I follow quite a few dating coaches and I find myself going through a strange cycle of love and hate. They have a few really interesting points and concepts, and then they write something cliché that nearly loses me. For example, don’t call before 3 days. Or if the guy you are seeing only texts you, you must sit down and tell him that behaviour is not acceptable, and prohibits intimacy. A man who is in love will not so much as think of looking at another woman, he will only have eyes for you. Or, a real man will tell you he loves you every day, and a real woman will show it. Cute, simple and sweet little tidbits of information that have a funny way of making you feel horrible if you don’t follow through with what these experts say the ground rules are. If I sleep with a man on the first date, I have now given him the wrong impression and he will never call me again. He got what these dating experts say he wanted and now he’s done. Does advice like that really seem fair to either party? All it does is plant horrible seeds, and false expectations in each person’s mind. And it takes away our freedom to make connections, or allow us to enjoy where an individual experience leads us.
Obviously, I do not agree with a lot of advice columns out there, Dan Savage being one of the big exceptions. And my disagreement leads me to ponder the bigger questions. Why are we so keen to find quick, formulaic, and often arbitrary advice to interact with someone we are interested in? Why do we feel we need an experts advice to form a bond, make a connection and even just have an introduction with our fellow man? Why this desire for the middle man? Even in the work environment, if you are having troubles finding a job, the advice is to go to a head hunter, a hired professional who will be able to sell your skills to the appropriate employer. Why is our resume and cover letter no longer enough? Instead we need to be verified and backed up by someone else. We seek advice and validation, rather than risk falling on our faces, or making any mistakes in approach. And of course online dating has become a very effective middle man. A way to peruse hundreds of pictures and profiles in order to find out some tidbit of information that catches your eye.
When I was in my early 20’s I would go to the bars to meet new people. People were there to interact, make new friends, have one night stands, and just find that one person who was missing in their lives for the moment or perhaps forever. You were allowed to walk up to a good looking stranger, offer to buy them a drink for the chance to get to know them better. This is now very seldom the case. Bars are filled with tables and chairs, you go in big groups and you do not approach the lady standing next to you at the bar. I have had so many people as of late share this same experience or lack there of. Going out is no longer to meet new people, it is to socialize with those you already know. Why have we become so fearful to interact with our fellow man and potentially make new connections? It seems that no one wants to be single, and yet are missing all the opportunities to go out and do something about it. As a culture we are trained to be fearful of mistakes, falling on our faces or having an embarrassing encounter.
My advice is to stay in your shells, and whatever you do, don’t make eye contact with that pretty thing walking down the street. Do not offer to buy a guy a coffee, or ask someone in the checkout line if they want to go for a drink. Do not try and make connections with a stranger, or take a chance going out on a date with someone completely outside of your normal attraction. Do not join a sports team full of people you have never met and then go for a beer with them after the game. Why? Because it will allow me to stand out. It will keep my game sharp, and make it so much easier for me to have all the fun I want. It will continue to give me the upper hand, and make my confidence level stand out and give me the advantage. So thank you for not taking the time to make a new friend, I am out here making new connections every day, and I love it!
If you liked this post, and want to read more of her thoughts, go to Breaking Away From Monogamy.