The Things You Learn

I read long ago a trick to online dating was to put pictures of yourself doing all kinds of macho stuff and adventure sports in your profile. I didn’t pay much attention to that. A week or so ago I was looking at an online profile and realized I could put a lot more pictures up; I had three or so, me standing in a park smiling. So I put in a bunch more, driving a boat, paragliding, on a motorcycle, diving, stuff like that. And I got a lot of response.

I met up with a woman today and I was struggling to come up with something interesting. Small talk- weather, daily activities, etc., serves an important purpose in social interaction but to me seems to be mainly to grease the skids of formal interaction- you have some business with a person, on a one-time or ongoing basis, but it’s rude to only talk business so you chat a little about other things. In other words it has little purpose with women.

“Game” seems largely to be talking about the things women like to talk about- people, relationships, pop psychology, astrology, animals, what have you- that men not only don’t care to talk about but find kind of gay. I was trying to think of something along these lines- I didn’t have any routines, which I probably should have- but I stumbled upon some work stories which she loved. My work stories involved funny stuff that happened while I was traveling, and women love traveling, and doing my job, which is different and both sexes find interesting.

I had stumbled upon “demonstrating higher value”, which in an unvarnished sense might appear to be bragging. Men typically avoid bragging, as it’s an invitation to get busted on. The exceptions are aggressive, competitive guys of middle status- high status guys don’t need to brag, lower status guys are afraid to. But “DHV” as it is called is not bragging- it is organically mentioning something in context that signals status.

If you say “My boss really listens to me. He depends on me for good advice, the others are too afraid to speak up and they don’t know what they are talking about anyway” you will be taken with a grain of salt. If you say “The budget is always a big deal in our office. My boss wanted to cut A but I showed him that would cause X problem and if he really had to cut he should cut B instead” you are saying exactly the same thing, but indirectly and with an example. People get the point but appreciate the subtlety.

So many things about women are counterintuitive to nerds, as I have learned, but I never kept records and can’t remember many of them. Stuff that makes no sense, until you see it in action and then it’s “Ahhh, I see what they were talking about” and it seems too obvious to even think about.

I was at a social event the other night and it again struck me how tricky parties are. They really are an art to themselves; as much as I hate them, as you probably do, I need to practice. I was approached by a couple of people getting things going; I almost made the mistake of clinging to one; I glanced over at her after she excused herself, which was bad enough. How much talking is enough? How much is too much? When do you excuse yourself? Once you get past the anxiety- I quickly concluded there was no one there I wanted to know- it becomes just a weird, tricky problem.

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9 Responses to The Things You Learn

  1. Omega Dork says:

    Have you ever questioned why you even want to be around women? All my activities, women wouldn’t want to take part in. If they did, they’d be a drag on me.

    Do you want to have children?

  2. Genius says:

    You should get a dog and bring it when you go out with girls. Since I started doing that, I’ve never run out of things to talk about. As soon as the conversation seems to be drying up, I just turn and start playing with the dog.

  3. steve says:

    I too have a problem with parties. If I am among friends or truly interesting people I can be the life of the party and have a great time. But often I seem dull because I don’t think anyone there is interesting. Maybe it is just my problem, but I don’t like doing small talk crap. If I can’t talk with someone about a topic that I’m passionate about, I’d rather not talk.

  4. […] Omega Man writes on a trick he learned about online dating and other things. […]

  5. Sheila Tone says:

    See, though, the people to whom it comes naturally hardly notice or care that it doesn’t come naturally to you. So what if you “made the mistake,” it will roll right off her.

    A lot of people really don’t care what you say, they just care that you’re saying it. It’s harder for people who really put a lot of thought into everything they say. I hate questions about how I’m doing, because I really don’t want to tell them, they really don’t want to know.

    Haven’t you noticed — women don’t bother to “bust on” you unless they’re trying to engage you. You might as well brag, you’ve nothing to lose.

    I’ve noticed that diving seems to be big with techies. I’d probably do it more if I lived near the nice warm, calm Atlantic. The West Coast sucks for diving.

  6. Sheila Tone says:

    “So I put in a bunch more, driving a boat, paragliding, on a motorcycle, diving, stuff like that. ….”

    Dammit, dammit, I cannot believe I fell for your tricks AGAIN. You did no such thing! There are no such photos. If you are truly writing “to enlighten,” rather than amuse, you can’t just make crap up.

    As penance you should actually turn off your damned laptop and leave your apartment and go get a PADI license right as the weather is turning. You should also have to actually parasail. Oh, I am laughing so hard at the thought I have to leave and go pee.

  7. Sheila Tone says:

    In retrospect, I realize the alert was that 1) you claimed you had photos of you doing all that active stuff and 2) you’d never thought to use them before. You just suddenly realized you had these photos lying around unused. But photos of those activities don’t just *happen.* You have to plan those photos. They get taken by people you do them with, usually, and they have to be the type of people who are keen to stop the action and take photos because they’re posting them on Facebook or something. It requires high sociability. Yet you claim to be this near-recluse who can’t even approach women. It doesn’t fit.

    The persona you’ve created for this blog is a Frankenstein of mismatched parts. On the one hand he’s supposed to be this international man of mystery who does all this brave, aggressive stuff. On the other hand he’s supposed to be lonely and clueless about women — while still having the nerve to lure random ladies off Craigslist for anonymous sex.

    You should try living a little more like Omega Man.

    • Sheila,

      Certain details are obscured to protect the guilty, that is, me. But everything here has happened pretty much like I have written. I never said I wasn’t extremely weird, that’s kind of the whole point of this thing. I’m not going to post the link to my online profile, and I’m not going to put the pictures up here, as I’m trying to maintain anonymity while I relate my misadventures. But, yes, it all happened, believe it.

      Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

  8. raddark says:

    Sheila, let me just say to you this once.. you really have no clue about how human beings work. Your mind only has stereotypes and you play around with them like toys. But that’s it really, you only have a toyworld understanding of people.

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