This is Not the Boogle Memorial Dating Advice/Tips Thread, No

NathanialG wrote:
That picture is amazing. Where is it from?

Some guy on Kotaku, that's supposed to be Gabe Newell from Valve with his new beard at the front : )

Mex wrote:
Sorry, I'd like to help more but all my crappy advice boils down to the clichéd "Learn to be happy with yourself, and then you'll be ready to find someone to share the happiness".

I will go a bit further and note that once I got comfortable being single, the number of women dropping hints that they were interested in me skyrocketed.

For some reason, a single guy who is comfortable being single *and* comfortable with himself is fairly attractive to the opposite sex. (Being hetero, I have no idea if the same is true for gay/lesbians, but I assume that it is.)

krev82 wrote:
I've been hitting up as many local meetups on meetup.com as I can in hopes of finding someone the shared interest route but no luck on that path yet.

I would advise Meetup.com not being a source for finding single women. Some of the girls from the meetup group I'm more or less a part of shared some stories of guys randomly messaging them and basically trying to hit on them, and none of them were flattered. Their thought was if they wanted to use a website for dating they'd use OK Cupid.

I think if you're going to use Meetup.com, it should be for hobbies and social gatherings and not for dating.

Then again, there ARE groups for singles and Lock & Key events, so I guess it just depends on what group you're going to.

It depends on the metro area you live in, too. Meetup is a fairly reliable way of getting into the dating pool here, because Seattle is known as a place difficult to randomly meet people. Our various singles groups are some of the most popular overall.

Jonman wrote:
So I say, wear your passion for gaming on your sleeve, and if someone thinks less of you for it, then that is probably someone that you should think twice about dating. Use it as a filter.

Yeah, needing to hide stuff is a big red flag. Just don't cross over that line LarryC mentioned of it being all you talk about.

Painting with an incredibly broad brush, though, a lot of (most?) girls aren't especially interested in videogames. Definitely avoid the ones that are judgmental about it, but it's worth keeping in mind that there are a large number who won't be judgmental but also won't really enjoy talking about them. It may just due to a lack of context through not playing many, or that they don't play games that are especially discussion-worthy, or (like many guys) don't have much to say about the games they do play, or they may be really interested in the games but feel uncomfortable talking about them. The few girls I know who do like games seem to have a much stronger sense of "geek shame" than guys, which I guess is a societal thing. So it's not a matter of hiding it, it's a matter of making sure that both parties are enjoying the conversation - and just on probability, that's going to be unlikely with girls and video games.

It's not a big problem, though, since most people should have multiple things that they're interested in, so it doesn't matter if one person doesn't share one of your interests. I don't really talk about games much with my girlfriend since she hasn't played anything since the original Monkey Island (similarly, I don't bore her with economics), and she doesn't bother trying to discuss cricket with me. We talk to other people about those things, and to each other about the things we're both interested in.

ccesarano wrote:
see: two girls I met while drunk at a delightful little bar in Philly and didn't think to give my number to.

Random aside: silly as it may be, a lot of girls will be too shy to get in touch with a guy, even if they like him. Always ask for their number rather than giving them yours.

AP Erebus wrote:
I'm about 4 months into a new relationship and it's reminded me why I much prefer being in a relationship than being single.

It's just nice to have someone else around. My new gf is just getting used to being in a serious relationship, so thats made things a bit tricky this time around, but we are getting there.

Granted, parts of it are frustrating as I tend to read into things WAAAAY too much, but that tends to be only when I'm generally tired.

Well that seems to be prophetic.

As described in: http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/4..., my (now ex) girlfriend broke up with me tonight.

Yet another relationship that has been ended by the other party. It's starting to affect me self esteem in relationships because i'm becoming paranoid that i'm about to be broken up with (as it turns out, I was)

AP Erebus wrote:
AP Erebus wrote:
I'm about 4 months into a new relationship and it's reminded me why I much prefer being in a relationship than being single.

It's just nice to have someone else around. My new gf is just getting used to being in a serious relationship, so thats made things a bit tricky this time around, but we are getting there.

Granted, parts of it are frustrating as I tend to read into things WAAAAY too much, but that tends to be only when I'm generally tired.

Well that seems to be prophetic.

