Archive for March, 2008

How to get a date in thirty days - or not.

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

It’s new years - actually it’s a long time after, but that’s just my slowness at writing blogposts - and people are always reflecting on their lives, and wanting to reflect on yours too. I mentioned to a friend of mine that at the end of The Game there was the intro to another book by Neil Strauss The Rules of the Game. This book promised to help you “Get a date in thirty days”, my friend instantly went “what’s your address, I’ll buy it for you!”

So when your friends think that you need that much help, you have to take it seriously. I started thinking about some of the other comments my female friends had said “you’re slightly clammy”, “just dress in an updated way and get a modern hair cut and you’re good”, “you can do alright with girls with a bit of confidence, even you!”. Of course this last advice is what really matters, confidence is key.

So I figured with that much “encouragement” from my friends, maybe I should have a look at the book, with a borders 40 yards from the front door, I bought it, and started looking what I had to do to get a date. Unfortunately it really was even more depressing than the game. Day ones main mission was “operation small talk”, the idea being to make small talk to five people, people suggested were a homeless person or an old lady in the supermarket queue. Day two was do the same, but remember the eye colour to make sure you look people in the eye as you talk.

Day four has the radical idea that showering, shampooing, smelling nice, shaving or grooming your beard, wearing clean well fitting clothes can help you attract someone. Now I realise this is all important advice, but I’m wondering if the sort of people who need this advice really need to get a date more importantly than say some friends or a basic course in social interaction.

On reaching Day 7, you’re given a big, big reminder to not read on ahead, and how important it is to just read one day at a time. Now this is a bog standard psychological trick to get people to buy in and invest in doing it - maybe that’s a good thing if you’re the sort of guy who needs to be told not smelling of 2 week old stale sweat will help you get a date, but I’m just not trusting enough to do that, so I read on.

The build up is all to day 30, where you have to plan a dinner party to invite the “date” you manage to get to come to, in a “I’m having a few friends over for dinner, why don’t you come along too.” It doesn’t have to be at your place, you could just be at a restaurant with a group of friends. My problem with this again is at one point it’s pitched at people who don’t have friends to tell them that they smell, but at another point they have enough friends to get round and impress a date with how interesting and worthy of dating the guy is at a dinner party.

Now I enjoy cooking for people, can manage not to poison them, have a pretty okay flat to host a dinner party in, so it’d be a good end for me - but again this book is pitched at people who 30 days before couldn’t look someone in the eye when paying for stuff in the supermarket, let alone carry off hosting an eight person dinner party, cooking all the food, impressing the date, and if you follow the actual subtext of the book finally getting his end away.

Maybe if I’d've followed the book rather than just read it, I could’ve believed how such a drastic transformation could’ve happened, but at the minute, I just can’t buy it. I don’t doubt that following the exercises would’ve improved the chances of anyone doing it - as my friend said above most important thing is confidence, both to try and that you will succeed, following the exercises will probably help fake that confidence. I can’t really believe it will actually make any fundamental difference to a persons life - of course maybe faking it a few time will give a guy the confidence to not need to next time.

I think better advice for the guy I feel the book is targetted at could be had from Dan Savage who was actually targetting it at 15 year old boys, but I think that’s really who the book is talking to, guys who never made it past their awkward/repulsive phase.

“But don’t despair, TGTW. Your awkward/repulsive stage will pass. In the meantime here’s what you need to do: Worry less about getting your 15-year-old self laid and start thinking about getting your 18- or 20-year-old self laid. Join a gym and get yourself a body that girls will find irresistible; read so that you’ll have something to say to girls (the best way to make girls think you’re interesting is to actually be interesting); and get out of the house and do shit–political shit, sporty shit, arty shit–so that you’ll meet different kinds of girls in different kinds of settings and become comfortable talking with them.”

Substitute however old you are in the above, but if you’re really that inept that you need to be told to shower, work on a few year plan, and not a 30 day one.

So unfortunately my original plan of following the book, maybe even blogging about it as I went has gone out of the window, not simply because I got a date - I got one of those from a girl on the train on the way back from convincing a friend of mine to do the book aswell. The plan really got knocked on the head after a date I had led to something more - it wasn’t a dinner party date though - more of a run - although the next night…