Dating Tropes Explained – Part II – Oneitis

This is an article for the guys who have been there.

I was having a conversation with an old friend about this particular subject, which is particularly frustrating for me because it’s such a roadblock to helping my clueless brothers (and annoyed sisters) out there, that I regularly avoid even talking about it.

But, as we all know, there’s kind of a masochistic catharsis to be had in ranting, isn’t there?

Today, I will be talking about oneitis.

Oneitis… what is it?

The term “oneitis” was coined by the pick-up community. Here’s a common definition for it:

oneitis (n.) –

  1. a disease of the male brain that causes him to form strong emotional attachment to one female that does not feel the same way about him
    Jack has crazy oneitis for Jane!
  2. the object of said desire
    When I was younger and stupider, Jane was my oneitis.

Sounds simple, right? I mean, we’ve heard this story before. Wasn’t that like “putting pussy on a pedestal?”

Kind of. “Putting the pussy on a pedestal” (“Mettre la chatte sur le piedestal” for my Frenchies) is a related concept, but usually implies that the afflicted person is at least getting laid. In most cases, he is not.

Thus, oneitis.

And this is where the true horror of oneitis rears its head.

All this, and the guy in question isn’t even getting laid? Ridiculous, right? It’s like being pussy-whipped without the actual pussy. I haven’t gone through that bullshit since high school when we were all told to just say no!

“Pshh, Vichet, are you serious? ME? Putting the pussy on a pedestal? Patently ridiculous!”

Liar. Deep down in your brain, you already know you’ve done this once or twice. But, deep down in your (idiotic) heart, all those smartwaves get canceled out by the stupid rays, so oneitis can survive dormant and undetected for decades.

For all the confused readers, I’ll explain.

To truly know what oneitis means (the horror!), you need context. See, many guys have this jones, where, after they meet a particularly wonderful (read: big-titted) girl, that girl becomes everything they ever talk about for a few days. Or weeks. Or more likely, months.

Here’s a short list of the things that make this girl “exceptional”:

  1. She’s “better than your girl” and you’re just jealous.
  2. She’s different!
  3. Not only is she special like a snowflake, she’s better than all of the other special snowflakes that came before, and (invariably) didn’t work out.
  4. This new girl comes with a complimentary completely new and unique situation that no one else has ever experienced before, including your boy Vichet.
  5. Clearly, guys like Vichet just don’t get it, because if we did, we’d see how awesome this girl really is.

Just so my lady readers don’t get their panties in a wad, I want to stress that oneitis is NOT the woman’s fault. Unless she’s a total harpy and is knowingly taking advantage of the man’s suggestible state – in which case, she’s a stand-up bitch, all around.

Anyway, some of you may be thinking “My god! My friend _____ has a terminal case of oneitis! We need to hold a medical man-tervention, stat!” You’re already breaking out the beer and porn, and booking a party at the titty bar in hopes of curing your boy.

But hold your horses there, bud. I’ve tried to help many a oneitis stricken friend, and know many others who have tried the same. It NEVER, EVER works.

I can’t tell you why such intervention never works. But I can tell you the mechanism. It’s really quite simple. Oneitis is the kind of disease, where the more aggressively you try to treat it, the more aggressively it manifests:

“Bobby McLovesick, you need to just chill about this girl, man. If she digs you, she’ll go out with you. But she won’t (go out with you/return your calls/acknowledge your existence), so she don’t.”

“No, Vichet, you’ve got it all wrong – she’s just not going out with me right now because she’s not ready for a relationship/has family issues/is really dedicated to her work/is on her period again for the fourth time in as many weeks.”

“Okay, well, if you liked someone, would you make time for them?”

“Of course!”

“So… she doesn’t make time for you, and yet you believe that she likes you?”

Bobby stares at the ground while the gears of irrefutable logic turn in his mind. Oh, wait, no they don’t! “Man, Vichet, you just don’t understand!”

