Keep Your Pants On: I’ve Got Low Friends in High Places by Elliott Serrano and Kate Kotler

Posted by August 17, 2011 Comment

Elliott Serrano and Kate Kotler write for Bleeding Cool;

DISCLAIMER: Neither Elliott nor Kate are licensed therapists or counselors. They are just a couple of geeks who’ve had a lot of life-experience in – and strong opinions of – the geek dating scene. Any advice given here should be taken in the spirit it was given: freely and with very little thought to the consequences they may bring.

Pity those who would unburden their souls to this pair…especially to Elliott who has no soul.

If you have a dating dilemma you’d like Kate and the soulless monster to address, send it to

Dear KYPO,

There is this girl that I like and we’re into to the same things and what not. I’ve had good conversations with her about movies, mythology and a few other things. I’ve found that I share very similar interests with her. She’s intelligent, cute and when I saw her it was just fireworks….at least for me. Not love mind you, but this was someone who I felt I could approach and wanted to get to know. Or so I thought.

I’m 29, she’s 23, she just graduated college and is working on getting a job and just starting out her life I guess. I’m unemployed and I don’t have a car or my own place (I know these are deterring factors for me already but I just want to be heard at least). The problem or problems, as they quickly became are that:

  1. Her friend says that she is very picky about men. I don’t really trust her friend’s info, simply because she’s very protective of her.
  2. On the other hand, her friend said that she thought a friend of mine (let’s call him Greg) is cute.
  3. Greg knows that I like her, he is also very flirty by nature and does okay with girls (he doesn’t score really and is single) but he gets them to like him and open up. He does initiate contact and usually those girls reciprocate. But recently the ones he has asked out have turned him down. I’m going to be honest here, Greg is not a creep, he really is a likeable and good natured person. He just comes off a little too desperate to just “get in there” sometimes. He is a good friend, but some of his views on women (amongst other things) I disagree with.
  4. That being said, Greg pulls this stuff with the girl I like. At a party I went to, he was very flirty with her, they leaned on each other and a friend of ours took their picture and said they looked cute together (this shit has happened twice now).
  5. Greg says that he’s not interested in her, he’s just exploring how to unlock her “naughty side” because he believes she has one (by that logic, you can say that about anybody really). He also says that he’s not getting any signals of interest from her because he feels she’s just flirting back and playing the game (this I partially believe).
  6. Greg sees this as a game, I guess, nothing more. He likes to see how far he can get before he gets slapped. He’s toned it down now, but he still tries certain methods. Women do show that they are comfortable enough around him to be touched (whether on the knee or shoulder). I personally just respect people’s personal space and just let the girl initiate it really. I just feel like a creep if I get too touchy feely no matter how comfortable I am.
  7. It’s quite possible that this girl might not be looking for anything right now, since she just finished college and is trying to get her life together.

I treat women like people, which it sometimes seem the guys that I know seem to just forget. But then again the women they’re with don’t seem to mind. But I’m just myself, I try to have a good conversation, make them laugh and try to be as interesting as they are to me. In that department, I think I do okay at least. I hate these games, I hate the fact that we have to play them. I also hate the fact that assholes who treat women like crap make it difficult for me to get a date. I don’t know, it’s just frustrating. All of these problems are probably very silly and are really nothing to worry about, but I guess I just had to vent.

Basically, those are my troubles and that’s the situation I’m in. I’ve come to the conclusion that I should just move on really and not worry about it. And next time just be more direct with a girl that I like so I could just avoid all of these problems and unnecessary worries. Because in the end, it just ends up being like some bad soap opera. Unless you have any other suggestions.

Thank you for listening.

Geek Who Hates Games

Kate says:

My advice in this situation is two-fold,

  • A “friend” who publicly hits on the person you’re interested in, despite you having expressed your interest in that person to them, is not a “friend” – they are an asshole. And, most likely an asshole -who despite what they say to you- is also interested in the person you’re interested in. I would ditch this immature ass and consider the fact that you “treat women like people” is actually how grown-up men behave. And, thusly, you should look for friends who behave similarly. Women are not objects or waiting penis receptacles, and no matter how much your friend makes people laugh (because, let’s face it, who doesn’t laugh at idiots?) the reason why he gets shot down all the time is because he treats women like they are tits on a stick.
  • If you like this woman, stop over thinking it and just tell her. Don’t play games and ask her friend what she thinks of you and what kind of men she “usually” goes for – trust yourself, and if you are having fun with the girl as a friend and are interested in exploring something romantic with her – TELL HER. The worst thing she’ll say is “no” and even though that will feel like shit to you right now, it is not the end of the world. It’s entirely possible that she likes you, too, but thinks that you aren’t interested in anything other than friendship because you stand by and let your creepy-ass friend paw her at parties. Maybe she’s not thinking it that clearly, but I’d bet some money on the fact that this girl is skeeved out by “Greg.”

