• Evan

    So, we’re 3 weeks into the recent class already. I haven’t been getting in tons of sets so far largely because my mind has been largely preoccupied.

    I haven’t really written about it here before, but my the start of my journey into dating advice with was largely inspired by a total failure with a particular girl in my class (lets call her S) that I had an enormous crush on when I first moved to new york about 2 years ago. Without getting too into details (this is almost 3 years ago now… crazy) she wound up choosing another guy over me and I was pretty crushed. Still we became friends again over the past year and a half or so. She’s been single for the past 7 months or so, and about 6 weeks ago after hanging out we wound up hooking up. I wasn’t really planning on that happening – in fact, if you had asked me at the time weather I wanted to do that, I probably would have thought it was a bad idea because I’d be a little scared of getting caught up again. But, as we were hanging out, I was in general using better body language and touching in a testing sort of way and just noticed that I could push things forward and did. This has been about a once a week thing for the past 6 weeks or so, and overall it’s a pretty good situation. I think I’ve decided though through a lot of introspection that I’d like to date her. In fact I think this experience has been helpful in letting me better define my goals. I want to date girls that are at her level in terms of how attractive i find them. I haven’t exactly defined what qualitties she has yet that I’m really attracted to, but I should. I think in there is being really physically attractive, but in a sort of unassuming manner. That is, not really dressing up or showing off. Being super smart – probably smarter than I am conversationally and at intuitively understanding ideas. Having strong opinions about movies/culture. Something about people with really well defined preferences is attractive. Also being somewhat vulnerable. I’ve read a lot about how showing vulnerability is an attractive trait in guys, but, I’ve recently come to realize that I find that really attractive in girls too. I think part of what makes me feel really close is that she’s really really open and honest about family/work problems/stresses in her life and about how they affect her emotionally. Lastly, into trying new things.

    I think that listing out the qualities that I find attractive in her has given me a sense of outcome independence about the situation. I would date her – she meets the qualities I find attractive. But she’s not the only girl that does. In new york there’s many. So, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be able to move on towards finding someone else. I think this mindset also makes me feel comfortable pursuing her again.

    Anyway, the current situation is that although she seems to be pretty comfortable with the situation of us hooking up regularly, she also seems pretty comfortable with not pushing it forwards to an exclusive relationship. I’ve been talking to Chris alot recently about steps to take to do this. The breaking point of when people decide to enter a relationship is when both decide that they value the security of the other person (e.g. knowing they won’t lose them to someone else) more than they value the freedom to pursue other people themselves. So the goal is to make the security side seem more valuable. I think this involves two things. The first is continuing to date other people. And also being honest that I’m doing so (while not acting like i’m playing games to try to make her feel insecure). So, this really would mean I should step up my approaching of others and online dating etc, maybe being slightly less available, posting pictures of myself with other girls to facebook etc… And second is to continue to push our relationship forward and demonstrate more attractive qualities about myself. I’m still figureing out the sequence of steps to actually do this.

    Changing topics to actual in field stuff I’ve been experiencing. It’s weird, but I still get lots of anxiety from approaching. In fact, when we go out, I might get more now than I did when I started. I think this is because I have more of an expectation that I should be good at this now, and somehow this makes it feel worse when sets go badly. Obviously this is a bad mindset which is holding me back — you have to also feel able to fail without judging yourself. Anyway, i’ve come up with two strategies for combatting anxiety which have worked pretty well the last week. The first is to not think about the girl i’m approaching as a set for practice, but rather as a person who I actually want to have a conversation with. Before approaching I literally ask myself now “do I want to talk to this person/ do I want to get to know them/ do I want to take them on a date?”. Being goal directed in interactions like this helps remind you of the potential benefit of just approaching. This is useful because I’ve found “just practice” really isn’t enough of a motivator unless I’m out with the gruop and someone is telling me to go into set.

    The second technique I’ve been following is to break up the approach into the smallest possible pieces. We really broke into it on Friday and I think I get what that is. This means when I approach, I’m just thinknig about tapping them on the shoulder and turning their feet. Then I’m thinking about open ended question. Then I’m thinking about engaging each person in the group. I’ve found anxiety comes from when I try to think too many steps into the future and convince myself that I’ll screw up at least one of those steps. Only one step at a time.

    Anyway, doing this on friday, I only approached 3 sets, but they all went really well – lead to interactions which lasted 20 or more minutes. The second group I definitely could have escalated with the girl, but wasn’t super attracted to her. So, I’m feeling pretty excited about this whole thing again.

    I’d write more, but I’m at a brunch spot now getting dirty looks for staying at a table too long after finishing my food. Will write more about goals later.

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