Guy Pet Peeves

This topic needs no introduction.* Let’s dive right in.

1. Lurking in the “friend” zone.

Every couple of weeks or so, Twitter rehashes the discussion of the “friend” zone – the place where women put men they have no intention of sleeping with, but whose company and conversation they enjoy enough to hang out with and generally keep around.

I take the word “friendship” very seriously. If I have no intention of ever sleeping with you, and I know you like me, I’ll tell you – bluntly – that the thing you’re hoping for is never going to happen. If I like you, I’ll offer you my friendship.

At that point, you have one of two choices: (a) you can say (to me or to yourself), “Baby, I’ve got enough friends,” and eventually disappear; or (b) you can agree to be my friend, in which case I am expecting you to be a FRIEND, and nothing more.

I am told (b) is unrealistic. And that pisses me off.

When I say to someone, “Let’s be friends,” I mean it. I don’t mean, “Let’s be each other’s emergency ____ in a glass jar.” I don’t mean, “You can be my friend until I break up with X, at which point Imma need some emergency comfort sex.”

But it seems some men don’t quite get this concept. I’ve been burned before by male friends who thought the friend zone was the bench and they’d get to play as soon as one of the starters came hobbling off the court.

Add this to the list of shit for which I am now too old.

If you are in the friend zone, play your position. Or go play for another team.

2. Solving non-existent problems.

Has this ever happened to you? You are talking to a male in your life – whether it’s your significant other, your father, a friend, an uncle, a cousin, or the guy who runs the corner liquor store – about something that has happened to you. In your mind, you are just relaying a story.

All of a sudden, though, here comes all this unwanted and unasked-for advice. You’re telling him why you no longer talk to your childhood best friend, and he interjects,

“You should call her. Friendships are important.”

WTF? Really? Did you not hear what I just said about that bitch? Did you somehow stop listening when I got to the part about how I will never, ever again in life trust that chick, let alone call her? What’s wrong with you?

Guys, stop. Sometimes we just like to talk. When we need your advice, we’ll ask.

3. Baiting and goading.

Baiting and goading is a common sport on Twitter. Guys will take the most outlandish positions – usually it’s some Jabba the Hutt-looking character claiming he won’t even say hello to a woman who weighs more than 130 lbs. – and then sit back and watch women lose their minds.

Paul Carrick Brunson, the self-styled Modern Day Matchmaker, engaged in a classic bit of baiting and goading recently. Referring to his recent article on Essence.com listing ten types of men women tend to overlook when dating, Brunson sparked a spirited debate on Twitter over the merits of the man with poor hygiene, who Brunson referred to as the “caveman.” Brunson wanted to know why women routinely include bad breath and bad hygiene on their list of dealbreakers.

Come on now.

I love Brunson. I’ve even used his services. But I don’t believe Brunson was seriously advocating for men with breath like rotten meat. He was enjoying the spectacle of watching his replies fill up with women asking him if he had lost his damn mind.

Men sometimes like to say things to get a rise out of us. They like to see us react – and overreact. Sometimes it’s good-natured fun, and sometimes it’s pure meanness. Sometimes, it’s both. And while the banter can be mutually enjoyable, after a while, it gets to be irritating.

4. Calling/texting out of the blue.

Let’s say you met a guy six months ago. You exchanged numbers, maybe even texted each other a couple of times. Then nada. Time passes. You meet other people, date other people. The guy is forgotten.

Six months later, your phone rings, or your text icon pops up. And once you figure out who it is, you laugh.

For real, dude? You thought I was still sitting around waiting for you to call?

Anonymous texting ranks right up there with the call/text out of the blue. I can count on one hand the phone numbers I’ve memorized. Yours is not one of them. Identify yourself. And don’t get offended if I say, “Who?”

Those are some of my guy pet peeves. What are yours? Guys, feel free to list your pet peeves about women in the Comments section – if you dare.

*The fact that I can only come up with four guy pet peeves tells you a lot about how generally satisfied I am with men these days.

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17 Responses to “Guy Pet Peeves”

  1. VegasSeven Says:

    Great article!!!!

    Had to laugh at: emergency ____ in a glass jar. Yep, that is how it usually works. Men are good at sales: It never hurts to ask. Honestly, I think it does hurt to ask.

