We need to stop trying to throw game, start enjoying more and be our own best selves.
My new puttypeep friend The Gutsy Geek and I have had some exchanges of late on dating advice and tips. The “neg” is a post in and of itself – I hate that behavior and will expound another time on the greater whys.
Suffice for now, “the neg” is indicative of what is wrong with having a dating or pickup agenda: it is a blatant tactic.
Tactics to connive your way into accomplishing an arbitrary agenda have no place in dating. Tactics have no place anywhere interpersonal relationships are concerned.
What is the difference then between tips and tactics? I’m glad you asked my dear reader.
Let us enter the realm of advice.
Ok. The idea of genius as external to ourself is freeing and powerful for artistic endeavors. When it comes to an expression, we can keep a muse-shaped protective barrier between others and our heart, confidence, and innermost self.
The point of dating, however, is to get to the point of shucking shields and opening ourselves up to each other. We eventually want get all nekkid and have sexy time no?
If we desire to get closer to someone, there is no room for the external muse betwixt us.
As I have stated before, I’m not against self-help books. I’m certainly not against – in fact I am for and utilize – business and personal improvement books, posts, podcasts, conversations and summits. Good ideas espoused from a place of experience make you think and, when internalized, make you better.
The scripts are there help us get started. The assignments break us of bad habits, push us outside our comfort zones and help build confidence. An opening line fall flat? We can blame it on the line. “Who was the errant genius that came up with that one?”
We scoff, buck up and try again. That little point of inspiration, motivation and separation eventually allow us to amass little successes and more easily forget any failures.
Eventually though we need to get away from the prompts and go it alone and internalization is the important step in the process.
The athlete studies plays. The painter practices techniques. The coder learns constructs. We learn skills and prepare with information, then eventually the field, canvas, page is before us and we are on our own.
If we try to wrotely retrace the steps of others, hiding behind a muse or blindly following the advice of the expert, we fail.
Hating the player and the game
The problem then the concept and practice of attempting to be a “pickup artist.”
There is no “artistry” in attempting to paint-by-numbers your way under my skirt.
Let me say here: I don’t have a problem with sex for sex’s sake. I fall squarely in the “judge not” category. Two people want to have some needs satisfied through simple sex? Fine. Mutually honest, casual sex is different than “pickup” gamesmanship.
When we have a conversation with another, we are entering into a relationship with them. Even if it only lasts the duration of time for us to order and pay for a latte, it is two individuals communing and relating to one another. It is an honest exchange.
Dating – of all relationships – is certainly not a place for gamesmanship, trickery or hackery. I am not object of conquest – none of us are. Our time, phone numbers and personal space are not chits to be won or lost with no relational respect or honesty.
Sex is the ultimate relationship act and profoundly personal – even if it is just a roll in the hay in the meanwhile – we are literally naked, exposed and open.
The least we should expect in any relationship is that the other is just as open and vulnerable as we are.
Just be yourself?
The other point of contention between myself and Mr. Geek is the advice to “be yourself.” What Mr. Geek and other dating advisors do has merit as true coaching and help to unearth the best self of others. Especially in an increasingly online-dominated world, any voices teaching interpersonal skills are needed.
The key is making the transition from advice to internalization and progression.
In any skill arena but especially when building relationships, good coaches– the best ones — are ones who encourage their clients to go off book. There is no more room for our genius muse and we have to be our own—alone– best self.
One person enters
If we continue to use someone else’s lines, motivations or enticements, we are ultimately going to fail. At some point the walls have to come down, we have to excuse our genius muse, and we will be on our own.
Our core has to be strong and ready for that moment. Our motives have to be honest and assured. We have to be truly confident in our own self and skin to have a relationship with another.
Even if the extent of the relationship is a quickie after a wild night, it will be infinitely better – free of ickiness or regret – if we are confident and share our own, alone, sans-artifice nakedness.
So throw out the playbook, leave the muse at home, lets have a pint and share our best selves with the world.
Yes? No? I’d love to know what you think! Agree or offer an opposing argument. Give me your best, worst pickup line. I will read and respond to all non-spamilicious comments.
Image via Flickr under CC license by kevin dooley, Phalaenopsis Aphrodite and Kuba BoÅ¼anowski.