Now, that looks like a stupid conversation. It looks almost fake. Well, scary revelations for you, reader:

  1. It’s not fake, though it’s generalized and abstracted.
  2. I’ve had this conversation at least a hundred times. I’ve even been on the other side of it twice.
  3. The real conversations are usually ten to fifteen times longer. We’re talking hours of what makes this man’s situation unique.

Bottom line is that this is a conversation I actively avoid, now, because like a common cold, the only cure to oneitis is to deal with it until it goes away.

The plot thickens – there are many KINDS of oneitis. Here’s a short list of the different species:

  1. Oneitis From-afarus – The victim develops unrequited love for a woman who shows no reasonably detectable interest in him. She may have been nice to him, once. Or something. This is the easiest to treat. Still annoying.
  2. Oneitis Just-friendsicus – The victim develops unrequited love for a woman he is friends with, who is not interested in him in this way. A little trickier, but he can still pull through.
  3. Oneitis Broke-upicus – The victim was in a relationship with a woman, usually long term, but for as little as a few months. She leaves, and he is left pining over her departure for a period directly correlated to the length of the relationship… times one thousand. He’s dead, Jim. Don’t touch him or you might get it, too.

If I had to relate to you all of the different stories (some of which were ME – I would smack me so hard if I had a time machine) I’ve heard where oneitis was the central motivator for the plot, you’d probably pour acid in your ears to try to forget the ridiculous things that men have done in their quest to woo uninterested women. I won’t even mention such morbid stupidity here because I’ve beaten those horses to death in real life, and I refuse to resurrect them on the internet.

Instead, I’ll cater to the thinking man, and tell him that there are many theories surrounding oneitis as to why it occurs:

  1. Lack of options – if Mr. Oneitis was getting laid regularly, he wouldn’t settle for such grade-school playground drama
  2. Lack of experience in sex and dating – the more you’ve been around the block, the more you realize that you’ve seen it all before
  3. Too many romantic expectations fueled by popular, well-known archetypes – Romeo and Juliet
  4. A deep and inalienable sense of loneliness and lack of fulfillment which leads to a man seeking fulfillment from others instead of from himself

None of these theories matter, in a practical sense (except for the last one, in my opinion… more on that later), because oneitis can’t exist in the realm of sound reasoning.

To a more practical end, you can find out if your friend has oneitis with this list of major symptoms. If he exhibits two or more of these in relation to one female, he’s got the oneitis real bad:

  • He makes excuses for a woman’s bad behavior – “She didn’t mean it.” “She’s actually really nice when you get to know her.” “That little disabled boy totally deserved it.”
  • All he talks about with you is how he thinks she’s interested. “This one time last week, I paid for my Vitamin Water, and she said ‘have a nice day.’ She totally wants to bang me.”
  • He has lots of evidence as to why his situation is or is not playing out. “Oh no man, see, she works really hard and then she’s tired and doesn’t wanna hang out, it’s totally normal. Plus, women hate sex, right?”
  • If it’s Oneitis Broke-upicus, he will say things like “but our relationship was so perfect!”
  • If they’d only gone out on a few dates and she disappeared, he’ll say “but it was going so well!”
  • He will rearrange all of his priorities around finding more time to spend with this girl. He might even say “She’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
  • … and many, many more.

Now, some of you may read parts of that list and be like “Awwww, but that’s so sweet.” That tells me either a) you’ve got the genetic markers for bad oneitis or b) you’re a 12 year old girl who doesn’t yet know how annoying it is to have a clingy admirer.

Remember that cause for oneitis that I highlighted? Just so I can tie this back to Table Theory, oneitis is a disease that strikes only those who have no capacity for mutual independence. Oneitis is a destroyer of relationships.

