Saturday, April 15, 2006

Oneitis, thy name is Film Felix

I have recently been asked two questions, whose answers merit a post of their own.

1. What makes Film Felix so special?

Part of it I can explain and part of it I can't. Sometimes it's tough to extrapolate why you get hung up on a certain person, it just happens.

First of all, there are the circumstances around which we met. Being a sucker for all things relating to Destiny, the numerous "coincidences" bowled me over. I thought maybe there was an element of Meant to Be about the whole thing. I know it's dangerous to be a fatalist, and the last thing I want is more comments telling me how "irrational" or "insensible" I'm being. However, my instincts have been very dead on before and I'm not one of those materialists who only believes in what I see; I sense things. Whether or not you buy into that is up to you, but I'd rather not get any further criticism about it, thanks.

Of course, the next logical question would be whether I built Film Felix up in my head before I even met him? Actually, I was expecting him to be wildly intelligent, but braced myself for a cold and pretentious man. I was utterly shocked at how sweet and down-to-earth and present he was. I felt like we were both completely in the moment during those hours we spent drinking and chatting. Sure, there was a certain amount of guardedness, but he radiated a kindness and warmth that has haunted me ever since.

Then there are all the things we have in common. Both of us are extremely passionate about the arts and have avant garde leanings. At one point in the conversation, I was quoting a scene from one of my favorite indie films and he corrected my phrasing, because I happen to be describing his favorite scene from the the same movie (and I'm talking about a film that only a handful of people I know have even seen).

More important than similar tastes was the way we were able to instantly delve into a big philosophical discussion on our views of life. We talked about things a lot of people don't even think about, and even though our opinions did not always converge, we were clearly at similar levels of introspection. Not only that, but he seemed to want to assert his individuality on the world as much as I do. Where I call them "normals" he calls them "sheep." This was a man I thought could really understand me.

Above everything else, I could tell, with utmost certainty, he is a good guy, a gentleman. He seemed like the kind of guy who would get a girl flowers for no reason.

This brings me to the second question:

2. In a city with six million men, how is possible for you not to find anyone you want to date?

First of all, I think when a woman decides she is no longer interested in casual flings, she puts out a different energy and men can pick up on that. It's not that I am more closed off, it's that I don't keep an eye out as much as I used to. If I'm out with friends, I don't scope the crowd the way I did before. When I'm walking down the street, I don't really zero in on passing strangers. I'm content in my environment and don't have that "who's next" mentality so much anymore. This makes for fewer encounters.

Quitting the online dating game has a lot to do with it, too. After a while, all the pictures and profiles blur together and it seems like it's the same people on there, over and over again.

That doesn't only apply to the internet. I think a reason I don't find many men attractive these days is because, in some ways, they have all become indistinguishable to me. Nobody I have seen has stood out from the crowd and made me think, I want to know you.

New York City is not known for its aggressive men, quite the opposite. Since there are half a million more single women here than men, the females often take the role of the pursuer. I have done that, but I think it's lame for guys to be so lazy. I want a man who will actually have the courage to take the lead, which is tough for me, because I present myself as a rather assertive gal. I realize my visible strength of character is a handicap and may intimidate some men. Oh well.

This is why I have spent a lot of time defending pick-up artists. These guys are learning how to approach women and generate attraction.

On the flipside, though, I'm a little tired of all the routines. The guys who don't run game are either too passive or uninspiring (at the Tall Club meeting last week, I actually heard one man trying to pick up Polly ask, "so what do you like to do for fun?") and the guys who do run game make me suspicious, because I usually assume they use the same routines over and over again and are looking to build a harem.

One huge issue I also want to bring up is manners. I meet so few gentlemen these days. A while back, I stayed out late with a male friend, and he didn't make sure I was safely in a taxi before going off in his own direction. He left me on the street by myself in the middle of the night. I was disappointed at the lack of manners. When Polly wrote about a date she had where the guy walked ahead of her to the table and selected the more comfortable seat, everyone was up in arms that she was so upset about it. Yet it's these little graces that reveal a person's true nature. It goes both ways, too. Think of that scene from A Bronx Tale, where Robert de Niro tells his son, if a girl in your car doesn't lean over and unlock your door from inside, she's a pig. Maybe these courtesies are outmoded, but they still mean something to me.

