Some ideas on causes and solutions for romantically challenged men

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Some ideas on causes and solutions for romantically challenged men Empty Some ideas on causes and solutions for romantically challenged men

Post by Bumble on Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:25 pm

Note: I'm talking about men here because I'm a man, and while much of this might apply to romantically-challenged women, I'm not really confident enough to make that call.

I was reading the comments on some Scott Aaronson blog posts yesterday and I felt like there was a lot of good discussion. I came away with a fresh perspective on what I believe are the primary factors leading to romantically challenged male nerds which I figure I'll share:

1. Anxiety and depression - These are a mental health issues but they do not occur in a vacuum
2. Belief that normal courtship behaviors (flirting, approaching, expressing interest in a variety of situations) are "wrong" due to a misreading of feminism or correct reading of more extreme feminist positions
3. Lack of social intelligence (ability to read body language, facial expressions, flirt and "play the game")

Any of these can destroy a man's romantic prospects IRL but to explain why many of us continue to struggle in the online dating world, I think there's an additional factor:

4. Some kind of unattractive quality (be it physical, emotional, failure to meet gender norms) that causes us to struggle even on a dating website where courtship is explicitly condoned, body language is nil, and anxiety and depression are less of a hindrance.

Anyway, there are resources for #1. #2 can simply be turned off. #4 is tricky but #3 might have a simple solution as social intelligence can be learned. There are lots of books out there that decode and lay out the meanings behind body language and social cues. I have avoided them because a lot of it seems like bullshit (how many times did she touch her hair?) but also I'm afraid of becoming someone who manipulates people, and because I associate this stuff with evo psych, which I am wary of. However as it stands I am simply dead in the water when it comes anything but the most obvious nonverbal communication. There was an interesting article on Vice the other day by a woman who attended a "good" PUA workshop who wrote:

I mean, he's right. In my dating life, I make fun of guys, call them out on things, and make comments which, if I'm being honest, are subconsciously intended to make them feel just a teensy bit insecure. I essentially practice a version of active disinterest just inherently. So why exactly, I wondered, is it taboo to try to learn something that comes naturally to so many?

It seems like a lot of us are way behind the curve in our understanding of human behavior and body language and stuff. I wonder if it's a good idea to try to study up on it.

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Post by Enail on Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:48 pm

I...would be pretty wary of someone whose natural dating behavior is to try and make the people she's interested in a little insecure. I wouldn't want to date - or even be around - someone who wanted me to feel like maybe they didn't like me that much or like I was inferior to them, even in a mild form. I want to be around people who like me and who I feel like my coolest, most interesting self around them, and if I like someone, I'd want them to feel that way around me.

And the idea of learning to behave that way on purpose? Yuck. If you have to learn something, why not try to learn how to encourage attraction by making people feel good about being around you?

More generally, I think it's a good idea to try and learn a bit about body language and non-verbal social cues, but if you treat them as straightforward rules to be decoded, you'll probably come across as awkward or artificial or read into things that aren't there - your example of "how many times did she touch her hair" is a good example of treating it as a rule. Think of it more like the way people use language, where choice of words and sentence structure can give you a lot of clear information (say, the difference between "I dislike cacti" and "I despise cacti" is only one word, but choosing "despise" alone sends a strong message), but often the information it gives you is more subtle and you need to parse several word choices and sentence structure to have a good idea what they're conveying (say, the difference between "yeah, let's go to the cactus exhibit! Tuesday?" and "yyyeaeah, I guess we could go to the cactus exhibit, if you want to that much. I dunno when I'm free, call me sometime.")
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Post by Guest on Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:18 pm

Bumble wrote:Note: I'm talking about men here because I'm a man, and while much of this might apply to romantically-challenged women, I'm not really confident enough to make that call.

I was reading the comments on some Scott Aaronson blog posts yesterday and I felt like there was a lot of good discussion. I came away with a fresh perspective on what I believe are the primary factors leading to romantically challenged male nerds which I figure I'll share:

1. Anxiety and depression - These are a mental health issues but they do not occur in a vacuum
2. Belief that normal courtship behaviors (flirting, approaching, expressing interest in a variety of situations) are "wrong" due to a misreading of feminism or correct reading of more extreme feminist positions
3. Lack of social intelligence (ability to read body language, facial expressions, flirt and "play the game")

Any of these can destroy a man's romantic prospects IRL but to explain why many of us continue to struggle in the online dating world, I think there's an additional factor:

4. Some kind of unattractive quality (be it physical, emotional, failure to meet gender norms) that causes us to struggle even on a dating website where courtship is explicitly condoned, body language is nil, and anxiety and depression are less of a hindrance.

Anyway, there are resources for #1. #2 can simply be turned off. #4 is tricky but #3 might have a simple solution as social intelligence can be learned. There are lots of books out there that decode and lay out the meanings behind body language and social cues. I have avoided them because a lot of it seems like bullshit (how many times did she touch her hair?) but also I'm afraid of becoming someone who manipulates people, and because I associate this stuff with evo psych, which I am wary of. However as it stands I am simply dead in the water when it comes anything but the most obvious nonverbal communication. There was an interesting article on Vice the other day by a woman who attended a "good" PUA workshop who wrote:

I mean, he's right. In my dating life, I make fun of guys, call them out on things, and make comments which, if I'm being honest, are subconsciously intended to make them feel just a teensy bit insecure. I essentially practice a version of active disinterest just inherently. So why exactly, I wondered, is it taboo to try to learn something that comes naturally to so many?

It seems like a lot of us are way behind the curve in our understanding of human behavior and body language and stuff. I wonder if it's a good idea to try to study up on it.


Me, in my case, here in PR, I am a lost cause, unsalvageable. My only solution is to get off this rock and write off trying to impress women, FUCK IT!!, I'm just going to be honest of my intentions, NO BS, NO PUA CRAP, NO MANIPULATION, just honesty, walk up and say "Hi, the names Alex, I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you that I find you very attractive, I was wondering if you'd like to go for some coffee and get to know each other?"

if she says no, HER LOSS!! NEXT!! I am a lonely virgin nerd with nothing to lose and no ego to bruise.

*****UPDATE*****

Found a therapist who looks promising, will try her out... Why is it that I prefer a woman psychologist? confused I think there is something unacknowledged with me...


Last edited by Alex1989 on Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I sounded too nagative and angry, so I rewrote the whole thing after blowing off some steam.)

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Post by Bumble on Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:34 pm

Alex1989 wrote:Found a therapist who looks promising, will try her out... Why is it that I prefer a woman psychologist? confused I think there is something unacknowledged with me...

I had a run of cognitive behavioral therapy and it really helped me view things in perspective.

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