Jan 21 2013

Part 12: The Jessica Example


The following is part of a series of questions and answers that I did on a Reddit self-improvement forum in Jan 2013. This was a question from user shakedown_st. Answer has been edited slightly for clarity.

Also, for reference: The safe/unsafe chart.


Q: Hi Anna, thanks for doing this AMA [Ask Me Anything] on our little subreddit.

I made a post that garnered a lot of attention here. There is one part that a lot of people, particularly women, seemed to take issue with and I’ll highlight it here.

Let’s take a hypothetical situation: It’s 3:52pm. You have plans to lift in the gym from 4pm to 5pm. All of a sudden your crush calls you up on the phone crying. She got into another fight with her boyfriend and instinctively called you because you’ve always been there for her during those times. You’re a sensitive guy, and girls like that, right? So you think, I need to be there for her right now. Maybe now she’ll realize I’m the guy she’s supposed to be with. You think you can skip this one workout and make it up on an off-day or something. You tell her everything is going to be okay and that you’ll be over to her place in 10 minutes.

Cue cycle of Forever Alone.

Let’s rewind to 3:52pm. You’ve been working on self improvement for two or three weeks now. You’ve read No More Mr. Nice Guy and the posts in the sidebar. You’ve started to see things a little differently — recognizing patterns in your own behavior that needs to change for the better. You’re about to tell her that you’ll be over there in 10 minutes, when you suddenly catch yourself. No, not this time. “That’s tough Jessica. I understand you’re going through a difficult time right now, but I’m running late to the gym. Afterwards, I’m headed out with Ryan and Chris for a jam session. I’m sure you and your boyfriend will get through this, but unfortunately I gotta go.” As a classic forever alone nice guy, it is almost impossible to wrap your head around this…But you are a better and more attractive man in this second scenario, than you are the first. And you are not being an asshole either. You are just a busy man with obligations, hobbies, interests that you love doing and that take precedence over some girl’s emotional distress.

I was honestly thinking about your blog when I wrote this. That the guy in the two hypothetical situations represented the ‘bad safe’ vs. ‘good unsafe’ respectively. What are your thoughts on this?

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Jan 21 2013

Reddit Craziness


A few days ago I did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the Reddit forum Forever Alone Improvement. Redditor shakedown_st submitted one of my responses from that AMA to the BestOf forum, and things kind of went a little crazy from there. The post got a lot of feedback, ended up in the top of BestOf, then on Reddit’s front page. More craziness ensued. This little blog has received over 34,000 hits in the last 2 days, and many people have sent messages with comments and questions.

My goal for today is post the answers from the AMA here, and to respond to as many messages as I can. Thanks for visiting and sharing your own stories. It might take me some time, but I’ll try to read everything from the comments. Here’s something I learned from this experience: A shitload of people have social anxiety. If you’re one of those people, you’re not alone, by far.

Jan 6 2013

Ask Me: “When is it a good time to ask someone you meet online out on a date?”


Q: “Hi, I don’t know if you handle relationship inquiries at all, but I had one for you that is specific to OkCupid. A friend of mine who’s been using the site for a while was giving me advice and helping me create the profile, and when he checked in about my progress, I told him that I’d received some messages, but no dates had materialized. I’ve generally been asking people to meet up after the first couple of messages, and he said that’s where I was going wrong.

My issue is this- I am on OkCupid to meet people, in person. I think of this site as the equivalent of walking down the street- you see someone pretty and if its appropriate you walk over, introduce yourself and ask them if they would like join you for drinks sometime. I don’t want to waste a lot of time exchanging messages with people, because I think that the fun of dating is asking/answering all these questions face to face. Also, you get to keep things a mystery that way- where you reveal things but its in the context of “we’re already out on a date…” So, in your opinion, when’s the best time to suggest a face-to-face meetup?”

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