It's probably becoming clearer why it's tough for me to find real contenders, right?

There are certain things I will not be flexible about: fierce intelligence, a kind heart, good manners, and that X factor.

We all know what the X factor is, but explaining it is nearly impossible. It's that certain something that generates an immediacy, an intrigue, a rush (and I'm not talking about lust). It's not something you can study and learn to create because it is based in more than human psychology and physiology. It is based in something less scientific and more nebulous.

I have met a lot of smart men and and polite men, and even a few kind men, but the only man I have met in years who had all of that plus the X factor was FIlm Felix. This is why I can't get him out of my mind.

But I'm going to try. I'm not going to return to full-on slutty mode, but I think I'm going to need to kiss at least one more guy to get past this. I'm trying to let go. I realize how utterly ludicrous it is to still be thinking about someone I spent five hours with and didn't even kiss.

I'm going to a party tonight. Who knows what might happen...

30 comments:

Masta Killa said...

What's wrong with asking what a person does for fun? It's not a pickup line, but can be conversation starter.

Dolly said...

Masta,

What's wrong is that it followed a string of generic questions like, "where are you from?" and "what do you do?"

YAWN.

Homosexual Suspect said...

Dolly,

I would be 100% supportive of your "middle-of-the-road" stance between all-out slut and girl who wants her man to grow a set and come after her for a change.

I really get so mad at men whenever I hear people (beautiful, successful, and relatively sane people at that) complaining about how "no guys ever talk to me because I exude 'bitch'" or "I must be unapproachable."

I advocate a full-scale attack on those men who are too chicken shit for their own good. "Grow a set" and get out there and find somebody to love.

Tyler Jourgensen said...

You have an interesting perspective, but I must ask...

Have you ever had someone you were INSTANTLY attracted to, but then as you got to know them, you liked them less and less?

Have you ever met someone you were thought was only "OK", but then as you got to know them, they became more and more attractive?

Dolly said...

HS,
I wish you could talk some sense into the male population of New York. Maybe eventually they'll realize what they're missing out. Or maybe I'll have to import a guy who knows better from outside NYC.

Tyler,
Yes and yes. I try to be very open-minded and give guys a chance. I don't need to feel lightning strike right away. I think the indifference I encounter in men around here is most frustrating of all. There are passionate people everywhere, but so much hesitation at directing that passion toward a single person. God forbid we get our hearts or egos a little bruised.

Tyler Jourgensen said...

Hi Dolly and HS,

It almost sounds like a vicious cycle.

Somehow I don't think many women put the shoe on the other foot and think about what it is like to be an average guy in a bar wanting to talk to average women.

I would think that the male and female ego probably aren't all that different, though being a guy, I can't say for certain.

Women want a man to walk up to them with 100% confidence. So let's think about this. What does this mean? Confident of the outcome he'll achieve. To achieve a high probability to the outcome, he has to talk to women less attractive than he is.

If a guy rolls up on women at his own level, he may get a 50% probability of success. Maybe less depending on your view of these things and "compatibility". These are women he is attracted to and so he cares about their opinion. Rejection would be a hit on his ego (self-esteem), as it would be to yours if you tried to talk to a guy you thought was attractive and he indicated disinterest.

Then he could hit on women that are clearly out of his league. Supermodels as an extreme example. Here he has a low probability of success and thus, low confidence.

So if you demand that a guy at your level come up to you with total confidence, he has only one option. He must program himself to become completely indifferent to you and not care about what you think to achieve the level of confidence you desire.

Which is essentially the subject at hand: Confidence without indifference?

Confidence is knowing the outcome (guaranteed) or being completely unaffected by it (indifference).

Can you think of any other way to achieve "confidence?"

If you feel it's easy, you should definitely take the initiative and meet as many men as possible in bars or what have you. If you see a guy you think is attractive, go meet him (which doesn't mean make out with him).

