I'm probably the last person that should be imparting self-improvement advice. I don't have much of anything figured out… But one thing I do know is this: On pretty much any dating profile I have posted anywhere at any time always says this: “I always have a good time no matter what.” Simple, if a little absurd. Obviously if Mothra drops a “deuce” on my favorite blazer I'm not going to be happy about it and, furthermore, I'll be very confused as to why Mothra was even in Orange County in the first place, but I digress… The point is this: I know how to have fun and it's an attitude, but more importantly it's a decision.
Do you know this person: The person that is cynical, sour-faced, negative, boring, bored and offers little the conversation happening around themselves. I've seen this person before. Many times over, in fact. Usually different, but sometimes the the usual suspect doesn't change. And you can tell upon first look that the evening might not be as much fun as it could be. Why? It's the negative energy this person may be sharing with the group. It could be the general lack of care to take care of ones own appearance. This not only affects a group of people looking to have fun, but it also affects a person's dating life. I truly believe that such an attitude will crush any hope for success on a date. I'm also sure studies have been done on this too, but I'm doing this article on a shoe string budget that consists of a sole Sacajawea Dollar and a box of contraceptives… Not that you needed to know that.
I had a discussion with a friend once about clothes. I'm not the most fashionable guy I know, but I do like to look good when I'm out. I'll spend some money on clothes, however and usually I'll buy something that looks good and an upgrade over what I've already got. Anyway, the discussion was about a pair of jeans that my friend bought while out shopping with a female colleague of his. The jeans were over a one hundred bucks. A lot pricier than the ordinary pair of Levis, of course. Immediately appalled at the price, my friend wanted to take them back. I wanted to play the devil's advocate, so to speak, and offer a differing opinion. Well, I wasn't effective as he took the pants back anyway. What I wanted to convey, but failed to do, was this: There's nothing wrong with spending more money on clothes, accessories or what have you if you it makes you feel good about yourself in some way. Sometimes it's good to reward yourself. Now, to my friend, he couldn't tell the difference with the pricey pants and the regularly priced ones, nor could I. Point made for my friend. However, I'd like to expand on my thought processes… Why does anyone do anything for themselves or upgrade things that they own? Think about that.
My friend made a lot of major improvements to his place not so long ago. Improvements that made the place look a lot nicer. But why? Well, most obviously, the property value goes up. It's nicer to live in and to look at, from a personal perspective. Right? He would feel better about having people over because he's got nice wood floors rather than stained carpentry that looks like a homicide scene. Aesthetics, monetary value and just a feeling of extra worth and accomplishment are some of the feelings that are carried over from such improvements. I'm not saying expensive pants and home improvement are the same thing; they're not. But the underlying principal is. That principal is that if we improve on something there are those that will take notice of it and will value it more, the same as the person making those improvements…
Taking it back to the jeans, now, I would offer that the jeans offer, in some way, an improvement to my friends attire. A costlier upgrade that, if he felt good about, would show in some way within him. And that would resonate to others as well, I feel.
When a person takes time, effort and resources to improve something people take notice. It could be a car, it could be fake boobs, it could be a big screen plasma television; anything really. The important part is the attitude that a person has once they have made those improvements. It's palpable and other people can see it!
So, with respect to the dating world, where does this philosophy come into play? I would venture to say appearance would be a strong application of said philosophy. A person who just goes out with faded clothing is easily overlooked. A person who doesn't take care to put themselves together are easily overlooked by those people that do take care. The point is not necessarily to spend a crap ton of money; the idea is to put time, effort and resources into oneself. That's the point. When a person does take care to put time, effort and resources into themselves they feel rewarded naturally, thus prompting a likely change in attitude. One that is clear and easily seen by friends and strangers alike.
If time spent on oneself includes flipping through magazines, and shopping for a different look is what it takes; then so be it. If effort spent on oneself includes going to the gym and working out to look and and feel healthier is what it takes, then so be it. If spending resources on oneself means buy better clothes, newer clothes that compliment that person's appearance is what it takes; then so be it. Regardless of what a person with a bad attitude does, it's important to put time, effort and resources into ourselves. After all, we solely control how we appear to the world around us. Do we not?
The side effect to these self improvements can be numerous. If you feel good about yourself, how you feel and, perhaps, how you're dressed, then that radiates from you. Others will take notice. This translates to dates, most obviously, I think. When I go on a date, I take care to pick what I wear and make sure that it goes together nicely. When I walk out the door I feel confident; I feel that way because I feel like I look good. I know, personally, that I took time and resources and effort to feel good about what I am projecting and portraying to the world around me. That confidence shows through to other people. I understand how this whole thing makes me sound like a complete egotistical turd of a man… But I'm not; just ask my mom.
If you are that person that just doesn't seem to have fun when you go out; when you meet new people or just in general, or your dates just seem to go nowhere. Take a look around and start asking yourself “why?” You might just find the answer is within you… Or you might find that you're hanging out with a group of jerks, but for the purposes of this article we're assuming that you're just a turd.