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TexasDude's avatar

Men, do you have a "Pedestal Girl?"?

Asked by TexasDude (25249points) April 18th, 2010

A female friend of mine recently made a very astute observation.

“Most guys have a pedestal girl,” she said.

“A what?” I asked.

She elaborated.

“A pedestal girl is a girl that most guys fall madly in love with between the ages of 14 or so and 18 or 20. To him, she can do no wrong and is this perfect flower for whom he would do anything for. He puts her on a ‘pedestal.’ If they form a relationship that goes beyond just secret lusting and endearment, it will be rather long and passionate, but almost inevitably end in failure and some kind of falling out. This relationship will haunt the guy long into future relationships and he will have an excruciatingly difficult time trying not to compare later girls to her. No guy ever truly gets over his pedestal girl.”

“Goddamn,” I said. “I think you may be right.”

Most of my male friends have that certain girl from the past that fits into this category; the lusty, passionate relationship from the early grips of puberty that just won’t quite go away. I know men well into their 30’s that will occasionally weirdly reminisce about their particular girl.

My question for you, dear Fluther, is this: Are all the guys I know just extremely fucked up, or is this a more universal phenomena? Have you ever had a pedestal girl?

The same friend of mine who pointed this phenomena out to me also directed me to this poem. I think it sums up the concept nicely.

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67 Answers

Thammuz's avatar

I do. It’s really stupid because, rationally speaking, i reaized she’s a bitch and she’s been so for a long time before i realized it.

Yet emotionally i can’t help but make excuses for her and her behaviour. Excuses which i wouldn’t make for anybody else.

I used to keep telling myself (and somewhat still think) that my first impression of her was correct, and that she really was pure and good, and that her becoming a major league bitch was only the product of those around her.

Thing i actually know to be bullshit, and bullshit i ordinarily wouldn’t care about even if it was true. But still i really can’t make myself hate her.

Everytime i walk past the house she used to live/lives in (i’m not sure) i have this little impulse of ringing her intercom and running, or asking her to come down and have a coffee, or something.

Sorry for the rambling and random comment, it’s not a funny subject yet.

Axemusica's avatar

Most of the females during that era of my life were most disappointing. So, I think I’ve past the point of that pedestal girl. When ever I meet a new girl I always just hope she isn’t as crazy as the other girls I met in the past. Although, there is one girl I remember when I was 17. She was like an angel, but she was already taken and I didn’t want to get in the middle of their relationship, but she would tell me about fantasies she’d have about me. I think if I had done something about it, she could’ve been that one girl, but I saw her as too pure and I couldn’t stand the thought of corrupting her. So, I did nothing.

TexasDude's avatar

@Thammuz, I absolutely understand. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been in a remarkably similar situation myself

@Axemusica, that girl sounds like she would sortof fit into the category of “pedestal girl.” I guess you can chalk it up as a win that she didn’t have some profoundly bad effect on your future relationships though, although I am sorry to hear that you have dealt with a surplus of crazies :-/

Thammuz's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard who hasn’t, really? So far all my friends have a similar figure in their life that i know of, i really think it’s more common than we might think

TexasDude's avatar

@Thammuz, I guess my friend is right then.

Thammuz's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Well, apparently yeah, except for @Axemusica. Then again there’s always a limited number of exceptions in any generalization.

Axemusica's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard You would assume that she would fit into that category, but I never think of her when “comparing” another woman. In fact sometimes it’s hard to remember her name. I only knew her for a short period of time and once I found out these fantasies she had about me I tried avoiding her, because I was afraid of falling for her and corrupting her. I don’t know it’s weird, I often wonder what it would be like if I did play out one of the fantasies she told me about.

“You were walking behind me when we were stacking those pallets and you just grabbed me, turned me around and kissed me.”

TexasDude's avatar

@Axemusica, damn, that’s heavy.

Thammuz's avatar

@Axemusica envy… growing… must not… give in

PhillyCheese's avatar

I used to have many pedestal girls when I was between those ages.