But then what would you want to know? His name, what he does for a living, where he's from, etc. ;)

If you decide you don't like him, dismiss yourself and go talk to the next guy. And so on, and so on.

Also Dolly, to follow up masta killas comment, what are non-generic questions you like? And non-generic questions you might ask a guy?

pookalu said...

cheers to trying, dolly.

i know for me there are certain men that i can't get past, no matter what. but it may be a physical proximity issue that confounds whether or not i can get beyond them.

but one thing that sticks out, dolly, in my interpretation of your interpretation of film felix, is that you still recognize the good, excellent qualities that he possesses, regardless of your opinions on men. not that you ever trivialized people, it's just a common thread in your discussion of FF.

hope your party goes well tonight!

Dolly said...

Tyler,
I'll tell you what I want. I want a guy who is going to approach me in a singular way, who is not going to see me as an HB8 as part of a three-set, who's not going to think about routine stacking or when to initiate kino. I want good old fashioned courtship.

I understand small talk is necessary and of course it's important to know where the other person lives and what they do. But I'm not going to give you a list of questions I prefer to be asked, because you're just going to add them to your routines. I wish men would approach attracting women in a more natural and emotional and less scientific and mathematical way. It's not a numbers game. You don't fall in love with somebody because you've met a hundred people and picked out the best one. It doesn't work like that.

Yes, you can't get hung up on one person who doesn't reciprocate your affections, and you need to be unphased by rejection, but that doesn't mean becoming indifferent. I don't know what your purposes for attracting women are or what kind of woman you want to attract, so I am not in a position to give you advice. Personally, I want a guy to prove to me that he's different from every other schmuck who tries to pick me up. And I don't mean different by peacocking or by asking me if I like horses. I mean different at his very core. I don't know that there are a lot of men out there like that...

Pookalu,
I do try to focus on the positive. The inspiring thing that came out of meeting Film Felix is knowing there are still men out there like him. All I can do now is believe that next time, if I'm lucky enough to cross paths with another good one, it'll actually work out.

I'm curious what these things are that you can't get past...

Homosexual Suspect said...

Dolly and Tyler,

Let me expound a little more on my new campaign, Operation: Grow a Set.

It's not that I think it should be easy for guys to approach someone in a bar/on the street/at Sunday mass. In fact, I think it should be hard as hell for them. And here is why--

It's not easy working so hard to look so good when I go out. I literally fret over everything before I go out. Is this shirt ok? Do I have too much stuff in my pockets? Are my underwear ok just in case?

And then, when I do go out I'm contantly wondering what the other guys are thinking and creating strategies to ensure successful conversations. All of these strategies of course are developed after I have spent hours reading books on relationships, blogs about dating, and watching shows that offer advice about good sex.

Seriously, it's pathetic. Now, I am happy to report that I suspect the tide may be changing insofar as more and more men are being affected by this "Metrosexual" bullshit, but I still suspect the playing field is very off-balance.

In short, Tyler-- I feel that if I'm

a) working so hard to look so damn good, and then
b)I'm spending countless minutes analyzing every look, every word fom potential suitors, while
c) reading up on ways to improve my relationships, then

WHY can't I expect guys to put a little effort into developing thick enough skin to withstand an occasional rejection?!

Dolly said...

HS,

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Sarah Jayne said...

I'm with you a 100% on wanting a man to be a gentleman. I find a lot of uber-pro-women bring up the topic of equality - but I think that misses a point. I don't want a man to treat me like an 'equal' because if that were the case, he would be treating me like a man! I want to be treated like a woman! This may sound like a cliche (or a deodarant commercial) but I am both strong and feminine!

I want my man to go that extra mile for me - someone who opens the door for me, offers to take my coat and put it on me, notices when I’m cold and offers me his jacket, he makes sure I am home safely before turning his back, he pulls out my chair, offers to pay for dinner, and surprises me with flowers. He shows me that he cares and never EVER worries about be emasculated!

Even though I preach about not wanting to be treated like an 'equal' there has to be a clear distinction that does not mean with lack of respect! Chivalry is not dead, or at least it shouldn't be!

