

The problem I see is that neither "side" is ever willing to tell the other what it is that they in particular want. The more open and honest people are with each other, the better it will work for all of us.

I mean, for example, I had a series of very pleasant dates with a 23 year old recently. I knew it wasn't working out, but I had been up front about my age, so I was more than a little miffed to be told that the age gap was the reason she wanted to end it.

Anyway, its a number crunching game in the end. If you want the reason why you don't have a girlfriend, Froog, and this is where I will compliment you, it is because you are a relatively unique person looking for a relatively unique person. Hence the "target market" is much smaller. However, the silver lining is, once you meet someone in the target market, their target market is also much smaller, and so the chance of a match is proportionately much greater.

And now, back to exhibit lists.

Tulsa said...

TBC makes sense. that "target market" bit is what I was talking about way up there in comment #1 to this post. this is why they say expat relationships either don't happen (for lack of target market) or if they do, then they're more likely to stick than relationships you might develop in your home country. I'm referring to expat relationships involving 2 expats, not an expat and a local. Expat and Local dynamics are way different.

Relationships where theres little or no common language... No need to be so baffled or appalled. Just know that what you want out of life and relationship isn’t the same as what they are looking for. We all need our own thing and if the two people in that relationship are satisfied, who am I (or you) to judge the quality of it? To each his own, particularly in love and relationships.

I’m partial to biscuits with a bit of hazelnut in the middle. I don’t know the name, but they are available on the imported items shelf at my local Beijing Walmart. Chinese Sesame biscuits are good, too.

Tulsa said...

ack, i did a "theres" instead of "there's"... following up on my "your"s that's just unacceptable. Surely it doesn't mean were (oops, I mean "we're") growing senile together? i haven't won that quiz show millions, yet, so if we are growing old and senile, we better get moving on that retirement plan!!

anyways, apologies Froog. feel free to edit my comment :)

fg said...

TBC I think you may well have something there. (Even if it does sound like a tongue twister.)

- Small market, but when you find the right person you know and more importantly they'll know. It may just take a while but then remember who wants second best?

In the meantime keep the biscuit tin well stocked because you never know when this may all happen.


Re: Hobnobs. I was saying just the same about the chocolate ones only the other day. Did you know that a while back you could get caramel centred WITH chocolate on one side hobnobs - a bad habit I'd say. I ate one, and one was enough. Before long they would surely get one kicked out of bed for being FAT!

Re: Commitment. I’d say being presented with “second best” is one good reason that this does not occur very often.

Re: Hurley. he he he.. I say give her a second chance.

Oh, and get back to WORK!

Anonymous said...

L....?

Are you still talking about that bit of crumpet (nice with tea also...softer crumbs...no bad thing), Ms Hurley? Or are you guessing at another lady with the initial 'L'?

If you are referring to the latter then, no, I am not 'L'.

Froog said...

Really?? I had thought you must be my old pal 'Grub', "anonymous". She had told me she'd had a look in here the other day, hadn't had time to comment, would be back. But no, you're not her, hey?

Well, are you going to give me any more clues, or do I have to go through all the letters of the alphabet to narrow it down?

Froog said...

FG,

Your "commitment" comment (should that be a 'commentment'??) was a bit garbled. Care to elaborate?

Froog said...

Tulsa,

If we didn't judge other people's relationships, we'd never get any better at our own.

I don't believe in being openly censorious or disparaging towards others (well, not unless they're doing something really gross or immoral); but I don't think there's any problem with forming the judgement - "I would never do that."

Froog said...

And Cowboy,

I have long since given up on Tulsa's orthography. She is a free spirit, a child of the txtspk generation, contemptuous of our fuddy-duddy "rules" for spelling and punctuation.

You, on the other hand - well, precision of language is, or ought to be, your stock-in-trade. There is no way I am going to let you get away with any verbal sloppiness.

