There’s this idea – mostly among men but not exclusively – that if someone likes the work you share, they can just “be your friend” without doing the same work on themselves to be able to offer the same amount of value you do, and to have commensurate social skills. This is also displayed whenever I get asked out on a date because the person read one of my blog posts.

It’s not that you can’t ask me out. It’s that if you expect me to have the same interest in you without your having shared the value I’ve shared in whatever post/essay/song/art-thing of mine caused your interest in me, then you’re already demonstrating that you don’t understand value the way I do. And I have no interest in someone who, in their first interaction with me, is displaying a knowledge of value that is inferior to mine.

This is tough information. I get it. It’s hard to hear. It means you actually have to step up your game in order to play on the level you want. Back in 2014 I did an interview with Todd of RSD. (you don’t have to watch the whole thing, also I’ve evolved beyond a lot of the opinions I stated here, but here it is for reference: Todd asked me what can a guy do to be attractive. I said “If I google you and nothing comes up, what are you doing with your life. Who are you.” Lots of guys got butthurt in the comments. But one of my PUA friends said that hit him like a ton of bricks. So he got a website and started a YouTube channel about his passion, veganism and holistic living, and he integrated it with his knowledge of attraction coaching and built up an audience. That’s what you’re supposed to do. You can be butthurt and call me a bitch, or you can start improving your life and adding value to the world.

People who don’t understand that their feelings of attraction/friendship are not inherently mutual are like babies who don’t understand that the world doesn’t disappear when they play peekaboo. If my work helps you, that’s great! But your liking me benefits me in no way unless you are either paying me or I want your love/friendship. So if you’re not paying me, your assumption that I want your love/friendship before I even know who you are is pretty presumptuous – which is why I feel justified dismissing you, because I already know you don’t get this. And if I get this and you don’t, that’s an intimacy barrier. Fuck, I feel lonely and misunderstood just tweeting at you. A “friendship” would be exhausting.

A lot of people have reached out to me since my “coming out as not poly” post got shared over 300 times. And most of them have been really nice, thanking me for putting feelings into words that helped them, and I’m grateful for the nice words, and I typically try to write back “Thanks, happy to hear!” or something appropriately appreciative. But some have reached out clearly wanting to engage in deep conversations about the topic, or stating that they’d like to “chat.” When I suggest that what they’re looking for is a paid coaching session, they counter that they’re looking to “be friends.”

Y’all, I’m an introvert with a lot of tight-knit friendships with cool people who are already close to me. I have a hard enough time making time for the people I already care about while also doing my work, supporting myself, practicing self-care, having a band, maintaining a blog, trying to crank out the next book, beginning a free web series, forming a new business collective, maintaining my spiritual practice, and doing my own healing work. This idea that I have the time, resources, and desire to be friends with someone from the internet that I don’t know is just… really?

The reasons you want to be friends with me are exactly all the reasons I don’t have time to go out of my way to make new friends. Sorry that this isn’t pleasant, but it is reality. You need to be your own friend first.