A polite and confident man can be traditional without being condescending. He's a 'gentleman' and does it with class, not because he feels he has to (or think it's because its expected).

I feel that so many 20-something, 30-something men have forgotten these signs of respect, treating a woman with integrity and class.

Sorry for the rant - synopsis: I'm with ya!

bermy said...

dolly,

bermy said...

dolly...

i hear you. i think you pretty much summarized what we are all looking for. it all comes down to the x factor and a series of other personality and behavioral traits that are vitally important.

just as you want guys to step up to the plate...i want some decent women to step up to the plate for. the problem is, they are impossible to find in this city. never have i seen so many beautiful, well taken care of women as in new york. but on the flip side, i have never met so many shallow, self centered beyatches.

i guess it all just comes down to connections. and we all have to keep our eyes open and be proactive. Its so easy to just sit there and wait for things to happen, but that won't work here. keep your head up...good people are magnetss for other good people.

i hope :)

Homosexual Suspect said...

Bermy,

I've never seen "Biotch" spelled like "Beyatch" before-- and I love it.

Don't worry, Dolly-- I'm here for you all the way.

emotional stew said...

I have just returned to the world of the single and am genuinely and deeply confused that there seems to be accepted rules of play now. When did the memo go round?

I've been worded up about 'the rules" and while I haven't read the book on men learning to be PUA’s the phenomena has made it into various newspaper articles over here so I understand the basics.

But has it truly come down to a right or wrong way? I guess that's what you're referring to as the scientific approach in your post. It just all feels so fake and contrived. Don’t we want genuine connection?

I know being too needy is a turn off (I'm disinclined to follow up on a internet date because of his too great enthusiasm to see me again and yes the x factor wasn’t zinging away). But equally I am stumped as to whether I follow up on a friend of a friend that I hooked up with had a great night of talking/sex/talking and then (displaying all my emotional immaturity on my sleeve) I went all awkward, cold and bizzaro the next morning when saying goodbye in front of mutual friend. I mean if I was him I would have thought she’s giving me the brush off. So the “rules” say if he is into you nothing will stop him from persuing you but I wasn’t that encouraging and would it really be so bad to call?????? Rather than die wondering?

Anyway enough about me I really like your blog – thank you.

And on the manners thing I completely agree and I don’t think this is even a male/female thing it’s just being thoughtful and putting others needs ahead of our own. Especially people we like.

pawlr said...

Dolly, great post. Regarding your response to Tyler:

"I wish men would approach attracting women in a more natural and emotional and less scientific and mathematical way."

The way I look at Game is that, at its best, its a system that allows men to do exactly that - express their AUTHENTIC emotions. The best Gamers all agree that the goal is to have genuine, self-created approaches, and that you must "have a life" and not read from someone else's script. Sure, the emotions are packaged by a strategic use of language, but this strategy is a necessity I think because it makes females more likely to pay attention.

Men like systems. Its the way their brains are hard-wired. The hard part for the women they meet is that its very tough to tell whether the access to emotional expression - gained via the system - are real or manufactured. Whether you feel this advantage granted by male game is an "equalizer" or a "cheat" probably depends on whether you're male practicing game or female getting gamed.

I think of Game now as a "shell program" that can be used to enhance authentic human contact or to simulate it. We all know authenticity is better - but just like in driver's ed and flight school, you have to simulate reality before you really drive or fly.

coasta said...

Ok, I've got a few things to say on this one...

>Being a sucker for all things relating to Destiny, the numerous "coincidences" bowled me over.

I'm not sure I buy into the whole 'destiny' thing, but, in studying and being involved in personal development, I've found there is something about peoples' energies that causes 'coincidences' to happen. At the risk of being labeled a fruitball, everyone's energy is vibrating at different distinct levels (we are just electrons after all), and we tend to attract things, people, and events that are vibrating at similar levels to our own.

>Not only that, but he seemed to want to assert his individuality on the world as much as I do. Where I call them "normals" he calls them "sheep."

