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Our theme for this thread is tough love. We want you to succeed. But expect directness. This thread is, for brevity's sake, the functional opposite of internet garbage like r/TheRedPill.
Before we begin, gaiages' last OT contains actual advice. You should read it. Don't bother searching for previous threads beyond these. And now, the four simple rules for this OT:
- No vagueposting.
- Realize that your situation isn't half as special as you think it is.
- If you're posting more than three paragraphs about someone you've never been on a date with: stop overthinking it, erase your post, and actually ask that person out. You'll have your answer.
- Don't ask questions you aren't prepared to have us answer.
But you're not, and that's why we're here. Two relatively short articles are required reading: (1) Fuck Yes or No by Mark Manson and (2) Brené Brown's 2011 TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability. Further, be prepared to have some answers generated for the following series of questions:
Originally Posted by Sai-kun
why cant any of you fuckers just be normal people
Some other common scenarios:
Originally Posted by me
What do you bring to a possible relationship? What do you have to offer? Can you share interesting experiences with someone? Are you physically attractive and aesthetically pleasing? Are you highly emotionally intelligent and sensitive to a partner's needs? Are you great in bed? Can you make people laugh? Are you experienced in relationships, so that you know exactly how to support someone?
Nearly every question here arises from mismatched expectations that aren't communicated clearly. That's it. Really. In fact, we're nearly done here, barring one extension of that thesis: those mismatched expectations happen when parties don't understand the unwritten rules of dating. My best friend here in the city -- she's in her late twenties, and she goes out on dozens upon dozens of first dates, usually with guys she matches with on Tinder, and we're lucky enough to benefit from her prolonged misery. The gist is this:
Q. How do I date my friend?
A. Tell them how you feel, but be prepared to lose the friendship. And don't be someone's friend if you're not willing to actually be their friend.
Q. What's the best pickup line?
Q. How do I date my coworker?
A. Generally, you don't. People do, though. Check your HR policies.
Q. She ghosted me. Isn't she the worst?
A. No. She's really not. That's what happens sometimes, and whether or not you agree with it, handle it civilly. Actually, as always crazy bacon points out, what you think is a successful date -- conversation, laughs, and a good time -- is the baseline, and a "spark" requires more.
Q. How do I make him like me?
A. You don't. Be your authentic self -- the best version, of course. If someone doesn't like you, they're doing you a favor by not wasting your time. Find someone you're ecstatic about and who feels the same way about you.
Not conforming to certain dating conventions raises red flags. Basically, the more experienced you are, the less dumb shit you'll do. This is why you schedule drinks, so that you can bail (or let her gracefully bow out) if there's no chemistry. It's why she arrives first, so that she can order a drink and pay her tab, mooting the awkward check/Venmo conversation afterwards. It's why, even after a successful date, she makes up an excuse that she's going to a friend's party or has to go to work early tomorrow, because it's a way to conclude the date, and surely he wouldn't follow her there. He did. He was creepy. Don't be creepy. It's when both parties can understand the other person's losing interest, or perhaps you're both losing interest, and then communication just gradually declines and stops.
Conversely, it's understanding that these rules are meant to be mutually broken if things feel right.
And ultimately, it's reaching the zenlike conclusion that it doesn't really matter exacrly what you say (so long as they like you and you don't make it weird), so stop overthinking things, because they're rooting for you not to suck. So, good luck and...