Author Topic: AWOL  (Read 11151 times)

guitarbabe

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AWOL
« on: February 01, 2006, 07:12:15 PM »
Sorry guys, I feel like I haven't been able to get to the computer to check out what's going on on TimeWasters. I'm working on the queries (fixing up my sci-fi a little more) and my latest book, 'Meet Your Match.'

But if I could get ANY input on this I would be majorly grateful. 'Meet Your Match' is about a girl, who is trying to prove that girls really like nice guys...not jerks.

So, she makes a wager with the president of the bitter guys in the ward that she will get the biggest squirrelly girl (a girl, who only likes the guys, who are a challenge) to go for the nicest guy she knows (her best friend).

If she loses, bad things will happen, if she wins, bad things will happen...yadda yadda yadda.

So, here's some questions for the guys (and I REALLY hope I'm not giving away anything here):

What is the motivation for a guy to hook up with a girl, he's been friends with for a very very long time?

So, I need some votes.

1--Let's talk about the intimidation factor. Is it real? Can a guy be too intimidated by a girl to ask her out?

(I've heard, 'No, that's just a lie mothers tell their daughters to make them feel better about not getting dates.' I've also heard,  "Oh yeah, girls scare me to death.' What's your take? Somewhere in the middle?)

2--Have you ever been just friends with a girl you wanted to date? Did it every go anywhere from there?

3--What were some of the signs you showed that she might've picked up? (Now, I've heard from some guys that this is ridiculous...the sign the guy gives is asking her out, but then I've heard from other guys that they take the sniper approach. They sneak up on the girl (generally one with 'scared of guy' tendencies) and get to know them better, so that the girl will fall for him that way? Again, what's most realistic?)

OR

Perhaps, I'm just taking the wrong tack on this? Perhaps a guy would never want to date a girl he was friends with? I've heard this too. So, if that's the case:

1-Have you ever been friends with a girl, but would never even think about dating her? Why?

2-(a continuation from question 1) Have you ever changed your mind about dating her? Was it too late?--or is it EVER too late (excluding the fact that she might be married)?

OR

Maybe, I'm still off track. Sooo, if I am...what is the most realistic reason for a guy to suddenly want to date a girl he's known for awhile?—or maybe it's not suddenly?

I'll take input from girls too (who knows it might've happened to you?--getting together with a guy friend, maybe even marrying one?)

Oh, and this is strictly for research purposes. I'm certainly not proposing or anything ;D

Lol, did I keep that in? I guess so.

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Skar

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Re: AWOL
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2006, 07:24:33 PM »
The first reason that came to mind for a guy to suddenly take a romantic (dating) interest in a girl he's been friends with for a while is competition.  He's been comfortable with the girl and it never even occurs to him to step out of that "friendship" comfort zone but then somebody he knows starts showing a romantic interest in her, he feels jealous, realizes why and like an idiot at the same time, then, with that new perspective, starts pursuing her.
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Re: AWOL
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2006, 08:23:58 PM »
I've been in situations where it's gone one way, and situations where it's gone the other way. There are many, many theories on this, so I think that as long as you characterize your individuals well, you'll pull it off no matter which way it works for your characters. I've known guys who decide right at the outset whether I'm in the "friend, never date" category, and I've known other guys who prefer to be friends for a long, long time before ever--if ever--exploring any "potential."  ::)

I find I myself prefer a guy who can make up his mind one way or the other sooner rather than later. It means he either has enough interest or enough disinterest that he doesn't keep me wondering for years. Your character might be a guy who has been so decisive, but then comes to change his mind later, which is also believable. But if he's the wishy-washy type, she better be dumping him at the end.
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guitarbabe

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Re: AWOL
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2006, 08:28:34 PM »
Oh, I agree with the wishy washy type thing. That is so unnattractive.  But being decisive one way or the other, now that's good. I also like Froskar's take on it. He just didn't know. That is so guy. Any more? These are good.
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Eric James Stone

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Re: AWOL
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2006, 08:33:36 PM »
> 1--Let's talk about the intimidation factor. Is it real?
> Can a guy be too intimidated by a girl to ask her out?

Yes, it's real.  (She's good-looking, smart, charming and funny, which means a guy like me doesn't stand a chance, so why ask her out if I'm only going to get rejected?)

In some cases, though, the intimidation factor would also make friendship unlikely.  If the guy's intimidated, he will tend to be awkward around her, which will actually increase the intimidation factor and make the guy not want to be around her.

However, it's still possible for the guy and the girl to become friends despite the intimdation factor if they are around each other enough that the guy can become comfortable.  (For example, if they work on a long-term project together, etc.)

> 2--Have you ever been just friends with a girl you
> wanted to date? Did it every go anywhere from
> there?

