Musings by Richard Powers

Maturing Beyond the Sketchy Guy Syndrome

Have you ever watched little kids meet at a park?  What's the first question they ask each other?

"How old are you?"

The reason why children ask this is because they identify with kids their own age, and more easily become their friends.  Kids the same age are considered "us".  Kids who are older or younger are "them."

Most adults no longer make this alienating distinction, and accept people of all ages as friends.

When does one make the transition from child to adult?  It's often during college ages.  Since everyone matures at different rates, this transition may happen sooner or later.

            What does this have to do with "sketchy guys"?

A few men (and women), not many, earn the term "sketchy" through repulsive actions.  They behave in ways that strike others as creepy, judgmental, predatory or painful.  Those are the true sketchy guys, but they're rare.

However some younger students call a guy "sketchy" simply because he's older, often referring to grad students.  He might be a nice guy and an attentive dance partner.  And his extra dance experience may make him one of the most fun dance partners on the floor.  But nevertheless, some girls consider him a sketchy guy simply because he's a few years older than she is.

The good news is that not all women do this — only the ones who still think like children.  Most have matured to seeing someone for who they are — the real person beneath the facade.   If you haven't yet, don't worry, you will eventually.  Everyone does.  But you'll have a lot more fun dancing if you grow to the next stage sooner than later.

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