Guest Post by Michael Deppisch: A Single, White, Male

like Big Foot, unicorns and the M&M guys, eligible bachelors do exist.  toss in one who is intelligent, attractive, fun to hang with and gainfully employed and you’re getting into myth and legend.

not really.  they exist, too.  i found one.

his name is Michael Deppisch and he’s guest posting for us today.  Michael isn’t a blogger.  *gasp*  i know.  calm down.  he’s a photographer and Twitter comedian.  yes, ladies, he’s funny, too.  hold on to your skirts.  Michael is also on my list of “Why are you single?” along with several other of my friends.  both male and female.

one of these days, i’m going to lock them all in a church youth room that smells like boy feet and won’t let them out until they pair off.

you can follow Michael on Twitter.  “can” is too soft.  “should” is more like it.

and you can should check out his photography on his website, MichaelDeppisch.com

without further ado, here’s Michael and a post he says “will render me undatable”.

those eyes are blue, ladies.

Women Are a Mystery

and other stupid lies they tell us.

For the longest time, I was convinced that along with the presence of a second X-chromosome comes an impenetrable wall of understanding. That somehow the entire female half of our species was exempt from the laws of reason and I, therefore, had to accept anything they said or did.

I often see men clamor after women that appear to be unobtainable. They write songs, paint paintings, chisel sculptures. They will go to war over a seemingly unobtainable beauty. I won’t deny the allure and captivation a woman can bring, but far too often it’s simply unwarranted–not because she is unworthy, but because she has created a false persona from which to operate.

When she isn’t that interesting, “mysterious” is a preferable identity.

Women help perpetuate this idea; buying into the false pretense that they are inexplicably crafted to be the eighth wonder of the world (or in some cases, the eighth and ninth wonders).

“I’m just mysterious.”

“You’ll never understand me.”

“Women aren’t meant to be understood, they’re meant to be loved.”

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant.”

These are but a few of the things I’ve had women tell me over the years. (Actually, the last one was a Dr. Seuss quote…ignore that one.) How were the pyramids built? Who really shot JFK? How has Arby’s stayed in business this long? Those are mysteries. Those are things which exist beyond the realm of my understanding. Why your girlfriend orders a Diet Coke along with a basket of fried chicken strips and chili fries? Not a mystery. Why she stands in line for hours to save 10% off of the already inflated prices of semi-designer clothing? Again, not a mystery. Sometimes strange behavior is just that…and we all do it.

We become products of our surroundings, and those with whom we surround ourselves. If she spends time with girls who hang out at wine bars and gossip about God-knows-what, then eventually she will become one of those girls. If she does nothing but watch romantic comedies, which depict a wholly unrealistic view of love and relationships, she’ll eventually begin to believe that this is how relationships should operate. And if she stops questioning the whys and hows of her thought process and commits to the idea that she is a mystery, or beyond understanding, or worse–not required to be held accountable for her actions, then she will become those things.

Some women have learned they can get away with it.

Thomas Paine said it best:

“A long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.”

Basically, just because the common understanding holds that something isn’t wrong, that doesn’t necessarily make it right. And a long history of believing something to not be wrong, regardless of its validity, often holds more popular than reason. References from 18th century conservative political literature aside–the more men cater to the clingers, pamper princesses and inspirit insecure women, the more these women become validated in their own actions and beliefs.

What are guys doing wrong?

I’m certain my all-but-cynical world view isn’t very popular, especially with the ladies. But I’d maintain that it’s a fairly realistic assessment. For each man, the majority of women aren’t worth being in a relationship with. Period. And that’s totally okay. There is a very small number of people with whom someone can be truly compatible and have solid chemistry. It’s about learning to discern the good from the bad relationships quickly, before you’ve invested too much time and emotion into something that is destined to fail. As Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to live with a psycho for the rest of your life” (I think…don’t quote me on that).

Once a friend told me that, even though he didn’t want to be in a relationship with a girl, he wasn’t going to break up with her because he was “too loyal”… Really? To what are you being loyal? A bad relationship? A girl you have no reason to be dating? Unflappable loyalty is only a virtue when you’re with someone who is worth your time. And here’s the kicker–just because she gives you her time doesn’t mean it’s worth it. How many pointless, caustic relationships could you have avoided if you had just listened to your gut?

