Friday, 6 July 2012

Confidence and Dating


I am starting to see a clear and present pattern that I suppose I always knew was there but perhaps did not know the reason.  Dating is a game of skill and practice especially Online.  There are natural flirts, born and raised charmers and charismatic people mixed into the pool.  But the truth is that the majority of us when thrown into the dating pool sunk or swam by trial and error.

When I receive messages from average or under average men on one of the dating sites that I use the notes are almost always thoughtful, personalized and creative.  Not to assume that they are not a pre-written copy and pasted message as many are (proven by a few repeat sendings) but the detail of adding something from my profile is often included in these.  The messages also include an open ended question that many of us feel rude not responding too even if the first glance at the photos or profiles is not up to our normal standards.  I will admit that in this round of using online dating I no longer respond to anyone just for the sake of not coming off as bitchy and judgemental, but the first time I used the site I would almost always politely answer these men’s questions.  This getting the foot in the door tactic is incredibly important.

Now onto the flip side, the very attractive men who rely on their photos only and often post the bare minimum on the about me section.  The messages from these men are lackluster at best with a no foresight into the responses that they expect to get.  “You’re cute”, or “how was your weekend”, leave very little for opening up conversation and quite often the messages die off as quickly as they started.  I feel almost disappointed when I receive a one-liner message from a hot guy as the feeling is he is too good to but any effort into the conversation.  I should be wet at the mere thought that he messaged me and therefore should agree to meet based on looks alone. 

So I am left in the middle of the overconfident based photo, or a charming message from a less than average guy who shows up to a first meeting 30 pounds heavier than his photo and with mustard stains on his shirt (yes this is a true story).  Over promise and under deliver, or under promise and over deliver?  Basically the under average male has had to put in more practice and work to engage in a conversation with a person that he is interested in and it is very apparent in the online world.

When I was between 18 and 20 ish I would play a little game at the bar which would entail seeing how many drinks I could get bought for me.  If I had to take a cab home that night it was a great night, but I would say that I was rejected a solid 95 % of the time.  I would get shot down for drinks, dancing and sometimes even just approaching and saying a simple “hi, how is your night going?”.   All this rejection taught me some incredibly valuable lessons in building a bit thicker skin, changing my approach on the fly and realizing that rejection is not the end of the world.  Some nights it hurt my feelings to be shot down so many times, but it is not always a personal thing, often just bad timing and bad game on both parties.  And I would not be the person I am today without having been put in my place by a room full of strangers.  I learned confidence the old fashioned way with lots of work and practice, long before I grew into whatever looks or boobs that I now have (I know it makes them sound fake saying it like that).  At heart I am that skinny girl with horrible freckles and the brown hair that had a mind of its own.  Despite that though I taught myself to smile with genuine feeling and make myself approachable and learned a confidence that is applicable now to all aspects of my life.  

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