Axemusica's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Yea, I was the kid that grew up with the rough life and she was your typical goody goody with the family that cared and was christian raised and I’m not sure why I felt that she was too pure.

@Thammuz it wasn’t necessarily envy, but I did want her (and I do mean more than sexually) I felt as though I would be stealing her away from something that she didn’t know she really wanted. I really can’t explain it to well, or maybe I am doing a good job. I dunno, it was a weird time in my life and she was a light in a dark place, I felt was meant for someone else.

Maybe she was my light?

Chongalicious's avatar

Well, I’m a straight girl so I haven’t had one of those, but being one of the girls whose relationship in the past was fucked up by a pedestal girl, I can tell you, I HATE that this has to be the norm for most guys >.<

An ex of mine had a pedestal girl. He would constantly compare me to her. Even though in reality we had nothing in common! I knew the bitch, too. I hated her for what she did to him. She cheated on him with at least two guys. He still loved her. It’s been 3 years since he found out about this, and it still affects him.

She made it so he could never trust another girlfriend. He had finally told me about his trust issues near the end of the relationship. That’s when I said “If I’m so untrustworthy, even if it’s because of her, why the hell are we together?” He replied “I don’t know!” So we decided that being friends was best. We actually became closer afterwards without all the stress caused by the irrational comparisons…

By the way, last time I talked to him, he was still whoring around since our breakup because I told him that it’s wrong to go out with girls if he knows he can’t trust them. The whoring tells me, he’s still not over her. WHAT THE HELL! lol I don’t get it!

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I’m not completely sure this is an exclusively male phenomenon, nor is it all encompassing of males (it’s not the case for me.) I have some male friends who struggled with this in college, but not after. Such heightened hormones and emotions at that age cause deep rooted connection in your still forming brain.

cyreb7's avatar

I think I just recently broke up with my “Pedestal Girl.” It was my first real relationship, and she was amazing: I looked up to her, and I even called her my “Angel”; but things didn’t work out, and now 3 years later it is over. I know it will remember the relationship for a long time to come. It will be interesting to see how long I will dwell on her, or how it will affect my future relationships.

Sarcasm's avatar

I don’t have one. But then again I fail to get close to girls anyway.

There are girls who I met in that 14–18 range to whom I’m still attracted, but then again I’m only 20. But it’s not like I’ve put them on pedestals of any sort.

TexasDude's avatar

@Chongalicious, I was hoping to get a female’s perspective on this. Their seems to be a trend among girls I know that you fall into: when their boyfriends have pedestal girls from the past, the pedestal girl was often hurtful or even abusive in some way and the current girlfriend tries desperately to convince the guy he is better off.

@JeanPaulSartre, I almost added (or boy) to the question, actually. And you raise a good point.

@cyreb7, Good luck.

@Sarcasm, you’re probably an exception. You don’t have the weird emotional clinginess that goes with having a pedestal girl.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I know a few men who’ve had them, even gone on to marry them and yeah, bad things happened. The pedestal girl is the one love the guy goes all out for, he chooses her above all other women and he makes her feel that way too, he works his ass off for her, gives her whatever he can that will make her love smile on him, he doesn’t want to cheat on her because he actually enjoys her that much. In the end, she’ll fark him over, break his heart, his bank acct., humiliate him to family, friends and co workers and he’ll still go on and on about how she was the “love of his life”. He will be angry and jaded for sometime after and the women he engages he’ll not treat with the same affection, attention, fidelity or respect he gave pedestal girl, he’ll become a man of scraps and then be even angrier when women leave him, tired of scraps.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I have a pedestal girl right now

TexasDude's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, I know I wrote the question more with males in mind, but it obviously can equally apply to women or non-heterosexual folks as well. Any details you’d like to share?

@Neizvestnaya, sounds like you’ve had some experience.

