Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Persistence Theory

As I was re-reading some of my recent posts, I realized that I had alluded to a Persistence Theory upon which I was going to expound, but which as of yet has gone un-expounded upon.

If I were to name this Theory after someone it would probably be Rhett Butler. No, not THE Rhett Butler. A guy in my high school's name happened to be Rhett Butler. Perhaps his famous name endowed him with some kind of overactive ego, but for the most part the guy was an overbearing jerk whose lack of self-esteem translated into treating everyone else like crap.

Anyway, there was a girl, Kelly, whom Rhett was interested in. And being the ultra-confident fellow that he was, he proceeded to date her, despite the fact that she was obvious too classy for him, and that he belonged with her the way mustard belongs with peanut butter. But here's the thing, they're married now. Not, to my knowledge, because he changed and became a great guy. No, just because he stuck it out.

I think most of us guys know a guy like this, who ends up with a girl out of his league because he is willing to be a jerk and not give up and just keep asking a girl out even when she's made it abundantly clear that she is not interested. Where most of us would not have the nerve to continue on after she's been clearly disinterested, some of us are willing to carry on as though things are fine. Eventually something changes in the girl and they end up together. And so the persistence theory is born.

The theory is that pretty much a guy can get any girl if given enough time to continue dating her or at least attempting to date her. If she isn't assertive enough to tell him to leave her alone in no uncertain terms, eventually she comes around to see things his way. If you, as a guy, are willing to persevere through the crappy time when she is obviously not interested and force her to be mean and up front with you, chances are that things will work out in the end.

Why is this? Is it because by sticking around for so long, you scare away any other potential suitors? Is it because, in a moment of depression and loneliness a girl can be convinced that you are the best she'll ever get? I don't know. Maybe the ladies can help me out with this one.

Sadly, I have not found that I am able to persevere enough to put this theory into practice on the grand scale, although with the one girl I seriously dated, there was a period at the beginning where I really had no idea what she was thinking about me and was just kind of winging it on my own without any kind of signals on her part. In general, though, the last place I want to be is some place where I'm not wanted. I hate to think that I'm the guy that every wishes would just go away and leave them alone. Because there are people like that and they never seem to know what everyone thinks about them. I hope I'm not that guy.

Addendum - 1/3/06: My older brother who happens to be married to Kelly's cousin and graduated with both of them informs me that I should point out that they are happily married and have 3 children and that Rhett does have some redeeming qualities. I assume this must be true and that really as a high school sophmore I didn't have a lot of interaction with so I'm limited by what things I did see.

He (my brother) also thinks that girls usually value the commitment shown by the persistor as that is something they tend to look for in men.


Smartie said...

Your Persistence Theory goes along with the theory shared by many that girls like guys who are jerks. Not me, mind you. Nice guys do not finish last in my book, though, the nice guys are often too shy to try to make a move.

Girls like guys that are confident. Persistence is different than confidence. If the girl solidly has the guy in the friend category I'm not sure that persistence will change this matter. I'm not even sure that I believe your theory because it worked in one obscure case.

I know of only one girl that decide to "settle" for the only guy that seemed to be around, and she was unhappy, abused, and ended up getting a divorce so not a good example. Let's throw that out the window right now.

I think you should test your persistence theory out on one girl. A field experiment, if you will. That will provide a good test and you'll get some dates under the guise of research!

Kirsten J said...

There have been guys that persisted with me and if there wasn't a prayer for them, they would NEVER make it out of the friend place and I would NEVER let them think otherwise.

However, I know a lot of girls who get impatient and bored...and become less sure of themselves as time goes on. That's when the persistent guy wins. Just so you know, Kelly could very well have gone with Rhett because he had her thinking nobody else would care for her as much as HE she started to believe it. I bet she knows she could have done better by now. She's probably so dissatisfied with her marriage that it's taking its toll on every aspect thereof. And she probably secretly wishes that she was with other men she knows, instead of Mr. Compensation. :)

Geobadger said...

I believe in persistence theory but not because the girl is won over to seeing things the way of the "Persister."

Here's my insight:

Girls are attracted by confidence but they also value commitment (probably more than confidence). A man who will stick around during times when a girl wasn't very nice to him is likely to be strongly committed to a relationship even through hard times. I think this is different than girls who like jerks (I think that phenomenon is founded in low self esteem of the girl).