Yes, several times.

Most of the time, I never ended up asking them out.

With one, she turned me down and we remained friends.

With another, eventually we went on a couple of dates.  There wasn't any chemistry, so we went back to being friends.

> 3--What were some of the signs you showed that she
> might've picked up? (Now, I've heard from some guys
> that this is ridiculous...the sign the guy gives is asking
> her out, but then I've heard from other guys that they
> take the sniper approach. They sneak up on the girl
> (generally one with 'scared of guy' tendencies) and
> get to know them better, so that the girl will fall for
> him that way? Again, what's most realistic?)

Ah, now that's a tricky one.  How can you tell the difference between a guy who's just being nice and a guy who's being nice because he's interested?

That's a problem you explored quite a bit in Rules of Engagement, and I think you handled it realistically.

If a guy is very nice to one girl and not to others, then that's generally a clue he's interested.  But the reverse isn't true: sometimes a guy will hide his interest because revealing it makes him vulnerable to rejection.  So he may not show any preferential treatment to someone he's interested in (or in extreme cases make a point of being nicer to everyone other than the girl he's interested in.)

So, the answer is it can be hard to tell unless the guy makes it obvious.

> Perhaps, I'm just taking the wrong tack on this?
> Perhaps a guy would never want to date a girl he
> was friends with? I've heard this too. So, if that's the
> case:
>
> 1-Have you ever been friends with a girl, but would
> never even think about dating her? Why?

Yes.  I know this will make me sound superficial, but the only reason I would never even think about dating a girl who was a friend would be lack of physical attraction.  But the truth is, if a guy's physically attracted to a girl, he'll think about dating her.  He may conclude that dating her is not a good idea because of other reasons (personality, intelligence, taste in music, her football-player boyfriend, etc.), but he'll have thought about it.

> 2-(a continuation from question 1) Have you ever
> changed your mind about dating her? Was it too late?-
>-or is it EVER too late (excluding the fact that she
> might be married)?

Not that I can recall.  Doesn't mean it couldn't happen.  If the guy put the girl in his "not dating material" pool, it would take either an actual change by the girl (or possibly the guy) or else a change in the guy's perception of her to make him shift her into the "dating material" pool.

>  Maybe, I'm still off track. Sooo, if I am...what is the
> most realistic reason for a guy to suddenly want to
> date a girl he's known for awhile?—or maybe
> it's not suddenly?

I think Froskar's example is a good one.

Some other possibilities:

- He's smart, she generally acts like a ditz, then he finds out she's smarter than she seems.  (Or some it's some other quality he thought was lacking but now realizes she has.)
- He's intimidated and thinks she's "out of his league" for dating, then he gets a confidence boost.
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The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

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Re: AWOL
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2006, 09:43:19 AM »
As always, the answer lies in 80s Teen movies. I refer to a) Pretty in Pink, and b) Some Kind of Wonderful. Romantic comedy writers, do yourself a favor and watch these films if you haven't already.

a) Pretty in Pink, Molly Ringwald's (Andie) best friend is Duckie (John Cryer, woo woo!) who is completely in love with her. She knows this, he knows this, he asks her out once, totally oblivious to the fact that she's dealing with another boy at the time, though it should be obvious. Duckie never does win her to his side, but he sticks as a friend and helps her out with her love interest both when it is against his romantic interests, and with someone who belongs to a group he specifically dislikes. I find it a realistic treatment, despite the fact that it's John Hughes. Once it's known that the guy digs his friend who is a girl, it either becomes a romance then, or it never happens.

This jives oddly with my own personal experience, wherein I was very obviously in love with a girl who was my friend, and she knew. It never really blossomed into a romance, but I did get some good make out sessions.

That's the odd thing about friendships to romance. For the party who has a friend who digs on them, it can be tempting for the physical release (Let's make out!) without trying for commitment, which a) strains the friendship, and b) makes the friend who is digging think he's got a shot when he really hasn't.

b) John Hughes gives us the other approach. Mary Stuart Masterson (hubba hubba) plays Watts, who is in love with Keith (Eric Stoltz) who is in love with Amanda (Lea Thompson WOO WOO!). Keith actually wins Amanda over after nearly being beaten by her former boyfriend's goons (saved only by the PUnk Duncan -- played by Elias Koteas, later to play the ever lovin' Casey Jones WOO WOO!). HOWEVER! he's been ignoring some very obvious signs from Watts, his tomboy cum drummer best bud (who helps him practice kissing, how dumb *is* this Keith guy anyway?). Amanda, being a girl and more sensitive to these things, sees how Keith really feels about Watts just as he's becoming conscious of it (but can you ditch a date to go after the one you love? or does that show a complete lack of class). Fortunately, Amanda solves the dilema by sending Keith after Watts, having learned from him already what she needed to know.

