Jun 10 2012

Ask Me: “My girlfriend died of cancer and I’m not sure if I’m ready to date”

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Q: “I’ve read some of your comments and if you can lend an ear I think that would be great. I feel frustrated that some of my guy friends who have 3-4 girlfriends at once treat women like crap and have nice girlfriends, and here I am single and I am often overlooked. I can say I am a lot more confident than I used to be, but maybe it is because I have been through a lot in my life. I am so fearful of being taken advantage of and it has so far happened twice. I am looking for a girlfriend, and I am looking for a committed relationship. I have never cheated or had sex with random people, and I consider myself to be a nice guy to everyone and respect everyone. I was raised to treat women with even more respect, and I would never hurt and or play games with anyone, especially someone I was romantically involved with.

When I was 19 I was dating my girlfriend for 6 months before she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a terminal stomach cancer. She wanted me to leave and I decided to stay. I cared for her for 6 years before she passed away, and every day was like seeing her live her last day. I had to help her shower, bathe, and get dressed to leave to doctor’s appointments. I also worked full-time, paid the bills and I felt like my life ended when she died. Shortly before she died she was raped by a homeless man and after 2 years, I still feel like a part of me has died and I haven’t been quite the same.

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Jun 6 2012

Part 9: More examples of what it means to be “unsafe”

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Quick vocab lesson if you didn’t read the first post about nice guys:

“Safe” – Predictable, caring, very nice guys who you know will drop everything to be with you, eager to please, very sweet. The type of guy you’d want to have a family with – good father, dependable, doesn’t cheat, etc. The type of guy who often ends up in the friend zone.

“Unsafe” – It’s about being your own person. Not being needy, being independent, being self-assured, making your own decisions, and not caring so much about what other people think about you. Someone who doesn’t need a lot of validation from others and has an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude.

Also, for reference: The safe/unsafe chart.

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I’ve been getting some feedback asking if I can talk more about what ‘unsafe’ behavior is. Sure. I’ll do this in 2 parts, with “self-assurance, not giving a fuck, and being secure with yourself” in this post, and [how to build] “confidence” in another. Truthfully, I can say it in as many different ways as I want, but at the end of the day, self-assurance + not giving a fuck + being secure with yourself = being confident.

Before getting to the examples, I’m going to start by introducing a few people who I’ll be referring to later, Vincent and Victoria. Vincent is French and also lived in the same dorm where Tim and I met. We didn’t know him well while we were living there, but look a chance and added him as our final roommate when we were moving out of the dorm. It worked out in the end because he turned out to be a great roommate. Vincent met Victoria a few months after we all moved in together. Victoria is Chinese, has been in the States for a number of years, and she’s one of those girls I really get along with because she’s straight-forward and says whatever. These two met in Berkeley while they were both in grad school for engineering. Last year they moved out-of-state for work, but still visit Berkeley every few months. Moving on to the examples now..

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Jun 5 2012

Comment of the Day: Rejection

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Hi, and welcome to the new site. Feel free to email me if you notice any issues with it, like broken links or problems loading the page.

To kick off, I picked a great comment from Redditor impotent_rage, who responded to these lines from Part 8:

He respected my decision, didn’t try anything, and really just backed off, but without being awkward or rude. I’ve told guys in the past I wasn’t interested, and some got really shitty and offended and couldn’t handle rejection very well. Those guys were childish, and Tim was not. I was impressed. His maturity at handling the situation combined with the fact that he wasn’t chasing me any more made me see him in a different light.

“This right here. I can’t even begin to tell you how important it is, the way you handle rejection. Guys who handle rejection with maturity become instantly more attractive (sometimes to the point that it reverses the rejection). Guys who become, well, not so mature, it makes me so glad that I made the decision to reject them. This includes getting too pouty or sad, or even worse – getting angry or defensive or “sour grapes” about it.

You learn a lot (a lot!) about a guy from how he reacts to rejection. You learn whether he was secretly overly invested in you (which indicates that his value is too low compared to yours), you learn whether he has maturity and self-awareness to be able to handle disappointment and frustration well, you learn whether he is entitled or egotistical. I think that you learn more about a guy when you reject him, than you ever do by dating him. It’s no surprise that rejected guys sometimes go on to get the girl, if they are able to handle rejection with grace and confidence.”

 


Jun 1 2012

Comment of the Day: “Just Being”

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Today’s comment of the day comes from Redditor Bhorzo.

“When you distill attraction down to its core, “just being” is what it’s all about. Women are attracted to men who aren’t afraid of “just being” themselves.”

Yes. Absolutely. I’ve tried to convey this same message throughout my posts, but have never been able to do it in two neat sentences. What is the main point of this comment? It’s about having confidence.

Some other examples:

A commenter on OkCupid who read Part 1 said, “I agree with you, except for the “Someone who doesn’t need a lot of validation from others and has a “I don’t give a fuck” attitude.” Some of us, unfortunately, would probably not have any friends at all if we took that attitude, and we’d be pretty unhappy.”

My response: “In my post, “not giving a fuck” is not the same as “being a dick”. If you’re a nice guy, you can still not give a fuck, but you probably won’t offend many people because deep down, you are a nice person. A nice person, for instance, would know better than to tell someone, “You’re only 30? You look twice your age!” That’s being a dick. Not giving a fuck is like a guy thinking “Hmm, yoga looks like fun. I should take a few classes.” Then he does.

Caring too much about what other people think is more like, “Hmm, yoga looks like fun. But isn’t that something mostly girls do? What if people start making fun of me because I’m doing yoga? What if they think I’m a sissy? Ugh, I better not.” In the first case, the guy is confident enough to just do the yoga classes. He doesn’t give a shit what people think of him. The second guy is so wrapped up in his thoughts about what others think, he’s missing out on doing something he wants to.