As described in: http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/4..., my (now ex) girlfriend broke up with me tonight.

Yet another relationship that has been ended by the other party. It's starting to affect me self esteem in relationships because i'm becoming paranoid that i'm about to be broken up with (as it turns out, I was)

Sorry to hear that man. If at all possible, grab a beer with your mates and let them tell you how much they didn't like her.

I think the advice earlier in the thread might be applicable to you as well. You should try to be comfortable with the single life before attempting another major relationship. It'll help rebuild that self-esteem

Remember, Boogle is here for you.

I don't really think about being single. I can be very social, but there are times when I need a lot of non-social time to myself. I haven't been in many relationships that lasted longer than a few weeks, so I'm not sure how that would play out, anyway.

I also don't tend to have strong enough feelings to warrant a long-term relationship. When I do, and when I pursue them, it tends to wear off. Which is okay, too.

Honestly, I can go long periods alone and not really realize it until I'm reaching distracting levels of horniness.

I have friends I love and adore, but I can also be apart from pretty much anyone without the pangs being too severe. I've been traveling a lot lately, so I'm a bit burned out, and wouldn't mind some familiar faces. But I left home almost 18 months ago, so ...

I haven't taken those dance classes! I'm working a lot, and I'm in a fairly small city, so there's no much available. I'm headed back to the States in January. Thinking I might just put it to a panel of my friends to teach me some moves.

I'd add that an unwillingness to branch out in conversation also reduces the likelihood you'll discover new interests to be passionate about.

One of the easiest ways to become fascinated by something is to see it through the eyes of someone who loves it. That works both ways, but some of my favorite movies, music, and books are directly attributable to girls I was interested in. I'd like to think I had the same effect on a few of them.

Re: where do 30 year olds hangout? If there's one thing that makes being single at 30 lonely, it's the natural reduction of your dating pool. People pair off, get tired of single life, commit to having children, etc.

I'm in Australia, and although I haven't visited Sydney or Melbourne yet, in the towns I've been in people my age have generally paired off and had kids.

Back home in New Orleans, which is the city of lost children/never never land, there's a lot more single people in their 30s and 40s.

So essentially, they may be hanging out in a completely different part of the country.

I like online dating. It's got a stigma, but I see it as just another way to meet people.

I would also recommend volunteering. For something you actually believe in. That's a good way to meet people with similar interests.

AP Erebus wrote:
AP Erebus wrote:
I'm about 4 months into a new relationship and it's reminded me why I much prefer being in a relationship than being single.

It's just nice to have someone else around. My new gf is just getting used to being in a serious relationship, so thats made things a bit tricky this time around, but we are getting there.

Granted, parts of it are frustrating as I tend to read into things WAAAAY too much, but that tends to be only when I'm generally tired.

Well that seems to be prophetic.

As described in: http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/4..., my (now ex) girlfriend broke up with me tonight.

Yet another relationship that has been ended by the other party. It's starting to affect me self esteem in relationships because i'm becoming paranoid that i'm about to be broken up with (as it turns out, I was)

If you need me to fly out to Australia to grab a beer with you, I can be there in about.... 30 hours. Sound good? Sounds good!

kaostheory wrote:
AP Erebus wrote:
AP Erebus wrote:
I'm about 4 months into a new relationship and it's reminded me why I much prefer being in a relationship than being single.

It's just nice to have someone else around. My new gf is just getting used to being in a serious relationship, so thats made things a bit tricky this time around, but we are getting there.

Granted, parts of it are frustrating as I tend to read into things WAAAAY too much, but that tends to be only when I'm generally tired.

Well that seems to be prophetic.

As described in: http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/4..., my (now ex) girlfriend broke up with me tonight.

Yet another relationship that has been ended by the other party. It's starting to affect me self esteem in relationships because i'm becoming paranoid that i'm about to be broken up with (as it turns out, I was)

If you need me to fly out to Australia to grab a beer with you, I can be there in about.... 30 hours. Sound good? Sounds good!

That does sound good! Cya soon!

