Not Allowed to Love

I am a giving person. For most of my adult life, I have aspired to generosity. Furthermore, I have a lot to give. I experience pleasure from giving. I want to give. I want to care. I want to help.

However, it is generally believed that when a man does something nice for a woman, it is because they have an agenda (romantic or sexual). Trying to prove that they have value or something. When you look at it logically, it’s a ridiculous thing to do, unless you’re talking about monkeys bringing food to potential mates. Nevertheless, it’s a thing that guys do. It’s one of the first things guys are taught about attracting women.

And in my social circle, I am known to be single.

So when I try or offer to do something nice for a female friend, especially if they are married or in a relationship, I am required to justify myself. Literally, the intended recipient will feel confused and conflicted and ask me to explain until I provide a satisfactory explanation. They want to know why I would do that. What isn’t asked, but it is what they are trying to determine, is whether I’m trying to be nice to them so I can get inside their pants. Only when another explanation is understood am I allowed to be nice.

It’s a deeply humiliating conversation. (Let’s not even think about how horrible it would be if I was trying to express an interest in someone, and how degrading it is that even my friends would be so careful to avoid it.) It usually makes the giving not worth it, and as a result, I have (mostly) learned to not offer any of the kindnesses that occur to me.

I am dangerous because I am single. You might inadvertently obligate yourself to have sex with me if you accept help from me.

It is perhaps this more than anything that has caused me to withdraw from my social circle.