He is a quiet man. Perhaps he wears glasses. He spends his time in solitude, his head often tilted down, eyes drifting across dense pages of material. There is something about his bookish qualities that draws you in…perhaps he seems mature and even-tempered, a stark contrast to the usual testosterone driven neurotic you are used to seeing. This seemingly shy fellow is manly in his own right. Perhaps there is even something a little mysterious about him…what lies beneath his cool and unassuming exterior? He seems apart from the rest of the guys around him. You are intrigued. Yet you do nothing. Why? Because you are a woman, of course.
This is poppycock, if you want to know the truth. True, traditionally it is the man who is the aggressor. He will be the one to make the move. He will signify to the woman that he is interested and he will court her. The choice of mate that a woman has depends on her ability to attract suitors.However, the feminist movement has since changed the playing field (please bear with me, there is a point to all this digression). Women are now allowed to hold jobs and build careers. They are no longer relegated to the kitchen, they are no longer educated only to stay at home to raise the children. Women are allowed to vote, they are allowed to drive. It is not unusual for the woman to be the breadwinner in a family. Stay-at-home fathering is now an option. Men are expected to do their equal share of cleaning around the house as well as cooking. We have measures to protect women from sexual harassment in the workplace. A woman now has more freedom in sexual selection than any other period of time. Women in our society are now essentially equal to men, at least on paper. So what happened to dating and relationships? Why are men still the ones that have to go out there to initiate the courting rituals? If women are so equal, then they should bear the equal burden of the mating process. I think that women’s equality is all good and well: I have nothing but love and respect for women. But I also think that things are stacked against the man in our day and age. If men and women are so equal, why are we still expected to open doors for them? Why are we expected to foot the bill for a night out on the town? Why are we expected to ensure their safety when returning them to their homes? Why are we the ones who have to make the first move? Why do we have to ask the woman out? Why can’t a woman ask a man out? Why can’t a woman treat the man to dinner and a movie?Women want it all. They expect perfection. They rally for equality and women’s rights. Yet when they reach a point where the man and the woman are on relatively equal ground, the realm of relationships has not changed. Walk into a shopping mall. Go find ten women. Eight of them will tell you that while they want the same opportunities as a man, they greatly prefer for the man to be the one to approach her to ask her out on a date rather than the other way around. The other two of them will tell you that they don’t have a problem asking a guy out, but only one of them will actually go after a guy they like.
With that said, I wonder what happened to the strong silent type. Today, we’re expected to talk about our feelings and to cry when we watch a touchy feely movie. Men are held to very high standards. Women, on the other hand, are not. At the end of the day, most men will be happy to date a very average woman (or less than average) if it means that he will get laid in the next two weeks. Maybe a handful of breast or a handjob will suffice. Women wield an incredible amount of power when dealing wit h men. I wonder if they really needed all the equal rights they fought for: a woman has, and always had, the power to lead a man by his penis. In short, I relate to you this entire digression to remind you that women have a natural power over men, and that women should not be afraid to exercise their power.
I remember this girl I met. She was an incredibly energetic person, very bright and enthusiastic, if a little crude. As I talked to her while I was helping my friend recruit candidates for a United States Marine Corps program, I learned that she had a boyfriend. It turns out that he was the very quiet bookish librarian type. Hell, he was actually a librarian. I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually wore thick rimmed glasses and sweater vests. This girl was the one that pursued him. From what I could tell, she was the one who decided to talk to him first, and she made the moves. This is a girl who really knows what she wants and will go and get it. I respect that. It just made me uncomfortable the way she was salivating over the firemen that were in view just outside the glass doors.
We live in a day where women are allowed to wear pants. Women are allowed to go out and make a big fat paycheck that she doesn’t have to bring home to her husband. She can choose to let her husband cook dinner. She can go to work, in a place that protects her from unwanted sexual advances from her male co-workers. She can step into a voting booth and pull a lever to tell our government whether she wants Obama or Clinton to represent her. She can drive, she can play sports, she can go to school and get an education. She can become a police officer or a firefighter. She can serve her country in the armed forces. She can go to a trade school and learn how to swing a hammer better than most men. With all this equality, women should feel quite comfortable being the person to take the first step in a relationship. Is it so bad for a woman to move in for the first kiss? There aren’t any laws saying that a woman can’t state what she wants. A woman can go and get a man she finds desirable.
So, how should she go about getting that shy man that intrigues her?
She could just start off talking with him. It’s that simple. Find common ground and become friends. I’ve always been a believer that building a friendship is the way to go for any long-term relationship. A strong friendship is the foundation that one can build off of, to turn it into something more. That doesn’t mean that you have to build a friendship first and ignore the romantic aspirations: they can developed be in tandem. I feel that it is actually ideal that way: there is no wondering if there are other less honorable intentions. And if there are issues in the future, you can fall back onto the platonic origin of the relationship (if you’re mutually mature about it).
Shy guys are no different from shy girls. They are just as interested in finding a romantic partner. They are just as interested in having a girlfriend and in developing a healthy and satisfying long-term relationship. Create opportunities for him to take things forward in a direction he is comfortable with. Let him know that you like him. Let him know that you are romantically interested in him, that you wouldn’t say no if he asked you out.
The SAS motto does not discriminate against sex: “Who dares wins.” Take a chance. That guy sitting by himself in the campus lounge, his nose buried in a textbook, could be more than a nerd. He could be a wonderful romantic partner, a caring lover, a man you could spend the rest of your life with. But you won’t know until you try. You can’t win if you don’t play.