This made me laugh. When I was younger, I read a book by Coerte V.W. Felske called 'The Shallow Man'. The main character, Nick Laws, was an unapologetic womanizer. While I wasn't down with the guy completely, he did have a singular individuality which I identified with. He had this thing where he called most regular ordinary people 'civilians', 'dialtones' were the dumb beautiful meathead types....etc. He kind of lived a life apart from these (in NYC interestingly enough).

I grew up with a similar removed view of myself from 'ordinary' people. I referred to them as the 'cogs in the machine' (cog) who go through life and never reach never seem to have a complete perspective. It's almost like they are blind or missing something.

That's probably why I left the States to try and live in different countries...because that's what everyone else wasn't doing.

>I have spent a lot of time defending pick-up artists....On the flipside, though, I'm a little tired of all the routines....I usually assume they use the same routines over and over again and are looking to build a harem.

Good community guys generally don't use 'canned' routines. They are genuinely good story tellers, with stories from their own lives being the focal point. They are learning to be naturally charasmatic and attractive. The fact is most guys who are naturally good with women tell the same stories over and over....EVERYONE else does this as well. If you have a good story, and someone hasn't heard it, you want to share it. Thing is, guys eventually get bored with the same canned stuff all the time...it's like you have to get more mechanical before you can then become more natural.


I think this is why I liked this blog. I first came here because of the 'community' connection, but didn't post right away....not until I found some interesting associated discussion going on...

coasta said...

emotional stew,

fuck the rules. if you like him...

call him.

Stretch said...

Dolly,

"I wish men would approach attracting women in a more natural and emotional and less scientific and mathematical way."

Your exchange with Tyler had me laughing to myself because it highlighted what seems to be a common difference between women and men. For many men (at least before they become more emotionally intelligent and self-aware), the primary reason to communicate with someone else is to exchange information. So to a guy, it can be hard to understand why a woman would be turned off by a question like "what do you like to do for fun?" or "so where do you live?" Isn't that what conversations are for? To find out more information? Why doesn't she like me for wanting to find out more about her?

Guys generally don't talk to find out how someone else feels about something; they probably don't have much of a feeling about whatever the topic is, so they wouldn't relate to that feeling anyway. A lot of men are somewhat numb to their own feelings and view the world in logical terms. And a good portion of the guys who aren't like that are gay.

From reading your post, it sounds like what you want more than anything is a guy who can fully UNDERSTAND you and appreciate you for your unique qualities. But for a guy to do that, he would have to understand that it is possible for you to "sense" things rather than deduce them. For a man, that's harder than you might suspect.

That you had seen a rare Indian film is something that makes you unique. So it makes perfect sense that you would fall for a guy who had also seen it and could appreciate how you felt about it. Fully appreciating a woman means fully appreciating her feelings.

I don't think women realize how difficult relating to a woman's thoughts and feelings can be for a guy, to say nothing of the gumption it takes to walk across a room full of strangers and introduce himself to someone he finds himself physically attracted to. Norah Vincent describes this in detail in Self Made Man, where she went undercover as a man for over a year. Of course the guy should have the balls to approach...it is his job...but women should show a little empathy of their own when he finds her so attractive that the best thing he can think of to say is "so what do you like to do for fun?" If I were a woman and that was the best thing a guy could think of to say to me, I would take it as a compliment.

I think Vincent was correct when she pointed out that men are generally more accepting of one another than women, which can make it hard for a guy to understand that a woman might disqualify him because his shoes don't match his belt or he ate his salad with the wrong fork over dinner or any number of the other behaviors that turn you off.

You don't want a guy who sees you as part of a 3-set or giving you some routine because that is what all the other girls get; it shows zero appreciation for your uniqueness. But the guy probably sees the line or routine as the crutch he needs to have the confidence to approach and thereby have the chance to find out what is unique about you. It provides a frame of reference for his logical mind; a way to make some sense out of what is happening. Some might see that need for a context or frame of reference as a sign of weakness or insensitivity; I just see it as a way of dealing with the different ways men and women think and react.