Uniqueness is an absolute concept, not a continuum. To modify the adjective 'unique' with a quantifier like 'fairly' is horrible. You're either unique or you're not. Take your slate to the back of the class and write out 50 times: "I will not quote The Simpsons in court."

The British Cowboy said...

I knew that as I was writing it. And to be honest, I was so frigging tired, I could not be bothered to think of a better way of putting it.

As I have commented in another web site, this is excuse not justification (duress as opposed to self defense).

Froog said...

Good, just so long as you realise.

And,please, don't go quoting The Simpsons in court.

The British Cowboy said...

And there is one thing I cannot let stand, Froog.

I am a trial lawyer, not a contract lawyer. Preciseness of language is their stock in trade. Mine is obfuscation.

Froog said...

Good line, Cowboy.

Froog said...

"Anonymous" - I think you've given yourself away.

I had been thinking you might possibly have been one of three or four good friends who don't usually read or comment on the blog here, but who I had specifically encouraged to come and have a look at this post (the stalker Hurley was not, of course, one of them). But then you made a reference which suggested you were a fairly regular reader, and I thought..... who reads fairly often, comments fairly erratically, has a long history of signing herself 'anonymous' because she's just too darned indolent or incompetent to work out how to sign in? Ah, it must be Scottish Ali!

Am I right? I think so.

Mothman said...

Having joined this thread rather late I feel an impostor...but it did give me a good giggle - thanks one and all.

Frog, the reason you don't have a girlfriend is very simple - you have other, more pressing interests. For the wannabe lothario types such as myself nothing is more earth-shatteringly wonderful than the feel of a woman; the sight of a woman; the taste of a woman...I would rather be canoodling and shagging than breathing. The reason that I (underlined) go perennially short is that women - bless 'em - detect that I have a 'generic fondness for women' (as one of the more perceptive female souls amusingly put it) and the moiety of womankind prefer the idea that they are the rotational centre of some poor sod's life. The 'ideal woman' to me would put up with my numerous peccadilloes - possibly even embrace them enthusiastically...she is out there...somewhere...isn't she?!

You, on the other hand, pack more into your life than anyone I know...this is the man who elevates being sociable; amiably drunk and the accoutrements thereof to the status of a serious life-study. Why waste time having sex (and all that associated tedious foreplay and general uxoriousness)when you could be boning up on trivial pursuit questions; acquiring a new break-down snooker cue; learning how to do some totally pointless (but amusing and fun) activity such as walking a pound coin over your knuckles; or simply getting gently sloshed and shooting the shit with your mates?

I envy you. Such a life has immense appeal and simplicity. Being a knob-happy bastard is very, very, very hard work...pretty much a full-time occupation.

Re. the fondness of otherwise apparently rational and intelligent women for bastards (which is a genuine phenomenon, but one which I have never QUITE been able to bring myself to exploit) you need to read the book 'Sperm Wars' by Robin Baker. In a nutshell why should a woman - in evolutionary terms - waste her limited reproductive potential and time on attempting to project her genes into the future by diluting them with those of some wimp? Wimpish genes are doomed to extinction. QED.

Every woman on the face of the earth is the end-product of millions of years of natural selection in favour of the offspring of women who chose alpha male bastards as mates (or in many cases not even having had much 'choice' in the matter - Baker's book included the chillingly non-PC but thought-provoking phrase "The Genes of Rapists Are Very Successful"). I have observed the tendency of almost all women I know to goad and goad and goad me to the point where - were I a more 'alpha' soul - I might explode and even give them a good slapping. I simply walk away from the argument - and in every case this has been followed soon after by them walking away from ME...and invariably falling into the arms of some caveman whom they adore, but whose brutish behaviour I abhor.

All very puzzling until you look at the evolutionary background. It's not the poor little darlings' fault that they head unerringly for the bed of some wanker - it's their genes. It's a small crumb of comfort to know this, I find.

Froog said...

I don't find that argument very convincing, Mothman.