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May 31 2012

A Message to Redditors

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Many updates, but first, a message for people on the FA:Improvement and Seddit forums on Reddit. Holy crap guys. Do you want to know what happened after my blog was linked to Reddit? This is what happened:

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May 31 2012

Ask Me: “Being Unsafe: Should I Fake It Until I Make It?”

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Q: “I used to be a classic nice guy, but in the last months I’ve been radically changing all of that and the success I’ve seen as a result has been really significant. How do you feel about “fake it til you make it”? Because that’s where I feel I’m at in this point. Everything I do on the outside are the characteristics that you describe as the Good Unsafe, but on the inside, I still feel like a classic nice guy. It’s working as I’ve been dating a lot more, got a girlfriend (then broke up with her 2 months later because I didn’t feel chemistry) and all that. But I still feel I haven’t achieved a core identity level change. Being Good Unsafe still feels unnatural to me. I don’t want to have to think about being Good Unsafe. I just want to BE Good Unsafe? Not sure if I’m making any sense here, but any advice?”

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May 28 2012

Ask Me: “We Were Inseparable, But Then She Vanished”

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Q: “I met a girl through work. We hit it off like wildfire and became inseparable after the second date. I’ve never had a girl be so infatuated with me. She even used that very word on more than one occasion. Anyway, it was the most blissful 6 weeks of my life. However, now that I’ve had time to evaluate, I think our relationship might have been ruining her school and work life. She expressed to me on one occasion that she had been showing up late, which I didn’t read much into at the time. Also, during our last week together she nearly had a meltdown about school stress. I couldn’t even look at her without her bursting into tears. I have the distinct feeling she was blowing off school work and spending every minute with me. Out of nowhere she began avoiding me. Looking back now, I know from our argument that she felt guilty not being able to hang out with me, so she was avoiding communication so she wouldn’t have to say no. Regardless, I was completely blind to all of this, so after 4 days, and a harsh response to my ‘what’s with the silent treatment’ text, I overreacted.

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May 27 2012

Part 8: Getting out of the friend-zone

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Quick vocab lesson if you didn’t read the first post about nice guys:

“Safe” – Predictable, caring, very nice guys who you know will drop everything to be with you, eager to please, very sweet. The type of guy you’d want to have a family with – good father, dependable, doesn’t cheat, etc. The type of guy who often ends up in the friend zone.

“Unsafe” – It’s about being your own person. Not being needy, being independent, being self-assured, making your own decisions, and not caring so much about what other people think about you. Someone who doesn’t need a lot of validation from others and has an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude.

Also, for reference: The safe/unsafe chart.

—–

Part A: Nice and safe.

Ah, the dreaded friend-zone. The nice guy’s greatest adversary. But, do not fret. Today’s thoughts are about how you can get out of the friend-zone. It happens, all the time. How do I know this? Because some of the guys I’ve dated/had relations with started out as friends. I’ve also heard quite a few “how we met” stories where the woman “changed her mind” about a guy she originally friend-zoned.

I’ll start with a story: the story of how I met my current partner, a person who is very much a ‘nice guy’. I mentioned in a previous post, “I met the person I’m currently dating in our college dorm. He was a grad student, I was an undergrad, and we were across-the-hall neighbors. This wasn’t your typical college dorm. There was a good mix of upper-division undergrads, grads, and post-docs, and about half the residents were international students.” So let’s carry on from there.

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May 24 2012

How to Make Your OkCupid Profile Interesting and Readable

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(OkCupid original post date: 3/1/08)

I’ve found myself bitching about this lately on OkCupid, so I’ll just write about it and be done with it.

So I’m not exactly a connoisseur on this (in fact, people have told me I should change/update my own profile, but I don’t really care since I’m not using this site to find dates) but I know what interests me and what makes me read a profile in its entirely.

It is so incredibly rare that I find good ones that I actually message people with profiles that I REALLY like to tell them so.

Rule #1: Show, Don’t Tell

Remember at school, how when you wrote stories, your teachers always told you this? “Jane walked to class. She was sad and mad. She had just caught her boyfriend and best friend cheating on her, and now Jane was completely alone.” Boring. Do we care about Jane? Do we give a shit who she is? No.

“As Jane walked to class, she could feel the wind whipping the tears across her face. The darkening sky smirked at her, threatening to unleash a storm at will. Jane walked faster, thinking about what had happened. She tried to erase the image of Jack, her boyfriend, and Sarah, her best friend, entangled on his couch. His pants pulled to his knees. Running his fingers through her soft, brown hair. Her, on top of him, shining with sweat.” So the second one is not perfect either, but it’s more interesting, right? It’s more descriptive and makes you wonder more than the first one. The same thing goes for profiles.

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May 22 2012

Part 1: “Safe” guys vs. “Unsafe” guys

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(OkCupid original post date: 4/12/12)

For reference – the safe/unsafe chart, which originated in Part 7:

———

Please, if you’re the type of guy who’s like, “All girls just want to date assholes. Nice guys always finish last. Girls are bitches,” then don’t read this. It’s not going to help. It might be helpful if you’re actually a nice guy and don’t just think you are one. Because actual nice guys don’t think like that.

“Be confident. Women are attracted to guys who have confidence.”

What does that actually mean? I keep hearing this and it’s not very specific or informative. Confidence. There are so many ways this can be interpreted. You could be an amazing guitar player, excellent at killing zombies online, have a PhD and numerous publications, or be the best damn cook you know. In these cases, you’re probably very confident at what you do. But these skills do not necessarily equate to being able to attract girls. Confidence in dating is something different, and there are certain traits that convey this confidence. I’ll try to explain… Continue reading