Everything is not lost. I think.

Quality women are out there. Trust me, I’ve met them. They aren’t interested in guys who have learned to play the game. They aren’t interested in just being accepted… they want to be understood and loved for who they truly are. And if she’s worth it, she’s not going to make a good man work for her attention out of some misguided desire to live out a fairytale romance. Worthy women deserve to be loved, admired and respected. They deserve to be pursued and revered. But a girl who is interested in little more than playing the game should be avoided at all costs. Go with your gut; ignore your more vocal appendage for once.

I know that this is an incomplete thought, mainly because I don’t have all of the answers. I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think makes some women play the “mystery” card?

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28 comments on “Guest Post by Michael Deppisch: A Single, White, Male

  1. Jamie says:

    I can only answer this question from a woman’s perspective.

    Disclaimer: Since I already follow Michael on Twitter, I found it difficult to read this post without hearing the sound of Mitt Romney tearing up as he reads Michael’s tweets. Or was it Ron Paul?

    First, the reason the concept of women being enigmatic lingers so aggressively is because we want it to linger. It’s part of a flawed master plan. We often plant and water it as your mother, teacher, coworker, the woman selling you a designer handbag. Why? After 60 seconds of self-reflection, I think it’s because a mystery is much better than the truth. When I read a mystery, I love the chapters in the middle where there’s tension and anticipation, but the end – what does it have to offer? Regret that it’s over?

    As a woman, perhaps I worry that once the curtain’s pulled back, all you’ll find is a disappointing conclusion that leads you to the next novel. Or novelty.

    No more self-reflection. It feels wonky.

    • Fantastic comment, Jamie…

      I think the ideas I wrote about apply to both men and women. When we’re young we have such a limited understanding of love and relationships. We cling onto what we perceive around us (be it music, movies, books, etc.) and expect others to do the same. But as we get older, the allure of mystery gives way to reality.. reality that you can’t build a solid relationship on feelings and speculation.. that you must truly know someone and be known to grow in a healthy relationship. But that can’t happen if one or both parties are putting up walls and operating out of false pretenses.

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. “Quality women are out there. Trust me, I’ve met them. They aren’t interested in guys who have learned to play the game. They aren’t interested in just being accepted… they want to be understood and loved for who they truly are. And if she’s worth it, she’s not going to make a good man work for her attention out of some misguided desire to live out a fairytale romance. Worthy women deserve to be loved, admired and respected. They deserve to be pursued and revered. But a girl who is interested in little more than playing the game should be avoided at all costs. Go with your gut; ignore your more vocal appendage for once.”

    That right there is the real deal, Michael. Thank you for sharing! The truth is, when you meet a woman that’s not a mystery to you at all… when there’s an understanding that’s so deep it’s from a different realm… that’s when you know you’ve found her. Most of the time that happens instantly when you meet, therefore leaving no room to play games, nor a desire to. Then the only thing mysterious will be the connection you two have, not a mystery to yourselves of course (it will make perfect sense to the two of you), but to others who have never had a love that reaches further than earthly minds can even fathom.

    • Thanks, Christina.

      I’ve definitely seen this happen with many of my friends.. inexplicable chemistry between two people. Call it “love at first sight” or whichever cliché you’d like, but it definitely happens. I think the problem is, most of us don’t believe it’s possible–and we settle for something *far* less than what we deserve. And many of us stay in failed dating relationships out of misguided sense of loyalty.. hoping the things we know are wrong (and probably have from the beginning) will magically change.

      • Ashli says:

        Michael & Christina……thank you both for putting into words exactly what I was thinking when I read this post.

      • How about I just saw your reply Michael! lol Way to be observant, Christina!!! Anyway, glad you’re a believer!

        ” I think the problem is, most of us don’t believe it’s possible–and we settle for something *far* less than what we deserve. And many of us stay in failed dating relationships out of misguided sense of loyalty.. hoping the things we know are wrong (and probably have from the beginning) will magically change.”