I agree that many guys take this mechanical approach to meeting women way too far, which is why they should ditch these training wheels once they have the confidence to do so.

As for "visible strength of character" being a handicap to a woman, I couldn't disagree more. Strenth of character is the very first thing I look for in a girl. I do agree, however, that at least kissing some other guy would probably help cure your oneitis. And your point about lack of manners among men AND women is something that everyone should take to heart. When so many girls go for jerks and "bad boys" over the "nice" gentlemanly ones, however, guys get the message and act accordingly.

Bermy also has a point about many women being shallow and self-centered; I think that the qualities you are looking for in a man are just as hard to find in a woman.

At the end of the day though, Dolly, it seems like you wouldn't be very happy with someone who didn't bear most of the important qualities you see in Film Felix...so I hope you don't take any of this as a suggestion that you should lower your standards. What is the point of being great if the person you spend the most time with can't fully appreciate that greatness? Good luck finding him.

emotional stew said...

coasta,

Forgive me for asking but is that from a male or female pov?

coasta said...

emotional stew,

POV is irrelevant here IMO. But for your edification-
sex: Male
age: 29 going on the trifecta
Nationality: American
Residence: same city as you.

My point was this, you can go and follow some set of 'rules' if you like. But in reality, there are no 'rules'. These 'rules' are mainly a societal construct put together to try and make sense of or even control dating/relationships. They don't REALLY exist. They may make you feel safe if you abide by them, but that is surely no way to truly live IMO.

So my advice was a succinct version of: Do not worry about following some arbirtray rules and do what is best for you. Do what you want.

If your gut says you may have pushed him away because the social skills were a bit rusty AND you still wish to see him again....then by all means, reel him back in. Why would you want to leave your dating life up to chance?

Put it this way, I can't KNOW if he'll be happy you called, but I do know that I would be pleased if the girl called me in this particular scenario.

Good luck.

Stretch said...

emotional stew,

Tend to agree w/coasta...play to win, go for what you want, screw (most of) the rules and contrivances we have built around our dating scene in this country. The only caveat I would add is that a simple email / voicemail / text message to let him know you have a bit of interest is all that is necessary. If you deny him the chance to be pursuer, he'll probably either lose interest, get scared off, or both. Hate to say it, but a good portion of what is in that book "He's just not that into you" is true. However, I once did actually lose a phone number of someone I wanted to call, so you never know.

Tyler Jourgensen said...

Hi Dolly,

I hope I didn't offend and I certainly am not a guy who uses routines.

I'm just another average guy trying to figure out whether it's better to search proactively (I guess this is what you mean by "numbers game") or sit back and wait for fate.

I'm worried that I might wait on fate and faith forever only to be denied in the end after waiting for so long.

I guess this might even start to touch on religious beliefs.

The following isn't a challenge to you, but more a question to myself and to the community.

Is it correct to go through life believing that when you are in an elevator with your soul mate, that God, Allah, or whoever will kill the power so you're trapped in there and you'll be forced to meet? And is this divine force really tracking the moment to moment locations for all the billions and billions of people on this planet?

Or is life truly a series of random events? If the latter, then perhaps it truly is a numbers game.

gnarled_bonsai said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gnarled_bonsai said...

Just realized that you, Dolly, have in fact already read Unhooked Generation. The rest of you should definately read it though!

Rich said...

Here's a tip about your last post, drink GATORADE, it clears up even the WORST hangovers if you do so right when you are drunk, the saline solution is just what you need to go the distance without puking or feeling nauseous. I've sworn by it since my friend showed me at an Irish bar.

Rich

Ghettobob said...

Good comments you guys! I enjoyed reading them as much as the post.

CoatMan said...

It's not ludicrous to be thinking about him at all. It's very rare for the intelligent, selective people to find somebody really good. People like that stick in one's mind whether one likes it or not.

As for being assertive, strength of character is always something to be admired. Those who don't admire strength of character generally don't have strength of character, and who'd want to be with somebody weak in any event?

V said...

There are some people you meet in life that you never forget or you never get over.

Don't deny human emotion.

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