Oh hey, I think last time I did a proper chatty ‘think piece’ type post was half a year ago when I ~opened up~ about my cringe issues and honestly that feels like a month ago, not six. Where is this year going? (It’s going to a lot better places than it was six months ago for me, that’s for sure) This is something I’ve been meaning to discuss in a blog post for a good lil while now and it’s obviously the sort of subject that deserves all of my time and attention so now that it’s Summer we can finally talk about being seen as a ‘challenge’.
Also, I really want to make it clear that I know men can be seen as a ‘challenge’ romantically or whatever you wanna call it too, by women and by other men. And that it’s not just men who see women as a romantic challenge too, anyone can see anyone else that way. I obviously just write from experience and what I know, and that’s a gal who has been called a challenge by a couple too many cowardly boys x
In all seriousness, I think when a boy (or whoever you’re talking to, I’m just gonna keep saying a boy cos that’s my experience but insert yours here) tells you they see you as a challenge at first, you take it as a form of flattery. Or at least I do. And that’s because they’re trying to use it as a form of flattery towards you. It’ll be along the lines of oh I always saw you as more of a challenge than other girls but that’s what makes me like you and I think you’re worth taking the challenge.
But let’s dissect that. First of all, if they do say you’re more of a challenge than other girls, they’re putting other girls down and reinforcing the views of other girls being ‘easy’ for whatever reason they believe them to be, whether that’s because they just think they’re easier to get to know because they’re more open people and don’t have as many walls up, or that’s because they think how many boys they do or do not get with equates to how easy or challenging they are. It’s a toxic mentality to have and is all part of the ‘she was asking for it’ narrative. Though sometimes they’ll just say you’re a challenge, not more of a challenge than someone else. But if they do start comparing in that way and it sounds like they’re buying into this misogynistic mindset, you should probably stop with them there and then because big red flag. Who wants a sexist boy? Not me.
If and when you are told you are a challenge in that way and you’re told that’s why they like you or that they still want to take the challenge, I get that it seems flattering. You think that you must be so fucking ***sPeCiAl*** because even though you’re being viewed as a challenge, they think you’re worth risking their big man ego to take that challenge even though they could fail because, ykno, challenges are difficult. (So you’re essentially being called difficult)
A big part of someone telling you that they see you as a challenge, but a challenge they’re willing to accept, is that they already think they can get you and that they can succeed in taking the challenge. Because you wouldn’t put yourself out there that much and be so confident in taking the challenge if you didn’t already think you could do it. It’s an ego thing. Especially with boys. Boys have ridiculous egos. Or maybe I mostly go for people with zero substance. But the thought of being able to succeed in the challenge of getting to the girl you thought was difficult to get to is a massive ego boost. Like who are we kidding? If I was going for someone I thought was out of my league and they actually liked me back (which doesn’t happen anyway dw guys) I would have a huuuuge ego. Someone with a blue tick slides in my DMs and I feel like an untouchable bad bitch. So I get it. But I think people might take on the challenge just to prove they can take it on, to boost their own ego. And they do not see you as the person you are, they reduce you to a challenge they’ll be able to complete.
It’s funny that I’ve been planning this post for a lil while and now that I’ve got time to write it, Love Island is on right now, and the whole Yewande / Danny / Arriabiata (sorry I can’t not) situation has just sort of come to a conclusion with Yewande being dumped. (And since I first wrote this post, Armadillo has too!!) I think you can apply this ‘challenge’ mentality to that situation for a bit. Yewande was the girl with her walls up, who on the outside put more time into furthering her education and her career than she did into finding any boys, who wasn’t a super affectionate person so struggled to actually show when she liked someone, even when she really did. PS if you hadn’t guessed it already, I am Yewande. Yewande is me. And Danny took on that challenge, and the second one of these boys who takes on the challenge (challenge here basically means a girl who is miles ahead in her brain than the guy is) finally gets a girl to let down her guard when she never lets it down for anyone, they think they’ve succeeded. They cracked the shell. They melted the ice heart. They broke down the wall. The fact that they did it is sometimes enough for them, and when they’re done it they can leave you high and dry because they got the ego boost they wanted. They proved they could break you. Now they’re done, because now you aren’t a challenge anymore.
That’s obviously one way it can end. Another way is that you don’t give in, you don’t suddenly become a super affectionate person when you weren’t before, you don’t suddenly trade your banter (I hate that word I feel like I’m in year nine saying it) for telling them every morning that you are blessed to wake up next to them, and they decide you aren’t worth the challenge anymore and just drop you. This is difficult, because when you’re originally told that you’re a challenge but they then continue to carry on whatever it is they’re doing with you, it shows that they think you’re worth taking on the challenge. So you continue to be the way you are, especially if they’ve said that’s what they like about you. And all of a sudden, one day they wake up and decide that you aren’t worth the challenge anymore. Maybe it’s been too long for them, they thought they would’ve broken down your walls already by now and because they haven’t, they’re over it and think you’re too much work. (And update: since I wrote this post about a week ago, sticking with the Love Island references, the Amber/Michael situ is currently falling out in front of our very eyes in the episodes at the moment, this seems like a mixture of getting a girl to let down her walls and then sacking her off, and getting bored and sacking her off because she hasn’t let her walls down quick enough for you)
Of course, there are always cases where someone might see you as a bit more challenging to get to know than past girls they’ve gotten to know because maybe you are a bit more guarded for whatever reason, but they do think you as a person is worth trying to get you to let that guard down so they can get to know you better, and it all goes well and you end up living happily ever after because you opened up to them and that’s all they ever wanted and now you’re all loved up or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, being seen as a challenge in this way is different, and just because you’re being seen as a challenge, doesn’t mean you’ll definitely end up being dropped by your boy.
The problem for me is those who see a woman as a challenge and nothing else. Like I said, they literally reduce you to a challenge. And they either succeed in that challenge then stop trying because they’ve completed the task they set out to do, or they don’t succeed and get bored and stop trying.
I also definitely accept that some people do need to learn to be a lot nicer to someone they’re seeing, I have been guilty basically my whole entire life so I’ll always hold my hands up on that. But I can see a big difference in those boys that dropped me because they either succeeded in the challenge or didn’t so got fed up of it, and those who just wanted more than I was giving them and moved on to find what was better suited to them in terms of affection.
There is a difference between seeing someone as a challenge that you want to conquer, and seeing someone as a person you like who can be challenging to get to know.
Please stop seeing a woman as your challenge.