If 'wimps' are an evolutionary dead-end, why is there such a preponderance of them still amongst us?

And what is the connection between 'alpha' status attractiveness and bastardliness???

The possible genetic/evolutionary underpinning to human sexual behaviour is an interesting topic in itself, but in these remarks you are rather assuming what still needs to be proved - that there is any advantage to anyone in being a bastard.

Mothman said...

That's a good question. I guess that the reason that there are still wimps around is the same reason that there are still blondes; brunettes; redheads etc...namely a natural pool of phenotypic variation resulting from random genetic events. You have to have variation or natural selection doesn't work.

At present there is no major selection pressure in favour of 'butch' male genes that are more likely to be passed on (ie blokes who - unlike thee and me - are prone to pressing on with a woman even if she has made it clear she ain't interested). This strikes me in a purely anecdotal sense as behaviour that characterises both bastards and alpha males types - and which an awful lot of women seem to go along with, despite their protestations to the contrary.

If the chips were down (eg a homicidal maniac came to power who decreed that all redheads should be executed) then the selection pressure on hair colour variation would suddenly become very intense. Similarly I suggest to m'learned friend that if you and I were in a 'desert island' situation with a stack of women, we would not get laid if, say, Bill Clinton were on the island. It is all percentages and tendencies rather than absolutes, because that is how evolution works...chipping away at the gene pool over millions of years.

Personally I can see no other explanation for the behaviour of a depressingly large number of women who unerringly seek out the bastards. Ask the social workers - a battered wife who gets out of one abusive relationship is highly likely to get involved in another.

I take your points completely and they are well made...I advance this as one theory but realise that there are huge practical objections that need to be addressed before it can assume anything like the status of a hypothesis that has survived the test of time. 'Proof' is, of course, a concept that is beyond the ken of conventional scientific thought.

I retain an open mind, but in the meantime am looking for a gal who is game enough to come along to the whorehouse with me and watch :-) Maybe even join in!?

No comment from you regarding my other ruminations on a more individual plane... Can you deny that given the choice of an evening's hurly-burly on the chaise longue or a good session of American football on the box you would not go for the latter - you lucky, lucky man?!

Tell me - what exactly would you want a girlfriend for anyway? I ask myself this question 20 times a day and yet I still hurl myself into that Charybdian whirlpool with monotonous regularity.

Froog said...

Couldn't I have both, Mothman??

I have already admitted to, on occasion, preferring a good film to a session of passionate wrestling. American Football is a far less compelling interest..... although, if it were the Super Bowl.... There's always the half-time interval, of course (although they had Tom Petty playing this year - that was a nostalgia blast I wouldn't have wanted to miss). And afterwards....

I suppose another one of my 'problems' that I didn't really get into in the original post here is that I'm very serious about relationships, always regarding a girlfriend as a try-out for a possible life partner (and mother of my children?).

It is a BIG question as to whether there is any purpose or utility to a girlfriend other than as a potential long-term or permanent partner. For me, probably not. The opportunity for regular sex just isn't that much of a motivator, particularly when set against all the other hassles - and the curtailment of independence - that one has to put up with.

I suppose the main answer to your 'what's a girlfriend for?' question is to be an object of one's emotions. We all have a huge reservoir of unspent emotion - lust being relatively unimportant alongside the tenderer varieties of affection: kindness, concern, sympathy, etc. - seeking an outlet of some kind; a girlfriend gives you something to lavish all this emotion on.... rather like a dog. It would be nice, I imagine, to feel all of that attention and affection reciprocated, but, sadly, I've rarely or never experienced that. Still keep hoping to find it one day.

Yep, even without the great, deranged adventure of trying to raise a family, the ideal of mutual affection and companionship has a powerful allure for me.

Mothman said...

Well said, dear Froog... ALL joking apart, very well said... I think that, deep down, we all feel that way - but some of us have just got a bit too sad and lost and bitter and cynical about it en route...