Finding the (Im)perfect Strategy

As 2015 comes to a close and I am every bit the Dateless-Man that I have ever been, I’ve been trying to take stock of where I stand and what my options are in the realm of dating. This began after the conclusion of the New York Comic Con speed-dating event that I chronicled two months ago. It’s since become more complicated over the past few weeks as I’ve seemed to make a new “friend” online as well as face “shadows from the past“. As the (probable) last blog post I make this year, I figure this is as good a chance as any to take stock and weigh options.

I am still caught in a crossroads between abandoning all hope of dating success on any level and embracing a life without any prospect of love or attraction and making one last great push before that big “4-0” hits me. I thought I had time during my 20’s but inevitably I didn’t, and things didn’t work out. After all, despite a movie, life as a 40 year old virgin isn’t any easier than life as a 30-something year old virgin in terms of dating; in fact I imagine it is harder. At least now I am still in (somewhat) of my physical prime, at the very least. And if there is one thing I may have genuinely improved upon over the past few years, it is being able to make small talk. I do it all the time for work to hundreds of strangers a day (albeit over the phone, with strict professional regulations), after all. I’ve faced plenty of hardships and tribulations since I graduated college. The challenge is not only convincing myself logically that it is worth it to invest time and money (which is very finite) towards pursuing this when statistically there is no reason to believe I will have any success.

Ideally, this means finding as perfect a strategy as possible. I need a venue or setting which caters to what few strengths I have. Unfortunately, this may not be as easy as it sounds. Short of telepathy or a change of either planet or dimension, I don’t think such a setting exists.

Having officially tried “speed dating” four times across six years, both with “mainstream” and “geeky” women in attendance, I think I can stick a fork in it and consider this option a failure. It’s a quick way to try to “catch up” and meet as many women as possible in a short a time as possible, but the format hasn’t favored me at all. My theory all comes down to competition. In some small ways, especially in a capitalist consumer place as New York, we are all competing with each other. Most of this is indirect, just living life. But some dating venues encourage direct competition with other men for the affections of the opposite sex, and “speed dating” is one of them. Those men who are the most appealing will get most of the attention; there’s no need for any of the women there to “settle” or have to risk being dismayed with a pick who offers less than she wants when there is literally another dude waiting in the wings in 3 minutes (who she may have already scoped out at the start). Even literally being interested in “every” woman at such an event doesn’t assure getting a shot. It also encourages a quick break when there’s no chemistry, or even when there’s some, just because of the format.

Unfortunately, what other options are there? School is over, and my social circle is small and made up of friends who are almost all “coupled up” and busy with their own lives or fellow men who are also single and thus more mercenary. Nobody ever “sets me up” and at this point I may not trust anyone who attempted to do so, as I am aware that my perennial datelessness is at best a subject of mockery with them at times. I don’t do well at bars, due to the loud music and the fact that even single women are often with friends and that makes talking to one harder. I don’t get invited to parties and, again, those encourage direct competition. I did get one date from OkCupid, so there is always online dating. However, with that I am at the mercy of a picture and a profile, when women are so deluged with options that many have to heavily filter their settings.

At best I would need a venue or setting which is as non-competitive with other men as possible while also allowing what few good qualities I have to be on display. Outside of relying on others to “set me up” or complete, random circumstance, I don’t know of any venues which can cater to me. As such, do I seek out to become more “zen” and abandon all attempts to date due to my own desires or a sense of having zero options, or both?

I have a lot of things to consider for 2016. As always, I will keep this blog in the loop, as it has helped me greatly to order my thoughts and vent my feelings. Thanks for all of those who read and comment. Have a great new year!

 

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