        Dude! You did it again!!! =) I’m with Sharideth, ” Why are you single?!” lol

  3. Jennifer @jlcastleman says:

    Fantastic post sir. I have comments, but first I have to go get a pedicure on my lunch break. The mystery is now gone. My feet don’t naturally look this awesome.

    • aimeelee says:

      Excellent post with real question-forming material, Michael. This post made me look a little deeper (as I’m sure most readers also did) into myself and why *we do what we do* as both men and women.
      I think what makes women play the mystery card is ultimately out of *needing* to create a character that is able to hold the prolonged attention of a man or person we want the admiration of… or their approval because we don’t find that approval in ourselves first and foremost. Fear is a terrible thing and we are fearful people. Fear leads us to do ridiculous things, ultimately and unknowingly preparing us for the inevidable breakdown of either our relationships or ourselves. Identity crisis….serial dating….or the worst yet, never being truly & genuinely ourselves.
      I think we do this in courting, in relationships, friendships, and our jobs too. I speak only for myself so please take no offense, but I’ve concluded in the last year or so, [with the help of looking back to the person I may have been in years past and STILL wrestle with] that we form “characters” that we think are the most quirky, witty, smart, interesting, fun, pretty, and alluring folks, so that WE are the chosen….we become the person that is NOT dispensible, the woman that our boyfriends or employers, or friends can’t live without, or stand to pass over. I think that we do this when we likely feel that we are the total opposite of that- the one that isn’t good enough, or that isn’t intersting, or that doesn’t feel can REALLY hold someones attention for longer than a month. Why? Maybe from being fired….or from NOT being the kid picked for the kickball team…..or NOT being the most popular kid in school….or the girl whose boyfriend cheated on her (we would hope, now, ex-boyfriend). Regardless of what got us here, it’s most likely because there are a lot of hurt folks out there that never really invested the time to get healthy or actually believe in themselves. When we are women [individually] that no longer seek our validation in whether or not a guy finds our taste in music to be his perfect match, or our witty comments to be the funniest he’s ever heard, or the fact that we have the most interesting things to talk about (which sometimes, a lot of us just don’t), then maybe we can just like ourselves a little more and trust that the *imperfections* we think we have, may just be the most *perfect* things about each of us. I don’t know about you, but I like imperfections in other people, yet I have a hard time accepting them in myself. A little mystery is great, but not so much when you’ve become the Wizard of Oz.

      • Aimee,

        I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve often fallen into this trap–and it’s still something from which I’m recovering. In those cases I’ve built someone up so high that I sincerely believe that who I am isn’t enough for her… that she will quickly get bored with me because I’m not the “fun guy” she thought I was when we first met. Sure, we all have outward personas we use when first meeting others. It becomes a routine for coping with an otherwise awkward situation. It’s who you are after the ice is broken that really matters. And if someone doesn’t get that or understand the person we truly are, it’s probably not a good relationship to be in.

        • aimeelee says:

          Totes McGotes. 🙂 I thoroughly and whole-heartedly agree. I think for most of us, this is also just a “right of passage” in a way as we grow up and hopefully realize before we hit 40 that being genuine and true to the actual person we are is a necessity for our own happiness and that of others. Sadly, for those who don’t look inside and fix things, life will continue with the same maddening routine and the same ridiculous game until they end up sad and alone….OR with someone- continuing to make both their own and another’s life miserable. #truth
          Miss your face, dude!

  4. Emily says:

    Wait, what about girls who go to wine bars and talk about Paine and Tennyson?

    Time truly makes more converts than reason. I think it’s difficult to be a woman of substance some days because I have seen guys pursue the types of women I’m not. There have been days where I’ve thought, “Dude, maybe it’s easier to be a bimbo.” Then again, a man who’d settle for that woman isn’t a man I’d want to settle for. (Also, many people are perfectly happy in a type of relationship that wouldn’t work for me, and that’s okay. I don’t want to judge just because it’s not my thing.)