Slight problem. Apparently they want me to use this stuff called money to, I believe the term is, buy a plane ticket. This must be the Capitalism that my brothers and sisters at the enclave detest.

kaostheory wrote:
Slight problem. Apparently they want me to use this stuff called money to, I believe the term is, buy a plane ticket. This must be the Capitalism that my brothers and sisters at the enclave detest.
Bah! That's no(t much of a) excuse.

I'm not worried about actually finding another girl, that doesn't seem to be an issue, my concern is my inability to take a relationship further.

I seem to keep finding girls who end up deciding i'm not the guy they want to spend serious time with, and that's the part that's really frustrating to me.

This one really blindside me as well, which doesn't help in any way.

Oh well, one day I'll find a nice girl who actually wants to hang around me long term.

AP Erebus wrote:
I'm not worried about actually finding another girl, that doesn't seem to be an issue, my concern is my inability to take a relationship further.

It's not an inability to take a relationship further. It's not something you did that got you dumped. You just weren't what she considered a compatible partner going further, that's not your fault either, it's just how things go.

To a lot of people, including me, there's no benefit to a relationship for its own sake. When I was in the market I wouldn't stick to a relationship unless I a saw a future, just 'having a relationship' didn't seem like a reason to potentially keep me away from the person I would spend the rest of my life with, or to do the same to the other person.

AP Erebus wrote:
I seem to keep finding girls who end up deciding i'm not the guy they want to spend serious time with, and that's the part that's really frustrating to me.

This one really blindside me as well, which doesn't help in any way.

Oh well, one day I'll find a nice girl who actually wants to hang around me long term.

I'm very familiar with that frustration and it bothered the sh*t out of me until I came to my realisation above. Now I consider someone being honest enough to break it off to be doing me a favour.

If you were blindsided that is sh*tty, but I think this thread is a place for honest reflection so I'll ask. Were you blindsided? Or did you see more than was there? I ask because I've been there myself. Often the signs are there, but subtle, or we ignore them.

And the bold part is the money quote. That's what you want, rather be single because someone didn't see a future than just someone's boyfriend because they didn't bother to break up with you (it happens) or because they are scared to be alone.

Actually, speaking of the long-term relationship stuff, I do feel myself in an awkward head space. On one hand I feel like I shouldn't specifically look for something long term, particularly because I've barely dated and probably have a lot to learn about myself. On the other hand, and I know a lot of you guys may laugh at this, but I'm 27 and I see 30 just around the corner. I want a family some day and am afraid that I could possibly miss the boat on that, or if I do get a family it'll be so late that playing with my children will be difficult.

I try not to think like that, though. I want to date someone because I really like them for who they are.

Which actually brings me to something I just watched on How I Met Your Mother, of all TV shows. Typically I wouldn't take any sort of advice from a TV sitcom, but it seems relevant. Ted came to the realization that he doesn't want to be breaking down pros and cons and systematically seeing who is the best girl to date, he wants to be head over heels for someone.

While I've met a lot of women that are really cool and interesting this past year, there's no "head over heels" thing going on. There's no spark that just kick-starts things and gets me thinking about them. I keep worrying about how to ask someone out or if I should, but the thing is, I've never met a woman that's driven me crazy about them.

I know that sort of thing usually requires at least one date first, or time spent together with each other to develop (as it did between me and my ex), but it honestly makes sense. When I was finally starting to get over my ex, I wasn't looking at every woman I met thinking about dating. It's been seven years, though, and that's a long time to revert back to my old clueless highschool ways.

So I think this goes hand-in-hand with loving yourself whether you're single or in a relationship, because if you're not happy being single you're not going to want to date a woman for the right reasons, and next thing you know you're with someone who is there to merely comfort you rather than someone you can't imagine being without.

@AP Erebus:

I'll offer you this perspective from the other side, too: I was in an LTR for nine years, in large part because we were both afraid to be alone. It wasn't horrible or abusive. There was some real compatibility there. We were both very conflict-avoidant people and didn't fight much.

But there were also some huge red flags that we both ignored. We had different long-term goals. I put mine on hold because I was in wuv and I though it was the price I had to pay to be with her. We had some fundamental differences in worldview; I found myself internalizing her worldview slowly over time, not really meaning to, just going along to get along. Even though the (very healthy) tension between our worldviews probably contributed a lot to the attraction early on. Our sex life tapered off and became pretty mediocre around the second year. I just sort of shrugged and figured that's what happens when you're with someone for a long time, but sex isn't everything and I still wuv her.

