I had a small win, due to just the one simple rule of never asking a guy out, that lead to a much bigger realization.

There was a guy I was a bit smitten with for a split second. In the past I would have asked him out first, but after realizing that's a lame new 'LibFem' falsehood, I didn't. I waited for the guy to ask, which he never did, but used the time of waiting for him to ask to really look at him and his traits. I realized he was a younger version of my ex. He has all the class, worldliness, looks, and even the same habits of trying to draw me in to make the first move, tactfully lurking in my space, putting his water bottle and phone right next to mine... just little things to try to get into my space to try to spark some conversation. But because of FDS, this made me steer clear of him. If he can't make the first move with confidence and respect, I am not going to bother. My lack of initiating engagement not only drove him wild, but it also showed an early warning sign of his lack of confidence, even though to me, he is a 9 in the looks department (he loses a point for a lil booty and small calves) :P .

But, the main point of this story is about conditioning to meet other people's needs. I mean this with no exaggeration or tooting my own horn, but now I understand why my ex-boyfriend and a few other friends who were military kept trying to get me to sign-up to work in Intelligence. I have been so conditioned by my shitty up-bringing to read people so that I can anticipate their wants, needs, etc. to stay safe/make them happy that I accurately profiled this guy that I liked, without ever saying anything to him other than, are you done with this? in reference to a machine or set of weights at the gym. I knew what country he was from, where he'd probably lived, what kind of school/education he had, his up-bringing, even what sports he played, that he was more than likely some type of amateur athlete, what type of job he probably had, what his temperament was probably like, and even that he probably had a unique name - not just like Michael or John. A mutual association was trying to give me grief for not making a move because of the lame 'strong women, feminism' argument. But when I said the guy wasn't for me as he seemed like the kind of guy that was XYZ, they confirmed that all of my assumptions were correct, which they took as a sign of him being for me. However, I just feel alarmed, uncomfortable, and annoyed. It doesn't spell that he's the one, it just means I've been brainwashed to the point that I can compute people's exact profile and needs just by observing them, not even talking to them.

In writing this, I am hoping that...

#1) I can trigger this realization in other women - that it is not your responsibility to anticipate other's needs to this level to make them comfortable at the sake of your own comfort or self-respect. Had I asked him out or given in when he tactfully put his things next to mine so that I had to move them, I would have lost.

#2) To help other's to start to use it to their advantage to protect themselves. While it's frustrating being the person that can see the forest through the trees, we need to use this to our advantage.

I know that there have to be other women who have had this experience. It took this one guy for me to realize just how ridiculous it is, that women are this freakishly hyper-sensitive of others from being conditioned to what women 'should' do, and/or out of pure survival of a gnarly childhood. Now that I am finally acknowledging that I have this skill and that it's a problem to use it solely for others, it's not only saving me a lot of heartache, but helping me develop more as a human being towards the future I want, not for someone else.