Posts Tagged dating

Wingman

There was an event tonight I went to called Bring Your Own Wingman that was actually a pretty clever design for getting single folk together. I ended up going with Paul, Sophie and Ginger, although we made a dinner stop at Umi Sake House first (nom nom sushi so delicious).

The rules were simple:

  • You must be single.
  • You must bring a friend – a woman if you are a man, a man if you are a woman – and this friend must also be single.
  • During the event, you talk up your friend to other folk who are interested in them!

Really a brilliant idea, even if this one’s execution was lacking. You get a bunch of interested singles, plus the benefit of reference/perspective information from a friend of theirs RIGHT THERE in the room, plus the ratio of men/women is excellent. In thinking about it, I thought maybe pairs would stick together so there’d be a fair bit of 4-person chatting, which can be unfortunate (maybe two halves like each other but then the other two halves are left twiddling thumbs). A good addition to the system might be a way to get people moving around to talk with more folk?

This brings me to the execution part: when we got there, it was packed like sardines and very uncomfortable! (General rule: if I can’t walk to your bar without pushing people around, I probably don’t want to be in your bar.) So, testament to the event’s success! But I think a bigger venue, or just a better distributed venue – smaller rooms connected around – would have been waaay better. Plus it would have encouraged more movement! I’m interested in trying to do something like this again, but hopefully not as overpacked as it was last night.

(We ended up going to karaoke instead, obv.)

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#1: This One’s for the Ladies

Specifically, I am unhappy with my personal (relationship) life, so I need to resolve to take steps to “fix” that.  I understand that it’s not a problem to solve per se, but rather that I need to take positive steps toward improving my confidence, get myself busy so I stop overanalyzing everything, and get myself feeling better physically and socially.  All of these things I will resolve to do in the coming days, but first and foremost I think it’s worth talking about some direct action I can take to meet/get to know more women.

I use OkCupid (please don’t stalk me k thx), having been a member since like… 2003?  It’s quite a good dating website overall, but I feel like I’m spinning my wheels (and also I am unsure whether I’ll be able to find someone right for me via this method, since I have not done so in our time together).  I’ve also, at the suggestion of friends, tried other sites / personals listings.  Bill made a great suggestion to me tonight which was, just try to talk to more people.  So in resolution form, it’s:

#1. I resolve to message one lady I am romantically interested each day for 30 days.

I don’t think I’ll start this right away (either right right now, or right after the New Year starts) because like I said, there are a lot of other personal improvement steps I feel I’ve been lazy progressing on that I can do first to build confidence, but I think this is a great step for me to get myself in the habit of starting conversations that might lead to something rather than sitting around (which will lead nowhere).

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Ryan Dhuse

Although Lee and I started around the same time, I think Ryan was one of my first actual friends at Wizards that I didn’t work closely with. Ryan’s got a very similar temperament to me, and a very similar sense of humor, which means hanging out with him is great. Not only that, but he’s a good influence on me: not only did he get me into Wallyball, which is an excellent way to exercise and hang out with friends (which I have been missing recently due to trips and general fatigue), but he convinced me to go out for a beach volleyball tournament with him, to go to a singles comedy club night (where we met awesome new friends!), to enjoy the hilarious and interesting microtalks of Ignite Seattle, and just generally to go out and have a great time with friends, but you know, out!

Ryan and I have also commiserated quite a bit over love life – he’s much better at it than I am, because he doesn’t get all bogged down in overanalysis/regret like I do! – which has provided very entertaining and also character-building conversations over the course of the last few years. Ryan’s a great guy, and I feel like I learned a lot by example from him in terms of how to be more open/honest/friendly with women up front, and how to just get out and not worry too much about what other people think when you are socializing. Ryan’s also one of my go-to friends when I want to watch a movie in the theater, because he had an awesome childhood of “family owned the local movie theater.”

To sum up, Ryan’s totally sweet, and I’m very glad I have him to talk to when I am having personal quandaries and to join for adventurous outings here in Seattle.

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Prediction and Projection

I just got back from my date (yes, that’s why my blog is late) and it went well.  Not spectacularly, but well.  I hope we go out again! :)  Sorry, Eric, no essay quite yet!

The topic that was on my mind today was how humans are insanely good at projection – that is, putting ourselves in the place of others.  It’s why we are so naturally empathetic.  But more than that, humans are actually very good at making predictions (not necessarily being right about them, I guess, but that’s not the point)… and predictions are sort of like projections into the future.  I tend to trip myself up by putting too much thinking time and stock into these predictive plans.

Here’s an example – say that there’s a girl I like.  Rather than do the obvious, intelligent thing, and just live in the moment, I set up these imaginary possible futures in my head.  How would a relationship with this girl be?  What would life be like? etc.  I get so wrapped up in what things could be like that I forget to (or can’t) spend energy on what things are like.  This bites me time and time again, one of the major liabilities of being such a thinker, and you’d think I’d learn, but I don’t – and I think part of the reason is that it’s natural to default to exercising this powerful skill of prediction even if it’s emotionally negative.

My temporary (outer self to change the inner self?) solution is to be more spontaneous.  For example, I jumped in the Seattle Center fountain tonight during the date.  I was walking and thinking “man, I kinda want to jump in that fountain” and then, well, did.  She laughed and we bonded a bit over it, I think it was overall positive. :)  So that’s progress!

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Online Dating

Historically, I have found it difficult to transition from meeting a person, or being friends with them, to a situation where romance is a possibility.  I wrote a post about that.  So, from about grad school forward, I have tip-toe’d into the sphere of online dating.

On the face of it, it appears to be a wonderful way to both meet new people and to find romantic connections in a world where everyone is (theoretically) open to such romance.  However, I have found two problems from my perspective.  One, the line at how much to tell people up front is very fuzzy for me – I have definitely found in trying to communicate with people that I shut them out if I go on and on and on about myself and why I’d be an awesome match for them.  This applies to setting up a profile, too, because that’s your first foot forward.

The second, and more insidious, problem I have with online dating is that I have a mental block against going after lots of potentials at once.  I want to focus on one at a time, because (1) I feel better focused that way, and it matters to me to be as good as I can be at the first impression and the early communication, and (2) I feel really bad when I feel like I am leading on girl #2 because I am “more interested” in girl #1.  It just doesn’t seem fair.  I understand this is mostly irrational (projecting my own standards and beliefs onto others) but it is a surprising tenacious conception to try and shed.  This is a problem because the “correct” way to use online dating sites is to meet lots of people and sift down until the right match emerges.  I know this, but executing on that plan is pretty difficult for me.

The reason I am bringing this up is that I resolved to get myself back into trying to meet more people online via such online dating stuff, but when I went to create a new profile on a new site, I ran into the problems above.  I’m going to tackle it again tonight, and probably logic-force myself into completing it (not the best method, but effective!)

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