Finally, nine years in, everything came out at once. I stopped going along to get along and drew a firm boundary on something. It was about one particular thing, a rather large thing-- I wanted kids and told her that if she didn't feel the same way I didn't think we had a future-- but it could have been about anything. We couldn't find a middle ground, so we broke up.

In retrospect, the natural lifespan of that relationship was probably about a year. We muddled along for nine years because we were both afraid to be alone and too pussy to face the reality that, although there was some real love and attraction there, we just weren't right for each other long-term.

Being in an LTR is awesome. But if it's so important to you that you're willing to give up absolutely everything to get it, what you get won't be worth it. I don't know if that describes you or if I'm just projecting. Just something to think about. Maybe this chick did you a favor. And if you always find yourself the dumpee rather than the dumper, maybe you should consider that the problem might not be that you have this mysterious inability to make an LTR last. The problem might be that you're ignoring red flags, and meeting a girl with a similar inability to break up when the time is right might be the WORST thing that could possibly happen to you, not the best.

Yeah hbi2k, I was actually thinking of your situation when I made my post. Basically your situation seems like the worst possible thing that can happen to two people, and it's probably not that uncommon.

I've been thinking about this for a while. I'm not sure how this is going to come across, but I hope it's helpful.

The way I first explained it to my now-wife was like this. A union of two people is a "we" and a "we" is composed of a "you" and a "me." If I'm so drawn into you that I have no life, there's no "me," there's only "you," and that's really not much of a relationship since I'm only reflecting you back to yourself. Likewise, if you insist on building your world around just me, I will only see myself in you. There's nothing to share, nothing to communicate, nothing to amaze or surprise.

Therefore, the first rule of any lasting "we" is that we should go into the relationship with a "you" and a "me" and we should make an effort to keep it that way so that we always have something new and exciting to share with one another. That is, I will continue to build pieces of my life on my own, then I will share it with you; you will continue to build pieces of your life on your own, and then you will share them with me.

Of course, there is also a shared space wherein we build our family life in concert, but that almost went without saying.

As for HIMYM, and pretty much most other pop culture shows I know of, I find that they give a lot of pithy, excellent-sounding, romantic, and downright disastrous advice in terms of what makes relationships really work. They're generally aimed at titillation, entertainment, and the cheap shot rather than giving out useful life rules.

There's nothing wrong with head-over-heels infatuation. It's heady, enjoyable, and quite fantastic as long as you're in it. Good for a one-night stand or a fling. Long term? Nohohoho. Nope. Any relationship built around being head-over-heels in love is basically a crap shoot, IMX, since the factors that actually go into a sustainable LTR may or may not be there.

Of course, you should build a sexual relationship with a partner you find sexually exciting; with the understanding that both of you will put some effort into maintaining your own attractive qualities for the sake of each other. So far, so good.

My view of that going forward is radically different from the usual. As much hate as it gets around nerds, I think the show that understands this best is Big Bang Theory. Leonard and Penny's initial relationship was doomed to failure because it was based on deception, stark power competition, and a volatile kind of sexual attraction. The new one starts off a little more hopeful because it was initially built on communication and a frank sort of trust, but frankly that seems like it's getting off to a bad place as well.

To me, a long term relationship is something that you build daily. It doesn't start off strong - it becomes stronger with time, like a tower slowly rising over the landscape as its builders slowly reach for the skies.

To this end, as with a tower, you build the relationship's core foundations a little bit at a time, each step leading to the next, starting with core values and adding more and more as the relationship grows. When I first started seeing my wife, I asked her for total and complete frankness. She didn't have to tell me "the truth" all the time, but if I asked her pointblank, the deal was she was forced to tell me (or the relationship was over, natch). Of course, the agreement went both ways. These days, we no longer need that deal. We have a better one. We implicitly trust each other to look out for each other's interests. This trust was not simply given overnight, or earned with a single deed; but built over the years with multiple events solidifying our trustworthiness to each other. It is priceless.

