Friendzones, political tribalism and career fulfillment

Yes, despite protestations to the contrary, there IS such a thing as a “friendzone”(*).

Here is how this interesting article uses the term: if one is friends with the someone of the opposite sex (I am thinking of heterosexual people here), one can make a social offer and there is a good chance that the offer will be interpreted as a “friendship date” offer. I happen to LIKE this as I am married and many of my “do stuff with” friends are female. But the upshot is that there are complications if one is looking for a “romantic date” and the person you ask is already a friend.

This article talks about this; there is even a “calculator” in which one can make the following type of calculation: As a 56 year old male who is interested in women, if I ask a female friend *in person* to have lunch with me on Saturday, there is a 22 percent chance that she’ll see that as a “romantic date” offer. One can change the age, sex, sex one is attracted to, if the person is already a friend, if one asks by text, in person, etc. and one has a selection of activities and the day of the proposed activity.

By the way, this article has the following epic line: “(Because nothing says romance quite like “statistical modeling.”)”. 🙂

Tribalism Of the women I did stuff with, 3 are Democrats (1 Clinton, 2 Sanders supporters), and 1 is a Republican. (for now: I am still working on her 🙂 ) Sadly, our politics has become very tribal; much of the anger we see in society is aimed at “the people of the other party”. That is too bad; I have and have had a number of Republican friends throughout the years, and if I were suddenly single again, there are Republican women I’d be interested in. I’ve dates some of these in the past.

Of course, the ones that I like aren’t especially religious (one is even an atheist) and most are educated and most are very smart.

And yes, I am as bad as anyone else when it comes to being tribal; it is just that the boundary of my “tribe” isn’t defined by R and D.

Professional fulfillment: Paul Krugman has an interesting take on another article that argues that many professionals who put in long hours at work do so because work is, in part, their passion. Then he notes what happens when one gets older:

I just thought I’d add a note from further down the pike, as someone who’s a quarter-century older than Avent: the nature of the reward from work does change as you get older, although it doesn’t necessarily go away. The phrase that runs through my mind is “the end of ambition.” At a certain point you realize that it’s not about winning another prize, literally or figuratively, getting a promotion, whatever. (And yes, it’s easier to reach that state of mind if you have been lucky enough to get all the prizes you wanted.) Instead, it becomes about the craft, the service, just doing well what you hope you do well.

When that happens, you do lose some of the white-hot intensity of your younger years, and (in my case, at least) start trying to make up at least a bit for other things you didn’t do. (Music!) But there’s still plenty of work to do, and plenty of reasons to do it, with — maybe — some new-found serenity.

And yes: I am finding that I am less interested in putting “points on the board” and am more interested in perusing things that interest me and in filling in gaps in my knowledge.

(*) The term “friendzone” doesn’t always mean “unrequited love” though it often does. And no, it does NOT mean that the male is *entitled* to sex because a female does something with him.


April 3, 2016 - Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | , , , ,

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