‘A Faint heart never won fair lady’ William Shakespeare.
It’s easy to get confused when you have mental health problems anyway but human behaviour is a minefield. When this is applicable to someone with social anxiety and concerns dating or friendships then it becomes even more so. Once again a post on gender differences on the anxiety forum has been deleted as it upsets people but does that mean anything awkward should be hidden under the table and not spoken about. I understand that throughout human history men and women have been treated and expected to act quite differently and that often men dominated women and treated them badly. However to pretend that everything is equal now just because it should be is quite ludicrous. Lost of things are worse for women, some things are worse for men, especially shy men.
Maybe the internet has changed things in recent years but I seriously doubt it. I recently heard a comment on TV that annoyed me. It was something like” How can you even think of dating a girl if you have no car to pick her up in.” This implies there are certain gender roles that are so clearly defined as to be humiliating if not taken seriously like driving and owning a car being a male essential. When I was younger it was just taken for granted that men for instance should always make the first move, approach a female he’s interested in and ask her out and even decide where to go. Maybe even offer to pay on any date. This seems to get many females on forums enraged as if its all old fashioned crap and doesn’t happen any more. It should be left in the past of course if you believe in total equality between the sexes. However I was slagged off at work for being too cowardly to approach girls because of my shyness. I also heard some girls talking about me saying he won’t do anything meaning I would not chat their friend up so they should just ignore me as not a contender from then on. There are many more examples but you get the idea. I was expected to make the first move and I knew it simply for being male but as I was cripplingly shy could not and am still a virgin.
Now a lot of this could be explained as just being what happened 20 years ago but seriously how much has changed in recent years? Do women approach men and regularly ask them out now at work and in bars and clubs; have things changed that much after thousands of years of male dominance? The problem is I still see comments on TV and movies all the time where boys and men are told to just man up and get the girl, ridiculed relentlessly if they are still a virgin past a certain age, treated as cowards for not having the guts to chase women. If you start looking on TV you could come across numerous references in just one week. Chat up lines are taken in context entirely from the males point of view as if men need them to impress women but women let the man do all the work and just let him think of things to say. Although I never had a female approach me in any positive way during 20 years at work it could be explained by my chronic anxiety and body language and lack of witty banter which put them off. However I have heard this from many men and lots openly say “it’s a man’s job to make the first move.” as if it’s the rules of being human and they mock anyone who can’t do this and forcing you to stay in isolation.
Obviously many women with anxiety are still alone and have just as shit lives as men but all I can do is talk of my experiences taken from entirely male and anxiety ridden life. I still think our cultural expectations between males and females is quite distinct and the majority of women(those without anxiety) still expect a man to approach them first and if he doesn’t then assumes he is either not interested or not good enough anyway and they would not even dream of making the first move. When you feel hated for many, many years though it’s quite easy to be paranoid and see things from a distorted and angry point of view. However science accepts clear gender differences in just about every species of animal so why do so many people pretend that humans are the exception to the rule? Perhaps the truth hurts.