Transwomen PAY ATTENTION: Samantha is offering us a wonderful gift. In her YouTube video she explains how she got played by a guy after two (or maybe three) really good successive dates. But does she really get played? Or is something else happening here?
This is a fantastic real-life example of how our interpretation creates our reality. Huge thanks to Samantha for sharing her story! Let’s break down what happens (as Samantha describes it) and see if there could be a more positive, optimistic way of interpreting her date experience.
Here’s the video:
She starts by describing how often she is asked out by guys, complimented on her looks, etc. Samantha is an attractive woman. This should be no surprise. Then, she acknowledges something wonderful about herself that in our opinion far outshines her physical beauty: that she prefers to be upfront about her trans status. This is a great policy. We can feel her sincerity, honesty and vulnerability in allowing the guys to choose based on factual, honest, up front information. It also bodes well for creating a reality wherein she can meet her ideal partner on terms that make for a lasting relationship. Good for Samantha!
More positively, she acknowledges her own sense of hopefulness in how she likes dating guys and likes their attention even though she kind of is expecting them to not be interested in her being “pre-op”. Again, good for her for being optimistic in spite of her expectations. Negative expectations though, focused on over time, can cause us to receive that thing we’re not wanting. So it’s important not to dwell at all on negative expectations. Instead, focus on creating an expectation of what you do want. That way you create futures that are aligned with what you want, instead of what you don’t want.
Next she describes a date she had with an awkward guy she met in high school (Samantha is now in college). She expressed some weirdness on their first hang out. Later they have another date. She describes it as “innocent” nothing “too serious.” But he then asks her out that evening to a birthday party with his friends! Pretty cool. After all this time together, she acknowledges that she trusts this guy. So far so great Samantha!
All good so far! We imagine any transwoman would like to have this kind of experience, with a guy, are we right?
Next, she describes how flirty he’s being at this party. Frequent public displays of affection! Lots of interplay between them. Attention. No awkwardness. Wow. But it gets better. Samantha describes this guy’s first act of chivalry. Really, at this point, this guy is sounding pretty awesome! Then, as if one act of chivalry wasn’t enough, Samantha describes yet ANOTHER instance where this guy really comes through. Amazing! The whole evening ended pretty spectacularly.
Obviously, this guy was interested in her. He asked her out and they had a good time. Treated her respectfully, like a human being, etc. Everything you’d want in a date, right? Then he asked her out again. After the second date, Samantha, being an honest person who doesn’t want to mislead anyone, checks in with the guy to see whether he knows she is trans.
He does know. Surprised, Samantha wants to know how. Turns out the guy looked her up on Facebook and put it together. Wow, he even did his homework. Samantha is RELIEVED!
So this guy showed many signs of physical affection, attraction and interest without taking it too far or being creepy. On two separate occasions, he even displays some chivalry: once when Samantha mentions being cold, he says he wishes he could offer a coat for her, and another when they encounter a skunk.
There were many, many (did we say MANY??) signs this guy was interested in Samantha. Let’s recap them:
- He looked her up on Facebook ahead of time
- He showed her attention at a school function
- He then asked her to a party where his friends would be there
- While at the party he showed no signs of being uncomfortable with her
- Quite the opposite, he was demonstrably physically affectionate with her
- That evening, he again showed many signs of physical affection
- He displayed genuine care for her safety
- He displayed genuine care for her comfort.
After all this, the guy showed yet another sign of interest: expressing vulnerability. He communicated with Samantha that he wasn’t sure he’d be ok with intimate experiences with someone who had a penis. But he owned that shit. He didn’t make it about her. He tells her he’s interested in her. He said (according to Samantha) he was concerned about his ability to perform and didn’t want Samantha to feel bad about it. The way Samantha tells it, she was pretty mature about the conversation. She asks for more information, listens and did her best to understand his point of view. And we gotta give it to her for sticking it through when he used the phrase that tends to shut down conversation: When people say things like “it’s a deal breaker”, it’s hard to recover from that. Sorry Samantha!
By now she’s pretty shaken telling the story. There’s an emotion happening that should have indicated to Samantha that something was amiss. But Samantha hasn’t read the Transwoman’s Guide To Finding Your Ideal Partner.