If I were in the process of looking for a new wife for some reason, I would not look for someone who simply turned my head. Lots of women can do that. I want something more. As hbi2k intimates, I'm looking for someone who's headed the same way I'm going, who'll be interested in building a life with me along the way.

I'm not looking to change her, but she must be open to changing with me and hopefully, towards me. I hold myself to the same charge. I won't change for her benefit alone, but if life throws us a curveball, I'm willing to do a small change of self if it'll help both of us win the game.

Very, very good words Larry. I think it should also be noted that in the very same episode of HIMYM it ends with Ted seeing an old girlfriend where things fell apart and suggesting he was about to date her again.

Which has happened before.

And gets old.

Which is another reason why advice or "wisdom" taken from a sitcom should be taken with a grain of salt: drama and entertainment comes before anything else, and a healthy relationship is rarely entertaining.

Though I will note that "head turning attraction" is hardly what I mean when I think "head over heels". There are a ton of attractive girls out there and a lot of people I like talking to. But I want the person that I love talking to and trying new things with, etc.

Which will come when it comes. The only advice for finding something like that is to go outside, do things, and have a good time while doing it. You can only get that by meeting people.

ccesarano wrote:
On the other hand, and I know a lot of you guys may laugh at this, but I'm 27 and I see 30 just around the corner. I want a family some day and am afraid that I could possibly miss the boat on that, or if I do get a family it'll be so late that playing with my children will be difficult.

I'm 35 and see 40 just around the corner, and in the same position as you.

Believe me, I don't laugh at your concern.

Forgot to mention something.

Spoiler:

I've always been classed as an introvert prior to college. It felt like it, too. I decided to change that. I made a systematic step-by-step method by which I can engage in what people would recognize as normal social conventions. In other words, I faked it. These days, I test as an ambivert - I derive energy both from being with people and by doing things by myself. It's possible.

I don't think it's healthy to seek this human companionship energy from one person only. It tires out that person, it makes you revolve around that person; and ultimately, it's putting all your eggs in one basket. It's risky. Studies show that people with more social groups adapt to stressors in their life better than those who have less - they can draw on more resources to buoy up their spirits when they're down.

Where I come from, family doesn't have to be a wife and your kids. It could be a bunch of bachelors living together for years in a flat as roomies. What I'm suggesting here is not to feel like life is passing you by just because your age ticker is increasing and you haven't been in a marriage. It's okay. It's better than okay. It should be awesome!

Don't be afraid with what life may or may not bring. Tackle each day as it comes, and make the most of what you get. Life not giving you a girlfriend? Well, how about some buds, instead? Take what you can get and pull everything out of it that you can! Life's too short to spend any of it fearing for the future, or being regretful about what could have been.

Sounded like useless smarmy crap on the reread. I'm leaving it in case anyone can make sense or use of the thing.

Nah, I get where you're coming from LarryC, and value the input. And actually I've made more of an effort to do that, but I think I'm more strongly introverted than you. I have good friends, I value their place in my life. But having had a long-term partner, there is a different bond with that kind of relationship than what friends can provide (let's skip the "hot sex woo!" jokes, please).

That's what I am missing and desire so strongly. I have always wanted to build a family, even when I was a kid. Can't really do that alone.

Like I said before, my biggest problem is that I want it too much to be able to properly enter into a relationship. But the more time passes, the more I find that I miss it and the more I feel my own biological clock ticking away. Yes, men can technically father children later in life than women, I've been told that so damn many times I feel like punching the next person who says it, because there's more factors involved than simply producing viable sperm.

Anyway, sorry, sometimes I just gotta vent. Even if that seems more frequent as time goes on.

We're talking about what has always been my single greatest hope and desire in life. I've tried filling my life with other things instead, but it never feels like more than a poor substitute. And it's not helpful to have my singlehood shoved right in my face every day all day long. Every single one of my coworkers that I deal with is either married or engaged. Most have children. All of my friends are either married or in long-term relationships on the cusp of married. Most of them have children too. Same goes with my family.

I have other problems that amplify this, so I think I'll bow back out of the thread again for now. Sometimes I just wind up reading conversations like this for some reason - I guess I've got a streak of masochism too or something.

Actually I like the idea of "ambivert". I feel like it opens up the possibility to not fall neatly into a single category at all times.

