Saturday, October 27, 2007

The One

Okay, so I was asked to give a bit of dating advice and it just so happens that this is extremely timely given events in the lives of a couple of my good friends. That, and I wasn't up for writing anything on the Jena 6. Too much has been said about that already and I doubt I'd have much to add to that conversation.

So, what's my dating advice? The first thing is to get a realistic idea of what you want from a man or woman. Not what you think you should want. Not what would impress your friends, parents, siblings, co-workers, or church members, but what you really want. Not what you have been told all of your life that you should want, but what you really want. Believe me, this is truly the hardest part. I have seen men who love big girls date skinny ones just because they wanted to impress their friends. Doesn't work. I have seen women chase gangstas when what they really wanted was a nerd just because gangstas are in fashion. I have seen women chase businessmen when they really wanted an artist but they didn't want to disappoint their parents. I have seen men go after the nice church girls when what they really wanted was a freak for the same reasons. I have seen gay men get married to women to impress society. All these people are doing is hurting themselves and the lovers they are settling for that they know they shouldn't be with. It's stupid. Life is too short to worry about making other people happy when it comes to your romantic choices. If a three-hundred pound hermaphrodite is your thing than find one, love he/she, and be happy.

The next step is to find what you are looking for. Forget the secret. Sitting there wishing for Mister or Ms Right to walk through the door isn't going to do it no matter how damn positive you are. As I've said before, wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which hand fills up first. You want something to happen you have to make it happen.

If you are looking for an athletic man than join a gym or a sports club. You want a good Christian Man then join a few Christian groups. Don't just go to the church every Sunday and pray for one. Join Christian political organizations and charities where people are actually walking the walk. If you are looking for a businessman then join an entrepreneur's group. If you are looking for a woman who is into threesomes than join a swinger's group. If you are looking for an artist then join an artist's collective. If you are looking for a stripper than get yourself a fat roll of ones and make it rain!

Step three is the hardest for some. Make the first move. I'll tell you a story about myself. There was a time in my life when I attracted nothing but freaks. If I walked into a club filled with two thousand people and there was one girl on the other side of the club who was half-naked with a snake around her neck, you could bet the mortgage that by the end of the night she'd be all over me. It wasn't just that these women were uninhibited. I love uninhibited women. The problem was that they were invariably submissive and I prefer stronger women. Well, I was visiting Philadelphia and I ran into an old friend and confidant who was my senior by about twenty years. He and I started talking and I began lamenting the fact that I always seemed to attract the same type of weak submissive yet wanton women. His question to me was whether I approached them or if I waited for them to approach me. I replied, of course, that I always waited for the women to approach me. He smiled.

"Have you looked in the mirror lately?"
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" I asked, mildly offended.
"Well, judging strictly from your appearance, what type of women do you think are going to approach you?"

Now, if you don't know me, I am about 6'5" inches tall. At that time, I was all muscle with not an ounce of fat on me. I usually wore dark sunglasses and often wore a leather jacket, unzipped, with no shirt underneath. I got his point. I was a very imposing, intimidated, and sexual figure and the only women who were going to approach me were women looking to be dominated and women looking for wild sex. If I wanted a different type of woman then I was going to have to do the approaching. It was hard to get out of my old habits and walk past the easy scores and risk rejection by approaching the type of women who usually avoided me, but I did it and it worked. I got my share of rejections but I also had many great relationships, some that I cherish to this day.

And now a word about expectations. You must realize that if you set an obstacle course for some man or woman to run through in order to get to you than most will fail. The harder your obstacle course, the higher the rate of failure. If a man has to conquer a dragon to win your hand then your front lawn will be littered with the charred remains of knights in shining armor. What do I mean by obstacle course? I mean impossible criterion for him to meet. "She has to have a twenty inch waist and DD breasts, a sexual appetite like a man, love football, and not complain if I hang out with my friends all night." Unless she's in her twenties, works out religiously and can afford silicone, than it ain't happening and even if you do find her, don't expect her to stay that way. Women age and their priorities change. "He has to make six-figures a year, have no kids, be willing to wait for sex until after marriage, be faithful, go to church every Sunday, work out everyday, and spend all his free-time with me." What free-time? What guy do you know who makes a six-figure salary and works out everyday who has free-time? What guy do you know who's going to wait until marriage to have sex unless you are marrying him fresh out of high school or he's impotent or gay or has a spare on the side? "He has to win my heart and I'm going to make him work for it. I'm going to make him suffer. I'm not going to give him anything until he proves to me that he's not like all those other men." Your knight in shining armor will get eaten by that dragon.

I'm not saying to set low standards. I'm just saying to set realistic and achievable standards just as you would if you were putting together a business plan. If your standard is that he has to love dogs than that's great. If your standard is that your man-eating dog that hates everybody has to love him at first sight than that's stupid. If your standard is that she has to love football than that's great. If your standard is that she has to look like a cheerleader and let you watch football all-day everyday and only interact with her when it's time to have sex, than that's probably not going to get past the dragon. If your standard is that he has to get along with your parents than that's great. If your standard is that he has to sit there passively and smile and never complain as your parents criticize and demean him than that's probably not going to work. If your standard is that he has to have a job than that's wonderful. If your standard is that he has to make CEO by the end of the year or you're dumping him than that's another one for the dragon. If your standard is that she has to have her own car than that's fair. If your standard is that she has to buy you one too than you're an asshole.

So, you've identified what you want, you've put yourself in the position to meet who you want, you've approached them, and you've given them a realistic shot at meeting your expectations, but they just aren't interested. What do you do?

You have to realistically assess what you have to offer to a relationship. If you live in the projects and you're on welfare with five kids from three different men and you weigh three hundred pounds and speak in Ebonics and yet you are insisting that the man you meet has to be a hamdsome, successful businessman, sista, you are fooling yourself. If you are a jobless, carless, thirty-something man with a beer belly and a receding hairline who lives in his mom's basement and you're looking for a super model with a house on the beach, it ain't going to happen unless your mom is a millionaire and you're her sole heir. Get yourself together first. Make sure that what you have to offer is equal to what you are demanding. You need to be almost as good as what you are looking for. You want an entrepreneur then it might not hurt to become one yourself. You want an athlete then it might not hurt to get a little athletic yourself. You want someone sweet and romantic then you might want to try being sweet and romantic yourself. No one wants to romance a selfish ungrateful asshole. You want someone warm, friendly, outgoing, and affectionate then it might not hurt to be a little less frigid and unapproachable yourself. You want an artist or a musician maybe learn a little bit about art and music. Maybe tap into your own artistic side a little.

Sounds like work doesn't it? Well, nothing good comes without effort. Anything worth having is worth working for. You do everything I've listed above and I promise you that you will find the one. Keep going like you're going and I guarantee that you won't.