    I think the “mysterious” aspect (called “aloofness” in men) is related to a terror of being known. We think that if we were known, we’d be rejected. Many of us HAVE been known and rejected by humans, and that experience is hard to counteract. So we blame, put-down, defend, presume, and fight. It’s way easier to make men my enemy than make my insecurity and fear my enemy. It’s easier to blame women for being insubstantial than risk pursuing a woman of substance. But we can change this. I can change. It takes tremendous courage for both men and women to live to their potential and fight against insecurity. It takes a tremendous grace to accept Love. But I’ve found that only that Love will let me rest rather than striving to be “good enough” for God or man. And I think a courageous adventure like that contains enough mystery to keep me interested for a lifetime.

    My super rad friend @allyspotts said something I love: Don’t PLAY hard to get, girls, actually BE hard to get.

    Thanks for letting Michael say words on your blog, Sharideth. They’re pretty cool.

  5. The T says:

    As a guy, i don’t find any women who play the mystery card. Normally I’m the one who refuses to give much in the way of information. If there’s a woman out there who doesn’t give me the answers I would normally want to know, then I’m simply done…there’s a lot of women out there and I’m not tolerating the playing of a game with me…

    BTW…..you’re right there are amazing women still out there. I tease a lot of my readers within my blog (who are 95% all women), about the fact i’m catholic yet i crave Mormon girls…they seem to have a bit more of a puritan idea of being female and I adore a terrific lady…then again, I also adore an amazing slut… interesting concept…yet it’s completely true…

    T.

    • “I also adore an amazing slut…”

      Haha.. Well, certainly no one can accuse you of dishonesty. 🙂

      I feel like men approach relationships like a game of poker… holding onto their true selves until it’s called out on the table, or you decide to fold. I think we should approach relationships more like a game of Blackjack.. revealing ourselves one bit at a time until we hit 21. Wait.

      That analogy was going somewhere and then totally flopped. Sorry.

      • G Fresh says:

        Maybe that’s my problem. I’ve been playing the wrong game. I ask them if they have any 7s and they tell me, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to ruin our friendship. Go fish.”. 😀

  6. AMAZING post. So interesting to have a man’s perspective. I totally HATE playing the mystery card but here is what I have learned in life. From experience, if you lay all your cards out on the table and reveal all, guys lose interest fast. If you indicate that you are interested right away, the chase is gone for them and they get bored. The #1 piece of advice my mom keeps drumming into my brain is “Don’t be so available” and honestly I believe she is right. Especially nowadays when technology lets you keep tabs on everybody every minute of the day. Come on admit it, when a girl doesn’t answer a text or email right away, it does something to you! If she always answers then you know you have her and then lose interest. I hate having to play the game and flirt and push you away then pull you back and all of that crap. But what else should a girl do to keep him interested (aside from being interesting lol)?

    I agree that women who believe that life is a like a romantic comedy need a reality check or else they are going to be sorrily disappointed. As much as I love a rom-com I know that real life is not like that. That being said:
    ” And if she’s worth it, she’s not going to make a good man work for her attention out of some misguided desire to live out a fairytale romance.”

    Its not about living out a fairytale romance, its about a woman wanting to feel wanted. Thats all. And I don’t think thats such an outrageous request coming from one of the few quality girls out there 😉

    • Emily says:

      I super hate the “don’t be so available”/”be more inviting” games! It basically a “Go Directly To Crazy, Do Not Pass Go” card.

      The couples I know, love, and respect ()despite their failures) didn’t and don’t play games. They are genuine without being needy. They communicate without manipulation.

      When I start to spin out (or when one of my girl friends does) about whether to respond, call, or be the first to friend a dude on Facebook, or any of the other billion things that come up at the beginning of any relationship is, I start asking myself/friends “The Friend Questions:” Is this good FRIEND behavior? Would I reply/friend/invite this person to an event if they were my same-gender FRIEND? Would I be stressing out about this if they were my FRIEND, not my crush?

      It even helps when trying to determine other people’s actions: Girl, would you be freaking out excited and planning your wedding if one of your female FRIENDS casually asked out out for coffee? Dude, would you allow one of your dude FRIENDS to walk all over you like that or not return your call for days to confirm plans?

      Be very available, as available as you are to everyone. Be yourself: the version of yourself you are around your friends. If you snort laugh around friends, let it slip out on a date if he’s hilarious. If you’d pray for a guy friend and let them know it when they’ve suffered a loss, do that for a girl you think is cool. If you’d try to manipulate a same gender friend into chasing you by not returning their call for a few days, then let Sharideth knock some sense into you, cause that’s crappy friend behavior.

