Friday, July 31, 2009

Myth 1: "The Next Person I Date Will Be the One"

Today start with The Geek’s Dating Myth Number One: “The next person (or the first person) I date will be The One.”

A nice idea if you hate dating, but think about the statistics. How many people at work do you want to be friends with outside the job? Maybe two in a hundred. Four in a hundred if you’re less of a misanthrope than I am.

But, you argue, you’re not just randomly dating anyone. You’re doing a detailed selection process before you even go on the date. You read her profile, a friend tells you about her, etc. So you’re already deselecting a lot of people. Why couldn’t the next date be The One? For the same reason that the next movie you see isn’t going to be your favorite movie ever. And your favorite is what you’re looking for, if you’re looking for The One. You might really like the movie. You might watch it repeatedly. But do you wanna marry it?

Also, believing the next person you date will be The One builds up too much pressure. How could you relax and be yourself on a date if you knew that if you screwed it up, there went your chance at True Love?

And, after you have had a few dates with her, believing she’s The One that early in the relationship leads to obsession. Pulling up your email every five minutes to see if she’s responded to the email you sent half an hour ago, ruminating about what she meant by x, y, z, the constant checking to see if she’s online, driving by her house to see if her car is there, following her so you can casually bump into her. Even if she is The One, she now has a restraining order against you, so it’s going to be difficult to build your relationship.

The advice? Date more than one person at a time. Preferably four or five. Can’t find four or five to date? You’re being too picky. What is your prejudice against fat girls anyway? You’re not so slim yourself. Which leads to the corollary to this myth: “The woman I date must be perfect. I must have immediate chemistry with her or it’s a waste of time.” This is either snobbery, naiveté or fear talking. To reiterate: you’re just starting out. Do you want to do your practice dating with women you actually want to attract? You want to be good at dating by the time you get around to them.

Oh, yeah, and you will never be with anyone who fits your “ideal.” Every relationship involves compromise. There are some friends you love role playing with and others who drive you nuts because they insist on being the brooding Drow Two-Blade Ranger every single time (what is their problem?), so you don’t role play with them--you go drinking with them or watch old episodes of Star Trek with them.

Next week: Myth 2, “If we’re meant to be, it will happen”

Why the Geek's Guide to Getting the Girl?

This blog is not for you if you’re the guy who wants to date big breasted, ultra-hot women who you think usually go for the rich, good-looking guys but, no, really, they could go for you, too. This blog is not even for the average guy who wants some Maxim-esque tips on sex and dating.

This blog is meant for the socially-challenged, heterosexual male geek. Someone who has a high IQ, a vast knowledge about many things and a special interest in science and math, is on the cutting edge of technology and in many cases works in the computer industry, loves being right and correcting others on minutia, and has trouble fitting in with mainstream culture (and probably disdains it).

This blog is meant for someone who doesn’t know how to drink scotch in public and has had fewer sex partners than I have and is socially awkward because he’s shy, unpracticed, or suffers from social anxiety. It’s for the guy who has more online friends than friendships with people he’s met in person, for the guy who has never had a date, a girlfriend and/or sex.

Or if you don’t want to fess up to that, it’s for the guy who hasn’t had a date, a girlfriend and/or sex recently.

Sound like you?

Why am *I* writing this blog? Because I personally know a lot of you and I’m tired of your bitching about not having a girlfriend.

And because there is hope. Every last friend of mine who is chronically single in his 20s, 30s or 40s is single because he lacks certain social skills and dating know-how, or because he isn’t willing to take the risks necessary to find a lover--not because he’s too fat, boring, obnoxious and/or insensitive. Your friends and acquaintances may secretly believe that that is why you are single but those obnoxious bastards are wrong. In truth, fat people, boring people, obnoxious people and insensitive people (take me) are just as likely to be in a relationship as scrawny, interesting, sweet and kind people.

With you in mind, I’m writing this blog as a guide to help the geek figure out how to overcome the challenges that keep you from getting the girl.

If you haven’t dated much, it‘s easy to hold on to the beliefs you had about dating when you were in high school. It is time to shed these beliefs by letting them see the light of day and, like a vampire, become dust in the sun of our inspection. So next week I’ll begin blogging about the Eleven Geek Dating Myths. (I tried to make it ten, but sometimes ideas come in prime numbers.)