In conclusion – if you’re a guy that this has happened to, and you have half a brain, how about you treat your love-interest as an actual human being (who is possibly a shitty one) instead of an idealized avatar for the happiness that you refuse to win for yourself, and act accordingly? Right – I know why. Because if you lead a balanced life driven by self-actuation, reason and good decisions, oneitis would never happen to you, because you’d already be more popular with the ladies to begin with.

Womp womp.

9 Responses to Dating Tropes Explained – Part II – Oneitis

  1. Anna says:

    Could you possibly advise these oneitis…ers… on how to stop their behavior? I’m currently at the female end of this (although it’s a tad different, my admirer knows I’m with someone else, but is still content following me around and pretending we’re a couple when we’re really just friends) and it was kind of cute at first, but now it’s becoming extremely annoying….

  2. itsmevichet says:

    Just say no, and stop hanging out with him. That’s all I can advise for the female end.

    He needs that initial shove (of rejection) before he will start to seek help.

    Some guys need, like, 5 or 6 of these shoves in quick succession.

  3. Anna says:

    ….Right…And what if we’re a nice person who dislikes “shoving” people away….especially ones that we were once very close with, before things got weird?

    • itsmevichet says:

      Well, you can’t have it both ways, because you can’t reach inside this guy’s head and change what he wants. If we could do that, no one would ever have oneitis.

      You’ve gotta make the decision, girl, cause you can be damn sure he isn’t gonna walk away.

      Also, he may begin to resent your niceness later as “leading him on.” People with oneitis have crazy logic like that.

      • Anna says:

        Sigh, but I’ve had the “You’re wasting time with me that could be with someone else that actually could be with you” talk with him SO many times, and his response is always pretty much something along the lines of “But that wouldn’t be fair to that person, because I know that I could never love anyone the way I love you. I will always prefer you, and never stop loving you blahblahblah OMGILOVEYOUSOMUCHskdflksdf”

        Therefore, he is idiotically happy with being my admirer and doesn’t see anything wrong with wasting his time with me.

        PS. We’ve known each other for a whopping total of four months.

        Boys are so silly….logical creatures in every aspect EXCEPT love, it seems!

    • chloe says:

      anna – i’ve been there, too and also didn’t want to “shove” the guy because we had a normal, fun friendship at one point. but trust me, it’s all downhill from here and vichet is right that the guy will end up resenting your niceness, interpreting it as you leading him on. in my situation, i started dating a new guy instead of my “friend” and he was seriously awful to me about it. it was as if i hadn’t told him a hundred times that i did not see us getting married (or even being romantic at all) the way that he did. i do not speak to him anymore and life has been exponentially better and way, way less awkward…but i shouldn’t have waited as long as i did to end the “friendship”. i heard he got married to a girl he met after a few months of dating her…but he also still talks sh*t about me whenever he has the chance.

  4. itsmevichet says:

    You said: “Sigh, but I’ve had the… talk with him SO many times.”

    You’re halfway there.

    My first post: “Just say no, and stop hanging out with him.”

    Did you try the second part yet?

    • Too many people try to be nice to cushion the fall for the opposing party. But it only serves to give him hope that you and his friendship will blossom into a real world version of “The Notebook” where you two WILL wind up together after all the trials and tribulations of real life. Then he will die holding your hand right after he defies science using love. The end.

      The only answer: You will find new friends. You know how you just said “We’ve known each other for a whopping total of four months.” Spend four months getting close to someone else who doesn’t have an unhealthy obsession with you!

  5. Oniteser says:

    As a current sufferer of this condition I can give a tip to victims of someone who is like this.
    Read the 3 legged table story, odds are it’s not salvageable, so come out with a “No, not interested at all” in no uncertain terms, no room for interpretation!

    I am fortunate enough to realize I’m one of these people and am taking the steps to rid myself of this disease. But blissful ignorance is generally the order of the day with my type. I am a Oneitis Broke-upicus and due to her trying to salvage a potential god-knows-what-type-of-friendship it’s feulling my retarded-ness.

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