      • I agree with what you are saying and I like that “friend” analogy (definitely going to use that logic). I pride myself on being very real in the sense you are talking about (aka always being myself no matter what the scenario) but, I have found that when you are a little more unavailable, the guys act more interested. And if he is a guy I am interested in, I don’t want him thinking of me as a friend or putting me in the friend zone.

        Since I am the type of girl who is comfortable being herself, can take a joke even if its about burps or farts lol, generally act unreserved. Because of that I have often gotten put in the category as “one of the guys”. Everyone knows a guy won’t date the girl who is just one of the guys.

        • susanft says:

          yep if I hear just one more time that i’m a ‘great catch”, a ”keeper” or a ”sweetie” i’ll scream…
          if i’m so terrific how come none of these men want to be more than just my friend…
          I am beginning to think men actually do want the ditzy/mysterious/gameplaying biarch…

    • Emily says:

      @umcheckplease, I wasn’t trying to attack your mom’s advice or your experience, so I’m sorry if my comments felt harsh! It wasn’t about you, just the idea frustrates me.

      I hope you feel wanted and pursued just the way you’d like to be, girl! 🙂

    • If the guy is into you you won’t have to play the game to keep him interested.

      When a girl responds to a text/missed-call/e-mail right away I think she is more into me then a girl that waits to respond. If I’m into her and she starts taking longer and longer to respond I see that as a sign that she’s not interested.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Ultimately, I think women play the “mysterious” card because they don’t want to admit the truth: as a gender, we are bat$%#@ crazy. And, because honestly, none of their female friends ever womans up enough to tell them that they are acting spoiled or selfish or unbecoming.

    It’s true. And only when you accept it do you get to breathe and be real.

    And then, you get to have real friendships, and know how to be in a real relationship, and then someday a real romantic relationship comes along, and you can recognize it and embrace it. (Or so I’ve heard…)

    P.S. The romantic comedy thing- SO true. So sad, but so true.

  8. susanft says:

    the women would agree…we are out there. we don’t want to play games…and we don’t really want men who do either.

    The push and pull of courtship is fun, but mystery (ie playing hard to get/being elusive/telling half-truths) is just plain exhausting – and childish.

  9. […] But it’s a question which I’m not going to ignore, particularly since reading this blog over at the Guide to Women blog. And yes, I have been reading some interesting blogs over the past […]

  10. Rachel Felts says:

    I would agree with you. I think girls who intentionally flaunt their “mysteriosity” are really just attempting to camouflage insecurity, and doing it really poorly, which is why it comes out seeming like strange behavior. We are all unique and different, and our characteristics are not for everyone, so we need to learn to accept rejection. We wouldn’t want to be tied to every male out there either. When we start acting in certain ways to seem mysterious, odds are, the guys are eventually going to get to a point where they are just so uncertain about who we are that they’re no longer sure they want to be with us. So, be yourself, and accept that you, as you are, are not for everyone. And that’s okay. Good even!

    On a related note, though, I will say that guys and girls often DO NOT speak the same language. Let me elaborate: We think that what we want from you is really quite obvious and simple to give, and we do not understand why you don’t seem to understand how simple our desires are or how what you said flippantly could be devastatingly hurtful to us. We just want to feel pursued or attractive or whatever, and all that takes is you telling us, genuinely, that you miss us, want to see us, wish you could be with us, think we are beautiful or whatever happens to be true at the moment. When this doesn’t happen, we may actually start to question your feelings for us; though, in your world, the relationship is golden. Believe me, guys, the mind of a woman can be a dangerous place to get trapped. You would probably like us to be straightforward and tell you what we want you to do. But that would take away the joy entirely for us. We don’t want you to do things because you know we want you to. We want you to do it inherently because you feel that way. Maybe we’ve all just spent too much time being single and idealizing what the perfect guy would be like (frankly, it’s probably a case of us knowing how we’d date ourselves and setting up expectations that are impossible for any guy to achieve. But seriously, it would help us all if you tried a little harder to understand the way our minds work).

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