So AggieCon was last weekend and they
made the mistake of graciously invited me to be their Internet guest of honor and to run a couple of panels. The crowds were excellent, new friends were made and a great time was had by all; I’d definitely be interested in coming back next year. Hopefully I didn’t make a complete ass out of myself.
One interesting aspect of the con was walking around talking to some of the attendees and, occasionally, getting a chance to listen in anonymously to other people’s conversations. Over the course of the weekend, I made some very interesting – and honestly, kind of depressing – observations.
To whit: nerds and geeks are their own worst enemy when it comes to self-improvement and fixing their dating lives. There are a lot of you out there who are letting themselves be held back based on what can only be described as self-limiting beliefs. Nerds – for as progressive and forward thinking as we like to imagine we are – have a tendency to hold on to outdated or just plain wrong beliefs and attitudes. These ideas take hold and we just automatically assume they are right, granting them power and authority over our lives without ever even questioning their validity.
These beliefs sabotage our progress. They’re the annoying voices that hide in the back of our minds and whisper poison in our ears. They’re what cause us to self-reinforce our identities as “The One Who Isn’t Good With Girls” or “Hopeless Virgin” or “Pathetic Loser”. They cause us to miss opportunities because we can’t possibly believe they’re real.
It’s time to take a good hard look at what you believe and how to break these chains holding you down.
The Binary State
One of the longest and strongest held beliefs amongst men, is the binary state of skill with women. Put simply: men are either good with women or they aren’t. There are naturals and there are losers and there is no in between. If you are blessed with natural charm and ease amongst women, then the world is your oyster.
If you aren’t… well you’re fucked. There is no hope for you; the only thing to do is accept your fate and resign yourself to a lifetime of being alone.
And God help you if you try to improve yourself with women. Nothing says “Loser” like someone in the library or book store picking up a copy of “How To Meet Women”, amiright?
Even amongst people at the Dating While Nerdy Panel agreed: yeah, that’s kind of sad. This is part of why the pick-up community is derided as nerds and losers1 : because they’re people who’re bad with women trying to get better. Hell, this was part of what held me back for years.
Think about it though: why do we feel this way? If someone were doing poorly at Calculus or Organic Chemistry, we don’t think that they’re losers for signing up for tutoring. If someone was bad at basketball and sought out extra training and coaching in order to get better, we wouldn’t make fun of her; we celebrate the underdog who starts from a disadvantage and works hard to master a skill. Why does this not apply to dating?
Being inexperienced at something isn’t something to be ashamed of. Wanting to improve isn’t shameful. So what gives?
This sort of belief is actually comforting in a perverse way. The Binary State absolves us of responsibility. It removes the need to take ownership of an aspect of our lives. “I’m not bad at dating because of a lack of experience or an unwillingness to make potentially uncomfortable changes in my life, my love life sucks because of fate! It’s out of my hands!” Believing that there are two distinct states – Good With Women and Bad With Women – and that there is no transitioning between the two, means that we don’t need to take responsibility for the actions – or inaction – that put us where we are. We don’t have to face the unpleasant aspects of ourselves, nor do we have to face the risk of failure and rejection that comes with trying to make improvements.
- as opposed to the people who deride the PUA community for it’s casual sexism and antagonistic relationship with women [↩]