Ever realize just how much your attitude affects your dating life? Are you letting self-limiting beliefs and negative attitudes towards women and dating hold you back? Dr. NerdLove talks with Pandagon’s Amanda Marcotte about this surprisingly common problem.
So over the past few days and the past few articles, I’ve seen a pair of issues come up over and over again: the idea that men somehow have it “harder” in dating and that women set the social agenda in order to make men leap through hoops for their amusement. It’s come up when we’ve talked about issues with men displaying “creepy” behavior. It’s come up in dealing with online dating and the different approaches that men and women take with regards to screening out potential undesirables. It’s come up when we’ve talked about using Pick-Up Artist material.
Frankly, it’s rather annoying how often it’s ended up being a topic of discussion, usually derailing the conversation in the comments threads… but it’s also extremely symptomatic of a deeper issue when it comes to men – especially men who aren’t the most socially adept or experienced – and dating.
It’s about fear mixed with a sense of entitlement when it comes to women, sex and romance. And it’s costing men potentially rewarding relationships because they simply cannot seem to look past this issue.
So I think it’s about time we actually sat down and talked about it.
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 Nerds – for as progressive and forward thinking as we like to imagine we are – have a tendency to hold on to outdated or just plain wrong beliefs and attitudes.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.
One of the biggest fears that a lot of men and women have when it comes to the dating scene is the fear getting rejected. Whether it’s summoning up the courage to go flirt with the cute girl at the party or finally mustering up the nerve to ask out the co-worker that you’ve been interested in for the longest time, fear of being rejected keeps most people from ever making that critical first step.
Notice very carefully that I said it’s the fear of getting rejected that holds people back. Much like many other phobias, it’s the anticipation of rejection – more than the rejection itself – that causes people to hesitate. The expectation of being rejected is so disturbing and present that many people won’t make any attempts at all in the face of everything they imagine will happen to them when (not if) they get shot down.
Now, it’s not terribly surprising that men fear rejection; after all, you feel as though your very existence is being judged. Being rejected can feel as though it’s a response to you as a person rather than a reaction to the circumstance or situation. You feel humiliated. You feel like not only did everybody just watch you get shot down, but they’re all enjoying watching you being put back in your place. Now news of your failure is spreading like wildfire through your entire community, leaving you emotionally stranded as an object of ridicule who will never, ever be able to ask someone else out successfully ever again.
Of course, what you imagine is far worse than the reality by orders of magnitude, but being rejected still sucks. However, it doesn’t have to be the apocalyptic event that you’ve built up in your mind. With the right mindset, rejection can even help you in the long run!
I’ve noticed something lately. Something surprisingly common, especially amongst geeky guys. Especially among geeky guys who’re trying to get better at dating.
There’s a lot of you venting your frustration about your dating lives, in your letters to me and in the comments on the blog. You’ve been taking my advice. You’re approaching the women you’re interested in. You’re working on your banter. Hell, you’ve been hitting the gym for the first time in forever.
But nothing’s getting better. Friday night’s still the lonliest night of the week and you’re stuck at home, wondering what the hell it is that everyone else has that you don’t.
It’s all bullshit right? Who cares how much you work at “being confident” or not being “the nice guy”, none of it’s ever gonna help. Girls are just gonna keep throwing themselves at assholes and you’re stuck at home while everybody else in the world is having way more sex1 than you ever will.
That right there? That’s the problem.
Let’s talk about your attitude.