Don’t Rush Dates – External Link: “Lou’s Guide to College Dating”

I like this Reddit author’s approach to dating:

… these dates happens in a span of 1~3 months. NOT 1~3 weeks, so DONT rush it …

if she rejects you, be cool just say ‘i hope we can still be friends’ and actually DO IT.

It feels like a much more natural, low-pressure way of getting to know someone and it isn’t specific to college.  I think it’d work especially well after meeting someone from online dating.


Online Dating

Ted: There’s no stigma anymore [with online dating].
Robin: Oh, there’s a stigma. That’s why people always say “There’s no stigma anymore.”

  – How I Met Your Mother: Season 3 Episode 5 (2007)

Many people use online dating but not everyone admits to using it. It’s become so common that some claim it is second only to being introduced by friends. Online dating allows you to meet people that would never otherwise interact with in “real life” and it can be done with a lower time investment. While it has shortcomings, it is a useful supplement to all the other ways of meeting people.

Let me address common criticisms of online dating that may be keeping you away from it:

  1. There’s lot of desperate/undesirable/weird people and fake profiles: Yes, and at a higher rate than in real life. But I’ve now seen multiple friends in relationships, and even marriages, that originated online.
  2. Women are inundated with messages, but even the most desirable men rarely receive any replies: Absolutely true. But remember that dating is a two-sided market. Women may be having all the choice but ultimately they eventually have to choose that one lucky man who put in the effort – which could be you.
  3. I’m in my early 20s and online dating is for “old” people: It does skew older but I have gone on dates with younger people.

My tips for online dating:

  1. Don’t pay for it: In big cities, common free websites probably work as well or better e.g.
  2. Get professionally done photos: It makes an enormous difference since people make snap judgments about your profile.
  3. Don’t get too emotionally invested in any one person/stranger: The reply rate is so low that it’s not worth your time. Just do a quick scan of their profile and if anything seems interesting to you, send a quick message referencing that and mentioning something interesting about you. The alternative approach is where you send every prospect a cut-and-paste message that sounds personalized but isn’t, without even reading their profile. This gives you greater volume but a lower reply rate.
  4. Avoid burnout, especially if you are not getting replies: Don’t spend hours every night on the website or you’ll get discouraged. Just message 1 or 2 people every couple of days. Use the rest of your time meeting people in real life.
  5. Only message people who have been online in the last day: They are far more likely to be active and to read your message. There are so many people on online dating that it doesn’t matter if you miss people by using such a filter.
  6. Be open-minded: Most people are mistaken when it comes to predicting who they will fall in love with. Use online dating as a way to casually date many people quickly, so that you can get an idea of actual deal breakers. If you instead restrict your criteria to “physically attractive Ivy League Masters graduate, within 2 years of my age, is of a particular race, knows how to cook & speak Klingon”, then you are denying yourself the ability to experiment and learn more about who you actually like. Oh, and you forgot that the Klingon speaker has to like you back too.

So until next time my friends, keep online dating!

External Link: “How to Pick Your Life Partner” by Wait But Why

I thought this article was a very interesting reflection on dating and marriage.  Here’s a tidbit:

… people are often still timid to say they met their spouse on a dating site. The respectable way to meet a life partner is by dumb luck, by bumping into them randomly or being introduced to them from within your little pool. Fortunately, this stigma is diminishing with time, but that it’s there at all is a reflection of how illogical the socially accepted dating rulebook is.

Does She Like Me?

In short, the answer is “No”.

Let’s step back for a bit to examine why.

Firstly, recognize that a good friendship is a significant part of a good romantic relationship. As an aside, note that a relationship also involves a physical aspect, otherwise you are probably just friends.

Suppose you have a same-sex “friend” that continually ignores your emails, always turns you down in-person when you ask them to hang out, and never invites you to their parties? They aren’t being your friend, are they? Hey, maybe they don’t even remember your name!

So what should you do? Well, you should stop trying to hang out with them and you should make other friends because they clearly don’t like you.

You don’t have to be told that they don’t like you – their actions speaks for themselves. You would only be making a fool of yourself by asking “Why aren’t you my friend?” or “What is the state of our friendship?” The only possible outcome is being told something defensive and humiliating, not to mention being defriended on Facebook.

Look, everyone is different. As long as you aren’t completely far removed from social norms, you’ll be compatible with some people, but probably only about 15% of the population.