Chongalicious's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I didn’t even have to be the one who tried to convince him. The only thing I did desparately was try to earn his trust, but I didn’t know how, as I had always been faithful and never lied to him. I don’t know why, but I just can’t lie to some people o.O

His friends were actually the ones trying to convince him that I was different. They were angry that he compared me to a girl I was nothing like. He didn’t listen…he made excuses, saying he wasn’t a good enough boyfriend to her, and the fact that he thought of her so much even years later pissed me OFF. I don’t take situations like that lightly.

But yeah, it sucks to be one of the “future girls” after a “pedestal girl”.

And by the accounts I’ve read on this thread, it’s beginning to scare me that I may be the pedestal for my current boyfriend :O I don’t want it to end…especially not a messy breakup like the ones experienced by you guys! HELP!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard
Heh. Pedestal Girl is recurring figure in my family lore and unfortunately in the lives of several wounded friends.

TexasDude's avatar

@Chongalicious, slow down and take a breath dear! That’s partially why I set up this question… so people can see how unhealthy the obsession with a pedestal girl can be and how it can adversely affect future relationships- and hopefully some of us can address that. Your input as a woman on the other end of one of these relationships is invaluable.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Details? Watch this – she is dancing the lead (ps: I am sitting by the mirror in an orange skirt having multiple orgasms watching her dance).

Chongalicious's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard That’s all over a year ago haha, I’m good now; just got a little fired up about past feeling I guess ;)

And thank you. I always like to be appreciated for my input here! I just hope that this pedestal phase in my boyfriend’s life will fade, and I’ll be able to stick around for it :)

TexasDude's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, haha, you look enthralled! and I can’t blame you, really

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard That’s what I’m saying! Yesterday, at a different milonga, I touched her belly ‘cause she was wearing a bra and harem pants, nothing else. I told her husband (who taught me tango some years ago) that I have a huge, huge, enormous crush on his wife and he said he hears it all the time. Which is true. But the kicker is she’s the nicest person, I mean completely oblivious to how perfect she is. Next fall, I am taking privates with her and I don’t think I can stand the fact that she’ll touch me.

cyreb7's avatar

@Neizvestnaya What you said exactly describes what my feelings were for her up until the “In the end, she’ll fark him over, break his heart, his bank acct.” part. When we broke up, it was not traumatic, (that’s not to say it was pleasant) things just weren’t working out between us anymore. I don’t believe that a traumatic brake up is a common factor of all pedestal girls; I think it all depends on the couple.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I had a pedestal guy, once. Still think about him.

Chongalicious's avatar

So I just thought of something to add here…what if both parties in the relationship put the other on a pedestal? What then??

j0ey's avatar

I think….I don’t want to jump to conclusions but, I think, I may have been a pedestal girl. I was going out with this guy that I had known since we were 10. We were together when we were in our late teens early 20s. He said that he has wanted to be with me since we were in the 7th grade (13 years old)......it kind of freaked me out a little.

I know that his new girlfriend still doesn’t like me all that much, and we have been broken up for nearly 3 years now.

I never felt like I deserved what he felt for me though. I’m not sure if he was in love with me or the “Idea of me”..

@Chongalicious….I think that would possibly be the perfect relationship….

cyreb7's avatar

@Chongalicious They get married? True love? Terrible disaster? All of the above?

Chongalicious's avatar

@cyreb7 @j0ey hmm…One would think… but I’m afraid I may be inside one of those situations haha because neither of us can believe the other one ever even wanted us in the first place! And now the boy is paranoid >.< But 99% of the time it’s pretty awesome :D

j0ey's avatar

@Chongalicious…...you are a lucky, lucky, lucky girl :).....awww thats sad that he is paranoid, does he not believe that you feel the same way?

TexasDude's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, that’s the stuff that great, tragic romances are made of. I wish you luck and I feel your pain

@DrasticDreamer, you’re not alone.

@j0ey, yep. That sounds about right.

