As I identify as a woman, I’m getting more and more wary of friends request from men on any media site. Just recently I accepted a request on Goodreads expecting it was because they were interested in books, reading my reviews on the books I had read, or maybe, they had read my books and wanted to chat to me about them. Then I received the dreaded PM from them that always opens with Hello Beautiful.

My heart sunk. So I’m not even safe on Goodreads. Since when has Goodreads become a dating app. In my younger days, I was very wary of men. They had a nasty habit of talking to my breasts and didn’t seem to be able to make eye contact with me. Then there were the men who twisted every thing you said into a sexual comment, or called you a prick teaser, because you spurned them.

I’m guessing all women have experience the same sort of unwanted attention or comments. As a young woman, I learnt quite quickly to avoid making eye contact, not smiling too much, being careful how I dressed, always wear shoes you could run in, and choose a well-lit route when walking home. When at parties, not to be overly familiar with men as you can give out the wrong kind of signals.

A conversation at the weekend with friends at a BBQ highlighted the situation from young man’s point of view. It was interesting to hear it from a man’s viewpoint. Our friend said when he was young he had a problem with talking to women. I found this odd as whether you identify as male, female or any of the other genders at the end of the day, we are all human first. Surely language and speech is our first means of communication. Whether that be sign-language too.
Finding a common subject, or starting with small talk helps us all to understand each other first.

Maybe I’m just old fashioned in my way of thinking, even after all these years. I find it very strange not to be able to escape unwanted attention, even at my mature years. Surely getting to know someone through conversation is the best way forward to find out whether your advances are wanted, or will be returned. It would be lovely if men understood that we women love to chat. Just finding a common, intelligent subject to talk about will help us to get to know each other. The chat can be about music, childhood or future plans for holidays etc. Don’t belittle us or try to be smart, or arrogant. Just let the conversation flow, and see it as an invitation to friendship, and not an invite to the bedroom.

Real friendship takes time to grow and doesn’t happen overnight. The more you know and understand someone, the stronger the relationship will be. If it grows into a loving friendship, then that is when you take it to the next level, if the person feels the same as you. But, first you need to get to know each other to see whether you have the same interests, likes or are compatible. Though, the internet makes it hard to spot the love scammers from the genuine guys who are just like us.

Nowadays, I just accept a friend’s request from those who have the same interests as me, and if I accept a man as soon as I receive a Hello Beautiful message, I just delete and block.

7 Comments

  1. I get this too, Paula. I follow the same policy of delete and block. It beats me why they do it (I know it is a scam incidentally to persuade you to part with money so they can spend it on a plane ticket to come and be with you!). But it is clear I am only on social media because of my writing. Nothing else! It is amazing how many US Generals want to be my friend. I am friends with precisely none of them!

    Like

  2. This is a great post, Paula. Yet, sad, too. We men have A LOT to answer for as far as I’m concerned. I’m glad we continued to be friends. Your ongoing friendship means the world to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your friendship means a lot to me too. I’m sure men get just a many unwanted services offered to them over the net. There’s a minefield out there. I just thought when I reached a certain age I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore, Jim. 😢

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you, my friend. It’s disgusting behavior as far as I’m concerned. I’m sorry it continues to happen. You (and all women) deserve so much better.

        Liked by 1 person

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