What makes people compatible? What gives rise to chemistry in dating relationships? It’s hard to say but it probably includes things like similar values, upbringing, socioeconomic status, and levels of physical attractiveness.

So back to the girl in the title of this blog entry. If you have doubts about whether she likes you, the bottom line is that she probably doesn’t. If a girl likes you, she won’t hide that fact because she’s looking for a partner too and doesn’t want to risk losing a great catch (i.e. you). Unless of course the girl is playing mind games but in that case, you should ditch her anyway.

Stopping begging for people to like you – seek out those who like you for who you are and spend quality time with them.

Until next time my friends, keep dating!

I Don’t Have Time

Do you frequently catch yourself saying things like these?

  1.   I don’t have time to date.
  2.   I want to lose weight but I don’t have the time.
  3.   I’m too busy to meet new people.

Unless you are ill, have a short-term work/school deadline, or are caught up in any other debilitating situation, it’s absolutely false that you have no time.

Are you really completely booked 24 hours a day and are powerless to change anything? If the subway train runs unexpectedly late and you lose 30 minutes of your day, are you now unable to live your life because you now have 24 hours, 30 minutes of stuff to do in 24 hours?

If you are chronically busy with work, think about the “flu test”: If you catch the flu – out of no fault of your own – you are pretty much out of action for the next 10 days. Does your company fold without you? Do you get fired from your job? If either of these is true, you need to learn to delegate and/or get a different job. Work should not be needing you 24/7. You work to live, not live to work.

The reality isn’t that you don’t have enough time to do X. It’s that your prioritize X below everything else in your life.

Remember that all your behaviors in life define you.

You might think that you want to lose weight, but if you prioritize it below everything else, guess what? Your behavior says that you don’t really want to lose that weight – no matter what you tell yourself.

When an old acquaintance asks you to meet for lunch and you decline because of “a lack of time”, you are saying that s/he is less important than everything in your life – including watching TV. That’s a bit rude, not to mention that they could have introduced you to their single friends.

The bottom line is that you have time for the important things and important people in your life. Prioritize them.

Until next time my friends, keep dating!

Your Behavior Defines You

When it comes to overcoming perpetual singleness, an often shared piece of advice is to “be yourself”.

This is terrible advice!

After all, you are being yourself and you are single. Other variations include:

  1. When you stop looking, you will start finding.
  2. If it’s going to happen, it will happen.
  3. You’re trying too hard.

But it is insane to think that sitting on your couch watching The Big Bang Theory will result in you meeting a beautiful girl – she having waited for that perfect moment when you had decided to “stop looking”.

What you should do instead is to change your everyday behavior:

  1. Do you regularly meet new acquaintances and make new friends? This is the best way to meet dates, or friends that can introduce you to dates. If your life only consists of going to work and playing video games, you need to change that. If you have a closed social group that only consists of single guys that know other single guys, break out of that cycle and meet other people.
  2. Are you ever seen in public? The chance of you meeting someone in your car or shopping online is practically zero. While the chance of you randomly becoming friends with someone at the bus stop or at the supermarket is small, it’s still greater than zero.
  3. Does your hair, clothing and/or body weight make you look relatively mainstream or weird? Do you think that a date would describe you as “awkward” and/or be embarrassed to be seen with you? Change your appearance if necessary.
  4. Do you give good first impressions, or do you say things that tend to put people off? If you don’t have good social skills, go to events where you can practice.
  5. Do you fit roughly into cultural norms? For instance, in some religions, pre-marital sex is taboo. But in America, 90% of adults expect to have sex before marriage. You can either change to fit into the culture or you should hang out with people who share your values. Another example is that a man who is done with schooling is generally expected to have a job or they will be at the bottom of the dating market.
  6. Are you too picky? Do you turn down perfectly viable dates because of looks, race, money, or social status?
  7. Do you do some amount of online dating, to broaden your chances?

Everything you do – your behavior – defines your life. It doesn’t even matter if you think positive thoughts like “I am a desirable person and will soon meet The One”. If you continue with behaviors that don’t work, positive thinking will do nothing.

To be fair, if you do think positive thoughts, it may help you change your behavior. But there is a big difference between “may” and “will”.

So think about what behaviors are holding you back and change them. Whatever you do, don’t be yourself – be your best possible self.

Until next time my friends, keep dating!