Chongalicious's avatar

@j0ey Thank you! :) But it’s more like..paranoid that other guys will try things on me…afraid to lose me. He knows I’m telling the truth when I say how I feel, and that I wouldn’t let them try things, but he just gets fired up if he sees another guy look at me a certain way lol…it’s kinda cute sometimes, but other times I’m like..UGHH you know they got nothin on you!! Haha, it gets crazy at times

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I think eventually I will tell her how much I want and admire her. I never keep these things to myself. So, stay tuned..

j0ey's avatar

@Chongalicious I guess he just knows he has the best girl in the world, and he knows that every guy wants the best girl in the world….you know what I mean.

:) good luck….I hope it stays like a fairy tale for you.

Chongalicious's avatar

@j0ey Aw :) thank you again hehe

It’s not all fun and games all the time but I do love it! And best of luck to you finding yours :D

TexasDude's avatar

My conclusions are that humans are a crazy lot and our hearts never quite make sense.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, I’d love to hear an after action report.

filmfann's avatar

My first girlfriend. We went out 9 months. She treated me horribly, and left me with no self respect.
These days I know that marriage would have been a complete mistake.
But she is still The One, and I still call her Imzadi.

TexasDude's avatar

@filmfann, sorry to hear that. I have a question for you, though. If she was really The One, then would she leave you with zero self respect and a crazy complex? I imagine you deserve much better than that.

filmfann's avatar

I know, I know. It amuses my family, and they don’t know the half of it.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I married my “pedestal girl”, but I was 43 at the time.

SeventhSense's avatar

Puppy love is the deepest because it’s innocent. There wasn’t the extensive emotional fortifications that are erected and placed after a number of life experiences so it has a certain wistful and beautiful nostalgia that’s hard to top. She’ll always be there like a deer in the mist. Sometimes she’s the first feel of a soft breast under a sweater or tasty kiss but regardless I think most guys have that one that’s just burned into the subconscious.

TexasDude's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land, 20 years old, at least according to some of the answers here, is definitely not a cut off date.

@SeventhSense, I don’t think I could match the poeticness of your answer.

Pandora's avatar

What would be the rule for this pedestal girl. If you dump her wouldn’t that mean you had to push her off the pedestal. I had a pedestal guy, but looking back, I think it was just my hormones. He was smart, really good looking and a fantastic kisser but when I was with him, things were great so long as we were kissing and hugging and such. But when we were apart, I knew he could be trusted as much as a two cent hooker and I didn’t care for that at all.
I think all people at some point in their lives may compare past loves to current but only for a second and then remember that other person was more your imagination than reality. You saw them as you needed them to be and not as they really were. Reality is always harder than fantasy.
Now if she dumped you than I can see why she may remain on a pedestal. You never got to find out what was wrong with her or how both of you would never work.
So are these woman a pedestal girl or just a fantasy?

SeventhSense's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard
Thanks for the compliment.
@Pandora
It’s not about trust or a workable relationship or anything like that. It’s an ideal. We also tend to have an ideal of a relationship to our mothers as well. That relationship is also clouded with unreality but unlike heterosexual women, men actually have to form an attachment once again to an “ideal woman”. Maybe we’re always making a subconscious comparison to the original unconditional breast.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@filmfann Imzadi is a mighty obscure reference, that I just happen to be…er… “awesome” enough to catch.

kenmc's avatar

I did. It was weird: this girl was actually interested in my ugly ass (well, while she was drunk, anyways) and I just totally blew it. She would call me on a friday night and say things like, “we should hang out next weekend, just us” or “Kenny, I just wanted to tell you, you’re a good looking guy”. Albeit she was drunk, but a girl never showed interest in me like that before. I became somewhat possessive despite having absolutely no reason to be. We never even kissed but the memories of affection have yet to fade.

And it all still causes bouts of horribly low self-esteem to this day.

