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  • Writer's pictureUmaSofia Srivastava

If He Likes Looking For Alaska: RUN

This is totally not about anyone, but if you're reading this 🐝 : hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! (P.S it's not slander if its true)

Picture this: you plan a date which you’re not sure will even happen because he gives vague answers whenever you ask what time he's coming. Don’t forget the complaints about gas, but he blames it on his parents, it's not his fault his parents are 'strict'. He'll take you out to dinner after you make the reservation in his name, but it’s fine because he's offering to pay. He picks you up and you have to tell him to come to your door, sure he’s freshly showered and shakes your parents hands, but he shows up in his gym clothes (everyone stares when you get to the restaurant because you look like a 10 in your sundress, and he’s a solid 5 on a good day *it was not a good day), then you drive around suspiciously long for someone who cares about gas. And that’s all I’ll tell you guys because if I continue I’d not only embarrass myself by exposing my willful ignorance, but I’d also simultaneously snuff out the last bit of the hopeless romantic left in you. And before you say, “Oh but these are boys you’re talking about, real men don’t do these things”. 1) Let’s not infantilize the patriarchy 2) Why stoop to their level? If I had a dime for every time someone called me a girl to dismiss something I said… So without further ado, here are 5 things I’ve learned about men so that you hopefully come out unscathed by their unbelievable ineptitude (you’ll find that I’m rather nice with the way I word things, for example, this was just another way to say stupidity!)

1) They see you as character development

I've realized that almost every guy I've met, the one's who pride themselves as 'intellectuals' and the ones who only attempted reading something recently, all love Looking for Alaska, and its no secret why. They're all in love with the idea of finding their very own MPDG.

“Sometimes I don’t get you,” I said. “You never get me. That’s the whole point.”

This term was coined by film critic Nathan Rabin when he said that the MPDG "exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures." Wow, deep. He could've just said 'Women's only conceivable purpose is to act as catalysts to male character development because they aren't capable of being their own person', but to each their own I guess.

So recently I've discovered that when men read Looking for Alaska, they don't know that John Green's portrayal of Alaska was entirely ironic, to show how harmful stereotyping women as two dimensional characters is. But of course that point flies over their head entirely, but then again, how could I have expected them to understand if they miss the point of media like American Psycho and Wolf of Wall Street? It doesn't matter what Alaska is doing - picking

clovers, sitting in class, talking about what she loves - Pudge will describe how she looks, turning simple actions into seduction and making her intelligence an after thought. Prime example?

“When I asked about the labyrinth and when she answered me, that's when I realized the importance of curves... I'd noticed curves before, of course, but I had never quite apprehended their significance.”

The truth is that men take the idea of their dream girl too seriously, and in turn, end up projecting their delusional fantasies on to the likes of innocents like you and me. In their minds, we transform from 'just a girl who likes to read', to an all knowing, unrealistically chill goddess who is incapable of error and who just so happens to be constantly waiting to give our attention to him. Snap back to reality before you become an MPDG for anyone but yourself.

2) They will always say yes when it benefits them

Because I'm sure you’ve heard that men will always go for the easiest option, which is not us women’s fault, although we're so often blamed for it (while men are called players, we are called... well you know). So with all their talk of dominance and assertiveness and sigma/alpha mentalities *BARF*, men rarely say no. And honestly slay - don't quote me, I WILL deny I ever said this - this is a very good perspective to have because this is actually a popularized manifestation technique to achieve your goals. (but they’ll still sh*t on you if you ever mention that to them) But the thing is, women are not goals, nor are they objects and prizes to be won. Men will use you and claim to not know what they're doing, or maybe they truly don't.

At the risk of being canceled, I will say that while I am a feminist, I don't believe that women can 'use' men because the patriarchy doesn't allow it, ie. they'd like it too much. So for my fellow female manipulators, don't let your ego be your downfall; simply don't give men the opportunity.

