Guys, Don't Be the Listening "Friend"

By Jason Kettinger | Posted at 4:11 AM

I'm going to out all you fellas trying to get your foot in the door with that girl. You know the one. I know your game – I've played it myself. Now, let me set you straight before you dig yourself into any deeper of a hole.

You and I both know that you are not a good listener. I also know that your “being there” has a goal, and it has little to do with empathy. You want her; maybe you've buried it down deep, maybe you've even convinced yourself it's not so. But I know. You can tell your old pal Jason.

Now, I make an exception — or maybe I should say an allowance — for those with no sexual attraction to any woman, or those training or working in the helping professions. Your nobility and single-mindedness is noted with appreciation and envy. Now, for the rest of you: Stop lying. Especially if she's seeing someone and has come to you to dump her frustrations on you. Deep down somewhere, she knows she's tormenting you. She knows it! She knows you are in love with her. Her boyfriend or whoever he is may actually be a jerk, or he may not. But your buddy Jason knows you are putting yourself in his role with every sobby word she says. This is not good!

I am a Christian, so I obviously bring my faith to bear in these things. But even if you are not, my advice is for you: this will not work out for you in the end. She will not end up with you. Even if she does, a girl like this will turn you into John Q. Villain when some lonely schmuck wants to “listen” to her complaints. Him today, you tomorrow. You are in training to be an adulterer and so is she. It may be uncool to use words like that these days. At this point, I don't give a flying fart in the wind. I am calling things as they are.

If all of this sounds obvious, or, if not obvious, a bit “high school,” well, too bad. These sorts of issues don't evaporate after High School commencement. Guys, tell her what you want. She will not fall in your lap, if you will pardon the phrase. And if she does by way of your Patient Friend method, she is untrustworthy, and you are stupid. Be frank. If you think she dates jerks, if you think you can do better, say so. You may make her mad, but you will make her think.

Together, you both may realize you should be a pair. Or not. But “nice” guys really do finish last. If you don't tell her, she won't know, or she will at least pretend she doesn't. Women need men to tell them if they are being stupid, indecisive, or manipulative. Men need women to tell them—nay, inspire them—to be men.

Jason Kettinger is a contributing editor to Open for Business. He writes on politics, theology and whatever else strikes his fancy.