    I hate people who try to solve non-existent problems. That happens with me all the time too.

  2. OneChele Says:

    I seriously want to get up and break into a Hallelujah chorus for this post. This is so dead on. My top pet peeve is already listed, it’s Mr. Fix It. Sometimes, I’m simply relaying a story not asking bruh-man to problem solve.

    Yes, I saw the piece where it was suggested that women start dating snaggletoothed height-challenged deodorant-deficient mama’s boys. I took it in jest and assumed it was angled for maximum pageviews. Though really… the rhetoric about who we should date and why… tired.

  3. aaw1976 Says:

    Thank you for saying what you said about having male friends. Geez you would think we are that shallow? I genuinely enjoy the company of men and have no desire to sleep with said men. Doesn’t mean that they are not attractive or anything, but it just means hell, that ain’t what I am looking for. smh.

  4. ProfessHer Says:

    #4, all day, every day. I know they are going to try and get back in; they always do. But? Part of my tidying is deleting contact info, as I’m clear however it ended, it’s over. I cannot tell you how many multiple texts and voice mails I’ve reviewed with curiosity and confusion, only to sigh with relief, “kiss-teeth,”or laugh when I figure out or who ’tis. Boy, bye! Old flames are dead matches!

  5. Mark R Says:

    OK, I’ll peeve right back atcha. The inherent assumption in your definition of the “Friend Zone” is that it is some kind of consolation prize, that it is nothing more than “option B” so the dude doesn’t go home empty handed. It also assumes that every single guy was aiming for (and would prefer) the more physical/romantic/sexual relationship but had to settle for “just being friends.”

    I’m sorry, but my friendship is nobody’s consolation prize. If you are my friend (and you are) it is because I like you, respect you and value the time I spend with you. So (and here’s where I go solving non-existent problems), if you are willing to hand out friendships as consolation prizes, you are probably going to continue to collect a few “B level” friends.

    Now this “non-existent problem” thing is a real pet peeve of mine. I do not like to be “talked at.” I am not your audience, I am your interlocutor. If you’re going to tell me what happened at Starbucks, if you’re going to tell me about your day (or your date), if you’re going to tell me about your boss, expect me to respond with my own thoughts. To me, that is the point of conversation. If I’m just supposed to stand there smiling and pretending to be interested, well you lost me at “hello.”

    And as for baiting and goading… isn’t the topic of this blog in and of itself and act of baiting and goading? Isn’t that what you set out to do? But I’m just a pot asking Ma Kettle a question.

    • AGrownAzzMan Says:

      What he said!

    • carolynedgar Says:

      Mark, you misread – or misinterpreted – peeve #1. I’m not talking at all about real friends. I’m talking about men who have expressed a sexual or romantic interest in a woman, which she rejects, but offers him friendship. He claims to be ok with being “just friends,” but he’s secretly still hoping it will turn into more. Those guys are vultures. A man who genuinely befriends a woman without hoping it will lead to a trip to her bed, is definitely ok with me.

      As for listening: you’ve been married a long time, and you have a daughter. I’m sure you’ve listened to and told your share of stories. It’s part of what being a partner is all about. Thanks as always for your comments.

      • Mark R Says:

        We understand each other. That’s why we’re friends. I’m just suggesting that if a guy is interested in you sexually, don’t offer him option B. Don’t do it. If friendship wasn’t his first choice, he’ll never be that good a friend anyway.

        And you have me dead to rights on the wife and daughter scene. I have acquired the skill set, but it isn’t my favorite activity.

      • carolynedgar Says:

        Sound advice, Mark. As always.

  6. LaToya/gradmommy Says:

    I think Mark R has an interesting point about the non-existent problem peeve, but its a peeve I have with many people. But part of that is just being a good listener, and understanding what people need. I don’t need problems to be solved all the time; sometimes people just need folks to listen. You don’t always need to respond – being a good listener means to listen, not talk. Some people seem incapable of doing that. Now if a person never wants a friend to talk at all – that’s a problem.

    Anonymous texting is sooooo annoying to me. If I haven’t heard from you in a while, call me. I don’t know who you are, and I will ALWAYS reply Who??