So, the friendship can become a romance. The guy more or less has to be hit over the head with a sack of bricks to realize he's been pursuing the wrong one all this time. That's the thing about guys, they tend to go after the wrong one. However, they don't go after jerks, like the stereotypical girl does, they go after the impossible dream (it is my steadfast testimony that deep down inside, every guy is really Don Quijote, and will quite happily scale imaginary castle walls and tilt at windmills for the object of their desires,... so long as they don't have to actually talk to her).

so, my thought? I could write this like cake if it were a guy who was misled. With the girl, it's a bit more odd to me. My perception, along with a lot of guys I know, is that girls love to have guys love them. That's why it appears that they only go after jerks. They already know the nice guys like them, the jerks need more maintenance to ensure their loyalty.

I guess how I'd do this (and yeah, I'm not really answering your specific questions, but I'm throwing out ideas), is that your main char. girl has to realize that nice guy best friend's loyalty is not guaranteed, as he and flighty chick start forming something she realizes that nice guy best friend is the one she really wants to dig on. We must sabatoge this relationship! (kind of a sick My Best Friend's Wedding, I guess). To make her ethical, skip the sabatoge action (just plan it, but be unable to go through with it) and be there for him when flighty chick turns out to really be flighty. Maybe you think that this confirms the Chimp-Gorilla Hypothesis (warning, pages on this subject probably contain some language, knowing the guys who did that, but it's been a while since I read that particular article) when you don't really believe in it. I, however, think it bucks it as a constant, while retaining the realism that some girls *are* like that, just like some guys are. In the mean time, of course, nice guy best friend needs to not realize he's interested in your main char until he's hit with a sack of bricks.

That would satisfy me.

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Re: AWOL
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2006, 09:59:45 AM »
Ok, to directly answer questions and not just raise issues that are sure to make the single girls round here hate me:

Quote
1--Let's talk about the intimidation factor. Is it real? Can a guy be too intimidated by a girl to ask her out?


A guy can. often this is a shyness thing though. And it doesn't happen to all guys. But at least as often, when it happens, it's a cover for the guy realizing not that she *couldn't* be interested, but that he already knows she just *isn't* interested. He knows how it really is, but it's easier to play the pathetic lack of self esteem than to acknowledge the fact and move on with life.

Quote
2--Have you ever been just friends with a girl you wanted to date? Did it every go anywhere from there?[/url]
Twice. One resulted in a lot of kissing, no dates. The other ended with a platonic date, and no kissing (though she was pretty open about wanting NCMO, I, however, was just off my mission and had some sort of morality about wanting a kiss to mean something -- it occurs to me that this may sound like bragging, but it was a source of emotional turmoil for me at the time, and very disappointing that she didn't want me for anything besides my lips).

Quote
3--What were some of the signs you showed that she might've picked up? (Now, I've heard from some guys that this is ridiculous...the sign the guy gives is asking her out, but then I've heard from other guys that they take the sniper approach. They sneak up on the girl (generally one with 'scared of guy' tendencies) and get to know them better, so that the girl will fall for him that way? Again, what's most realistic?)

Following her around like a puppydog. Doting on her. pretending to me kidding about wanting to hold her hand or going out, or... whatever. It's actually kind of pathetic, when you realize it, unless the sign is the just asking her out. I think the "sniper" approach is doomed to failure. A genuine friendship can turn into a romance, but I've only seen a friendship with ulterior motives of romance work out in the movies -- keeping in mind that 90% of the examples I've used in my posts have been from movies.

Quote
1-Have you ever been friends with a girl, but would never even think about dating her? Why?

Never is a very strong word. I have one girl in mind that I chose not to ever date. But certainly I considered it. That's (biologically speaking) part of being a guy. Every girl with any sort of remote possible interest has to be evaluated at least once as a potential mate. This particular girl had a lot of qualities I liked (red hair among them -- but also kindness, creativity, and spirituality). She tried to do the sniper thing with me. She even tried to help me get the girl I was after at the time (whom I was trying to snipe, ah, layers upon layers -- incidentally, the make out one from above, but not romance). I knew she was interested. I just didn't want to.

Quote
2-(a continuation from question 1) Have you ever changed your mind about dating her? Was it too late?--or is it EVER too late (excluding the fact that she might be married)?

It's not to late until that ordinance is complete. Nuff said. I suppose there are times when I would have reconsidered. Say... if I had managed to set myself straight about the girl I was sniping at the time. But I don't know that it would.

Quote
Maybe, I'm still off track. Sooo, if I am...what is the most realistic reason for a guy to suddenly want to date a girl he's known for awhile?—or maybe it's not suddenly?

