Last night, I was determined not to get wound up about CDave and his neither-here-nor-there email. He mentioned that his internet access was going to be limited, but I wrote him back instead of calling (I hate the phone, except to talk to my mother and make plans). I decided I would show a little more enthusiasm in my note and mentioned that I had a lot of fun on Friday and would like to do it again (interpret "it" as you will). I knew it could be a couple of days before I heard from him, and in the meantime I was keeping part of my weekend open, just in case.
In the pick-up community there is something known as "oneitis", which is when you get hung up on a single person. Sometimes oneitis leads to a relationship and other times it leads to a big wad of misery.
I felt the beginning symptoms of oneitis toward CDave appear, and I decided to take action to calm my neurotic little heart. I excercised. I meditated. I went back online and wrote to a couple of men. I have a date with a new one tomorrow. Oneitis symptoms cured.
This is where stamina comes in. Dating is, in some ways, like long-distance running. Things will go and go and go, uphill and downhill. Sooner or later, you may get a stitch in your side. You can give up at the first sign of discomfort or you can suck it up and run through the pain. Dating is all about running through the pain. If you get a little hurt and give up right away, chances are, you'll end up feeling depressed, jaded, and lonely. You also might close yourself off to potential romantic opportunities by giving up too soon.
Belive me, I've been there. I got worn out and busied myself with other social activities, proclaiming myself to be on a "break from dating". Now, I honestly believe that if a woman truly wants to find a man, whether to get a little action or find a boyfriend, breaks should be as infrequent as possible. You have to keep on going. Last week, I got two emails from guys rejecting me. If I didn't keep going, I wouldn't have had my awesome date with CDave on Friday, or my crazy make-out-filled Saturday night. A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I ended up at a party with no prospects. If we gave up, the night would have been a washout. Instead, I insisted we go to a bar. And when that bar didn't pan out, we went to another one. And another one. Finally, at the third bar we met hot guys.
This is where confidence comes in. When I say confidence, I mean in yourself and in your circumstances. If you want to find someone that will value you, you have to believe you're worth something to begin with. PUAs call this "inner game". In the same way that a woman can sense a loser vibe from a man, insecurity and desperation can be picked up by a man. That insecurity and desperation could cause a man to either exploit a woman's weaknesses, or ignore her altogether.
Today, I am pretty secure in myself. Ever since I got my ego together and realized my self-worth, my interactions with men have dramaticaly improved. But I don't don't only have confidence in myself, I have confidence in the fact that I will eventually meet someone who is right for me. In the meantime, I'm going to have as much fun as possible (which is a lot) and take whatever adventures life throws my way, instead of pining for The One. Saying "it's never going to happen to me" is easy during the low points, but you have to stifle those feelings if you are going to survive, especially in a city as tough as New York. And once you have that inner game going, you become more approachable. Who do you want to talk to, the depressed person scowling in the corner, or the happy person laughing in the middle of the crowd?
You might be wondering about all the PUA lingo. Well, ever since reading Neil Strauss's The Game and having my own encounter with a pick-up artist last week, I have become more and more captivated by these seduction communities. I have even started a list linking PUA blogs (check them out!). It's tempting to dismiss these guys as players who use evil tricks to get girls into bed. The fact is, if you scratch the surface and get past the pussy-chasing, there are some great techniques both men and women can employ, for dating, or even other aspects of life. Things like being able to start conversations with anyone and honing social skills, dealing with rejection, and making yourself a more charismatic person overall.
Women already employ some of these techniques, without even realizing it. For example, my friend gets a lot of attention when her hair is in braids. This is called "peacocking", a term that's used when personal appearance is altered in a way so as to be a conversation piece (in fact, the PUA I met was wearing a small watchface on a string like a necklace; had I not been too busy trying to expose him as a fraud, I would have commented on it).
I emailed Neil (aka "Style") to share my PUA story and tell him how much I enjoyed the book. I recently received a friendly reply. The PUG (pick-up guru) himself said,
It's not wrong to learn the skills of attraction, but it is wrong to lie to people, lead them on, misrepresent yourself, pretend to be something you're not, etc.
I couldn't agree more. It shouldn't be about manipulation, but self-improvement. Make yourself more engaging and then go out and engage people. Keep knocking down that doubt and all those other emotional hurdles.
Run through the pain and the pain disappears.