Competing for Attention

You know the old (terrible) saying, “Nice guys finish last”? Well, when I was a teenager, I definitely played both sides of that phrase.

From a young age, what I had witnessed about gaining the attention of girls was that you either had to be extremely loud and uninhibited, willing to make a total donkey of yourself, or you had to play the best friend who listens to every little problem and piece of drama while simultaneously being constantly on guard as to not enter into the dreaded “friend zone”.  Girls, no guy wants to hear “You’re like a brother to me”. We just don’t.

I was either the nice guy who put my time in, listening to your problems, talking endlessly about nothing just because I was glad to be a part of your life, or I played the jerk (as most of my friends were) who tried to get the girl by simply following their lead and basically, appearing to not really care about the outcome.

As hormones took over and the need for a deeper social interaction with the female sex became a necessity, the males in my grade became complete animals, competing to takedown the proverbial zebra for themselves.

I have to referenceSouthParknow. There is an episode entitled “Bebe’s Boobs Destroy Soceity” in which one of the fourth grade girls in the show starts to first grow breasts. The boys in the grade notice there is something different about Bebe instantly, but instead of stating the obvious, which they actually can’t figure out, they proceed to elevate the girl’s popularity by praising her endlessly and inviting her to hang out and do more “boy” things with them. Soon, competition rears its ugly head and the boys regress to cavemen, defending their “territory” and fighting each other off with grunts and intimidation.

This isn’t far off. The best of friendships between males can be easily picked apart by the need to be noticed by the opposite sex. Girls know this. I can’t help but think some girls knew exactly what they were doing by wearing that particular outfit that day in school, walking past a group of male friends so nonchalantly and just reveling in the fact that they just lit the fuse to a time bomb of competition.

The truth is, I couldn’t tell you to this day how to get a woman’s attention. I do know that some women, yes women, not girls, even at this age, still love to know they are being competed for. It’s an insecurity/validation thing and we all do it from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, you should pursue the woman you love (and hope that it’s mutual), but it can’t be a game. At the same time, you’re not going to get what you want by being something you’re not. I hate to give such general advice as “be yourself”, but I do believe God honors your actions when you don’t compromise or pretend to be someone you’re not. I’ve learned this lesson and it came as the result of a lot of wasted time and heartbreak.

In business, competition breeds a better product. The product in this case being you! Don’t waste your time learning the “tricks of the trade” or elevating your “game”. Learn how to be friends with the opposite sex, appreciate and respect something so beautiful that God created for you to honor and love. Competition will mean nothing in the end. 

PS. While writing this blog I conducted a quick Facebook survey asking “Girls, what can guys do to get your attention?” Here are the top answers:

1. Be Bold

2. Pray for us and with us. Chase God, not us. 

3. Be a mature guy who thinks for the future, visionary and works towards those goals. Also can make a decision. Thats the guy that gets attention.

4. Presents!

5. Commit random acts of kindness.

6. Be Bold (again)