I’ve heard it from so many Mennonite girls, including, unfortunately, myself. We gather into groups, giggling about boys. “Ugh, Bill just creeps me out,” we say, and then regale our listeners with hilarious tales of poor, uncool Bill and his attempts to flirt.
Let me list the reasons why I think this is destructive behavior that needs to stop.
1. We do it for selfish reasons
We call him creepy, not from an honest intention to warn our friends, but from an insecurity about ourselves and our own attractiveness.
“Creepy” serves two functions. It shows our girl friends that we, too, are desirable enough to have a guy pursue us. But it also clearly indicates that we would never stoop to liking him back.
And it puts the blame of our rejection on his shoulders. We rejected him because he was “creepy.” That’s his fault, not ours.
2. Labeling a guy as “creepy” ruins his chances with every female in the group
Whether it’s a youth group, voluntary service group, or Bible School term, once a guy is labeled as “creepy,” no girl wants to admit that she likes him.
Several times in my youth, I remember thinking a guy was perfectly normal. Maybe I didn’t have a crush on him, but I didn’t think of him as a non-option either.
And then he became “the creepy one” in our girly gossip group. And after that, he was a non-option.
That is just sad and unfair for the guy.
3. If a guy is actually creepy, it’s nothing worth giggling about
In your lifetime, you may encounter guys who are legitimately creepy, touching you or saying things in inappropriate ways.
We HAVE to make a clear distinction between the discomfort we feel because someone is behaving inappropriately, and the discomfort we feel because someone is awkward. The former needs to be dealt with by the appropriate authority figure for the setting it happens in. Depending on the situation, other women should be warned.
With the latter, we just need to give the guy some grace.
Conflating the two is a bad idea all around.
4. It’s okay to not have feelings for a guy, just because
I feel like we are tempted to use the term “creepy” when we don’t like a guy because, as I mentioned earlier, subconsciously we know that it puts the blame of our rejection on his shoulders, not ours.
This begs the question: Why do we feel the need to deflect blame in this scenario?
Do we feel like it’s wrong to tell a guy “no?”
Here is my strongly-held opinion on the subject: Just because a guy is a nice guy who may be a perfect match for someone else, doesn’t mean you have any obligation to date him if he asks. “I don’t have feelings for him” is a legitimate reason to not date him.
The same way that “I don’t have feelings for her” is a legitimate reason for a guy to not ask a girl out.
Don’t deflect the blame, because there should be no blame to deflect. Don’t say you rejected him because he’s “creepy.” Say you rejected him because you weren’t interested.
5. He might not even like you
Often the “he’s so creepy” speech comes when the guy has never even asked the girl out.
“I think he likes me, and it creeps me out!” girls will say.
Listen. Sometimes he’s just trying to be friendly, and he doesn’t know how to talk to girls.
Sometimes he’s just trying to be friendly, and he does know how to talk to girls, but he just happens to be weird.
Or you just happen to not have feelings for him, but you still want to be desirable, so you interpret his friendliness as flirtation and call it “creepy.”
Whatever the reasons, whether he actually likes you or not, this business of calling awkward guys “creepy” is stupid and it should stop.
Well said. Thank you. It’s a scenario that plays out in many ages & stages – tearing down the reputation of someone else because we want to be lifted up. How sad I feel that at 45 I am still seeing this among my peers. Maybe you have made a difference for someone by writing this!
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Pretty astute insights.
Here’s my perspective. I took a second look at the guy the girls dismissed because he wasn’t Adonis. He was overweight, he had a ruddy complexion, he had wynds (one of which was at the edge of his hairline and about the size of an unshelled peanut, he wasn’t athletic, and he was a geek. But, after working and traveling (for work) with him for a year, I found him to be kind, respectful, law abiding, moral, honest, funny, intelligent, and hard-working. So when he asked me to marry him I told him, “My Dad isn’t a Christian, so I’d like you to ask permission from the elders of my church.” They met him once. I prayed fervently in the sanctuary while they met with him that if God thought it wasn’t a good idea, that these men whom I trusted, would have the courage to say no. He came out of the meeting and said, “We’re getting married!!” I wasn’t quite sure what to think, but it’s been 30 years and I couldn’t have asked for a better friend and life partner. I’m thankful every day for those foolish girls who found him ‘creepy’ and couldn’t see past his size and red cheeks. I thank my elders for having my back. And I thank God for my precious husband.
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This is so true. One relation of mine, a guy who is close to me had the experience of hearing a girl in youthgroup say those words about him, and it hurt deeply. He is a very normal guy- handsome even, kind, godly, and has a very good heart. To be described as “creepy” was the last thing he wanted and hurt to the core. We also need to think how it would make a godly guy feel to be described like that. It is unkind and I believe it is sin even, to speak so thoughtlessly of one- and especially a brother in Christ.
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I could say the same exact thing…..
You are wise beyond your years. I have been learning lately how much I judge other people through my “observations” and I am recognizing how wrong this is. Thank you.
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Amen, amen, amen! Thanks for voicing this!
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Straight up real talk! Keep up the great work. [Mechanics: use italics for emphasis to avoid all caps. Gulp. Some creepy guy made me say that.]
I agree with this so incredibly much! However, I disagree with point number 4. If relationships are not based on feelings, why wouldn’t you start a relationship with a man whom you have no feelings for? Shouldn’t you be able to get to know the man and through that desire him? I fully understand that if the relationship progresses and there are no feelings whatsoever for him obviously he is not the guy for you. I guess my question is… why is “I don’t have feelings for him” a legitimate answer to give a guy when he asks you(knowing that he is a good Christian man)?
Agreeing to date someone you don’t have feelings for is a risk. It’s worked out for many women, but many other women have wasted a lot of time and emotional energy, not to mention their boyfriend’s time and emotional energy, hoping for feelings that never came. Women are not obligated to take this risk. There is no command in the Bible saying that we must date every good Christian man who asks us, just as there is no command in the Bible saying that a man must ask out every good Christian girl.