Since you and I are friends, I'm going to be frank with you – I know as much about dating as a giraffe knows about swimming (assuming giraffes don't know how to swim, I have no idea).
It's not that I'm bad with people. I consider myself to be an astute observer of human interaction. My EQ (emotional intelligence) puts my IQ to shame. I turn enemies into friends, belligerence into benevolence, and crying babies into pudgy laugh factories. In other words, if Mother Theresa and Bill Clinton had a baby, and then that baby was mentored by James Lipton, I would be the result.
I suffer from inexperience. My whole life, I've been a girlfriend guy. Many girlfriends. And the stints between these special ladies left a bitter enough taste to make dating undesirable. Only in the last half year of my life, have I participated in the single world. It's a lot like surfing: I enjoy the process, but successfully catch zero waves.
So why should you care what I have to say? Although I can't formulate a game-plan to make you the Mack Daddy (or Mommy) of dating, what I can offer are three sure fire strategies for failure. You don't have to be good at dating to recognize universal traits that turn people off to others. Whether you use these tips as ways to avoid dating failure, or as a way to pull the emergency shoot on a bad date, is up to you.
Three Ways to Suck at Dating
1) Talk Only About Yourself
There is a consensus “most important person in the world” amongst all of us. It's me. Not me (top 10, maybe). Me, the first person variety.
Everyone cares more about what's going on in their own world, than anyone else's. We're creatures built of self importance. The more important we're perceived, consequently the better we feel. The fastest way to strip someone of this feeling, is by neglecting to listen to them. When someone takes the effort to divulge information about their lives, what they're really saying is, “here are facts about me, please like them, so I can like me too.”
Unfortunately, the default reaction for many in a state of anxiety (see: dating) is to get consumed in their own nervous thoughts. When this happens, we're unable to actively listen to the other person. They can sense this, and in turn they begin to grow self conscious about their own self interest. The cycle repeats itself. Date = over.
Delicious failure recipe #1:
- 3 parts interruption
- 2 parts break eye contact when listening
- 2 parts don't follow up with any questions
- 2 parts downplay their accomplishments
- 1 part don't laugh at their jokes
- A dash of disinterested body language
Let these ingredients settle for one awkward dinner, and then enjoy the fruits of your labor by never hearing from this person again.
2) Portray Perfection
Although you don't want to shy away from highlighting your strengths, refusing to reveal a chink in your armor never allows the other person to let their guard down. No matter how much you like yourself, you're not perfect. No one is. Failing to realize this makes you bad at dating (and even more generally suck at life).
If the other person feels as though they have to keep up to be on an even playing field in your eyes, what they'll take away from the date is tension. We put enough stress into our bodies during our 8-5 day, we're not looking to compound this feeling during our free time. Humans are looking to date other humans, not robots (until they build the Erin Andrews i3000).
Delicious failure recipe #2:
- 4 parts get defensive at their jokes
- 2 parts point out their short comings
- 3 parts talk about how much money you make
- 1 part redirect the conversation toward your accomplishments
- Optional: refuse to acknowledge their superiority in any regard
Blend until smooth. Add a soul patch as garnish.
3) Target Cliche, Neglect Creativity
Taking someone out to dinner and a movie is a great game plan if you've got the ability to inundate them with pheromones. For those of us who aren't Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, however, the chemically induced arousal storm may not be the best “plan A”.
A cup of coffee may make sense for the first date, depending on how adventurous your dating counter-part is, but from there one out, all you're saying is: “If you accept my rose, I can promise you plenty more ‘typical' for weeks to come.” Unless you're a world renowned movie critic, you might want to consider something that highlights your personality a little more than the cinema.
Delicious failure recipe #3:
- 1 part put a heavy emphasis on carrying small talk for the next 3 hours
- 2 parts take him/her on an “adventure” they've been on only dozens of times before
- 1 part imply that you lack the ability to think for yourself
- Add a pinch of lethargy to taste
Bake until golden brown.
And that my friends is how you can achieve new heights in sucky dating strategies. As I continue my journey toward uncovering every avenue of failure in dating – I wish you nothing but the greatest success.
And If someone reading this is friends with Erin Andrews, could you please inform her that I am single. Dinner and movie on me.