3) Love bombing and their expectation for you to settle

Not only do men go for the easiest thing, they expect you to make things easy for them. Remember how we were just talking about indecisiveness? Hindsight is 20/20 and you’ll see subtle changes: 1) No longer calling you pretty like in the beginning which made you think he was a nice guy and instead opting for fine, hot, etc. but he did it once so maybe he’ll do it again? 2) He stopped face timing you, but both of you are busy so it's fine 3) Complaining about gas even though you live 10 mins away, which you brought up and which he conveniently ignores (no matter how much you try to gaslight someone, google maps

doesn’t lie!) but you defend him anyways because maybe he took a different route? 4) Expecting you to come to his games (again future! but I guess it didn’t matter because he knew it wouldn’t happen) but won’t offer more than a few gushing texts for your big day which you’ll happily receive because he must be so tired from his trip… that he came back from 36 hours ago 5) Sure, he let you cue music on his phone and see his I-message but it’s not the 2010s anymore. As soon as you check snapchat?? Haha think again. But up until a day ago you were best friends, so he’s probably not lying about who took your place. See what's happening here? He'll set the standard so low in the beginning that when he stops putting in effort later, not only will you defend him because "he was soooo sweet before, its probably just the end of the honeymoon stage", but when he finally shows you the slightest bit attention you'll roll over like a starved dog. They will take, and take, and take and leave you to ricochet from violent screaming, crying, throwing up to forgetting you guys had ever been together without so much as a goodbye. A nauseating dream state that you’ll be left in until you wake up and realize, They. Don’t. Care.

4) They think they know what they want *spoiler alert* they don’t

Rethink every time you thought you’d been led on, because although women get the reputation of having volatile emotions, I’d like to argue that men are on another level entirely. One day he’ll be showing you that he’s telling his friends that you’re “his girl” and planning out your futures together: how you’ll both own a farm with goats and cows and 3 kids and he’ll fulfill his lifelong dream of being a beekeeper; and the next he’ll tell you that he’s looking for something casual. After close to 3 months - no matter what he says -of what a normal person would consider dating. Personal experience aside, the truth is most men will end things on a random Friday after even 9 months, years of dating. Time doesn't matter to him, and neither do your feelings. A man will stay with you as long as he thinks it's the only relationship that he can find. In the word's of John Green's Pudge:

I wouldn’t have cared if my girlfriend was a Jaguar-driving Cyclops with a beard—I’d have been grateful just to have someone to make out with.

The harsh truth is that if he really likes you, you wouldn't be asking him the dreaded question: "What are we?" Just listen to the song instead of asking next time.

5) Beware of the girl best friend, minus the best

As someone who's been on both sides of things - the girlfriend and the girl best friend - I've come to the conclusion that men, or at least guys my age, are incapable of having platonic female friends. Most of the time girl bsfs are just failed talking stages, exes, unrequited loves, or if he's mature enough, girls who have rejected him. Now, Type 1 girls might want to intentionally home-wreck your relationship *ew* and Type 2 are completely uninterested, but for some reason guys will always see them as a back up. Type 1 just choose to make things easier for them, but you have to understand that they're getting hurt too, no matter how misguided. If you would do anything to be with him, I promise so will they. Looking for a synonym for men? Try commitment issues. Sometimes men will break it off with you to date another girl, sometimes they'll jeopardize your relationship because they've "been through things recently with girls" (okay same, but that's why you make things clear up front), and the truly insecure men will cheat. So if you aren't your boyfriends best friend, then something is definitely off because he shouldn't need to 'fill' that need if he has you. It's the same reason men refuse to unfollow half naked girls on instagram, reassuring you with, "oh I don't even know her", so you followed her just because you liked the way she looked? You're not toxic or controlling for asking him about close girl 'friends', he should've been upfront from the start if he didn't want to deal with an ultimatum in the first place.

So what did we learn?

The truth is, if you really want something you’ll do everything to have it despite the red flags. So if you end up falling for a guy and purposefully ignore the red flags after I took the time to share my experience with you???? Me too, c’est la vie. Now that I’ve completely shattered, and thus lowered your expectations, it’s time for you to raise your standards, so check out How to lose a guy in 10 days, everything under my advice column (you'll thank me later), and stay tuned for next week: Heartbreak for dummies: it happens to the best of us!

I release you into the world my little heartbreakers,




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