... uhm... probably some moment of emotional intimacy. you have a really good conversation about mature, intelligent matters when before she was just "one of the guys" that you hung out with. Learning new things about her, in short. Even if you've known someone for a long time, there will be things you don't know about them. Especially if they dig on you and you don't realize that.

guitarbabe

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Re: AWOL
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2006, 11:01:50 AM »
Oh guys, this is brilliant. I'm going to run these answers off and highlight them. Thanks for the movie comparisons, since I love those movies in question, I can really relate. I do like the sledgehammer approach too...and as for the sabatoging the 'said' relationship, I've got that taken care of 8) She's a girl you love to hate...although maybe she'll have to have some soul searching too (not knowing why she keeps trying to sabatoge until she finds out...too late?)

I almost wonder if it's a...well, I can't get into that right now, I've got to get to work.

Btw, I really hope I'm not giving anything away...but then chick lit endings are pretty give-away anyway, right?

Anyone else have more ideas that I can highlight? Thanks again!
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Re: AWOL
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2006, 11:37:37 AM »
It's been said here several times, but I want to underline it: guys will, at least once, think about dating virtually every attractive girl they meet. That's just how our brains work.
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Parker

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Re: AWOL
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2006, 12:58:02 PM »
I would suggest watching When Harry Met Sally.  It's rated R, but if you can get past that, it has a lot to say about this conversation.

Eric James Stone

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Re: AWOL
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2006, 04:10:52 PM »
Quote
what is the most realistic reason for a guy to suddenly want to date a girl he's known for awhile?

It'll happen when the girl takes off her glasses and lets her hair down.  At least that's the way it happens in the movies.

OK, maybe that's not the most realistic reason.
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Re: AWOL
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2006, 04:38:01 PM »
Quote
Ok, to directly answer questions and not just raise issues that are sure to make the single girls round here hate me:




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Re: AWOL
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2006, 05:35:05 PM »
You can still hate me. You just can't say I ONLY said things to make you mad. (unless you lie)

Actually, the removing the glasses/letting the hair down is symbolic, I think, of learning new things about the person, as I said in my previous post.

guitarbabe

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Re: AWOL
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2006, 07:02:21 PM »
You see, that's interesting. I think that can happen for a girl too...sometimes the girl just HAS to get to know the guy first before she even realizes that she likes him. Or the opposite happens, and she realizes she doesn't like him (romantically) once she gets to know him.

Is that what you mean by the symbolic letting down of hair and taking off the glasses?--to somehow stand out from the being 'just one of the guys?'

I've actually had this discussion with my roommates (who hasn't?...had this discussion with my roommates? Lol). Anyhoo, the majority of them won't go for a guy right off, she has to get to know him first.

I can't speak for ALL girls, of course, BUT a lot of the ones I've talked to are like that.

AND, we have noticed the trend that the guy (if he is EVER going to go for a girl) will do it right away or usually never. So, both ways are contradictory, which means who will break first? Will the girl decide to date the guy even if she doesn't know him very well, and not get freaked out? Or will the guy decide to date the girl even if he knows her TOO well and she's no longer the mystery woman?

As for Harry meets Sally, there's always Clean Flicks, right?...unless that particular scene is toooo scandalous! I'm sure it isn't. Ha, and no, I don't want to get into another rated R argument again. Last time, I went overboard and I hate it when I do that.

I'm starting to get a clearer picture of how guys think on this issue, so that's good. I even brought it up with some of my old roommates, and they told me they want the answer whether or not I use it for the book or not, which I definitely will.  But is there an answer? Who knows?

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Re: AWOL
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2006, 07:54:06 PM »
I had a best friend all through high school who was a guy. We would go on dates (he took me on my first date after I turned 16, took me to my first prom...what a guy!), but it was purely platonic. Unfortunately, the rest of the school thought we should go out and were constantly pestering us about it. Even the seminary kids were in on it.

The year I turned 16 we had a "The Dating Game" in seminary and everyone 16 years and older, who wanted to, could participate. Both me and my friend signed up and made sure we were on different days. Well, the seminary presidency did the old switcheroo and put us opposite each other--him the bachelor and me one of three bachelorettes (we had 'proxy' voices who we would whisper our answers to so our voices couldn't be recognized). I could have lied or said stupid things, but I answered truthfully, and that dumb audience clapped at everything I said. It was so obvious. So he chose me. It was infuriating.

That same day we had 'the talk' to make sure that our feelings about each other were mutual, that we were just friends. He ended up dating my other friend that year. It still infuriates me to think that the seminary kids couldn't leave us alone. Like we weren't allowed to be friends when we were the opposite sex. I never had romantic notions about him. That's just the way it was.
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