Monday, June 16, 2008
One of my favorite bloggers is guest posting today. Unfortunately, I'm afraid his advice is a hell of a lot better than mine. Lucky for me, he's asked not to be identified, so there will be no leaving me for him. Enjoy!
I've enjoyed reading this blog because it gives the female perspective on the dating experience, but I thought it might be helpful to give some insights on the male experience.
The differences between a good date and a bad date aren't that obvious. It seems that a lot of people don't pursue things after a first date because of a lack of "chemistry" but when I think about what dates I have walked away from with a desire to pursue a second date versus the ones that I don't want to see again, a lot of the non-physical things that are attractive are within the girl's control.
As a psych major, I believe that everyone has inside them some kind of ego ideal, even if it doesn't match reality. The fat bald guy at in the Redskins jersey scarfing down nachos at the sports bar might see himself as an athlete even if no one else does. The dowdy librarian who paints hideous abstract art in her basement might see herself as a free spirited hippie artist even if no one else does.
Figuring out someone's idealized version of themselves and validating that, goes a long way towards getting someone to feel positive emotions when they are with you. When you get someone to feel like their idealized version of themselves, they are really happy to be around you.
So how do you figure out someone's ego ideal? Ask questions and listen…really listen to what they have to say. Take a genuine interest in who they are as a person rather than trying to impress them with your own stories. If someone is bragging about something like their job, their skill at kickball or photography, it's probably because they are proud of it and they want to be validated for it because it's part of the way they view their idealized version of themselves. Now, granted, someone who plays (or brags) about kickball is probably a loser, but it's something that's important to them and it's no less cool (to them) than the people who spend hours playing fantasy football, world of warcraft or learning photography.
And yes, the other banal date advice (smile, make eye contact, laugh at their jokes) still applies, but I think you'll probably get a lot more mileage trying to get to know the other person as a human being than waiting for a pause in the conversation so you can try to impress the other person with how awesome you are.