Admittedly, the boy’s tact left little to be desired, but he was pretty freaking compassionate about her feelings and his feelings and more. Pretty mature if you ask us. And this was high school! He could have probably softened what he said, particularly knowing that Samantha would probably take that news harshly. But there are a number of things that must be considered here about this guy:
1. He’s young (as is Samantha). When you’re young, you’re not exactly equipped to handle intensely vulnerable conversations. So they tend to be awkward. Remember the last time you asked someone on a date, asked your parents for permission to do something you really wanted to do, but were afraid of their response, or had an argument with your young adult intimate partner over some silly shit? The fact this guy was even able to bring it out and own his discomfort about it was phenomenal!
2. He had the presence to acknowledge his attraction for Samantha enough to ask her out in the first place! He found her genuinely interesting and attractive and acted on those feelings. That’s great!
3. He treated Samantha like a human being the whole time. Never, in her description did he once treat her anything less than respectful.
4. When he did bring up the issue, he made it totally about him, while at the same time, considered Samantha’s feelings too.
So, we think we’ve made a pretty strong case for this guy. Let’s take a look at what Samantha does in response to this OVERWHELMING demonstration of respectful interest in her from, by all accounts a wonderful guy.
- She expresses doubt as to whether or not she will meet a guy who will be interested in her
- She creates a video explaining the whole series of things that happened (not sure she asked his permission – not that she had to, but it would have been respectful) as evidence for…
- Calling him out because he expressed his hesitation around something he’s uncomfortable with.
Now, we’re not blaming Samantha for what she did. We all do this at one point or another when we’re being unconscious of the fact that we create our reality. When we don’t know what we’re doing, we let our emotions run our lives while focusing on what we interpret as negative experiences over the positive ones (hint: all experiences are positive). We make negative interpretations, interpretations that create future negative experiences. And when we do that, we are blind to the overwhelming examples of positive things happening at the exact same time.
Rather than focusing on this one statement, this video could have been about how wonderful a guy this guy was and what a fun time Samantha had with this guy, a guy who really treated her the way (we imagine) any transperson would want to be treated. Samantha could be thrilled, ecstatic to have met such a guy.
It’s important dear readers, that you look at what’s happening here. Based on her interpretation, she took what was actually a huge opening of trust and intimacy between her and this guy and turned it in to a negative thing. Did she get played by this guy? Or did her interpretation play her? There are a number of alternative responses she could have had to this AMAZING experience with a guy:
- She could have focused on all the wonderful things he did, we mentioned them above, and relished both dates as exactly what she is wanting to experience with a guy
- She could have stopped and thought about why this guy was sharing with her how he felt about penises, then had a conversation about it. She did have a conversation, it sounded like, which is great. Perhaps she could have taken it farther: We don’t know Samantha, but if she’s planning to get gender confirmation surgery (we think that’s the right term these days), she could have mentioned that to him. Maybe if she feels this way, she could have shared how she too doesn’t like her penis (many transwomen don’t I know). That could have been a HUGE opening for greater intimacy and understanding. It may have taken the conversation even deeper.
- She could have just told the guy she understood where he was coming from, not taken it personally and asked any number of questions that could have make the evening even more special: Why are you feeling this way? What about penises makes you feel this way? What if I didn’t have a penis? What if I’m planning on having surgery to have it removed? Would you feel better if we just don’t have sex in a that way? How about if you don’t have to interact with it? There are innumerable questions that could have lead to deeper understanding and connection between them.
Isn’t it interesting, how instead how Samantha interpreted the experience as getting played? We do. Note too the comments on the video. A lot of confirmation for her experience as she tells it.
What we hope Samantha doesn’t do is create a persistent negative story about her experience that creates future realities in which she has similar experiences. Samantha has a long life ahead of her. That life could be (and probably will be) filled with joy and fun and love and intimacy with guys that will love her as her. Her life, as does everyone’s, will continue offering Samantha an amazing amount of joyful experiences where she is getting exactly what she is wanting. And at some point, she will realize this, then take charge and deliberately create an even more amazing life. The life she came here to experience.
Your interpretations matter.