My advice in these situations is pretty universally consistent for both men and women: If you’re interested in someone, you should let them know. Ask them out. Life is all about taking risks. If you get so bunched up by your own internal turmoil that you never act upon your own desires, you’re not living… seriously, you’re not. If you like someone enough that you spend time thinking about how much you like them and wishing you could spend every second of the day with them, then act upon it and let them know. Don’t play games, this isn’t elementary school – asking someone’s friend if they like you or not isn’t appropriate. You need to go to the source and say “Hey you, I like you as a friend and as something more, too – I’d like to date you, what do you think?”

Yes, it’s possible you’ll be rejected and hurt. That happens, it sucks – but, it’s not the end of the world – that hurt is temporary. You feel bad for a bit and then you move on. And, you never know – one of the times you put yourself out there you might be met with the great reward of that person telling you that they feel the same way about you as you do about them.

Sitting around being passive and wishing for good stuff to happen to you is the surest way to end up unhappy and alone. Be the change you want to see in the world – go after what you want with passion and vigor. This goes for everything you seek out of life. Coffee is for closers, son – go out there and get the girl. Good luck.

Elliott says:

Okay GWHG, now that Kate has given you the well-reasoned, sensitive gal side of the issue, let me give you the guy side – and please forgive me if I’m coming across a little bit harsh but I think you need some ‘tough love’ here:

First up, as the lady said, your friend is no friend at all. Chances are he’s one of those wanna-be alpha-male types who gets off on dicking people around, both the women he meets and the male friends who let him. Sure, he’s passive-aggressive about it, but I’d have a straight up man-to-man talk with the dude and tell him ‘hey, that stunt you pull all the time with the gals you know I like is not cool with me. Either back off or find another running buddy.’

He more than likely expects you to roll over, and if I read you correctly, you always have. Yeah he’s not a creep, but he’s also taking advantage of your reluctance to speak up for yourself. If you ask me, “Greg” has gotten pretty comfortable with the nice enabling environment that you’ve been a part of. He gets to talk to the gals, while his ‘friend’ gets to play wingman, a “Goose” to his “Maverick” if you will. This sort of thing isn’t gonna change on its own. You have to change it. It’s time to nut up, and call him out on his behavior. And that’s as nicely as I can put it.

Okay, this next part is gonna hurt even more than the first…

BUDDY, GET A JOB!!!  At 29 years of age and still living at home, let’s be real, you’re not putting your best self out there. Now don’t get me wrong, I know finding a job in today’s market is tough, but they’re out there, you’ve just gotta be willing to get a little dirty. Cuz’ you see, let’s say for the sake of argument that you ask your dream girl out and she says yes, how do you plan on paying for that date? Without a car, how do you plan on taking her anywhere? (I sure hope you’ve got some good public transportation available.) And what if – and this is a BIG ‘if’ – you guys hit it off, um, where do you plan to take her if things get…romantic? Taking a gal back to the family household for some horizontal mambo can be pretty tricky. Trust me, I know from experience. My little sister still won’t let me live down the time I hurriedly answered my bedroom door with my shirt on inside-out. So, while a gal might overlook the lack of employment and independent living space for a while, it will become an issue at some point.

See, you say this gal you’d like to ask out is 23 and trying to get her life together, well I think you need to do the same. Unless this is a case of a son taking care of an elderly parent in lieu of hospice, it’s time for baby bird to leave the nest. More than that, you’ve gotta get out of your comfort zone, assert yourself more and establish yourself as an independent entity. Stand up to your friend who can be a dick at times; get a job where you can support yourself; move out of your parent’s place; and be your own man.

Let’s face it, it’s not that you hate playing games, it’s that you let the game play you. (How’s that for the turn of a phrase?)

Oh, and since Kate beat me to the punch by quoting one of my all-time favorite films, I’ve got another one for you…

When the people around you start seeing that you’ve decided to assert yourself, to stop letting things go by and grab ’em by the balls instead, they’re gonna ask: “Who are you?”

To which you should respond, “Who am I? What’s my name? FUCK YOU, THAT’S MY NAME.”

You know you wanna say that, right? And damn right, coffee is for closers.

Now, where’s my damn espresso?

Got a dating dilemma you need help with? Email Elliott and Kate at and we’ll do our best to help.

Until next week… KYPO

(Say it like “KAPOW!” – It’ll make it feel all the more comic-y to you…)

(Last Updated August 16, 2011 6:02 pm )

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