  7. Raymond Williams Says:

    Sis, What a great article and so true of us. However, it is also important to know why we are this way. First, it is very hard for a guy to have a female friend. For a guy to have a female friend we need to be in a secure relationship (married) and the friendship should be mainly because we work together. Many brothers will say that they would like to be your friend but they are secretly looking for more.

    Sencond, brothers are not good listeners, we are fixers and we are protectors. If you want someone one to listen to your problems you need to talk to your girlfriend or your therapist.

    Third, some of us like to have fun and we say outlandish things, maybe it is for the attention, who knows. The guys that are mean spirited are trouble anyway.

    People who text you out of the blue are lonely, and if they haven’t had the common sense to build a relationship with you and keep it, aren’t worth your time anyway.

    In closing, I would like to remind you that most of us aren’t too bright when it comes to females. We come from two differant worlds. I have two daughters one is in her forties the other in her twenties and I still don’t understand you ladies. When I think that I do, you guys do something totally opposite of what I would expect. So in my sixties I am still learning.

    God bless you…

    • carolynedgar Says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I wish I knew why, in spite of all the books, articles, columns, talk shows, movies, etc. that focus on relationships, men and women still do not seem to communicate well. Maybe we just need to talk to each other more, and at each other less.

  8. Kim Says:

    My pet peeve is when a man says “I don’t want to play any games”. I know I have met a few “Milton Bradley’s”. Because they had a monopoly on playing games. Saying one thing, meaning another. I’m a straight shooter, at 45, divorced with children, I don’t have time to interpret ish,

  9. Dating Pet Peeves « Carolyn A. Edgar Says:

    […] up on my “Guy Pet Peeves” post, my beautiful online pal Saida Latigue (@MochaMama42 on Twitter), had a few pet peeves […]

  10. speedway baby Says:

    i am a black man i am 40 years old and i have a business degree in finance. i have no children and i am single. and i think u r wrong, wrong, wrong. every black girl i meet is uneducated and with several children in tow and by different daddies. so i just think u r wrong. if u wanted a black man with a degree then u could grab one from anywhere. U could even get one from africa. And I’m serious. theres all kind of engineers and financial guys over there with no job and the education to come over to this country and surpass you in income and promotions. u chose a knuckle head lol and married him and well guess what? u married a knuckle head so u had all those things happen to u which was really funny. just listening to u i can tell u right now I DO NOT LIKE U WOMAN. u married who u wanted to marry. and just judging from the way u sound i can tell u right now u r probably the type of woman that doesnt even want a man that could out earn u anyway cause u sound stupid for real. i just really think u sound stupid in your entire interview. i think u r stupid and u make poor choices when it comes to men. but instead of just saying that and admitting it u get on the mic and dog a brother out. Lol. U r a freaking joke. And thank god ur a lawyer so I don’t have to feel guilty about not liking u for real. I write books too so guess what I’m going to write a book about brothers with degrees and money that every black girl they meet is a freaking joke. How about that. All kinds of bay bay’s. oh wait a minute ur one of them now. lol. Wow it just hit me. So if I met u right now u would be one of those black girls I always meet with someone elses bay bay’s. ur no different than anyone else so stop trying to dog brothers out. U need to fix that for real. ADMIT IT WOMAN U MAKE POOR CHOICES IN MEN. LOL. And u married a knuckle head and then want to get on the mic and dog him out because he’s a knuckle head. Lol. Like its his fault he’s a knuckle head. U need to cool your heels sweetie. Oh I’m sorry I hear u high falootin’ types don’t like to be called sweetie any more. Well how does bay bay kids sound. Lets call u bay bay kids. I don’t know that theres anything else I can say at this point. I know I’ll think of something else mean to say later but it’ll be too late and anymore than one of these and its stalking lol. So I gotta get all my punches in right now. u just need to get yourself together u r a steamy hot mess. Hows that sound?

  11. Carolyn Edgar on NPR’s “Tell Me More” « Carolyn A. Edgar Says:

    […] This subject continues to touch some raw nerves, as evidenced by comments on both the NPR site and my own blog (note to anyone reading the transcript: the term is “code switching,” not “coat […]

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