Pandora's avatar

@SeventhSense. LOL, could be. So the actual first pedestal woman is mom. That would actually make sense. Unless a guy had a crappy mom (and even some who do), most think no one cooks like mom, makes sense like mom, cleans like mom, or is perfect like mom.
The same goes with girls and their dads. No one I know is as funny as my dad was or as good.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Pandora
Ya I have a real kind of love/hate relationship with my mom but I can never deny that there is a deep affection there regardless. She literally supplied me with life in my infancy. It’s hard to top the primal power of that in the subconscious.

TexasDude's avatar

It’s getting mighty Freudian up in this bitch.

desiree333's avatar

Sounds to me like Michael and Hanna from the movie/book The Reader”.

Axemusica's avatar

hmmm, maybe that’s why I’ve never had a pedestal girl, since my real mother was never there and there was this horrible step mother in her place.

tuxuday's avatar

Yep i do. I can feel its kind of fantasy, because all those good things about her exists only in my mind. Not that she is bad, but i think i have given her so much power.

I want to do away with her, but just can’t.

Thammuz's avatar

I have a theory, based on personal experience so make of that what you will, on why this is more of a male thing.

Women tend to be idealized or, rather, the concept of woman has been idealized, so much and for so long that apparently many men end up doing the same at least once in their lives.

Then they grow out of it (hopefully) either because reality hits them like a brick wall or because they slowly realize it isn’t so, but the emotional attachment to the person the idea has first “aligned” itself to is apparently harder to overcome.

Males on the other hand tend not to be idealized at all, wether it be media or social idealization, if you don’t count fashion and perfume commercials, thus making it harder for girls to fall into this pattern.

Thammuz's avatar

@Axemusica I meant my envy towards you

thriftymaid's avatar

I’m definitely reading the answers here in a couple of days.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I never experienced that as a teen, being a social outcast (nerds were not cool in my day). I had to wait until I was in my late 30s for that. My Cinderella was an 18 year old red-haired beauty from rural Quebec.

Axemusica's avatar

@Thammuz oh, now it makes more sense, lol.

nisse's avatar

Yes, I do, I can identify alot.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I think I may have misinterpreted the question in my initial answer. I had no such relationship in my teens, as a social pariah I avoided such things. The “pedestal” as I misinterpreted it was my feelinmgs toward my lady. I placed her on a proverbial pedestal, more as a goddess-figure. She was (and always will be) my vision of womanly perfection.Beauty, grace, intelligence and perceptive wisdom. A modern-day Athena.

augustlan's avatar

I think I was one, at least once. An old boyfriend (we were like 15 at the time) of mine and I reconnected on facebook not too long ago, and he told me he still thinks of me as “the one that got away”. We’re in our forties now, and both happily married to other people, but he felt the need to tell me that. And I thought that was kind of sweet! Now I’m sitting here thinking “I sure hope I didn’t fuck him up for life or anything like that.” Since our parting wasn’t traumatic (we just kind of… drifted apart), maybe not?

TexasDude's avatar

@augustlan, I’d hope not! At least you both are happily married now and don’t have this ongoing pining for each other.

jeanmay's avatar

Hope you don’t mind if I come in on this one.

I longed to be a pedestal girl at that age, but I never was! I was totally smitten with my first boyfriend, but the feeling turned out not to be mutual. He ended up dumping me for this girl who had dropped out of college to be a model. Argh! I remember seeing her face on the cover of a magazine in my local shop not long after. Grr! She was the pedestal girl; how unfair that I could never affect a guy like that!

Anyway, time passed. I left home and went to university, and the next time I saw that particular ex he was hideously drunk; sweating like a beast and dancing on a chair in the middle of a bar where everyone else was sitting trying to enjoy a quiet evening. Any lingering nostalgia or affection I might have felt for him instantly vaporised.

TexasDude's avatar

@jeanmay, I think you probably should be grateful that you weren’t a pedestal girl. The evidence apparently shows that pedestal girls fuck up guys rather than have a positive influence on them. Thank you for sharing your input though, it’s a good thing that you wished to have a positive impact. Says alot about your character.

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