It’s time for another Post Mortem, where we take a look at reader’s recent dates or relationships and pinpoint just what went wrong and why. This time, however, it’s the good Doctor who’s getting his time on the examination table.
Yup, we’re going to dissect one of the dating misadventures from my past, look at what I did right, all the things I did horribly wrong and just how I might have recovered from things. And let me tell you, there were mistakes a plenty to be had here. Certain details have been changed to protect the innocent1 and keep the guilty2 from being sued into oblivion.
Incidentally, this is why I frequently recommend that you document your approaches with women, whether you’re coming in cold with a stranger or making a “warm” approach with someone you already have a social connection with; being able to look over what happened with a critical eye can help you pinpoint the areas where you’re having problems. You can’t fix your trouble spots if you don’t know what they are in the first place.
But I digress. I give you the case of the Lonely Soldier Girl.
Doc, you gotta help me.
Last night was one of the weirdest nights I’ve had in my life and I’m not entirely sure what just happened.
I’d moved to Austin about six months ago and I still don’t have much of a connection here. A I only have a couple of friends in the area, I’ve only been on a few dates from OKCupid and I work from home so I’m spending a lot of time on my own. It’s a little difficult meeting folks when you’re not in college anymore.
This is actually a surprisingly common complaint. Hell, they’ve made movies about this. It’s not surprising; college is one of the last times when you’re tossed in amongst strangers around your age and actively encouraged to make new friends. After graduation, most of your active time is spent at work… and some folks are understandably not interested in letting their work lives and social lives mix.
The best thing you – or anyone else in this situation – could do is to find an activity or hobby that interests you and find a group dedicated to it. Join an amateur rugby team, volunteer at any number of charities, find a writer’s group… something. Find people or groups who share your interests and join in.
But that’s another matter. Let’s get back to the subject at hand.
Not complaining, just setting the tone for the sort of mood I’d been in for a while.
So it’s Mardi Gras, and apparently Austin goes all out for it. I’m interested in going but neither of my friends in the area are available so it’s either I go stag or it’s another night alone with the xbox. I’ve got nothing better to do and I’ve never been to any Mardi Gras celebrations ever, so I figure this is as good an opportunity to get to know my new city a little better. Even better, my apartment’s within walking distance to 6th Street3 and all of the parties. I say screw it and decide to let adventure find me.
This is good. This is actually very good, especially if you’re willing to let go of some inhibitions and just talk to people around you.
It’s only 6 in the evening and it’s already crazy. Between my place and the first event, I’ve had a very large frozen Hurricane and somehow ended up with beads – I don’t really remember how I got them other than I’m fairly certain I didn’t pay for ’em. I got lucky; with the first party I hit was awesome. I’m there for ten minutes before I’m getting flashed by cute co-eds (I swear to God I wasn’t expecting that),
… someone else buys me a beer and I finally see one of my favorite bands live. By 9:30, I’m kind of buzzed, I’m having a great time and I decide it’s time to wander over to 6th Street and see what’s happening.
Before now, the times I’ve been down to 6th Street before have been… well, pretty crappy. I’d hang out at a couple of the bars downtown with my sketchbook nursing a beer and hoping for something interesting to happen to me. And by that I mean for cute girls to want to come up and ask to see what I’ve been drawing and hope things move on from there. It usually doesn’t happen and I end up shuffling back to my place alone and dragging the tattered remains of my self-eseteem behind me.
Well… yeah. You made two big mistakes every time you did this. To start with, you’re clearly expecting someone else to do all the hard work for you, which doesn’t work for guys. As a general rule, girls aren’t socialized to take the initiative when it comes to mind; they’ve been taught that the proper order of things involves guys coming up to them. You can get away with this if, say, you’re Gerard Butler or Brad Pitt… which you aren’t.
Secondly, even allowing for girls who do prefer to be the agressors, everything about your body language screams “stay away.” You’re hunched over your sketchbook and only looking up to take drinks… not exactly a posture that reads “come talk to me.”
And if you are looking up – sketching people in the bar, let’s say – well, you’re either staring at people, which is creepy, or you’re taking furtive glances before looking back down – which reads either as someone desperately trying to avoid being noticed. Not exactly something that screams “confidence.”
Plus, let’s be honest. Just about every girl in the bar knows damn good and well that you’re hoping that they’ll come over and ask to see what you’re working on. And this is telling them that you don’t have the guts to go up to them and introduce yourself.
So yeah, you’re kinda screwing yourself when you do this.
Tonight everything feels different. I’m feeling more alive than I have in a long time and I’m actually starting to have fun! Everybody’s having a good time, everybody’s talking to everybody else and I keep having these little mini-conversations with everyone around me. For the first time I don’t feel weird about going up and talking to strangers.
Ok, this right here? This is an example of how your outlook and attitude will affect your night out and why when you head out to meet girls you should do whatever it takes to get you in a relaxed and social frame of mind. Have dinner with friends, hit up a happy hour with some drinking buddies… something social that puts you in a good mood.
When you’re going out convinced hoping to get “lucky”, you’re already setting yourself up for disappointment. You’re already anticipating that the night is going to be a bust – that the only thing that will make a difference is *luck*. When you’re of the mind that you’re going out to have fun, you’ll be more focused on the fact that you’re enjoying yourself rather than obsessing about the negatives. You’ll also look like you’re having a good time, which will encourage others to respond to you when you talk to ’em. Everybody wants to talk to folks who’re having fun… they tend to be fun people.
As opposed to, say, the sourpuss in the corner with the sketchbook who doesn’t make eye contact.