“Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle behind lotteries, dating, and religion.” ~ Scott Adams
I’ve noticed lately that I’m getting significantly more spam, both on the blog and through my email. There also seems to be an ever larger number of online adverts offering me the amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity to find someone in my local area who will actually be willing to have sex with me.
So I upgraded my spam filter and installed a better ad-blocker.
But then the thought occurred to me – who are all these adverts actually aimed at? Who are all these people who supposedly need the help of costly and virus infested websites in order to get laid? How does a person get through life without eventually, inadvertently learning to hit on someone effectively?
I’ve slept with everyone I’ve ever wanted to, and had the option with plenty of others. I don’t remember that this particularly involved any amount of effort.
And I’m pretty average. If you meet enough people you’re eventually going to happen upon one you’re attracted to who also thinks that you’re quite pretty too.
My annoyingly beautiful school friend has been hit on by pretty much every heterosexual man and lesbian woman she’s ever met, as well as several people of both genders who were otherwise apparently of the opposite persuasion.
Through work I have on many occasions had the misfortune of interviewing people who bathed so infrequent that it was barely possible to be in the same room with them and breathe at the same time. These people are rarely blessed in the looks department either, but, they invariably have at least a half-dozen children, so somebody must be doing it with them.
I’ve worked with clients who’d rather lose their homes and families than end their relationships with registered sex offenders, and people with histories of domestic abuse seem to nevertheless be rarely single.
I reckon if anybody, and I mean anybody, were to hit on enough people in any given bar at around the witching hour on a Saturday night, they’d find somebody willing to go home with them; if that’s how desperate you are.
So who are all these perpetually celibate people and what on earth are they doing so wrong?
But then I remembered how many of my male friends still come to me for advice on how to talk to women.
And then react with barely concealed horror when I suggest that they try talking to all other women in exactly the same way as they talk to me.
They speak as though they’re breaking a piece of unfortunate news as they tell me that they’ve only ever thought of me as a friend, and then explain that it’s women they’re attracted to that they have the problem with. They don’t know how they’re supposed to act around them or what kinds of things they ought to talk about.
And not a single one of them is prepared to be convinced that the problem lies in the fact that they think there’s meant to be a difference.
I don’t know what it is they think that they’re looking for, really. How do they suppose that the mechanics of a conversation can become dramatically different with someone they think is hot to what they are with anybody else. Talking to somebody involves an ebb and flow of them saying words that you listen to, and you saying words while they listen you. There’s really no other way of doing it.
And what do they think they have to offer these women in terms of a relationship if they’re not planning on becoming friends with them while they’re in it?
Of course these men are also terribly nervously at the prospect of asking anyone out on a date.
I have to admit that I have very little sympathy with this predicament. As far as I’m concerned asking someone out is just something that grown up people are supposed to know how to do, like opening a savings account, unblocking a sink, and being able to make at least one meal that has actual nutritional value.
But to everybody who does find the prospect equally terrifying I have just one piece of advice.
That is that you should ask every single pretty boy and/or girl (depending on your dating preference) you meet out for coffee. All of them. Wherever you happen to see them. In a bar, on a roller coaster, at the supermarket, by the water cooler at work. Anywhere.
And until one of them says yes; and then you have a magical first date followed by equally magical second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth dates, that eventually lead to a beautiful relationship, just keep on doing it.
Keep asking everyone you meet out for coffee until whether they say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ becomes as meaningless to you as whether or not they agree to go and get a cup of coffee with you.
Because it’s a frikin’ cup of coffee; not a request for the donation of a kidney for your dying mother.
If they don’t want to go with you, all you’ve missed out on is the opportunity to spend a while in the company of someone you may have got a long famously with, but equally likely you could have found you had absolutely nothing in common with, and nothing to say to.
You have not missed out on the opportunity for an entire life long relationship, complete with a house with a white picket fence, a beautiful marriage, and a pair of perfect babies. Which appears to be what some folk honestly think.
And if you really can’t do that, just make sure that you get out and meet people. Lots of people. As many people as humanly possible. And then when you find someone who you notice taking every possible excuse for touching you, and realise that you’re also seizing every possible opportunity for touching them, keep doing that.
And then eventually, possibly, maybe, it’ll turn into something.
But, y’know, it won’t matter so much because you won’t be piling such an insane amount of pressure on to such inconsequential things.
Also, you’ll have made plenty of new friends, and have plenty of other stuff to be doing, and there’ll always be plenty of new people for you to meet. So maybe, one day, you’ll eventually meet ‘the one’.
It’s really not that difficult. Even birds, bees, and educated fleas can do it, apparently. So can any human being. Yourself included.