I also agree very much with what you're saying. I've tried to advise my mom go out and get some hobbies or something out of the house. She very rarely goes out and spends most of her time at work or with her family, and when she does go out it is usually family related. I can understand this being the case if you just had kids, but all of her kids are grown up. I think my mom should go find a book club or something but she refuses to (for reasons I won't get into because they're a whole different dramatic can of worms).

But my mom instead resents the time my Dad spends out of the house being involved with Church or his Sportsmen's club. Meanwhile, I've spoken with friends whose parents have each had their hobbies, and even couples with their hobbies, and it sounds like that time away from their spouse is important. It effectively keeps people from getting sick of each other, which is kind of valuable in a long-term relationship.

It's also one of the reasons I try not to look for someone based on interests anymore.

And while my social life may have slowed down in the cold weather months, it doesn't mean I'm not going out when I can. I decided to start going to a pub with a friend of mine every Sunday so he can watch the Eagles, I can hang out with him since we rarely see each other, and I can maybe learn a thing or two about American Football. It's calm, it's relaxing, it doesn't require a lot of energy and it gets me out of the house. Sometimes that's all you need.

I didn't get her number. How about them apples?

Actually went out, had a few drinks, and reinforced that I don't really like clubs and bars where the music is too loud to talk easily. Spent as little time as possible swaying on the dance floor.

Ran into a girl I used to work with, chatted a bit in a group, asked for her number when I decided to bounce. Didn't feel like going to the next dance bar. She said to email her on her old work addy, which isn't a bad way to go if it's a polite brush off.

Learned that Darwin has a ratio of ten men for every woman, which explains a lot.

AP, what part of Australia do you live in? Maybe you can clue me in on Aussie dating rituals. The girl's brother said to take her out for Thai, go to a movie, then "root" in the park. I tell you what, I miss my bizarre American customs something fierce right about now.

The girl's brother said to take her out for Thai, go to a movie, then "root" in the park. I tell you what, I miss my bizarre American customs something fierce right about now.

Don't do it, you'll void her warranty.

cartoonin99 wrote:
The girl's brother said to take her out for Thai, go to a movie, then "root" in the park. I tell you what, I miss my bizarre American customs something fierce right about now.

Don't do it, you'll void her warranty.

*golf clap*

ccoates wrote:
AP, what part of Australia do you live in? Maybe you can clue me in on Aussie dating rituals. The girl's brother said to take her out for Thai, go to a movie, then "root" in the park. I tell you what, I miss my bizarre American customs something fierce right about now.

I'm in Melbourne, which tends to mean we are a bit more "cultured" than our northern brethren.

Personally I like to go to dinner early on (eg. 1st date) as it's a good time to sit, relax and chat. It helps that Melbourne is full of excellent places to eat, but you can rarely go wrong with a good cheap Thai place. Brunch/Lunch on a weekend is also a common thing.

I tend to avoid the movies early on as it's a bit anti-social, but it does give you a good idea of some interests and a good conversation starter. Movies on early dates is a very common thing in Aus.

Thanks to everyone who's replied and given comments. It's been a rough weekend, but I think I'll be ok. I think the biggest challenge short term is keeping myself occupied so I don't sit there and think, which tends to lead to bad places.

I am reading The Game.

First of all, it's gripping as hell. Strauss is an engaging and funny writer. I'm enjoying it as a non-fiction story.

Second, I'm about 20% through and I'm noticing that the rules of "The Game" closely match my own experiences in the field. That is to say, whenever I've been "successful" in picking up a girl, I've inadvertently been following PUA rules, particularly negging. Having a lot of flashbacks to successes and failures as I read.

Now, I'm not interesting in prowling the streets of this city, but the book really does provide some interesting insight into the insecurities that plague men and women in various potential hook-up settings. I'm not interested in becoming a PUA, but some of the advice in this book is solid. Confidence and the willingness to lose the girl you are pursuing are the two best lessons I've seen so far.

Yeah, I've always said that it's a good story with some solid advice. People are too quick to write off anything related to the pick up scene.

+1 to both of you guys. As I said, the prologue of the book, the en media res scene, was chosen for a reason. As are a lot of the lessons Strauss learns towards the end of the book after having been in the culture for far too long.